When VR-Forces added ‘scenario events’ back in release 4.3, the intent was to support a Master Scenario Events List (MSEL). In operations-based or discussion-based exercises, a MSEL provides a timeline and location for expected exercise events and injects -- actions that push the scenario forward.
Scenario events in VR-Forces can present text, video, graphics, audio, or a combination of these media types, at preplanned times in the simulation or when injected by an operator. Imagine a scenario that models an emergency response. The instructor might plan out events to pop up a video showing a news report of the disaster, followed by text prompts to the users instructing them to respond accordingly. Used this way, scenario events influence the participants in the simulation, but do not directly affect the behavior or plans of the entities being simulated by VR-Forces.
Because you can test the status of a scenario event using the conditional statements in plans, simulation events can also be used, with or without content, to trigger simulation actions. You can also change the status of a scenario event from a plan, thus triggering the behaviors of any entities testing that status. Consider an entity whose plan would change the rules of engagement to ‘fire at will’ when the event called “Attack” was started.
Most of the conditions that plans can test for have to do with the status of entities, such as their location or resources, but sometimes you want to trigger events independently of these entity states. Or maybe you want to test something for which VR-Forces does not have a built-in condition. Scenario events, which are not tied to a particular entity, allow you to work around these constraints.
Scenario events are very convenient for instructors to use. You can put them on the Events Toolbar and start them with a mouse click. If you are using them to trigger entity actions, you don’t even have to add any content to them. The mere fact that an event is active is all the simulation engine needs to act.
Scenario events also give VR-Engage users a convenient way to influence VR-Forces scenarios. If a VR-Forces scenario has scenario events and you load it in VR-Engage, VR-Engage players can trigger the events from the Action menu of the character they are playing. If a scenario event has content, the VR-Engage player will not see the content, but any entity behaviors that get triggered by the event will take place among the entities being controlled by VR-Forces.
In summary, scenario events have proven to be a versatile and useful tool for stimulating human participants and triggering entity actions in VR-Forces scenarios.