DART 2 Technology Preview
The Next, Next-Gen Firearms Training Simulator
When you design new software, you never really know how its going to be used once it gets into the hands of your customers. We designed the original DART system to simulate a live-fire range experience, and we assumed that our customers would use it like a typical live-fire range.
We’ve never been happier to be wrong.
DART is being used by police departments coast-to-coast to help them learn, practice, and improve critical firearms skills – but the way they’re using it goes far beyond typical. We have departments who have created live scenarios in which they move around the room firing at targets projected on the screen by their DART system. Other departments simulate firing from a vehicle, and one innovative department has mounted their system in front of a treadmill so that their officers can feel what its like to run and shoot.
The point is that our customers have pushed DART way beyond the capabilities of a traditional range and given us valuable feedback, criticisms, and ideas in the process.
We’re excited to announce that DART 2 is right around the corner. DART 2 is a major software update to the DART firearms training simulator containing more than 100 new features – many suggested by our customers. DART 2 will be available soon (March 2019), but while we put on the finishing touches, here is a preview of what’s to come.
We can’t wait to see what you will do with it.
Multiple independent targets
When you think about it, live-fire ranges (and most virtual ranges for that matter), don’t do a very good job of simulating the movement you might experience during a hostile encounter. For the most part, both target and shooter remain relatively motionless. DART 2 changes that with dynamic targets. Each stage can have up to 10 independently controlled targets – each with its own unique appearance, motion and behaviors.
The most requested feature by far was to allow targets to move side-to-side. DART 2 goes well beyond this by incorporating full 3D paths. With a couple of mouse clicks, you can lay out a precise path for your targets to follow – and your paths can be saved for use in other courses.
DART 2 also introduces target behaviors; a simple point-and-click method of assigning a target a starting behavior, trigger and resulting action. For example, you can have a target rotate in and move slowly toward you. When the target is between 10 and 5 yards away you (you set the actual distances), the target can brandish a knife and charge.
Build training directly within your courses
The original DART provided a method for adding simple text instructions to the beginning of each stage. DART 2 expands on this by adding;
- Rich Text Instructions – adjust text size, color, alignment and more
- Image-based Instructions – use a combination of text and images to communicate course goals and objectives
- Video Instructions – use full video and audio to teach training principles before a course of fire begins
These features allow you to embed important training principles directly into your courses of fire. This is beneficial because DART does not require a dedicated operator. Officers are able to load and run courses on their own, and these new instruction options are a perfect way to help ensure that they follow your training program.
State of the art visuals with customized 3D environments
From the very beginning, DART has embraced the use of 3D graphics over video. Where video tends to be finite and predictable, computer graphics offer limitless possibilities which can be generated almost effortlessly. DART 2 features a completely new system for creating environments using easily editable props such as walls and doors. Together with realistic time-of-day lighting, you’ll be able to simulate real world situations.
DART 2 Partial New Feature List
- Improved user interface (UI)
- Load and save courses from multiple directories
- Minimum passing course score can now be expressed in points or a percentage of hits to misses
- Test simulate a single stage or complete course
- Movable 3D props allow for the creation of structures and settings
- Pre-stage instructions can be now be plain or HTML-based text, an image, or video
- Instructions now have their own time slider independent of the countdown timer
- Built-in instructional breaks create pauses of between stages
- Enhanced 3D environments with movable props bring a new level of flexibility
- Targets can travel along 3D paths using multiple waypoints
- Lighting options realistically transition from day to night (the most realistic lighting system of any simulator)
- Ambient sound option allows background noises to be played during a simulation
- Each stage can have up to 10 targets; each with its own appearance, path, and behavior
- Load and save targets from multiple directories
- Targets start options allow targets to rotate in, pop up from the floor, and delay motion
- Target behavior can change based on its distance to a shooter, shots fired or time
- Targets actions such as freezing, falling down, or changing appearance can be triggered by specific or random events
- Targets position above the floor can be adjusted – useful for human targets, cars, or other targets that align to the floor
- Support for OTX hardware from Setcan® for simulating shots from a target
- Target paths can be saved for use in other stages and courses
- Zone hit audio files can now be previewed before assigning them to a target
- Special hit conditions can be set requiring the shooter to hit a specific area or areas before progressing
- DART Range info bar now shows current and total stage count
- After action review now shows the time of impact for each shot
- Dedicated volume controls for countdown, gunshots, ambient sound, and zone hits
- Creating and editing courses of fire is even easier with dedicated options for cloning, reordering, renaming, adding, and deleting stages
- Improved shot detection speed