Unreal Engine 3 will now serve the United States military

By Prarthito Maity , Updated Jul 30, 2013 10:51 AM EDT

Developing and playing video games is considered one of the best affairs in the world. But what happens when things start getting serious and the very games we have been playing to pass time are destined for something even greater? Such is the case with the popular Unreal 3 Engine.

Epic's Unreal Engine 3 has been one of the most flourishing middleware engines of all time, and has even provided a breakthrough in gaming that influenced most of the last generation. Most of the recognition that the engine got was based on the fact that it simply supported largely identical multiplayers across a number of systems. Now, however, the engine is set to reach even greater heights by helping serving the country's defense. 

According to reports, Intelligent Decisions has announced that it would be making use of Epic's influential Unreal Engine 3 middleware to power its military VR training program, a virtual reality combat simulator for the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM).

As stated, RDECOM will use UE3 to develop the trustworthiness of autonomous avatars' behavior within the Dismounted Soldier Training System (DSTS) simulation, and aiming to create a realistic training environment in the process.

"Unreal Engine 3 will give ID's training scenario composers the ability to integrate an incoming fire haptic feedback system, full skeletal controls, and to customize terrain, weather, enemy forces, and other treacherous aspects of real life combat missions," said Clarence Pape, Vice President of Simulation and Training at Intelligent Decisions.

"We selected the Unreal Government Network because it gives us access to a professional-grade ecosystem of resources that include full Unreal Engine source code access, technical support, training, and pre-existing simulation tools. These capabilities will enable us to provide a new level of content fidelity and production efficiency for our customers."

With the newly acquired license, Intelligent Decisions will join the Unreal Government Network, a partnership between Virtual Heroes' Applied Research Associates and Epic Games that licenses Unreal Engine technology to government contractors.

"We are extremely proud to welcome the Intelligent Decisions team into the Unreal Government Network. ID consistently leads the simulation industry with its end-to-end customized virtual training programs and the adaptation of wearable device integration for training and mission rehearsal," said Jerry Heneghan, Licensing Manager for the UGN.

This isn't the first time that UE3 has been used for something other than games. The children's show LazyTown used it to generate virtual sets for real-time integration with actors and puppets. Likewise, the FBI also used it something similar the army plans on, licensing the Unreal Development Kit in March last year to use in a simulator for training.

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