DavidT
Topic Author
Posts: 461
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2005 1:37 am

What Would You Like To See In An Airline Sim Game?

Fri Sep 21, 2007 5:05 am

Hi,

Three years ago I wrote an online (browser based) airline sim game called Clear Skies. I was only 15 or so at the time for the simulation model was quite simplistic, but it was fun and got a couple of hundred players.

I was just writing to ask really what people would like to see in games like this. I am planning to write a new version from scratch over the next year or so. In 2 weeks time I will officially be a Computer Science undergraduate, and I need a project!

I have already come up with a clever way of simulating connecting traffic through hubs which I hope will make building up a route structure more rewarding. But what else do people want to be able to do?

How important is the level of customisation offered? Do people like to choose everything from the number of seats of each class (a la Airline) and tail regs or is it better keeping things superficial and simple? Which is better, browser based or pc based?

If anybody is interested here are screenshots of my last game. Please not it is no longer running so the login page doesn't work!

http://davidtattersall.me.uk/cs2/screens.php

Thanks for all your answers in advance!
 
jamesbuk
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Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 11:52 pm

RE: What Would You Like To See In An Airline Sim Game?

Fri Sep 21, 2007 5:30 am

Umm one thing would be limit how many people can join a game.. one of the downfalls of all the current airline games is they have thousands of people playing, why not limit it? but have multiples of the game, so mirror the game before it starts and then as many people can play but in less crowded surroundings..

If that doesn't make sense just say and I'll explain it more  silly 

rgds --James--

P.s. I remember this game, I wanted to join when it was running years back but I couldn't find where to sign up..
You cant have your cake and eat it... What the hells the point in having it then!!!
 
AllegiantAir
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RE: What Would You Like To See In An Airline Sim Game?

Fri Sep 21, 2007 5:50 am

I think Airport Mogul is a great game, so pretty much everything on there. The one thing that bugs me is when people start routes like MCI-DXB. If they want to start that route, make extremely poor loads. So if someone wants to start an unrealalistic route like the one mentioned above, program it so that that route has miserable loads.
Live to Fly.
 
doug_or
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Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2000 9:55 am

RE: What Would You Like To See In An Airline Sim Game?

Fri Sep 21, 2007 6:51 am

Hey, how's it going? Good to see you're back on the programming track.

My 2 cents?

Stability.
The first, second, and third most important features are stable load calculations. As I'm sure you remember from AE, this got really frustrating, particularly as the game went on. AM seems to be more transparent and stable in its calculations, but I don't really like the way the calcultions work; if someone undercuts you by a single dollar it can cause your loads to evaporate. Even if price is the sole determinate for buying tickets, spillover after their flight is full should still but butts in the seats.

beyond that, my thoughts opnions and wishes:

Class and service levels:
I personaly think this is a waste of time unless their are diffrent types of passengers (wealthy, poor, buisness, leisure, VFR, etc). If service level simply makes your flights more desirable to a all passengers equaly and allows you to charge a simple blanket premium then its pointless. It becomes merely an excercise in finding the most profitable service level and applying it. If there were diffrent types of passengers then diffrent airlines could legitmatey target diffrent niches and there could be an agrument for diffrent types of service. So long as passengers are all the same and interchangeable I favor making all tickets economy, basing all aircraft's seating on full Y with 32", and not having silly things like IFE, meals, etc.

Hub effects:
Interested in seeing what you have lined up. The AE 1 method was frustrating because it only looked at passengers in the hub. It didn't pay attention to number of destinations serviced or geographical logic of the hub. A large domestic only hub at LA worked, even though there were virtualy no logical connections to be made. (JFK-LAX-IAD makes no sense while JFK-ORD-LAX does). I'm not sure how to fix the geographical problem simply, but having the number of desinations a hub served factored in would be nice.

So would:
reduced revneue from hub flights; people pay less for connecting flights than they do for nonstops in the real world.

