Learning Technologies 2017 will see the launch of major new versions of Nitrospark’s games-based learning platform. Two important releases are timed with the cornerstone event of the UK’s learning calendar: Nitroworld 3.1 and the Nitrospark Games-Management System 2.1.
Nitrospark’s managing director, Jim Piggot, says that the new versions represent a real leap forward, maintaining the company’s position as the provider of premier, proven games-based learning software.
“Both new releases build on technology that’s been refined over almost a decade,” says Piggot, “adding in new features based partly on customer feedback and partly on our ambitious development roadmap.”
The new release of Nitroworld, version 3.1, adds significant functionality to the program’s developer interface, World Builder tools, Megaboards (interactive displays used to make almost any format of content available in-world), communications between learners and the artificial intelligence of non-playing characters. Nitroworld provides a 3D, avatar-based virtual environment for truly interactive learning.
Nitrospark’s Games-Management System jumps to version 2.1 and features user interface improvements for content-developers and partners – making it easier and more intuitive to create, edit and manage games-based learning modules. The Nitrospark Games-Management System is designed, as the name suggests, to make the development and management of games-based learning programmes as non-technical as possible.
Nitrospark’s products are designed to place games-based learning within reach of almost any organisation. According to Piggot, Nitrospark can make games-based learning as affordable and easy to develop as less engaging e-learning programmes. “There’s no price premium for games-based learning when using our products,” says Piggot. “We’ve broken down that barrier. And our new versions have dozens of new features – but there’s no increase in price.”
Nitrospark is exhibiting at Learning Technologies 2017, on stand M17. As part of the event, Nitrospark will be running a games-based learning programme ‘what do you know about the United Kingdom?’ – which is open to all of the event’s attendees. The ten people with the highest scores will receive a two-month Nitrospark software licence; the highest score will receive a Samsung Galaxy Tab E tablet, worth around £150.
This major release to the Nitroworld avatar-based virtual environment application contains dozens of improvements, including:
- Improved user interface and user experience
- Improved navigation
- Improved administration features, including creating admin-only locations (only visible to administrators) and global locations (visible to all users)
- Users can create ‘favourite locations’
- Customisable colour schemes
- Significantly improved Megaboard features, including expanded text formatting options and setting custom images for forum links
- Enhanced administrative controls, including new window zoom mode, Megaboard locking based on user role, change control based on user, control over visibility of page changes
- Improved Microsoft Office document support for Megaboard display
- Greater customisation of Megaboards including frame formatting and display of page names
- Improvements to in-world chat, including colour-coding users and focusing on the most recent message
- Updates to the briefcase (file storage) system, including the ability to sort files, using folders to organise files, moving files between folders to ease organisation
- New World Builder interface, with more accurate widget placement and new widget controls such as smoother widget movement, widget-based camera locking and camera movement, matching widget sizes for consistent user experience
- Add and customise widget behaviours extensively
- Rewritten non-playing character and interactive bot engines delivering a significantly better user experience and improved dialogue; non-playing character scripting and control; links between non-playing characters and the new mission and achievement system
Nitrospark Games-Management System 2.1
A significant update, based largely on user interface/user experience improvements for content-developers and Nitrospark partners, to make games management and creation as non-technical, fast and effective as possible.
- New Data Flow Engine: a powerful tool to define and manage the flow of data through learning scenarios, including ‘abstract diagram authoring’ – the branching of data for any circumstance (including character dialogue, conditional quizzes etc); ‘abstract data simulation’ – simulating abstract diagrams quickly, to affirm that content is structured correctly
- New Dialogue Engine – to enable the creation of more natural and intuitive conversations between characters; includes a new context-sensitive user interface, workflow for external personnel to verify/approve dialogue and dialogue simulation (to check dialogue thoroughly before deployment)
- New Simple Data Engine – using a context-sensitive user interface, this enables content developers to create simple quiz-based games