Lessons learned from implementing a MSDL Scenario Editor
Abstract: Serious gaming is the collective name for the utilization of games and tools for education purposes. The utilization allows the organizations to train more effectively in various simulations and simulators. The simulations can be conducted in a high detail rich environment, without having to physically perform the exercise or simulation, for a lower cost. This thesis describes the lessons learned when implementing the version one Military Scenario Definition Language (MSDL) standard (SISO, 2008) in a novel and proof-of-concept tool for serious gaming scenario interaction. The tool is able to create, import, export and validate military scenarios in MSDL form, as well as exporting scenarios in Open Geospatial Consortium Keyhole Markup Language (OGC-KML, 2008) form and in Virtual Battlespace 2 script files, importing a map through vector files, support for MIL-STD-2525B (Department of Defense, 2005) and much more. The tool is divided in three parts; graphical user interface, back end and scenario module, where each part is separated from the others with own tasks. Comments of the current MSDL specification and suggestions for future revisions are included; while the current specification is easy to read and follow, quirks are identified and proposed solutions are presented. Examples of scenarios in MSDL form are included in the appendix. This thesis also describes a common reference model for serious gaming and a common reference model from a real-time strategy (RTS) game perspective. The common reference model for serious gaming describes the most common information possible to gather in serious games. The common reference model serves as a base for applications and games for their information exchange; any information exchange shall have a corresponding entity or attribute in the common reference model. The RTS common reference model is based on a commander’s perspective and the information such commander is exposed to, and is likewise a base for RTS games’ information exchange. This thesis is a joint assignment by Lund University, LTH and Saab Training Systems. The common reference model for serious gaming, the proof-of-concept application and exporting to MSDL were the acceptance requirements of this thesis, for Saab Training Systems. All acceptance requirements are completed as well as other additional tasks, such as; importing MSDL scenarios and exporting as OGC-KML and Virtual Battlespace 2 script files.
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