Idealy the additive power of a city would be based on its service level. IF you had a giant hub at ORD for instance, you should be able to get many connecting passengers from BOS if BOS has non stops to all the destinations you serve from ORD. OTOH, ATW should give you many (for its small size) connecting passengers if you are the only one serving it, becuase ATW passengers trying to go anywhere need to be on that flight.

Aircraft ordering:

I'd like a real time development where aircraft become available and disappear over time. Idealy this could be incorporated with a delivery slot system. With the delivery slot system a manufacturer would have slots going for a number of years and anyone looking to buy aircraft could view the slots, select some, and then buy them. If a manufacturers slots were almost all taken up, they would increase production, opening new slots. If there were open slots at production time these would be white tails. If orders were drying up the manufactuer would announce an end of production.

Quoting AllegiantAir (Reply 2):
So if someone wants to start an unrealalistic route like the one mentioned above, program it so that that route has miserable loads.

This is simply a matter of setting the constants for passenger generation lower, not really a feature issue, but I do agree; setting loads to be in line with real world results adds measurably to the game by making it much more than a sandbox type excercise.

Quoting Jamesbuk (Reply 1):
one of the downfalls of all the current airline games is they have thousands of people playing, why not limit it?

I peronaly disagree. I'd like to see a game that is balanced enough to accomadate a realistic number of airlines (i.e. tons). By penalizing larger and older airlines with higher labor costs, allowing startups to have more useful aircraft, and coming up with a more equitable gate/slot system I think this could be done.



Well, thats what I'd like. I realise a lot of that is probably not very feasible as far as programing is concerned, and some of it is simply contrary to what lots of people think a game should look like. At any rate, please do keep us updated.
When in doubt, one B pump off
 
DavidT
Topic Author
Posts: 461
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2005 1:37 am

RE: What Would You Like To See In An Airline Sim Game?

Fri Sep 21, 2007 6:07 pm

Hi all, thanks for the replies!

Quoting Jamesbuk (Reply 1):
Umm one thing would be limit how many people can join a game.. one of the downfalls of all the current airline games is they have thousands of people playing, why not limit it? but have multiples of the game, so mirror the game before it starts and then as many people can play but in less crowded surroundings..

One of the design goals of CS3 will be to have it designed to operate many different universes at once. Whether I will ever use more than one is not sure yet, but if I do open the game to the general public (not the limited public that CS2 wa open to) I could be seeing player numbers in the thousands and so having 2 or 3 concurrent games would be a help. Another possibility is having different worlds with different rules - so in one 'real life' world planes come and go, whereas in a 'beginner' world planes are always available etc.

Quoting AllegiantAir (Reply 2):
I think Airport Mogul is a great game, so pretty much everything on there. The one thing that bugs me is when people start routes like MCI-DXB. If they want to start that route, make extremely poor loads. So if someone wants to start an unrealalistic route like the one mentioned above, program it so that that route has miserable loads.

Can you link me? I have tried searching on google and the only reference I can find to 'airport mogul' is about the game Airport Inc... the less said about that game the better! :P

Quoting Doug_Or (Reply 3):
Stability.



Quoting Doug_Or (Reply 3):
Hub effects:

Agreed on both fronts, the hub system I have in mind will allow players to build up realistic large hubs. Most of hte concerns you have addressed will be dealt with - I'd like to elaborate more but for now I'd rather keep my approach to myself...

Quoting Doug_Or (Reply 3):
Aircraft ordering:

I did like AE's aircraft ordering system, availability of a/c there really did sway my choices in terms of which aircraft to order. CS didn't adopt a similar system because I couldn't be bothered to code it!  Smile


Thanks for your replies!
 
PavlovsDog
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RE: What Would You Like To See In An Airline Sim Game?

Fri Sep 21, 2007 9:01 pm

A feature that would appeal to me would to be able to play historical airlines and compete in a realisitc environment. Running PanAm as deregualtion hit would be a great challenge.

