Games PC Theatre Of WAR
Developed by 1C Company - CDV Software Entertainment USA (2008) - 3D Real-Time Strategy - Rated Teen
Theatre of War offers 40 missions of WWII battle, set between 1939 and 1945. Single-player gamers may battle their way through five campaigns that follow the United States, Russia, Germany, Poland, and France as they take on their enemies with infantry, aircraft, artillery, and vehicular units. Players may lead armored cars, tanks, and support vehicles through 30 different maps as they take on historically re-created opponents in a wide variety of environments. As gamers advance, their infantry ... Read more
Developer: 1C Company
Publisher: CDV Software Entertainment USA
Release Date: May 22, 2008
Controls: Keyboard, Mouse
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Games PC Theatre Of WAR, size: 2.1 MB
Games PC Theatre Of WAR
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Charles S. Roberts. Source: The Charles S. Roberts Awards, URL: http://members.aol.com/TheCharlies/CSRawards.htm.
While Avalon Hill introduced the modern conception of historical war games as simulations, further refinement and popularization of this genre was the work of Simulations Publications Inc. (SPI), led by James F. Dunnigan and a group of game designers that included Redmond Simonsen, Al Nofi, and others. While a student at Columbia University, Dunnigan designed his first game, Jutland, for Avalon Hill in 1966. In 1969, he became the publisher of Strategy & Tactics magazine, which had been founded two years earlier. The early issues were analysis of data and rules in existing games, but before long S&T published game modules, add-on modules and eventually complete, original games in every issue. Just before taking over the magazine, Dunnigan had founded SPI, which took over publication of Strategy & Tactics as well as publishing boxed war games. SPI became the leading publisher of commercial war games, usually called historical simulations, and disseminated information on military systems and history in the magazine. In 1976, SPI published Firefight, a game that simulated Soviet and U.S. small unit tactics and the first important title in a series of games that examined the future history of potential NATO-Warsaw Pact conflict. Strategy & Tactics offered an analysis of the military situations simulated in Firefight, together with an additional game of contemporary warfare, Revolt in the East: Warsaw Pact Rebellion in the 1970s, designed by Dunnigan and Simonsen.7 The Firefight game system had been conceived and designed for the U.S. Army Infantry School before its release as a commercial game; it probably represented the first collaboration between Dunnigan and then Lt. Col. Ray Macedonia of the U.S. Army. Macedonia was determined to invigorate military war gaming by injecting the design advances, research standards, and modeling of SPIs historical simulations into a revived War College system. The rise of
seminar-like political-military gaming since the 1950s in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and an increased civilianization of military affairs appears to have cast a long shadow over all gaming techniques and led to the virtual castration of wargaming in the 1960s and early 1970s.8 Macedonia re-introduced war gaming for staff officer training at the Army War College at Carlisle, Pennsylvania and had asked Dunnigan to consult with him in 1976 as part of the work that led to Firefight.
SPI: The Greatest Selection of Conflict Simulations, Advertising flyer, 1978. Dunnigan and Macedonia forged the militarys first concerted efforts to tap the potential of computer-based war gaming.9 In 1977, the Office of Naval Research sponsored TheaterLevel Gaming and Analysis Workshop for Force Planning, a meeting of game designers and defense analysts that included Dunnigan and Andrew W. Marshall, director of Net Assessment for the Department of Defense. Dunnigan recalls the meeting as kicking off a new breed of war games in the U.S. military:
The rumblings within the professional wargaming community [were] one of the causes of the 1977 Leesburg conference. This was the first gathering of all the major forces in military wargaming. Two others were held, one in 1985 and another in 1991. I was invited to all three, but the first invitation
was a clear sign that things were changing as I was clearly an outsider. It was obvious that the winds of change were blowing strong when Andrew Marshall, a senior official of OSD (Office of the Secretary of Defense) and one of the key sources of funding for professional wargames, got up in front of the assembled multitude and stated bluntly: You people have never given me anything I can use. When my turn came to speak, I pointed out that what was needed was a wargame the commander could sit down with and operate himself. Having the ultimate user of wargame results actually operate the wargame would save a lot of time, get much better results and eliminate a lot of confusion. It would also enable the commander to experiment with options that he might be reluctant to try through his staff (because the idea, or the results, might prove embarrassing). This last point is important, as the sociology of senior command makes it difficult for a commander to appear ignorant of anything or capable of doing something stupid, especially in front of subordinates.10
