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Aloha717200
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Airline Games?

Wed Apr 07, 2004 3:36 pm

Hey guys,


What airline games are available to create your own airline with? I've heard about alot of them but for the first time I'm actually thinking of buying/downloading one to play around with, maybe try creating a few airlines of my own in my spare time.


I'm curious, which ones are easy to use and don't require heavy math skills...but are also realistic in that you can choose real planes and put them on routes between not just big cities but also smaller, second and third tier makets....something that you can create both a mainline and a feeder system. You know, realistic. But not overwhelming.

I found this game called Airline2 in the store the other day, but when i read online that it was not much more than just a spreadsheet I decided not to buy it. Again, I'm not interested in solving math problems all day long in boring format as I am in an interactive approach to putting airplanes on routes.

Right now I've got a slimmed down Western Airlines recreated in my flightsim...just converted the SLC-hubbed DL planes into Western aircraft on the old routes and there you go. Big grin But it'd be nice to try one of these games. What would you suggest? Oh, also, I cant fork out 50 bucks for one either...gotta be affordable.
 
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Aloha717200
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RE: Airline Games?

Wed Apr 07, 2004 3:42 pm

Oh and, I have Airline Tycoon...it sucked. Big grin
 
Womack17
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RE: Airline Games?

Wed Apr 07, 2004 3:49 pm

I would like to know about these also. I really enjoy working with schedules and seeing if markets could work with flights between them. I know that the Sim series has done many variations like SimCity, SimAdventure Parks, etc. Do they have a SimAirline?
Oh how I miss Midway Airlines. A class act right to then end.
 
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RE: Airline Games?

Wed Apr 07, 2004 3:57 pm

I just bought a game called Airline 5. its in the mail from Austrailia and on the way, I'll keep you posted
 
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ClassicLover
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RE: Airline Games?

Wed Apr 07, 2004 3:59 pm

Yeah, Airline 5 is really good...

Buy it online - http://www.airlinesimulation.com/

It's quite good, I've had it since January. Once you order online, you'll have it in a week or two, max. Took 4 days for mine!

Cheers,

Trent.
I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
 
InnocuousFox
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RE: Airline Games?

Wed Apr 07, 2004 11:19 pm

"Do they have a SimAirline?"

Actually, Electronic Arts (EA) has our demo walkthrough and Development Proposal right now. We were specifically willing to change the title of the game to "Sim Airline" just to cater to them (Maxis was the creator of the Sim- stuff but EA publishes them). Still waiting to hear back from their business development department.
Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
 
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RE: Airline Games?

Wed Apr 07, 2004 11:31 pm

Airline 5 is ok but once you get a large ailine you spend hours faffing around sorting out schedules and it gets tedious.

They need to make it easier to schedule aircraft and keep track of what routes they're flying
 
Horus
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RE: Airline Games?

Wed Apr 07, 2004 11:46 pm

The best game for starters if you want something very straightforward (and free) is Airpro 2000. You can download it from http://www.cruiseferry.de/airpro/

You basically start of with $9m to puchase/lease the aircraft and place them on the routes you want. The package comes with one landscape, Germany, which means you base your operation around a German airport and fly regional, short, meduim, long and very long-haul routes from there. You can download other countries/landscapes from the website. In the game you have 3 other computor competitors to deal with (one of them is usually a real pain in the ****). You can start up your airline between 1960 and 1980 (in 5 year increments), and as you go along new aircraft are introduced. They even have the A380 and B747-500! (all major manufacturers and their airliners are included)

Like I said the game is very basic (unlike Airline), but it's fun and addictive. I managed to achieve a fleet of over 2200 aircraft (using the UK as my base), so its a little unrealistic but you'll like it  Big thumbs up
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InnocuousFox
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RE: Airline Games?

Thu Apr 08, 2004 2:57 am

Are you kidding me? Airpro 2000 is horrible! Hell, even Airline Tycoon is better than that!
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Aloha717200
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RE: Airline Games?

Thu Apr 08, 2004 3:05 am

Well, I'm downloading it and gonna give it a try. If it sucks I'll go with airline 5 lol. But i looked at the site and it looks OK so far. What's bad about it?
 
Horus
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RE: Airline Games?

Thu Apr 08, 2004 3:07 am

The problem is that it is too basic, but still give it a try
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InnocuousFox
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RE: Airline Games?

Thu Apr 08, 2004 3:14 am

Airpro 2000 is factually incorrect on a lot of things. For example, last time I checked the game Boston to DC was the same distance as Boston to Dallas.
Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
 
elwood64151
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RE: Airline Games?

Thu Apr 08, 2004 3:15 am

Airline Tycoon operates like a charter airline. There's no set schedule. It can be very confusing if you're not aware of this.

I used to have a game called Transport Tycoon. It's very old, perhaps 1995 or so... It includes not only airlines but railroads, buses, ships, and trucking as well. It was very basic by today's standards, but it was quite a lot of fun.

I asked for Airline 5 for Christmas... I hate being a poor college student...
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
 
InnocuousFox
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RE: Airline Games?

Thu Apr 08, 2004 3:27 am

"Airline Tycoon operates like a charter airline. There's no set schedule"

That's not true. You can set up repeating routes and schedules in it.

