[We've just debuted the Game Developers Choice Awards nominees for this year, and thanks to everyone who helped put forward names this year - I think it's a really interesting set of games, with mainstream and alternative titles rubbing shoulders pretty smoothly.]

Media Molecule’s LittleBigPlanet leads the nominees for the ninth annual Game Developers Choice Awards with seven nominations, organizers have revealed.

Number None’s Braid follows closely with five nominations. Among the nominations for LittleBigPlanet is the coveted Game of the Year award.

Other nominees for that category include Fallout 3 and Left 4 Dead, each of which received a total of four award nominations; Rockstar North’s Grand Theft Auto IV, which earned a total of three nominations; and Lionhead Studios’ Fable 2. Winners will be honored at an awards show taking place during the 2009 Game Developers Conference.

The two leading nominees are celebrating a homecoming of sorts with their nominations for the Choice Awards. Media Molecule’s LittleBigPlanet made its debut during a keynote lecture at the 2007 Game Developers Conference, while Number None’s Braid was winner of the Innovation in Game Design award at the 2006 Independent Games Festival (IGF), which is also part of the Game Developers Conference.

Produced and hosted by Think Services’ Game Developers Conference and presented by Gamasutra.com and Game Developer Magazine, the Game Developers Choice Awards honors the developers of the best video games released during the previous calendar year, as well as awarding key figures from the video game community.

Other multiple nominees for this year’s event include such diverse and notable titles as EA Maxis’ Spore, 2D Boy’s World of Goo, Kojima Productions’ Metal Gear Solid 4, Epic Games’ Gears of War 2, and Ubisoft Montreal’s Far Cry 2. The complete list of nominees is:

Best Game Design
Far Cry 2(Ubisoft Montreal)
Braid (Number None)
Fallout 3 (Bethesda Game Studios)
Left 4 Dead (Valve Software)
LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule)

Best Visual Art
Fallout 3 (Bethesda Game Studios)
Metal Gear Solid 4 (Kojima Productions)
Prince Of Persia (Ubisoft Montreal)
LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule)
Gears Of War 2 (Epic Games)

Best Technology
Spore (Maxis)
Grand Theft Auto IV (Rockstar North)
Left 4 Dead (Valve Software)
LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule)
Gears Of War 2 (Epic Games)

Best Writing
Far Cry 2 (Ubisoft Montreal)
Braid (Number None)
Fallout 3 (Bethesda Game Studios)
Grand Theft Auto IV (Rockstar North)
Metal Gear Solid 4 (Kojima Productions)

Best Audio
Dead Space (EA Redwood Shores)
LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule)
Metal Gear Solid 4 (Kojima Productions)
Left 4 Dead (Valve Software)
Gears Of War 2 (Epic Games)

Best Debut
Braid (Number None)
Sins Of A Solar Empire (Ironclad Games)
LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule)
World Of Goo (2D Boy)
Soul Bubbles (Mekensleep)

Innovation
Spore (Maxis)
World Of Goo (2D Boy)
Boom Blox (EA Los Angeles)
Braid (Number None)
LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule)

Best Handheld
Patapon (Pyramid/SCE Japan)
Advance Wars: Days Of Ruin (Intelligent Systems)
God Of War: Chains Of Olympus (Ready At Dawn Studios)
Echochrome (SCE Japan)
The World Ends With You (Jupiter/Square Enix)

Best Downloadable Game
Castle Crashers (The Behemoth)
Braid (Number None)
World Of Goo (2D Boy)
N+ (Metanet/Slick Entertainment)
Pixeljunk Eden (Q-Games)

Game of the Year
Fable 2 (Lionhead Studios)
LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule)
Fallout 3 (Bethesda Game Studios)
Left 4 Dead (Valve Software)
Grand Theft Auto IV (Rockstar North)

Winners in all major categories will be honored at an awards show taking place Wednesday, March 25th in the Esplanade Ballroom of the Moscone Center’s South Hall, during the 2009 Game Developers Conference.

The Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony, held in conjunction with the Independent Games Festival (IGF), will be hosted by Double Fine Productions founder Tim Schafer, mastermind behind the critically-acclaimed Full Throttle and Psychonauts.

In addition, organizers are announcing that long-time Game Developers Choice Awards contributors Mega64 will once again produce exclusive video skits to accompany the evening’s entertainment.

"Truly great games are the product of years of hard work by teams of incredibly dedicated and talented developers. It's an underlying principle of GDC that we recognize these talents and honor their achievements." says Meggan Scavio, director of Game Developers Conference.

"The awards given out at the Game Developers Choice Awards are more than just trophies; they are recognition of great work by the developer community. The open peer-based selection process ensures that the people with the final say are the people who work within the craft of game development, and we can't wait to see who they choose. Best of luck to all the teams who have gotten this far!"

For more information about the Game Developers Choice Awards, interested parties can visit its official website.