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January 11, 2011

Front Line Awards honour gaming development tools

2010 winners announced

Game Developer magazine has named the winners for the 2010 Front Line Awards, the twelfth annual ranking of the best tools enabling game development for professional video game creators.

Front Line Awards are given every year in the categories of programming/production, art, audio, game engine, middleware, networking, and the Hall Of Fame. This year, Game Developer is pleased to honour Adobe Systems' Flash as its inductee to the Front Line Awards Hall of Fame. Flash's steady evolution of features and easy extensibility has made it a cornerstone of the game industry.

The Front Line Awards Hall of Fame is reserved for those landmark tools that have served developers mightily over multiple iterations and multiple years, including past winners such as Microsoft DirectX, Adobe Photoshop, Epic's Unreal Engine series, and Rad Game Tools' Bink Video.

Overall, the Front Line Awards represent the best tools in the game industry, as nominated on and voted for by Game Developer's expert readership.

The editors congratulate the following winners of the 2010 Front Line


Hall of Fame: Adobe Flash, Adobe Systems

The Flash platform's speed, graphical prowess, and easy development language make it simple to start building games quickly. Because the Flash Professional IDE is also very extensible, it's entirely possible to write custom panels, controls, and scripts to automate repetitive tasks during development. Combined with Adobe AIR, Flash can access most points of interest on the desktop, such as the file system.

Art Tool: Photoshop CS5 (Adobe)

With its broad feature set and overall flexibility, Adobe Photoshop CS5 improves upon the established Photoshop suite by adding features that include the content-aware fill, HDR imaging, and puppet warp to supply artists with even more image manipulation tools.

Audio Tool: FMOD Designer 4.32 (Firelight Technologies)

FMOD Designer offers a suite of options to help create high quality game audio. The software is fully integrated into several popular game engines, including Unreal Engine 3, Unity, and Scaleform, and allows bulk editing of multiple sound files at once.

Middleware: Havok Physics 2010.1.0 (Havok)

Havok Physics has been used in a multitude of titles across a wide range of platforms, and has proven to be flexible and according to Havok, it's designed "based exclusively on customer requirements." Havok Physics can be seen in a number of high-profile titles including Uncharted 2, Demon's Souls, Halo: Reach, and Just Cause 2.

Engine: Unreal Engine 3 (Epic Games)

Epic's Unreal Engine 3 has played a prominent role in multiplatform development over the past several years, powering a range of titles across a variety of genres. The engine builds upon previous iterations of the Unreal Engine, and supports features that include High Dynamic Range lighting, per-pixel shading, and dynamic shadows.

Programming/Production Tool: XNA Game Studio 4 (Microsoft)

Microsoft's XNA Game Studio builds upon previous versions of XNA and allows developers to use Visual Studio to create games for Windows Phones, Xbox 360, and PC, allowing indie developers to easily publish their games on popular platforms using the simple, yet flexible toolset.

Networking: Facebook SDK (Facebook)

Facebook's SDK allows developers to easily integrate the popular social networking service into a variety of apps and games, on platforms including mobile devices and Facebook itself. The Facebook SDK encourages social network integration and allows developers relatively easy access to player metrics.

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Mark Henry
Sales Manager, x 223

Steve Lloyd, Publisher, x 225

Sarah O'Connor, Editor, x 221