Dev Blog 155: We're back! ... with experimental testing of Alpha 36

August 26, 2020

Hey there, airport CEO! Wow, long time no see and we’re finally back in full force after a much needed but short summer vacation break. We’ve actually been back for quite some time and have spent the majority of that time releasing and patching the emergency update and Alpha 36 on the experimental branch! We’ve also slowly started working on the upcoming feature changes and bug fixes part of the first beta release and with so much to do and such limited time it’s really about time to just get into it…

Bubble gum chemtrail!!!

Experimental testing of Alpha 36 and the emergency update

As of a few weeks back, the emergency update and Alpha 36 has been available for public testing on the experimental branch. As a result of the experimental deployments and an influx of new CEOs trying out the management of various emergencies, we’ve also received hundreds of bug reports which have been patched in bulk with daily updates. The experimental branch is our fast-paced publicly available testing branch where builds that are feature complete and have passed internal testing are deployed, but that does not mean that they’re stable builds, it just means that they’re ready to be exposed to a larger section of players who want to be part of the testing. In excess of ensuring that this update’s main features are working well enough for a default release we’re also carefully and ever so slightly adjusting balancing values related to the spawning of emergencies. They are at this point purposefully set at a very high level in order to ensure that they are properly tested but will over time, both as we near a default release but also during the beta period, be toned down.

We currently do not have a set public date for when the emergency update will be deployed on the default branch, but it shouldn’t be too far from now as we do not particularly enjoy working on two separate branches both intended for release alongside each other for too long. Especially since Airport CEO after this release immediately will transition into a beta phase, any bug fixing and balancing we’re doing on this final alpha build is naturally already a part of the beta roadmap as well.

If you haven’t given the emergencies a spin yet and would like to wait until it’s ready for a default experience, keep watching our feeds and you’ll be the first to know when that happens! If you want to know more about what Alpha 36 contains you can read up on it in Dev Blog 153: Emergencies!

Airport CEO in beta

With the imminent release of the final content adding alpha update, Airport CEO will soon transition into a new development phase! “Well, devs, what do you actually mean by alpha and beta?” one might ask, “I’ve searched online for those phrases and the results are not consistent!” one might follow up with. Well, let’s have a look at what’s been written on Airport CEO’s website FAQ section…

What can I expect from playing the alpha versions of Airport CEO?
Playing Airport CEO in its alpha state means that you'll be part of the development process as the game is still feature incomplete. Core systems may see major changes and large content adding updates released on a monthly basis can significantly change the gameplay experience.

What can I expect from playing the beta versions of Airport CEO?
Playing Airport CEO in its beta state allows for a feature complete and more stable experience. However, as the game will still be thoroughly polished and quality assured with bug fixes and balancing through smaller updates released on a weekly basis it should not be mistaken for the full and final version of the game.

The biggest difference for the overall development process of transitioning out of alpha and into beta simply means that the days of large and infrequent content updates are gone in favor of more frequent but smaller update where focus is on ensuring gameplay quality through bug fixing and balancing. “But haven’t you always been deploying a lot of bug fixing updates?” one might ask and the answer is indeed yes, yes we have… so… many… updates… but those updates have always been primarily aimed at resolving issues with the new content part of a major release. Transitioning from alpha into beta thus means that we can now move into more serious bug fixing as we now know exactly what systems and content is implemented and how it is implemented; we do not longer need to take development height for what might be added or how something might be added. More in-depth bug fixing or system changes that we’ve previously put off such as, for example, larger maps, is now finally eligible for a spot on the roadmap and will be part of one of the future beta updates.

We’re very much looking forward to transitioning into beta and to finally get busy with giving Airport CEO the proper and cohesive QA overhaul it so desperately needs after several years of major content additions. We’re currently in the process of planning the contents of the various beta releases and will loop you in as soon as we know more!

In other news

… there’s not much else going on! We’re staying healthy and are able to work without intrusions from the events of the world outside. Steve is keeping at it in the aircraft factory but we’ll leave those for another dev blog.

So that’s it for this week, we hope we shed some new light on what’s currently happening and we hope to be back real soon with a default release of the emergency update and Alpha 36! Fly safe!

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