Game Development Reference
control science and its associated technology in
introductory automation programs.
The major concern for the near future is to
keep ITS PLC as the best serious game for PLC
programming education and training. As such,
additional educational and technical features will
be available in future versions of ITS PLC. These
will be the result of adopting even more sophisti-
cated computer games technology, more flexible
PLCs interfaces and new virtual sensing devices.
Central to this chapter was the ITS PLC software
package, a serious game that includes five training
environments for PLC programming education
and training. This software package was developed
by a multidisciplinary engineering team particu-
larly skilled in industrial automation, computer
programming, computer games technology and
digital art. The business plan was to join the
leadership of the business market of the serious
games for logic control education. Yet, this goal
was mostly dependent of the acceptance of ITS
PLC from both, trainers and trainees, as a “de
facto” effective training tool, and its subsequent
adoption by worldwide universities, technical
schools and industrial enterprises.
This ambition defined the highly demanding
and breakthrough requirements, both educational
and technical, for ITS PLC: highly realistic 3D
synthetic systems representing five particularly
relevant industrial plants; high quality graphics
enabling full interactivity with trainees, includ-
ing manual control, handling of moving parts
and fault injection; design of virtual sensors and
actuators that can exchange data in real-time with
any PLC through an USB data acquisition board;
usage of the latest technologies from the video and
computer games industry, such as real-time 3D
graphics, physics and sound; compatibility with
modern but not extremely powerful computers,
including desktops, laptops and even netbooks;
supporting documentation easy to read and avail-
able in the most common spoken languages.
The effective value of the product and its ac-
ceptance among trainers and trainees was testified
by three very interesting cases studies from two
countries. The first has shown how virtual sce-
narios complement real training systems and can be
used to investigate real problems; the usage of ITS
PLC in an “edutainment” scenario was presented
as a second case; the third case has testified the
benefits ITS PLC for a better understanding of
The work mentioned in the “French success
stories” is integrated in the frame of the CPER
project EDUCASCOL, and is supported by
Champagne-Ardenne district and the association
Arango, F., Aziz, E. S., Esche, S. K., & Chassapis,
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Barnes, T., Encarnação, L. M., & Shaw, C. D.
(2009). Serious Games. IEEE Computer Graph-
ics and Applications , 29 (2), 18-19. doi:10.1109/
Bolton, W. (2009). Programmable Logic Control-
lers (5th ed.). Newnes.
Callaghan, M. J., McCusker, K., Losada, J. L.,
Harkin, J. G., & Wilson, S. (2009). Teaching
Engineering Education Using Virtual Worlds
and Virtual Learning Environments. In ACT '09.
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