Actually, JoWood is working on a new version of Transport Tycoon - Transport Giant. It's more rail stuff from what I saw on the site. (We are actually getting in touch with JoWood about handling our game as well... but they are in Europe so we may not go that route.) They do good stuff, though. As far as pure airline games go, however... the current list is:

Airpro 2000 (simple and very flawed)
Airline Tycoon (comedic more than serious)
Airlines 2 (also very flawed and not deep gameplay)
Airline Simulation (has a big following and is currently the most detailed)

There was hints of a game called "Airline CEO" that was supposed to be released by Infogrames/Atari. Interestingly, Infogrames talked to us last year about dropping that project and picking up ours instead. However, we weren't ready for that stage and they weren't convinced that they were going to still stay in the simulation market. That ship date on Airline CEO has changed about 5 times - the last being mid-March. Since they didn't promote it at all, my guess is that they just cancelled the project entirely. We didn't bother to contact them on ours now that we are ready for publisher funding.

Assuming all goes well with the publishers we are talking to right now, we would be out sometime in mid-2005. At that point, ours would be the most detailed, immersive simulation of airline management available. In fact, our design is a completely different approach to transportation management simulations that has never been done before.

Of course, that doesn't do you ANY good right now... so the answer is definately Airline Simulation.
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Aloha717200
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RE: Airline Games?

Thu Apr 08, 2004 3:28 am

Airline tycoon was very confusing to use and didnt feel like running an airline at all really. And it made you need to know how the stock market works...and...that's where you get lost. You spend all your money quickly and you never actually get to see your airline actually flying around, with real planes or a route map or anything that would even resemble a real airline.

It sucked. I played it about 4 times i think and then shelved it, havent touched it in years.


I have Airport Tycoon 1 and I like that game and used to play it often. But it gets boring after a while.
 
InnocuousFox
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RE: Airline Games?

Thu Apr 08, 2004 3:33 am

"Airline tycoon was very confusing to use and didnt feel like running an airline at all really. And it made you need to know how the stock market works...and...that's where you get lost. You spend all your money quickly and you never actually get to see your airline actually flying around, with real planes or a route map or anything that would even resemble a real airline."

I don't know what you people are playing... I have had 30-40 aircraft flying highly scheduled routes. It just takes a while to get past those first 3 or 4 aircraft. Either way, however, it's not terribly realistic in a lot of ways. You spend more time doing repetative tasks such as blowing up your neighbor's office. An example of a series that you need to do is...

Go to the petrol desk, grab the gloves that are laying there, use those at the pop machine so you don't get shocked by it, get the energy drink from the machine, give the energy drink to the lazy dude at the newsstand so he will give you the stink bomb, plant the stink bomb in the gate lounge area of another airline as people are waiting to board or are just unloading... all this so they will have a bad impression of the competitor's flight. Oh goodie. I thought I was running an airline?
Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
 
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Aloha717200
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RE: Airline Games?

Thu Apr 08, 2004 5:35 am

Well, Airpro is out.  Laugh out loud


Every time i exit a game it crashes my computer so guess I won't be using that anymore. It's hardly interactive and they give you very few instructions to play it....kinda boring. Thanks anyway though. Guess I'll save up for Airline 5.

How hard is Airline 5 to use?
 
yultopei
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RE: Airline Games?

Thu Apr 08, 2004 6:00 am

How hard is Airline 5 to use?
is easy, and regulary updated.
very good and fast service if you have any question or problem with the software.

For the moment i think Airline 5 is the better airline simulator, maybe the new version is doing better job?
and i'm watching the future product of algorithm.

regard
PEI in Colombia!!!. [Canon T2i]
 
InnocuousFox
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RE: Airline Games?

Thu Apr 08, 2004 8:41 am

"i'm watching the future product of algorithm"

That's Intrinsic Algorithm to you, bud!  Big grin

And you don't know the half of what's in our game! Unfortunately, I've had to stop posting features and descriptions on the site - similar features to ours kept "appearing" in another product. In fact, when we get set up with a publisher, they may ask us to take down the feature list and "go stealth" for a while. That would be too bad... I want the community to know what we are doing and get feedback about it. The point being, however, the site that we have up doesn't do the full product justice as far as features.  Smokin cool
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B2707SST
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RE: Airline Games?

Thu Apr 08, 2004 9:22 am

I played Airline 5 quite a bit about a year ago. As Roberta mentioned, it becomes very difficult to manage when your fleet gets larger than a few dozen aircraft. The early versions of Airline 5 let you rack up huge fortunes in a few quarters, so you could go on a shopping spree in your first few years of operation. At one point, I had 50 737s, 25 767s, 25 777s, and probably a hundred RJs on order, and I had rights on six domestic and two international hubs. As soon as deliveries started to come in, the airline got too complicated to manage, and I eventually gave up. I later tried to start small and build up gradually, but that got boring and became just as confusing once the airline reached a certain size.

I find Airline's scheduling system pretty awkward. There's no way to sort or organize your routes by flight number, aircraft, city, pax capacity, etc. You schedule one aircraft at a time, and the aircraft are listed by acquisition date, which is not a good way to sort. For example, I could have 50 737-800s listed one after another, and I'd have to go through each aircraft to find a particular weekly schedule. If I want to find something for my 767-300ER to do after a SEA-MIA round trip, there's no way to see in the scheduler how many daily flights I have to LAX or HNL. I ended up having the 763 sit in SEA until the next day because it was too difficult to give each aircraft daily round trips to half a dozen different cities.

