The editors of Gamasutra sister print publication Game Developer have named the finalists for the 2006 Front Line Awards, the magazine's ninth annual evaluation of the year's best game-making tools in the categories of programming, art, audio, hardware, game engine, middleware, and books.
Products were nominated in all categories by Game Developer magazine's readers and other game professionals; winners will be chosen by a distinguished panel of professional game developers specializing in the fields relevant to each category. Finalists and winners are selected based on utility, innovation, value, and ease of use.
The finalists for the 2006 Game Developer Front Line Awards are:
Torque Game Builder 1.1.1, Garage Games
Valve Source Engine, Valve
Unreal Engine 3, Epic
HeroEngine, Simutronics Corporation
Gamebryo 2.2, Emergent
Better Game Characters By Design, Katherine Isbister, Morgan Kaufmann
3D Game Textures: Create Professional Game Art Using Photoshop, Luke Ahearn,
ShaderX4, Wolfgang Engel (ed.), Charles River Media
Game Writing: Narrative Skills for Videogames, Chris Bateman, Charles River Media
Half-Real: Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds, by Jesper Juul,
The MIT Press
FireGL V7300, ATI
GEForce 7950GX2, Nvidia
PhysX, Ageia and BFG Technologies
Alienware Mj12 8550i workstation, Alienware/Dell
Xbox 360 XMA Audio Decompression Hardware, Microsoft
AI.implant, Engenuity Technologies Inc.
SpeedTree 4.0, IDV
Havok FX 4.0, Havok
Kynapse SDK 4, Kynogon SA
XNA Game Studio Express, Microsoft
Perforce SCM 2006.1, Perforce Software
IBM Rational Purify Plus v7.0, IBM
DevTrack 6.0, TechExcel
Modo 202, Luxology
Maya 8, Autodesk
Corel Painter IX.5, Corel
Softimage Face Robot, Softimage
MotionBuilder 7.5, Autodesk
Wwise 2006.2.1, Audiokinetic
Miles Sound System v7.q, RAD Game Tools
CRI ADX, CRI Middleware Co. Ltd.
Vivox Precision Studio and the Vivox Network managed service, Vivo
ISACT, Creative Labs
The final award winners, plus one inductee to the Front Line Awards Hall of Fame chosen for its outstanding contribution to the game development industry for five years or more, will be announced in the January 2007 issue of Game Developer, available on newsstands beginning January 17, 2007.