Sony's Shadow of the Colossus has emerged as the clear victor at this year's Game Developers Choice Awards, with the team behind the title collecting a total of five plaques - including the coveted Game of the Year award.
Many of the developers behind the title, including design boss Fumito Ueda, were in San Jose to attend the ceremony - but on stage confessed bashfully that they had never expected to have such a successful night, and had not prepared English language acceptance speeches.
Overall, PS2 exclusive title Shadow of the Colossus won awards for Best Game Design, Best Character Design, Best Visual Arts and Game of the Year, as well as being honoured with one of three Innovation Awards - the other two going to the teams behind Nintendogs and Guitar Hero.
Guitar Hero was, in fact, the other big winner of the night; as well as the Innovation honour, the Harmonix-developed title also won Best Audio, and key Harmonix staff Mike Dornbrook, Eran Egozy, Greg LoPiccolo and Alex Rigopulos were named as the recipients of the Maverick Award, which was presented by PaRappa The Rapper creator Masaya Matsuura.
Completing the list of winning games, Nintendogs and Psychonauts both scored two awards each - with Nintendogs being named for an Innovation honour and winning Best Technology, while Psychonauts won the Best Writing award and its creators at Double Fine Productions won Best New Studio.
There was disappointment however for David Jaffe's critically acclaimed God Of War, which failed to pick up a single award despite being nominated in six categories - the same number of nominations as Shadow of the Colossus - including Game of the Year.
In terms of awards presented to individuals, this year the ceremony recognised Will Crowther and Don Woods, who created Adventure in 1976 and kick-started the entire adventure game genre, with the "First Penguin" award, while Maxis' Chris Hecker received the community contribution award and Richard Garriott, creator of the Ultima series and currently working on sci-fi MMOG Tabula Rasa for NCsoft, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from arcade legend Eugene Jarvis.
The GDC Awards were preceded during the same ceremony by this year's Independent Games Festival awards, which saw British-made indie title Darwinia walking away with three awards - for Innovation in Digital Art, Technical Excellence, and the Seamus MacNally Game of the Year award.
Game Developers Choice Awards
- Innovation Honour: Shadow of the Colossus
- Innovation Honour: Nintendogs
- Innovation Honour: Guitar Hero
- Best New Studio: Double Fine Productions (Psychonauts)
- Best Writing: Psychonauts
- Best Game Design: Shadow of the Colossus
- Best Audio: Guitar Hero
- Best Character Design: Shadow of the Colossus
- Best Technology: Nintendogs
- Best Visual Arts: Shadow of the Colossus
- Game of the Year: Shadow of the Colossus
- Maverick Award: Mike Dornbrook, Eran Egozy, Greg LoPiccolo and Alex Rigopulos (Harmonix)
- First Penguin Award: Will Crowther, Don Woods
- Community Contribution: Chris Hecker
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Richard Garriott
Independent Games Festival Awards
- Innovation in Audio: Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space
- Innovation in Digital Art: Darwinia
- Innovation in Game Design: Braid
- Technical Excellence: Darwinia
- Best Web-Browser Game: Dad N' Me
- Seamus MacNally Game of the Year: Darwinia
- AdultSwim.com Award: Dodge That Anvil
- Audience Award: Dofus
- Half-Life 2 Mod: Dystopia
- Doom 3 Mod: Last Man Standing Co-Op
- Neverwinter Nights Mod: Rose of Eternity - Chapter One
- Unreal Tournament 2004 Mod: Path of Vengeance