Thursday, July 10, 2008

Caspian's Serious Games Entering Education Mainstream

Serious Games utilising Adobe Director and Shockwave Player

Caspian's proprietary platform for developing immersive 3D applications in the Serious Gaming sector, Thinking Worlds™, is being used in Adobe® Director® and Adobe Shockwave® Player to achieve web delivery of the technology.

Now that gaming has entered the corporate and education mainstream for web-based learning, more and more people are willing to use gaming technology to develop Serious Games for their own use.

Caspian Learning, global leaders in 3D Serious Educational Immersive Gaming is utilizing the power of Adobe® Director® and Adobe Shockwave® Player to broaden the reach of its proprietary platform within education, government and training.

Pioneers of 3D Learning Technology

Launched in 2002 with a vision of bringing the power of 3D games technology into both commercial training and education, Caspian Learning is a global leader and pioneer in the Serious Gaming sector, having deployed more than 40 different learning applications in the United Kingdom and around the world.
Caspian’s core technology, Thinking Worlds™ is a 3D games-based learning engine that allows Caspian Learning and its clients to build wonderfully immersive learning solutions for education, industry, and government. 

Thinking Worlds marries instructional design with 3D games technology and now utilizes Adobe Director and the Adobe Shockwave Player to bring this powerful combination to a wider audience.

"Interactive 3D gaming enables organizations to provide training that is motivational, learner-centric, personalized, contextualized, and gives immediate feedback, allowing users to practice in a safe, failure-free environment," says Graeme Duncan, chief executive officer at Caspian Learning.

Highly aesthetic, immersive Caspian Learning 3D simulations authored in Thinking Worlds and delivered through Adobe Director and the Adobe Shockwave Player have transformed the learning experiences for many learners.

International Market Expansion

Caspian Learning solutions have penetrated deeply into a wide variety of vertical markets including automotive, pharmaceutical, defense, education, and more.

Three elements make Caspian Learning’s Serious Games engine unique: it has learning science at its core; the platform enables technical novices to create complex, console type applications without any coding or 3D expertise; and the Shockwave delivery platform is ubiquitous allowing the company to transform the level of graphical and cognitive fidelity that can be delivered to learners via the web even in secure environments.

"We chose Adobe solutions because of the secure, thin-client delivery capabilities and for the powerful deployment possibilities they offer," says Chris Brannigan, founder and chief creative officer at Caspian Learning.

Adds Brannigan, "Our research shows that with Adobe Director and the Shockwave platform, our customers are totally pleased with the software, the plug-in, and the Adobe brand. That gives us a definite advantage in the marketplace."

Training Students, Soldiers, and Sales Staff

From media conglomerates to foreign defense troops, Caspian Learning solutions meet a wide variety of training and educational needs.
For example, in the media sector Caspian Learning is working with companies to develop new educational programs on Thinking Worlds technology. 

According to Brannigan, companies recognize the need to deliver real immersion, high fidelity and robust learning to learners, especially when they come from "generation Y."

Educational games developed using the powerful combination of Thinking Worlds and Adobe solutions will result in a new standard of fidelity and interactivity.

In the defense sector, Caspian-built games are the ideal solution to train personnel everywhere. For example, soldiers operating check points in foreign lands—where language, customs, and cultures can mean the difference between life and death—can role play various scenarios in contextually relevant 3D environments. Multiple variables can be changed to simulate heightened interpersonal tension. Caspian Learning’s serious games teach military police about search and seizure procedures—creating real-world scenarios to critical procedures like how to question people, in what order to search rooms, and what to do in the face of agitation.

In the corporate and adult learning sector, organizations are leveraging Caspian Learning solutions for sales training, conflict management, meeting skills, and more. "If you want people to practice key behaviors that make or break performance results, we can provide a custom built serious game in any contextual environment that will run in a hardware agnostic setting," says Duncan.

In developing the Thinking Worlds platform as well as when building custom solutions for clients, the staff at Caspian Learning relies on the seamless integration and smooth launch-and-edit workflows among Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection tools to streamline production. They use Adobe Photoshop CS3, Adobe Illustrator CS3, and Adobe Fireworks CS3 day in and day out to produce user interfaces, and to create diagrams, maps, and other design assets that go into games.

==Caspian / Adobe== Productive Synergy

Caspian Learning staff, its clients, and even students can rapidly author seemingly complex games inside the Thinking Worlds solution and translate and deploy them using Adobe Director and Adobe Shockwave Player. "The easy-to-use interface, the totally integrated framework, native 3D rendering, and the extensibility of Adobe Director with Xtras add up to a powerful authoring tool," says Duncan.

Caspian Learning has been able to expand because its solutions provide scalability, high performance, fast downloads, and easy-to-use content authoring capabilities that are widely adopted by a worldwide community of Adobe developers.

"We have proven that great 3D learning experiences can be authored within Thinking Worlds and delivered through the industry standard Adobe Director and the Adobe Shockwave Player," says Duncan.

In today’s competitive environment, organizations can leverage Caspian Learning solutions to improve employee skills, and schools can prepare learners for success in the 21st century. In both cases, Caspian Learning uses Adobe Director and the Adobe Shockwave Player to deliver tools that enable individuals to consume knowledge in contextually relevant ways.

Director represents a significant market for games: over 400 million installations of the Shockwave plugin (required to view Director content in a web browser), makes it available on 60% of the connected PCs.

See Also:
Caspian Learning Encouraging Mass Engagement With Serious Games
VOLVO CAR UK: Serious Games Replicating A Real-Life Showroom Experience
Where Serious Games In Education Is Heading