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First-Person Shooter Modified For Fire Drill Simulation

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the crap-where's-a-medkit dept.

First Person Shooters (Games) 158

Hugh Pickens writes "Researchers at Durham University have modified a video game and turned it into a fire drill simulator using the Source engine (the 3D game engine used to drive Half-Life 2), and created a virtual model of one of the university's departments. Dr. Shamus Smith said that although 3D modeling software was available, modifying a video game was faster, more cost effective, and had better special effects. 'We were interested in using game technology over a customized application and the Source Engine, from Half-Life, is very versatile,' said Smith. 'We used the simulation to see how people behaved in an actual fire situation and to train people in "good practice" in a fire.' The team says the virtual environment helped familiarize people with evacuation routines and could also help identify problems with a building's layout. One problem, however, was that while the simulation worked for most people, those who played a lot of video games did some unusual things when using the simulation. 'If a door was on fire, [the gamers] would try and run through it, rather than look for a different exit,' said Smith." This makes me wonder to what extent entertainment software will fill the role of non-entertainment software as the tools and engines become more and more powerful. Ars mentions related news that the US Dept. of Naval Research is dumping millions of dollars into "virtual reality-like simulations of small-scale urban conflicts." It's unclear whether this is related to the US Army's similar program.

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Mods (5, Funny)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735465)

'If a door was on fire, [the gamers] would try and run through it, rather than look for a different exit,' said Smith."

You need the firesuit mod for that perk.

'Carry over ' relexes happen in real life too (5, Interesting)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735517)

Reminds me of the story of the airline pilot who, late at night and after a long transatlantic trip, smashed into the back of a car at a red lght. When questioned, he swore that his first relex was to pull back on the steering wheel and fly over the obstacle rather than brake...

Getting back on topic, why not? Simulation programs have traditionally been bespoke, hugely expensive and frequently less 'rich' than some games. Also, actually doing a fire drill in a large complex is not without risk and expense.

Re:'Carry over ' relexes happen in real life too (3, Interesting)

u38cg (607297) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736119)

I can believe that, though he should really have been driving so as not to be that close in the first place. I rode horses most of my life, and when I came to learn to drive I found it very unsettling indeed not to have the ability to push the car sideways with my leg. Also, driving without wearing a helmet of some kind made me feel kinda naked.

Re:'Carry over ' relexes happen in real life too (4, Interesting)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736261)

That's rather interesting, I wonder, have you tried riding a motorcycle?

Re:'Carry over ' relexes happen in real life too (3, Funny)

kabocox (199019) | more than 5 years ago | (#26737475)

I can believe that, though he should really have been driving so as not to be that close in the first place. I rode horses most of my life, and when I came to learn to drive I found it very unsettling indeed not to have the ability to push the car sideways with my leg. Also, driving without wearing a helmet of some kind made me feel kinda naked.

Um, you can wear a helmet in a car if you really want to.

Re:'Carry over ' relexes happen in real life too (5, Funny)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 5 years ago | (#26738221)

> First-Person Shooter Modified For Fire Drill Simulation

Fire Chief: Look at all these dead bodies. >:( You guys are in a lot of trouble!

Building Owner: Well, our simulation analysis showed you could easily escape by just rocket jumping out the window...

Re:'Carry over ' relexes happen in real life too (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26738829)

Actually in most states wearing a helmet in the car is illegal.

Re:'Carry over ' relexes happen in real life too (2, Interesting)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736497)

Simulators can give you some insight, but it is far different then actually doing it in a physical environment. Ever drive a racing car game? It's a bit different then driving a racing car - hence why you smash into the wall all the time in the game. For this it would be great to learn the routes, but they need to introduce stress into the situation. At the very least the game, while designed to look like the building, will not look just like it (cartoon pixels of a wall do not look like a wall).

As for gamers doing things that someone normally one would not do, how about doing a triple twist jump while putting two shots into the heads of your classmates and landing safely on the other side? :)

Re:'Carry over ' relexes happen in real life too (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 5 years ago | (#26737899)

Indeed - depending at what point in a takeoff/landing roll something like that happened the appropriate solution would be to go full throttle and try to get over it. Big jets have long breaking distances (especially during takeoff when weight is maximized and the engines take seconds to spool down). Past a certain point the only reason they would hit the brakes at all is that fewer people would die when you hit whatever is past the end of the runway than if you were to try to take off and come crashing back down on whatever is past the end of the runway.

