Serious Communication for      Serious Games          Ross Kukulinski  ross.kukulinski@asti-usa.com     Serious Play Confe...
Photo by Derek Jensen                    2
Photo Courtesy of U.S. Military                              3
Roadmap1.   Serious games and teamwork2.   Communications modeling3.   Fidelity4.   Game integration5.   Network interoper...
Part 1Serious Games are  Powerful Tools                    5
Serious Games …• Allow soldiers to experience situations that  are impossible in the real world1• Provide improved hand-ey...
‘Good’ Serious GamesSix Ingredients to a ‘good’ game1  1.   Mechanics  2.   Rules  3.   Immersive Graphics  4.   Interacti...
Fundamentals of TeamworkThe Big Five Core Components of Teamwork1  1.   Team Leadership  2.   Performance Monitoring  3.  ...
Communication and Performance• America’s Army experiments  – Researchers measured team communication     • Communication n...
DARWARS Ambush!: Authoring Lessons Learned in a Training Game1• Communication skills are critical for success  – Requires ...
DARWARS Lessons Cont’d• Primary functions of a convoy commander  – Establish and maintain communications within the    con...
A Training Transfer Study of Serious              Games“Our work in this project demonstratedconsistently through all five...
Game Communication Options•   Nothing•   Text-chat•   Game integrated voice communication•   Third-party voice communicati...
Our Customer Feedback• Some were content with what they had• Some engineered custom solutions• Many were frustrated  – Cur...
Brief History Lesson•   Full Spectrum Warrior – 2000-2003•   America’s Army – 2002•   DARWARS Ambush – 2005-2009•   ‘Game ...
Communication Specifications• Game After Ambush (2009)  – 8,118 words in technical specification  – 128 words for describi...
Part 2Communications   Modeling                 17
Modes of Voice Communication• Intercoms• Radios• Earshot                           18
Intercoms• Full-duplex• One channel per  ‘wire’• 1-to-1 or n-to-n  participants• Phone/Conference  call                   ...
Radios• Half-duplex (usually)• 1-to-n participants• Many configurations  possible (AM, FM,  PT/CT, freq, encoding,  etc.)•...
Earshot• Simulated voice communication  – Full duplex  – Volume and quality degrades over distance                        ...
Simulating Real-world Communication• Simulated radios behave like real-world radios  – AM, FM, Frequency Hopping  – Half-d...
Simulating Real-world Communication• Simulate voice communication (Earshot)  – Volume and quality degrades over distance  ...
Part 3Fidelity           24
Acceptable Fidelity• What is the training goal?• What is the real-world communication?• Combined arms, convoy, and small u...
Basic Intercom                 26
Intercom and Individual Radios                                 27
Geolocated Individual Radios                               28
Geolocated Vehicle & Individual Radios                                   29
Highest Fidelity                   30
Part 4Game Integration                   31
“Quite simply, communications should beas seamless as all other aspects of [the seriousgame]. Communications should be int...
Administrative Interface• In addition to personnel and weapons,  game scenarios should include  communication• Radio/inter...
User Interface• Two possible views  – Heads Up Display (HUD)  – In-game objects• HUD  – Simple and intuitive  – Not realis...
User Interface Capabilities• Regardless of view mode:  – Support for multiple radios and intercoms  – View radio channel a...
Required Simulation Information• Radio location from game entities for realistic  radio effects like ranging and occulting...
After Action Review• “Both simulation groups commented  extensively on the AAR tool. Both groups  believed the AAR tool wa...
Part 5    NetworkInteroperability                   38
Live-Virtual-Constructive Example                                    39
DIS & HLA• Distributed Interactive Simulation   –   Wire-level specification   –   UDP   –   Simple!   –   But standard sl...
Networked Voice• Audio encoding and sample rate• Dynamic packet sizes• Latency  – Maximum 150ms one-way latency  – Latency...
Part 6Final Thoughts                 42
Summary• Communication is critical for teamwork• Real-time communication simulation is  computationally complex• Serious g...
Resources•   Brown, B., (2010) A Training Transfer Study of Simulation Games•   Carpenter, R., White, C., (2005) Commercia...
Thank You!       Ross Kukulinskiross.kukulinski@asti-usa.com                               45
Useful Links:www.seriousplayconference.comwww.seriousgamesdirectory.comwww.seriousgamesassociation.comContact:sbohle@serio...
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"Serious Communication for Serious Games" By Ross Kukulinski- Serious Play Conference 2012

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Ross Kukulinski speaks about "Serious Communication for Serious Games" at Serious Play Conference 2012
ABSTRACT:
Voice communication is a key component of military-unit based training.
Soldiers rely on communications skills on the battlefield to share information within a unit and throughout the chain of command. Both observing proper radio protocol and verbally relaying information between unit members are essential in dismounted soldier and convoy training.

