Tim Schafer, Nolan Bushnell and Rami Ismail To Be Awarded With GDC Achievement Awards

Awards set to take place on March 21st

Tim Schafer, founder of Double Fine Credit: Thespaff/Wikipedia

Tim Schafer, Nolan Bushnell and Rami Ismail will be recognized at the 18th annual Game Developers Choice Awards for their contributions to the game industry, the Game Developers Conference (GDC) announced today. 

Schafer, the founder of Double Fine Studios and a former Lucasarts employee, will be recognized with GDC's Lifetime achievement award. After nearly 30 years in the industry, he's had his hands in the development of acclaimed games like Day of the Tentacle, Brutal Legend, Grim Fandango, Psychonauts and most recently Broken Age. Schafer will join other Lifetime Achievement winners such as Hideo Kojima, Tim Sweeney and Shigeru Miyamoto. 

"Within the games industry, Schafer and his colleagues at Double Fine have served as advocates for independent games, helping publish and showcase titles through their Double Fine Presents publishing label and their work with iam8bit on the Day of the Devs events," GDC said about the developer. 

Bushnell, co-founder of historic video game developer Atari, will receive GDC's Pioneer Award for his work at the aforementioned company, as well as his involvement with founding the children's restaurant-arcade Chuck E. Cheese "and over 20 tech and entertainment enterprises across the span of his four decades in the gaming and tech industries."

"Through the breakthrough success of industry-defining titles like Pong, Breakout and the subsequent 1977 release of the Atari 2600 home console, Nolan Bushnell helped guide Atari to becoming a dominating force in the video game world," GDC said about its decision to give Bushnell the Pioneer award. 

And lastly, Ismail will receive GDC's Ambassador Award, "which honors individuals who are helping video games advance to a better place through advocacy or action." Aside from founding his own independent development studio, Vlambeer, Ismail spends a good amount of his time traveling the world, advocating for independent development. He also writes the occasional column for Glixel.

"Ismail’s role in game development extends beyond the purely technical aspect of programming," GDC said about the award-winner. "He has worked tirelessly as an advocate for the democratization of game development, and has created and released free development tools like presskit(), helping indie game makers to easily distribute information about their upcoming projects. Above all, Ismail’s work helping with incubators, local events, universities, community efforts, and games industry policy around the world is the reason for this honor."

The GDC Awards are set to take place on March 21st at 6:30p.m. PT (9:30p.m. ET) during the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Calif. This year's awards will be hosted by Robin Hunicke, co-founder of independent developer Funomena.