This stuff is drilled into pilots and briefed before every flight. Both pilots know exactly when they will hit the brakes and when they'll just do their best and push forward (knowing that quite likely they'll end up dead but maybe they can pull it off). A good analogy would be the driver of a train who sees a car stopped on a crossing 20 seconds ahead. He can hit the horn, and hit the brakes, but if the car doesn't move the outcome of the next 30 seconds is inevitable.

The irony is that it would probably be illegal for that pilot to fly another leg for a few days, but driving a car is just fine. We just take for granted having so many car accidents in a day...

Re:Mods (5, Funny)

shbazjinkens (776313) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735547)

Left out of the story was the gamers' unusual tendency to repeatedly crouch and stand over the top of victims, rather than drag them to safety.

Re:Mods (4, Funny)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736233)

Not to mention one of the [gamer] testers managed to put out a fire behind a wall. At which point the victim went "ADMIN! HE'S HAXXING!!!".

Re:Mods (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735737)

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Re:Mods (4, Informative)

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Re:Mods (0, Offtopic)

Ogman (591131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736819)

Oh cool, I've been looking for a ball washer!

Re:Mods (5, Funny)

Corunet (856471) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736033)

IDDQD!

Re:Mods (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26736397)

Let me remind you that this means instant death in some non-Doom games (not talking 'bout engines) -- such as Heretic.

Re:Mods (1)

NudeAvenger (1391803) | more than 5 years ago | (#26738381)

I think IDSPISPOPD would help a little more.... though IDKFA means more fun.

Re:Mods (2, Interesting)

billcopc (196330) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736375)

Get the rocket launcher and make your own exit ?

If they made their fire drill look and act like a game, that's their own damn fault. Real people don't strafe-jump down the stairs either. In fact, real people tend to just stand around staring at each other, complaining about how the alarm makes it difficult to work and how some people take these drills too seriously. After a few minutes they start asking "Should we leave ?" as their cube neighbour shrugs "I dunno, let's go raid the vending machines!".

People are (mostly) idiots, and I don't know of any game that can accurately simulate that "social lemming" aspect of human behavior. It's not the drill procedure itself that's so terrible, once people are moving, they will continue following whoever's in front of them. It's getting them to start moving that's the hard part.

Re:Mods (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26736643)

The "Should we leave?" effect is the result of over testing of the fire alarms. The building is constantly testing the alarms, so you just assume that if they go off it's just a test. For the most part, that assumption is true.

Re:Mods (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26737445)

Not to mention it's usually not that important. If you're in a giant cubicle area in a one floor building and you can't see the fire you've got quite a long time before you're in any sort of danger.

Re:Mods (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 5 years ago | (#26737943)

I tried circle-strafing with the fire extinguisher and it didn't work very well.

Re:Mods (1)

Vegeta_356 (1199219) | more than 5 years ago | (#26738229)

I would personally just use the gravity gun... or blow a hole in the wall's house with a rocket launcher

But, but... (2, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735467)

video games are dangerous!

How are we supposed to ban them now?

Re:But, but... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735489)

Don't worry, someone will certainly use the map for CS. Then just wait 'til someone starts shooting someone somewhere and this will be used as the example why it is BAD, BAD, BAD.

Re:But, but... (4, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735521)

Don't worry, someone will certainly use the map for CS.

Hmmm. Just imagine the look on your coworkers' face when you whip out an AK-47 when you hear a fire alarm.

Re:But, but... (5, Interesting)

dhanes (735504) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736009)

Why hasn't the professor been arrested like that kid that made maps of his highschool for a FPS?

Re:But, but... (1)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735667)

Because it's wrong that the take-away lesson seems to be that you're alone and you should open all possible doors?

Re:But, but... (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736013)

Jack Thompson is already preparing legislation detailing the alarming connections between Videogames and Arson...

