First Xbox Live Arcade made with 3DVIA Virtools

By Virgile

Hello!

As you all know, 3DVIA software line is attractive to a pretty wide audience of users, including game developers. Now comes a new and great proof of it, with the first Xbox LIVE Arcade game, called Lazy Raiders, developed by talented Quebec base studio Sarbakan, and made with 3DVIA Virtools. This game just published by Microsoft Game Studios received excellent reviews, including a 8.0 out of 10 by IGN, and was categorized as “Impressive”. It also has a dedicated website: http://www.lazyraiders.com and can be tested and purchased here on Xbox LIVE marketplace since yesterday, Feb. 24, 2010.

We’re very proud to have worked with Sarbakan during the project, and look forward to meeting the team again at the San Francisco Game Developer Conference in March. The game will be playable on the 3DVIA booth, and the lead programmer of the game will be running several presentation session on the booth.

For those with an Xbox 360 at home, it’s time to play!

Virgile

Virtual World Concepts for CPG: Challenges!

By Vincent

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In the first installment of this series, we talked about how CPG companies might apply the first-person POV popularized in MMORPGs like World of Warcraft to achieve a more lifelike experience with consumers in virtual store environments.  In the second installment we explored how CPG companies are leveraging Second Life – a multi-user virtual environment (“MUVE”) – to enhance both their consumer-facing activities and their internal operations.  Today we’ll discuss some of the practical challenges of using virtual world technologies in CPG operations.

Part 3—Challenges to Using Virtual World Technologies in CPG

There are technical challenges to using virtual world technologies in a business setting.  Environments like Second Life are hardware-intensive; to operate effectively they require an amount of CPU, RAM, graphics acceleration, and bandwidth that many corporate end user machines simply don’t possess today.  But history has proven that market forces push the evolution of such technologies at such a rapid pace these technical challenges will be a non-factor in the near future.

What I find more interesting are the socio-psychological challenges of using these technologies in daily CPG operations, specifically in the realm of virtual product design teams.  These challenges cannot be mitigated as easily as simply providing machines with more horsepower.  How do we recreate the social dynamics experienced by design teams accustomed to working face-to-face in a virtual environment?  Is it even optimal to do so?

How do we foster trust, participation, and creativity in virtual teams?

There is a wealth of excellent research available on this topic.  Many researchers reference Social Presence Theory and Media Richness Theory to argue that the closer we get to replicating the experience of face-to-face interaction (i.e. the “richer” the medium), the better the technology is at conveying social presence, and therefore the more effective the communication will be between collaborators.

But others have challenged this theory.  In their research Effects of Communication Medium on Interpersonal Perceptions, Connell, Mendelsohn, Robins and Canny suggest that a

“moderate level of richness and presence… makes for a medium that inspires less inhibition of expression than either of its more fully rich or lean counterparts. The results suggest that moderate presence of others allows one to relax just enough to feel comfortable and less inhibited, and moderate richness allows enough, but not too many, expressive cues to still manage impressions.”

In developing their Embodied Social Presence Theory, Dr. Brian Mennecke et al. (www.vrac.iastate.edu) extended Social Presence Theory to investigate how the “physical” body of an avatar adds to the richness of communication by heightening the sense of engagement between virtual actors.

“It is the perceptions of the interaction mediated through the body that gives the user a sense of engagement that is more involving than would be the case in other media. Key to this interactive potential are the shared contexts, shared spaces, shared objects, shared activities, and the tools for interaction that exist within the milieu of artifacts that define the shared virtual experience.”

Check out this excerpt from PBS’ Frontline presentation “Digital Nation” that shows how IBM is leveraging embodiment in Second Life to facilitate internal meetings.

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I am working with Dr. Mennecke to identify industry partners for field research on Embodied Social Presence Theory; if you are interested in participating please contact me directly.

Virtually,

Vincent

PLM Protects Your Life

By Michael

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Products which intimately impact the human body and could be harmful are prone to a myriad of quality assurance regulations put forth by law.

This is the case for the medical domain with its pharmaceutical drugs and devices, the food industry and also cosmetics. The concern of regulations is to assure proper formulation and quality, to protect us from unwanted or accidental effects – ranging from causing irritations to seriously affecting health or even threatening life.

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In most cases the consumer has no means to assess if a product is good or potentially harmful from looking at it on the outside. We should be aware that this applies to almost everything we eat … or use in bathroom. What can we do? As a member of our highly developed civilization we must boldly trust that someone else has done adequate testing and taken precautions “before we take a bite of it”.

asian_food_200 Governmental agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration, one of the network of regulation authorities in the US, with their scientific experts and research machinery attempt to take care of this challenge by putting forward constructs of rules and regulations, for the manufacturers of such critical products.

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To comply those manufacturers ought to have operational processes that set them apart from other manufacturing companies. And regulations apply to different stages of the product life cycle: production, packaging, storing and shipping. They also determine the product’s usage and limits of use.

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With the large variety of existing products we have an evenly large variety of regulatory instructions which apply. PLM is there to help manufacturers governing those complex patterns, to comply with regulations in a manageable and transparent way.

Dassault Systèmes Alliance Partner Integware Inc. is specializing to help manufacturing companies using PLM to guide them through the maze of regulations. With all their know-how in life science and consumer package goods industries Integware provides customizable solution modules.  These modules are based on ENOVIA PLM as part of Dassault Systèmes industry solutions, which are put to work for individual customers and their usage.

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Using a PLM regulatory compliance solution fully endorses the spirit of Total Quality Management . Quality system processes embedded in the PLM system guide users to follow the rules and comply with regulations. Implementation of corrective and preventive action is enforced. Changes - and their effect on compliance – can be managed efficiently and effectively, thus lowering the risk for human error, non-compliance and failure.

In a nutshell, PLM systems give manufacturers the power to govern their products’ entire impact on humans and nature. Industry-specific know-how of companies like Integware is essential to leverage the maximum of value for all.

This concludes today’s view on 3D PLM applications and the many contributions brought by  Dassault Systèmes’ Solution Partners.

Although there was not much of 3D today – nevertheless I hope I was able to provide an interesting view on this important topic.

Best,
Michael



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Beyond PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), Dassault Systèmes, the 3D Experience Company, provides business and people with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations. 3DSWYM, 3D VIA, CATIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA, EXALEAD, NETVIBES, SIMULIA and SOLIDWORKS are registered trademarks of Dassault Systèmes or its subsidiaries in the US and/or other countries.