Calytrix Comm Net Radio Simulator (CNR-Sim) is an affordable, easy to use, software only, multi-channel radio simulator for Windows and Linux. CNR-Sim digitizes its user's voice into DIS protocol radio packets that are sent across a standard computer network to other CNR-Sims (and compatible DIS radios) where the packets are converted back to audio (voice). CNR-Sim's simple push-to-talk interface lets users rapidly switch among different communication channels.
CNR-Log is Calytrix’s software that records, replays and exports voice communications of DIS-based radios, making CNR-Log especially useful for After Action Reviews (AARs). For example, VBS2 uses CNR-Log to replay recorded simulated radio traffic during VBS2’s AAR function. CNR-Log maintains time-stamped records of all compatible voice comms on the network.
VBS2 NATO: Your platform for individual or collective game-based training
VBS2 NATO is a lightweight version of VBS2 that can be freely used by NATO member countries for individual or collective training. It includes many of the capabilities of full VBS2 including a mission editor and extensive 3D content (units, vehicles and terrains).
JCOVE Lite is a free version of VBS2 that includes a range of UK MOD content. The application provides an excellent introduction to VBS2 including a range of units, vehicles and scenarios, and a basic mission editor.
For training and development, VBS2 is designed to run on the widest possible range of desktop computer systems, readily available from many distributors. Most desktop systems sold in the last three years will run VBS2, provided a reasonable graphics card is included.
For simulation, VBS2 may require more specialist setup depending on the desired field of view and frame rate.
VBS2 2.0 includes both a 32 and 64 bit version that runs on Windows (Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7) and employs DirectX 9.0. VBS2 is compatible with 64-bit versions of Windows and can be deployed on those systems, and if the 64 bit version of VBS2 2.0 is used, then VBS2 can utilize extended 64-bit addressing.
VBS2 2.0 is not available on other platforms; however, VBSWorlds can be used to create new training games for deployment on a range of different devices.
VBS2 2.0 is designed to utilize multiple cores on a multi core CPU and will enjoy performance gains over a single core CPU.
No specific provision or optimization is provided for multiple-GPU accelerated rendering (e.g. SLI, Crossfire). Any performance or quality differences are entirely controlled by the video card devices and drivers. Support for the PhysX library from NVIDIA has been deployed within VBS2 from v1.50. Hardware acceleration is not required at this time. It is anticipated, however, that hardware acceleration of the PhysX routines will only be available on NVIDIA platform video cards.
Older VBS2 versions
The older VBS2 1.x series are 32 bit applications that run on Windows (Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7) and employ DirectX 9.0. They are compatible with 64-bit versions of Windows and can be deployed on those systems; however, the VBS2 1.x series does not utilize extended 64-bit addressing.
The VBS2 1.x series will only utilize a single CPU core. However, other concurrent applications may impact system performance so that dual or quad core CPUs may be advisable for optimal performance.
VBS2 v2.0 is VBS2 v1.x ported to the Real Virtuality 3 game engine, which is the game engine behind the ArmA2 and ArmA2: Operation Arrowhead computer games. From a user interface perspective it is exactly the same as VBS2 v1.x, however there are many key improvements both as a result of the newer game engine as well as new items funded by military customers.
VBS2 v2.0 delivers all of the capability of VBS2 v1.x, plus a wide range of exciting new features that will allow you to leverage game technology in training and simulation like never before.
VBS2 v2.0 is being released to the US Army and USMC in Spring 2012 and wider release is expected in Summer 2012.
For training, VBS2 v2.0 offers larger terrains, longer view distances, improved AI and underwater simulation, further expanding the training possibilities and providing larger, more complex simulated areas of operation.
For simulation, terrain improvements enable VBS2 v2.0 to be more suitable for use in flight simulators and rendering enhancements can be exploited for photo-realistic graphics where required.
For developers, VBS2 v2.0 offers the biggest enhancements for content developers who can create higher fidelity content exploiting technologies like normal and parallax mapping.
Key improvements include:
Larger terrain areas
Paging terrain technology has been implemented so VBS2 v2.0 supports much larger terrain sizes, and the terrain level of detail calculations have been improved to allow for even longer view distances.
The game engine architecture has been redesigned to exploit multi-core technology, resulting in many optimizations and a major increase in the number of AI entities that may be present in a scenario.
