South by Southwest (SXSW) just announced Jana Morrison and Samantha Aucoin as hosts for their annual Gaming Awards segment which will be accessible to stream on Saturday, March 12 at 7pm CT.
Morrison and Aucoin are stars of SyFy’s new critically acclaimed series Astrid & Lilly Save the World and state that “We’re so excited..NO..Ecstatic to be your hosts for the 2022 SXSW Gaming Awards!” They said in a joint statement. “As gamers and award show season stans, we promise an all-out good time with plenty of fun surprises.”
Along with the SyFy stars, a wide range of sixteen other presenters were handpicked from the realms of entertainment and sports to celebrate the expansive reach of gaming such as art, design, narrative, gameplay, cultural innovation and more. The Gaming Awards Nominees are as followed:
VIDEO GAME OF THE YEAR
The winner of this category will be granted to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and creates a distinct gaming experience across all platforms and genres. These 5 games are Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker developed by Square Enix, It Takes Two by Hazelight, Psychonauts 2 by Double Fine Productions, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart by Insomniac Games and Resident Evil Village by Capcom.
INDIE GAME OF THE YEAR
This award is granted to an independently-developed game that exemplifies overall excellence and creates a distinct gaming experience across all platforms and genres. This year it is between 10 games; Chicory: A Colorful Tale by Greg Lobanov, Death’s Door by Acid Nerve, Inscryption by Daniel Mullins Games, Kena: Bridge of Spirits by Ember Lab, Loop Hero by Four Quarters, Lost Words: Beyond the Page by Sketchbook Games, The Medium by Bloober Team, Unpacking by Witch Beam, Valheim by Iron Gate Studio, and The Wild At Heart by Moonlight Kids.
TABLETOP GAME OF THE YEAR
Any one of these games that are playable on a tabletop can win this award based on overall excellence and ingenuity within the genre. These 5 games include; Cascadia by Randy Flynn, Beth Sobel, Dylan Mangini, Molly Johnson, Robert Melvin, Kevin Russ, Shawn Stankewich, David Lezzi, Dune: Imperium by Dire Wolf Digital, Oath: Chronicles of Empire & Emile by Cole Wehrle, Roll Camera! The Filmmaking Board Game by Malachi Ray Rempen and That Time You Killed Me by Peter C. Hayward, Jeff Fraser, Alex Cutler.
VR GAME OF THE YEAR
This award belongs to the virtual reality game that exemplifies overall excellence in gameplay and design across this specific platform. After The Fall by Vertigo Games, Demeo by Resolution Games, Lone Echo II by Ready at Dawn, Resident Evil 4 VR by Armature Studio and Song in the Smoke by 17-BIT were the 5 games to be considered.
MATTHEW CRUMP CULTURAL INNOVATION AWARD
This category is dedicated to the late veteran game developer who created the SXSW Gaming Awards in 2014. The winner of this award best challenges the “norm” of everyday gaming and offers a culturally innovative view of a game world, character, or gameplay. These games are Chicory: A Colorful Tale by Greg Lobanov, Before Your Eyes by GoodbyeWorld Games, Life is Strange: True Colors by Deck Nine Games, Lost Words: Beyond the Page by Sketchbook Games, and Unpacking by Witch Beam.
EXCELLENCE IN ANIMATION, ART & VISUAL ACHIEVEMENT
This game will prove to have the most well-designed and stunning visuals, including animation effects and graphics. The 5 games are Deathloop by Arkane Lyon, Exo One by Exbleative, Forza Horizon 5 by Playground Games, Kena Bridge of Spirits by Ember Lab and The Wild At Heart by Moonlight Kids.
EXCELLENCE IN GAME DESIGN
This belongs to the game with the best overall design concept, gameplay mechanics, and best execution. We see previously mentioned games in other categories such as; Deathloop, Inscryption, Loop Hero, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and Returnal by Housemarque.
EXCELLENCE IN ORIGINAL SCORE
This is awarded to the game that holds the best artistic excellence in its original musician score and how it progresses the narrative of the game. These include; The Artful Escape by Beethoven & Dinosaur, Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, Kena: Bridge of Spirits, The Medium, and Wytchwood by Alientrap Games.
EXCELLENCE IN NARRATIVE
This award goes to the game with the best storyline and dialogue. The 5 nominees are Deathloop, Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, Kena: Bridge of Spirits, Lost in Random by Zoink Games and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy by Eidos- Montréal.
EXCELLENCE IN AUDIO DESIGN
This award goes to the game with the most outstanding and impactful sound effects. The games chosen for consideration are Forza Horizon 5 by Playground Games, Hell Let Loose by Black Matter, Inscryption, Twelve Minutes by Luis Antonio and Resident Evil Village.
EXCELLENCE IN TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT
This game will be awarded based on pushing the capabilities of technology and programming furthest or most effectively. These 5 games are; Before Your Eyes by GoodbyeWorld Games, Forza Horizon 5, Hell Let Loose, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and Returnal.
The 2022 virtual SXSW Gaming Awards Ceremony can be watched for free through SXSW Online and on their Twitch channel. A dedicated SXSW TV app can also be accessed via Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, and Android TV, or even through their mobile app on iOS and Android.