- Since I know a lot of developers read GameSetWatch - especially this week, with a fellow game creator guesting - I wanted to pop on to mention the Call For Special Nominations for next year's 8th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards.

If you have heroes or people you admire in the game development community and you're a game professional, go ahead and nominate them. Info as follows:

"The 2008 Game Developers Choice Awards, the highest honors in game development acknowledging excellence in game design, will return to San Francisco for a second consecutive year on Wednesday, February 20.

Presented by CMP Technology’s Game Developers Conference (GDC) and Webby-award winning Gamasutra.com, this year’s awards feature several new categories.

Two of these - the Ambassador Award and the Pioneer Award - are now open for nominations from qualified game professionals. Nominations are also now open for the Lifetime Achievement Award - all three are available for voting on after logging on with your main Gamasutra.com user ID.

The awards ceremony, held in conjunction with the Independent Games Festival Awards, will be hosted during GDC 2008 in the Esplanade Room in the South Hall of San Francisco’s Moscone Center.

Special Awards Overview

The three special awards now open for nominations honor individuals whose achievements have made an impact on games and the game community as a whole, and not necessarily only over the past year.

The Ambassador Award honors an individual (or group of individuals) who has helped the game industry advance to a better place, either through facilitating a better game community from within, or by reaching outside the industry to be an advocate for video games to help further the art.

The Pioneer Award celebrates those individuals who developed a breakthrough technology, game concept or gameplay design at a crucial juncture in video game history, paving the way for the myriad developers who followed them. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes the career and achievements of a developer who has made an indelible impact on the craft of game development.

Awards Advisory Committee

The Game Developers Choice Awards voting process is overseen by the editors of Game Developer Magazine and Gamasutra.com, the leading media outlets for game industry professionals. All game professionals with a Gamasutra.com user account will be able to nominate and vote in the 2008 Choice Awards.

In addition, for the purposes of picking recipients of the Ambassador, Pioneer and Lifetime Achievement Awards following the public nominations, and to help adjudicate on the awards process in general, the editors of both outlets have set up an Advisory Committee of distinguished industry veterans.

They are: Bob Rafei (Naughty Dog), Brian Reynolds (Big Huge Games), Mark Cerny (Cerny Games), John Vechey (PopCap), Susan O'Connor (Susan O'Connor Writing Studio), Raph Koster (Areae), Julien Merceron (Eidos), Hal Barwood (Finite Arts), Clinton Keith (High Moon Studios), Ryan Lesser (Harmonix), Clint Hocking (Ubisoft) and Tommy Tallarico (Video Games Live).

Regular Awards Overview

In addition to the Ambassador, Pioneer and Lifetime Achievement Awards, Choice Awards will be given in the following categories:

• Best Audio
• Best Game Design
• Best Technology
• Best Visual Arts
• Best Writing
• Best Debut Game
• Best Downloadable Game
• Best Handheld Game
• Innovation
• Game of the Year

These particular categories will be both nominated and voted on by the development community. The call for nominations period for these categories begins December 17, 2007.

For further information and to submit a nomination for one of the three special awards through November 30, please visit the official Game Choice Awards website.