simulation training

All posts tagged simulation training

With the ringing in of the New Year it is once again time to recap the Top 5 blog posts from 2011, click on any of the below links for the full entry. Happy New Year to everyone!

Serious Gaming in the United States Military

In an article featured in the August 2011 issue of Military Training Technology the magazine asked, “What role(s) will your company best fill as the United States military turns more to the use of serious gaming in an effort to reduce the military’s training costs while maintaining the combat readiness of the warfighter?”

Virtual Worlds for the Defense Sector

The Department of Defense has been in the news on a number of occurrences in past months highlighting the use of virtual worlds by the organization. They are utilizing virtual worlds for a host of different applications, one of which deals with post-traumatic stress in our soldiers, see this story for more details. This project is called The T2 Virtual PTSD Experience and is based in Second Life. By being based in Second Life it does allow an extra layer of interactivity as the player/ trainee is able to interact with anyone else that is experiencing the simulation. It just goes to show that the immersive nature of virtual worlds make them a prime candidate for this type of training and much more!

The Uncanny Valley

The blog post title may have you scratching the top of your head a little bit…The “Uncanny Valley” is a phenomenon that leads to a reaction from an all ‘but-not-quite-right’ simulated human form, whether it be robotic or animated. The term was invented by roboticist Masahiro Mori to depict the negative emotional response ‘real’ humans exhibit when a robot (avatar) seems practically human. Appearance and action are the two biggest factors that could potentially lead to this phenomenon playing out while one is immersed in a virtual world. Thus the overall quality of the avatar is paramount in any type of training simulation, the worst thing you can do is lead the player to possess detachment from the training. The human brain never ceases to amaze me.

Virtual Learning Environments- A New Trend?

Elearning! Magazine recently came out with a report on Virtual Learning Environments: Trends and Insights. The report outlined that virtual learning environments are one of the fastest growing solutions for learning. According to the report “In a June 2010 study conducted by Elearning! Media Group, 64 percent of all corporate respondents have implemented virtual learning within their organizations, and 18 percent more plan to add them. The same study reports virtual worlds for learning will grow 250 percent over the next year to 21 percent of enterprises. At the same time, social learning and collaboration is exploding, with 77 percent of enterprise using or planning to use these tools for learning.” Let me summarize that for you in case you weren’t paying attention…64 percent of respondents have implemented virtual learning within their organizations!

What Role are you Looking to Play?

An often-overlooked critical aspect of simulation training is the best manner in which to train: individual or collectively. Visual Purple offers three modes:
1) Single Player, Single Role – The trainee will always play one role; synchronous interaction with live players not supported or desirable due to intelligent simulation world.
Available: Decision-Based, Virtual World, Hybrid, Embedded

All too often we tend to forget what we are really doing. Like many types of businesses where the end result is all about pleasing the customer… well we here at Visual Purple take it one step further than just pleasing the customer. We are building simulations for the LEARNER. That’s right…I said LEARNER! Meaning every training simulation produced is obviously centered around the customer’s content but it is produced around pleasing the learner and making sure that they actually learn what they are being taught throughout the simulation. So now we have a learner-centric high-engagement environment that the learner (otherwise known as the trainee) feels comfortable enough in to explore and the ease of use/ navigation is easily understandable. A learner (trainee) must be interested in what is being taught in order for engagement to be sustained. The focus of the training spotlight ultimately always circles back to the learner.

By Rudy Helm, Audio and Quality Assurance Tech, Visual Purple, LLC.

Well, it’s been a while, so I thought that we should continue with the theme from my previous blog entry. There are many interesting and fun things to learn. You may recall that we were discussing the notion of your project’s background music (BGM) having the desirable attributes of being copyright free, royalty free, and an original composition at that! Those characteristics undoubtedly appeal to virtual-world developers, makers of cutscenes, trailers and Machinima projects. With the tutorials that we present here, there is no reason why even non-musicians can’t generate musically useful results (even for foreground musical elements, but that discussion is for a later time).

This exercise exhibits a variety of musical styles and embodies them into a single animation sequence. The exhibit portrays a conference room where the attendees are gathered to give their ‘boss man’ a report on the TV and film entertainment industry (actually it’s taken from the 2010 Golden Globes). Embedded in this viewable animation we’ll feature synthetic actors with synthetic speech (TTS voice-overs) as foreground elements (click here for a refresher on the technique). With this test-scene we utilize only 2 TTS male and 1 TTS female voice libraries to cover a cast of 11 adult attendees.

The animation sequence was borrowed from one of our past projects. It had been a full-motion video of a dramatized high-level meeting and for this exhibit it has been ‘cartoon-ized’ to mask logos, etc. The original human VO audio discussed issues about how to save the world, but here we have replaced them with a TTS script chattering about the entertainment world. So, obviously the script is intended to be nonsense; the focus of this little project being on ambient background music production, and less on the TTS actors (but don’t worry, we will have some more in-depth tutorials on TTS production in the near future!).

Now, please view and listen to the animation sequence. Imagine that at this meeting there might be a radio playing in the background for this scenario.

“- Link to”
YouTube Visual Purple When Your Musician is a Robot, Part 3 (Can musical assets be free in a Virtual World?)
The Conference Room exhibit –listen to the musical elements as they each segue. Note how well BGM serves the animation and VO.

In part 4 of this series I will discuss the usage of the music tool. Remember these numbers: 1-4-5? (if not, click here). Essentially, it’s all you need to know about music theory to engage in these tutorials.

[to be continued]

With the latest immersive training news that the United States Joint Forces Command is investing $36M into a technology basket of immersive training solutions, I thought it only appropriate to share some observations: While this specific example may not put users in the Enterprise holodeck, though we’re getting closer, it is yet further validation to the sheer power and efficacy of simulation. Military simulation has been around for a long time. $36M may not seem like pocket change, unless of course you’re comparing it to the “Stimulus” bill, it is most likely a real bargain in this case. Why? The military wisely decided to have JOINT (emphasis added) Forces Command, or JFCOM, take the lead as what appears to be a large scale aggregation and integration of largely off-the-shelf technologies being bolted together for specific and expanded training scenarios. As a taxpayer, we should all be happy. As a warfighter, we should thank God.

A question I come across quite frequently is what different levels of simulation training mean. As an example I will use Visual Purple, who specializes in Level 5 training simulations (although our training simulations could span Levels I-VI, we really only ‘do’ Levels 5 and 6 – our own creation – Level 5 with our baked in patented I-Squared tech)). Most people don’t even realize what this means, nor do they realize what this entails and the real value in what we offer over other companies within the industry. Some may even write it off; figuring the higher level of training may be too advanced for their organizations specific training needs. With that being said there is a definite value in using a higher level of training. Level 5 training simulations provide the learner/ trainee with an unmatched training experience with the key element of built-in remediation/feedback – an intelligent tutoring feature.

Definition of Level 5 Simulation: Intelligent tutoring systems

· Complex, interwoven, multi-threaded, multi-path scenarios

· Ideal environment for exercising competencies, creative thinking skills, and decision-making

· Logical and illustrative consequences to user decisions

· Enhanced retention and motivation to succeed

(Definition provided by Dr. John G. Tyler of the MITRE Corporation)

Here is a link to view a sample of a Level 5 Simulation from Visual Purple:

Visual Purple Level 5 Training Simulation- Power of Story: Driven