Re:But, but... (1)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | more than 5 years ago | (#26737957)

Indeed. Wasn't there a student suspended for creating a DOOM map that looked like a school (where you can go around and... [gasp] shoot things?)

The difference (3, Funny)

krnpimpsta (906084) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735537)

while the simulation worked for most people, those who played a lot of video games did some unusual things when using the simulation. 'If a door was on fire, [the gamers] would try and run through it, rather than look for a different exit,' said Smith.

I'm pretty sure I'd also run through the fire, at least a few times or until video-game-death, just to see what happens..
Obligatory XCKD link [xkcd.com]

Oh the irony (1)

Vandil X (636030) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735583)

First video games allegedly are the cause for kids to shoot up their high school. Now they're using the Half-life engine for educational simulations?

Sounds a bit like having their cake and eating it, too.

On a more humorous note, I wonder if any of the players tried strafe-jumping down the hall to exit the building faster!

Re:Oh the irony (0, Flamebait)

jamesmcm (1354379) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735643)

I think the availability of firearms is allegedly the cause for the school shootings, not just video games.

Re:Oh the irony (4, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735673)

I think the availability of firearms is allegedly the cause for the school shootings, not just video games.

No. That kid who shot people. He was the cause.

Re:Oh the irony (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26736091)

Hm, let's see. No kid--> eventually another kid runs amok and does the shooting. No firearm available--> no shooting.

Re:Oh the irony (5, Insightful)

eredin (1255034) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736445)

There will always be ways for bad people to do bad things. I seem to remember back in 2001 a handful of folks caused a lot of trouble using only boxcutters. You can't keep bad people from being bad, but you can make it so the good people can control the damage.

"25 States allow anyone to buy a gun, strap it on, and walk down the street with no permit of any kind: some say it's crazy. However, 4 out of 5 U.S. murders are committed in the other half of the country: so who is crazy?" - Andrew Ford

Re:Oh the irony (4, Interesting)

lpangelrob (714473) | more than 5 years ago | (#26738083)

"25 States allow anyone to buy a gun, strap it on, and walk down the street with no permit of any kind: some say it's crazy. However, 4 out of 5 U.S. murders are committed in the other half of the country: so who is crazy?" - Andrew Ford

Is this because 4 out of 5 people live in the 25 states where you do need a permit?

Re:Oh the irony (1)

eredin (1255034) | more than 5 years ago | (#26738747)

Is this because 4 out of 5 people live in the 25 states where you do need a permit?

Even if the answer to that question is yes, that would indicate no correlation between ease of obtaining guns and the murder rate, not the positive correlation some would like to believe, or the negative correlation that is more likely true.

As far as permits go, I found this page [marylandshallissue.org] to have some interesting facts on the topic.

Re:Oh the irony (1)

mathx314 (1365325) | more than 5 years ago | (#26738143)

Out of curiosity: which half of the country has more gun murders? This looks like it could be a case of lying statistics, though I honestly don't know.

Re:Oh the irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26737967)

Bad modding here. This should have been modded as insightful.

Re:Oh the irony (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736153)

And something helped cause him to be the way he was. Not just his free choice.

Re:Oh the irony (1)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 5 years ago | (#26738061)

No, the kid who shot people. And the people who made the kid shoot people.

Re:Oh the irony (1)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735675)

Yeah, I can't really see this *not* happening: someone taking one look at the map for their (school|place of work) and saying to themselves, "gee, this would make for a fun after-hours match map..." This has been done since the days of Doom.

Re:Oh the irony (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736535)

Or the people who bitched about games are not involved in this program, and those who are for games are involved in this program? You know the news we get does not originate from the same person, it is from various people/groups.

Now someone just needs to hack the game, start out with a gun, and shoot up the students during the drill so he can get out faster.

I wonder (5, Funny)

dotar (1400363) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735621)

does diviant behaviour include looting the corpses of my co-workers in between running up to all the walls looking for the secret doors?

