Dev Blog 107: Discord AMA, New UI Progress Update & DevLog Changes

May 3, 2018

Hello airport CEO and welcome to yet another development blog! Spring has made its way to southern Europe and while we did enjoy the occasional few hours of sunlight during the weekend and previous weeks, we’ve made notable progress on our many endeavors revolving the two current major implementation efforts of Airport CEO. In Sweden we were this week celebrating Valborgsmässoafton and after that we had Första Maj, which means that we’ve had two days less in the office than usual, but hopefully this shouldn’t impact our overall progress for this week. This week’s devlog will mostly serve as a short update on the overall progression of the UI sprint and Steam Workshop integration. Last week we touched upon both in greater detail and mentioned that the next step was to merge the two development branches, which we as of last week successfully did and (for once) ahead of schedule. As of right now, the first version of Alpha 27 is being tested on an internal branch with the help of a few select CEOs that have a long history of playing the game… and while they test, let’s get into this week’s devlog!

Discord AMA

A few days ago, during an AMA hosted by the wonderful mod team over at the official Airport CEO Discord, we were asked multiple questions ranging from when feature “x” will be implemented, to what our favorite aircraft models are. One question that was brought up, which we felt needed additional mentioning, was regarding the slowed paced of the release train. The short answer is that it’s slowed due to the many large ans fundamental changes that are taking place within the code base. Especially since these changes touch upon how the CEO is interacting with the game, we don’t want to push something on a publicly accessible branch that from one day to another might completely change. And it’s not only the UI that is, and has, undergone a huge change, deploying a publicly accessible Steam Workshop integration does require that its foundation is solid and really working. On the other hand, we do realize that the release train is indeed bottle necked by this large upcoming change which is why, despite the issues we’ve mentioned just now, our primary goal as of right now is to deploy an initial version of the new user interface to the experimental branch as soon as possible. We know that you’re frustrtade to see what’s going on (and therefore we’ll today show you some new stuff), but when exactly this deployment will happen depends on the initial valuation of the internal testing (which is as mentioned ongoing right now) – we’ll make sure to get back to you on this when we know more. When Alpha 27 does make it to the external branch, with the new UI and Steam Workshop integration publicly accessible, we expect the deployment train to again pick up its pace.

If you want to read up on exactly what was asked and answered on the Discord AMA you can join the server by clicking here and then check out the channel (currently) called “ama_closed”.

Flight Process Monitor

As part of the new UI sprint we internally discussed implementing a new data panel to help monitor and analyze your ongoing flights during the entire flight handling process. We can now present the new Flight Process Monitor panel that will hopefully be of great assistance in monitoring and locating loopholes in your flight’s processes. Here’s a brief breakdown of how it works: The data panel will show you relevant information about your ongoing flights and give warnings if there are delays or issues. The blue area will show flight data such as the stand, flight status, number of passengers and flight times. This will help you see how long a flight has left until it should leave the gate for departure and as you can see in the example below, in this particular example we currency have two delayed flights (we will come back to this later). The yellow area will show your passenger statistics, for example how many passengers have arrived at the airport for each flight, how many are checked in and so forth. This will be useful for you to see if the passenger flow is adequate throughout the terminal and could for example help you decide if another security checkpoint is required or not. The red area to the right is for monitoring the turnaround process at the aircraft stand. It will tell you if bags have been unloaded or offloaded in time, the process of the service round and finally if refueling is completed or not. As you can see our two delayed flights have several problems, one of them is not 100% refueled yet and both are still waiting for bags to be delivered to the aircraft. So this is a clear indication that we might need to order an extra fuel truck and service trucks but also look into the baggage flow. This is the first draft of the panel, and it is planned to be expanded with, for example, the ability to prioritize a certain flight and more complex analyzing to give you hints on where your process might be flawed.

It’s been mentioned before, but we can now really reveal that the new Airport CEO UI will be slightly different as you can already in this picture see from this preview of the new flight process monitor. Even though this is still a draft, we are transitioning the UI towards a lighter, brighter and more joyful and modern style and feel. However, please be aware that major changes to layout and style definitely still can take place.

Changing to Bi-Weekly DevLog

As some of you may have noticed, we have recently not always been the best at keeping our promise of delivering a great devlog each Monday. We received some well deserved feedback that we seem to postpone the devlogs a bit too often, to the extent that some of you are starting to see a pattern and not just an occasional occurrence. Of course, we don’t want to fall into this bad habit as it is never fun to postpone and disappoint a lot of people (and boy do we have a record of dissapointing delays!). However, we feel that we need to point out that most of the times when we have decided to postpone a devlog, it has been due to lack of new content or interesting things to bring up. A lot of the work that we have done the last few months have been under hood such as performance, script improvements and bug fixing. So after having writtem about performance for the 4th last devlogs, we don’t feel it is particular read worthy to bring it up yet another time. While we were developing Airport CEO pre-release, we could test a lot of ideas and give you exciting new content every week, and while this of course again will happen once we deploy Alpha 27 to the default branch, we have decided to start (or rather keep) doing devlogs on a bi-weekly schedule instead of each Monday. This will relieve the pressure on us of just getting something out there each Monday and also give us more time to implement exciting stuff that we can avtually show off. As much as we love writing the devlogs they also take a lot of time to compile and to edit. With well over 100 devlogs, almost one each week since we started this project, we can really use the extra time to work on the game and bring more qualitative devlogs ahead

So, for the foreseeable future we’ll target writing bi-weekly devlogs instead of weekly and should find that this is not enough, we’ll then of course be open to committing to a weekly once more. Just like everything else with ACEO, we’re trying to stay as agile as possible! For any larger updates happening to the branches or the game development in general, we’ll make sure to let you know via the usual channels.

That’s it for this week and we will see you again in two weeks, i.e. on th 14th of May! Fly safe.

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