C67: Using Game Engine Technology for Virtual Environment Teamwork Training

Marks,S., Windsor,J., Wuensche,B.

The use of virtual environments (VE) for teaching and training is increasing rapidly. A particular popular medium for implementing such applications are game engines. However, just changing game content is usually insufficient for creating effective training and teaching scenarios. In this paper, we discuss how the design of a VE can be changed to adapt it to new use cases. We explain how new interaction principles can be added to a game engine by presenting technologies for integrating a webcam for head tracking. This enables head-coupled perspective as an intuitive view control and head gestures that are mapped onto the user’s avatar in the virtual environment. We also explain how the simulation can be connected to behavioural study software in order to simplify user study evaluation. Finally we list problems and solutions when utilising the free Source Engine Software Development Kit to design such a virtual environment. We evaluate our design, present a virtual surgery teamwork training scenario created with it, and summarize user study results demonstrating the usefulness of our extensions.