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“Exploiting Commercial Games for Military Use”. NATO Modeling & Simulation Group. October 20-21 2004 TNO, The Hague, Netherlands. Aims. UK MoD led, hosted by Netherlands (TNO) Share national experience Identify: best practice Lessons learned barriers to further exploitation

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exploiting commercial games for military use

“Exploiting Commercial Games for Military Use”

NATO Modeling & Simulation Group

October 20-21 2004

TNO, The Hague, Netherlands

  • UK MoD led, hosted by Netherlands (TNO)
  • Share national experience
  • Identify:
    • best practice
    • Lessons learned
    • barriers to further exploitation
    • Areas for collaboration
  • Networking:
    • Research community
    • Military
    • Internationally
international perspectives
International Perspectives
  • Australia - Australian Defence Simulation Office
  • Denmark - Danish Defence Research Establishment
  • France - DGA French Ministry of Defence
  • Holland - Royal Netherlands Army RNLA
  • Sweden - Swedish Defence Research Agency
  • US - U.S. Army Research Institute
  • US - U.S. Marine Corps
  • Germany - eSim Games (Industry)
  • UK - Directorate of Analysis Experimentation & Simulation (MoD)
australian perspective
Australian Perspective

Australian Defence Simulation Office

Commercial Computer Games

in the Australian Department of Defence

why are the australian defence simulation office interested in commercial games
Why are the Australian Defence Simulation Office Interested in Commercial Games?
  • Expose Defence members to simulation.
  • Grow knowledge and skill base.
  • Raise profile of simulation.
  • Keep abreast of developments.
  • Research commissioned by ADSO identified utility of COTS games.
  • Being used anyway- needs co-ordination.
  • Supports “golf bag” approach to simulation.
  • Cultural change.
what makes a game useable
What Makes a Game Useable?
  • At least some of the following:
    • Robust user community.
    • Multiplayer functionality.
    • Scenario creation.
    • Open database.
    • After Action Review.
    • Developer engagement.
    • Validation and accreditation.
    • Support.
    • Use elsewhere - and for what.
  • ADSO evaluates games against following “Six Criteria”

1) User Requirement

2) Representations

3) Data availability and reliability

4) Technology

5) Confidence building approaches

6) Cost/benefit

Commercial Games Products used by ADSO

VBS- Virtual Battlefield Systems, SB – SteelbeastsPro, FSW-Full Spectrum Warrior, CM-Combat Mission, DA-Decisive Action, HTTR-Highway to the Reich, UV-Uncommon Valor

australian conclusions
Australian Conclusions
  • There is currently a small but significant effort.
  • Good support can be achieved with systematic approach.
  • Cultural change is making it easier.
  • Commercial games are just one club in the simulation golf bag.
danish perspective
Danish Perspective

Danish Defence Research Establishment (DDRE)

Using Falcon 4.0 (F-16 simulator) for Tactical Training

falcon 4 0 for tactical training
Falcon 4.0 for Tactical Training
  • Enhancements

- Flight models (aircraft behaviour)

- EW

- Radar

- Graphics

  • Issues

- Field of view is too small.

- Takes time to get used to looking around.

- Instruments takes up a too large fraction of the screen.

- Flight model not exact, behaviour is slightly different.

benefits of the falcon 4 0 simulator
Benefits of the Falcon 4.0 Simulator

Things that can be trained:

(according to an F-16 pilot with Falcon 4 experience)

  • Flying (basic experience)
  • Systems training (RWR, Radar)
  • Formation/Coordination
  • BFM (Basic Fighter Man.)
  • ACM (Air Combat Man.)
  • BVR (Beyond Visual Range)
  • COMOA (Combined Air Ops.)
  • A-G (Air to ground weapons)
  • Debriefing
  • S-A (Surface to Air) Training
  • EW Basics
danish conclusion
Danish Conclusion
  • Falcon 4.0 is advanced and very flexible, allowing “modding” without much difficulty.
  • DDRE has developed an EW tactical training program for F-16 pilots, based on Falcon 4.0
  • Lots of possibilities for other products.
french perspective
French Perspective

DGA French Ministry of Defence

The use of GHOST RECON for Training Infantry

ghost recon
  • Scope
    • Tactical Education (Individual and Collective) and Training for Infantry’s platoons and squads before field exercises
    • Optimize forces readiness prior field exercises
    • Improve efficiency, time and cost
  • Assessment
    • Study low cost products as Commercial Games
    • Provide recommendations to deploy an already existing system
    • Refine Operational requirements
ghost recon features
  • Actors

- From Soldier to Squad Leader

  • Armaments

- PA, Famas, Minimi, AT4, Frf 2, Frf 12,7, Grenades, Mines, ...

