Army recruitment is not one-size-fits-all.
Army Game Studio, located at the Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center’s Software, Simulation, Systems Engineering and Integration Directorate, might be best known for “America’s Army,” the official videogame of the Army. More than simply a game, “America’s Army” is a realistic digital facsimile of the Army experience that can be used as a recruitment tool.
However, “America’s Army” is just one tool in AGS’s toolbox. The team, which already partially functioned remotely before COVID-19, did not let the pandemic slow them down as they rolled out their newest technological recruitment tool – the Trauma Triage Table.
The table enables users to electronically diagnose and treat different injuries and ailments that a Soldier might encounter. The table will be rolled out for use at Army recruitment events.
In addition to recruitment, the studio uses commercial videogame technology to produce state-of-the-art training applications for Soldiers, including the Transportable, Reconfigurable, Integrated Crew Trainer; Javelin Enhanced Producibility Basic Skills Trainer; Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Virtual Crew and Dismount Trainers; and the Common Remotely Operated Weapons Station Trainers. They offer both rotary and fixed-wing trainers that use immersive technology to teach flight skills.
“These are the desks of the future,” Trainers Division Chief Frank Blackwell said.
But AGS hasn’t limited its educational reach to training its Army personnel. Setting its sights in the classroom, AGS’s award-winning STARS: Elements app was developed for high school chemistry teachers to help their students learn and visualize the foundations of chemistry. STARS: Elements features visual learning tools that let students explore the periodic table, elements and atomic structure, through interactive models, games and challenges. The app is available for free on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
“The Army Game Studio has capitalized on commercial videogame and interactive multimedia technology to develop government-owned training products that achieve the highest rate of return to the warfighter at the lowest investment cost, especially when compared with alternative development strategies,” Blackwell said.
The studio employs a full roster to make this variety of technology come to life, including an art team which creates the concept art; 3D modeling and animation, game/level design team; programming team and hardware team who has extensive product development capabilities for websites; mobile applications; and more. Its facilities include five laboratories, a motion capture studio and a sound studio.
With the pandemic limiting in-person tours of their facility, AGS took their technological expertise and applied it to creating a virtual tour which they launched in June.
“We run the whole spectrum,” AGS Director Marsha Berry said. “You have your creative folk and your engineers – it makes a good combination.”