Sunday, November 19, 2006

More Serious Games by PlayGen: Making Learning Fun

Serious Games challenging us to make learning fun


Time Commander

Time Commanders is a series of programmes made by Lion TV for BBC Two. The programmes, originally hosted by Eddie Mair and more recently by Richard Hammond, feature a Real Time Strategy game Rome: Total War to recreate famous battles of the ancient world. Within the game, thousands of characters engage in combat, whilst being commanded by players in realtime.

The game show consisted of teams of contestants battling against a computer loaded with the tactics of the greatest military minds of all time. The game was played through two operators and viewed by the generals on a giant screen, providing an interactive virtual window into the battlefield as well as large scale interactive map of the battle ground.


From the educational and entertainment point of view, and indeed the reason for PlayGen involvement, the programme proved to be an excellent way of making historical battles relevant to a wider audience. The historical information of the armies, weapons and tactics were as accurate as possible and the format was a very effective way of learning about ancient battles.

The show was produced by Lion Television, with PlayGen taking a graphics supervision role. It features the Total War Engine from Creative Assembly for all battleground graphics.

Learning Innovation

An interactive, animated simulation of managing innovation in a mid-21st Century corporation. The game was developed to teach innovation strategy development to CEOs of today's leading technology companies. The game takes place in a futuristic office in the year 2050. The CEO is equipped with the latest holographic gizmos that enable him or her to gain access to real-time status of all projects in the portfolio, intelligent advisors that give advice depending on the status of the portfolio and interactive cinematic scenes designed to drive home the key factors and lessons of the scenario.


The game successfully encapsulated the subject matter to develop expertise in the field of managing innovation portfolios, within a challenging and compelling 3d gaming experience.

The players learn how the innovation market works depending on different types of business. Selecting from a number of different market environment simulations, they are immersed in the gaming world within which their performance is tracked and their actions effect their investment portfolio.