Re:I wonder (4, Funny)

c0p0n (770852) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735983)

Oh yes. [imageshack.us]

I used to work there... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735625)

... and in my more frustrated moments dreamed of seeing the building in this state :)

Oblig. (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735659)

'Tilde'

Console: Godmode

[enter]

'Tilde'

Console: Allweapons

[enter]

Buaahahahaha!

Sorry. Really. It had to be done. :P

Strat

(Yes, I know they aren't really valid commands, but they make the point.)

Hey strat, your post was so gay that... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735717)

...I decided to tell you to lick my salty chocolate balls. I am a 6'3" basketball player so you know how delicious they are going to be after practice tonight. C'mon, lick them. Lick them because you are gay and so are your posts.

--Gary

Re:Hey strat, your post was so gay that... (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736047)

Does your mommy know you're on the internet unsupervised?

Re:Hey strat, your post was so gay that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26736331)

Heh, no... you should have him go here [cowtax.com] and then report back about how stupid you are. Sheesh.

Re:Oblig. (1)

dotar (1400363) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735793)

Sadly, they ARE the actual commands in most games these days. I'm not sure what happened to IMAGINATION...

I know what DQD stands for... and I've played SPISPOPD

Re:Oblig. (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736019)

I'm not sure what happened to IMAGINATION...

Me either. I can't even conceive of the idea...

Strat

Re:Oblig. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26736405)

I wouldn't be surprised if I see somebody jumping up and down while running with a knife in that simulation.

Re:Oblig. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26738139)

That would work if it were Unreal Engine-based, but since it's using Source, it would be more like this:

>sv_cheats 1
>god
God Mode enabled
>impulse 101

Urban Navies? (4, Funny)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735661)

US Dept. of Naval Research is dumping millions of dollars into "virtual reality-like simulations of small-scale urban conflicts."

Mainly they've found they can't fit a battleship down small side streets...

Re:Urban Navies? (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736569)

Marines and Navy seals would be the beneficiaries of this technology. Though sailors may need it if they are on shore leave in a different country and something happens for them to have to fight/flee.

Fire doors (0, Redundant)

YourExperiment (1081089) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735689)

If a door was on fire, [the gamers] would try and run through it

Well, why not? Everyone knows fire only does 5-10 points of damage if you run through it quickly enough.

Re:Fire doors (2, Funny)

slackbheep (1420367) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735889)

And you'd expect a University to have sprung for the health and power stations.

Where is (2, Insightful)

corporal_clegg (547755) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735699)

Jack Thompson [slashdot.org] when you really need him!?

Seriously though, I am certain he is going to point to this as conditioned behavior caused by gaming, cause, you know, gamers will jump through an actual flaming door, despite the heat and all. A message for ya, Jack: Gamers may be conditioned by games, but only when actually playing games.

Cliffs and ponds are far more common than building fires and we don't see crumpled or floating bodies of gamers beside these natural hazards despite their low danger level in video games.

Re:Where is (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735965)

Captain Ahab Jack only chases after the Take2 white whale.

Re:Where is (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736859)

Chances are, when the gamer is in the position of a fire he will act like any other 8 year old school girl...scratch that, the 8 year old school girl will do what her training in school taught her (walk out calmly in line), while the 35 year old gamer will run around screaming or stay huddled in a corner "oh god my life is flashing before my eyes and I realized I wasted it on computer games". Same thing in a gun situation - who here believes Counter Strike really teaches gamers how to be (counter)terrorists?

Re:Where is (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#26738459)

who here believes Counter Strike really teaches gamers how to be (counter)terrorists?

I know that to defuse a bomb, you press the 'e' button on it.

Also, I know that you want to plant the bomb either in the counter-terrorists home, or some unrelated other country.

Oops, did I just politicize my joke? ;-)

Game moddability (1)

identity0 (77976) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735701)

I may as well ask here... I'm looking for a 3D engine to make a game that's not a FPS, more of a creatures game like Nintendogs or The Sims.

What game engines are the most suitable for that kind of modding, and are there any F/OSS 3d engines that are good? I'm thinking in terms of AI programmability, ease of creating models and levels, etc.

