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[In this in-depth article, the editors of Game Developer magazine present the 2008 Front Line Awards, with industry notables ranking and discussing this year's best game tools.]
For more than a decade, Game Developer magazine has been singling out the best in game development tools with our annual Front Line Awards.
Here, we take a moment to honor the products that are most effective at helping developers do great work. Whether in the trenches or on the cutting edge, these are the tools that artists, designers, and engineers rely on.
While the tool business can be hotly competitive with the next greatest thing always just around the corner, we also want to pay special tribute with our Hall of Fame Award to the product that has made a lasting impact on the game industry year after year (and which was also not eligible to win in its specific category).
Nominations for this year's Front Line Awards were open to all new software products and new versions of software products related to game development released between September 1, 2007 and August 31, 2008. In determining the winners of the 2008 Front Line Awards we took a different approach than in previous years.
After a period of open nominations in October we collected the results and combined them with our own picks to come up with a list that we then narrowed down to five finalists in each category.
The result was a mix of focused solutions along with more general applications. We then handed the finalists over to you, the readers of Game Developer and Gamasutra, via an invitational online survey in November, so that you could have a voice in picking the recipients of the Front Line Awards.
We gathered over two thousand responses to the survey and we are proud to present the winners along with commentary by developers from throughout the game industry.
A special thanks goes out to everyone who contributed to this year's Front Line Awards and congratulations to all the finalists and winners.
- Jeff Fleming, Game Developer magazine