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2020 Game Audio Network Guild Awards Edition
18th Annual Game Audio Network Guild Awards
Dear <<First Name>> <<Last Name>>,

First off, thank you to the members of the Game Audio Network Guild and entire game audio community for the incredible turnout and support as we moved the show to a virtual format, following the postponement of GDC and advice of the CDC to prioritize the health of our members and community. 

Our generous sponsors and partners have offered new discounts for our members. Please head to the perks page to check them out! 
  
The 18th Annual G.A.N.G. Awards was held May 6th, 2020, live, via Twitch.tv. The all-digital format included a pre-show hosted by composer and audio director Cody Matthew Johnson of Emperia Sound and Music and a post-show hosted by Johnson and composer Wilbert Roget II. Johnson and Roget also served as the show’s Co-Hosts and Emcees. The Pre-Show featured voice actor Michael Shapiro, known famously for his role as G-Man in Half-Life, and Game Audio Network Guild President, Brian Schmidt.

The G.A.N.G. Awards recognizes game audio excellence in 20 categories including music, sound design, dialogue, mix, and VR. The nominees were selected by G.A.N.G. Advisory Board members and committees, and winners were decided by the members of our community by casting a vote after having the opportunity to review audio/video content for each nominated submission. 

Said Brian Schmidt, President of the Game Audio Network Guild and Awards Co-Producer: “Congratulations to all the nominees and winners! Although we were ‘virtual’ this time around, I was excited to feel the spirit of community and camaraderie again this year. Special thanks to all those behind the scenes who pulled it all together. We are looking forward to seeing everyone in person next year!”

Andrew Lipian, Game Audio Network Guild Alumni Chair, said “Geographic distance was no factor. We exchanged the viral for the virtual, bonding together to celebrate the best in each other through this well-executed, vibrant awards show. What will be remembered is how we reaffirmed our shared commitment despite our mutual predicament, and did it with the signature verve, resiliency, and camaraderie that have always defined our community. What was not lost, was the importance of honoring each other’s accomplishments as a way to keep inspiring us to improve, innovate, and persevere – no matter what.”

We hope everyone is having a safe and enjoyable summer, and remember that your organization runs on the energy of its members. If you are looking for a way you can help, please reach out at membership@audiogang.org.


 - The Officers and Game Audio Network Guild Team
Missed the livestream or just want to watch a replay of the action? Look no further!

If you happened to miss the livestream or simply want to revel in the chaotic-good-glory that was the chatroom during the 18th Annual Game Audio Network Guild Awards Show livestream, then look no further. Check out the main event Awards Show on the new Game Audio Network Guild Youtube Channel

"During this unprecedented time, it was important to move forward to recognize the tremendous talent in our industry, while providing a sense of community for our members. The live interviews and interactions with the viewers on Twitch through chat brought the prerecorded show to life. We were very pleased with the results and positive feedback, and appreciate the support of our sponsors and members", said Game Audio Network Guild Executive Director and Co-Producer, Savina Ciaramella.

In addition to the main awards event, the Game Audio Network Guild Awards Pre-Show and Post-Show are available to watch on the Game Audio Network Guild Youtube Channel
Complete list of winners and nominees are listed below!
Winner Spotlight - Death Stranding

If you had taken the time to check out Kojima Production's debut release Death Stranding, whether a complete play through or even a small snippet of gameplay, it would have come as no surprise when it garnered a total of nine nominations and walked away with six wins, included the coveted Audio of the Year Award, at the 18th Annual Game Audio Network Guild Awards. 

Death Stranding won awards for Audio of the Year, Sound Design of the Year, Best Cinematic/Cutscene Audio, Best Dialogue, Best Soundtrack Album, and tied for Best Audio Mix.

Ludvig Forssell, Audio Director and Composer of Death Stranding and Kojima Productions, graciously joined the Post-Show to share insight into the creation of the soundscape of Death Stranding, collaborating with Sony, and advice for aspiring game audio professionals.

Click here to watch Ludvig's Post-Show interview

Indie Games Shine at the 18th Annual Game Audio Network Guild Awards


Independent games have grown over the years and have become a staple and backbone of our industry. Said Co-Host Wilbert Roget II during the awards, "Indie titles have the power to deliver focused, unique, novel, and intensely personal gaming experiences."

The Game Audio Network Guild expanded the presence of Indie Games at the 18th Annual G.A.N.G. Awards. In the Award Show's coverage in Variety, President Brian Schmidt told Variety “In this our 18th year, we again recognize the highest achievements in game music, sound and dialogue. We are also excited to round out our indie categories with the new Best Dialogue For An Indie Game Award, helping recognize the amazing work done by the smallest of teams."