Re:Game moddability (2, Informative)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735765)

If you can code with C, try Cube [cubeengine.com] - otherwise you might want to look into the (now long-in-the-tooth) Adobe Director [adobe.com] - the language (you can use Lingo or a Javascript-esque version of Lingo) is a bit odd sometimes, and your games will most likely come out looking like something from 1999 rather than 2009, but it's good for people who really don't want to code much. With the added bonus that you can run Director apps in Browsers using the Shockwave plugin.

Re:Game moddability (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735773)

oh, and quite possibly look into Dark Basic [thegamecreators.com]

Re:Game moddability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26736011)

Crystal Space might just be what you're looking for - it looks pretty good by today's standards and in addition to different physics plugins to choose from, there's CEL (Crystal Space Entity Layer) for handling objects and such. IIRC there's also some work done on AI pathfinding ready to use. Most people seem to be interested in making FPS with it but it's by no means limited to that - or even more suitable at the expense of other genres - I've seen a demo of a car game and some 3rd person view. The license is LGPL and you can make levels with Blender3D with some export/import script.

Alternatively you could try what you can do with the Blender3D game engine, you could get results really quickly.

Re:Game moddability (1)

archammer2 (1041754) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736873)

Despite the fact that the Source engine is used for a lot of FPS games, I've seen FPS engines used to make games of other genres, as well. I'l sure I've played 2-and-a-half-D platformer that was made using the source Engine. (indie game, don't remember the title).
Plus, the game Anachronox [wikipedia.org] was built using the Quake 2 engine. A really under-rated RPG, IMHO.

Okay, (5, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735713)

I'm not a fire expert by any means but several things really annoyed me about the video linked to on the BBC article. Mostly about the realism of the situation and several to do with "training" people to do things correctly.

First - WHY DON'T THEY SHUT THE DOORS THAT LEAD TO A FIRE... chances are opening those doors where a fire was on the other side would probably have killed you quite quickly anyway, but for God's sake, SHUT THE DOOR, if you're not going that way to reduce the available oxygen. It's an FPS engine so you should be penalising people for not shutting the damn fire-doors after them.

Second - Why are the doors just "flung" open without checking - what happened to all the training I had as a child to put the back of my hand on the door, open it slowly etc. in case the fire was on the other side of the door I'm opening. You have an FPS engine, this should have been put in as your only "weapon".

Third - Why were there fires on metal stairs, and why only halfway up the staircase and WHY, when going into a stairwell which is obviously on fire within mere feet of the "down" stairs, do they continue to use the stairwell to go down? Abandon the attempt and back off if you don't want to die.

Fourth - No smoke. Fill the burning rooms with smoke, so that you can only just see the exit signs or, indeed, the fire. Much more realistic and useful (I can find my out of any building in broad daylight - that's not the problem you're testing here).

Fifth - That CS department modelled is really crap in terms of signposting the fire exits and I only saw one fire extinguisher on the entire three floors the character went through (though I might have missed one because it only occurred to me halfway through that I didn't rememeber seeing one). Stop making simulations and sort the real situation out if that model is any reflection on the actual physical location.

Re:Okay, (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735891)

I imagine that if it's like most university buildings, the doors have spring-loaded closers that simply weren't drawn in the map. Certainly I can't walk more than 5 yards before I find I've forgotten my keys and been locked out by the malevolent springy arms.

Re:Okay, (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736467)

Stair well door can not auto lock in a fire any more after the cook county building fire.

The fire code says the door must auto unlock.

ALSO WHERE ARE THE others people trying to push there way out at the same time?

Re:Okay, (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736681)

Not LOCK, close. In my case, my office door also latches when it closes for security, but the actual exit route doors just self-close as a fire prevention measure. YMMV, this is in the UK.

Re:Okay, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26736697)

Stair well door can not auto lock in a fire any more after the cook county building fire.

Which is in the USA, and hence irrelevant to the design of Durham University in England.

Re:Okay,... my score was 3 extinguishers (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26736143)

Fifth - That CS department modelled is really crap in terms of signposting the fire exits and I only saw one fire extinguisher on the entire three floors the character went through (though I might have missed one because it only occurred to me halfway through that I didn't rememeber seeing one).

I counted 3 Fire Extinguishers... is this part of the game?

