The Game Developer Frontline awards for 2012 have been announced. The winners were:
- Art tools: modo 601 by Luxology
- Audio: Pro Tools 10 by Avid Technology
- Free: Blender (open source)
- Game Engine: Unreal Engine 3 by Epic Games
- Middleware: Havok
- Programming: Mozilla Foundation
In addition to this, Unity3D received a Hall of Fame award, perhaps setting it aside from competing game engines Unreal Engine, CryEngine, and others. I have been using Shiva3D, which hasn’t been nominated, though has favourable license/cost terms for small companies/indies.
modo 601 was an interesting winner in the “art tools category”, beating established products such as 3ds Max, Maya, and Photoshop. It seems to have integrated a range of tools for 3D art asset production that sets it apart – I hope to have a play with this one day. I really don’t know enough about audio to comment on this section, but Blender winning an award in the “free” category says a lot for how far this tool has progressed. My wife’s company, SilverFish Studios use both Blender and Gimp commercially, and they find them very productive and flexible tools. In my teaching I use this these programs for graphics production as well as nominee Box2D physics within a range of game development tools. Ogre3D was also nominated in the “free” category, we have also used this tool in our teaching and research – it great to see Ogre3D still doing so well.
GameMaker was nominated in the “game engine” category, reflecting the fact that it has made a significant impact this year with its new capability to create games on multiple platforms. Personally I would say that the new GameMaker :Studio has impressed me most this year. However, the development software that I have used most over 2012 was Photoshop and Visual Studio. Both excellent tools.