-[In the latest of an occasional series of demoscene-related posts on GameSetWatch, AteBit's Paul 'EvilPaul' Grenfell looks at the finalists for the Oscars of the demo-scene - this year's Scene.org Awards nominees.]

It's that time of year when the annual Scene.org awards nominees are announced. These awards will be presented to the winners at the prize-giving ceremony to be held during the German demoparty Breakpoint, in Apil. The winners will even get little bronze statues. Yes, that's right, this really is the demoscene's equivalent of the Oscars!

A lot of the nominees will already be familiar to keen GameSetWatch readers, because you'll have seen them mentioned in my "The Best of the 2009 Demoscene" series of articles. So I'm not going to waste your time by just giving you inline video links to all of the nominees again. Instead, I'm going to stick my neck out and make a few predictions!

Best Demo
I think we'll see Fairlight and ASD slogging it out a lot in this year's awards, and this category is their first battleground - I expect the award to go to either Fairlight's Frameranger or ASD's Rupture. Force me into a corner and I'll plump for Frameranger.

Best Demo on an Oldschool Platform
There's a really strong line-up in this particular category, and you could certainly argue the case for any of them to be the rightful winner. But I suspect this award will go to Booze Design and Instinct's C64 demo, Androplis because it's packed full of hardcore technical effects -- as well as great graphics and music. It's also worth pointing out that a C64 demo has won this award every single year since the category was first introduced in 2005.

Best 64k Intro
As I mentioned in my recent piece, the 64k scene just isn't as strong as it has been in recent years and it's really difficult for me to pick a winner from this lot. If I was pushed then I'd say that my own demo (Transform by Ate Bit) should win. Oh, ok.. if you really pushed me then I'd say Ephemera by Approximate because it's the one intro that packs the most into 64k - even if some of that content isn't the best.

Best 4k Intro
A very strong line-up this year, but I think the other nominees will have a fight on their hands if they want to beat the stunning Elevated by RGBA and TBC.

Best Animation
This award usually seems to go to animations with a little bit of humor in them, so I'm going to suggest that Cocoon's Numerica ArtParty#2 Invitation will take the cake.

Best Effects
I think this category will be another showndown between Fairlight and ASD. Fairlight even have two nominations this year, in the shape of Frameranger and Blunderbuss. My belief is that the final showdown will be between Frameranger and ASD's epic Rupture. The wonderfully oldschool way in which Fairlight show off their effects in second half of Frameranger will work to their advantage here, I think.

Best Direction
Another potential Fairlight/ASD showdown in this category, and I believe the award will finally end up in the hands of ASD for their brilliant Chameleon.

Best Soundtrack
Very difficult to call this one, as each of the five nominess has tackled a different musical style. I'm going to plump for the soundtrack from Fairlight's Blunderbuss, though, because it's very different to the usual demo soundtrack, and also because it's the one that I could happily listen to on repeat for hours on end.

Best Graphics
Yet another Fairlight and ASD battle, though this time with an added combatant in the shape of Andromeda. I think the 2D artwork in their 2009 Assembly Invitation demo may make this one stand out from the 3D work of the other demos just enough to collect them the award. I don't think the jury will agree with me on this one, though..

Most Original Concept
It's great to see Outbreak & Darklight's Pixel by Pixel nominated in this category, but I think the award will go to the unique stylings of Kooma's Ballad of a Cluster Bomb.

Best Technical Achievement
A brand new category this year, Best Technical Achivement aims to "highlight productions that are pushing the limits of a platform, size coding - or simply making the impossible possible". I suspect that the award will go to RGBA & TBC's Elevated, but I'd love to see it go to the 256byte demo Puls by Rrrola.

Breakthrough Performance
I reckon this award will go to Approximate. They've released a few demos now that have shown promise, but last year's Ephemera was the first time that they've managed to bring everything together in such spectacular form.

Public Choice
I'm not really sure how this final award will turn out. The voting for this category has been open to registered member of Scene.org since the end of January, with each member allowed to vote for any one demo from 2009. It's very interesting to see the Amstrad CPC demo From Scratch by Vanity in this list, especially since it failed to receive a nomination in the Oldschool category.

It's certainly a good demo (I listed it as one of my favourite oldschool demos from 2009), but I have to wonder if the Amstrad fans are playing a trick on us here! We might just see the final showdown of the awards between Fairlight and ASD, but we could also find that RGBA & TBC's Elevated takes the prize. Push me for an answer? Ok, I'll go for Elevated.

So there we have it - the nominations for the 2009 Scene.org annual awards! There will most likely be a live stream of the event available somewhere if you're desperate for the results - I know I'll be tuning in if I my home net connection can keep up! The rest of you can join me back here after the night of April 3rd, where I'll be writing up the full list of winners.