The University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute (ISI) has announced the appointment of Michael Zyda as director of the USC GamePipe Laboratory, to be headquartered at ISI, part of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.
Zyda has helped to create several titles, including America's Army
, for the military in his role as originator and director of the MOVES Institute at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He has also written about and researched many aspects of gaming.
GamePipe is to undertake research and development in interactive games. According to Zyda, “The mission of the GamePipe Laboratory is research, development, and education on the grand challenges of radically transforming the game production process — from dramatically shortening the production timeline, to developing the supporting technologies for increasing the complexity and innovation in produced games."
According to Zyda creating games remains a slow, unsystematic, chaotic and often wasteful process. “Teams are built on a per-game basis and then dissolved,” he notes. "While training times on game engine toolsets are increasing. Code modules are crafted for specific games, with less than 30% reuse of that code for subsequent efforts."
GamePipe research and development will be concentrated in the four key areas of infrastructure (game engines and platforms), cognition and gaming (developing theories for integrating pedagogy and story), immersion (game visual, audio and haptic technology) and serious games (research into games as education and training tools).