To really grasp where your fleet is and what the various scheduling permutations look like, you basically have to re-enter all your data into an Excel spreadsheet, do planning there (or write out timetables manually), then try to rebuild the schedule in Airline 5. If you mess up a flight, you have to delete and re-enter each instance, for every day of the week, so I usually find it quicker to delete the aircraft's entire weekly schedule and start over.

I'm not sure how to improve the system. I think allowing the user to sort flights by origin, destination, aircraft type, and especially load factor could help a lot. It's a real pain to wade through four or five layers of menus to get load factors, jot down the information, then go back and try to reschedule everything. It would be a lot less hassle to simply enter groups of flights into the simulator, select an equipment and configuration type for each flight, have the program optimize the fleet rotation, and get a report back on whether you have sufficient aircraft and proper routings to implement the schedule.

Airline is a fun game if you have the time and patience to be a schedule analyst and data entry technician as well as a fleet planner and grand strategist. It became too much for me to juggle in my spare time, but if you get very, very organized and start an Excel or Access database, the program can handle any size fleet you like. Airline also somewhat buggy and sometimes crashes at very inconvenient moments, so save early and often.

--B2707SST

[Edited 2004-04-08 02:31:38]
Keynes is dead and we are living in his long run.
 
InnocuousFox
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RE: Airline Games?

Thu Apr 08, 2004 10:12 am

But airlines don't build schedules for a specific tail number, do they? They create a schedule on a market... and a bunch of OTHER schedules on OTHER markets... and then specify what type of aircraft they want to fly those various flights. Then, on a rolling basis, specific tail numbers are assigned to the flights based on where they will be when. If the airline wants to change the aircraft type on that route or flight, it should have NOTHING to do with a specific plane (unless it's the only one of that type you have... but you get the point).

"It would be a lot less hassle to simply enter groups of flights into the simulator, select an equipment and configuration type for each flight, have the program optimize the fleet rotation, and get a report back on whether you have sufficient aircraft and proper routings to implement the schedule."

Gee... that's what WE thought! You want a job?
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Aloha717200
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RE: Airline Games?

Thu Apr 08, 2004 10:34 am

Checked out your site, the game looks great. I wonder if i could make a suggestion (didnt see it on my browse, maybe you have already done this.)


If it is possible, put alot of visual elements into this as well. Otherwise the amount of accuracy doesnt matter, the average buyer will get bored. It needs to be interactive. (Again, you may have already done this.)


What i would suggest is a map that displays where an aircraft is at any point in time. Just like a flight tracker..or the moving map on the PTVs in real airplanes. You can select an aircraft and visually watch it move across the USA or wherever.


IF we want to get really advanced (and expensive) you could even incorporate a feature to let you view the inside of each plane while inflight. OF course that requires the creation of a visual world outside...youd almost have to make your own flightsim...ok, maybe that's not such a good idea.

But aircraft interior views for purposes of seeing what your A/C cabin looks like are important.

If I'm running an airline, I want to be able to determine what features are available in my aircraft cabins, because these features will indeed serve towards attracting customers. I want to see the interior of each plane. I want to be able to choose a PTV or overhead TV set and then actually see it implemented into the cabin interior. I want to be able to select types of IFE and maybe even designate various ife channels for my customers. Maybe even have my own Channel 9 which can be marketed.


I'd like control over food...what food is available on flights. And deals we make with companies to provide food, such as Delta with the Atlanta Bread Company.


I'm taking about ultra-involvement here. Something that makes me FEEL like I really am running an airline....not running a window full of data. See, if it looks like a spreadsheet, and acts like a spreadsheet, I'm not going to use it even if it IS detailed. Because as accurate as it may be, it just won't be fun. But if I can see my planes move, if I can actually walk inside them and see what my choices for cabin interior would look like both before and after purchasing them, and if I can actually make the decisions about every aspect of what our customers receive inflight, that visual and interactive element is what will keep me playing the game and considering my money well-spent.


But it can't be overwhelming either. It can't be something like mentioned above when you get to a large fleet the game becomes impossible to play. It should be accurate, and, yes, challenging, but not overwhelmingly so.


I realize from the site that you guys want to put a mathematical element in this. That's great, just....dont make it so that the average person can't use it. My algebra skills are zilch...zero. Trust me, I dont want to be doing math problems when I could be deciding whether I want to put PTVs or TVs in the plane and whether to run a SLC-DFW route or if I should do IAH instead, comparing market trends in each city and performance of competitor airlines, their fares, and judging costs of operating each, as well as additional cost of installing and running IFE. THAT I can handle. But if you want me to calculate on my own how much GPH I'm burning fleetwide, I'll get lost.
 
InnocuousFox
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RE: Airline Games?

Thu Apr 08, 2004 11:38 am

I understand your concerns. Please note that the interface you saw on the site is a throwaway one that we did just to get the engine on the screen. It's just for the demo. The real product will have a full game interface rather than a "Windows Application" look.

