Archive for the ‘simulations’ Category

Videogame Dialog Scripts – Formatting and Production

Sometimes it takes awhile to catch up on one’s reading, but Jesse Harlin’s Aural Fixation column in the November 2011 edition of Game Developer succinctly summarizes some of the issues involved with scripting, producing and integrating voice actor content in videogames — a topic rarely discussed, although definitely one covered in End to End Game Development as well as the authors’ earlier book Story and Simulations in Serious Games.

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CryEngine 3 SDK Free For Non-Commercial Games

While we’re on the subject of powerful game engines that are now free for non-commercial games (an umbrella most  serious games and simulations would fall under), Crytek has released a free downloadable SDK (software development kit) for its (previously) proprietary CryEngine 3 game engine.

CryEngine offers about everything you could want in a game engine, and the developer community is robust. We’d love to hear about serious games or simulations being developed using CryEngine.

What Smart Companies Must Learn From Gaming

This informational video from eWeek argues that companies and institutions can learn from gaming: it then stands to reason that using game technology, design and aesthetics to aid business processes, training and problem-solving makes a lot of sense. End to End Game Development can help get you there!

Unreal Development Kit

In the 2 years since End to End Game Development came out, the availability of low-cost game engines has increased significantly. We knew, of course, that the chapter in our book devoted to game engines would become obsolete almost instantly (we think the remaining chapters are as valid and useful today as they were in 2009).

We should certainly highlight Epic Games’ Unreal Development Kit (UDK), which is available for nearly every platform: PC, console and mobile. This is the nearly free edition of Unreal Engine 3. Price is $99 per studio license, with royalties kicking in only after $50,000 in net earnings. (For serious games and simulations, that’s a high bar.)

UDK requires little to no programming, and its features make for an extremely powerful platform. It’s worth checking out if you’re gearing up to make a serious game or simulation.

MASTERING CELTX Available for Pre-Order

Mastering CeltxCo-author Terry Borst’s new book Mastering Celtx is being published by Cengage Learning, and can now be pre-ordered at any of your favorite booksellers (brick-and-mortar, and online).

Celtx describes itself as an all-in-one media pre-production tool. For years, novice and professional screenwriters have had to spend a good chunk of change for either Final Draft or Movie Magic Screenwriter in order to compose and distribute professional looking screenplays. Celtx is open-source and free.

Celtx’s redefinition of pre-production workflows is something to look at if you’re creating a serious game, independent game or simulation.

Check out the Twitter feed for the book: @masteringceltx.

Authors Embarked on New Projects

With one of us involved in producing a new military simulation, and the other of us writing a new book due in December, our posting here will probably be light through the remainder of 2010.  But we’ll try to send something down the pike occasionally, and encourage you to check out our books in the meantime…

Learning Languages in Virtual Worlds

If you studied a foreign language in school, you might recall that the textbook would have you simulate real-world experiences:  shopping in a supermarket, schmoozing at a cocktail hour, and so on.  Ideally, your teacher would have the class role-play these situations. (Everybody would be very embarrassed, and you probably hoped you wouldn’t be called.)

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Robots Playing World of Warcraft?

It’s safe to say that Georgia Tech is on the cutting edge of serious game and simulation development, and this article provides an overview of some of what the school is up to.

A particularly interesting direction is in the use of game engines and virtual worlds to help train and teach robots:  if a robot can navigate and engage in a virtual world simulation, it will likely do better when it engages in the real world.  In addition, virtual worlds offer an environment where robots and humans may jointly collaborate on situations, preparing them for collaboration in the real world.

Robots aren’t actually playing World of Warcraft yet, but they may take a shine to it in the future…

Read the entire article:  you’ll also find out about AI applications in the field of intelligent narrative technologies, an area discussed in both End to End Game Development and Story and Simulations for Serious Games.

Original iPad Serious Games and Simulations?

We’d love to hear about any ongoing iPad serious game or simulation development from our readers.  We’re aware of repurposing or porting over of iPhone apps to the iPad (an example here), including anecdotal discussions from recent app conferences — but are there new applications being developed that specifically take advantage of the form factor and interface?

Recently, a production company rolled out several interactive short films made specifically for the iPad, and this seems to be a very promising kind of application for soft skills simulations (human resources, customer interactions, etc.).  But leave a comment or get in touch for any bulletins from the front!

Q&A with Christy Marx

Write Your Way Into Animation and GamesChristy Marx is the editor of the new Focal Press book Write Your Way Into Animation and Games (with several chapters contributed by End to End Game Development authors Nick Iuppa and Terry Borst).  She was kind enough to answer a few questions about the book for our readers.

Q: Tell us a little about ‘Write Your Way…’ and its mission.

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