Dev Blog 109: Alpha 27.4 Experimental Release & Steam Workshop Launch

May 29, 2018

Good evening airport CEO and welcome to the 109th edition of the nowadays bi-weekly development blog! Today is a great day for any Airport CEO fan as it’s not only Monday and time for another devlop episode but perhaps also because the release drought is finally over. As you’re reading this, the very first publicly available version of Alpha 27 (27.4 to be exact) is available on the experimental branch. Furthermore, we’ve now also launched the Airport CEO Steam Workshop (which requires Alpha 27.4 to function) so as you can see we have a lot to dig into today. Let’s just take off…

Alpha 27.4 Released on the Experimental Branch

The wait is over! After about two months of quiet on the experimental branch we have finally deployed the first publicly accessible version of Alpha 27, i.e. Alpha 27.4-0. This very first and initial update contains the foundation of the new Airport CEO user interface, which is packed with a new layout, new visuals and new functions. However, we’d like to make it very clear that the journey is not over and that we still have some more work to put into the UI before we’re considering the sprint to be finished. It is very likely that there will still be large visual overhauls and functional changes to the game before Alpha 27 is deployed on the default branch. We have over the weeks been working very closely with a dedicated focus group that have been hard at work testing the incremental internal releases we’ve done, both for functionality as well as for usability and feedback. We have now reached that point in the development life cycle where the focus group is too small for us to gather enough usability data and where the game version is stable enough for an experimental branch deployment, hence today’s unexpected(?) update.

Not only can you now join in the development process again and let us know what you like and don’t like, this update also allows us to once again get the release train going so that we can serve the experimental branch with frequent updates.

To read up on the full change log and get some answers to some common questions, head over to this forum thread to learn more! And if you’re into it, make sure to head over to the experimental branch and test it out.

Steam Workshop Launched

With a few weeks of testing the Steam Workshop integration we have as mentioned now released it to the experimental version. In conjunction with this, there have also been some minor changes to the way liveries are modded when it comes to setting color scheme, all to give each business and airline a unique look. The mod kit and the instructions for this and creating Steam Workshop mods will be updated during the coming week but all older mods will still be 100 percent compatible as these are mainly cosmetic changes. We can also inform that there are already high quality community made mods available on Steam Workshop so you can get started right away. But please note that Alpha 27.4 which is the first version to support Steam Workshop is experimental, which means that the integration with Steam Workshop is considered experimental too and you might encounter minor issues, however, the major ones should be ironed out by now. The safest way to download mods is to subscribe to them and let the Steam client download the mod for you. Do note that it may take a while for mods to appear in the Airport CEO mod menu, both when they are being subscribed to or created by a modder. Once a mod has been subscribed and downloaded int othe Airport CEO client, you will also need to activate it in order to experience it in-game.

With this first release, we support businesses (anything from an airline to a construction company) and save sharing. Saves can easily be shared via the start menu by clicking on the Steam icon in the saves list and while you currently have to set the save icon yourself, we are looking into a feature to take a screenshot as the main icon. As the ACEO Mod Tool develops you will in the future be able to create, upload and download modded aircraft aswell. If you want to know more about the Steam Workshop integration, you can read more about it here.

If you own the game and are logged into Steam, you can visit the Workshop here.

Nordic Game 2018

In other news we spent the last week on Nordic Game 2018, a game developer conference here in our home town of Malmö! We had a blast and went on several great talks, met with several great developers from all over Scandinavia and went on a really nice gala dinner hosted by King. In between sessions, with the conference being located so close to our office, we also had time to put some of the inspiration gained at the conference immediately into the game development. Thank you for having us and see you next year!

In Other News…

… we’ve been working on the upcoming community feature voting system, which we’ll unveil in the next devlog on the 11th of June! In conjunction with this we have also been looking at an additional tool which will enable us to render the development workflow in a more democratized way so that those who want can get a Kanban style overview of the development process and also subscribe to updates of certain issues (using Trello). We’ll let you know more about this in the next devlog!

Oh, and we haven’t forgot that we promised to show you the office, it’s just that it was too messy this week for to be shown… don’t worry, we’ll hook you up next week! Lastly we want to say thank you to all of the design contest winners who’ve reached out to us and sent their regards for their special merch prizes. You’re all worth it!

Thank you for reading and we’ll definitely see you around the Forums with some hot updates over the coming weeks. Fly safe!

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