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Postcard from the GDC 2004: The G.A.N.G. Awards

March 26, 2004

Last night, the Regency Ballroom of the San Jose Fairmont hotel was awash in game audio. G.A.N.G.-the Game Audio Network Guild--held its second annual awards ceremony to a room full of game sound designers, composers, and musicians. Tommy Tallarico and friends hosted the festivities, which had a laid back, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants feel, though the production values--particularly the live surround sound system provided by Dolby--were first-rate.

The OneUp Mushrooms jamming at the G.A.N.G. Awards, presented Thursday night at the Game Developers Conference.

Though Mr. T. and friends tried to keep things moving at a brisk pace, the ceremony lasted from 8:30 PM to 11:00, prompting suggestions future G.A.N.G. Awards that a cue from the Academy Awards and hold an "earlier, the following were presented with awards for ..." event. To offset the monotony of endless acceptance speeches, the audience was treated to live music by Steve Kirk and the Voodoo Vince Band (New Orleans meets prog rock syncopation ala the sound track to Voodoo Vince), LoudLouderLoudest! (sax, clarinet, upright bass, and marimba arrangements of classic game tunes), The Rockin' Hobbit Band (two guitars, balalaika, percussion, and violin blending classic rock 'n' roll with music from The Hobbit), the OneUp Mushrooms (an outfit from Arkansas who played rock and jazz-flavored arrangements of game tunes), and Dweezil Zappa (monolog with guitar shredding of some choice game tunes).

In addition to awards for best audio, sound design, and like that, there were plenty of awards for G.A.N.G.'s sponsors--DTS, Dolby, APM, Creative Labs, Escalet, Spherex, and so on.

Here's a quick rundown of who won what:

  • Best Commentary in a Sports Game: Madden NFL 2004, the Madden commentary team
  • Best Dialog: The Getaway, Dave Raymond audio manager
  • Rookies of the Year: Chris Velasco and Jerod Emerson Johnson
  • Most Innovative Use of Audio: Amplitude, Chuck Doud, producer
  • Best Sound Design in a Sports or Driving Game: Need for Speed: Underground
  • Best Arrangement of a Non-Original Score: Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb, Clint Bajakian
  • Best Use of Licensed Music: Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
  • Best Original Sountrack Album: The Hobbit
  • Best Original Instrument Song: "Max Payne Theme," Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne
  • Best Original Vocal Song-Pop: "Late Goodbye," by Poets of the Fall, Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne
  • Best Original Vocal Song-Choral: "Gallery Theme," by Tim Larkin, URU: Ages Beyond Myst
  • Best Live Performance Recording: Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb, Clint Bajakian
  • Best Handheld Audio: 007: Everything or Nothing
  • Best Edutainment/Children Audio: Tonka Rescue Patrol
  • Best Producer/Director: Simon Pressey, Ubisoft
  • Best Website Audio: Shiny Entertainment's site by Blitz Digital Studios
  • Best Audio-Other (toys): LeapFrog Leapster: SquareBob SpongePants
  • 2nd Annual Student Competition: Ian Dorsch-composition; Jonathan Wall-sound design
  • Best New Audio Technology: Yamaha Vocaloid
  • Best Audio Software: Native Instruments Absynth and Spectrasonics Atmosphere
  • The Silas Warner Best Audio Programmer Award: Thomas Engel, Factor 5
  • Best Audio Hardware: Digidesign ProTools HD Accel
  • Best Sound Library: SFX Kit, Tommy Tallarico Studios
  • Best Game Audio Article: Direct X 9.0 Audio Exposed: Interactive Audio Development by Todd Fay
  • Best Interactive Score: Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb, Clint Bajakian
  • Sound Design of the Year: Call of Duty, Chuck Russom
  • Music of the Year: Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb, Clint Bajakian
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Rob Hubbard
  • Audio of the Year: Call of Duty, Chuck Russom
  • Golden Melodica Award: Tommy Tallarico


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