State-of-the-art solutions for serious games have been inadequate for reinforcing these important skills. While some games do offer integrated voice solutions, the implementation often fails to resemble realistic battlefield scenarios. And most in-game solutions also do not provide interoperability with the existing deployed base of military simulators or instructor stations.
In this session, the speaker will demonstrate a new communication product that provides these capabilities. Based on input from actual military training facilities, this solution is can be used to augment existing serious game training, raising the fidelity of the simulation.

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  • James Oker - Microsoft Research (Stolen from his presentation earlier today) “ Communication is a key ingredient” of games that teach teamwork
  • "Serious Communication for Serious Games" By Ross Kukulinski- Serious Play Conference 2012

    1. 1. Serious Communication for Serious Games Ross Kukulinski ross.kukulinski@asti-usa.com Serious Play Conference
    2. 2. Photo by Derek Jensen 2
    3. 3. Photo Courtesy of U.S. Military 3
    4. 4. Roadmap1. Serious games and teamwork2. Communications modeling3. Fidelity4. Game integration5. Network interoperability6. Final thoughts and future directions 4
    5. 5. Part 1Serious Games are Powerful Tools 5
    6. 6. Serious Games …• Allow soldiers to experience situations that are impossible in the real world1• Provide improved hand-eye coordination, multi-tasking, and teamwork2• Are uniquely flexible to support varied training needs 1 Corti, 2006; Squire & Jenkins, 2003 2 Michael & Chen, 2006 6
    7. 7. ‘Good’ Serious GamesSix Ingredients to a ‘good’ game1 1. Mechanics 2. Rules 3. Immersive Graphics 4. Interactivity 5. Challenge 6. Risks 7. What about communication? 1 Derryberry, 2007 7
    8. 8. Fundamentals of TeamworkThe Big Five Core Components of Teamwork1 1. Team Leadership 2. Performance Monitoring 3. Backup Behavior 4. Adaptability 5. Team/Collective Orientation Hypothesis: Communication key element? 1 Salas, Sims, & Burke, 2004 8
    9. 9. Communication and Performance• America’s Army experiments – Researchers measured team communication • Communication network level • Number of report-ins • Number of normal communications• Teams with regular organized reports had: – Higher performance – Higher estimated situational awareness Schneider & Carley, 2005 9
    10. 10. DARWARS Ambush!: Authoring Lessons Learned in a Training Game1• Communication skills are critical for success – Requires effective communications training• Communications capabilities differ widely across varying military units• Training system should be similar to real- world communication system 1 Diller, Orberts, Blankenship, Nielsen, 2004 10
    11. 11. DARWARS Lessons Cont’d• Primary functions of a convoy commander – Establish and maintain communications within the convoy – Maintain communication with superordinate and subordinate element commanders Diller, Orberts, Blankenship, Nielsen, 2004 11
    12. 12. A Training Transfer Study of Serious Games“Our work in this project demonstratedconsistently through all five experimentsthat communications is fundamental to thetraining experience and one of the mostimportant aspects of the exercise.” Major Ben Brown MOVES Institute Naval Postgraduate School Brown, 2010 12
    13. 13. Game Communication Options• Nothing• Text-chat• Game integrated voice communication• Third-party voice communicationNone simulate real-world communication! 13
    14. 14. Our Customer Feedback• Some were content with what they had• Some engineered custom solutions• Many were frustrated – Current game communication systems… • are not robust • are difficult to manage in large installations • do not simulate real-world radio communication • do not integrate well with other training systems • lack live technical support and expertise 14
    15. 15. Brief History Lesson• Full Spectrum Warrior – 2000-2003• America’s Army – 2002• DARWARS Ambush – 2005-2009• ‘Game After Ambush’ (VBS2) – 2009-2012/13• ‘Games For Training’ Recompete – Q4-2012 15
    16. 16. Communication Specifications• Game After Ambush (2009) – 8,118 words in technical specification – 128 words for describing communication• Games for Training (Draft – October 2011) – 5,113 words in technical specification – 128 words for describing communication• Games for Training (Draft – April 2012) – Finally requires high-fidelity voice communication 16
    17. 17. Part 2Communications Modeling 17
    18. 18. Modes of Voice Communication• Intercoms• Radios• Earshot 18
    19. 19. Intercoms• Full-duplex• One channel per ‘wire’• 1-to-1 or n-to-n participants• Phone/Conference call Photo by K!T 19
    20. 20. Radios• Half-duplex (usually)• 1-to-n participants• Many configurations possible (AM, FM, PT/CT, freq, encoding, etc.)• Variable communication link quality• Complex and hard to simulate in real-time Photo courtesy of U.S. Military• Noisy! 20
    21. 21. Earshot• Simulated voice communication – Full duplex – Volume and quality degrades over distance 21
