These are our traditional award categories at the Gotland Game Conference. Due to COVID19 we’ve had to move online and not been able to arrange for a jury to playtest. Ergo: these award categories are not relevant anymore, for 2020.
Best Arcade Experience*
Here we’re talking about Arcade, the genre, not Arcade, the machine.
An arcade game calls for instant fun. It lives by the cliche of easy to pick up and hard to master, and has to have “just one more coin” appeal.
The Social Game Award*
This is for the game that is best played with others – but that covers a lot of categories.
This could be a PvP game, or a co-op game. It could be designed to be played at a cabinet, or on the couch. It could even be a single player game that everyone just has to stop and watch because it’s so engaging.
If this game is more enjoyable with other people, it belongs in this category.
The Innovation Award*
The innovation award has to go to something novel. The game has to push an envelope.
This could be: Reaching a new audience, new types of gameplay, an interesting new control method, a fascinating mechanic.
If it’s new and exciting, it belongs here.
Excellence in Storytelling*
This looks at games that tell stories – either through text, world building, emergent storytelling, character design or even an artefact from a different world that carries its own design fiction.
The winner of this award should stand out in some way:
Is the story interesting?
Is it told in a new way?
Have you been engrossed by the narrative?
For a show floor, the experience is greater than the game.
Is the booth welcoming? Is it consistent with the game being shown? Can the team converse with non-experts about their design? Do they take feedback seriously and well?
The Exhibit award goes to the team that provides the best visitor experience or make creative use of the show floor.
Best Art Direction*
Games are written as much with images as with mechanics and systems.
Best Art Direction recognises this excellence. Does the game have a cohesive art feel – from the background images to the props, items on characters to the characters themselves.
If the art tells a story all on it’s own, this is that teams reward.
Best in show
Games are a Gestalt: The Whole is greater than the sum of their parts.
Best in show goes to the game that excels in technical, artistic, design, execution and exhibition.
The Jury Spotlight Award
Sometimes a game comes close to an award but doesn’t make the grade.
The Spotlight award is for the jury to shine a light on a game they feel deserves recognition
Public vote by all registered attendees. Ballots are available (and handed in) at the conference reception.
Closed vote by student peers at the Department of Game Design. Ballots are available (and handed in) at the conference reception.
Alumni of the Year
This award is The Department of Game Design’s way of recognizing, and thanking, a student who has excelled. This could be in their chosen career, or in their way of giving back, and helping new generations of students.
The Almedalen Library Award
The Almedalen Library stands for accessibility, diversity, democracy and knowledge. We look for an entertaining and ideally thought-provoking game with a solid narrative core or a positive social mechanic. A game with replay-value that library visitors will want to return to many time. The game must also be child friendly.
All previous award winners – international, national and from the GGC – are listed on our department website.
* teams must nominate themselves for these awards, and only need to nominate for these. The rest are open to all exhibitors by default.