Dev Blog 150: Stabilizing Alpha 35, Alpha 36 and beyond!

May 7, 2020

Well hello there, airport CEO, and welcome to the one hundred and fiftieth development blog! It’s been a little over another two weeks since we last spoke and we are very, very due for another update on the development progress of Airport CEO. We’re extremely busy with development right now which means that today will offer a little slimmer dev blog than usual and with that said we have nothing more to add and, as you surely know by now, no time to spare so let’s just get into it...

Stabilizing Alpha 35

As you may have noticed we have for the past few weeks been testing Alpha 35 and the terminal update, first on the closed internal branch and then continued testing on the public experimental branch. With an update every day of the week for the past two weeks, the experimental testing phase has gone on long enough to become one of the longest experimental testing phases we’ve done to this date. This is due to the fact that Alpha 35 does not only bring a lot of new, complex content which needs extensive testing by our amazing community but also because with the multiple terminal support feature in, the changes and bug fixing we’re making to the game’s grid system at this stage are now final and something we would have done in the beta stage regardless. However, as of this past week we have also made multiple changes and improvements to the game’s saving system in response to a slightly increasing trend of corrupt saves being reported mainly via the default branch. There’s been numerous improvements to these systems in Alpha 35 and along with the rest of the content, which has now matured substantially since Alpha 35’s initial experimental release, we’ve decided that it is time to move on: Alpha 35 will be released after the weekend on Monday (11th of May 2020)!

We’ve decided on a post-weekend launch in order to be able to be a bit more hands-on with this release, as opposed to our usual default Thursday deployments, due to the reasons mentioned above. Although Alpha 35 is being deployed on the default branch and thus work with Alpha 36 will slowly start to ramp up, it is likely that we will still be deploying a few updates per week on the experimental branch which then will be transitioned over to the default branch as a response to whatever serious or critical bugs are being reported.

We’re looking forward to Monday and if you keep an eye on our social feeds you’ll be the first to know when the update drops!

Alpha 36 and beyond

Airport CEO has one more major content update to go before we transition into a lengthy and extensive beta stage and beyond that a full release. As an airport CEO you’ve never really had to deal with any real emergencies or incidents, apart from those constant pathfinding issues you’ve been having of course. In Alpha 36, or the emergency update as it is also called, we’re introducing a series of different types of incidents and emergencies for you to deal with... or if you’re unable to, dreadfully watch play out in front of you. Each incident type also introduces either an active or a passive countermeasure which is used in one way or another in order to deal with the incident at hand. Speaking of incidents, Alpha 36 will also bring about an overhaul and general fix to the game’s very annoying notification system which has always been, and still will be, tightly intertwined with the incident system but as of Alpha 36 not as intrusive and more informative. Of course, Alpha 36 will also come with a wealth of other improvements and some new content not necessarily related to incidents or incident management, including some brand new aircraft from Steve. However, this is not the dev blog for digging deeper into what exactly all of that content entails but we’re also happy to announce that Alpha 36 also will include Steam Achievements, something we know a lot of you’ve been requesting for a very long time and something we now, with all of the games default base content finally implemented, can finally deliver. Again, not something that we’ll dig into right now but something that is worth knowing coming!

Beyond Alpha 36 we will then run an extensive beta period where we essentially polish all aspects of the game from continued bug fixing, UI polishing, a serious jab at performance optimization and more including the implementation of some missing, or perhaps remaining, features such as bigger maps and more. We are extremely excited to begin working on Alpha 36 for real and even more excited to reveal what’s about to come!

In other news

... we’ve onboarded another freelancer! His name is Lewis and he’s already sort of started working on a beta related aspect of the game, specifically an overhaul to all of the game’s world audio. Lewis is a sound engineer hailing from the UK and he’s begun an extensive project of implementing new, and improving existing, sounds from all parts of the game ranging from vehicle’s engine sound to the flushing of toilets. Alpha 36 will most likely contain some of his work and we’re going to, like with all of the other new content, dig into this sound overhaul as well in a future dev blog.

That’s it for this week! Thank you for hanging out with us in this half celebratory half milestone dev blog, number 150 in order, and we’re already looking forward to the 151st. Fly safe!

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