Cary 3D Firm Joins U.S. Military Training Consortium
Posted September 21, 2006
CARY, N.C. — 3Dsolve
, a developer of simulation training programs, is joining a consortium of federal agencies and private software firms that is focused on developing military training and deployment simulation scenarios.
The "America's Army" group created the online and PC game that has nearly 7 million registered users and resides on more than 2,000 servers. The consortium is directed by the Software Engineering Directorate at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama.
"This is a big deal for us because America's Army not only such a popular game but also such a popular tool for building simulations for the military," said Frank Boosman, 3Dsolve's chief operating officer. "Not only is America's Army one of the leading multi-player games on the Internet, it also has been used to build a variety of training solutions. So far they are involved in over 30 projects or delivered solutions."
3Dsolve has developed one program called 3D4M that allows as many as 50 simultaneous users in a "live" environment. Another, 3Dnever, is utilized by the Army's Signal Corps for training. A third, 3Dwave, is used by the Navy for anti-terrorism and force protection training.
More Money, More Business
Being made a part of the consortium is a major boost for privately held 3Dsolve both in terms of money and credibility as well as opening doors to more government businessman, Boosman said.
"There are two things this buys us besides the obvious revenue we will derive from project work," he said. "Yes, we do believe this is an endorsement of us. We are part of a group of external list of companies, and it's not a large list. We feel privileged to be a part of the project.
"This also gives us the ability to do more business with other government agencies without going through the standard bidding process. The price bidding has already been done in bringing us and other team members on board."
For example, Boosman said, if the Army needed a training program related to a Middle East scenario, 3Dsolve "literally could get started in a week or two."
3Dsolve signed a five-year contract to become part of the consortium and is already completing one project. Boosman said the company has high expectations for the amount of work the consortium is likely to demand.
"I can say our goal is to get to the point where we have a dedicated team working on America's Army projects," he added.
The America's Army consortium has other Triangle relationships, too. The project utilizes the Unreal Engine 3, which was developed by Raleigh-based Epic Games. Virtual Heroes, another Cary-based firm, helped develop the original America's Army game.
"3Dsolve brings together a unique combination of deep computer gaming experience, proven simulation learning expertise, and a solid understanding of how to work with military customers," said Chris Chambers, deputy director of the Army Game Office, in a statement. "We expect them to make immediate contributions to the America's Army program, and to help even more organizations take advantage of simulation learning solutions based on the America's Army platform."
3Dsolve has already received advanced certification from U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command for interactive multimedia instruction.
"They had a number of reasons to bring us in," Boosman said of the consortium. "They have a continuing need for more development resources to turn two. Second, they did look at our general 3D expertise in terms of modeling, simulation and visualization.
"They also looked at our specific background in training based on other work we have already done for the Army, plus our background in game development,"
Long 3D History
3Dsolve has a long history in the Triangle, gaming and 3D development. Chief technical Officer David Smith founded 3D software firm Virtus, which later teamed with Tom Clancy to launch gaming firm Red Storm Entertainment. Virtus also partnered with Michael Crichton to launch the game company Timeline, which later closed. Richard Boyd, who is 3Dsolve's chief executive officer, led 3Dvillage, another Virtus spin-off. Boosman also had roles at Virtus, Red Storm and Adobe, where he was part of the original Adobe Acrobat team.
3Dsolve currently has 26 employees and is profitable, Boosman said. Its founders bootstrapped the company before taking on an undisclosed defense industry investor in late 2004.
The company, founded in 2001, recently was recognized as one of Military Training Technology magazine's top 100 firms.