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Okami, Shadow of the Colossus Honored at CEDEC Awards

Dragon Quest creator follows Shigeru Miyamoto to take special award.


The second annual CEDEC Awards ceremony was held earlier today, closing off the second day of the three day CESA Developers Conference in Yokohama.

The CEDEC Awards honor developers in five categories: programming, visual arts, game design, sound, and network. Any previously released game is up for consideration, meaning games released years in the past can potentially win.

Candidates for the CEDEC awards are chosen by members of the CEDEC Awards Nomination Panel. From these initial selections, CEDEC lecturers and members of the CEDEC Advisory Board vote on the final choice.

It should be noted that the awards are given not to games, but to the people who make them, so even if a game is listed as the winner below, it's the staff that's being honored.

Winning the programming award this year was Sony Computer Entertainment's Shadow of the Colossus programming team for their use of real time deformation and collision technology. While Team ICO head Fumito Ueda appeared at the awards ceremony to take the award, it was programming head Hajime Sugiyama who gave the short acceptance speech.

Shadow beat the Crytek Engine, Sonic Adventure World (selected for its global illumination system), Silicon Studio's Masake Kawase (selected for his work with shaders) and LittleBigPlanet.

The visual arts category went to the artists behind Capcom's Okami, which was recognized for its use of ink painting-style effects. Accepting the award was the game's visual lead, Motohide Ejou.

Okami beat Crysys, Naruto Narutimate Storm, the Epic Games cinematics team, and LittleBigPlanet.

The Monster Hunter Portable development staff took the honors in the game design category due to, among other things, their precise parameter balance and refined control. Series producer Ryozo Tsujimoto accepted the reward and said a few words noting that production becomes difficult as a series advances and the amount of volume increases.

Monster Hunter beat out the Balance Wii Board and Wii Fit, Grand Theft Auto III, Brain Age, and LittleBigPlanet (LittleBigPlanet was nominated for three out of the five awards).

Nintendo's Rhythm Heaven Gold took the sound category for making use of sound as an important element of game design. Veteran Nintendo sound creator Masami Yone accepted the award and thanked TNX, a partner developer on the Rhythm Heaven project.

Rhythm Heaven beat some high tech rivals, including Soul Calibur IV, Resident Evil 5, Lost Planet Extreme Condition, and the Ridge Racer series.

The final category, network, was won by a brand one might not directly associate with games: Nico Nico Video. The video sharing service, which can be considered a Japanese take on YouTube, was chosen for a game award because its use of user generated content and user communication makes it, in a broad sense, a game.

Beaten by Nico Nico were Virtua Fighter 5 Live Arena, Konami's e-Amusement Service online arcade system, the VCE multiplatform network game engine, and Koei's Dynasty Warriors Online.

CESA added a new "literary award" this year, given to the authors of books which had an influence on the game industry. Sega AM2 programmer Hisashi Hiroyama was recognized for a book titled (translated to English) "Technology You Should Know Before you Become a Game Programmer." The late Haruhisa Ishida was recognized for his translation of a C programming language book.

The final award for the night was the Special Award. Last year, Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto took the award. This year, the recipient was Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii. In his short acceptance speech, he noted that when making the original Dragon Quest 23 years back, he'd been worried at the time about how to convey the points of interest of the game.

Horii will be giving the final CEDEC keynote address tomorrow to close off this year's conference.

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