Welcome to the 8th Annual Mod of the Year Awards - the premiere event that celebrates the best creations within the modding and indie gaming scene. Developers have delivered plenty of great gameplay experiences this year, and now it is our turn as gamers to nominate and recognize the best of 2009.

From now until Feb 20th, we shall be sharing a year in review and showcasing the editors' picks of 2009, culminating in the announcement of this year's best mod and game as voted by you. The top mods and games will win the honors of being placed alongside other projects that have gone on to become commercial successes and cement their place in ModDB's hall of fame. And to the winner goes the spoils; ModDB has teamed up with a whole lineup of sponsors that have provided prizes ranging from software to servers to beanbags. Everything to help budding developers excel at their craft.

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Report article RSS Feed Editors Choice - Best Original Art Direction

Mod of the Year 2009 Editors Choice - Best Original Art Direction

Posted by Henley on Jan 27th, 2010

2009 had many inspiring and graphically stunning releases throughout the year. To be nominated for an award in Best Original Art Direction, a fresh and unique look was key. High-res textures and detailed models while great, was not our focus, instead this award is all about artistic originality. Here are the ModDB editor's top selection of 2009.

Out of Hell
is a singleplayer horror experience for UT2004! Make your way through a decimated town overrun by blood-thirsty zombies! Powerful firearms and brutal melee weapons are at your disposal as you cut and cleave through over 20 grimy and blood-soaked maps!

A Reckless Disregard for Gravity
is loosely based on the sport of base-jumping. In the game, you gain points by swooping within an eyelash of buildings, scoring extra points by kissing the surface, all while going as fast as you can! You can score extra points giving a thumbs-up to spectators as you fall past them or be a rebel and gain points by flipping them off at just the right moment.

is a first person shooter that aims to provide a visceral & realistic combat experience in a rich futuristic setting. NEOTOKYO° takes place in and around a fictionalized Tokyo approximately 30 years in the future. Mankind has begun to fuse with technology. Government and corporate corruption have transformed Tokyo into a deadly dystopian nightmare.

The Ball
offers an adventure that puts you in the boots of an explorer who gets stuck in a cavern and bumps onto ancient Meso-American tombs. While making your way through the internal workings of ancient ziggurats, golden cities, and huge caverns, your only companion is a mysterious big gold and metal-shelled ball.

Zeno Clash
is an action fighting game set in a punk fantasy world. The game blends the first person genre with the fighting game genre and the combat is generally up close and brutal. The original visuals, which make full use of the Source engine features, are a refreshing deviation from traditional fantasy games.

Post comment Comments  (50 - 74 of 74)
MrMattWebb Jan 27 2010, 1:50pm says:

I would have thought Airborne would have been in the top 5 for art for sure. :/

+1 vote     reply to comment
JuliusB Jan 27 2010, 3:20pm replied:

hehe, thanks Korge :) Don't know why Airborn wasn't nominated...

But hey congrats to "Out of Hell"

+2 votes     reply to comment
BunnyJen Jan 28 2010, 8:59am replied:

Yeah I agree, that and Machinarium would be in there for me.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Daystranger Jan 27 2010, 1:51pm says:

Poor choice.

To be honest, Out Of Hell is no way "original" and no way "best".
At first I thought that OOH is Killing Floor mod.
But with bad models and cubic maps.

Zeno Clash is a winner here.
Not only REALLY unique world but also great looking visuals and distinct characters.

MODDB disappoints me once again.

+1 vote     reply to comment
NullSoldier Jan 27 2010, 5:50pm replied:

I agree, Zeno Clash is actually the real winner here not Out of Hell. Regardless of what was chosen Zeno Clash should have one regardless of opinion it's just common sense. They created an entire new world and the rules of how it should look. It's the definition of original and also beautiful.

I think Out of Hell was chosen because they just wanted to recognize the guy for working on it for 6+ years. Regardless Zeno Clash actually won and was the mod I nominated for editors choice.

+3 votes     reply to comment
cW#Ravenblood Jan 27 2010, 2:10pm says:

cant wait for the other but I also think Zeno Clash should win
but its editor choise

+2 votes     reply to comment
Knights Jan 27 2010, 3:12pm says:

Congrats to the winners! I really don't see why Out of hell won really, sure it's an old engine but they picked it because of that fact? :/

+1 vote     reply to comment
iopzx Jan 27 2010, 3:20pm says:

i like NT more, tho it is [Editors Choice]
perhaps they have a different idea.