[Video = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7867851.stm ]

Re:Okay, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26736243)

They just used the standard HL2 game - they did say they had no coding experience and didn't need to change anything (it is possible their own mod directory, but thats a 2 click setup and they won't have had to change any code) and all they did was fire up the Hammer World editor and make their own map.
If they did that then there really isn't any was the default HL2 engine (Source or Orange Box version) would be able to handle those interactions. They would NEED to edit the source code to do that. They'd need to add their own functionality to the engine beyond the standard.
Frankly, If i could get in the news for every crappy HL2 map I made i'd be sorted :)

Re:Okay, (1)

Kharny (239931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736311)

It isn't really good as a simulator anyway, since you can't feel heat or have a simulation of the heat of the fire.

Re:Okay, (2, Interesting)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736431)

What struck me was the the blasted character was BLOODY ALONE! When they make this a multiplayer simulation that supports 500 users in such a way that people die from the bottlenecks of egress and dead ends then I'll believe that it's useful.

Also, modeling smoke would have been very useful, too.

Also, once kids pass this "fire drill simulation" they should do what they did on the episode of the Office that aired after the Super Bowl on Sunday. :)

Re:Okay, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26736905)

There were 2 extinguishers in the movie.

They did have the haze effect from the fire and a little smoke off of it directly but nothing generated elsewhere.

They didn't do any additional programming for this, just map editing. All the features that they should have implimented would require a good amount of coding. Should have definitely put more in though. Heat & smoke effects when opening doors by blurring the screen and tinting it to make it hazey... slowing down character movement and 'jarring' it around so it doesn't move so smoothly when faced with smoke and intense heat, for instance.

Re:Okay, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26737137)

Is there no sprinkler system in that building? And why would you have a fire in the stairwell, the metal and concrete stairwell? Plus the video showed them going past numerous windows.

Re:Okay, (2, Informative)

dkf (304284) | more than 5 years ago | (#26737499)

Fourth - No smoke. Fill the burning rooms with smoke, so that you can only just see the exit signs or, indeed, the fire. Much more realistic and useful (I can find my out of any building in broad daylight - that's not the problem you're testing here).

Fire evacuation strategies for large buildings depend on getting people out before the smoke becomes dense enough to see (institutional smoke detectors are typically pretty sensitive and checked regularly). This is wise, because smoke is really dangerous (toxic gases it contains are the big problem) and is why, when that alarm goes off, you should make sure you evacuate yourself safely; you should have plenty of time, and if you do so you (and everyone else) will be safe. If you wait, you greatly increase the danger to yourself and others. And leave going near smoke to firemen with equipment and training.

(Yes, I've had fire evacuation warden training. Does it show?)

Re:Okay, (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 5 years ago | (#26738591)

You forgot one.

Sixth - Make sure all doors which have been deemed emergency exits will not open until up to 30 seconds after you push up against them.

I know it sounds stupid.. hell, I agree that it is stupid to make an emergency exit function in such a manner, but the point of your list seems to be enhancing the simulation to accurately reflect reality, and making emergency doors that open instantly doesn't.

If anyone is wondering where I've encountered such doors, just ask anyone staying in the dorms of UMBC [umbc.edu] .

Tea time (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735761)

Does this mean you can frag the others and then tea bag them?

digital running in our faculty building (4, Interesting)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735787)

Somebody once created a complete level of our faculty building for a 1st person shooter, and we got to play it in the computer room (really play the game, not fire drill, with 30+ people). It was awesome...

But most impressive was that I actually got lost really easily in the game, whereas I never got lost in reality.

Fu3k a gOat (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26735807)

Project returns gains Market share to get some eye

But what if people don't pay attention? (1)

B2K3 (669124) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735849)

And how do you simulate this [hulu.com] ?

Re:But what if people don't pay attention? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26736477)

That's easy:

"We're sorry, currently our video library can only be streamed within the United States."

That covers it for more than 95% of the world, anyways. If only all simulators were at least 95% perfect, we'd be in business.