Marshall was clearly looking for new impulses in war gaming, and after meeting again with Dunnigan, he let a contract to SPI for the development of a new global strategy game, which when completed under Mark Herman in 1980 became the Strategic Analysis Simulation (SAS), a computer-assisted simulation that allowed officers to explore the consequences of their decisions along the lines Dunnigan had outlined at the 1977 conference. Herman had participated in R&D sessions at SPI since the mid-1970s, led Victory Games, a game publisher, and later became a professional military analyst. When appropriate data made available from the Falklands War in 1982, results from SAS Tactical Analysis Module could be validated as being consistent with the outcome.11 By the late 1970s, the Army was pushing for more use of computer technology in war games generally, and it turned outside its ranks for fresh ideas. At the behest of the Army Chief of Staff, Edward C. Meyer, Macedonia took on the task of producing a new architecture for computer-based games. He assigned the project to Fred McClintic, who had previously programmed conversions of several SPI boardgames for use in the War College. The resulting McClintic Theater Model (MTM), another conversion of one of Dunnigans older manual designs, was applied to simulation games sponsored by Army Chief of Staff by November 1980 and became the basis for a series of computer-based theater and operational simulations during the 1980s. Further refinement of MTM by a group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Rolands & Associates Corporation led to the Joint Theater Level Simulation (JTLS) developed in the mid 1980s and in use through the 1990s, thus linking some two decades of commercial and military-sponsored war game design.12
The Army led in pushing for more detailed simulations in the early 1980s, but other services joined in over the course of the decade. These efforts included the National Training Center (founded in 1980) and its training facilities, as well as the upgrading of Navy war gaming with the development after 1979 of the Naval War Game System (NWGS), written by Computer Sciences Corporation for the Naval War College and replaced by the Enhanced Naval Wargame System (ENWGS) in 1985. In 1982, the National Defense University also created a war gaming center. During the 1980s, the increasing expense of traditional (live) exercises focused attention on the resource efficiency of simulations.13 The potential savings was one factor that expanded the scope of game designs in this period, particularly in the linking together of different levels of simulation, such as individual tanks and higher-level unit commands or operational and theater levels of command. This trend was an important factor in the construction of SIMNET and the sophisticated theater-level simulations of the 1990s based in part on MTM.
Bill Cooper (?), Doctor Kriegspiel #3 This cartoon by one of the testers from the ENWGS project refers to release 2.0 (1987), which was designed for Intel 80286/80386 microprocessor-based workstations. Source: Robert Matern, Multics Humor at ENWGS, URL: http://www.multicians.org/enwgs-humor.html.
The value of using computer-based war games as predictive models for combat was demonstrated convincingly before the Gulf War in the summer of 1990. General Norman Schwartzkopf and his staff prepared at the U.S. Central Military Command in Florida for a
potential conflict in this region by playing scenarios of the war game Operation Internal Look designed by Gary Ware. Ware had compiled enormous amounts of data cartographic and military on Kuwait and Iraq, and immediately after the invasion of Kuwait, the war gamers shifted Internal Look to running variations of the now real scenario. They focused on a group of possibilities revolving around the variant: What if Saddam keeps on coming right away? It took computers about 15 minutes to run each iteration of the forecasted thirty-day war. As a prediction, Operation Internal Look got good marks. Despite some shifts in the initial balance of forces, the 30-day simulated air and ground campaign was pretty close to the real sequence, although the percentage of air and ground action was slightly different. The ground battle pretty much unfolded as forecasted. Lessons learned from Internal Look shaped the defensive plan for Desert Shield, and drove home the power of computer simulation in preparing for war.14 The impact of the simulation on future planning and training exercises was discussed by General H. Norman Schwarzkopf in his memoirs, It Doesnt Take a Hero (Bantam, 1992). Recalling the uncanny similarities between Internal Look and the real thing, Schwarzkopf wrote: We played Internal Look in late July 1990, setting up a mock headquarters complete with computers and communication gear at Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida panhandle. As the exercise got under way, the movements of Iraqs real-world ground and air forces eerily paralleled the imaginary scenario of the game.As the war game began, the message center also passed along routine intelligence bulletins about the real Middle East. Those concerning Iraq were so similar to the game dispatches that the message center ended up having to stamp the fictional reports with a prominent disclaimer: Exercise Only. Distributed Networks: SIMNET The biggest boost to military war gaming came from the construction of the DARPAfunded SIMNET, the militarys distributed SIMulator NETworking project. Simulators developed prior to the 1980s were stand-alone systems designed for specific task-training purposes, such as docking a space capsule or landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier. Such systems were quite expensive, for example, more than $30-$35 million for an advanced pilot simulator system in the late 1970s, and $18 million for a tank simulator at a time when an advanced individual aircraft was priced around $18 million and a tank considerably less.
