Dev Blog 136: Continued development on Alpha 33 (the big bird update) and helping out translate Airport CEO

September 17, 2019

Good evening airport CEO! Good to have you with us yet again for another development blog update. Two weeks ago we wrote quite an extensive dev blog, some would call it an essay, on the future of Airport CEO and the results of the planning work we've done the past months. The feedback we received was incredible and if we weren't exited enough for this autumn and all the development we are even more so now. We’ve had two very good development weeks but a lot more to do and given the very length episode as of two weeks ago we’ll aim to write something a little shorter this time… that said: Let’s just dive into it!

Continued development on Alpha 33 (the big bird update)

As you may know by now our regular experimental deployment pace has noticeably slowed down (around once or twive per week). This is since most of our development efforts are being put into new features and content making out the upcoming Alpha 33. As opposed to previous versions, Alpha 33 is fully planned out and you can follow its total development progress via our public Trello board. As you can see, we’ve made very good progress on the overall infrastructure of large aircraft. We now have large stands, overhauled medium stands, large runways and a large de-icing pad in together with several new aircraft models (and sub versions) and a large pushback truck. This means that we’re currently testing and verifying that the full turnaround procedure for large aircraft work flawlessly along with the rest of the aircraft fleet (we now have over 30 different aircraft types (with model variances) in the game!). Since a lot of subsystems that interact with all aircraft have been adapted to function generically with large aircraft, we’re running a lot of tests on the smaller models as well to ensure that we haven’t broken anything.

Amongst implementing the large aircraft infrastructure, we’ve enabled multiple service vehicles for large aircraft in relation to stair trucks, airside shuttle buses (for remote stands) and catering trucks. This means that large aircraft will try to utilize at least two of the mentioned vehicles to speed up the process and yes… it looks awesome. However, during testing and development we discovered that loading baggage the traditional way for medium sized aircraft does not hold up for larger aircraft as the sheer number of bags simply extend the turnaround time too much. We’ve therefor decided to expand the large aircraft update with an ULD module for combined baggage loading. This will push back the deployment date for Alpha 33 a bit but is in the end worth it as it will introduce new content and functionality. We will not announce any dates for internal or experimental testing as of yet but… we do think you deserve a little sneak peek of what we’re doing.

A big bird pushed by a big truck...

In excess of the development strides for Alpha 33 last week, Alexander has continued work on localization stabilization and Alpha 34, and we also deployed another quality-of-life update for Alpha 32. The update targets a round of common bugs ranging from critical to medium, solving a few rare loading issues and some copy paste tool problems. However, with this update we also added taxis and taxi stops and performed a thorough texture overhaul for outside textures. On top of that we officially announced German as a supported language in Airport CEO, which ties in well into this next section…

Helping out translating Airport CEO

.. because with German language support out in the wild, we now need your help with adding more languages to Airport CEO. “But wait, didn’t you decide on not running a community driven translation process?”. Yes, yes we did, thank you for asking. However after reviewing the results of the project we ended up realizing that we were not satisfied with the results. In a news post we sent out earlier today that you can read here, we wrote the following:

As you might have seen, Airport CEO as of last week officially now supports German. This is the result of a very long project starting in the spring of 2019 with a brand new system for delivering text in the game and then over the summer the actual translation of the text from English into German. That German translation is now implemented in the game but unfortunately we've received a lot of feedback on the final result stating that the quality is not on par with its English equivalence. This is of course unfortunate, as we've spent a lot of time and resources on selecting a qualitative agency to work with to make sure that our German players can enjoy Airport CEO without breaking the fourth wall and trying to figure out what a "big door on a children's slide" actually means. We've thus come to realize that Airport CEO, with its many many words and vast quantities of complex industry language, is a too difficult translation project for a single person or a single third-party agency to take on.

In the wake of the English to German translation mishap we've contemplated a lot on how we were supposed to move ahead with the remaining languages. We don't want to make the same mistake again by working with a sole agency and while working with single translators probably yields more control and costs less, there's still the issue of contextual translation and aviation terminology quality. No... we've come to realize, that the only persons who would be up for the task is... you! You have the know-how of Airport CEO to understand the words in their context, and you're also interested in aviation and know what words are typically used. Now we're asking you for help to translate Airport CEO.

Airport CEO is currently live and available for translation over at Localizor and although we’ve only been live for a little over six hours the community has blown us away with the initial results. We noted a peak of around 40 concurrent translators at one point hacking away at the different languages, and at the time of writing this dev blog the Dutch translation sits at a comfortable 80,2% translated and 1.1% verified lead, with Italian (48,9% translated, 0,0% verified) on second and French (33,7% translated, 3,4% verified) on third place. We of course have a lot of progress remaining and it’s going to be interesting to follow the continued development of the Localizor result, but just the engagement alone in this project has been extremely exciting to follow!

In other news

... we’re heading to Unite Copenhagen! This is a Unity only conference in Copenhagen, which for us is a 30 minute train ride away, and a great opportunity to really dig into and learn about the current and the future of our main job tool. While Gamescom was a lot about networking and experiencing, Unite Copenhagen will be almost exclusively about learning. It’s going to be a lot of fun and we’ll of course document everything via Instagram.

on the 27th of September, Airport CEO will celebrate two years in early access! We have a few surprises in store for you, so make sure to watch the ACEO space when the anniversary closes in.

That’s it for this week, as promised we kept it short. Now it’s back to the code and the continued development of Alpha 33! Fly safe.

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