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The Game of War: Military Simulation and Game Development. Jennifer Sandercock Michael Papasimeon. Air Operations Division, DSTO. Defence Science and Technology Organisation Department of Defence.

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The Game of War: Military Simulation and Game Development

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The Game of War:

Military Simulation and Game Development

Jennifer Sandercock

Michael Papasimeon

air operations division dsto
Air Operations Division, DSTO
  • Defence Science and Technology OrganisationDepartment of Defence
  • Conduct research into air operations to help the Australian Defence Force (usually the Royal Australian Air Force)
    • Make smart acquisition decisions on new systems
    • Make best use of existing systems (tactically, operationally etc.)
  • Military Simulation is one of our primary tools.
scope and purpose
Scope and Purpose
  • Raise awareness of Australian military simulation activities amongst Australian game developers.
  • Raise awareness of Defence simulation activity in Melbourne.
  • Explore the potential for future collaboration.
  • Focus on particular areas, will not be exhaustive.
games and military simulations
Games and Military Simulations
  • Similarities
    • Technology
    • Software Design
    • Construction (Software Engineering)
    • Some common skill sets.
  • Differences
    • Purpose
    • Emphasis
    • Funding
    • Social
example simulations
Example Simulations
  • Human In The Loop
    • Flight Simulators (e.g. AOSC Dome)
    • Training
    • Human Factors
  • Constructive and Wargaming
    • Operational Analysis for Acquisition,
    • Tactics Development,
    • Concepts of Operations
    • Experimentation
  • Campaign
    • Strategic
    • Sortie Generation
    • Force-Element Mix
types of simulation
Types of Simulation

103 -104 km2 , 10-1000+ entities, days- months


102 -103 km2 , 2-32+ entities, hours


< 102 km2 , 2-4 entities, minutes


1 entity

a flavour military simulation in dsto
A Flavour Military Simulation in DSTO
  • F/A-18 Air Combat (“Top Gun”)
    • SWARMM and XCombat
  • AEW&C Acquisition
  • Air Operations Simulation Centre (AOSC) Dome
  • Synthetic Environment Research Facility (SERF)
example cognitive modelling ai
Example: Cognitive Modelling (AI)
  • Ingelligent Agents
  • Situational Awareness
  • The BDI Reasoning Model
  • BDI Languages
    • dMARS
    • JACK
  • Graphical Representation
  • The Melbourne Link
bdi agent mechanisation

How to perceive



tactics etc..

Plan A

Plan B

Plan C

Plan ..



‘To do’ list

Plan x

Plan y

Plan n

Plan ..




Plan execution

BDI Agent Mechanisation

Plan Library









pilot agent architecture and cognitive model
Pilot Agent Architecture and Cognitive Model

Pre-briefed (mission) data

Data from the environment

Situation Awareness

Situation Assessment



of the OODA Loop

Tactics Selection

Standard OperatingProcedures


agent architecture detail
Agent Architecture (detail)

Present / Reactive

Balancing & Management

Future / Proactive

Situation Awareness

Situation Memory

Situation Prediction

Situation Assessment

Situation Management

Future Assessment

Tactics Nomination


Tactics Management

Future Tactics Nomination(Planning)

Implement Tactic

distributed simulation
Distributed Simulation
  • Distributed Mission Training
  • Example: The Virtual Air Environment
  • DIS/HLA Standards
  • Interoperability between simulators that were not originally designed to work together.
some things military simulations have
Some things military simulations have…
  • Artificial Intelligence and Agent Technology
  • Simulation Architectures and Design Patterns
  • Complexity
  • Sophisticated Distribution
  • Credibility and IV&V
  • Standardisation
  • Complex Analysis and Scenario Setup Tools
  • Commercial heavy duty software engineering
some things games have
Some things games have…
  • Cool and easy to use user-interfaces
some things games have20
Some things games have…
  • Cutting Edge Graphics and Visualisation
some things games have21
Some things games have…
  • Cutting Edge Sound
chess real virtual and mixed
Chess: Real, Virtual and Mixed

Human Chess Players

Human Playing Against Chess Computer

Human Playing Against

Robotic Chess Simulator

Chess Playing Agent Versus another simulated Chess Playing Agent

ap 3c maritime patrol real virtual and mixed
AP-3C Maritime Patrol: Real, Virtual and Mixed

Real Crew in Real AP-3C

Real Crew in AP-3C

Tactical Simulator

Real Crew in AP-3C Simulator

Virtual Crew in OR Simulator

classifying games
Classifying Games
  • Methods:
    • Genre
    • Complexity
    • Number of Entities
    • Number of Interactions
    • Time scale (minutes vs. hours vs. days)
    • Levels
    • AI
    • Graphics


Sim City

The Sims

Unreal Tournament 2004


Grand Turismo

getting games to play with military simulations
Getting Games to Play withMilitary Simulations
  • Should be able to:
    • Be validated
    • Plug & play for models
    • Control game/simulation time
    • Run for extended periods of simulation time
    • Have access to API documentation
    • Modify look & feel of game
current active and relevant research
Current Active and Relevant Research
  • Representing teams and team tactics
  • Mixing teams of virtual and real military operators
  • Representing virtual environments for agents and other A.I
  • Emotion Moderators in Agents
  • Strategy and Tempo of War
  • Speech Recognition for Controlling Agents
existing cooperation
Existing Cooperation
  • United States
    • Full Spectrum Warrior & Full Spectrum Command (ICT, US Army, Pandemic, Quicksilver)
    • America’s Army (MOVES Institute, US Navy)
  • Australia
    • Turing Tests of FPS games (DSTO)
    • Modifying FPS for Army soldiers (ADFA)
opportunities for interactions
Opportunities for Interactions
  • Conferences
    • Local: AGDC, SimTecT,
    • International: GDC, IJCAI, AAMAS, OzCogSci
  • Books and Magazines
    • Game Developer, Gems Series, AI Wisdom, AI Magazine, IEEE, ACM
  • Associations
    • IGDA (Melbourne Chapter), Agents-VIC
groups to interact with
Groups to Interact With
  • Academia
    • Agents – The University of Melbourne, RMIT
  • Government and Defence
    • Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO)
    • Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA)
  • Local Technology Companies
    • Agent Oriented Software (AOS)
    • Agentis