Introduction to SimsUshare “States” – Fire Simulator Training
Hello, I’m Jonathan Kaye from SimsUshare. Today I’m going to be discussing scenario conditions, how to evolve scenario conditions, and a new solution that we have from SimsUshare as part of the program.
Essentially, when you have a condition––let’s say you arrive on scene to incipient smoke and now you want to change it to, let’s say, some fire extension or to a knockdown––well, you know that our typical locations are just like slides. So, for example you may have initial location Bravo, but you can make a slide for a Bravo incipient, a Bravo knockdown, a Bravo extension, and then flip to the correct slide based on whatever the current condition is. So, you still make all your locations and all the conditions in this kind of slideshow and you’re setting up your navigation to flip people over to the correct condition.
So now, what happens though now with the Command Training Center, where you have an instructor controlling multiple units? If you now flip someone over, let’s say they’re at the Alpha side, and they’ve shown up a their arrival condition, and now you want to move them over to the fire extension, well with the Command Training Center, you know, I’m going to go back over here to show you––if I’m here in an exercise, and I start an exercise, let’s say I’ll call it Myrtle, and I’ll just say it’s sort of Myrtle, I’ll go and pick the exercise, I’ll start the exercise. And now over here, what I’ve done with this is to make a special name. You’ll see here I’ve got my Alpha side and I make A, B, which would be for getting better, or W for getting worse, or D for getting defensive. And that doesn’t have to be a single letter, it can be anything you want. But now if I actually join the exercise here, I go and say, let’s say start multiplayer mode and I’m going to join the CTC server and use the exercise code Myrtle, I can join. I’ll keep it over here, it’s already on this machine.
So you’ll see here I have, there’s Ladder 1, and if I want to know do this for Ladder 2 as well or for let’s say engine––let me join now for Engine 1––this is typically how you might use the CTC to change your conditions. So let’s say I’m going here, Myrtle but now this one is going to be Engine 1, hit join. So now we have our two units there. They’re both at Alpha. If I now move Engine 1 to let’s say over to the Delta side, you’ll see how now it’s moving there. And so we’re coordinating this as they move.
But let’s say now I want to make the conditions better. So what I can do, if I’ve created separate slides for different conditions, is I can say move Engine 1––I can say move Engine 1 over––I’m going to actually make it worse. And now that’s much worse, I mean it’s getting much worse. But notice Ladder 1 is staying at its incipient there. So if I wanted to make the condition change all at once, I’d have to move them individually. Now, if you only have two units, it’s not such a bad thing but imagine you have four, five, six, units or more. What you’ve done is now added a lot of time between when I actually change the condition and when everyone is seeing the correct result for that condition. And similarly, see, if I move to Delta again I’ve got to go through and move everyone over so that they’re actually saying the same thing. So that’s a problem, to interrupt from the correct view that people are supposed to see.
So, up until now, there really hasn’t been a good solution. I mean, you could make your sequences change over time. The good thing about time is the scenario evolves for all participants. So if I made the condition automatically change, then when that time happens, regardless of the screen, they would move to the correct condition. The problem with doing it by time is the evolution is fixed regardless of the crew action. The instructor doesn’t have the control. So, again, what I’ve shown over here is if the instructor moves participants to a new location, the pros are the instructor can control the scenario evolution, but the cons is really that the participants have to be moved manually.
So we really focused on, how do we address the cons of this? How do we move people over all at once so that wherever they are, A, B, C, wherever, they get moved to the correct look? And that’s what we call the SimsUshare CTC States. That’s a long word. You’ll see we’ve tried to make this really simple, and simple meaning that if you don’t care about states, if you’re doing stuff the way you’re doing now, that’s fine, it won’t interfere with you.
So the idea of states is, and we’ve sort of hinted at it with those square brackets. Over here, as I was showing here, when you make your scenario, you create locations, and the key thing is going to be you’re going to name them with square brackets. It could be anything in those brackets. It can be “better,” “worse,” it can be “knockdown,” “extension,” it doesn’t really matter. But what SimsUshare is going to do is infer the different conditions based on how you’ve named your locations. So it’s going to infer when it sees a square bracket B, when you create your initial state which is your collection of the locations, as you would with the regular naming. Now when you create a condition, let’s say a knockdown, you give it a name, and then over here as you see, for example, Side A knockdown, you would name, when you create your location or rename it if you needed to change it, you’d create “A” a and then in square brackets “KNOCK” or whatever code you want to use. And you name all your other locations and states similarly. So you’d have B, C Interior Knock or whatever that happens to be. And then SimsUshare, when it sees the presence of these square brackets, it’s going to pull that out and then, when you load in the CTC an exercise scenario that has those, you see over here it’s going to add a special dropdown––Change State To. And what that’s going to do is let you, in one push, move everyone from wherever they currently are, into the corresponding location for that name. And it’s going to do it by matching the name. That’s how it knows. So you have to have the same name––Side A, Side A [EXTENSION], or Side A [KNOCKDOWN]. So you have to have the same beginning of the name and then you put the different state in brackets.
