Realistic Virtual Actors


The current generation of video games provides a highly attractive immersive gaming experience, combining high quality animation and visual effects. Some games rely upon “virtual actors” or avatars to populate the games, whether they are the enemy or friendly characters. The virtual actors’ behaviours are developed for each scene, and all their decisions and consequent actions are implemented for each case as Finite State Machines (FSMs).

However, it is very time consuming to develop the actors and their behaviours, which are often a limited repertoire of scripted actions. Using CoJACK™ to control the virtual actors greatly improves the range and credibility of their behaviour, while reducing the programming effort involved.

Military forces around the world have historically used bespoke computer simulation systems, or Synthetic Environments/Battlespaces, to study the effectiveness of their tactics and equipment when engaged with potential opposition forces. Recently this situation has changed dramatically. The availability of low-cost, very high performance desktop PCs has allowed software developers to produce a new generation of photo-realistic military training systems. These provide a compelling immersive visual experience and have been recognised by the military as offering a significant improvement in affordability for training systems, particularly for land forces.

Concurrent with this significant advance in technology, the training demand for soldiers has also increased to better prepare them for current warfare trends. Consequently soldiers are now required to effectively deal with insurgents who blend with the background civilian population, deal with the threats of IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) and suicide bombers. As a result, there is now an increasing emphasis on modeling human behaviour, as this has become a predominant concern for military planners.

CoJACK has been integrated with VBS2™, a photo-realistic Synthetic Environment that provides immersive training and pre-deployment mission-rehearsal capability. In this approach, CoJACK represents the “mind” of each actor and is responsible for its decision-making and actions. VBS2 is the mediator of perception, action and environmental influences such as terrain and temperature. As a result, CoJACK-driven virtual actors are able to assess situations and the moves that the trainee might make and adapt their actions accordingly. They appear much more intelligent, as they foresee the consequences of actions and the likely responses of other actors and the trainee. Furthermore, they show human-like emotions such as fear and anger as well as being able to demonstrate personality or mood characteristics such as behaving courageously by taking greater risks or behaving more cautiously.

Feel free to browse the video clips below.

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