  • Missions

- Elementary Actions: Stop, Defense, Destroy, Reckon, Observe, Conquer, ...

  • Environment

- Weather: Sun, Snow, Rain, Cloud, Fog, Day/Night

- Terrain: Field, Forest, ...


INSTINCT = GHOST RECON + French Improvements

  • INSTINCT exercises are defined according to the same process as field exercises
  • AAR due to GHOST RECON particularities is only limited to replay the exercises
  • Less than 2 hours INSTINCT tutorial prior exercises
  • Short drills (4 Hours)
    • To learn procedures
    • To get the know-how
    • To react with reflexes
french conclusion
French Conclusion
  • Soldiers make same mistakes in INSTINCT & Field exercises
    • Easier to prove and explain (Wrong position, Unprotected movement)
  • Field behavior is better with soldiers educated with INSTINCT
    • Better fire sectors and objectives designation
  • Short Drills are recommended
    • Movement, Support, Intelligence, Orders and Reports
  • Pleasure and Entertainment improve the courses
    • Ease the understanding (Solders learn faster)
    • Management of Opposite Forces is essential to avoid “Game Play”
dutch perspective
Dutch Perspective

Netherlands Aerospace Laboratory NLR

Flight Simulation Games and their Training Value

the media spectrum costs vs benefits






The media spectrum – costs vs. benefits*

PTT - Part-Task Trainer

FMS - Full Mission Simulator

DMT - Distributed Mission Training

ET - Embedded Training















* not experimentally validated ** multi-player, HOTAS + keyboard *** fourship

dutch conclusions
Dutch Conclusions
  • Current generation games could be a valuable add-on to the existing training media spectrum.
  • Strong points: teaming, communication, info handling.
  • Weak points: flying and organising skills.
  • Most air forces do not officially use Games for training purposes.
swedish perspective
Swedish Perspective

Game-based driving simulator for the Swedish CBRN demonstrator system

Swedish Defence Research Agency

the swedish cbrn demonstrator system chemical biological radiological and nuclear cbrn
The Swedish CBRN-demonstrator system(Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear, CBRN)
  • Requirement
    • An event engine for the real NBCR-demonstrator system
  • Objective
    • Reduce time, cost and support organization when training the CBRN staff.


  • Facts
  • Length: 7. 68 m
  • Height: 2.95 m
  • Width: 2.95m
  • Weight: 19 200 Kg
  • Load: 4 000 Kg
  • Speed: < 110
  • Patria Vehicles, Finland
the simulated nbc vehicle

The simulated NBC-vehicle


  • Correct 3D-vehicle regarding weight, length, height and other external attributes.
  • Generic physical behaviour
  • Driver’s and operator’s seat correct modelled
  • Driver has third or first person view
  • Operator same interface as the NBC-Dart
  • Connectible with NBC/PC-Dart for message exchange
swedish conclusions

Swedish Conclusions

  • Simple, easy to use driving simulator for concept evaluation, demonstration, basic training etc.
  • Build with open-source, gaming- and entertainment technology.
  • Game-based interface and principles
  • Rapid deployment
  • No classified data
  • Good enough!
us perspective
US Perspective

U.S. Army Research Institute for the

Behavioural and Social Sciences

Design Characteristics of a PC-based Game that Influence Instruction and Motivation

training using commercial games
Training Using Commercial Games

Literature suggests that Games:

  • Are engaging.
  • Provide flexibility in training.
  • Provide “hands on” experience.
  • Provide contextual learning.
questions about motivation
Questions about Motivation
  • Features that Motivate
  • - What about the “America’s Army” game would make you want to play the game again?
  •   - Which section of the basic combat training did you like the most, and why?
  • Features that Do Not Motivate
  • - Which section of the basic combat training did you like the least, and why?
  • - What would you change about the “America’s Army” game?

