Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Virtual Training, games aren't just for fun

The ESA is reporting that 70% of major businesses are using game technology. Their survey (150 major companies polled) doesn't convince me that gaming tech is used in the working masses yet, but clearly it has it's place in large corporations such as Hilton, IBM, Canon, &c...
“Businesses across the spectrum, from automobile manufacturers to financial service providers, are utilizing entertainment software to help educate their employees to better serve their customers and improve their bottom lines,” said Michael D. Gallagher, CEO of the ESA, the U.S. association representing computer and video game publishers. “Interactive technology is a valuable tool in workforce development and this study underscores the fact that video games have become a mass medium helping Americans live, work and of course play.”
The survey indicated benefits of:
  • a reduction in costs;
  • more efficient and faster training;
  • the ability to apply consistent training across all parts of an organization;
  • the ease of measuring employee participation; and,
  • better information retention.
Well, Gamebryo is game tech, how widely is it being used? Vis/Sim customers include:
  • BAE Systems
  • Breakaway Games
  • Chi Systems
  • Cubic Defense Systems
  • Electronic Warfare Associates
  • Engineering & Computer Simulation
  • General Dynamics
  • Honeywell
  • Muzzylane
  • Navteq / Mobility
  • RTI International
  • STS International
  • Syandus
  • Techrizon
  • Total Immersion
  • USC Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT)
  • Washington Hospital Center
So... how long until McDonalds employees learn their job tasks by training in Virtual McDonalds Camp?

P.S. Thanks Phaedra for pointing this out.
P.S.S. baxissimo, nice to see you're finally reading RSS... now... of the countless people I've given that advice... who lives in Tokyo... hmm....

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Links, New blogs, Random stuff

Time for a few links.

First, a few colleagues started blogging:
Game wise, I'd been searching for some numbers recently...
And finally, check out this real world media animation!

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Er, Careful with the NERF Guns: LCD Casualty (updated 1)

For the Gamebryo 2.5 release, we bought NERF guns for the entire office.

There's been an LCD casualty.

;) Tricky to shoot around the office and avoid hitting any monitors.

Update: baxissimo wanted to know what type of gun. It was a Nerf Reactor. Those green balls have a decent amount of mass to them.... and a particularly strong shot at ~8 feet did the trick.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Gamebryo 2.5 Ships!

Gamebryo 2.5 has shipped! This is the largest release of Gamebryo I've worked on, so huge we went right from 2.3 to 2.5. ;) We knocked out a whole ton of work on this one, getting our hands extremely dirty rearchitecting large portions of the engine.

If you want the details and marketing blitz, check the website.

I'm posting now cuz It feels good to ship.

(photo credit flicker user Leo Reynolds)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Improving Bug Triage with User Pain, Comment

Danc, over at Lost Garden, recently made an interesting post describing Improving Bug Triage with User Pain. It describes a bug triaging methodology, and has several good points. I disagree slightly with his release goal for bugs, however.

Here's my comment:

Setting a pain threshold for a release is a very easy policy, but I'm concerned about the build up of low pain bugs. 100 Low pain bugs... ok. Next release, 300 low pain bugs.. and they're starting to have in impact. 1000 low pain bugs, and in aggregate they represent larger pain to me.

An alternative I would suggest is to get the total pain below some value. E.g each bug's pain value is simply it's fractional user pain value. So two bugs at 90% user pain and 20% would total to 1.1 user pain. Set the bar for the release to be something like 50 user pain.

The result is that working on highest user pain bugs reduces the total pain rapidly. But, if there is a huge base of low user pain bugs, it's still recognized and addressed.

Your visualization of a red line at a certain user pain threshold becomes instead a line at the point where the sum of all bugs crosses the total pain threshold.

(image by flicker user Marvin (PA))