Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Upgraded Serious Games To Simulate Material Handling


Educational Serious Games giving control back to the instructor


Via: GriN Multimedia - Forklift Simulator v2.0

Following my prior post Serious Games For Material Handling, where GriN Multimedia reported their partnership with UCAN to build a Forklift sim where users could learn how to operate a forklift and take special notice to safety, the company has recently released its version 2.0.

The new version’s motto “Power to the People” derives from Forklift Simulator v2.0  value proposition which gives control back to the instructor -- both for the environments and lessons creation. 

GriN Multimedia wanted to create a Serious Game where the instructor could actually change the environment himself depending on the needs of the location where the trainee works or the specific need for a specific lesson. 

The background presumption is that forklift training instructors do know better the challenges of the forklifts work environment. By giving them a library of 3D props and the tools to place them in a sandbox environment, they can recreate specific areas and obstacles just like they would appear in real life. 

Not only environments but also lessons can be created by users in the new lesson editor. By adding mission paths a lesson can be broken down into specific targets and goals. Targets to guide the driver to specific locations and objectives (moving cargo) can be added and edited by the lesson creator. Other elements like appointing danger and speed limit areas can also be included. Like the environment editor, ease-of-use is a most important attribute.

The solution also allows multi-user instructor integration, giving control back to the instructor. With a remote computer, the instructor can observe and interact with the trainee while performing any lesson. The instructor can participate as a virtual character or vehicle to create smarter and less predictable situations. Also the trainer can add obstacles, open and close doors and send live messages to the trainee while he/she is driving. 


Destructible Environments

Adding realism is a major part of this upgrade. Because this version of the simulator has safety as primary focus, and because some situations are just too dangerous to test in real life, developers wanted to show the driver what catastrophic consequences could result from reckless driving.