+1 vote     reply to comment
awesomepossum Jan 27 2010, 3:44pm says:

Should have definitely been between the ball and Zeno clash. I guess its cause I haven't played Out of hell, but every zombie shooter game looks almost identical to me, with their dimly lit corridors and blood stained walls. Can't there be zombies in a brightly lit field of daisies for once?

+2 votes     reply to comment
DuckSauce Jan 27 2010, 4:11pm replied:

would muffin zombies on beaches count?

+2 votes     reply to comment
Minuit Jan 27 2010, 3:46pm says:

Yeeeees! The rage, the RAGE! The delicious, delicious rage!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Senidog Jan 27 2010, 3:57pm says:

Yeah, that was really a poor choice! Zeno Clash should have won!

0 votes     reply to comment
infl1ct1on Jan 27 2010, 4:32pm says:

I don't see OOH as being original at all. It looks just like most other horror/zombie games art-wise.

Not saying anything bad about the game though, but I just don't think it should have won this award.

+4 votes     reply to comment
RogerRamjet Jan 27 2010, 5:08pm says:

Agree, as far as art direction goes, a difficult one to pic. Zeno Clash is definitely distinct in it's look but the Ball and Neotokyo both have their own individuality also... nice picks.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Knights Jan 27 2010, 5:23pm says:

I too wanted to clear up that I'm not saying Out of hell is bad or anything but the title says, best "ORIGINAL" art direction. I don't know... :P

+2 votes     reply to comment
Watss Jan 27 2010, 6:15pm says:

Is your real name Kanye West by any chance???

+2 votes     reply to comment
Killer_man_1996 Jan 27 2010, 7:38pm says:

Zeno Clash was pretty good but i think that Out of Hell was better because they used an outdated engine and they make a lot of cool textures.

Zeno Clash was the code from the Source Engine and it's a lot more updated specially in shaders effects (versus UT 2004) and facial animations...

So i think that Out of Hell won because they really know how to use an outdated engine...

Neotokyo and ''AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!!!'' they were pretty good with the art of the mod/game but they are sometimes boring.

Good luck to the OoH team and everyone ;)

+2 votes     reply to comment
Killer_man_1996 Jan 27 2010, 7:45pm says:

Zeno Clash should won but ok....


-1 votes     reply to comment
vfn4i83 Jan 27 2010, 11:02pm says:

Congrats to all competitors, I had my bets on Zeno Clash, still have it as excellence in the art direction, but all the others ones had also a outstanding appeal in the same category.

Good start, guess I have to see that Out Hell too, congrat dudes, outstanding work.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Squeebo Jan 28 2010, 3:55pm says:

I wish they all could have won first place... Terrific art styles on all of them, really.

+3 votes     reply to comment
skittlesareyum47 Jan 28 2010, 4:06pm says:

Wow awarding out of hell this over zeno clash is almost as bad as gamespot giving demon souls game of the year. out of hells is a great mod - but as far as art - zeno clash reigns supreme. what a joke

-1 votes     reply to comment
Watss Jan 28 2010, 10:00pm says:

It was either out of hell or the ball. Zeno clash is a mess and having almost finished out of hell and seeing most of the maps, the choice was clear. Out of Hell FTW

+1 vote     reply to comment
putrid_being Jan 29 2010, 3:51am says:

I'm very glad that Out of Hell won. The most amazing thing about Out of Hell is aside from the music the whole game was made by one person.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Katana314 Feb 3 2010, 12:27am says:

Out of Hell's gritty, grimy, abandoned feel felt COMPLETELY different from all the other girry, grimy, "abandoned feel" zombie shooters I've ever played! By comparison, that horrid Zeno Clash only looked cool because it COMPLETELY took the art style from...well, I can't think of anything. But it's still OBVIOUSLY inferior!

+3 votes     reply to comment
SuperApe Feb 10 2010, 5:43pm says:

Woo hoo! Congrats, Chicken+RibsCombo!! Woot!

+1 vote     reply to comment
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