Game Engines are Game Changers for Medium-sized Enterprises!

 

Challenges faced by Medium-sized Companies

Digital twins, IoT or Cloud Services; various expert interviews repeatedly point out that current IT trends are less about technology and more about networking. Networking between different technologies, platforms, data, processes and especially employees. The tasks of an IT manager are not so much to acquire, install and regularly maintain the necessary technology, but rather to develop technological developments and creative business models, while optimally incorporating the needs and abilities of colleagues at the same time. This is a task that requires a great deal of negotiating skills and empathy along with a high level of technical competence. Two dimensions that are hardly considered together.

Innovation Manager and IT Manager - Visionary meets Pragmatist!

Innovation managers therefore play a significant role in large organizations, by creating a bridge of enthusiasm between technology and skeptical employees, aiding the job of IT managers in return. While the company's objectives are aimed at digitalizing various business processes, fulfillment of governance, such as corporate goals, and compliance requirements, such as occupational safety regulations within the organization, need to be taken into account. Through the process of networking, innovation managers ensure the simultaneous achievement of both.

 

How can Game Engines Contribute to this? 

Even though a huge majority is unaware of its advantages, game engines are actually capable of solving a lot of problems associated with Industry 4.0!

Game engines specialize in the merciless demands of the fast-paced and rapidly growing game industry. They organize the graphical display, realistic physics calculation, data management, network code, scripting, and data management in general. They clean up the field from behind because in the times when the gaming industry was laughed at, they already dealt with issues that are now giving the industry headaches. Game engines are now behind numerous business applications, be it training,  factory planning, maintenance, design review, production, design thinking or other aspects of PLM.

The companies behind game engines are well aware of industry’s recent attention towards their products. The senior management at Epic (UnrealEngine) and Unity have recognized the great potential for industry and are willing to invest money and development capacities to become more attractive for industrial applications. Unlike in the B2C market that is still waiting, Unity licenses for creating applications for B2B are currently being purchased by many companies. 

What makes them so attractive in this day and age? 

As explained at the beginning, the strategy of differentiation via data formats to achieve customer loyalty works quite well in a time in which IT in companies focuses primarily on technical functionality and less on networking. In today’s competitive market. where most companies’ strategy is to bind their customers through data formats and maintain data silos, Unity and Unreal act as a neutral platform, Switzerland. They allow everyone to keep their data formats and bring them together via game engines.

 

How are Game Engines better than Current Industrial Software?

Since games are designed from the beginning to combine different data formats (shaders, music files, etc.) and run them in one application, game engines are good at handling different data formats because. This ability also applies to data formats from the industry such as Step, Revit, SketchUp, Rhino, VRED and JT data. At the moment there is no connection of classical simulation data, but both EPIC and Unity can easily solve this connection if the use cases are promising. The physics and particle simulation that are currently possible in the engines show that not too many steps should be necessary to realize this topic. It is precisely in these companies that resourceful minds can currently make some moves. Game engines have no official price model for business customers yet. Thus, the software can currently be evaluated without additional costs. It must be understood that game engines do not have an ideal solution for everything. However they are extremely quick to implement solutions and in the present Industry 4.0, with huge emphasis on big data and networking, there are bound to be different data types and formats and game engines help in combining them.

Moreover, game engines are the best construction kit for multi-user applications. Games made with Unity and Unreal Exactly have to be run on different systems (Playstation. Smartphone), etc. Similarly, industrial applications have their own security compliance requirements that must be met. STAGE by vr-on GmbH effectively addresses these questions about rights and role management. Our cloud-based multi-user VR collaboration platform makes this last step to game engines as easy as possible.

Critics would rightly complain that game engines do not compute at the level other simulation engines do. Game engines do have their limitations but their strength is visualization and optimal use of the graphics card. Furthermore, in all the recent infatuation with technology, we need to remember the actual purpose of digitalization: networking, communication and exchange! In these fields, it is of utmost importance to effectively visualize data to facilitate decision makers in making the right decisions. If I can move through my 3D data in VR and analyse scenarios by interacting with them, then I, as a colleague, partner, customer and decision maker, have a better idea of what it is all about. Therefore, it is necessary that these simulations can be accessed on the road and on smaller computers. Consequently, a certain amount of error is forgivable compared to the added value.

 

What is in it for Employees to work with Game Engines?

Many technical universities are currently teaching work with game engines because Unity and Unreal have realized the benefits from letting the youth work with their software for free, the same youth that would soon be joining the industrial sector. The next generation of developers are most likely gamers, even if you would never call yourself that. There is no doubt that every other game that employees play on the way to work was built with Unreal or Unity. This is where companies can score points with young professionals and get them on board to use game engines for business applications too. It is fun, it is a creative activity and motivates employees to rediscover the digital homo faber at work. These employees would include not just developers, but also designers, programmers, content creators, as game engines are designed to allow an interdisciplinary team to work with them. Even people without extensive programming skills can realize exciting applications in VR through visual scripting and the right plugins. 

 

Conclusion

Game engines bring creativity, flexibility and interdisciplinary thinking to current visualization tasks. Therefore they are the ideal tools to

  • visualize different data types (sound, 3D objects, hardware input)
  • make the best use of the graphics cards for graphic displays
  • make realistic (and unrealistic) physics calculation
  • freely design possibilities of the VR applications
  • introduce platform interoperability
  • create and effectively run multi-user applications
  • facilitate simple operation for non-programmers

If you are wondering if these benefits apply  to you, go through this list of use cases and projects from the industry that have been realized with game engines:

Now that you have decided to start getting creative and visualizing your ideas, we provide consulting to ease the move towards game engines for you! You can then use STAGE by vr-on to create the ideal VR multi-user scenarios for your employees and customers and gain the benefits of networking in today’s Industry 4.0!