So, for example, let me go over here and show you. I’ll go back, we’ll leave this exercise, go back over here. So what I’ve done in this example, I’m going to edit and I’m going to go here to residential. I have this example. So now, here we are. If we see here, I’ve made three conditions––an initial one, an extension, and a knockdown. So you’ll see here extension, and if I go here, knockdown. A little tip over here, notice also you can move between the locations with next CTRL + right arrow, CTRL + left arrow, so if I want to go back I can do CTRL + left arrow, CTRL + left arrow, so that that’s how I can quickly edit location slides. So this is knockdown. Now if I go to the next one, there’s Bravo, that’s Bravo. If look at the top here you’ll see here, now when I go to the next one that’s Bravo Fire Extension and then this is Bravo Knockdown. So you are going to be adding your locations with a special suffix. And that way, for people who don’t know about it, they don’t have to know about it. The system works exactly the same, you can name it however you’d like to. But if you just name the location with that state, the system will automatically know what to.
Now, as you name your locations and create them, you might want to order them––you notice how I have here Side A [Extension], [Knock], Bravo [Extension], [Knock]. It all looks very nice and orderly. I’m not that orderly. I don’t have that much planning to know to create them exactly in this order. What you can do is when you create your locations and when you want to rearrange just for your own look, you can go to Manage Locations, and here is where you can actually go and move them around. So typically I’ll create a new location and then I’ll move it just for convenience into something that looks reasonable here. The users don’t care about this order over here. It doesn’t matter the internal order. This internal order is only relevant for when you’re lining up which locations are being viewed here.
So, let’s see how this works now. So now I’m going to go over––we have this available right now in our test development. This is a feature that’s going to be available in about a week or two, by February 1st, so I’m just showing this now as kind of a preview. So I’m going to go here and I’ll say, create an exercise and I’ll say here, this exercise is going to be Example Exercise. I’m going to make up a code––ex1––and I’m going to take that scenario, residential, I already uploaded. I’m going to hit Create and now what I’m going to do is, I’ll just start this here and you’ll see. I have––these are all the slides. I want to make it so that there are three per row, so let me actually go here and select three per row, and so I’ve ordered them so I can see the conditions down the columns. You can order your locations however you want them in the location list in the scenario.
So let’s now go over, and I’m going to go back over here, finish the simulation. I’m going to go back to this here and now I’m going to connect to my development server, I’m going to put whatever the code is––I called it ex1–– hit Join, and it already has the scenario on this machine so I don’t need to re-download it. So there’s Engine 1. I have the other one in the other exercise called Engine 1, let me leave that exercise. Start multiplayer mode, I’m going to go to the development server and I’m going to say ex1 but now I’m going to call this one Ladder 1. So now we have here Exercise 1 and Ladder 1. Now as I move around, you see how it’s sort of moving there. But now if I go see here, let me actually put this side by side so you can see. So now, I will also reduce this so we can see. So now if I want to go and change everyone at once I just click here. Notice it has pulled out the EXT and knock. If I want to move everyone to the extension, I just click on it and it moves everyone over to the corresponding knockdown. If I want to move to knockdown, I click on knockdown, if I want to move back––we’re working on it to go back to the initial right now, but that will work as well to go back to the initial, just by clicking. We’ll probably have something that will say “Initial.” But you see what I can do in one fell swoop, just click and go over. It doesn’t matter where the person is as long as it’s named. It could be on the same location, that’s okay.
Now notice another thing here, when you’re in this mode, by default it won’t let you change the condition by jumping. So over here, we left in an arrow. This arrow here should go take Engine 1 from the extension down to the side A, the incipient, but it blocks you. Notice I click on it, so when you’re in this special mode, it’s not going to let arrows jump across to different conditions. That’s kind of a protective mechanism to make sure that you’re not in an inconsistent state. So even if you had an arrow going to side A or to wherever, it’s not going to let you do that. It’s going to keep you in that condition.
So that’s a really exciting feature, very important feature for doing anything more than a couple units having exercises. So I was mentioning, this is going to be ready in about a week, week and a half. The update will be transparent, there will be no downloads or changes on your side. Our free example sims––I would say we have probably about 15 to 20 that are already compatible because that was in our process of naming them. And you can get started making your sims state compatible just by naming the locations, or renaming the locations. And to do that, I’ll just sort of refresh over here to show you. Let’s say I had a simulation, let’s let’s just take this timing one over here––and let’s say I wanted to change A to let’s say this is going to be the garage smoke state, all I have to do is go and say Rename Location and change this to be [Garage Smoke]. And then remember, every time you create a new location, you want to name it with the corresponding location name. And now when you use it in the CTC, not in the regular program, not in just the viewer, but when you use it in the CTC, it’s going to infer garage smoke as a state and it’s going to put it into that drop down.
Well, that’s 15 minutes. I’m going to see now if you want to use the Q&A, if you want to use the chat window, I’ll answer any questions. Hope you enjoyed that. We’re going to be updating our help material shortly so we’ll have quick start guides, we’ll have videos about using it. But I think this feature really adds an enormous capability, particularly when you’re managing more than just a couple units at the same time. It will help you also organize your simulations from a condition perspective. It is a bit of manual work, but we also wanted to make sure that it didn’t interfere with the basic operation, the basic use, so if someone doesn’t know about this, they can be blissfully ignorant––that’s sort of my middle name, blissfully ignorant––of these types of upgrades. But now that you know, you can actually make a more sophisticated simulation that will be easier to control. Thank you for your attention, and I’ll open it up for questions.