The Army Research Laboratory has selected six finalists in a challenge to create an original virtual environment program or feature. The contest is a chance for often lesser-known developers to share creative ideas with the simulation, training, and gaming communities and potentially solve issues that plague the Army’s virtual environments as well.
Finalists in the Federal Virtual Challenge were announced April 1; the winners of the annual contest will be announced at Defense GameTech User’s Conference 2013 in Orlando later this month.
This year’s contest has two categories. In the first group, which asks developers to show how an immersive virtual world can build critical thinking skills, improve adaptability, and track individual progress, the finalists are:
“Compound” is a team building game that forces trainees to work together, with each individual possessing only a piece of the knowledge needed to accomplish a mission. The game is being developed for the Air University’s Squadron Officer College.
“Data Detectives Game” features tutorial stations on how to evaluate data, graphs, and cause and effects.
“Outbreak: Immersive, Interactive Problem Solving” pits users against a virus spreading through a city, forcing them to work together, analyze information, and establish an achievable goal.
In the second category, which seeks inexpensive, multiuser navigation interfaces for virtual worlds, the finalists are:
“Analyst Situation Room” is a virtual reality environment where users navigate with their voice, body movements, facial gestures, and a “brain computer” from Emotiv.
“Immersive Collaboration” has users navigating with a Microsoft Kinect and the Dance-Dance-Revolution pad.
“VIPE Holodeck” pairs the Kinect with an Unreal Development Kit.