Emergency Evacuation Simulator

Emergency Evacuation Simulator

Program-Ace created an interactive, multi-user simulation application to help office staff test and improve their skills in handling different emergency situations that require urgent evacuation

Background Info

Emergency Evacuation Simulator is an interactive 3D client-server application that has been created by the Program-Ace team for our client, a US construction company, which was about to launch a new facility – a five-story office building in the city center. They needed a realistic simulator that would recreate a number of emergency situations and help users learn the best ways of handling these situations, including cases where immediate evacuation is required.

Evacuation plan development and analysis is an extremely important process in the construction business. When evaluating the design of a building, it is critical to analyze the effectiveness of evacuation routes and understand how people behave and which direction they move in during an emergency evacuation. Interactive simulation is a powerful tool that allows to collect data and analyze the effectiveness of the facility design in terms of safety.

The main purpose of this application is to provide the evacuation training for employees who work in large buildings with complex floor plans and evacuation routes. Initially, the application was developed for one particular facility; however, its architecture allows for customization, and it can be adapted to almost any facility with relatively little effort.

Business Challenges

1
Increased Safety
The main goal of the application was to provide a solution that would help the training participants to effectively memorize the safest and fastest exit routes so that in case of emergency, all the office employees were ready to immediately perform the actions required for safe evacuation.
2
Data Collection
The other important objective was to re-create a variety of possible emergency situations and collect data about the human behavior, which would allow avoiding safety gaps in a facility design and creating a healthy working environment.
3
Customizability
The task was to create a universal software solution that could be easily modified with the ability to create other training scenarios and quickly adapted to other facilities of the company without substantial cost and effort.

Approach and Solution

To develop the Emergency Evacuation Simulator, we used Ace3D Engine for the client component of the application, and the LAMP stack to create the server part. This application was also quite a challenge for our artists, as they needed to re-create the exact model of the building, its interior, and furniture. Together with the Health and Safety specialists representing the client, our game designers developed a variety of emergency training scenarios with the probability of losing orientation, health damage, and the ability to use different objects to clear the way to the exit or protect health.

As a result, we created a detailed specification, and the Program-Ace team developed a fully-featured Emergency Evacuation Simulator with the following features:

  • Realistic simulation of different emergency scenarios: fire, gas leak, smoke, earthquake, tornado, flood;
  • The ability to set an unlimited number of objectives for the training participants, including special objectives (e.g. calling the fire rescue team), which are rewarded with additional score points;
  • Ability to organize cooperation and perform group actions during the training with an unlimited number of participants;
  • Ability to add as many random people (bots) as it is required to maintain the realistic conditions of the training;
  • Voice communication module between trainees and the ability to help one another;
  • Active indicators of health status;
  • Possibility to take and use various objects during the training (e.g. Wet rags to cover the mouth and protect lungs from smoke inhalation);
  • Centralized rating system enabling the evaluation of skills improvement for each trainee;
  • Training statistics analysis feature, where the system shows the quantity of people taken out of the building, their health condition, time spent, different objects usage, and the overall scores gained right after the trainee exits the training session. All the data is stored in the application database and is always available for the administrator and can be reviewed any time after the training.
Gamification approach to simulations

Technical Information

The Emergency Evacuation Simulator application was created by a team of seven developers, five artists, two animators, and three QA specialists. It took us eight months to deploy the complete training solution for the Windows platform.
Ace3D Engine C# PHP Visual Studio OpenGL Microsoft SQL Server 3DS Max

Audience

Applications like the Emergency Evacuation Simulator have a big potential in many industries. Their target audience includes management staff and employees of large office buildings, airports, railway and subway stations, retail centers, plants and factories, research institutes and scientific laboratories, government and nonprofit organizations responsible for fire safety.
Construction & Architecture
Real Estate
Real Estate
Manufacturing
Manufacturing
Logistics
Transportation
Emergency evacuation - simulation from Program-Ace

Value Delivered

As a result, our team managed to deliver a fully customizable interactive solution that eventually saved many lives.
  1. The Emergency Evacuation Simulator helped to train more than 2,000 employees working in multiple facilities;
  2. The application has been designed in accordance with all the standards and requirements of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA);
  3. Customizability of the software allowed using it for other buildings and facilities constructed by our client, which resulted in significant budget savings;
  4. The number of accidents during the emergency evacuations has been reduced by 44%;
  5. Data, collected by the application, provided valuable insights for Health and Safety departments and helped them optimize evacuation routes of the facilities.
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