battalions of armor, for instance, and get a selective representation of different classes of weapons, a useful feature for rapidly inspecting the force layout on the battlefield without all the clutter. Once the 73 Easting project was completed the IDA project Odin provided a perfect platform for an interactive, predictive simulation. With the simulation database plugged into Odin, it was possible not only to rerun the historical simulation, but change the equipment used by the enemy to test out tactics for other scenarios. For example, it was hypothesized that a major factor that favored the 2d Cavalry in the battle was they had use infrared vision systems to navigate in the sandstorm whereas the Iraqis had only optical sights on their equipment. By adding that feature to the Iraqi equipment it was possible to see how the outcome of the battle would have been affected. In addition multiple Odin simulators could be hooked up to the network all running the 73 Easting database. Soldiers in the simulators and commanders at workstations could break into the simulation and add new tactics. With improvements in processors and graphics cards became available it was imagined that the size of the simulation units could be reduced and actually embedded into M1 tank units, attack helicopters, or F-16s themselves as real soldiers train for an impending mission right up to the hour of the engagement. From DARPA to Your Local Area Network: Fashioning the Military-Entertainment Complex Contrary to initial expectations, the military-industrial complex did not fade away with the end of the Cold War. It has simply reorganized itself. The major defense contractors receive more funding today than they ever have. According to William Hartung, as a result of a rash of military-industry mergers encouraged and subsidized by the Clinton administration, the Big Three weapons makersLockheed Martin, Boeing, and Raytheonnow receive among themselves over $30 billion per year in Pentagon contracts. This represents more than one out of every four dollars that the Defense Department expends on everything from rifles to rockets.26 While defense spending has not diminished, and seems destined not to in the foreseeable future, a radical shift has occurred in the relationship between defense contracting and the commercial sector. In the early years of the Cold War, when Eisenhower
first called attention to the phenomenon of the military-industrial complex, attempts were made to keep relations between defense contractors and commercial firms either rigidly separate or delicately balanced in a complicated dance. During the late 1980s and early 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the debates surrounding large government research projects such as the Superconducting Super Collider, policy discussions focused on reorienting defense research spending so that research not only served national defense but also that it ultimately benefited the commercial sector. The new militaryentertainment complex is one of the effects of this shift. With the end of the Cold War, a stronger emphasis was placed during the 1990s on running a fiscally efficient military built on the practices of sound business and of making military procurement practices interface seamlessly with commercial industrial manufacturing processes. With pressure to reduce military spending applied by the Federal Acquisitions Streamlining Act of 1994, the Department of Defense remodeled policies and procedures on procurement (through DOD Directives 5000.1 and 5000.2) that had been in place for over 25 years. Among the policies the new directives established was a move away from the historically based DOD reliance on contracting with segments of the US technology and industrial base dedicated to DOD requirements, moving instead by statutory preference toward the acquisition of commercial items, components, processes and practices. In the new mandated hierarchy of procurement acquisition, commercially available alternatives are to be considered first, while choice of a service-unique development program has the lowest priority in the hierarchy. DOD components were directed to acquire systems, subsystems, equipment, supplies and services in accordance with the statutory requirements for competition set out in directive 10 USC 2304. Organizational changes were required to implement these changes. Adapting technology development and acquisition to the fastpaced high technology sector of the US economy meant adopting simplified flexible management processes found in commercial industry, including the institutionalization of Integrated Product Teams, treating cost as an independent variable, and implementing a paperless procurement system of electronic commerce by the year 2000. Program managers were informed that this mandated change meant that military planners would work more closely with industrial partners in team fashion sharing information on designs and
specifications. In effect these changes, introduced by Secretary of Defense William Perry, have transformed military contracting units into business organizations. The military SIMNET and the entire field of computer simulation and training was an immediate beneficiary of these economic trends and shift in policy. Given the enormous expense of military aircraft and other armed systems, and given both the cost and political difficulties in arranging large scale training maneuvers, an effective campaign could be mounted in the name of cost-effectiveness in support of military investment in simulation technology. The DOD has been the major source of long-term funding for high-end computer graphics, visualization technologies, and network infrastructure throughout their now more than 30-year history. The perceived importance of simulation to the outcome in the Gulf War provided stimulus for increasing DARPA-supported research and development efforts around SIMNET. STRICOM, the Armys Simulation Training and Instrumentation Command was founded in order to manage and direct the simulation effort. Directive 5000.1 on defense procurement acquisition mandated that models and simulations be required of all proposed systems, and that representations of proposed systems (virtual prototypes) shall be embedded in realistic, synthetic environments to support the various phases of the acquisition process, from requirements determination and initial concept exploration to the manufacturing and testing of new systems, and related training.27 The total 1998 budget for programs for modeling and simulation exceeded $2.5 billion.28 These were not large sums compared to expenditures in other domains of research and by no means matched the computer industrys own R&D investment in graphics at the time, but channeled through the new DOD procurement system intent upon seamless integration into the civilian high-tech industrial sector, these funding programs played an important role in accelerating the development and dissemination of modeling and simulation technologies.
