Here Are The Winners Of The 2016 Australian Game Developer Awards

Image: Agent A: A Puzzle In Disguise

Tonight, the country's game dev community came together for the 2016 Australian Game Developer Awards, a celebration of the talent that local artists, composers and coders have poured into homegrown titles in the last 12 months. Here are this year's winners.

Liam Esler from the Game Developers' Association of Australia told Kotaku that if anything, the performance of Australia's studios in 2016 is just as strong as the success of 2015 — and that's reflected in the diverse lineup of award winners. "Last year was hugely successful for the Australian industry, and it's nice that this year we've done it again — we can prove that we're a serious presence on the international stage, we're not just a blip on the radar. The winners this year really prove that in a substantive way — some of them have been incredibly successful internationally.

"I think that the Australian industry is definitely becoming more diverse — not only in its makeup, but the type of games that we're making and that are being successful. There's a pattern in that a lot of the big successful ones are mobile titles, but we've had other games like [PC title] The Eyes Of Ara that have done really well."

The industry is expanding in all areas, too, with growth happening for everyone from larger studios to one-man indie setups. "It's super diverse. The way things are moving at the moment, it's moving in all directions. We've still got people who are single-man bands, we've got smaller studios and indie studios — if I was to call out a trend it'd be that the indies have a growth mindset. They're thinking of the next step; the Australian industry is about to take its next step, we're going to see a lot of mid-sized indie studios."

This year's AGDA winners represent a great mix of mobile, PC and console titles, and span genres and game styles. Narrative titles and mechanic-driven games alike are covered, too, and there's no one stand-out winner — we think you should buy and play them all.

The winner of the Studio Of The Year award for 2016 was indie dev collective League of Geeks, who beat out Hipster Whale, Defiant Development and warehouse-scale virtual reality startup Zero Latency to win the top gong.

The winner of this year's Excellence in Art award is Agent A: A Puzzle In Disguise from Yak & Co. The judges said that the game, which was also an Indie Showcase winner at PAX Aus 2015, was a "very tight, polished, stylish take" on the point-and-click genre and blended 2D and 3D elements together to create a thrilling spy atmosphere.

[Agent A: A Puzzle In DisguiseiOS / Android]

This year's Excellence in Design award was won by Tennis Bits from Playside Studios. Tennis Bits is a "fantastic evolution" of previous Bits games like Bouncy Bits according to the judges, who also praised the game's seamlessly integrated tutorial.

[Tennis BitsiOS]

The Excellence in Audio award for 2016 was also scored by Agent A: A Puzzle In Disguise, beating out Disney Crossy Road and musical puzzler Resynth. Judges liked Agent A's music, which "fit perfectly" with the game's mood and complemented its noir theme.

[Agent A: A Puzzle In DisguiseiOS / Android]

The 2016 award for Technical Excellence was taken out by Assault Android Cactus by Witch Beam, a Brisbane-based indie dev. The twin-stick arcade shooter, released on Steam and PS4, "succeeds what it's aiming to do — then goes beyond that" according to the AGDA judges, and innovates within its genre.

[Assault Android CactusSteam]

The Innovation award for 2016 goes to Killing Time At Lightspeed: Enhanced Edition from Gritfish. The judges described the Enhanced Edition's release on Steam as "a world that feels like an onion with never-ending layers", with the game's concept of time-delayed social media earning it the gong.

[Killing Time At LightspeedSteam]

This year's Accessibility award went to Tangent from Lampshade Games, one of the teams from Melbourne's indie gaming not-for-profit space The Arcade. Judges praised Tangent's "impressive accessibility", which is "rare to see", and its inclusion of colourblind, high contrast and static camera modes for vision impaired players, as well as a configurable game speed that adjusts its difficulty.

[Tangent — iOS / Android]

The Representation 2016 Australian Game Developer Award was given out to Killing Time At Lightspeed: Enhanced Edition, for both the diversity of characters within the game and its "representation of social justice issues... explored through characters overcoming their own biases".

[Killing Time At LightspeedSteam]

This year's Game Of The Year award from the AGDA was awarded to Agent A: A Puzzle In Disguise and Yak & Co, for Agent A's strong performance in other categories and its standout overall polish. According to the judges, Agent A's puzzles "are challenging without being frustrating", and have enough variety to maintain playability all the way through the narrative.

[Agent A: A Puzzle In DisguiseiOS / Android]

Congratulations to all the entrants, finalists and winners! Here's the full list of nominees and highly commended entrants for this year's Australian Game Developer Awards:

STUDIO OF THE YEAR
League of Geeks Defiant Development Hipster Whale Zero Latency

GAME OF THE YEAR
Assault Android Cactus
Agent A: A Puzzle In Disguise
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:
Submerged: Miku and the Sunken City
Pandora’s Books
Tennis Bits

EXCELLENCE IN ART
The Eyes of Ara
Assault Android Cactus
Agent A: A Puzzle In Disguise

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:
Pandora’s Books
Wildfire
Submerged: Miku and the Sunken City

EXCELLENCE IN DESIGN
Tennis Bits
Knuckle Sandwich
Resynth

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:
Puzzlepops!
Outfolded
Agent A: A Puzzle In Disguise

EXCELLENCE IN AUDIO
Disney Crossy Road
Resynth
Agent A: A Puzzle In Disguise

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:
Pandora’s Books
Obliteracers
Assault Android Cactus

TECHNICAL EXCELLENCE
Obliteracers
Assault Android Cactus
Whacky Ball

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
Agent A: A Puzzle In Disguise
Disney Crossy Road

INNOVATION
Defect
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain
Killing Time at Lightspeed: Enhanced Edition

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:
Wildfire
Engineerium
Resynth

ACCESSIBILITY
Tangent
Assault Android Cactus
Agent A: A Puzzle In Disguise

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain
Outfolded
Puzzelepops!

REPRESENTATION
Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire
Killing Time at Lightspeed: Enhanced Edition
Pandora’s Books

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:
Agent A: A Puzzle In Disguise
Tennis Bits
Submerged: Miku and the Sunken City

[Australian Game Developer Awards]

WATCH MORE: Tech News


Comments

    Awesome to see Submerged get some mentions, even if it didn't win the awards. It may not have been perfect, but I really enjoyed that game.

    It's great to see Assault Android Cactus get so much recognition. The game is amazing as hell and deserves every award it can get.

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