Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy New Year From Serious Games Market

Wishing All a Peaceful, Playful & Prosperous New Year!!!

The upcoming year gives us 365 days to play with.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Cyber Heist Wins Best Student Developed Serious Game @ SGS&C 2014

An intense, two-player stealth Serious Game that explores co-operative play

Related post:

Cyber Heist, by University of Utah students Jake Muehle, AJ Dimick, Chris Rawson and Vaibhav Bhalerao, is the winner of the Best Student Developed Serious Game Award at this year’s SGS&C, held early December in Orlando, FL.

The year is 2114. The Department of Education has developed a stranglehold on student debt due to government de-regulation and formation of corporate monopolies. Laws have been passed allowing corporations to purchase debt and leverage it against the population. Those with debt live in indentured servitude.

After years of living underfoot of this rigged system, the people have started to fight back. You… are among those people. Take the role of either an elite hacker or a stealthy thief as they go undercover to infiltrate the Department of Education to bring down the corporate monopolies that enslave the populous and eliminate all debt forever.

Cyber Heist is an intense, two-player stealth and puzzle game that explores co-operative play, where each person plays a different style of game in their individual roles. Play as the top-down 2D Hacker, rerouting power to unlock doors, reveal sensitive information, and provide intel. Or play as the first-person 3D Thief, a stealth-infiltrator who uses only his wits and skills to avoid drone detection, recover passwords, and dupe the security detection system.

Asymmetry in the game is supported by tools to help players rapidly communicate despite playing completely different games. The 2D Hacker can draw paths on the map that will appear on the floor of the Thief's world, allowing the Hacker's vision of the entire level to easily aid the Thief player. Likewise, the Thief can highlight objects in the world that are otherwise unseen in the Hacker's interface.

Have a taste of it!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Serious Games Strengthening Human Adaptive Reasoning and Problem-Solving

Serious Games Showcase & Challenge 2014 Award Finalists - Industry Developed Serious Game category 

Related posts:

Robot Factory, a finalist at this year’s SGS&C held early December in Orlando, FL, is an innovative Serious Game developed by Simcoach Games with the aspiration of introducing a next generation brain training game that enhances the player's general fluid intelligence.

While most of the games in todays’ marketplace demand access to crystallized intelligence, Robot Factory targets three skills that research co-relates to fluid intelligence: ability to update (store, manipulate, retrieve, and replace critical information); the skill of switching (flexibly changing the focus of our efforts based on changes in the environment); and inhibiting well learned responses when circumstances dictate.

Leveraging on the background assumption that reasoning and problem solving in conjunction with varied, complex, and dynamic data are becoming a routine aspect of many jobs, Robot Factory creates an amazing context for storing and manipulating complex sequences of information in a fast-paced environment.

Played in the context of being a worker drone in a futuristic and dystopian robot factory and targeting high-performing adults, the game offers compounding exercises in increasingly complex configurations though adaptive algorithms across over 100 different shift tasks (in the game, two-minute levels are called shifts).

Robot Factory was built in collaboration with neuroscientists to engage fundamental cognitive processes that play a crucial role in fluid intelligence.

Game Backgorund

According to Simcoach Games website, reasoning on the basis of diverse, dynamic, and massive data is becoming a routine aspect of many jobs, particularly for the intelligence analyst who must gather and analyze ambiguous data, and communicate time-sensitive inferences and recommendations derived from these under stressful conditions.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), the research arm of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, is funding a rigorous, high-quality research through a program called Strengthening Human Adaptive Reasoning and Problem-Solving (SHARP). The goal of SHARP is to advance the science on optimizing human adaptive reasoning and problem-solving, by testing and validating interventions that have the potential to significantly improve these abilities - with the goal of enhancing the cognitive performance of high-performing adults in information-rich environments.

One research team, headed by Honeywell, asked Simcoach Games to design, develop and deliver a Serious Game that would form a central component of their research intervention. The game, which places the player in the context of being a worker in a robot factory, was built from the ground up to engage fundamental cognitive processes that play a crucial role in fluid intelligence. Simcoach Games worked closely with leading experts from major commercial and academic research institutions to design a game aligned with current scientific theory that would also provide endless variety and entertainment over the span of several weeks of training.

Robot Factory is currently being used in active experiments at Harvard, Northeastern and Oxford to test validity of the approach.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Info-Sentinel: An Evolving Serious Game Creation

Serious Games Showcase & Challenge 2014 Award Winners - Best Industry Developed Serious Game category 

Related post:

MAVI Interactive is this year’s winner in the Best Industry Developed Serious Game category of the Serious Games Showcase & Challenge with Info Sentinel – Travel Security. This award is commonly the hardest fought award for the historically largest category.

As reported by Team Orlando, MAVI Interactive first participated in 2009, and was selected a finalist that year. Although they have also been a finalist in each of their other two years of participation (2011 and 2012), this year was the first time they advanced from a finalist to a category winner.

Previous versions of this game were branded Agent Surefire and already embedded a most impressive game element: an intelligent data logging on player’s behavior that provided fully synchronous feedback on player’s successes, failures and hesitations, interactions with key objects, or simply lack of action in the face of breach-related events.

This year’s version branded Info-Sentinel: Travel Security is most successful in training players to adopt an appropriate behavior to protect company's information and their own personal data while travelling.

When compared to the previous versions of the game, Info-Sentinel represents a major step improvement: the game has significantly gained in technical quality – both in terms of visual and audio fidelity, as well as in the variety of settings made available for players to uncover potential vulnerabilities, handle incidents and perform corrective actions in a diverse, fun and engaging way.

These elements have largely contributed to promote deeper immersion and consolidate its genre as a security adventure game.

Info-Sentinel sustains the merit of intensively training players on daily best practices while they experience the storyline and uncover elements of the story, thus creating the desired tension between acquiring new skills and enjoying game play.

“We received valuable feedback from the committee with each year’s iteration of this game that we submitted, said Bora Aytun, co-founder and CEO of MAVI Interactive. “We addressed those points, and built the entire game on the feedback of the evaluators.”

“We really didn’t expect to win,” Aytun added. “We don’t go into it trying to win — we’re just trying to do everything we can to create the best game possible, and have as much fun as possible. This is pretty exciting for our whole team!”

“We have a new product that’s almost finished and we’ll be ready to submit for next year as soon as the doors open,” he said.