Thu 7 Jul 2011
We got close when Alan Yu and I designed the Game Developers Choice Awards… One of the rules was that studios had to name their key people for a given award (eg, creative director and lead designer if your game was up for the best game design award). We had to fight in a few cases (and push back on “the team” attributions), but only lost two nominees over the years (might have been Halo2 and one of the GTA games, if I recall correctly). But, somehow, it felt so good/right to announce “and the award for best game design goes to John Smith and Mary Jane for GameXYZ”.
With the newly announced Canadian Game Development Talent Awards, we’re going a step further and focusing just on the talent. Who is the designer of the year? The best artist? And so on… Let’s give them all a pat on the back and shine a big spotlight on them and their achievements.
I have no doubt that some studios/bosses will make a fuss about it (scared of their top talent getting poached, or having too much attention). Also, I’m guessing that some developers will balk at the idea that it is unfair to recognize individuals since game dev is such a team effort. True, but someone was ultimately the lead, the director, guiding the others and pushing everyone forward. (Besides, Valve is not Canadian so we don’t have to worry about how to handle their “cabal” process ;)
I’m envisioning a moment, after the ceremony, where all the recipients are on stage for a group photo, and we can look at them and say, “Wow these people represent some of the best creative talent that Canada has to offer,” and be inspired to match, and surpass, their achievements.