Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim) has released updates to VBS3. VBS3 20.1 comes with VBS Map, a new HTML-based external map tool, enhanced civilian Artificial Intelligence (AI) pedestrian and traffic pattern-of-life behaviors (available for multiplayer use through the VBS3 Bundle), a new modular helicopter instrumentation system, and more than 100 new 3D models representing new civilian, UK, UN, Russian and Chinese vehicles, characters and environmental objects. Customers can access the new version using the VBS License Manager.

ADF HX77 military truck in VBS3 20.1. Image credit: BISim

VBS Map is a new stand-alone map application designed for users to train in VBS3 with a customizable 2D map, and for administrators to be able to set up, observe and evaluate all trainees from one admin station. This new capability was funded in part by a major European user.

Training administrators and instructors can use VBS Map to create presets with stored map configurations or configure trainee maps in real time to simulate real-life device functions. For example, the map can be locked to a specific view and administrators can control what other units and military symbols will appear to trainees on their map. Administrators can also customize the appearance of the virtual device trainees by uploading an image of the device they are emulating and customize its functionality. Admins can also select what type of coordinates trainees will see and enable VBS Chalkboard drawings for trainees to view on their maps.

A set of pre-programmed AI behaviors for the most common training use cases, VBS Control Behavior Pack 1 is available for multi-player training uses as part of the VBS3 Bundle. VBS Control Behavior Pack 1 leverages the VBS Control runtime, which has been supplied for free with all versions of VBS3 since VBS3 17.2. Control AI behaviors will interact with the VBS3 existing AI system.

The updates to VBS Control Behavior Pack 1 for VBS3 20.1 offer administrators expanded control of the civilian AI population behaviors. This includes enabling or disabling the civilian population on demand, using triggers to start/stop various population activities in defined areas, and linking civilian activities to areas for different functional purposes. Crowds can also be formed using special activities that interrupt other civilian pattern-of-life activities.

The updates also include a new civilian panic behavior that can be triggered locally, both manually and automatically by administrators. Panic behaviors can also be set to end after a specified duration or ended manually. Administrators can also configure safe zones for civilians to flee to.

The realism of civilian traffic has also been enhanced. VBS3 20.1 now features multi-lane traffic by default and restricted areas can be applied to traffic defining where civilian AI vehicles can and cannot travel. Vehicle traffic flow can now be regulated by placing traffic signs and lights near junctions and crosswalks.

To support scenario designers in discovering possible issues with their civilian pattern-of-life setup, VBS3 20.1 also introduces new civilian debug and visualization tools.

In VBS3 20.1, BISim introduces a new helicopter instrumentation system, which features a cockpit HUD displaying various helicopter gauges as part of the vehicle interaction system. These include an anemometer, radiosonde, altimeter, artificial horizon, variometer, gyrocompass and chronometer. Any helicopter in VBS3 may be equipped with the HUD by adjusting individual helicopter model and gauge configurations.

The latest updates to VBS3 also include improvements to VBS Radio, the built-in voice and radio communications simulation. The updates include a new “Admin Announcements” button and channel that allow administrators to broadcast to all units in the scenario simultaneously. Also new in VBS Radio, administrators and instructors can also access a new “Speak to Trainee” capability that allows them to speak directly to a specific trainee.

“Continuous enhancement remains a core aspect of BISim’s approach to its product development including VBS3 and all of these new features will be ported to VBS4, our next generation virtual desktop trainer and simulation host, so customers who upgrade experience a seamless transition between versions,” said Oli Arup, Senior VP, Product Management.