» Advanced Tutorial: Using Prepar3D’s SimOperator

10-10-19

Prepar3D Professional Plus has many additional advanced capabilities. SimOperator is a key component of the Professional Plus package enabling native Instructor Operator Station (IOS) capabilities built into Prepar3D. This functionality enables a host, generally an instructor, to monitor a multiplayer session while also having the ability to add scenario objects and change scenario conditions in real time! These features allow for instructors to model many different realistic scenarios, including changing weather conditions and failure recovery, which enhances the training experience for students in real-time.

SimOperator is included in Prepar3D Professional Plus available here.

Procedure: Creating a Basic Multiplayer Structured Scenario

  1. Enter SimDirector by navigating to Tools -> SimDirector.
  2. Create a ScenarioMetatdata object, setting the “IsMultiplayer” property to True.
  3. Create a Player object, name it Player1 accordingly, and position it on a runway. Use the Heading parameter in the Orientation field to properly align the aircraft with the runway. Repeat for additional players, if desired.
  4. Rename the scenario under File -> Scenario -> Overview to anything desired.
  5. Save the .fxml in Documents\Prepar3D v4 Files.
  6. Now the scenario can be loaded, be it for a multiplayer structured session or a SimOperator session!

Procedure: Setting up a Session

  1. On the SimOperator host:
    1. Navigate to Tools -> SimOperator to begin hosting the session.
    2. Enter a user name and click Sign In.
    3. Fill in the Basic Options and Additional Options (optional) tab on the Create New Session screen.
    4. Choose to host as Structured, Standard, or Current Scenario. If hosting as a Structured Scenario, select the desired Multiplayer scenario to run, hit OK, and choose the Structured Scenario Options and hit OK If hosting as a Standard Scenario, choose the Scenario Options and hit OK.
    5. Once all players are ready, begin the session. While the SimOperator screen has many windows, this guide can help with navigating through them. For more information on setting up a session, refer to this as a reference, since SimOperator uses Prepar3D’s multiplayer system.
  2. From the perspective of a Player joining a SimOperator session, simply join the session as if it were a multiplayer structured session, navigating to Network -> Multiplayer to begin this process.

Staging Mode vs. Live Mode

SimOperator can be used in two different modes, each with their separate functionalities. Staging Mode, activated by using the Staging Mode button, enables the operator to add, remove, or modify objects within their initial state. Then, the Operator can commit these changes to all of the clients, which will see the updated changes live. Within Staging Mode, all world objects will have a staged version appear at the initial staged scenario object. Note: Before committing, it is recommended to Run Validation using the Validation Output panel to ensure that the objects will function as intended. Live Mode is more restrictive than Staging Mode, as the operator can only modify their live properties, including location. However, these changes in Live Mode are instantaneously updated on all clients without needing to commit changes.

On the left  is a screenshot of SimOperator in Live Mode, note that there are only icons for scenery objects and active players. On the right is a screenshot of SimOperator in Staging Mode, note the increase in icons and how the Player 1 icon moved to its default start position.

SimOperator in Live Mode (only scenery object and active player icons present)

SimOperator in Staging Mode (more icons present, Player 1 icon now at start position)

 

Procedure: Simulating Live Failures

SimOperator has the unique capability of allowing the operator to simulate aircraft failures in real-time. This is especially useful when modeling failure recovery scenarios. The following procedure creates an action object that can be executed live whenever the operator desires, requiring players to react immediately.

  1. Once the session is set up, enter Staging Mode using the toggle on the Editor tab.
  2. Use the Catalog to add a FailureAction object with the following non-default properties:
    • Health Count: 0
    • Object Name: FailureAction1
    • TargetPlayer: Player1, All Players, or a different specific player
    • System: Fire (Eng 1) Note: This can be anything in the list , like instrument failures, but the fire offers a clear visual.
  3. Commit the changes by navigating to Objects -> Commit All (1).
  4. Select FailureAction1 from the Objects panel on the left-hand side and execute it by navigating to Objects -> Execute (FailureAction1).
  5. At this instant, Player1’s aircraft will go from looking like the image on the left to the image on the right.

Player 1, functioning as normal

Player 1, now with an engine on fire

 
Note: To revert a failure, change the HealthPercent property to 100 and repeat steps 3 and 4.
 

Procedure: Weather Manipulation through Objects

SimOperator not only has the capability to host Multiplayer Scenarios, but objects can be created live during an active session. The following step-by-step procedure creates two areas a player can fly through to completely changing the weather from clear skies to thunderstorms and back.

  1. Once the session is set up, enter Staging Mode using the toggle on the Editor tab.
  2. Use the Catalog to add the following objects:
    • 2 SetWeatherStationAction objects with the following non-default properties:
      • Object Name: SetClearWeather, and SetThunderstormWeather, respectively
      • Metar Data: KRND 27007KT 15SM SKC and KRND 27007KT 7SM +TSRA BKN055CB, respectively
        For a breakthrough of Metar Data strings and more information on customizing weather through these strings, refer to this guide.
    • 2 SphereArea objects with the following non-default properties:
      • Object Name: Sphere_Clear and Sphere_Thunderstorm, respectively
      • Area Radius: 500 meters for both spheres
      • RGB Color: Green and Red, respectively
      • Draw Style: Outlined for both spheres
      • AttachedWorldPosition: Location of choice, but keep them close together for easier navigation
    • 2 ProximityTrigger objects with the following non-default properties:
      • Object Name: Trigger_Clear and Trigger_Thunderstorm, respectively
      • OnEnterFilter: Player 1 for both Note: If there are more than one player present, add “Player 2”, “Player 3”, etc.
      • OnEnterActions: SetClearWeather and SetThunderstormWeather, respectively
      • OneShot: No for both
      • Areas: Sphere_Clear and Sphere_Thunderstorm, respectively
    • (Optional) 1 Point of Interest object located very close to the 2 spheres (leave other parameters as the default). This will help with navigation, especially when flying through the thunderstorms.

    Partial screenshot of the SimOperator host, with the 7 additions highlighted

  3. Commit all the additions by navigating to Objects -> Commit All (#).
  4. Enjoy flying through and around these interactive objects that were created in real time, a small taste of what SimOperator has to offer!


 

Closing

Create a dynamic learning experience in Prepar3D utilizing the versatility of SimOperator today!

Try it now by purchasing Prepar3D Professional Plus at our online store.