Last night's D.I.C.E. 2013 Awards were handily owned by thatgamecompany's "Journey." The PS3 exclusive dominated the industry event, taking home seven awards including Game of the Year, Outstanding Innovation, as well as awards for its music and innovative online play.
It wasn't a complete shutout for other 2012 favorites, with 343 Industries "Halo 4" and Telltale's "The Walking Dead" taking away the prizes for Visual Engineering and Story respectively.
You can check out the full list of winners after the jump.
As D.I.C.E. 2013 draws to a close, Machinima will be running a livestream of the awards tonight at 7PM PST.
You can follow the event on MachinimaLive.com when the program kicks off and doles out awards to some of last years best and brightest games.
Kiki Wolfkill, who has one of the coolest names in the video game industry, and Frank O’Connor from 343 Industries took the stage at D.I.C.E. to talk about the challenges of building a brand-new studio, and taking over the massive "Halo" franchise.
O’Connor began by explaining the daunting challenges of building that new studio. The first challenge was to build the studio itself, while the second was to take over a beloved franchise that a lot of people had developed a deep love and appreciation for. That brings a tremendous amount of pressure to a team and a product, when you are expected to create something that the wants to be great right out of the box.
Communicating to the wide "Halo" audience was a new challenge for the company, which really began to stretch its legs when they released the "Halo: The Fall" of Reach novel back in 2001. According to O’Connor, that was pure opportunism on their part, but it opened up the transmedia options for the franchise as a strategy for communicating the nature of the universe and the backstory to the audience. All but two of their novels have been New York Times bestsellers, which has expanded the property beyond just the people who play the game.
By Kevin Kelly
You know it’s a treat when you get to hear the somewhat reclusive Gabe Newell talk two days in a row, and while he was J.J. Abrams-less for his second D.I.C.E. keynote, Newell decided not to focus on talking about sales-oriented things, or announcing new products (damn!). Instead, he talked about two tenets:
• The PC ecosystem is going to expand into the living room. Obviously this is what Valve has been moving towards with their Steam Box system that will attach a gaming PC to your television.
• He thinks there is going to be a fairly significant sea change in what we think a game is. This will expand throughout the video game ecosystem, and will wind up in your living room, and will incorporate people who don’t tend to think of themselves as “gamers.”
“A lot of people have an outdated notion about what is possible with a PC,” Newell said about bringing computing power into the living room. With the movement towards mobility, PC manufacturers have gone way beyond what would be required for a similar experience in the living room, where you don’t have to worry about things like thermal envelopes and power consumption.
Some issues are left to be filled, with audio synchronization and controller input, but he thinks that the price points for these solutions will be far below what is typically involved in a console gaming setup. But it’s not open transition to get in there. “It’s actually scary to think what Apple is going to do,” going on to explain that he thinks that Apple has a more natural progression into the living room, which is a large threat to moving PC gaming into the same space.
What he thinks will lend credibility to the experience itself is the fact that PC gaming systems are easily adaptable, and that the sheer horsepower you can get out of them will dwarf what you can get out of a console. This is already the case, obviously, with PC gaming, but for the millions of potential future consumers, it’s a fact that needs to be illustrated and grasped.
By Kevin Kelly
Julie Uhrman, CEO of the company, took the stage at D.I.C.E. with a montage of clips from famous television stunt “Who Shot J.R.?” from Dallas back in 1980. She has a self-proclaimed love of the television, but points out that most of us don’t admit that we love television in public, because it has become socially unacceptable.
Most people watch an average of 34 hours of television per week (!), but it has been taking a beating lately. It’s central to many of our lives, and often occupies a place that could be construed as the altar of worship in most living rooms. But Uhrman believes it is poised for a comeback, mostly because of the power of consoles. In a recent poll, 60% of all gamers have said they couldn’t live without a console, and the value of a console gamer is worth six times more than a mobile gamer.
She used the upcoming GTA V as a point: it’s a huge game, and will most likely do very well. Which is big for the consoles, and as a result, it’s huge for television. But, it also underscores the reason the console gaming is dying. As a result of games like GTA V, there are fewer and fewer developers working on console titles these days, due to the fact that there are very few companies that are making the big games that generate huge revenue. The smaller developers are shuttering and frequently leaving console development to work on mobile titles.