Improved AI path-planning
VBS2 v2.0 uses a much finer AI path-planning grid, allowing AI to navigate small spaces and act more smartly in general. AI enhancements made for our ArmA2 computer games have been ported to VBS2 v2.0, and micro-AI is included so AI will lean around corners and use handsignals.
VBS2 v2.0 supports underwater and scuba simulation. It is possible to exit the water from small boats and navigate underwater wearing scuba gear, and swim ashore.
A very detailed simulation of parachuting is included in VBS2 v2.0, including realistic movement while in freefall and under canopy.
Improved rendering engine
The VBS2 v2.0 rendering engine is a generation more advanced than the current, including a completely new lighting model, support for parallax mapping for ground textures, improved shadowing, and state-of-the-art shading for photo-realistic graphics.
Questions and Answers
What does VBS2 v2.0 provide in terms of graphics?
All VBS2 content has been ported from VBS2 v1.x to VBS2 v2.0, but model fidelity is unchanged. This means that while the models will be rendered with better shading and have nicer shadows, they will look pretty much the same. We are however including a range of ArmA2 content and these are “game” quality models with higher texture resolution and more polygons. We use these “game” quality models in VBS2 v2.0 videos and other marketing material.
What does VBS2 v2.0 provide in terms of AI?
VBS2 v2.0 includes micro-AI, which means that the AI path-planning grid is much smaller so the AI is smarter. The many AI enhancements made in the ArmA2 computer games will all be available in VBS2 v2.0.
Is VBS2 v2.0 backwards compatible?
Generally yes, VBS2 v2.0 is backwards compatible. You may however need to re-binarize content (terrains and 3D models) in order for it to work correctly, but this will be confirmed closer to the release date. If this is the case we will aim to provide a tool to make the process as simple as possible.
When will VBS2 v2.0 be released?
We plan to release VBS2 v2.0 to the US Army and USMC in Spring of 2012. As usual there will be months of acceptance testing and bug fixing and we won’t release the product more widely until the product is accepted by both of these organizations. Therefore a general release won’t occur until Summer 2012 at the earliest.
Who receives VBS2 v2.0 for free?
We’ll be providing VBS2 v2.0 as a free update to the Canadian Forces, US Army, USMC and USSOCOM as part of existing support arrangements. Other enterprise military users will be provided with long-term trial licenses and very affordable proposals for an upgrade.
Commercial users will be offered subscriptions to the [VBS Developer Network] (VBSDN), which includes free updates to future products including VBS2 v2.0, and also offers improved support as well as regular access to new builds.
Academic/research and personal edition users will be updated to VBS2 v2.0 at no cost.
Will BISimulations continue to develop VBS2 1.x?
Beyond VBS2 v1.60, we will conduct development in VBS2 v1.x only for customer funded projects. All other new development will be in the new VBS2 v2.0 baseline. We will support VBS2 v1.x for as long as funded support arrangements exist.
I am considering purchasing VBS2 v1.x, but should I wait till VBS2 2.0 comes out?
Military organizations should contact us to discuss purchasing a bundle of VBS2 v1.x licenses with a free update to VBS2 v2.0.
Commercial entities should consider purchasing VBSDN, as it guarantees an update to VBS2 v2.0 and will provide VBS2 v1.x plus many more advantages in the meantime.
I only want to purchase VBS2 v2.0, can I do that?
Military organizations should contact us to discuss the options so we can tailor a package to suit your specific needs. We’ll be providing a large number of long-term, trial VBS2 v2.0 licenses to military organizations so most will be able to access the new capability as soon as it is available.
Commercial entities can only access VBS2 v2.0 through a VBSDN subscription, which will include the VBS2 Developer Suite.
How does VBS2 v2.0 leverage middleware?
Out-of-the-box, VBS2 v2.0 will likely include SimulWeather for realistic 3D clouds, RotorLib FDM for theoretically correct direct flight simulation and LVC Game for DIS and HLA integration. The vast majority of entities in VBS2 v2.0 will use PhysX by NVIDIA for physics simulation. It is very likely that VBS2 v2.0 will include xaitMap path-planning by xaitment, which you can exploit in your scenarios for improved AI movement. VBS2Fires and VBS2Strike will, of course, be fully compatible with VBS2 v2.0.
Bohemia Interactive is willing to integrate additional middleware as demanded by the military requirement. Our API, VBS2Fusion, is now very mature and we are prepared to extend it further as needed to support other forms of middleware.
