SimBionic and SimVentive software enable non-programmers to create more dynamic and challenging “serious games” for training, education
SAN MATEO, Calif., June 19, 2006 – Stottler Henke Associates, Inc. (www.stottlerhenkeinc.com) today announced it is giving contestants in I/ITSEC’s First Annual Serious Games Showcase and Challenge free access to its SimBionic® and SimVentive™ game simulation and character behavior development tools. “Serious games” represent the use of interactive games technology within non-entertainment sectors, including education, healthcare and training.
The I/ITSEC (Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation & Education Conference) competition is intended to identify innovative game-based solutions to problems encountered by the military today and in the future. Winners will be announced at I/ITSEC in Orlando, Florida, December 4-7, 2006.
Both SimBionic and SimVentive extend powerful game development capabilities to non- programmers. SimVentive is a visual authoring tool designed to simplify and streamline the development of high-quality game simulations. SimBionic is a visual authoring tool for specifying behaviors of simulated characters.
“Stottler Henke has been a proponent and developer of ‘serious games’ since before the term was coined,” Richard Stottler, president of Stottler Henke Associates, said. “In fact the tools we’re making available to contestants in this competition were born largely of our own work creating simulation-based ‘intelligent tutoring systems’ for the U.S. military, which recognizes the value of a game-like approach to complex training requirements. We’re proud to be contributing to the progress of the ‘serious games’ field by providing technology that lets designers create more challenging and realistic games, faster and easier than ever before.”
The SimVentive system provides all the tools game designers need to quickly create complete, Java-based training games. SimVentive enables rapid authoring of the user interface by providing a collection of powerful GUI widgets and a drag-and-drop GUI editor. Game designers can rapidly specify intelligent behaviors using the built-in SimBionic intelligent agent toolkit.
SimVentive is an innovative software suite that changes the simulation development process. Using the SimVentive Scenario Editor, designers can rapidly construct a simulation scenario without programming. Scenarios can be played by the SimVentive Scenario Player, running as a Java application or as an applet to support both classroom instruction and distance learning. Stottler Henke also will make the SimVentive Scenario Player freely available for playing games produced as part of I/ITSEC’s First Annual Serious Games Showcase and Challenge.
The SimBionic® intelligent agent toolkit enables rapid authoring of intelligent behaviors that can control non-player characters and simulated entities. The SimBionic run-time system provides C++ and Java application programming interfaces that enable game designers to integrate it with any game engine or simulation.
SimBionic is a full-featured visual development environment including editor, debugger, and runtime engine. Its highly intuitive visual approach lets developers see a game’s logic at a glance, and quickly spot potential bugs or other difficulties. The visuals also make it easy for game developers to show and discuss their work with other members of the development team, including designers and artists with no programming background. When AI code is ready for trial, it can be compiled with a single mouse click, which generates a thin interface for hooking the game AI to the game’s engine. The AI can be tested using SimBionic’s interactive debugger, which will load the run-time environment and execute code step by step, helping developers to uncover and fix any subtle problems.
SimBionic received a Brandon Hall Excellence in Learning Award in 2004 for its ease-of-use and ability to create training simulations that provide students with complex, realistic, and engaging learning experiences.
Founded in 1988, Stottler Henke Associates, Inc. applies artificial intelligence and other advanced software technologies to solve problems that defy solution using traditional approaches. The company delivers intelligent software solutions for education and training, planning and scheduling, knowledge management and discovery, decision support, and software development. Stottler Henke’s clients include manufacturers, retailers, educational media companies and government agencies. Stottler Henke received a 2004 “Brandon Hall Excellence in Learning” award for innovative technology. For the past three consecutive years, Stottler Henke was named one of the “top 100″ companies making a significant impact on the military training industry by Military Training Technology magazine, and in 2005 received a Blue Ribbon recognizing it as a company that leads the industry in innovation.
June 19, 2006