Second, regarding the "inside look" of the planes... that gets enormously expensive in terms of art assets in development. We are also designing an airline simulator, not an aircraft manufacturing and interior design simulation. Compared to other strategic and logistical factors and decisions, deciding what color to make the seat backs and selecting which brand of LCD monitor should be in the plane is really loose change. Also, someone on OUR message board had already mentioned selecting the food/drink catering on board (e.g. Starbucks). I am the first transportation management simulation to millions of items of "cargo" (in this case, passengers) that have their own origins, destinations and preferences. The overhead on that is enormous. If I had to start ing the entire catering industry - including the likelyhood that any one passenger is going to prefer Starbucks over another brand, then the game will not be playable on any known home computer.

We DO, however, have a complex comfort algorithm that measures seat pitch, seat width, entertainment level (none, audio, taped video, live video, data, etc.) and food/beverage service level (none, drink, snack...). All of these factors are in a matrix with the length of the flight. For example, many of the above don't matter on a one hour flight. However, the longer the flight, the longer certain things really start to matter. One hour without full meal service goes unnoticed. 6 hours without even drink service is gonna off a few people.

Regarding things getting overwhelming, this has been addressed as well. The other airline simulators in existance have been pretty thin on providing AI for the computer players. Ours already has far more than has been included in any airline game to-date... and I haven't even scratched the surface. For example, the demo right now will:

Based ONLY on a pre-determined fleet type for an airline...
  • Acquire aircraft matching that fleet type

  • Select a hub city to operate from based on a number of criteria

  • Select feeder cities to add to the network based on the number of passengers at that feeder that want to travel to the rest of the airline's network

  • Continue to add feeder cities to the network until it reaches a maximum number of available seat miles that it could possibly serve given the fleet it has

  • Determine how many daily flights that it should have to each destination and what type of aircraft to use on that route based on the expected demand on that route - also keeping in mind that each aircraft type has a limited number of tail numbers (and associated block hours) that it can schedule

  • Acqire appropriate gate space at the hub and feeder airports

  • Using time restrictions on when to fly, time zones, what aircraft are available and available gate space, write the entire timetable for the airline so that flights to/from each destination are spread throughout the day - this also includes shifting west to east flights so that they don't arrive at 2 or 3AM - but rather make them "red eyes" instead.


  • ... and this is done just for the many airlines that are "established" at the beginning of the game. The result is very realistic daily schedules and route networks for these airlines... sometimes including THOUSANDS of flights per day for HUNDREDS of aircraft... and all of them are scheduled to make the best use of the aircraft assets available to that airline.

    The tail number assignment doesn't happen until about a day or so before the flight. That way, it is dynamic for things like maintenance problems, maintenance checks or even assets being out of place due to such things as weather. (Yes, we have a working, dynamic, real-time weather system in the game.) Any time things get out of sync due to cancellations or delays, it will recalculate part or all of the assignments as necessary to re-assign tail numbers to flights.

    The point being, the AI is very in-depth. That leads us to "advisors and assistants". Since we have to write the artificial intelligence (AI) code for the computer controlled airlines to manage all the facets of running an airline, we can make these same sections of code available to the player. You will be able, in most cases, to select parameters that you want your assistants to use for decision making and not have to deal with all the individual decisions themselves. That is going to be a big help for dealing with the major airlines as a player.

    In the game, rather than having to make every decision about every factor, you will have the ability to set parameters and have the AI make decisions for you within those parameters. For example, you could set one parameter that says, if a flight is more than 1 hour delayed and is less than 50% full, cancel the flight and rebook the passengers. You could then change it to be 90 minutes and 75% full... etc. That way, you don't always have to look at the flights that are currently late, examine the situation and decide whether or not to cancel the flight. While there is an advantage in the form of time spent to the assistant being "on", you will not necessarily be able to set parameters that will be the best decision in ALL situations - therefore there will be an advantage to handling things yourself.

    The "advisor" portion is similar in that it gives suggestions when asked... such as "what is the best city for me to expand to right now" or "what fare should I charge in first class on flight 413 from ORD to MCO? Most screens in the game will have an "advisor" button.

    This allows for a highly customizable game experience. Which decisions do YOU want to manage yourself and which do you want to only give some guidance in?

    Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
     
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    RE: Airline Games?

    Thu Apr 08, 2004 12:42 pm

    Sounds like a lot of fun!

    The big thing for me is for it to have the ability to be worldwide. Is it going to encompass the world, or will it be USA specific?

    I've been getting the vibe that the new game is US specific, and if that's the case it'll make me unhappy.

    Regarding Airline 5...

    The drawback is that you make too much money. It's actually difficult for me to lose cash. I've deliberately tried, I can't make it! The reason is because Economy class tends to make more money than F and J. When they fix that, the game will be more realistic.

    Agreed on the irritation regarding scheduling. It does take a long time - you spend most time doing that I've found. The lack of an instruction manual was also exceptionally annoying, though most things are intuitive.

    The advantages are that it covers almost every city on the globe. Covers all aircraft types from all manufacturers (just about!) from 1947 to today. Included paper aeroplanes and prototypes that never went into service. As such, it's really fun to make a global airline.

    Obviously I'd like to see you having to negotiate rights into a COUNTRY and to be prevented flying to various places depending on the political situation, but I understand all of this will happen eventually.

    Airline 6 is due in a month or so. If you buy Airline 5, you get a free upgrade to Airline 6. So I'd buy now! Please also remember that the currency on the web page is Australian dollars. So it's less expensive in $US. Check the exchange rate!

    Cheers,

    Trent Big grin
    I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
     
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    Aloha717200
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    RE: Airline Games?

