Chain of Command: Capture the Sea

Government Category

By Naval Information Warfare Command: PMW-120

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Description: Chain of Command: Capture the Seas is a multiplayer action game in which 1-3 players command fanciful naval force in a capture-the-flag like exercise. But although it uses fast-paced gameplay and arcade-scoring sensibilities, it was developed by a team deeply versed in educating people about logistics, detection/counter-detection, wargaming and missile defense. To play the game well and win, players will need to understand and solve those problems – even though they won’t think about them in those terms.

Skills and Ideas Taught: At the highest level, this game was designed to demonstrate concepts and train operators on how to create and employ sensor networks to optimize their ability to detect enemy threats, while minimizing your exposure of being detected. To achieve this, we abstracted the relevant qualities and capabilities of real-world assets (sensors, platforms, etc.) and integrated them into a gamified “battlespace”environment. This game is designed to impart both explicit and implicit knowledge regarding various systems, capabilities and environments. In addition, the single- and multi- player battle (or “full action”) scenarios provide opportunity to apply what is learned in the tutorials and for exploratory learning by encouraging trainees to use, test, and discover tactics, techniques and skill sets needed to achieve their in-game goals.

Explicit knowledge concepts:

  • Specific qualities of various platforms, sensors, and weapons systems
  • System employment (how to use it, when to use it

Implicit knowledge/ skills training:

  • Networking or chaining of multiple systems to obtain the right type of information about a specific target or location
  • Effects of geometry and environment on operators of the systems and platforms within their fleet
  • Logistical implications and interactions for both friendly and opposing strategies

Goal or Challenge: The goal of CoC: Capture the Seas is to gather information about the location and actions of the opponent forces and use this information to capture– and hold– high-value targets while avoiding detection. The challenge to the player is that the location and movements of the opposing fleets is unknown, unless they are detected by radars or sensors aboard the different platforms (e.g. ships,submarines, aircraft). The player must then leverage this information to determine which targets to try and capture, how to capture them and how to defend their fleet against their opponents.Players have a variety of platforms, sensors, and weapons. These provide different logistical options, different flavors of intelligence,and different potential for going up against an opponent (or two!). All of these factors need to be understood, accounted for, and employed under time-crunch. A variety of strategies can be successful, but any type of success depends primarily upon how well aplayer can identify each opponent’s plans, disposition, and capability. The balance of the game is such that a capably employed platform can provide significantly more value than a more expensive opposing force that is used crudely. All platforms have overlapping strengths and weaknesses that must be considered and responded to in real-time.

Primary Audience: Naval personnel (sailors), age range 18- 24 years old; however, this game can be used in many ways to illustrate, teach, and/or better explain EW tactics and related scientific principles to any audience.

Assessment Approach: In order to assess the trainee’s overall level of knowledge and/or skills we plan to measure their performance during the Battle scenarios. These scenarios require the trainee to utilize a variety of resources and techniques to identify, capture and defend the targets that will give them more points than their opponents. In the single-player version of these scenarios, the trainee is playing against two other fleets being controlled by AI agents within the game. This allows the trainer to create scenarios to target performance or understanding of specific knowledge or skills for assessment. In the multi-player battle scenarios, up to three players compete against each other to gain the most points before the end of the scenario. Performance in these scenarios can be used to assess for trainee proficiency as well as tactics and techniques used.

Game Engine: Unity

Operating System: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10

Platform: PC

Special Hardware: None