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2009 Front Line Awards

Game Developer magazine's finalists unveiled.

SAN FRANCISCO — Dec. 8, 2009 — 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’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 Award 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:

Art Tool

Autodesk 3ds Max 2010, Autodesk

Corel Painter 11, Corel

Modo 401, Luxology

Autodesk Mudbox 2009, Autodesk

ZBrush 3.12b, Pixologic

Audio Tool

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


Havok Physics 6.6.0, Havok

morpheme 2.0, NaturalMotion

Scaleform GFx 3.0, Scaleform

Havok Behavior 6.6.0, Havok

SpeedTree 5.0, Interactive Data Visualization


CryEngine 3, Crytek

Gamebryo Lightspeed, Emergent Game Technologies

Source, Valve

Unity 2.5.1, Unity Technologies

Unreal Engine 3 Build 37xx, Epic Games

Programming/Production Tool

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 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.)

About Game Developer (

Game Developer, the print publication written specifically for creators of entertainment software, provides technical and industry information to over 35,000 professional game developers. Each month, industry leaders and game development experts share technical solutions, review new products, and discuss strategies for creating innovative, successful games. Game Developer features articles written by professional game developers on cutting-edge game development techniques in the areas of graphics and AI programming, audio design and engineering, art and animation, QA/testing, game design, and project management.

About the Think Services Game Group

A core provider of essential information to the professional game industry, the Think Services Game Group offers market-defining content, and drives community through its award winning lineup of print, online, event and research products and services. These include Game Developer Magazine, Game Developer Research, the Webby Award-winning,,,,,, the Game Developers Conference®, the Game Developers Conference® Austin, the Game Developers Conference® Europe, the Game Developers Conference® China, GDC Mobile, the Game Career Seminars, the Independent Games Festival and Summit, and the Game Developers Choice Awards. To learn more, visit

About Think Services, a division of United Business Media

Think Services connects specialized communities worldwide using educational events, consulting, training, certification, membership, and innovative media. Providing comprehensive opportunities for people to learn from, network with, and inspire each other, Think Services builds strong brands and works within communities to foster a unique affinity with its products and services. The division's flagship products include the Game Developers Conference, the Webby Award-winning, Game Developer magazine, the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI), and HDI. Think Services is a subsidiary of United Business Media (, a global media and marketing services company with a market capitalization of more than $1.6 billion. To learn more, visit

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