    Thu Apr 08, 2004 1:16 pm

    Well, here's what I would like to see as features of the game taking the above into account:


    First of all, the aircraft interiors.

    I don't mean selecting seat colours or various brands of PTVS, but, I would like to have the option to select and equip certain fleets of aircraft with eiother PTV or overhead screens, at my discretion. I don't want it automatically assigned unless I select a box to have that done. Like, you could make that a "feature" of the game that can be enabled or disabled for the game to automatically choose onboard IFE types, but I'd like to be able to uncheck it if necessary and go through my fleet and say "OK, I want the internation 767 fleet to have PTVs in every seat. I want the domestic 757 fleet to have overhead TVs. I want to have a selection of live and taped entertainment on the PTV-equipped internation fleet and on the domestic, taped only. I'd also like audio."

    something like that. There's no question that the more IFE an airline offers, the more enjoyable the flight can be for some pax and is a feature that does win pax over. I'd like to have control over that. But selecting various brands or colours is arbitrary. But I would like to be able to see inside the plane in a figurative sense and know what I'm putting in there for the pax to enjoy. A simple seat map would do, or, a stationary cabin interior pic that, when you select overhead TVs, the images of overhead TVs would suddenly appear in their places. The picture itself doesnt change. It's just overlaid with the feature. This isn't a necessary feature but would be a nice visual perk.


    Catering companies:


    OK, I understand that it would be very difficult to get thousands of different catering options. How about narrowing it down to three? Three providers of catering service to choose from, each with their own uniqque types of meals. Your competitors also use this catering company. Each company offers a variety of meals from cold serve economy food to warm food to first class food. Sounds complex? Doesn't have to be.

    Just give the user a choice: On what length of flight time will passengers be served, and, will it be cold serve or warm serve in economy, and if there is first class, will it be gourmet? You could select from a drop down menu...or even lump ALL of the domestic flights into one category and all of the internation flights into the other for two types of meal service on the airline's flights. Three imaginary caterers, providing food at a cost..the better the food the higher the cost to the airline. This is reality. Real airlines have to choose here. Some airlines choose not to have meal service at all, and that can be a cost saving option as well.


    Competitors:


    I'm sure that you guys are planning on having automated competitors in this game, which you will have to compete with for business, and have to deal with real airline issues like temporary competitor price undercuts and being alerted when a competitor launches a new route that competes with yours. For example...if my airline launches a route SLC-BUR...and then competitor airline 1 launches the same route, it'd be nice to have an alert coming up informing me of this and what the competitor plans to offer on that route...time schedule and aircraft type. But like real airlines, price undercuts are rarely permanent. They're usually a temporary, defensive move by the majors. That should be true in the game as well. Don't make it impossible for a small carrier to survive against price undercuts by the majors. sometimes pax will forgo a lower price for better service, and if the airline offers better service it stands a higher chance of surviving an onslaught from the majors.


    Some things should be automatic, some things should be automatic as an option only, and some things should just be hands-on.


    Automatic:


    Stock market for one. That was the major downfall of Airline tycoon, you had to get into these business deals and stock market things that didnt make sense to anyone who doesnt know how the stock market works. Let's let the stock market be handled automatically without requiring the user to get sidetracked with it. Or lets not even introduce it as an equation in the game. That's your call. I just know that was a serious put-off in airline tycoon.

    In fact, just don't have this thing resemble airline tycoon in any way...like you mentioned earlier those stupid side trips to see these weird characters and do weird tasks were annoying. I want to run an airline here.


    Fares:


    Fares are a very complex math problem to figure out...there's ASM to consider, etc. This should be fairly automatic. And also, it brings another factor into consideration: Classes of service and seat pitch. We should be able to choose what seat pitch we want, and if it's too great for a particular flight, then we should see a loss in revenue just like in real life. For more spacious classes of service...business...first...we should be told just how much needs to be charged to break even and how much would be "recommended" to charge to gain a profit. This can be automatic...i dont think too many people will enjoy pricing each and every individual flight but at least make it somewhat dependent on the player to decide whether this is a low-cost airline or a full-frills, high cost airline with lots of perks.


    Complex decisions like calculating and budgeting fuel should also be relatively automatic as well. I'd get lost there for sure.


    Employee hiring: At your discretion. Dont know if that will even need to be a factor in this game, though, in real life, employee salaries also help determine the airline's profits. do what you think is best here.


    I really want the ability to control my airline as much as I can, but have help through automatic features to not make my life too difficult. A real airline is run by hundreds of people. This game airline is being run by one person. So some realism has to be compromised, but getting it as close as possible would be nice. I would LOVE the ability to choose what kinds of IFE i outfit my planes with.


    In fact, here's something. How about a customer averate satisfaction measure? You know, something that tells me which aircraft/routes passengers are consistently satisfied with, and which routes aren't doing so well. And this can be based on an equation involving...IFE...service, meals offered, schedule, aircraft type, etc. I mean, I dont expect that a turboprop flight from JFK-ATL will be very satisfying...but if i switch it over to 737-800...maybe that satisfaction will improve.

    I want to know my load factors too...and the profit I'm making off of flights, and total as well.

    Quarterly reports, I think you're already planning on that.