Large DOD Development Programs in Modeling and Simulation Estimated Project Name Description Program Cost ($millions) Networked simulation system for training army mechanized infantry and armor units. It is composed of Close Combat Tactical Trainer various simulators that replicate combat vehicles, tactical vehicles, and weapons systems interacting in real time with each other and semiautonomous opposing forces. Tactical training system for maintaining and assessing Battle Force Tactical Training fleet combat proficiency in all warfare areas, including joint operations. It will train at both the single-platform and battle group levels. Next-generation battle simulation for training Army commanders and battle staffs at the battalion through Warfighters Simulation theater levels. It has a computer-assisted exercise 2000 system that links virtual, live, and constructed environments. Joint effort by the Navy and Air Force to create a Joint Tactical Combat Training System virtual simulation at the battle group level in which combat participants will interact with live and simulated targets that are detected and displayed by platform sensors. 165 $ 846
STOW is a program to construct synthetic environments for numerous defense functions. Its primary objective is to integrate virtual simulation Synthetic Theater of War (STOW) Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (troops in simulators fighting on a synthetic battlefield), constructive simulation (war games), and live maneuvers to provide a training environment for various levels of exercise. The demonstration program will construct a prototype system to allow the U.S. Atlantic Command to quickly create, execute, and assess realistic joint training exercises. A set of common core representations to allow simulation of actions and interactions of platforms, weapons, sensors, units, command, control, Joint Simulation System (core) communications, computers, and intelligence systems, etc., within a designated area of operations, as influenced by environment, system capability, and human and organizational behavior. A virtual environment within which humans may Distributed Interactive interact through simulation at multiple sites that are Simulation networked using compliant architecture, modeling, protocols, standards, and databases. TOTAL $2,154 442
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Inspector General. 1997. Requirements Planning for Development, Test, Evaluation, and Impact on Readiness of Training Simulators and Devices, a draft proposed audit report, Project No. 5AB-0070.00, January 10, Appendix D.
The emergence of the military-entertainment complex has been a direct outgrowth of the new emphasis on simulation and the reorganization of procurement. STRICOM typifies the new-styled military organization resulting from the mandate to leverage non-military industry resources for the development of military programs. This phase of the story points to the impact of the procurement reforms in creating a mutually beneficial synergy between the military and the entertainment industries. In the newly streamlined, flexibly managed military of the 90s, STRICOM is the DODs executive agent in charge of developing the Advanced Distributed Simulation Technology Program behind much of the militarys simulator training efforts. STRICOM has an interesting web presence. On one side of STRICOMs spinning weblogo is a figure in what might be either a space suit or a cleanroom suit worn by a chip worker. In the background are objects that could be tanks or chips on a board. The figure holds what could be a laser gun. Just when the viewer begins to wonder, Is this a video game?, the reverse side of the spinning logo dispels that illusion. The figure there holds a lightning bolt as a weapon, but is otherwise a traditional helmet-clad soldier. The rim of the logo reads, All But War Is Simulation. In its capacity as manager of the military simulation training effort STRICOM arranged a partnership of the San Diego-based Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and Lockheed Martin to develop hardware, software, and simulation systems for, among other things, networking simulations in live simulation environments such as SIMNET. Given the new imperative to build on products supplied by commercial industry, one key to success in this program of integrated product development is the development of standards for distributed interactive simulations (DIS standards) and the high-level software architecture (HLA) that sets specifications, interfaces and standards for a wide range of simulations.33 The adoption of these standards across the board by industry and by the American National Standards Institute prepares the ground for assimilating networked videogaming and more robust military simulations. The STRICOM mode of operating has conditioned the historical evolution of the Post-Cold War effort to create a seamless environment in which research work carried out for the highend military projects can be integrated with systems in the commercial sector. By 1993, GE
and FALCON 4.0, produced by Id Software and one of Spectrum Holobyte,
respectively, demonstrate that the impact of commercial games on military war gaming did not end with SPI. If anything, these games provide glimpses into how the exchange has intensified, with increasing impact of the game industry on military simulation leading to the release in July 2002 of the Armys own commercial war game, Americas Army. As we shall see, the commercial sector has more than held its share in the flow of technology within the military-entertainment complex. DOOM was released in December 1993. Its changed the direction of almost every aspect of personal computer-based gaming, from graphics and networking technology to styles of play, notions of authorship, and public scrutiny of game content. The authors of DOOM were a group of programmers led by John Romero and John Carmack, who had started as designers of games distributed with Softdisk magazine. Based on the success of games such as the Commander Keen series, they formed id Software in February 1991. From the beginning, id focused on the development of superior graphics technology. Carmack had demonstrated that personal computers could produce smoothly scrolling graphics to rival video consoles by writing a version for the PC of Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. 3. At id, Carmack turned his attention to 3-dimensional graphics, writing the graphics engine for id's Wolfenstein 3-D, an action game published by Apogee. It depicted the action as the player's character would see it, setting the stage for DOOM as the next evolution of this game genre, the "first-person shooter." DOOM added numerous technical and design improvements: a superior graphics engine, fast peer-to-peer networking for multiplayer gaming, a modular design that let authors outside id create new levels, and a new mode of competitive play devised by Romero called "death match." DOOM was a phenomenal success, immediately establishing competitive multiplayer gaming as a leading genre of PC games.
