10th G.A.N.G. Awards to celebrate music in games

The Game Audio Network Guild (GANG) is celebrating its tenth anniversary by doing the same thing it's done every year: Holding an awards ceremony, honouring "outstanding creative, technical and artistic audio achievement" in the field of interactive entertainment.

Game Audio Network Guild

...catchy acronym...

The finalists for the 10th annual awards have just been announced, representing the best games-related audio from 2011. Getting on the list is no simple matter: The Advisory Committee is made up of 70 people, and the selection process involves "hundreds of hours" of research, watching, playing and - of course - listening.

GANG President Paul Lipson explains:

I think being around 10 years says a lot about this organization and the dedication that people in the industry feel towards it. Spotlighting the hard work and talented game audio individuals from around the world has always been a major focus of GANG and something we pride ourselves on. A big congratulations to all of the final nominees, it was a difficult task for everyone involved considering the level of talent currently in the game audio field.

That said, there are some familiar faces popping up in the list: Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception scoops the pool with 9 nominations, while Skyrim, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Battlefield 3, L.A. Noire and Portal 2 also each picked up multiple nominations.

Tommy Tallarico, GANG Founder, CEO and Chairman (and general advocate for games-related tunes) is a little pleased:

It’s hard to believe how far game audio has come in a mere decade since the organization was started.

The talented audio folks in this industry have literally been rewriting the history books in terms of quality and historic significance. 2012 is going to once again be a great year for everyone as game audio continues to surpass expectations, just hearing the quality in all the nominees each year helps to confirm this.

Now comes the tricky part - GANG has more than 2,000 members, representing more than 30 countries - and that's who's going to vote for the winners.

Stay tuned - the winners of the 10th Annual GANG Awards will be named as part of GDC 2012 in San Francisco, on Thursday March 8th.

Here's the list of nominees for your perusal:

AUDIO OF THE YEAR
Battlefield 3
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Dead Space 2
Gears of War 3
Portal 2
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

MUSIC OF THE YEAR
Batman: Arkham City
InFamous 2
Kinect Disneyland Adventures
L.A. Noire
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

SOUND DESIGN OF THE YEAR
Battlefield 3
Forza Motorsport 4
Gears of War 3
NCAA Football 12
Portal 2
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

BEST SOUNDTRACK ALBUM
Batman: Arkham City
Dead Space 2
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
Star Wars: The Old Republic
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

BEST INTERACTIVE SCORE
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Dead Space 2
Kinect Disneyland Adventures
Portal 2
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Portal 2

Portal 2

BEST HANDHELD AUDIO
Death Rally HD
Infinity Blade II
Monster Hunter 3G
Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D
Super Mario 3D Land

BEST AUDIO IN A CASUAL/INDIE/SOCIAL GAME
Bastion
Conspiracy
Monday Night Combat
Orcs Must Die
Star Wars: Clone War Adventures
WindUp Knight

BEST CINEMATIC/CUT-SCENE AUDIO
Battlefield 3
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Crysis 2
Gears of War 3
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

BEST DIALOGUE
Battlefield 3
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
L.A. Noire
Portal 2
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

BEST ORIGINAL INSTRUMENTAL
Lacrimosa - Dead Space 2
Main Theme - Deus Ex: Human Revolution
GameWrapper - Kinect Disneyland Adventures
Pirate Dance - Kinectimals Gold
Glory, The Galactic Republic - Star Wars: The Old Republic
Small Beginnings - Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic

BEST ORIGINAL VOCAL - CHORAL
Main Theme - Batman: Arkham City
Storm Clouds Over Stalingrad – Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad
Guardians Theme - RIFT
Clash of Destiny - Star Wars: The Old Republic
Main Theme - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

BEST ORIGINAL VOCAL - POP
Rogue Heart - Dragon Age II
Torched Song - L.A. Noire
Victoria’s Lab - LittleBigPlanet 2
Wabby Wabbo - Plants Vs. Zombies (PS3/XBOX360)
Want You Gone - Portal 2
Kayfoundo Naweea (Hungry Eyes) - Star Wars: The Old Republic

BEST AUDIO MIX
Batman: Arkham City
Battlefield 3
Crysis 2
L.A. Noire
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

BEST USE OF LICENSED MUSIC
Kinect Disneyland Adventures
LittleBigPlanet 2
MLB 11: The Show
Rocksmith
Shift 2: Unleashed - Need for Speed
Stacking

BEST GAME AUDIO ARTICLE, PUBLICATION OR BROADCAST
Designing the Boot Sound for the Original XBOX
Game Developer Magazine - “Three Erroneous Conceits”
Mixing as Part of the Music Composing Process
Sound Effects Transformation: From This to That
The Use of Voice in Portal 2

...but wait, there's more! The Awards Ceremony will also include prizes for the Rookie of the Year, Student/Apprentice competition winners, GANG Distinguished Service Awards, GANG Recognition Awards and the Lifetime Achievement Award. Looks like it should be a good night!

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