Game Development Reference
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for driving electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic
actuators. Later, during simulation, schemas
are “brought into life”, with components being
animated and lines and wires color-coded accord-
ing to their state. Yet, AS has recently included
an “animated virtual systems” module, which
allows implementing and integrating some com-
mon mechanical devices as conveyors, elevators
and grippers from which small synthetic plants
can be designed.
Authors have also developed their own ani-
mated virtual systems in the past. Proprietary
solutions have the great advantage of letting edu-
cators choose their systems and problems of inter-
est; yet, as control educators are not professional
programmers or digital artists, the emulated plants
tend to be simple and not much visually attractive.
“AUTOMGEN” (IRAI, 2010) is another clas-
sical commercial simulation software package
devoted to control education and training. Some
of its features are common to AS, but it is much
more oriented to the development of user defined
synthetic target systems, including 3D plants - Fig-
ure 2. Medium complexity plants can be designed
and controlled with “AUTOMGEN”. However,
the resulting plants have poor visual impact and
3D navigation is not intuitive.
Despite their differences, these and other
similar software packages, such as “FluidSIM”
and “CIROS”, both from FESTO Didactic,
(Festo Didactic, 2010a) and (Festo Didactic,
2010b), share a great potential in control education
and training. Yet, they also share the lack of great
visual impact, natural navigation in 3D scenarios,
and complete interactivity with the synthetic
environments allowing introducing disturbances
on the controlled plant and forcing failures in
sensors and actuators. Three years ago, a multi-
disciplinary team skilled in industrial automation,
computer programming, computer games technol-
ogy and digital art took this conclusion as the
existence of a potential business market in the
serious games for logic control training. They
establish their own company and concentrate their
professional activity exclusively in developing
the “ITS PLC Professional Edition” software
ITS PLC Professional Edition is a breakthrough
product. Currently it is the only solution in the
market that offers highly realistic synthetic sys-
Figure 2. Plant simulation in AUTOMGEM
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