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Strategies for Building VR-Forces Scenarios

Many of the web sites that most of us read regularly are not composed of static pages. They pull content from a variety of sources to customize the pages for the reader. You might see the same news article show up on the sites for multiple different news outlets. This is called content reuse. The goal is to get maximum use out of each content component. Similarly, VR-Forces supports many strategies for reusing scenario components. Using the same terrains for many different scenarios is an obvious case, but for this tech tip we will focus on ways to reuse scenario content – simulation objects and tactical graphics.

  • Simulation Model Sets (SMS). An SMS defines all the simulation objects available to a scenario. You can create your own custom SMSs to meet your simulation needs and reuse them in as many scenarios as you want.
  • Simulation Object Groups. Simulation objects groups, which are created as part of an SMS, can include entities, units, tactical graphics, plans, and scripts. They allow you to replicate a related group of simulation objects in multiple scenarios. They are not tied to a particular terrain or location. You can put them anyplace that makes sense, just like individual simulation objects. Examples provided with VR-Forces include a Patriot Missile Battery and an aircraft carrier with an air wing.
  • Scenario import. VR-Forces users often divide up the task of creating scenarios among multiple people or groups. One might work on the land portion, another the air, and so on. The master scenario is created by importing the partial scenarios into a master scenario. This approach can be extended by creating generic or multipurpose scenarios for reuse. For example, you might create a generic urban scenario with pedestrian and vehicular traffic and then use it multiple times by adding additional content for specific training purposes.
  • Order of Battle. The SMSs provided with VR-Forces give scenario creators access to all of the simulation objects that we provide. However in the real world, commanders do not have unlimited resources. They are constrained by their Order of Battle (OOB). In the past, if trainers wanted to constrain the resources available to VR-Forces trainees, they might cut down the SMS to limit their choices or give them a paper OOB. In VR-Forces 4.6, we have introduced the ability to create OOBs. (The details of using OOBs will be covered in another tech tip, or you can refer to VR-Forces Users Guide.) You can export OOBs and import them into other scenarios allowing you to build them once and use them many times.
  • Object import from CSV. Some VR-Forces users have the ability and need to precisely specify point, linear, and areal objects outside of the VR-Forces GUI. In VR-Forces 4.6, we have added the ability to import objects whose location is specified in comma separated values (CSV) files. This feature supports import of tactical graphics and individual entities.
  • Import MSDL. You can export the simulation objects in a scenario to MSDL and import that MSDL into other scenarios.
  • Copy and paste. Did you know that you can copy simulation objects in one scenario and paste them into another scenario? Unlike a scenario import, which would bring objects into the same terrain at the same location, objects can be pasted anyplace, so you aren’t restricted by your choice of terrain. (Of course, VR-Forces has to be running while you switch scenarios. It won’t remember what you copied after you shut it down.)
  • System and scenario level scripts. If you have created new tasks and set data requests using the Lua scripting feature, you can save them with an SMS (system level) or you can export them and import them into specific scenarios. Either way, they are reusable in multiple scenarios.

As you can see, there are many ways to create scenario content and reuse it in multiple scenarios.

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VR-Forces 4.6: User-Defined State Properties

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