What are the system requirements for VBS2 v2.0?
VBS2 v2.0 will only be available on the Windows platform. The exact system requirements will be published on our website as soon as they are confirmed. Our goal is for VBS2 v2.0 to run on the widest possible range of computers.
When can we expect VBS3?
Development on VBS3 is ongoing but no details are available at this stage. We are not in any hurry to release the new product. Our primary focus is VBS2, and working with our customers to ensure it is the most capable game-based training and mission rehearsal tool it can possibly be. We encourage the military to focus on what is important in games-for-training, and not get distracted by photo-realistic graphics or other game niceties that are great marketing strategies for games for entertainment but add little to the training value of a serious game.
VBS2 has application beyond the desktop training domain, and has been integrated with a range of virtual simulation solutions from gunnery trainers through to flight simulators.
To facilitate further integration, VBS2 supports multi-channel - a key technology enabler for image generation software.
Multi-channel allows VBS2 to be used on very wide-field of view displays; for example, across multiple screens or in dome projection systems. In such displays, the view of the virtual environment is projected via multiple channels and synchronized so that the user views one continuous image.
The multi-channel implementation in VBS2 is very flexible. Each channel is rendered by a single VBS2 instance (view client), coordinated by view server so that all of the individual displays are synchronized. The view clients and view server(s) can be networked with a traditional VBS2 classroom, providing limitless training possibilities. Each VBS2 instance from VBS2 v1.50 includes view client and server functionality so no additional software is needed; the additional features just need to be enabled on the required number of VBS2 HASP dongles.
For training, multi-channel allows you to use VBS2 on immersive wide-screen or dome displays, which for some training applications like forward air controller training is very important.
For simulation, multi-channel enables VBS2 to be employed on 360 degree projection systems; for example, HMMWV gunnery trainers.
Please note: to correctly configure VBS2 for use on dome displays or curved screens you will need to purchase geometric correction (warping) and edge blending software, such as Warp by Immersaview.
Display VBS2 in 360 degrees around a gunnery simulator.
Use VBS2 in 360 degree projection domes for forward air controller training.
Provide an immersive 180 degree view around a pilot in a simulated cockpit.
Employ VBS2 as the virtual environment for an out-of-the-hatch view in armoured vehicle crew procedural trainers.
No hard-coded limit on the number of view clients allowed.
Compatible with normal VBS2 networks; integrate your dome displays with your classroom.
Supports multiple view servers on the one network.
Use the normal VBS2 editing tools (mission editors, development tools) to create scenarios and content for multi-channel display.
Easy-to-configure view clients and view server through simple configuration files.
Fully HLA/DIS compliant through the LVC Game gateway.
Commercial entities interested in employing VBS2 multi-channel capability should purchase VBSDN, which includes a number of multi-channel licenses at no extra cost.
Other users can purchase VBS2 view client capability on a per-seat basis via the Store.
The Development Suite is part of the standard VBS2 product and allows you to import terrain and 3D models for training and/or simulation.
For training, the Development Suite allows you to rapidly create new geo-specific VBS2 terrain by importing source data such as DTED, shape files and imagery.
For simulation, the Development Suite provides the means by which you will import new content into VBS2 as required by your simulation system.
For developers, the Development Suite provides the means for the creation of new VBS2 content to support training and/or simulation, and also for resale.
The primary terrain development application in the Development Suite is Visitor 4, a lightweight GIS application that imports geo-referenced imagery, terrain and shape date and exports VBS2 world files ready for use in training or simulation.
Broadly, Visitor 4 can import the following types of data:
An important part of Visitor 4 is the tool, Landbuilder, which procedurally populates terrain with objects such as buildings, roads and vegetation in accordance with shape data.
From VBS2 v2.0, VBS2 terrain areas can be up to 1000km x 1000km in size but this does depend on the level of detail of the terrain.
If you would like to output VBS2 terrain from your own application, please investigate the VBS2 Content SDK, which is part of the VBSDN product.
3D model development
The Development Suite includes Oxygen 2 - a powerful 3D model generation and import tool. Oxygen 2 allows you to create or import models, apply textures and define specific features such as turrets, crew positions, instrument panels and animated parts. Oxygen 2 includes a 3D viewer that provides a real-time render of the model with full textures and materials using the core VBS2 graphics engine.
The following file types are supported by Oxygen 2: