Game developers have their favorite games, and every year they vote on them for the Game Developers Choice Awards. The 2016 awards ceremony was held March 16 in San Francisco as part of the Game Developers Conference.

Game of the year was The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. It’s an open-world role-playing game that was not only critically acclaimed but a big seller from developer CD Projekt Red.

Witcher 3 also won for best technology. But Her Story, an indie game that combines interactive fiction with video clips, got the most awards. It won for  Innovation, Best Narrative and Best Handheld/Mobile Game. In her rave review, Pixelkin’s Simone de Rochefort said, “Her Story is a deceptively simple game that succeeds on every level.”

Three individual developers also received awards. Todd Howard won the Lifetime Achievement award for his work on the Fallout and Elder Scrolls series of games.

“The world of video games can include every imaginable and unimaginable experience, from the vast world of The Witcher 3, to the intimate interrogations in Her Story, and the Choice Awards have evolved to honor this diversity of titles,” said Meggan Scavio, General Manager of the Game Developers Conference. “All of these winning and nominated titles have expanded what we think what games can be, how to maturely handle story, and how to make games that are ridiculously fun. I’m excited to see all of these wonderful developers recognized for their amazing contributions, and I congratulate all of this year’s winners and nominees.”

Straight from the GDC website, here’s the full list of winners:

  • Best Debut
    Moon Studios (Ori and the Blind Forest)
  • Best Audio
    Crypt of the NecroDancer (Brace Yourself Games)
  • Innovation Award
    Her Story (Sam Barlow)
  • Best Technology
    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt RED)
  • Best Visual Art
    Ori and the Blind Forest (Moon Studios)
  • Best Narrative
    Her Story (Sam Barlow)
  • Best Design
    Rocket League (Psyonix)
  • Best Handheld/Mobile Game
    Her Story (Sam Barlow)
  • Audience Award
    Life is Strange (DONTNOD Entertainment)
  • Game of the Year
    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt RED)
  • Pioneer Award
    Markus “Notch” Persson
  • Ambassador Award 
    Tracy Fullerton
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
    Todd Howard

Linda Breneman

Linda Breneman

Linda learned to play video games as a way to connect with her teenaged kids, and then she learned to love video games for their own sake. At Pixelkin she wrangles the business & management side of things, writes posts as often as she can, reaches out on the social media, and does the occasional panel or talk. She lives in Seattle, where she writes, studies, plays video games, spends time with her family, consumes vast quantities of science fiction, and looks after her small cockapoo. She loves to hear from people out there. You can read more about her at her website, Linda Breneman.com or her family foundation's website, ludusproject.org.