SAN FRANCISCO - "Portal 2" leapt over the competition to win the most trophies at the Game Developers Choice Awards.
The witty sci-fi puzzler developed by Valve Corporation topped the 12th annual extravaganza Wednesday with three wins, but it was Bethesda Softworks' role-playing saga "The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim" that took home the night's top prize. "Portal 2" won trophies for best game design, narrative and audio, while "Skyrim" was honored as game of the year.
"Everyone on the team, there's a lot of us here, but there's a 100 of us back in Maryland, made the game that we really wanted to play," said "Skyrim" director Todd Howard. "It was just us there working on it for three years making something that we thought was fun and the best that we could do. We never imagined the reception that the game would get."
Selected by a jury of game creators, Game Developers Choice honors the best games of the past year. Other winners at the Moscone Convention Center ceremony included DICE's "Battlefield 3" for best technology, Naughty Dog's "Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception" for best visual arts and Capy Games' "Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP" for best mobile game.
"Bastion," the artful action role-playing game from independent developer Supergiant Games, received the awards for best debut and best downloadable game, while Die Gute Fabrik's no-graphics party game "Johann Sebastian Joust," which pits players armed with PlayStation Move motion controllers against each other in a jousting match, won the innovation award.
Ken Doroshow and Paul M. Smith, the lawyers who represented the gaming industry last year in the U.S. Supreme Court case that eventually found it was unconstitutional to ban the sale or rental of violent video games to children, were honored with the ambassador award, which recognizes individuals who have helped advanced the gaming industry.
"You folks create amazing works of art in a medium that's taking over the world," said Smith. "I am forced to acknowledge that some of your creativity is a little difficult to explain to Supreme Court justices. It did produce an occasional question that wasn't the easiest thing I've ever had to answer in the Supreme Court. Thank you, `Postal 2.'"
Dave Theurer, creator of such arcade games such as "Missile Command," "Tempest" and "I, Robot" was given the pioneer award, and "Deus Ex" and "Epic Mickey" mastermind Warren Spector was honored with the lifetime achievement award. Spector used his acceptance speech to challenge game designers in the crowd to create works that are as profound as other mediums.
Spector said: "Do that and you'll discover, if you didn't already know, that games can be something more than a way to make money for yourself or the company that you work for, and you'll inevitably make games that are more than ways for players to waste time in mindless button mashing, key clicking or finger swiping - no matter how much fun that might be."