The winners of all three categories joined us on the Post-Show to chat their award-winning titles: Marty O'Donnell, Composer and Audio Director of Golem from Highwire Games, won Best Dialogue for an Indie Game, Sander van Zanten, Sound Designer and Composer of Deliver Us The Moon from KeokeN, accepted the award for Best Sound in an Indie Game, and Mikolai Stroinski, composer of Bee Simulator, won for Best Music for an Indie Game
 

Said Bee Simulator composer, Mikolai Stroinski: "The 2020 "Virtual" G.A.N.G. Awards wasn't the same as seeing people in-person on top of the West Hall in Moscone Center but it was pretty darn close. The jokes, the comments and personalities that came through the computer/iphone screen created a very special simulation, that had a very real impact on me. Thank you once again to to Cody, Wilbert, Savina, Sabrina and everybody behind the scenes who worked very hard to make it happen. I was really happy to see the Bee Simulator music winning the Best Music for Indie Game Award. Smaller games give you very often a lot of artistic freedom which can be a good thing, but also can be risky at the same time. Happy to see that I've made some good musical choices."

To watch Mikolai Stroinski's Post-Show Interview, click here.

To watch Marty O'Donnell's Post-Show Interview, click here.

To watch Sander van Zanten's Post-Show Interview, click here.
Special Recognition Awards - Breakout Talent, Distinguished Service, & G.A.N.G. Recognition

Each year the Game Audio Network Guild recognizes exceptional individuals in giving awards for Recognition, Breakout Talent, and Distinguished Service. 

The G.A.N.G. Recognition Award acknowledges those individuals who contribute to the game audio community as a whole through their deeds, thoughts, and efforts. This year's G.A.N.G. Recognition Award was given to Guy Whitmore. "Over the years, the G.A.N.G. award shows have shone a bright spotlight on the often unsung realm of game audio, and I'm grateful to have received this year's Recognition award. The online awards ceremony worked so well this year, I can imagine future shows being a hybrid of in-person audience and online interactive vitality! The Twitch comments added instant feedback, levity and a participatory element to the show", said recipient Guy Whitmore. "The Recognition award is particularly special to me, as it honors the work done for, and as part of the game audio community. I've gotten so much from GANG and this community that it's been deeply rewarding to pay it forward by teaching, blogging, mentoring, and sharing everything I learn."


The Breakout Talent award acknowledges and exemplifies those who have shown incredible growth over the past year. Laryssa Okada was awarded this year's G.A.N.G. Breakout Talent Award, saying "Leading up to 2020, I had been working on the music for Manifold Garden while assisting composers, working QA, and production for various game studios. In the past, I felt conflicted and even insecure about my various pursuits and career shifts, but I've now come to terms with how those different roles have all contributed to the composer I am today. There are many paths to composing music, and I look forward to sharing what's next."


The Distinguished Service Award is presented to a member for their outstanding service to the organization itself. This year's Distinguished Service Award was given to Director of Communications Emmanuel Lagumbay. "G.A.N.G. is an organization that helped shape me during the beginning of my audio career. I met most of my friends through the org, and got to be mentored by some of my heroes because of my affiliation as a member. It feels great to be able to give back and continue to see G.A.N.G. take steps in maturing to help the community as a whole." said Lagumbay. 

You can find Guy Whitmore's, Laryssa Okada's, and Emmanuel Lagumbay's acceptance speeches on the Game Audio Network Guild Youtube Channel.

Swept Off Our Feet With Fantastic Melodies!

The 18th Annual G.A.N.G. Awards held incredible musical talent across all types of games, awarding tokens of recognition to Indie, AAA, and Casual/Social games. The Game Audio Network Guild prides itself on the musical diversity represented in this year's winners. 

The music team from Respawn Entertainment and EA's Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, composers Gordy Haab, Stephen Barton, and Audio Director, Nick Laviers, garnered two G.A.N.G. Awards - the coveted Music of the Year and Best Choral Composition for "Cordova's Theme". All three joined the post-show to talk about their award winning musical journey composing the score for the latest AAA title in the Star Wars franchise.

"Jedi Fallen Order was Respawn's first outing with Star Wars. It was exhilarating building our team up from scratch, and going on the journey of telling an authentic new story in the Star Wars galaxy. For the music score, we paired-up Gordy and Stephen who had never worked together before, but the chemistry was amazing. It was just what the game needed for the music to stay true to the Star Wars universe but also shine out as something unique", said Audio Director Nick Laviers, "The G.A.N.G. awards mean a lot to us because they are from our peers in the industry... Discerning people that we know and respect. I loved the live-streamed show. It completely blew away all my expectations. I was sitting watching it with my wife and teenage kids and we were all riveted. The hosts were great. And then we won!"


