The editors of Think Services' Game Developer magazine, a sister publication to Gamasutra, have named the finalists for the 2009 Front Line Awards, the magazine’s 12th annual evaluation of the year’s best game-making tools in the categories of programming, art, audio, game engine, middleware, and books.
Game Developer magazine’s mission for over fifteen years has been to provide game developers with information, news, and articles that pertain directly to them. The Front Line Awards are an official way of recognizing one specific aspect of the industry: the tools that developers need to do their jobs.
Each year, Game Developer looks at the powerful lineup of new products and new releases of important tools, from game engines to books, and selects the top five products in each category. Front Line Awards finalists represent the most innovative, user-friendly, and useful products from behind the scenes of the world’s best video games.
The finalists for the 2009 Game Developer Front Line Awards by category are as follows:
Autodesk 3ds Max 2010 (Autodesk)
Corel Painter 11 (Corel)
Modo 401 (Luxology)
Autodesk Mudbox 2009 (Autodesk)
ZBrush 3.12b (Pixologic)
FMOD Designer 4.27 (Firelight Technologies)
Miles Sound System 7.2e (RAD Game Tools)
ProTools v8.0.1 (Digidesign)
Vivox Precision Studio SDK v. 3.0.6 (Vivox)
Wwise 2009.2 (Audiokinetic)
Adobe Flash CS4 Professional v10 (Adobe Systems)
Hansoft 5.3 (Hansoft)
Perforce 2009.1 (Perforce Software)
SlickEdit 2009 ver 14.0 (SlickEdit)
XNA Game Studio 3.1 (Microsoft)
Game Coding Complete 3rd Edition by Mike McShaffry (Charles River Media)
Game Engine Architecture by Jason Gregory (AK Peters)
Mastering Unreal Technology: Vol. 1 by Jason Busby, Zak Parrish, and Jeff Wilson (Sams Publishing)
Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System by Nick Montfort and Ian Bogost (The MIT Press)
Real Time Cameras: A Guide for Game Designers and Developers by Mark Haigh-Hutchinson (Morgan Kaufmann)
For this year’s Front Line Awards, Game Developer magazine subscribers and Gamasutra community members were surveyed to nominate the best game development-related products.
Following consultation with Game Developer's advisory board and editors, finalists were selected based on criteria such as utility, innovation, value, and ease of use. Professional developers were polled via an invitational survey to decide this year’s ultimate winners.
"This year's finalists are drawn broadly from the industry's mature toolset and represent a selection of products that have been proven across a multitude of successful titles along with a good mix of promising new technologies," said Jeffrey Fleming, production editor for Game Developer. "The editors of Game Developer extend our congratulations to all of this year's Front Line Award finalists!"
The final winners for the prestigious awards, 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 2010 issue of Game Developer magazine, available to subscribers in early January. The Front Line Awards Hall of Fame inductee is not eligible for consideration for regular awards in its winning year.