History

In 2000, at the second Australian Game Developers Conference (AGDC) the announcement was made that in 2001, the AGDC would host a new award panel for the best of the best Australian games of that year. To tie into that announcement, comedian Martin Ralph at the AGDC’s Wildlife Dinner made sure that everyone got a taste of what their award shows could be like.

Martin concocted and awarded such titles as:

‘Best Use of A Disney Character’ – Which went to Torus, for Lion King, which was also one of the first Australian titles to ever make use of a Disney Character

‘Most Timely Release Party’ – Awarded to Blue Tongue, for their Starship Troopers release party the night before.

‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ – Given to Ratbag for their use of Mud Textures, for their ongoing series of dirt track racing games.

‘Best Strategy Game’ – Awarded to SSG for Warlords Battlecry, one of the only strategy titles developed in 2000 and finally;

‘Best Use of Bodily Functions In A Game’ – which went to Tantalus, for South Park Rally.

It wasn’t until 2002 however, that the first serious AGDAs (then called the AGD Awards) would take place. The Inaugural event featured 14 awards, mainly focusing on the “next gen” Consoles of the time.

The judging was done with a selected short-list from the event managers, and a mixture of online voting and ballot papers at the in-person conference.

At the final AGDC in 2005, it was announced that the Game Developer Association Australia (GDAA) were to take over the AGDC (to be called Games Connect Asia Pacific, or GCAP) and the AGDAs the following year.

The first GDAA run AGDAs in 2006 took place under a different name, with the awards changing name to ‘The GDAA Awards’. This year was the year that marked the first Adam Lancman Award, who had sadly passed away in 2005. Learn more about Adam here.

Many different iterations of the AGDAs have followed, trialling different awards categories, including introducing the first ever Games Accessibility Award in the world in 2013, removing categories entirely and changing the voting and judging processes again and again.

In 2020, due to the IGEA and GDAA merger, IGEA took over the Award ceremony directly before the pandemic hit. Not only was IGEA about to deliver their first ever AGDAs, but they were also set to host the first ever virtual AGDAs.

Between 2020 and 2021, the AGDAs were hosted virtually on Twitch, with such hosts as Jordan Raskopoulos and Amanda and Angharad Yeo. These virtual ceremonies reached more people than ever before, and united the game developer community during a global crisis.

Now in 2022, the AGDAs 20th year, the AGDAs are set to return to the stage, in person and connected together bigger and better than before.

To see all previous AGDAs winners, please check below.

History

2021

The Adam Lancman Award: Steve Wang, (Wargaming Sydney)

The Raising the Bar Award: Chad Toprak, (Freeplay Independent Games Festival)

The Rising Star Award: Kathleen Smart, (Joy Everafter Stories) & Ashley Van Wyngaard, (Wargaming Sydney)

Studio of the Year: Black Lab Games

Game of the Year: Unpacking, (Witch Beam)

Excellence in Art: The Artful Escape, (Beethoven & Dinosaur)

Excellence in Gameplay: Webbed, (Sbug Games)

Excellence in Narrative: The Forgotten City, (Modern Storyteller)

Excellence in Audio: The Artful Escape, (Beethoven & Dinosaur)

Excellence in Accessibility: Unpacking, (Witch Beam)

Excellence in Mobile Games: The Oregon Trail, (Gameloft Brisbane)

Excellence in Serious Games: Sharmila, (Chaos Theory Games and the World Food Programme)

Excellence in Ongoing Games: Pico Tanks, (Panda Arcade)

Excellence in Emerging Games: Video World, (Things for Humans)

2020

Adam Lancman: Dr Jane Turner

Rising Star: Meredith Hall & Jarrod Farquhar-Nicol

Game Connect: Ella Macintyre

Studio of the Year:  League of Geeks

Game of the Year: Moving Out, (SMG Studio)

Best Art: Necrobarista, (Route 59)

Best AR/VR: Shooty Skies Overdrive, (Mighty Games Group)

Best Sound: Audioplay: Alien Strike, (Audioplay)

Best Music: RITE, (Pond Games)

Best Serious Game: Kana Quest, (Not Dead Design)

Best Narrative: UNDER A STAR CALLED SUN, (Cécile Richard)

Best Gameplay: Boomerang Fu, (Cranky Watermelon)