Tencent Games and TiMi Studios swept both categories for Casual/Social Games, winning Best Music for a Casual/Social Game for Honor of Kings 2.0 and Best Sound Design for a Casual/Social Game for Call of Duty: Mobile. Honor of Kings 2.0 features a star-studded cast of composers, including Neal Acree who joined the Post-Show to talk about his contribution to Honor of Kings 2.0 and his Music of the Year nominated score to Rend. 

Sean Zhao, Music Director, Composer and Team Manager of the audio department in Tencent TiMi Studio, was not available to join the Post-Show, but sent an informative video detailing the development process of the music behind Honor of Kings 2.0. Sean said: "I participated in the entire live broadcast last time, and it was pretty interesting to see different life sides of experts in the industry. Overall the atmosphere was relatively relaxed, but our team felt quite nervous to wait for the announcement of the results. Hope that after the epidemic, we may continue this online plus on-site approach, so that the team which cannot be there still have the opportunities to share their experience with everyone. Thanks to the organizing committee."


It wouldn't be the Game Audio Network Guild Awards with the famously and eloquently loquacious Austin Wintory! Austin's score to the thrilling narrative game Erica won acclaim at this year's G.A.N.G. Awards, winning Best Original Instrumental and Best Interactive Score. Austin joined the Post-Show to chat about the masterclass-in-narrative-branching that is the interactive score to Erica. "Against the odds, the G.A.N.G. Awards this year were a huge success. Never mind how privileged I feel to have been acknowledged by my friends and colleagues, the very fact that it was hosted so beautifully online and SO MUCH of the community made themselves seen in the Twitch chat was a marvel. It felt like a big family gathered together, hell bent on beating the odds beset us by this pandemic, and I will cherish the memory for ages", said Wintory. 

Post-Show Interviews can be found on the Game Audio Network Build Youtube Channel.
88bit (Rob Kovacs) - Music of the Year Nominees Medley

The 2020 Game Audio Network Guild Awards also featured a special musical performance by Rob Kovacs of 88bit, which was sponsored by The Society of Composers and Lyricists. 88bit performed his arrangement of a medley of the Music of the Year nominees including Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Erica, Fantastic Creatures, Undersea, Borderlands 3, and Rend.

To watch 88bit's performance from the 18th Annual Game Audio Network Guild Awards, click here!
Trophy and Certificate Duplicate Ordering

Individual participants of winning titles may order duplicate awards with personalized name engraving, and nominees are able to order a certificate (high quality print, suitable for framing). If you are interested in ordering a trophy from a previous year, this is the only opportunity this year to order duplicate awards and certificates.

Nomination Certificates are $55 and duplicate trophies are $135, plus shipping and handling. Sales tax, if applicable, may be added.  
 

Expiration date for all award duplicate re-ordering (present and past) is July 15th, 2020. 
 

For those interested in making an order please visit:
http://www.audiogang.org/trophy-and-certificate-orders

Complete List of The 18th Annual Game Audio Network Guild Awards Winners and Nominees

Audio of The Year

“Death Stranding” – Kojima Productions – WINNER
“Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order”- Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts
“Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare” (2019) – Infinity Ward
“Mortal Kombat 11” – NetherRealm Studios
“Borderlands 3” – Gearbox Software
 

Music of the Year

“Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” (Gordy Haab and Stephen Barton) – Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts  – WINNER
“Erica” – Flavourworks
“Fantastic Creatures” – Blue Callisto
“Undersea” – Magic Leap Studios
“Borderlands 3” – Gearbox Software
“Rend” – Frostkeep Studios

 
Sound Design of the Year

“Death Stranding “- Kojima Productions – WINNER
“Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” – Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts
“Borderlands 3”- Gearbox Software
“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” (2019) – Infinity Ward
“Mortal Kombat 11” – NetherRealm Studios
 

Best Cinematic / Cutscene Audio

Death Stranding – Kojima Productions – WINNER
“World of Warcraft: Battle” For Azeroth Patch 8.25 – Blizzard Entertainment
“Concrete Genie” – Pixelopus
“Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order” – Reason Entertainment/Electronic Arts
“Destiny 2: Shadowkeep” – Bungie
“Gears 5”- The Coalition
 

Best Dialogue

“Death Stranding “- Kojima Productions – WINNER
“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” (2019) – Infinity Ward
“Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order” – Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts
“Gears 5” – The Coalition
“Control” – Remedy Entertainment
 

Best Dialogue for an Indie Game

“Golem” – Highwire Games LLC – WINNER
“Dance of Death: Du Lac & Fey” – Salix Games
“Deliver Us The Moon” – KeokeN Interactive
 