    Ability to trade aircraft leases for aircraft purchases. Sell aircraft to other carriers. And it would be neat, though difficult, to introduce a way to make deals with other airlines such as codesharing, alliances...and even more interesting....getting a bid from another carrier for some of your assets with the choice of turning it down or accepting. This could help an airline get cash in hard times...at the expense of dumping some lucrative routes. A real airline problem for us to figure out. That would be neat.

    Don't make the competitors harsh predators, make them realistic. They'll compete, but they also won't throw 10 planes on a route you're serving with 1, and charge just 50% of what you're charging indefinitely. That's not realistic. short term sales and slashes, sometimes lasting months, are realistic.



    Strikes:


    Employee satisfaction....this could be a factor. Managing employees could be kept relatively simple, but if you make your employees angry, service decreases, strikes occur, and it harms the airline. This is a real life problem.



    God there's a whole world of opportunities and I'm thrilled to share some ideas with you. I realize some won't work, but I'm just throwing out what I've got and seeing what sticks.



    Oh here's another thought:

    Fleet aging problems. This helped cause the demise of Pan Am and a few other airlines. Aging fleets and increasing maintenance costs over the years. Don't make it impossible to maintain an old fleet, just make it realistically costly. As fleet ages, maintenance costs slowly increase. I heard someone say that on Airline 5 they were running a fleet of Md-80s...and even getting up in age they were real workhorses and earned the airline alot of money. I'd love to see this kind of accuracy reflected in your game.


    Oh, and lets use REAL aircraft types, according to the time period. You are going to give us the option to start our airline in the past, correct?


    So, say you start the game in 1950...only propliners are available to you, and you choose the aircraft to best meet your needs. As time goes on, more aircraft become available for the time period and you can make fleet changes. In 1960 I may have a mixed fleet of DC-6s and brand spanking new DC-8s, but by 1980 I had better be rid of those DC-6s. See my point?


    Realistic routing: Don't let me put a DC-3 on a route from NRT-SFO. That's not realistic. Real aircraft, real ranges. If I buy a fleet of 717s I know I can't do transcons with them, so I gotta build feeder and short-haul domestic routes with them, and then connect the dots with larger aircraft, if I'm dong a hub and spoke system. Don't force me to use hubs though.


    And a downfall of that airpro game this morning:


    If I put one aircraft on a route from Frankfurt to Berlin, it had a 100 percent load factor. But when I put two aircraft on that route, it dropped to 50 percent for each plane. When I put 4, it dropped to 25 percent. This is not realistic.
     
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    Aloha717200
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    RE: Airline Games?

    Thu Apr 08, 2004 1:22 pm

    Oh yes that's right. Selection of cities.

    PLEASE make this a worldwide game, include every country and every city of significance. I know this is alot of work, but please, it is well woth the investment. If I want to try a thin route from SAN-Santiago, I'd like to be able to.

    Please include small cities in the USA. I'd like to be able to have a feeder connection much like Skywest at SLC. I'd like to be able to have such small routes as PIH-BOI-SLC and Flagstaff, AZ-SLC. Not major cities, but important for a feeder network. I'd say include every city with a population greater than 50,000 in the USA...except those very close to major cities perhaps...like...no need to include St. Petersburg, FL, when Tampa is right across the bay.


    For international destinations, maybe keep it to populations greater than 100,000, or 75,000. Elsewise the task will just be too great. And i dont want to see perfect numbers on all feeder routes. I mean, a route between two ulta-small cities that just isnt profiting, id like to know if it isnt, and if it isnt, cancel the route and move my aircraft someplace else.
     
    InnocuousFox
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    RE: Airline Games?

    Thu Apr 08, 2004 2:35 pm

    Right now, for the demo, we use Census Bureau numbers for MSAs... Metropolitan Statistical Areas. That means stuff that is contiguous is counted together... Our threshold is Enid, OK (57k) but we do smaller stuff when it is a specialized destination... e.g. Jackson Hole, Aspen, etc. The point was, the only thing you get with international big cities is longer flights of roughly the same size population centers. With our cities ranging from the NY Area (20 million) down to Pocatello, ID and Enid, OK, there are number of different challenges - including regional codeshares like a SkyWest, GLA, etc.

    Since we are the ONLY airline management game to simulate real passengers, that means we are the ONLY airline management game to simulate REAL connecting traffic at hubs. Once in a while, you WILL see a passenger that wants to travel from a small town to another small town... it's rare, but it happens. Obviously, they aren't going to go in one flight, are they?  Smile

    However, there are plenty (relatively) of passengers who want to go betwen these smaller places and larger cities. Our passengers "shop" through up to hundreds of available itineraries, apply their preferences and "book" their flights. (If they miss a connection because your plane was late due to mx or wx, they have to rebook... which is a pain in the ass for them AND you!) That may make it reasonable to run a Brasillia or a B1900D twice a day so they can connect to your mainline flights. See? It's so real it's scary!

    As for international, given the way our data files are set up (using real world lat./long., etc.) it would be simple to expand the game world. We are likely going to ship with various regional maps (like Europe, East Asia, S. America) with the smaller towns and cities as well... and then release an international map with a higher threshold for what to include like you suggest. That is so far down the road right now, we are just working with the US.
    Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
     
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    ClassicLover
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    RE: Airline Games?

    Thu Apr 08, 2004 4:07 pm

    Hello Aloha717200!!

    Aircraft Interiors - Airline 5 does that, check!

