Software development and consulting firm Stottler Henke announced the release of SimVentive, a new “smart software” toolkit that affords serious game developers the means to create training simulations and to define the behavior of characters and objects that populate those simulations, all without programming.
SimVentive takes advantage of Stottler Henke’s SimBionic intelligent agent toolkit for defining the behavior of simulated teammates, adversaries, systems, devices, and other active objects within a simulation. SimVentive combines this capability with a new Scenario Editor, a Java technology application that lets game designers rapidly construct single or multiplayer simulation scenarios without programming.
In addition, SimVentive lets serious game developers create intelligent objects and define how they respond to events, states and the passage of time through a more user friendly interface than traditional programming and media scripting. Stottler Henke officials note that this technology allows different scenarios to be played by the SimVentive Scenario Player, running as a Java application, a Java applet or launched from a web browser using Java Web Start technology to support both classroom instruction and distance learning.
SimVentive has already been utilized in the development of games that train emergency medical professionals to respond to an anthrax attack, and military commanders to devise an air campaign to compel an adversary to negotiate. Another SimVentive-based game currently under development will teach flight controllers and astronauts to apply their understanding of spacecraft systems and their interactions to diagnose and recover from unexpected failures.
“Traditionally, constructing training simulations has been a software development task, requiring programmers to write code to define the behavior and appearance of the simulation,” commented Richard Stottler, president of Stottler Henke Associates. “This limits the ability of instructional designers to create their own training games, and it increases the cost and time needed to develop new simulations. SimVentive dramatically simplifies the process and puts the power in the hands of designers, making ‘serious game’ development faster and less expensive.”