What would an awards ceremony be without the requisite special categories and lifetime achievement awards? These special awards were created for giving recognition and praise to the people who have contributed much to the industry as a whole, and yet whose work did not make it into the top awards for the evening. It is also a place for squeezing in entries that would not otherwise fit into the top 10, while preserving the integrity of it still being called a Top 10 list. =)
Without any further ado, here are the special recognition awards for the Best of 2004...
Best Multiplayer game
Conqueror: a multiplayer turn-based strategy game for up to 16 players, this game features classic and familiar gameplay as in the games of Risk and Civilization, yet provides additional depth and balance those other games lack. And don't be fooled by the turn-based description, every player takes their turn simultaneously within a turn timer, then the server carries out each move randomly, yet in the order submitted for each player. Play against AI or human, the game seamlessly switches between them as players enter and leave a game in progress. Featuring an intuitive interface, and rewarding gameplay, Conqueror is addictive, immersive, engaging multiplayer fun. Click.
Best Flash 3D Puzzle game
The Dark Room: a puzzle game that is actually pseudo-3D since Flash does not yet support true 3D graphics. And that makes this game all the more impressive. The Dark Room features brilliant and original puzzle design with immersive gameplay that is simply a joy to figure out. Games like this suck me in and never let go until I have figured it out completely. The game even saves your progress in case you get stumped and have to return to it later. More games like this one, please. Click.
Best Five-year-old game we were still playing in 2004
BLiX: an action puzzle game that offers classic gameplay in a timeless package. The game is very simple to pick up and play, and yet may require a lifetime to master all of its 300 unique levels. BLiX was first introduced last century and still remains a favorite today. Excellence in design, presentation, and gameplay earns BLiX this very special and coveted award. Click.
Outstanding achievement in artistic expression
Orisinal: this Best of 2004 list would not be complete without very special recognition of the beautiful artistry of Ferry Halim. Each of his Orisinal games provides a unique game playing experience of elegant simplicity, delicately wrapped in a package that stakes the claim that games are indeed art. Together he masterfully weaves sight, sound and touch into works of remarkable beauty. And while none of his games appear in this year's Top 10, his Orisinal site proves the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Click.
Outstanding selfless community contribution
Tonypa: and where would we be if it weren't for those who selflessly share their knowledge and generously give of themselves back to the community? Tonypa exemplifies this with his prolific game development talents and with his making available all of the source code to his games under a Creative Commons license. In addition to his wonderful games and source code, he has also written many Flash game development tutorials that are of the best available on the Web. Thank you, Tonypa, for all of your generous contributions. Click.
Klas Kroon: thanks are also in order to Klas Kroon, whose tile-based tutorials served as the basis for Tonypa's contributions in this area. Klas is also active in the Flash game development community, and deserves similar recognition for his contributions as well. His latest game Reflex has enjoyed over 2 million hits in December alone. Click.
I will be back tomorrow to begin counting down the Best of 2004. Happy New Year!! =)