Tyrant's Virtual Mission Tools (VMT)

Summary

Virtual Mission Tools (VMT) is a program for assisting mission planners and participants to better understand the situation, including views of friendly and enemy air forces and weather.

Screenshot

(Click for larger version.)
Image

Motivation

I wrote VMT because I wanted a better way to view the overall situation in the missions I was flying. The Falcon 2D UI has a lot of great functionality, but I felt that having different visualizations of battlefield information could be helpful. I also wanted to be able to view information from my WeatherGen tool alongside things like flight paths and the disposition of enemy forces. Finally, I wanted to be able to share information about missions I was creating with other pilots in advance of the mission without having to distribute the mission itself, or have an instance of BMS running somewhere.

VMT is my ongoing effort to meet those needs. I and other members of the 1st VFW have been using it for several months in its earlier incarnations. It has now reached a point where I think it's useful and stable enough to be distributed to the broader BMS community. I hope you find it useful.

Download and Installation

If you are using 4.35, download the latest stable version from here. This version will work ONLY with 4.35.

If you are using 4.34, you can download the older 32-bit or 64-bit versions.

To install, simply download and unzip.

Linux and OS X

If you are one of the few people running VMT on not-Windows, there is one extra step. For Linux, you'll need to create a file at ~/.config/craigandera.org/VMT/settings.edn. (On OS X, this should be at ~/Library/Application Support/craigandera.org/VMT/settings.edn).

The contents should be as below. Obviously you will need to change the path to be correct for your system.

CODE: Select all

{
 :installations {"Falcon BMS 4.33 U1" "/path/to/falcon/4.33.3"
                 ;; ;; Some people have more than one install pointing to the same directory
                 ;; "Falcon BMS 4.33"    "/path/to/falcon/4.33.3"
                 }
}
The reason for this is that under Windows, VMT gets the BMS location from the registry. We don't have that on the other operating systems, so we simulate it with this file.

Status

VMT is something I use for every mission I create. I consider it stable and ready to go. That said, there are about a million features I'd like to add, and a few things that are obviously lacking. For instance, currently only airbases are displayed on the map. Display of ground forces is high on the list of things to be added in the near future.

Getting Started

VMT has a lot of features, so expect it to take a little while to figure them all out. Please ask questions here, but also note that VMT, like WeatherGen, has extensive in-app help. Clicking anything with a blue dotted underline or a blue question mark will pop up help for that feature.

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To get going, download and unzip from the appropriate link above. Double-click VMT.exe, and when the app opens, click "Load Mission (.cam/.tac)" and select a mission from your Falcon install. Begin exploring!

Tutorial video: https://youtu.be/oJaVqBMI2tw

phpBB [video]


All VMT Tutorial Videos

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... ZfEWlploq_

FAQ

Q: Where should I ask questions?
A: Either on the BMS forums VMT thread or the 440th VFW forums VMT thread. Either will get Tyrant's attention.

Q: Does VMT support 4.34?
A: Almost! An alpha version is available here. Most things except weather generation should be working. Please help Tyrant test it by running the alpha. But it's okay if you don't: instead you can go play with all the awesome new stuff in 4.34 while you wait for the final release!

Q: How does this relate to WeatherGen?
A: It replaces WeatherGen. It has all of the features of WeatherGen, and many more. It is not however, a web app. WeatherGen will continue to work, but no new features will be added to it.

Q: Doesn't this do the same thing as Mission Commander?
A: Definitely not. For one thing Mission Commander can edit missions - VMT (currently) cannot. Mission Commander is a great tool for mission planners, but I wanted something that both mission planners and mission participants could use visualize the virtual battlefield.