The Ultimate DOOM: Thy Flesh Consumed (id Software, 1995): Source: http://www.idsoftware.com/games/doom/doom-ultimate/. The shift in culture of the military with regard to simulation design and the new procurement policies led from SIMNET to DOOM. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Charles C. Krulaks directive 1500.55 issued in 1996 aimed at implementing improvements in what he termed Military Thinking and Decision Making Exercises. In his comments on the planning guidance Gen. Krulak wrote: It is my intent that we reach the stage where Marines come to work and spend part of each day talking about warfighting: learning to think, making decisions, and being exposed to tactical and operational issues. He identified an important way to exercise these skills: The use of technological innovations, such as personal computer (PC)-based wargames, provide great potential for Marines to develop decision making skills, particularly when live training time and opportunities are limited. Policy contained herein authorizes Marines to use Government computers for approved PC-based wargames.42 General Krulak directed the Marine Combat Development Command to assume responsibility for the development, exploitation, and approval of PC-based wargames. In addition, they were to maintain the PC-based Wargames Catalog on the Internet43. With this incentive a group of Marine simulation experts from the Marine Corps Modeling and Simulation Management Office in the training and education division at Quantico, Virginia tracked down a shareware copy of the commercial game DOOM produced by Id Software, Inc. and began experimenting with it. This led to the adaptation of the game as a fire team
to facilitate the reuse of modeling and simulation components. This framework includes HLA, which represents the highest priority effort within the DoD modeling and simulation community. MK has leveraged its technology for both the military and commercial markets by taking advantage of the nearly $500 million a year spent by the US government on optimizing the speed and capabilities of DIS and HLA. State-of-the-art military DIS systems are now capable of running over 10,000 simulations simultaneously, networked together across far-ranging geographies. As low-cost commercial data services (bi-directional cable TV, ADSL, etc.) became more widely available to consumers, industry analysts projected the market for on-line, 3D, multi-user simulations to reach $2 billion in the year 2000. The networking capabilities of distributed simulation technology developed by MK and other government suppliers enables entertainment providers to create platforms for 3D worlds supporting up to 100,000 participants simultaneously. Katz described his vision provocatively in a chapter for the book Digital Illusion: Entertaining the Future with High Technology. The chapter is titled Networked Synthetic Environments: From DARPA to Your Virtual Neighborhood.45 In the near future MK co-founders Katz and Johnson are betting that Internet-based populations the size of a mid-sized U.S. city will be able to stroll through an electronic shopping mall, explore and colonize a virtual universe, or race for prizes in cyberspaces largest 3D road rally. The contract awarded by the US Marine Corps to MK in 1997 served this vision of a vastly shared virtual reality, what might be termed massively multiplayer games for the military; it closed the gap between military simulation technology and the technology available to players of games like Ultima Online (1997) and Everquest (1998). The contract was for MEU 2000, a computer-based tactical decision-making game for US Marines which was also be released simultaneously as a commercial computer game. This contract was eventually rewritten to support a new edition of Spearhead II developed in cooperation with the U.S. Marine Corps in order to ensure that a high level of realism would be incorporated into the simulation. The special operations unit commander in this multiplayer game will see a battle engagement from a 3-D tactical view, enabling him to select units, issue orders, and monitor the progress of his forces. Each player will be able to assume a position in the command hierarchy of either US or opposing forces. Additionally, players of platform-level simulations will be able to assume their appropriate positions in the command hierarchy. MK will use
the same game engine in both its military and civilian versions. The military version will add more accurate details about tactics and weapons, while the civilian game will be less demanding. But both versions will allow multiple players to compete against each other over a local-area network or the Internet. While a number of military simulations and commercial airline flight simulators have been adapted to the commercial game market, FALCON 4.0 was the first commercial flight simulation video game to be adapted to military training. FALCON 4.0 is a network-based game which supports either single player or multiplayer modes. Multiplayer mode supports dogfights with up to four squadrons of four F-16s each. The games whopping 600-page manual suggests the seriousness of play involved and indicates why the military finds it attractive for its own training purposes. As producer Gilman Louie explains, the FALCON 4.0 is a detailed simulation re-creating the feel of being an F-16 pilot operating over a modern battlefield. The simulation has a highly accurate flight model and avionics suite that incorporates flight parameters conforming to real-world specifications. FALCON 4.0 accurately re-creates such effects as deep stall (to escape, the player must use the real-world procedure of flipping the Manual Pitch Override switch and rocking the aircraft outthe standard game trick of simply lighting the afterburners wont restore normal flight in this simulation). Weapon modeling is equally realistic and, except for omitting a few classified details, provides an amazingly accurate representation of weapons deployment. The simulation is so detailed, in fact, that reviewers of the game report consulting a real-world Dash 1 manual for the F-16 when playing the game. The realism of FALCON 4.0 is further enhanced by graphics generated from actual aerial photographs and map data from the Korean peninsula. In its current version, the game plays best on a computer with a processor of 400 MHZ or higher. The extreme realism in this video game led Peter Bonanni, graduate of the F-16 Fighter Weapons School and pilot instructor of the Virginia Air National Guard, to work with Spectrum HoloByte Inc. to modify the FALCON 4.0 flight simulator game for military training. According to Bonanni, FALCON 4.0 mimics the look and feel of real military aircraft and allows users to play against computer-generated forces or, in a networked fashion, against other pilots, which facilitates team-training opportunities. Another reason for
