Post by: Johan Jeuring, UU

We are developing the scenario editor and player assets for the RAGE asset repository at Utrecht University. Right now, these assets are used for the Watercooler game of Hull to create the small dialogues team members in the game have at the watercooler. The assets are derived from the software we developed for our Communicate! game at Utrecht University. Based on our experience with Communicate!, I described some of our thoughts about what aspects play a role in developing scenarios for training communication skills in a blog message about a year ago.

Since last year, a lot happened on our side. We released our RAGE assets before summer 2016. I was involved in setting up a start-up that sells services and the Communicate! software for communication skills training, DialogueTrainer, in summer 2016, and since about a month, Utrecht University and DialogueTrainer are eating our (asset) dogfood.

The RAGE editor asset was derived from the Communicate! editor. It is both a stripped down version, because it is not tightly integrated with a game, and an extended version, since it is configurable in many ways, to allow for using it in different games. Since about a month now, the editor used in the Communicate! software is derived from the RAGE asset. This means that flexible configuration is now also possible for Communicate!, and that our RAGE asset is used by many more dialogue authors.

Eating our own dogfood implies that the number of scenarios that have been constructed using our asset, and the number of authors that have used our asset, has increased dramatically. For the Watercooler game something like 20 to 30 scenarios have been or are going to be developed, by a couple of scenario
developers. Communicate! is of a different scale: the scenario database of Communicate! contains more than 500 dialogues, developed by about 20 scenario authors. Of course we test our assets when developing, but having around 20 users is a big asset (pun intended) for both testing, and requirement soliciting purposes. We expect the input we get will lead to further improvements to our assets.

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