Monday, January 10, 2011

US Army Looking for Something Better than VBS2

The US Army is aiming to replace VBS2 by FY 2014. That is if they secure funds for it (given the future cuts in defense, who knows). Please see the full article at the Training and Simulation Journal.

“In our gaming strategy, we don’t want to be married to one application forever,” Parks said. “We want to utilize it as long as it’s relevant and it meets our training needs. But we know that technology and our training requirements change from year to year, and we want to remain relevant to our users.”



Mike said...

By 2014 I cant imagine how out dated VBS will be...I mean, it already is compared to other engines that allow full destruction and are much smoother.

Vulcan said...

The scale in those games is totally different. You can't really compare simulator/OFP/ArmA engines with BF:BC2 or COD. The level of complexity is different like apples and oranges.

Mike said...

The Frostbite 2.0 engine is capable of having a well-sized game world. The engine itself offers a fully destructable environment, and the gameplay is much smoother (100 times!) than VBS2.

I can tell you first hand that the Army doesnt use VBS2 for anything above platoon level training, so the need to have a giant game world isnt really necessary.

In fact, I can tell you first hand (again!) that the Army doesnt really use these programs propperly, or even care that much. For some reason commanders still think that its too much like a video game and dont understand the capabilities that these simulations can offer.

It would sure be much less expensive than going to the field, gas, food, bullets, and the biggest thing..TIME

Anonymous said...

I have once been handed a printed screenshot from VBS2. That is the extent the series has impacted on my military training.

Seriously though, if you can train in the real world, then there are no substitutes. The primary use I see for simulations like VBS2 is in training sections / platoon commanders in assessing the situation and giving proper oral orders. IMO the combat part is secondary. For vehicle crews there are dedicated sims, but for the dismounted soldier the keyboard and mouse hardly offers the right context to train within.


Bryan said...

It's not likely. The full range of fidelity allowable in VBS2 is simply unparalleled.

Mike said...

@ Anonymous

Its good for working on your TTP's (tactics, techniques and proceedures) and developing effective squad and platoon battle drills.

Anonymous said...

The fellow in that article doesn't understand VBS2 at all. It's not a commercial game where there's a single release and a few patches--it's continuously in development, incoporating improvements asked for by its users constantly, and in 2014 it will be running on a more powerful and upgraded engine than the current v1.6 (2.0 is releasing this year, for example, and any institution with a current license can upgrade to it. By 2014, it'll be even better than that). He keeps asking if things can be added to it, and the answer is yes (for example, troops leave their buddies behind in VBS not because this is a characteristic of VBS, but because nobody tells them not to. They can perform first aid, and they can carry their buddies to an evac, but they don't because the trainers (like him) don't fully utilize the capabilities of the software), but since he doesn't know that, he declares it obsolete. I don't know where he got the idea that he can buy a different sim in 2014 that has all of Iraq in it without someone having to actually *develop the terrain,* but he just doesn't seem to *get* sims. This is a problem with journalists talking to 'experts' about topics neither they nor the 'experts' are clear on. You get BS articles like this. Prediction: there will be an RFP posted in 2014, and VBS2 will win it with its 2014 version. Nobody else can actually afford to compete in the serious games market, and the 2014 version of VBS2 will meet all the requirements.