The Dice Awards, dubbed the Oscars of gaming, will have a couple of new awards this year. One will honor indie development teams that take big risks, and another will honor those who create innovative technology.

The awards signal a change in the industry, as recognized by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, the game industry’s professional trade group with more than 22,000 developers and creative leaders. More indie game creators are making their mark, and technical innovations are becoming more important in the digital game business. The awards will recognize people who push the game industry in new directions.

The Dice Awards are held each year at the Dice Summit in Las Vegas. Next year’s event will be the 18th annual one and will take place on Feb. 5, 2015, at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. The awards are the finale to the Dice Summit (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain). The event is now taking submissions.

The Dice Sprite Award honors a game for having “disproportionate resources for development and exposure.” The game may represent a higher degree of risk tolerance, or it may advance the industry with innovative gameplay experiences.

The Dice Technical Impact Award celebrations innovations that contribute to the ongoing progress of interactive media. The honorees may come from fields that include software, hardware, and the community.

“With the Technical Impact Award, the Academy and our board of directors are looking to shine a light on the technical innovations that have been instrumental in shaping the many varied aspects of our medium,” said Martin Rae, president, Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. “These can be software tools, applications, or even hardware innovations that have enriched how we play games, how we make games, and how we continue to move the medium forward.”

“The Dice Sprite Award is our effort to celebrate the big ideas and artistic risks that encompass experiences unique to our art form that aren’t necessarily born of AAA resources,” said Rae. “We are looking forward to celebrating together with the individuals and teams behind the many great titles of 2014.”

Rae added, “We named it the Dice Sprite Award because graphical sprites remind us of a time when video games just began to ignite our imagination and deep desire for play. Sprites, small but powerful, allow game makers, regardless of team size or budgets, to express their creative vision in a way that is at once new, yet familiar.”