HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Fun and games are serious business at
the Army Game Studio.
Based at Redstone Arsenal, the studio is tasked with
developing and maintaining the America’s Army video game series. Its newest
project, America’s Army: Proving Grounds, the fourth in the series, is being
The studio’s work is about more than just playing games,
according to Marsha Berry, project manager for America’s Army.
“We’ve been able to repurpose the technology from the video
games to use for training,” Berry said. “That makes training a lot more
immersive and makes for a better training environment for soldiers. It’s also
very cost effective to repurpose what we do.”
Launched in 2002, America’s Army original version was
followed by America’s Army: Special Forces in 2003 and America’s Army 3 in June
2009. The game, which is rated “T” for teen, can be downloaded free and is
designed to give players a first-person perspective and virtual role in the
training, technology, skills and careers of an Army soldier.
It is produced by the Army Game Studio, part of the U. S.
Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center at
Redstone Arsenal. The studio utilizes a variety of software developers, as well
as military experts, to develop the game scenarios. It oversees the game
project from start to finish, and also develops the companion Army comic
“We work to maintain our cutting edge and appeal to the
younger generation,” Berry said. “We built America’s Army: Proving Grounds to
appeal to novice as well as experienced America’s Army players.”
The new game
Berry said America’s Army: Proving Ground contains some past
game favorites, as well as new scenarios.
“For AA fans we are
bringing back some of the much loved maps from AA2 and also introducing a new
map style that’s smaller and more focused, allowing players to be much more
thoughtful and strategic in their gameplay,” she said. “For new AA players, the
intuitive style of gameplay will allow players to gain experience and
confidence much easier.”
The new version of the game stresses small unit tactical maneuvers
and training, similar to the shift the Army has undergone in recent years. Set
in the fictional country of the Republic of Ostegals, players are in the role
of an infantryman practicing combat maneuvers at JTC Griffin, a fabricated
training environment. The game features a variety of training exercises where
players can take on other players in a virtual urban environment.
“Our emphasis on teamwork will allow new players to succeed,
and allow experienced players a new level of depth in how they wish to
strategize with their clans and train for competition,” Berry said.
The game also allows players to register and reserve their
soldier’s name for the game.