Game industry's awards show live on web

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The Independent Tech

The prestigious Game Developers Choice Awards and the Independent Games Festival Awards will be streamed live on the internet on Thursday, March 11.

The awards, which start at 6:30 PM Pacific Time (Friday, March 12, 2:30 AM GMT), celebrate the best of both independent gaming and major retail releases of 2009. CBS-owned GameSpot.com will be carrying the web stream while Comcast's G4TV channel will broadcast it via cable.

The 12th Annual Independent Games Festival Awards feature a bumper crop of top quality games, most of which are as yet unreleased but the judges will have cast their beady and knowledgeable eyes over the near-final builds available.

A $20,000 (€14,600) prize goes to the winners of the Seamus McNally Grand Prize, though for all finalists the IGF is a huge boost to their chances of picking up a sturdy distribution deal, either via Xbox Live, the PlayStation Network, or onto PCs with digital download services like Direct2Drive or Steam.

This year's grand finalists are Joe Danger, a comedy 2D stunt bike arcade racer, Monaco, a manic top-down multiplayer heist game, Trauma, an atmospheric and photographic puzzle adventure, Rocketbirds: Revolution! which is an action-puzzler about overthrowing the chickens' evil penguin overlords, and Super Meat Boy!, a hectic platforming game from a previous prizewinner.

There are also five other IGF Awards covering specific aspects of game design as well as a student showcase.

The Game Developers Choice Awards oversee slightly more conventional ground but the difference between it and other ceremonies is that nominations are made by bonafide developers themselves, and overseen by the staff of GamaSutra and Game Developer, two well-respected industry resources.

The GDCAs cover standard categories such as visuals, gameplay, and innovation, with room for the Best New Social / Online game ( Restaurant City, Farmville, Dungeon Fighter Online, Free Realms, Bejeweled Blitz), and Best Debut ( The Maw, League Of Legends, Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor, Torchlight, and Zeno Clash).

Overall, Uncharted 2 leads the line with seven GDCA nominations, while chilled-out petal puffer Flower gathered four. Strong showings abound also for Assassin's Creed II, Batman: Arkham Asylum, and iPhone / PC game Plants vs Zombies.

Find out more about the Independent Games Festival at IGF.com
The Game Developers Choice Awards can be found at GameChoiceAwards.com
Their awards ceremonies will be streamed at Gamespot.com

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