While Epic Games' Unreal Engine technology are usually enjoyed by gamers in titles such as Gears of War and Mass Effect, there's more to it than just fun and games.
Epic Games announced a long-term, multi-platform Unreal Engine 3 (UE3) reseller and support agreement with Virtual Heroes, a division of Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA), which will then work with departments, agencies and units of the U.S. and allied governments and to support government developers through the establishment of the Unreal Government Network (UGN).
Virtual Heroes will support UE3 technology on multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, Flash, PC, Mac, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita. The press materials also specifically mention support for the unreleased Nintendo Wii U. Going even further, Virtual Heroes will also support browser-based Unreal Engine content across secure government and corporate enterprise networks.
Examples of UGN projects underway include the following:
- The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) awarded ARA-Virtual Heroes a >$10M, multi-year contract under the Sirius program. The goal of the Sirius program is to develop serious games that result in better decision-making by teaching participants to recognize and mitigate the effects of their own biases when analyzing information used to make decisions.
- Virtual Heroes, in collaboration with the Duke University Human Simulation and Patient Safety Center, is creating an anesthesiology training application for Army physicians.
- Virtual Heroes is developing the UE3-powered HumanSim platform for medical education and training.
- The FBI Academy is using UE3 to develop a multiplayer crime scene training simulation to meet the needs of the FBI.
- A top five defense contractor and a national laboratory have licensed UE3 and UGN to address their needs for custom model integrations and visualization.
“We recognize the growing market needs of our government customers and are excited to have Virtual Heroes provide a full spectrum of focused services and support using our game engine technology,” said Dr. Michael Capps, president, Epic Games.
Previous UE3-powered projects developed by Virtual Heroes can be viewed here.