Personally I'm interested in strategic and tactical aspects of airline management. Choosing specifics of how to implement a strategy are not all that appealing to me. I bought Airlines6 and have barely played it. Dealing with seat pitch and landing rights before you can even get an aircraft flying between markets is not for me. Way too much detail and too steep a learning curve. I think it's fine if people want to deal with that sort of thing in detail but in my opinion should be a feature that can be toggled off.

Multi-player is not important to me.
 
doug_or
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RE: What Would You Like To See In An Airline Sim Game?

Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:29 pm

Quoting DavidT (Reply 4):
Can you link me? I have tried searching on google and the only reference I can find to 'airport mogul' is about the game Airport Inc... the less said about that game the better! :P

thats becuase he meant airline mogul

www.airlinemogul.com
When in doubt, one B pump off
 
AllegiantAir
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2006 9:39 pm

RE: What Would You Like To See In An Airline Sim Game?

Sat Sep 22, 2007 6:24 am

Quoting Doug_Or (Reply 6):
thats becuase he meant airline mogul

Oh shoot, I said Airport Mogul? Whoops, airline, aiport, so similar. But ya, I meant Airline Mogul.
Live to Fly.
 
AA388
Posts: 201
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:26 pm

RE: What Would You Like To See In An Airline Sim Game?

Sat Sep 22, 2007 7:35 am

What would be the turn system? Would it be like AM and be one hour=one game day and one real day=one game month?

-max
Flown on A319, A320, A321, A330-200, A340-300,600, 717, 737-3,5,7,8,9, 747-400, 757-2, 767-300, 777-200
 
DavidT
Topic Author
Posts: 461
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2005 1:37 am

RE: What Would You Like To See In An Airline Sim Game?

Sat Sep 22, 2007 11:12 pm

Quoting AA388 (Reply 8):
What would be the turn system? Would it be like AM and be one hour=one game day and one real day=one game month?

-max

That is what I used in Clear Skies, and I think that works well. Unless anybody else has any better suggestions?

Quoting PavlovsDog (Reply 5):
Personally I'm interested in strategic and tactical aspects of airline management. Choosing specifics of how to implement a strategy are not all that appealing to me. I bought Airlines6 and have barely played it. Dealing with seat pitch and landing rights before you can even get an aircraft flying between markets is not for me. Way too much detail and too steep a learning curve. I think it's fine if people want to deal with that sort of thing in detail but in my opinion should be a feature that can be toggled off.

Yes that's a good point and I think there is definately a balance between detail and playability that needs to be struck. I did like the in depth customisability of Airline, but it require quite a bit of setting up first which does detract from the overall focus of the game which is basically choosing the right aircraft for the right routes.
 
AA388
Posts: 201
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:26 pm

RE: What Would You Like To See In An Airline Sim Game?

Sat Sep 22, 2007 11:24 pm

Also you shouldnt make it too hard to make money. In AE which i played for only a little as it was too crowded, anyway it took forever to get enough money to buy planes. But in AM people have 300 777-300ER and 200 777-200LR which does not make it realistic. PM me if its not clear.


-max
Flown on A319, A320, A321, A330-200, A340-300,600, 717, 737-3,5,7,8,9, 747-400, 757-2, 767-300, 777-200
 
CitrusCritter
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RE: What Would You Like To See In An Airline Sim Game?

Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:44 am

I think a cost realistic, but user interface simplistic maintenance system would be helpful. The one they are using at Airline Online right now more or less accomplishes this. It punishes you for having a lack of fleet commonality (aircraft manufacturer, airframe type, and engine manufacturer), which raises costs for the "expand with whatever plane is available" type player. Thus, it rewards measured and thought-out expansion.
 
TimePilot
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RE: What Would You Like To See In An Airline Sim Game?

Wed Oct 17, 2007 2:37 am

I'd like to see a flight sim with more realistic sounds. The bumping of the aircraft down the runway on takeoff and on landing, the sounds of the gear coming up and into the wheel wells and other noises.
Also it would be cool to see the wings moving during turbulence and more glint off metal objects on sunny days.

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