Monterey, California, hosted a workshop on modeling and simulation aimed at exploring mutual ground for organized cooperation between the entertainment industries and defense.47 The report and follow-up proposal by Michael Zyda stimulated the Army in August 1999 to give $45 million to the University of Southern California over the next five years to create a research center to develop advanced military simulations. The research center has enlisted film studios and video game designers in the effort, with the promise that any technological advances can also be applied to make more compelling video games and theme park rides. The idea for the new center, called the Institute for Creative Technologies, reflects the fact that although Hollywood and the Pentagon may differ markedly in culture, they now overlap in technology. In opening the new Institute for Creative Technology Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera said, We could never hope to get the expertise of a Steven Spielberg or some of the other film industry people working just on Army projects. But the new institute, Caldera said, will be a win-win for everyone. While putting more polygons on the screen for less cost is certainly one of the militarys objectives at the Institute for Creative Technologies and in similar alliances, other dimensions of simulated worlds are equally important for their agenda. Military simulations have been extremely good at modeling hardware components of military systems. Flight and tank simulators are excellent tools for learning and practicing the use of complex, expensive equipment. However, movies, theme park rides, and increasingly even video games are driven by stories with plot, feeling, tension, and emotion. To train for real world military engagements is not just to train on how to use the equipment but how to cope with the implementation of strategy in an environment with uncertainties, surprises, and participants with actual fears. As Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Charles C. Krulaks directive on Military Thinking and Decision Making Exercises emphasized, decisions made in war must frequently be made under physical and emotional duress. The directive stated that the PC-based wargame exercises in peacetime should replicate some of the same conditions: Imaginative combinations of physical and mental activities provide Marines the opportunity to make decisions under conditions of physical stress and fatigue, thereby more closely approximating combat.48
How might the interest in pursuing this line of development in new settings like the Institute for Creative Technology (ICT) proceed? The directions of research previously pursued by the Institutes principal staff give us an indication. Prior to the launch the focus of work by several key members of the ICT was on constructing semi-automated forces and multiple distributed agents for virtual environments, such as training programs. Others in the ICT work on building models of emotion for use in synthetic training environments. The work of professors Jonathan Gratch and Jeff Rickel are prototypical. Prior to the formation of the ICT these researchers had been working on the construction of intelligent agent technology for incorporation into state-of-the-art military simulation systems. More interested in modeling training behaviors, they have not been particularly interested in developing believable agents for video games or film. The goal of one of their projects is to develop command and control agents that can model the capabilities of a human military commander, where commander agents must plan, monitor their execution, and replan when necessary. At the opening ceremonies of the ICT, Richard Lindheim the executive director outlined several projects the institute would be pursuing. Among those he described was a construction of what he referred to as the holodeck. The idea, Lindheim explained, is to leverage new media technologies of virtual reality to link immersive virtual environments with interactive synthetic agents, so-called synthesbians, that are elements of simulation- and game-based learning exercises. Some examples of the programs that have been underway at the ICT are the Mission Rehearsal Exercise, the Advanced Leadership Training Simulation, and the ICT Games Project. One of the scenarios completed in the Mission Rehearsal Exercise creates a training situation to help train soldiers heading for combat, peacekeeping and humanitarian missions. In the interactive scene you are an American soldier in Boznia-Herzegovnia whose Humvee has accidentally struck a civilian vehicle and injured a young child. A soldier stands, awaiting orders on whether to continue with the mission or call for Medivac assistance. Sir, we should secure the assembly area, he saysa platoon already in position is expecting your arrival as backup. Along the cobbled streets, a crowd has gathered. A TV crew is now on the scene. A helicopter circles overhead. Tension mounts. The five-minute scenario is projected
onto a 150-degree movie screen, complete with 10.2-channel audio that creates floor-shaking sound effects. To enhance the sense of reality, smells including burned charcoal can be pumped into the room. Participants can gesture and touch objects and elicit responses in the simulator. The machine also uses voice recognition technology and different languages to allow participants to converse with the characters they encounter. The designers of this simulation, led by Jonathan Gratch, have spent considerable time trying to make this artificial intelligence respond in unpredictable ways so the experience is slightly different each time the system is used. Other simulations are being constructed to train soldiers for circumstances too dangerous for real-life trainingfor example, a chemical spill. The goal of constructing the holodeck is to create the type of technology that allows teams of soldiers to be embedded in any environment. By 2008, ICT hopes to take the experience off the movie screen and compress it into a helmet, which users can wear to experience virtual reality anytime, anywhere. Conclusion: On Independence Day, 2002, the traditional summer blockbuster date in the entertainment industry, the US military released its new videogame, Americas Army: Operations. Designed by the Modeling, Simulation, and Virtual Environments Institute (MOVES) of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, the game, intended as a recruiting device, is distributed free on the internet. Produced with brilliant graphics and the most advanced commercial game engine available (the Unreal game engine) at a cost of around $8 million, the game is a first-person multiplayer combat simulation that requires players to complete several preliminary stages of combat training in an environment mirroring one of the military's own main training groundscyber bootcamp. On the first day of its release the military added additional servers to handle the traffic, a reported whopping 500,000 downloads of the game. The site continued to average 1.2 million hits per second through late August 2002. Gamespot, a leading review, not only gave the game a 9.8 rating out of a possible 10, but also regarded the business model behind the new game as itself deserving an award. As the militarys new blockbuster videogame illustrates, the military-industrial complex, contrary to initial expectations, did not fade away with the end of the Cold War. It has
