|screenshot from dangerous waters|
so now it's the navy's turn. recent developments from DARPA shows a piece of software that simulates submarines behavior and evasive maneuvers. called the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) continuous trail unmanned vessel (ACTUV), the software asks players to try to track down those elusive subs. it's a novel way of using technology to train personnel for an important goal, and it will eventually be rolled into actual toolkits for the ACTUV program, but of course there needs to be a lot of testing before autonomous software is used.
so how do you get a good base of testers for something like this? given that the software lends itself to making a good simulation game, much like america's army, they did just that. well, sort of. the actual ACTUV tactics simulator is available online as a free download from DARPA, but they've also worked together with sonalysts combat simulations to integrate the software into a game called dangerous waters. the game goes for realism, putting players in positions that reflect warfare situations. you control a tracking vessel with realistic tools at your disposal, tracking down a submarine that's programmed to use probable and realistic evasive maneuvers to shake you off their trail. but, like in a real scenario, you share the seas with other commercial ocean traffic, making navigation around civilians a concern in your hunt. you get points for completing mission objectives (i mean what's a game without points?) and can share your scores, tactics and suggestions through leaderboards and a community site.
this is just an example of how the DOD is increasingly looking for public input into their technology development. another recent project, the experimental crowd-derived combat-support vehicle (XC2V for short) used crowdsourcing in the form of a design challenge to come up with a next-generation combat support vehicle. the army is also developing a virtual world to provide training for its peacekeeping operations - something similar to second life. maybe it's just because i'm an all-purpose nerd but it's cool to me that this kind of development isn't only possible but actually happening. i'm looking forward to what this kind of collaborative development along with other efforts in design competitions and social media can bring. you can find some links to DARPA and the dangerous waters game below.
and on that note, you folks have a fine day doing whatever you're doing - i'm off to hunt me a sub.
and maybe a sub sandwich. but i don't need tracking software for that.
information week via gamepolitics
DARPA official website
DARPA ACTUV simulator page
sonalysts combat simulations - dangerous waters