The U.S. Army is not new to using simulated virtual environments for training. In fact, almost all soldiers have used virtual simulations, according to Douglas Maxwell, the science and technology manager for virtual world strategic applications at the Army’s Simulation & Training Technology Center in Orlando.
The problem is that, for the most part, each individual simulation is designed with a specific purpose—and it can take months of development, and require the combined efforts of subject matter experts, instructional designers, 3D artists, and developers.
“You do one unit of training, in one software simulation, and you move on,” he says. “I wanted to create a general-purpose trainer, with persistence in-world. You log in and start where you left off from.”