If you have the June 2013 copy of Military Training Technology magazine, check out page 23!
There’s a piece in their special section on Serious Gaming, where Sundog’s founder Frank Kane discusses how we can help improve simulation and training even in the face of declining defense budgets.
An online copy is available. MT2 asked us, “In today’s austere budget environment, what solutions are your company offering the military in the serious gaming arena to help meet training needs over the next five years?” Here’s our response:
Sundog Software’s whole model is to produce environmental effect technology that’s just as home in AAA-quality video games as it is in military training simulators, and we price it the same for both markets – making it accessible even with shrinking military budgets. Our Triton Ocean SDK takes the same sort of 3D water waves, spray, and foam you’d see in top video games today, and goes one step further using real oceanographic models and simulation of specific Beaufort scales and Douglas Sea States to make it realistic enough for training purposes. Our SilverLining Sky, 3D Cloud, and Weather SDK lends beautiful skies and clouds to consumer flight simulators and games, as well as to training simulators that need realistic skies, volumetric clouds, precipitation, and lighting for specific times, locations, and weather conditions.
By catering to the needs of both the training and simulation markets, we end up with better products for both. Games that use our technology are physically accurate due to our training requirements, and training simulators are more immersive due to the graphics quality demanded by our gaming customers. It ends up being a symbiotic relationship.
We’re able to offer our 3D water, sky, and cloud effects at a much lower price than competing products made exclusively for the military training and simulation industry, since the game developer market is larger and also demands lower price points. A video game developer isn’t about to purchase an expensive dongle for every copy they sell, so our license model is a flat, modest amount for royalty-free distribution with a single title or training program. That saves money for military training programs in the long run, and is also a whole lot simpler to maintain.
Our low-cost sky, cloud, and ocean technology integrates well with free, open-source graphics frameworks such as OpenSceneGraph, Ogre, and osgEarth. Our products also support the inexpensive Unity game engine, which is increasingly being used for simulation and training. It’s possible today to create high-fidelity image generators capable of simulating the entire Earth without incurring any per-channel licensing costs. Technology such as ours crossing over from the game development world, combined with the maturation of open-source frameworks, is making immersive training environments possible with very modest budgets.