simply reorganized itself. In fact, it is more efficiently organized than ever before. Indeed, a cynic might argue that whereas the military-industrial complex was more or less visible and identifiable during the Cold War, today it is invisibly everywhere, permeating our daily lives. The military-industrial complex has become the military-entertainment complex. The entertainment industry is both a major source of innovative ideas and technology, and the training ground for what might be called post-human warfare. The rise of the military-entertainment complex is not without a certain irony. Militarysupported games, it turns out, are considerably less violent than their competitors. Americas Army: Operations, for instance, renders only a puff of blood when a player is hit. Real War, another game commissioned by the military from Rival Interactive and simultaneously released as a commercial product, is rated "Teen" because of its lack of gore. Although Rival Interactives president James Omer defends the game as a strategy challenge, not an actual simulator, several online game reviews have criticized this game and other military-funded game projects for not being realistic enough. Calling the movements in Real War jerky and cartoonish, Gamespot gave the game a 3 out of 10. What scores a 10 in the game community? Games like Rock Star Games Grand Theft Auto, a role-playing game in which the player, betrayed and left for dead, curries favor with mob bosses and crooked cops while avoiding a lethal street gang, or Max Payne, where a fugitive undercover cop framed for murder is hunted by the mob. To date, the ICT has not followed the game industry strategy of opening its game editor and level design software to the mod developer community, but if their intent is truly to leverage the commercial market for military interests in the new era of cyberwarfare, that step cannot be far behind. Indeed, it may not even be necessary: the Unreal game engine used by the MOVES Institute for Americas Army has spawned a very large mod community of its own, visible, for instance, on the PlanetUnreal.com website. One group currently recruiting there is developing a mod based on the Unreal engine called Terrorism: Fight for Freedom, expected to be completed in early 2003., the architects of this multi-player web-based game--a distributed multi-national group-- describe their project in an update from August 11, 2002, as a modern-day, smallscale warfare Total Conversion for Unreal Tournament 2003. The mod is based upon wars that are currently occurring in the world.
The military is using newly-minted best practices of game design and business models to compete in the arena for young highly-trained cyberwarriors. In a post 9-11 world where distributed collaboration in a military context has come to signify terrorist cells, the potential mods based on the Unreal engine conjure up an all too frightening potential reality. No doubt somewhere, either in the game industry itself or among the worldwide community of mod builders, a group is currently developing a cyberterrorist game based on attacking the computer infrastructure of a country, disabling its power grid, infiltrating its financial networks, and hacking into mainstream news media such as the New York Times to confuse the public about what's going on. Will this be a market in which the U.S. military can choose (or afford) not to compete?
Operation Flashpoint (Bohemia Interactive and Codemasters, 2001).
Two of the statistics cited frequently as evidence of the growth of videogames as a popular medium are annual revenues and "eyeball time." Sales of computer and video games in the United States alone, including hardware and accessories, exceeded $10 billion in 2001; box-office receipts in the U.S. movie industry, by comparison were about $8.35 billion, itself a record total. Global sales of hardware and software are expected to exceed $30 billion in 2002. The publishers of Half-Life: Counterstrike, the most popular multiplayer game, reported some 3.4 billion player-minutes per month in mid-2002, exceeding estimates based on viewership ratings for time devoted to even the highest-rated U.S. television shows. Another measure: With roughly 1.5 billion movie admissions per annum, less than 15% of the U.S. population attends movies every week (down from 46% after World War II); by comparison, statistics gathered by Peter D. Hart Research and cited by the Interactive Digital Software Association suggest that 60 percent of the American population played "interactive games on a regular basis" in the year 2000. Khanh T. L. Tran, "U.S. Videogame Industry Posts Record Sales," Wall Street Journal (Feb. 7, 2002); Valve L.L.C., "Valve Unveils Steam At 2002 Game Developers Conference," (Press Release, March 21, 2002); Sharon Waxman, "Hollywood's Great Escapism; 2001 Box Office Receipts Set a Record," The Washington Post (Jan. 4, 2002); Anne Valdespino, "The Big Screen Keeps Pulling Us In," Los Angeles Times (July 1, 2002); Interactive Digital Software Association, Essential Facts about the Computer and Video Game Industry (Washington,D.C.: IDSA, 2000): 5, also available a
Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Publication 1, Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms (Washington, D.C.: G.P.O., 1987): 393.
Georg Heinrich Leopold von Reiswitz, Freiherr v.Kaderzin und Grabowska, Anleitung zur Darstellung militairischer Manver mit dem Apparat des Kriegs-Spieles (Berlin: Trowitzsch, 1824). The Anleitung has been translated into English as: Kriegsspiel : Instructions for the Representation of Military Manoeuvres with the Kriegsspiel Apparatus, trans. Bill Leeson]. 2nd ed. Hemel Hempstead : Bill Leeson, 1989. William Roscoe Livermore, The American Kriegsspiel: A Game for Practicing the Art of War upon a Topographical Map (Boston : Houghton, Mifflin, 1882).
