Engineering & Computer Simulations, Inc. (ECS) is this year’s finalist in the Best Business Developed Serious Game category of the Serious Games Showcase & Challenge withInstallation Deployment Officer (IDO) Training Simulation.
The IDO Training Sim is a real-time, conversation-based simulator revolving around the people management and swift decision-making challenges experienced as a day in the life of a USAF (United States Air Force) Installation Deployment Officer.
This IDO Training Sim is intended to be a capstone experience that students play after completing a full traditional classroom course and curriculum on the roles and responsibilities of being an Installation Deployment Officer (IDO). Therefore this does not explicitly teach concepts directly, but allows the students to apply the knowledge they have acquired and exercise their critical thinking skills, based on the learning objectives.
The IDO Sim is built to be played in a classroom environment. It can be played either in offline mode or as a multiplayer networked system, which allows each student (client) to progress at their own pace and experience in unique training situations (in the form of scenario branches and sequels), while the instructor console (server) allows the facilitator to view each student’s progress and modify difficulty on the fly.
The goal of the game is to resolve any issues that are presented, manage personnel resources, and problem solve all logistical challenges in order to keep all flights on time.
Gameplay and the scenario dynamically adjusts to the player’s performance, giving them more challenges if they are doing well, and reducing complexity or giving extra injects or reminders if they are doing poorly. The After Action Review interface also gives them positive and negative indicators so they can self-assess their performance, as well as give the instructor/facilitator a record of their performance.
The game scenario combines periods of task overload with ‘dead time’ for the student, adding additional events and outcomes, enhancing variety, and challenging their decision making skills and problem solving. While most of the activity takes place in the Deployment Control Center (DCC), the player can also travel to additional environments around the base, as well as observe live security camera feeds of those environments. There is also an extensive after action review interface that shows all scenario events and player actions (or inactions) on a timeline that can be reviewed after the scenario is complete.