    Catering Companies - Airline 6 (due this month or May I hear) will do that apparently, but it will not let you choose a different company per sector. One company for entire airline.

    Competitors - Can't answer it for Airline, because the AI is supposed to change dramatically for Airline 6.

    Stockmarket - Airline 5, check. You can buy stock in other airlines, and they can in you. That's all. Simple.

    Fares - Airline 5 has base fares set, and you can either change them systemwide, or change them per class. F J Y and two more budget Y classes. With the Y class, you can set the portions of the aircraft allowable to each of the sub classes.

    You also asked in fares about seat pitch - you can choose the type of seats, and pitch for all classes in Airline 5.

    Employee Hiring - automatic in Airline 5 with only occasional manual intervention. For example, you choose to have Boeing pilots, but when you buy an Airbus you'll need to check to have Airbus pilots too.

    Airline 5 has an overall satisfaction rating, not one per route.

    Load factors and quarterly reports, yes, Airline 5. They're easy to check and quite good.

    Trading leases to purchases, check, Airline 5 does it.

    Codesharing and alliances are in Airline 5, but don't work. The feature is to be fully functional in Airline 6 (I can't wait, personally!)

    Strikes happen in Airline 5, especially if you don't pay enough - check!

    Fleet aging happens in Airline 5, yep. The value of the planes decrease with age, so you can pick them up for a song on the used market. Additionally, when you sell them they're not worth as much.

    Also, buy a Comet in 2000 that is old and has a lot of hours, outsource the maintenance and watch it crash! Not good for the PR!!

    Real aircraft types according to the time period is correct. The Comets come in 1952, the 707s come in 1958, and so on. You get to order them before that though! Another tick for Airline 5.

    Also, Airline 5 has real aircraft ranges, runway lengths (can't fly a 747 into a regional airport - runway too short) and over 6000 airports around the world to choose from.

    It seems like you're looking for Airline 5, and Airline 6.

    It's a shame the Intrinsic Algorithm game will be US only, but it still has a lot of potential!

    Cheers,

    Trent Big grin
    I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
     
    zak
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    RE: Airline Games?

    Thu Apr 08, 2004 6:21 pm

    i am currently in the free month testing of airline simulation online. it is exactly as B2707SST described, with the added problem that their webserver is sometimes a bit slow which makes the scheduling even slower.
    i do not think the online version will attract many longterm customers when they change this feature, as it practically makes route planning impossible unless you plan it on paper before
    10=2
     
    InnocuousFox
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    RE: Airline Games?

    Fri Apr 09, 2004 12:17 am

    "It's a shame the Intrinsic Algorithm game will be US only, but it still has a lot of potential!"

    Dude... in the post above yours, I covered that. It will NOT be US only.
    Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
     
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    Aloha717200
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    RE: Airline Games?

    Fri Apr 09, 2004 5:57 am

    I sure hope you include Pocatello, ID I live here.  Smile


    And I DO want to build a feeder network similar to Skywest. Although i live in PIH, SLC is considered the main airport for this entire geographic region. Nobody I know goes to Boise to catch a flight, they all go to SLC, it's closer and has far more connecting options.

    Including cities down to 20K would be fantastic. I know it's a pain to implement, but some of us just ache to see how we could connect our home cities to major destinations and see what does and doesn't work. I'd like to try and see if a route IDA-PIH-DEN would be profitable. I have a hunch that it would be, with the right aircraft. I'd like to try it.


    As for contiguous metro areas....consider New York for a moment. Does that mean we can only service JFK? Or, are LGA and EWR and other nearby airports open to us as well? What about SFO/OAK/SJC?


    Small cities are important and itll be great to see them included. Especially PIH. But I'm biased. There's also cities like St. George, Vernal, Cedar City, Provo, Ogden, Logan, Tremonton...in Utah, and West Yellowstone in Montana (seasonal tourist destination), and small-ish cities like Pasco, WA and Klamath Falls, OR.
     
    InnocuousFox
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    RE: Airline Games?

    Fri Apr 09, 2004 8:42 am

    "As for contiguous metro areas....consider New York for a moment. Does that mean we can only service JFK? Or, are LGA and EWR and other nearby airports open to us as well? What about SFO/OAK/SJC?"

    Nope... passengers in the NYC CMSA will use JFK/LGA/EWR/ISP/HPN.
    Los Angeles CMSA has LAX, ONT, LGB, SNA, BUR.
    The Bay Area has SFO, OAK, SJC.
    Others with multiple airports (off the top of my head)... DC Area, Miami, Chicago, Dallas and Houston.

    Regarding the small cities... again, if there is scheduled air service to it in the real world, chances are it is in the game. Leisure pax are the big kicker there like Aspen and Jackson Hole.

    Also, our passenger generation curves change by week of year, day of week and time of day. Each type of passenger (Business, leisure, personal, institutional) has its own curves for those criteria. Also, each city has different levels of the type of passengers that go to/from there. The SF Bay Area has a significantly different makeup than does Orlando. Orlando in July looks a lot different than Orlando in October (hurricane season + school).

    There are noticable changes for heavy college towns in August and May as well as the Thanksgiving through New Years period. Just like in the real world, you will likely have to change your flight counts and/or equipment assignments around over the course of the year to accomodate changing demand levels.
    Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
     
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    Aloha717200
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    RE: Airline Games?

    Fri Apr 09, 2004 9:45 am

    PIH is a college town, so is Provo.  Big grin
     
    InnocuousFox
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    RE: Airline Games?

    Fri Apr 09, 2004 10:46 am

    "PIH is a college town, so is Provo"

    Which fall into the category of "institutional" above. That category also includes government. A college town or state capital will get more traffic per capita than the norm due to the "institutional" passengers. This is all taken into account in our pax generation and behavior algorithms.
    Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
     
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    RE: Airline Games?

    Fri Apr 09, 2004 10:46 am

    My apologies InnocuousFox! I see that it's likely to ship with overseas maps - cool cool.

    Zak, I prefer the real Airline game to Airline Online. More functionality...

    What they'd be better off doing is programming the main game to support linkage via a server on the Internet. That would be great! Quicker too - and more functionality.

    Maybe it'll come in with Airline 6. Apparently that's going to be the first one without backwards compatibility to Windows 98 (to the horror of some people still using that!), so it'll be more powerful and much better operating only under the newer Windows. Can't wait!

    Trent.
    I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
     
    SegmentKing
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    RE: Airline Games?

    Fri Apr 09, 2004 1:11 pm

    don't forget Aerobiz Supersonic!

    -nate
    ~ ~ ~ ~ pRoFeSsIoNaL hUrRiCaNe DoDgEr ~ ~ ~ ~
     
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    Aloha717200
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    RE: Airline Games?

    Fri Apr 09, 2004 2:40 pm

    Sounds great Innocuous Fox. Keep us updated on the progress of the game, are you looking to ship by summer of 2005 or sooner? I say don't rush it, MS has made that mistake with some flights simulators. Better to release later and get it right than release early and need a patch. But you knew that already. Big grin
     
    InnocuousFox
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    RE: Airline Games?

    Sat Apr 10, 2004 1:16 am

    Well, right now we are waiting to hear back from a couple of publishers that have our proposal packet. Hopefully, we will be able to nail down the funding that we need to get the full team put together and get crackin' on this. Everything you see on the web site was done by myself and the occasional contract labor. Our team is likely going to be about 6-8 people. 3 programmers, 2 artists/animators, a producer (schedule/milestones/budgeting), my VP (for the biz side) and myself.

    Thanks for the support... we will see what happens here in the next few weeks!
    Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
     
    InnocuousFox
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    RE: Airline Games?

    Sat Apr 10, 2004 1:22 am

    BTW, since we have a discussion going on about what you would like to see... do me a favor and vote in this poll. You don't need a message board account to vote.

    If you are interested, there are others on the site as well.

    Thanks.
    Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
     
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    Aloha717200
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    RE: Airline Games?

    Sat Apr 10, 2004 2:31 am

    I voted for Option 1, selecting aircraft type. That's the most interesting part of it for me then it works down from there. The right aircraft determins whether you make a profit or suffer a loss with load factors on a route...ell, i could go on and on but i wont. Big grin

    I find it interesting that the Stocks are the least favoured part of the game. Looks like I'm not alone.  Smile
     
    InnocuousFox
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    RE: Airline Games?

    Sat Apr 10, 2004 2:42 am

    "I find it interesting that the Stocks are the least favoured part of the game. "

    Stocks, financing, marketing and a number of other things are all items that are universal to ALL sorts of business management simulations. If there is a focus on those, it shifts away from the whole purpose of an AIRLINE management sim.
    Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
     
    Mikey711MN
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    RE: Airline Games?

    Sun Apr 11, 2004 11:10 am

    Airline 6 is due in a month or so. If you buy Airline 5, you get a free upgrade to Airline 6.
    -ClassicLover

    Order AIRLINE 5 now and get a free upgrade to v5.1 or v6.0 when released!
    -Front page of http://www.airlinesimulation.com/

    The operative word is "or" in that second line...can anyone clarify if they'll only give you one OR the other upon purchase of v. 5?!?
    I plan on living forever. So far, so good...
     
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    ClassicLover
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    RE: Airline Games?

    Sun Apr 11, 2004 3:52 pm

    I have Airline 5, and it comes with "one upgrade credit".

    Therefore, you can upgrade to Airline 5.1 when it comes out, or you can hold on to your credit and use it when Airline 6 comes out. It's your choice - it's one or the other.

    Airline 5.1 will be the last one to be available on the Windows 98 platform, while Airline 6 is a complete re-write of the code optimised for the newer Windows platforms (2000, ME, XP etc) meaning it should be a lot quicker, and it also has more features than 5.1.

    So I guess those with Win98 will upgrade to 5.1 and those of us who don't run archaic operating systems will upgrade to version 6.

    You can buy "upgrade credits" via the web site anyway, so once 6 comes out, for a small fee you can upgrade to the next one. You don't have to pay the full purchase price when they release a new version of the game, which is a nice touch!

    Cheers,

    Trent.
    I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
     
    Mikey711MN
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    RE: Airline Games?

    Mon Apr 12, 2004 1:39 am

    Thanks, Trent. That makes a lot of sense.
    I plan on living forever. So far, so good...
     
    RKDFlier
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    RE: Airline Games?

    Thu May 06, 2004 3:42 pm

    I just baught my copy of Airline 5. Can't wait! Until then I'll just go back to playing Aerobiz Supersonic that I've been playing for 10 years now...
    I never profesed to be perfict

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