Early Synthetic Prototyping: Exploring Designs and Concepts within Games

Report Number: NPS-AM-14-191

Series: Acquisition Management

Category: Game Play

Report Series: Sponsored Reports

Authors: Kate Murray

Title: Early Synthetic Prototyping: Exploring Designs and Concepts within Games

Published: 2014-11-01

Sponsored By: Acquisition Research Program

Status: Published--Unlimited Distribution

Research Type: Graduate Student

Full Text URL: http://acquisitionresearch.net/files/FY2014/NPS-AM-14-191.pdf

Keywords: Early Synthetic Prototyping, game play


Early Synthetic Prototyping (ESP) is a process and set of tools that enable warfighters to inform technology development and acquisition decisions by assessing emerging technologies in a game environment. Collaborators in acquisition, science and technology, and industry can develop models and scenarios for play and assessment. ESP allows an unbounded increase in potentially disruptive ideas to be explored at minimal cost by inviting warfighters at all levels to drive, define, and refine future systems.
We conducted a study asking: 1. What feedback can be gathered from game play? 2. Would that feedback be valuable? To this end, groups of military officers were engaged in several scenarios to explore an unmanned vehicle concept called Robotic Wingman. Through the game sessions, players expressed ideas about the characteristics of a preferred interface and how to best employ Wingman. Using a game environment to explore design concepts early in the acquisition process can be applied to early requirement refinement and rudimentary trade-off analysis. The encouraging results of this preliminary work demonstrate a strong potential to leverage game environments to explore revolutionary concepts to efficiently and effectively shape the future of the Department of Defense.