- This article was considered for deletion at Wikipedia on December 6 2019. This is a backup of Wikipedia:VBS2. All of its AfDs can be found at Wikipedia:Special:PrefixIndex/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/VBS2, the first at Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/VBS2.
VBS2 (Virtual Battlespace 2) is the successor of the battlefield simulation system VBS1. It was developed by Bohemia Interactive in close cooperation with the United States Marine Corps, Australian Defence Force and other military customers of VBS1. VBS2 is based on the Real Virtuality 2 engine, also used in the video game Arma 2. It was officially launched on 17 April 2007. It was later replaced by VBS3.
VBS and development of VBS2
VBS2 was developed by Bohemia Interactive Australia (now known as Bohemia Interactive Simulations, a spin-off company of former Bohemia Interactive Studio (Bohemia Interactive). VBS2 since version 1.40 are under development by Bohemia Interactive Simulations (abbrev BISIM), which is separate company to/from Bohemia Interactive (abbrev. BI).
By late 2001, the U.S. Marine Corps was provided an alpha version of VBS1 and from their feedback, the after actions review (AAR) tool was added. The Australian Army used VBS1 for experimentation in 2003 and training trials in 2004 with the software being accepted, in 2005, as an Infantry and combined arms operations training tool.
Beta and final release
In 2006, Calytrix Technologies developed LVCGame as a HLA and DIS gateway for VBS to allow constructive simulation entities and VBS entities to interact in wider exercises. VBS2 was released in beta in early 2007 and trialed as part of the ADF's Combined Arms Tactical Training (CATT) events. BIA then used feedback from both the ADF and USMC to finalize VBS2 throughout 2007 with the Virtual Tool Kit addition being released in 2008. It was purchased by the UK Ministry of Defense in May 2007.
In 2009, the United States Army announced a new training program called Games for Training (GFT). VBS2 was selected as the first person simulation flagship for the GFT program. This announcement replaced a DARPA initiative known as DARWARS Ambush! Convoy Simulator which was subsequently retired as a training tool.
Games for Training is managed by he US Army's Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), which used Virtual Battlespace 2 as its flagship training game in 2012, and is located at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Gamespot and Ars Technica write that Virtual Battlespace 2 by 2012 had "became the standard simulator for NATO ground forces training." In 2013, the British Army's game JCOVE was based on the Virtual Battlespace 2 engine, with Gizmodo criticizing JCOVE's graphics and user interface as low quality. The Canadian military in 2013 was using VBS2 for training as well. In 2014, 36,000 soldiers in the United States were reportedly using VBS2 to train on a daily basis.
Upgrades to VBS3 in 2014
In 2013 in January, the US Army was holding a competition to find a replacement for VBS2, with the winner to be picked that spring. The Army said it would contract $44.5 million over five years to create a "first-person shooter with updated graphics, the ability to move a group of players across larger landmasses (such as in an MMO) and the ability to play across mobile and PC." In 2014, the Bohemia Interactive Simulations company was based in Orlando, Florida, and was in the process of updating VBS 3, which was released that year s the successor to Virtual Battlespace 2. The new changes were going to include "more realistic graphics, more weapon and vehicle choices and customizable solider avatars." VBS 3, as a "multiplayer, networked first-person shooter" like its predecessor, began changing avatar's weight and performance to reflect user's actual physical fitness.
Technology and features
The Virtual Battlespace 2 (VBS2) platform was based on the Armed Assault PC games. VBS2 ships with 6,000 pre-rendered objects such as vehicles, weapons, and characters. National Guard Magazine says that VBS2 "immerses soldiers in video-game-like battlefields, hostile villages and in other environments where they expect to operate." The virtual environment is "a cartoon world" instead of realistic.
The simulation engine driving VBS2 is Real Virtuality 2, developed by Bohemia Interactive. VBS2 allows a user to develop large terrain areas, over 10,000 km2 in size (at any terrain resolution) and populate the terrain area with millions of objects in accordance with VMAP shape data, and then texture-map the entire representation with high-resolution satellite imagery or aerial photography. Once the terrain representation is exported into VBS2, the simulation engine will provide a simulation of the real world, incorporating moving trees and grass, ground clutter, ambient animal life, shadows, dynamic lighting, weather and time of day.
VBS2 offers realistic battlefield simulations and the ability to operate land, sea, and air vehicles. Instructors may create new scenarios and then engage the simulation from multiple viewpoints. The squad-management system enables participants to issue orders to squad members.
A new streaming capability provides an efficient means of loading complex terrain areas as object and texture data is processed only when required. View distances are now typically five times greater than in VBS1 (depending on processor speed) – level of detail culling has been improved to allow attack helicopters and armoured vehicles to engage at realistic ranges, and forward observers to call artillery fire from greater distances.
VBS2 supports large multiplayer network sessions allowing join-in-progress and improved administrator functionality. VBS2 provides improved simulation of complex urban areas, including destructible buildings, round penetration through walls and operable and destructible doors. Weapon platforms are capable of thermal imaging, simulation of fire control systems and turret override. Multiple vehicle turrets are possible.
The After-Action-Review module allows detailed review of a completed training mission, with every player, AI, vehicle movement being recorded, as well as any bullet path and any destruction to objects or terrain.
The VBS2 terrain editing tool, Visitor 3, will support direct import of terrain and shape data to recreate any area of operation in the simulation. VBS2 also includes real-time command and control functionality for large numbers of AI or human participants.
- Australian Defence Force
- Canadian Forces
- Finnish Defence Forces
- French Armed Forces
- NATO members
- New Zealand Defence Force
- Royal Netherlands Army, Maneuver Instruction and Training Center/Ground Maneuver School at Amersfoort (OTCMAN)
- Parallel & Distributed Computing Center, Nanyang Technological University
- Singapore Armed Forces
- United Kingdom Ministry of Defence Also released as JCOVE Lite with UK units and distributed as a recruitment tool.
- United States Army
- United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School
- United States Marine Corps
- United States Secret Service
- United States Military Academy, West Point
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- French Armed Forces
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- Official VBS2 website
- Virtual Battlespace 2 Technology Trailer
- BBC news article, about its use to train troops in Iraq and Afghanistan