Best Mobile Game: Crossy Road Castle, (Hipster Whale)

Best Ongoing Game (Game as a Service): World of Tanks, (Wargaming Sydney)

Best Emerging Game: RITE, (Pond Games)

2019

Adam Lancman Award: Liam Routt

Lighting The Way:  Rae Johnston

Industry Champion:  Ally McLean

Studio Of The Year:  Mighty Kingdom

Game Of The Year:  Untitled Goose Game, (House House)

Best Art:  Void Bastards, (Blu Manchu Games)

Best AR/VR:  Paper Fire Rookie, (Ultimerse)

Best Sound Design:  Untitled Goose Game, (House House)

APRA Amcos Award For Best Music: Frog Detective: The Haunted Island, (Worm Club)

Best Serious Game:  Bleached Az, (Chaos Theory)

Best Narrative: Black Widow, (Flux)

Best Gameplay: JumpGrid, (Ian MacLarty)

2018

Game categories were removed from 2017 – 2018.

Adam Lancman Award: Giselle Rosman

Industry Champion Award: Liam Esler

Studio of the Year: Team Cherry

Game of the Year: The Gardens Between, (The Voxel Agents)

It Will Be Hard, (Hien Pham)

That Boy Is A Monstr, (Sav Wolfe)

Super Starfish, (Protostar Games)

The Adventure Pals, (Massive Monster)

Paperbark, (Paper House)

Earthlight, (Opaque)

Florence, (Mountains)

Rumu, (Robot House)

2017

Game categories were removed from 2017 – 2018.

Adam Lancman Award: Tony Lay

Industry Champion: Lisy Kane

Industry Champion: Kim Allom

Studio of the Year: Opaque Space

Hollow Knight, (Team Cherry)

Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock, (Black Lab Games)

Paradigm, (Jacob Janerka)

Forts, (Earthwork Games)

Miss Fisher and the Deadly Maze, (Tin Man Games)

Ticket to Earth, (Robot Circus)

Hacknet: Labyrinths, (Team Fractal Alligator)

Earthlight: Arcade, (Opaque Space)

Hand of Fate 2, (Defiant Development)

2016

Game Of The Year: Agent A: A Puzzle In Disguise, (Yak & Co)

Studio Of The Year: League of Geeks

Adam Lancman: Morgan Jaffit

Accessibility: Tangent, (Lampshade Games)

Representation: Killing Time at Lightspeed: Enhanced Edition, (Gritfish)

Excellence In Design: Tennis Bits, (Playside)

Technical Excellence: Assault Android Cactus, (Witchbeam)

Innovation: Killing Time at Lightspeed: Enhanced Edition, (Gritfish)

Excellence In Art: Agent A: A Puzzle In Disguise, (Yak & Co)

Excellence In Audio: Agent A: A Puzzle In Disguise, (Yak & Co)

2015

Game Of The Year: Land Sliders, (Prettygreat)

Studio Of The Year: Hipster Whale

Adam Lancman Award: Bernadette Neumann, (Reedpop)

Accessibility Award: Ryan North’s To Be Or Not To Be, (Tin Man Games)

Representation Award: Little Witch Story, (Snow Mcnally)

Excellence In Design: Mallow Drops, (Gritfish)

Technical Excellence: Screencheat, (Samurai Punk)

Innovation Award: Land Sliders, (Prettygreat)

Excellence In Art: Breath Of Light, (Many Monkeys)

Excellence In Audio: Breath Of Light, (Many Monkeys)

2014

Game of the Year: Crawl, (Powerhoof Studios)

Studio of the Year: Defiant Development

Adam Lancman Award: Souri Seignarack, founder of Tsumea

Accessibility Award: Appointment with FEAR, (Tin Man Games)

Excellence in Design: Duet, (Kumobius)

Technical Excellence: Fight the Dragon, (3 Sprockets)

Innovation Award: Hacknet, (Team Fractal Alligator)

Excellence in Art: Crawl, (Powerhoof)

Excellence in Audio: Duet, (Kumobius)

2013

Game of the Year: Real Racing 3, (Firemonkeys)

Studio of the Year: Halfbrick Studios

Accessibility Award: Puzzle Retreat, (The Voxel Agents)

Excellence in Design: Crabitron,  (Two Lives Left)

Technical Excellence: Real Racing 3,  (Firemonkeys)

Innovation Award: Crabitron, (Two Lives Left)

Excellence in Art: Real Racing 3,  (Firemonkeys)

Excellence in Audio: Fish Out Of Water, (Halfbrick Studios)

2012

Brief Hiatus

2011

Brief Hiatus

2010

Brief Hiatus

2009

Best Game: Flight Control, (Firemint)

Best Console Title: Heroes over Europe, (Transmission Games)

Best PC Title: Puzzle Quest: Galactrix, (Infinite Interactive)

Best Handheld Title: Puzzle Quest: Galactrix, (Infinite Interactive)

Best Mobile Title: Flight Control, (Firemint)

Best Game Play: Flight Control, (Firemint)

Best Graphics: Heroes over Europe, (Transmission Games)

Best Audio: Heroes over Europe, (Transmission Games)

Best Downloadable Title: Shatter, (Sidhe)

Independent Games – Best Unsigned Game: Hazard: The Journey of Life, (Alexander Bruce)

Independent Games – Best Game Play: Last Life, (Powerboard Productions)

Independent Games – Best Graphics: Pillager, (AIE Melbourne)

2008

Best Game: de Blob, (Blue Tongue)

Best Console Title: de Blob, (Blue Tongue)

Best PC Title: Monster Jam, (Torus Games)

Best Handheld Title: Zoo Hospital, (Torus Games)

Best Mobile Title: Dung, (Firemint)

Best Gameplay: de Blob, (Blue Tongue)

Best Graphics: de Blob, (Blue Tongue)

Best Audio: de Blob, (Blue Tongue)

GDAA Independent Game Award: Debug, (Qantm College Brisbane/Fighter Creative)

2007

Best Game: Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords, (Infinite Interactive)

Best New Startup (Adam Lancman Award) Winner: Redtribe

Best Console Title: Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords, (Infinite Interactive)

Best PC Title: Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords, (Infinite Interactive)

Best Handheld Title: Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords, (Infinite Interactive)

Best Mobile Title: The Fast & the Furious: Fugitive 3D, (Firemint)

Best Gameplay: Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords, (Infinite Interactive)

Best Graphics: Viva Piñata: Party Animals, (Krome Studios)

Best Audio: Viva Piñata: Party Animals, (Krome Studios)

2006

GDAA Award for Best Game 2006: Destroy All Humans! 2, (Pandemic Studios)

The Adam Lancman Award for Best New Start Up 2006: Endgame Studios

GDAA Award for Best Console Game 2006: Destroy All Humans! 2, (Pandemic Studios)

GDAA Award for Best PC Game 2006: Medieval II: Total War, (Creative Assembly)

GDAA Award for Best Handheld Game 2006:  MX vs ATV: On The Edge, (Tantalus Interactive)

GDAA Award for Best Mobile Game 2006: Madden 07 3D, (Firemint)

GDAA Award for Best Gameplay 2006: Medieval II: Total War, (Creative Assembly)

GDAA Award for Best Graphics 2006: Medieval II: Total War, (Creative Assembly)

2005

Career Achievement Award: Steve Stamatiadis, (Krome Studios)

Award for Outstanding Innovation: BigWorld Pty Ltd

Award for Outstanding Industry Contribution: Sidhe Interactive

Award for Best New Start-Up: Firemint

Award for Best Game of 2005: Heroes of the Pacific, (IR Gurus)

Award for Best PC Game: Heroes of the Pacific, (IR Gurus)

Award for Best Console Game: Destroy All Humans!, (Pandemic Studios Australia)

Award for Best Handheld Game: GripShift, (Sidhe Interactive)

Award for Best Mobile Phone Game: Star Trek – The Cold Enemy, (Firemint)

Award for Best Original Character Design: TY the Tasmanian Tiger, (Krome Studios)

Award for Best Game Audio: Destroy All Humans!, (Pandemic Studios Australia)

Award for Best Game Design: Andy Satterthwaite, GripShift, (Sidhe Interactive)

Award for Best Level Design: GripShift, (Sidhe Interactive)

Award for Programming Excellence: David Jewsbury, Heroes of the Pacific, (IR Gurus)

Award for Outstanding Visual Arts: Clive Hambly, Heroes of the Pacific, (IR Gurus)

Award for Best Unsigned Game (Professional): Gridwerx Genesis, (Gridwerx)

Award for Best Unsigned Game (Professional) Runner Up: Cube, (Metia Interactive)

Award for Best Unsigned Game (Indie): Aporkalypse, (AIE Melbourne)

Award for Best Unsigned Game (Indie) Runner Up: Battlecore, (ChickenHead Studios)

2004

Career Achievement Award: John De Margheriti, (Micro Forté)

Award for Best New Start-Up: Binary Star Limited

Award for Outstanding Innovation: Andrew Bailey, (Tantalus)

Award for Outstanding Visual Arts: TY the Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Rescue, (Krome Studios)

Award for Programming Excellence: Transformers, (Atari Melbourne House)

Award for Best Level Design: Dean Tate, Tribes: Vengeance, (Irrational Games)

Award for Best Original Character Design: TY the Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Rescue, (Krome Studios)

Award for Best Game Audio: TY the Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Rescue, (Krome Studios)

Award for Best Game Design: Edward Orman, Tribes: Vengeance, (Irrational Games)

Award for Best PC Game: Tribes: Vengeance, (Irrational Games)

Award for Best Console Game: Transformers, (Atari Melbourne House)

Award for Best Handheld Game: TY the Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Rescue, ( Krome Studios)

Award for Best Game of 2004: Tribes: Vengeance, (Irrational Games)

Award for Best Unsigned Game (Professional): Homeland, (Binary Star Limited)

Award for Best Unsigned Game (Professional) Runner Up: 3D Sky Invaders, (A-Rage)

Award for Best Unsigned Game (Indie): Scootarama, (Primed Games)

Award for Best Unsigned Game (Indie) Runner Up: Roach Rage, (Where’s Our Game)

2003

Career Achievement Award: Robert Walsh, (Krome Studios)

Award for Outstanding Industry Contribution: John De Margheriti, (Micro Forté)

Award for Outstanding Innovation: BigWorld

Award for Best Game of 2003: Top Gear Rally, (Tantalus Interactive)

Award for Best Game for PC: Warlords IV, (Infinite Interactive)

Award for Best Game for Next Generation Consoles: Jurassic Park: Operation Genius, (Blue Tongue Entertainment Limited)

Award for Best Game for Game Boy Advance: Top Gear Rally, (Tantalus Interactive)

Award for Best Game Audio: Jurassic Park: Operation Genius, (Blue Tongue Entertainment Limited)

Award for Best Level Design: Jurassic Park: Operation Genius, (Blue Tongue Entertainment Limited)

Award for Programming Excellence: Matthew Jones, (Atari Melbourne House)

Award for Outstanding Visual Arts: Jurassic Park: Operation Genius, (Blue Tongue Entertainment Limited)

Award for Best Unsigned Game (Professional): Ash, (White Noise)

Award for Best Unsigned Game (Professional) Runner Up: Fuzz and Rocket, (Halfbrick)

Award for Best Unsigned Game (Indie): Frost, (AIE)

Award for Best Unsigned Game (Indie) Runner Up: X-Fire, (Uni. of Ballarat)

2002

Career Achievement Award: Adam Lancman

Award for Outstanding Industry Contribution: Camille Wall

Award for Outstanding Innovation: Big World Technology, (Micro Forté)

Award for Best New Start-Up:  Evolution Games, (released Rocket Power: Beach Bandits for the Gamecube – Sept 02)

Award for Best Game of 2002: Grand Prix Challenge, (Infogrames Melbourne House)

Award for Best Game for PC: Freedom Force, (Irrational Games)

Award for Best Game for Next Generation Consoles: Grand Prix Challenge, (Infogrames Melbourne House)

Award for Best Game for Game Boy Advance: Duke Nukem Advance, (Torus)

Award for Best Character Design: Ty the Tasmanian Tiger, (Krome Studios)

Award for Best Game Audio: Grand Prix Challenge, (Infogrames Melbourne House)

Award for Best Game Design: Freedom Force, (Irrational Games)

Award for Best Level Design: Hotwheels Bash Arena, (Micro Forté)

Award for Programming Excellence: Grand Prix Challenge, (Infogrames Melbourne House)

Award for Outstanding Visual Arts: Grand Prix Challenge, (Infogrames Melbourne House)

Award for Best Unsigned Game: Melodie Mars

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