September 11 or real disasters mod? (4, Insightful)

SystematicPsycho (456042) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735869)

Is someone with lots of spare time, and I'm sure there's many, planning on modding the fire escape game with a realistic simulation of S11 where you have to escape the building? Or how about the Titanic disaster or other disasters for that matter? Coz you know how sick people are, they're play it just to see if they would make it and probably pay money for it too. If it worked for Leisure suit Larry this one's a winner.

Re:September 11 or real disasters mod? (2, Interesting)

ultraexactzz (546422) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736857)

A 9/11 simulator might be useful in mapping out how the impact and subsequent fires changed how people could (and did) escape the catastrophe. For example, if the plane hit just so, would all of the exit stairwells have been on fire, or was there one in a corner of the building that was still usable? How long would it have been useable? I can see architects looking at such simulations to better design means of escape for tall buildings - perhaps if this wall had been reinforced, the stairwell would have been usable and X dozens of people could have escaped.

Of course, this would have to be done without raping the memories of the fallen, which is never a given when the Federal Government is concerned.

And if the insurgents are shooting at you... (3, Funny)

VShael (62735) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736105)

does the FPS trained soldier just run into middle screaming LEEEEEEROY JENKINSSSSSS!!!!!!! ?

Re:And if the insurgents are shooting at you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26736787)

Only if they had a bad kill to death ratio.

Otherwise they would:
1) hang back and wait for the insurgents to come to them (camping)

2) Circle behind the insurgent group, hoping they'll be occupied long enough with other people or issues

3) Dive behind cover while raining automatic fire at the insurgents. Cover will be analyzed to be sure it's big enough and made of something strong enough to stop bullets. Success will be determined by how fast they move in comparison to their game of choice's main character.

Unintended consequences? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26736179)

Maybe it's just me; I had this mental image of all the avatars lined up in the sim, then someone shouts 'fire!' and they pull out BFGs and unload on the boss :)

Also, what happens when you trample your virtual co-worker in desperate attempt to save yourself? Could make for strained relations afterwards.

To make it through the burning door (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26736425)

everyone runs faster with a KNIFE!

But what happens when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26736543)

...you put out the fire, BUT THE NOISE IS STILL THERE?!
Damn source engine and bugs.

Experienced it so many times... so damn annoying.

Standard office equipment: Crowbar (1)

jhsiao (525216) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736779)

...to get past those pesky flaming doors and those stacked FedEx boxes.

Re:Standard office equipment: Crowbar (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 5 years ago | (#26738077)

...to get past those pesky flaming doors and those stacked crates.

FTFY

Buying the game (1)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736799)

Tell me those guys managed to have a copy of HL2 bought with research funds, and I am ready to crown them my heroes

IMAGINE Lab (2, Informative)

spydabyte (1032538) | more than 5 years ago | (#26736871)

Georgia Tech's Department of Architecture IMAGINE lab [gatech.edu] has been doing similar simulations for awhile.

I prefer Dwight's method. (2, Funny)

antdude (79039) | more than 5 years ago | (#26737111)

See here [clearspring.com] . :D

Freeman = fireman (2, Funny)

msormune (808119) | more than 5 years ago | (#26738021)

I would swing the fire with my crowbar until it went out. Either that or some annoying person.

Run Through Burning Door == No Duh? (1, Funny)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 5 years ago | (#26738433)

Am I the only one who remembers the basic concept of "Stop, Drop, and Roll"? If I was in a burning building, and came across a burning door, if it led to the outside you bet your ass I'd run right through it. Better a few scorch-marks from flames that can be put out by such a simple concept, than the alternative of burning to death.

What's really wrong with the concept... (2, Insightful)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | more than 5 years ago | (#26738497)

Is that most games don't allow for real-world techniques. Case in point, Call of Duty 4. The first problem I have with this is it doesn't let you lean out from behind cover so you only expose your head and weapon. No properly trained person would expose his whole body. Second, you can't climb stuff you would normally be able to. Third, there is an exponential component to racking up kills. Once you get to call in air-strikes and helicopters, you usually rack up enough kills to get more air-strikes and helicopters. And since when to .223 rounds not blow through body armor at close range? And finally, a simulation only would be effective if you can't play it anymore once you're dead.

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