Organizers have announced that the 11th annual Game Developers Choice Awards, the most prestigious honors in the world of video game development, are now open for nominations through Jan. 4, 2011.

In its eleventh year of honoring the best games and developers, the Game Developers Choice Awards -- the leading awards voted on by developers, and created for developers -- has adopted a new voting methodology.

Nominations - as always - are selected by any game professional worldwide, simply by submitting ballots via the Game Developers Choice Awards website. (Submitters are required to log in with a Gamasutra.com username and password so professional developer status can subsequently be verified.)

Category finalists and Special Award winners are selected by the 20 person-strong Game Developers Choice Awards Advisory Committee, including notable industry veterans from Harmonix, Valve, PopCap, Ubisoft, BioWare, and more.

In addition, winners are now being selected by the Game Developers Choice Awards-specific International Choice Awards Network (ICAN), which is a new invitation-only group comprised of 500 leading game creators from all parts of the video game industry.

Choice Awards organizers believe that, in tandem with their goal of having the most focused, impartial awards in the game industry, this additional voting transparency will further boost the awards' reputation.

The 2010 award categories are open for nominations to any member of the video game community until January 4th, combining both Regular and Special Award nominations, are:

Regular Awards

- Best Audio
- Best Debut Game
- Best Downloadable Game
- Best Handheld Game
- Best Game Design
- Best Technology
- Best Visual Arts
- Best Writing
- Best New Social/Online Game
- Innovation Award
- Game of the Year

Special Awards

- Lifetime Achievement
- Pioneer Award
- Ambassador Award

The ceremony, produced in association with the Game Developers Conference, will take place on Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 6:30 pm. The ceremony, which is open to all game developers, is held immediately following the Independent Games Festival Awards.

"Now in its 25th cycle, the Game Developers Conference is excited to celebrate current industry trends while looking forward at the future of gaming, even as we reflect on the past 25 years of game development," said Meggan Scavio, event director of the Game Developers Conference. "The Game Developers Choice Awards will continue to showcase the incredible talent and innovation in video games from the past year, while recognizing industry leaders who have made an indelible impact on game development."

To submit a nomination ballot for the Game Developers Choice Awards, visit the official Choice Awards submission page. For further information and to register for GDC, please visit GDC's official website.