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