Percentage of Responses

in each Category

us army conclusion
US Army Conclusion
  • Strength of training games is in procedural learning, and the procedures learned should match the training objectives.
  • Instructional content should be integrated with the progression of the game.
  • Extensive printed text should be avoided; it may be ignored and is less likely to be recalled than graphic images or spoken text.
  • Appropriate levels of challenge, control, exploration, and realism can increase motivation.
us marine training perspective


Instrumented LiveEx->



Virtual Exercise ->

Supported SimEx (Phase III)->

Tactical Decision-making Simulation->

Practical App./Sand Table/CAST->

Classroom Instr. (Phase II)->

Interactive Multimedia->

Asynchronous, Text Based ->


US Marine Training Perspective

The Training Spectrum

acquisition methods
Acquisition Methods
  • Straight Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS)
    • Used as is, no modification
  • Modified COTS for Specific Marine Use
    • Marine specific requirements
      • i.e. models, terrain, behavior
      • Minor modification
  • Initial Investments in COTS Product
    • Marine subject matter experts involved at ground zero and throughout development for authenticity.
  • Government Off The Shelf Development

-Ground zero development for Marines, no commercial release

infantry cognitive skills training
Infantry Cognitive Skills Training

Experience Leads to

Better War Fighting

crawl walk run approach
Crawl, Walk, Run Approach
  • Mon-Tue
    • Familiarization and Team exercises
  • Wednesday
    • Squad Exercises and rehearsals
  • Thursday
    • Platoon Exercises and rehearsals
  • Friday
    • Combined Arms, after-action review, comments
marine corps approach to training
Marine Corps’ ApproachTo Training

From Sand-table Exercises To Live Training

  • Begin planning
  • Arrange reconnaissance
  • Make reconnaissance
  • Complete order
  • Issue order
  • Supervise
  • Execute Order
  • After Action Review


  • Resistance mentality
    • “I don’t want my Marines sitting in A/C playing Nintendo all day”
    • Baby boomers vs. Millennium Generation
  • Hardware issues
  • Software Development
  • Desensitization/Psychological Issues
  • Facilitation
    • Mission editing and contractor support
    • Subject matter experts
  • Marketing and Distribution
germany industry perspective
Germany - Industry Perspective

eSim Games – Steel Beasts Professional

Limits of the Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) Approach

current situation
Current Situation
  • The Market

- The market supports the idea of applying the COTS concept to computer games

- Many computer games deal with combat simulation

- Yet the economic framework affects the practical application of a sound idea

  • Market Limitations

- Consumers demand to be entertained

- Armies demand reliability

consumer entertainment market
Consumer Entertainment Market
  • Receding market trend for PC game titles
    • Less profitable than console games
    • Software piracy
    • Incompatibilities/hardware diversity
  • First Person Shooters dominant genre, also “Real Time Strategy”
  • Simulations and Wargames:

- 5% market share, and dropping

  • Number of developers for simulation games is dropping
  • Publishers abandon the market segment  No more development funding!
  • Major developers concentrate on mass market compatible games
market actors developers
Market Actors: Developers
  • Dependent developers:
    • Essentially owned by large publishers
    • Fixed (large) budget for development
    • Publisher influences genre choice
  • Independent developers:
    • The lucky few (Valve, Blizzard, ID)
      • Filthy rich, sell blockbusters and engines
    • The not-so-lucky few (us and others)
      • Shoestring budget development
market actors developers41
High speed

High quality

Low cost

Market Actors: Developers




Pick two!

cots procurement recommendations
COTS procurement recommendations
  • $100,000.- development budgets for Divisions, and Schools
  • $50,000.- procurement budgets for brigades
  • Determined leadership of Simulation Officers
  • Do not impose limits on “code recycling” for consumer market
cots project requirements
COTS project requirements
  • Game developer
    • Must be devoted to and knowledgeable in the subject matter
    • Must be customer oriented
    • Must be able to work for three years without funding
    • Discretion & Reliability
  • Army
    • Avoid “feature creep” wish lists
    • Accept partial solutions – embrace fast development cycles as a chance
    • Support developer with unclassified information
    • Understand developer’s business model
  • COTS is a sound idea, and can be a great chance for both armies and game developers
  • Technological chances are obvious
  • Economical challenges are most important in the long run, and can be mastered

Dismounted Infantry Virtual Environment - DIVE 1

dive 1
  • Half Life
    • Very Popular
    • First Person Shooter
    • On-Line Gaming Capability
    • Easy to Adapt
    • (now costs <£10)
dive 148

“DIVE 1”

Copehill Down

dive 2

“DIVE 2”

Copehill Down

“We found the DIVE system an excellent training tool which quickly improved our skills and enabled us to try out things that would normally be far too time-consuming or dangerous.”

Cpl Owen, Section Comd, 1 R ANGLIAN

extract from ‘The Castle’ magazine – Summer 2003

further information
Further Information

All slides can be accessed at:-


Login: RTOAuthor

Password: StoesouS

UK Contact:- Andy Fawkes DAES,

Email: [email protected]

Other Contacts:-