Old 06-26-2008, 08:20 PM Offline   #1 (permalink)



 
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Default Zero Hour Trains EMTs With Virtual Worst-Case Scenarios

</img>: Virtual Heroes, the game studio that collaborated on America's Army, has partnered with the Department of Homeland Security on Zero Hour: America's Medic. Training first responders for real-life natural disasters and terrorist attacks is the idea, but anyone can jump in and play through the realistic scenarios. Utilizing Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3 technology, players assume the role of an EMT and encounter scenarios that could occur in real life. The objective is to assess the problem and save as many lives as possible, even in the midst of major disasters like an earthquake or a lethal cyanide attack that derails a train.
Interacting with patients is an essential part of Zero Hour. Players diagnose symptoms that victims report. This process doesn't always go smoothly in chaotic conditions, and the player is often hurried on to other serious cases.
</img>: In some cases, what appears to be a flu can be much more severe. Epic's Unreal Engine 3 brings out all of the details in these patients, including the red in their eyes. It's important to read victims' visual cues as well as converse with them.
</img>: Zero Hour trains players how to properly do things in actual emergencies, like setting up a triage area, and then throws them into virtual situations that require them to parlay those lessons into practice. For instance, it's important to bring the right gear based on the information received from Dispatch in the ambulance.
</img>: When a freight train derails near a heavily populated train station and releases cyanide into the air, victims run out of the station. As medical commander, the player must set up a triage area and sort through these patients as quickly as possible, making sure proper treatment is administered.
</img>: A succession of bombs go off during the early innings of the St. Lillo Lions home baseball game. Firefighters alert the player that radioactivity is present. Amid extreme chaos -- and quickly -- the player must set up a triage area a safe distance away from the scene and treat victims of the dirty bomb.
</img>: An earthquake has turned buildings to rubble. Setting up a safe haven for treatment as aftershocks roll through the disaster scene means treating the victims strewn throughout the area is extremely urgent.
</img>: Players arrive at each scene as EMTs inside an ambulance responding to a disaster call Dispatch. They must use pertinent information from Dispatch to assess the correct gear for each situation, as they see quake damage unfolding from the vehicle.
</img>: The city of St. Lillo doesn't exist, but it's based on real U.S. cities. Virtual Heroes worked with EMT personnel in urban hubs like Boston and New York City to add a flavor of those locales to the game, and elements of Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco were blended in.


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