Game Developer magazine's Front Line Awards are a recognition of excellence and innovation in tools for game development. 2006 marks the ninth annual awards, and the winners and finalists have been announced over at Gamasutra.
According to the Front Line Awards site, "The Front Line Awards honor the year's best development hardware and software for programming, art, audio, hardware, and game components."
In addition to the individual awards, one tool each year is inducted into the Front Line Awards Hall of Fame. This year the new inductee is Microsoft Visual Studio.
The category winners will also be available in the January edition of Game Developer magazine, available January 17th.