SEE HENRYs NOTE IN THE TEXT.
15 J.A. Thorpe, "Future Views: Aircrew Training 1980-2000," unpublished concept paper at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, 15 September 1978, discussed in Richard H. Van Atta, Sidney Reed, and Seymour J. Deitchman. DARPA Technical Accomplishments: An Historical Overview of Selected DARPA Projects, 3 Volumes, Institute for Defense Analysis, IDA Paper P-2429, 1991: Vol. 2, chapter 16, p. 10. Harris, M., Entertainment Driven Collaboration, Computer Graphics, 28,2, May 1994, pp. 93-96 argues that SIMNET was inspired by the Atari game Battlezone. 16
Ibid., note 50. Chapter 16, p 10.
17 The training concept was to provide a means of cueing individual behavior, with the armored vehicle being part of the cueing. When individuals and crews reacted, they would provide additional cues to which others would react. Thus, the technology was to play a subservient role in the battle-engagement simulations, making no decisions for the crews, but rather simply and faithfully reproducing battlefield cues. 18 19
Van Atta, Chapter 16, p. 13.
Once the decision to remove BBN from the graphics portion of the project Cyrus then left Boeing and formed an independent company, Delta Graphics, in order to devote his full energies to developing the graphics technology for SIMNET. The initial contractor, BBN, continued with responsibility for the network technology, but with the needed change in architecture, i.e., with use of microprocessor-based graphics generators.
See J.A. Thorpe, "The New Technology of Large Scale Simulator Networking: Implications for Mastering the Art of Warfighting," in Proceedings of the 9th Interservice Industry Training Systems Conference, November 30-December 2, 1987, American Defense Preparedness Association, 1987,492-501.
R.J. Lunsford, Jr., US Army Training Systems Forecast, FY 1990-1994, Project Manager for Training Devices (US Army Materiel Command), Orlando, Florida, October 1989, p. 14. Cited in Van Atta, Chapter 16, p. 31. 22 23
F. Clifton Berry, Jr., Re-creating History: The Battle of 73 Easting, National Defense, Nov. 1991.
Ibid. Also see the discussion of the Battle of 73 Easting in Bruce Sterling, "War Is Virtual Hell," Wired Magazine, Vol 1, No. 1, January 1993, online at: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/1.01/virthell.html?topic=&topic_set= see especially pp. 6-7 of the online article.
Berry, Re-creating History. Also discussed in Kevin Kelly, "God Games: Memorex Warfare" from Out of Control, (New York; Addison Wesley, 1994): http://panushka.absolutvodka.com/kelly/ch13-e.html Personal communication. William D. Hartung, "Military Monopoly," The Nation, January 13/20, 1997.
DoD Directive 5000.1, March 15, 1996, Section D: Policy, Para 2: Acquiring Quality Products, item (f): Modeling and Simulation.
10 April 2007
By: Filip Truta, Games Editor
PC - Theatre of War Gone Gold
Real time aerial, naval and ground-based combat, in the most realistic WW II RTS to date
Awfully nice landscape for WW II times.
No, it's not the novel written by Justin Richards and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who going gold, but the real-time-strategy game by the creator of IL-2 Sturmovik and Combat Mission, Battlefront. With Theatre of War, PC gamers will command hundreds of different unit types in 5 historical campaigns (US/UK, Soviet, German, French and Polish), in fierce battles of World War II between the years 1939-1945. But don't click away just yet, because this isn't your ordinary WW II real-time-strategy click-fest, but a thrilling Real Time Combat Simulator with an emphasis on realism and detail, and real world military tactics - a challenge even to veterans of the genre.Due to the high demand and large number of pre-orders, Battlefront has multiplied its file hosting capacity by partnering with Fileburst, one of the leading high volume data delivery service providers on the market, all this in an effort to deliver the anticipated download bandwidth required especially for the first days of release. Theatre of War will be released on April 19, 2007, initially via digital delivery from Battlefront's download portal and a couple of weeks later in a DVD version with printed manual available by mail. Theatre of War is not sold in stores as Battlefront have their "independent publisher" policy. The demo for Theatre of War will also be released for download in just a few days.You be the judge of Battlefront's work, whether it's just another WW II strategy game or a totally different and improved vision of the deadliest conflict in human history, with advanced gameplay options and tactics that'd surprise even Hitler and The Allied Forces.
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Theatre of War offers 40 missions of WWII battle, set between 1939 and 1945. Single-player gamers may battle their way through five campaigns that follow the United States, Russia, Germany, Poland, and France as they take on their enemies with infantry, aircraft, artillery, and vehicular units. Players may lead armored cars, tanks, and support vehicles through 30 different maps as they take on historically re-created opponents in a wide variety of environments. As gamers advance, their infantry gains experience and skills. Individual soldiers who have served with distinction may be promoted or awarded medals and decorations. Online, players may challenge friends through a LAN or the Internet. Creative combatants can edit and create new challenges with the mission and campaign editor. ~ Gracie Leach, All Game Guide
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