Best Original Instrumental

“Erica Know Thyself” (Austin Wintory) – Flavourworks – WINNER
“Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order” – Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts
“Bee Simulator” – Varsav Game Studios
“Mortal Kombat 11” – NetherRealm Studios
“Control” – Remedy
 

Best Music for an Indie Game

“Bee Simulator” (Mikolai Stroinski) – Varsav Game Studios – WINNER
“Sky: Children of the Light” – thatgamecompany
“Astrologaster” – Nyamyam
“Outer Wilds” – Mobius Digital
“Slay the Spire” – MegaCrit
 

Best Sound Design in a Casual/Social Game

“Call of Duty: Mobile” – TiMi Studios/ Activision – WINNER
“Hearthstone: Saviors of Uldum” – Blizzard Entertainment
“Kine” – Chump Squad
“Honor of Kings 2.0” – TiMi Studios
“Grindstone” – Capybara Games
“Sky: Children of the Light”- thatgamecompany
 

Best Sound Design for an Indie Game

“Deliver Us The Moon – KeokeN Interactive – WINNER
“Golem” – Highwire Games
Knights & Bikes– Foam Sword
“Astroneer” – System Era Softworks
Hunt: Showdown” – Crytek
“Deliver Us The Moon”
 

Best Music for a Casual / Social Game

“Honor of Kings 2.0” – TiMi Studios – WINNER
“Sky: Children of the Light” – thatgamecompany
“Astrologaster “- Nyamyam
“Bee Simulator” – Varsav Game Studios
“Hearthstone: Rise of Shadows ” – Blizzard Entertainment
 

Best Interactive Score

“Erica (Austin Wintory)” – Flavourworks – WINNER
“Outer Wilds” – Mobius Digital
“Concrete Genie” – Pixelopus
“Death Stranding” – Kojima Productions
“Borderlands 3 “- Gearbox Software
 

Best Original Choral Composition

“Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order “- “Cordova’s Theme” (Gordy Haab and Stephen Barton) – Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts – WINNER
“Astrologaster” – Nyamyam
“Rend” – Frostkeep Studios
“Sid Meier’s Civilization VI: Gathering Storm” – Firaxis Games
“Elsinore” – Golden Glitch Studios
 

Best Original Song

League of Legends “Giants” (Jared Lee, Jessica Karpov, Kole Hicks, Umar Ibrahim) – Riot Games – WINNER
“BB’s Theme” from Death Stranding – Kojima Productions
“Saudade” from Resident Evil 2 – Capcom
“Fair as a Rose” from Elsinore – Golden Glitch Studios
“Days Gone Quiet” from Days Gone – SIE Bend Studio
“Constellation” from Sky: Children of the Light – thatgamecompany
 

Best Original Soundtrack Album

Death Stranding (Ludvig Forssell) – Kojima Productions – WINNER
Erica – Flavourworks
Bee Simulator – Varsav Game Studios
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI: Gathering Storm – Firaxis Games
Control – Remedy Entertainment
Elsinore – Golden Glitch Studios
Sole – Gossamer Games
 

Best Game Audio Publication, Presentation, or Broadcast

100 Unusual, Novel, Surprising Ways to be a Better Sound Designer in Video Games – Rob Bridgett – WINNER
Thoughts on Game Audio History – Kenneth C M Young
Lydia Andrew: The audio of assassination – John Broomhall/Resolution Magazine
Guide: How to Survive a Game Audio Layoff – Insights from Damian Kastbauer – Jennifer Walden and Asbjoern Andersen
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – Infinity Ward
 

Best Audio Mix

(Tie) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) – Infinity Ward – WINNER
(Tie) Death Stranding – Kojima Productions – WINNER
Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order – Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts
Borderlands 3 – Gearbox Software
Apex Legends – Respawn Entertainment
Concrete Genie – Pixelopus
Control – Remedy Entertainment
 

Best Virtual Reality Audio

Journey of the Gods – WINNER
Dragons: Flight Academy -DreamWorks
How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Virtual Tour
Undersea
Blood and Truth
Vacation Simulator
 

Best Game Music Cover/ Remix

Chrono Trigger “The Trial” (John Robert Matz, Producer) – WINNER
Borderlands 3 – Gearbox, Finishing Move Inc
Mario Kart 64 – John Stacy
Suikoden II KDET – Arranged and Conducted by Kentaro Sato
Donkey Kong Country – Ross Casey


G.A.N.G. / MAGFEST People’s Choice Award
Cadence of Hyrule - Crypt of the Necrodancer - WINNER


Breakout Talent Award
Laryssa Okada

G.A.N.G. Recognition Award
Guy Whitmore

Distinguished Service Award
Emmanuel Lagumbay

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