These are the winners of the Dutch Game Awards 2021

The winners of the Dutch Game Awards 2021 have just been announced at the leading award show for Dutch game developers. The show was held at Beeld en Geluid in Hilversum, during Dutch Media Week. 

The Dutch Game Awards has several categories, from ‘Best Game’ to ‘Best Student Game’ and three special awards. The winners have been chosen by a professional jury. Apart from winning an award, the winners also get a spot in the Beeld en Geluid collection, where the title will be stored forever as cultural heritage.

And the winners are…!

Best Game: Good Job! – Paladin Studios
Best Art: The Falconeer – Tomas Sala
Best Audio: Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer’s Legacy – Ludomotion
Best Innovation: Traffic Jams – Little Chicken Game Company
Best Technology: Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer’s Legacy – Ludomotion
Best Game Design: Good Job! – Paladin Studios
Best Commercial Achievement: The White Door –  Rusty Lake
Best Applied Game: Sparky – Lunggames
Best Debut Game: Deliver Us The Moon: KeokeN Interactive
Best Student Game: Arid – Sad Viscasha Studios – BUas

The jury has chosen Good Job! as winner in the Best Game and Best Game Design category: “The fact alone that this is the first Dutch game made in collaboration with Nintendo makes Good Job! very special. Paladin Studios has delivered great work creating a stylish, creative, polished but most of all fun puzzle game.” 

The Falconeer gets the award for Best Art:Tomas Sala has made this AAA-production mostly on his own, but if you see The Falconeer, you’d think there’s a big development team behind it. This is mainly because of the artwork. Tomas has created a world that entertains and surprises the players for hours, but keeps them focused at the same time. The mist, clouds and the water work in perfect harmony to keep the player on the edge of his seat.” 

Unexplored 2 – The Wayfarer’s Legacy has won two awards, for Best Audio and Best Technical Achievement. Jury: “The content generator is based on years of research and experiments and makes Unexplored 2 push its boundaries. Same goes for the audio, where the team pushes their boundaries by adjusting the audio to different surroundings and even in real-time.   

The size of the team of the Best Student Game was impressive for the jury: “For a student project it is impressive to manage a team of 21 people, especially during the corona crisis. Apart from that, they have carefully listened to their community during the making of Arid. With an incredibly duration of 7 hours, professional voice-overs, a dynamic soundtrack and a lot of knowledge about the South American Atacameño, Sad Viscacha has delivered a game, with a quality that equals that of an experienced studio.

Special Awards
The special awards have been created for studios, persons or initiatives that are sometimes more on the background, but are still important for the Dutch game industry.

The winners of the special awards are… 

Best Studio: Vertigo Games
Inclusion Award: Sacha Blom
Lifetime Award: Mark Overmars

That Vertigo Games is the winner of the Best Studio award is a logical decision, says the jury: “It is one of the leading VR studios in the world. The fact that Vertigo Games has taken oven Force Field is important for the growth of the studio, but also to show the potential and quality of the Dutch game industry.

The Inclusion Award went to the recently graduated Sacha Blom: “Her final internship was on “inclusive hiring & recruting”. In a short period of time, she managed to build a big network (including studio leaders) that was willing to talk to her about one of the hardest topics in the game industry: inclusivity. Since then she’s busy starting an active momentum for diversity and inclusion, and she has also become ambassador for Women in Games.

And last but not least, the Lifetime Achievement Award, went to the ‘wise owl’ of the Dutch Game Industry: Mark Overmars. The jury says Mark embodies game development, and that his passion and ambition has reached many Dutch and international game developers via his companies, classrooms and via Gamemaker of course!