    22. 22. Simulating Real-world Communication• Simulated radios behave like real-world radios – AM, FM, Frequency Hopping – Half-duplex radios – Full-duplex intercoms – Real-time dynamic radio noise – Realistic propagation effects due to ranging, occulting, radio power level, and terrain – Crypto system sound effects 22
    23. 23. Simulating Real-world Communication• Simulate voice communication (Earshot) – Volume and quality degrades over distance – Separate from radio simulation• Trainees limited to channels they would have in real-world 23
    24. 24. Part 3Fidelity 24
    25. 25. Acceptable Fidelity• What is the training goal?• What is the real-world communication?• Combined arms, convoy, and small unit communications “must be correct and effective”• “One can debate the level of fidelity needed for useful training, but fidelity must certainly be high when it relates to the specific task being trained” Brown, 2010 1 25
    26. 26. Basic Intercom 26
    27. 27. Intercom and Individual Radios 27
    28. 28. Geolocated Individual Radios 28
    29. 29. Geolocated Vehicle & Individual Radios 29
    30. 30. Highest Fidelity 30
    31. 31. Part 4Game Integration 31
    32. 32. “Quite simply, communications should beas seamless as all other aspects of [the seriousgame]. Communications should be internal to [the game] with seams between vendor production transparent to the user.”1 1 Brown, 2010 32
    33. 33. Administrative Interface• In addition to personnel and weapons, game scenarios should include communication• Radio/intercom configuration and allocation• DIS/HLA configuration• Re-usable communication configuration 33
    34. 34. User Interface• Two possible views – Heads Up Display (HUD) – In-game objects• HUD – Simple and intuitive – Not realistic – does it break flow?• In-game objects – Higher realism – does it impede training? 34
    35. 35. User Interface Capabilities• Regardless of view mode: – Support for multiple radios and intercoms – View radio channel and Tx/Rx status – Support changing radio channels – Dynamic vehicle communication systems – Earshot voice communication 35
    36. 36. Required Simulation Information• Radio location from game entities for realistic radio effects like ranging and occulting• Player location for Earshot voice communication• Assign radios and intercoms to vehicles for mounted training – Players acquire vehicle-based radios when mounted, lose access when dismounted 36
    37. 37. After Action Review• “Both simulation groups commented extensively on the AAR tool. Both groups believed the AAR tool was critical in providing a big picture view of what happened during the exercise.” 1• Communication playback synced with visuals• Seek, Pause, FF, RW, Bookmarks• Export audio/visual for later analysis and study Brown, 2010 1 37
    38. 38. Part 5 NetworkInteroperability 38
    39. 39. Live-Virtual-Constructive Example 39
    40. 40. DIS & HLA• Distributed Interactive Simulation – Wire-level specification – UDP – Simple! – But standard slow to evolve• High-Level Architecture – Run Time Infrastructure – Set of API functionality – Federation Object Model – Very complex 40
    41. 41. Networked Voice• Audio encoding and sample rate• Dynamic packet sizes• Latency – Maximum 150ms one-way latency – Latency <100 ideal• Unreliable networks (jitter, lost packets) 41
    42. 42. Part 6Final Thoughts 42
    43. 43. Summary• Communication is critical for teamwork• Real-time communication simulation is computationally complex• Serious games require high-fidelity communication for effective training• Requirement to network disparate training systems into a common network 43
    44. 44. Resources• Brown, B., (2010) A Training Transfer Study of Simulation Games• Carpenter, R., White, C., (2005) Commercial Computer Games in the Australian Department of Defense• Corti, K. (2006) Games-based Learning; a serious business application.• Derryberry, A. (2007) Serious Games: online games for learning• Diller, D., Roberts, B., Blankenship, S., Nielsen, D. (2004) DARWARS Ambush! Authoring Lessons Learned in a Training Game• Hussain, T., etal (2010) Development of game-based training systems: Lessons learned in an inter-disciplinary field in the making• Hussain T. & Ferguson, W. (2005) Efficient Development of Large-Scale Military Training Environments using a Multi-Player Game• McGowan, C., Pecheux, B. (2007) Serious Games that Improve Performance• Michael, D., & Chen, S. (2006) Serious games: Games that educate, train and inform• Sims E., Salas E., Burke S. (2004) Is There a ‘Big Five’ in Teamwork• Snider, M., Carley K., Moon, I. (2005) Detailed Comparison of America’s Army and Unit of Action Experiments• Squire, K. & Jenkins, H. (2003) Harnessing the power of games in education 44
    45. 45. Thank You! Ross Kukulinskiross.kukulinski@asti-usa.com 45
    46. 46. Useful Links:www.seriousplayconference.comwww.seriousgamesdirectory.comwww.seriousgamesassociation.comContact:sbohle@seriousgamesassociation.com

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