Dev Blog 47: Introducing the Weekly Changelog, Conveyor Belt System & Continuing the Turnaround Processes Simulation

November 22, 2016

It’s the 21st of November, it’s a new week and that means it’s a new devlog looking back at the previous week’s development. But of course, you know this, you’re a dedicated ACEO fan and as a tribute to you, the bullshit stops here. Let’s get into it!

Baggage Belt? Conveyor Belt!

The work on the baggage belt system, from now on “the conveyor belt system” (more on this in the changelog below) has progressed a lot! We’ve implemented a tilt tray and as a part of this week’s testing efforts, we’ve constructed a complete conveyor belt system to support the test airport. We’ve developed a booking system similar to the check-in desk booking system so that baggage bays are automatically assigned, making great use of the asset’s A* path finding system combined with a well structured baggage belt using scanners and tilt trays, so that bags can find their way to the correct baggage bay (if you’ve built it correctly of course). This is what it looks like:

Again, image quality is not representative.

It might no be the prettiest system you’ve seen, mostly because its crammed into a prebuilt terminal structure but it gets the job done. Everything is connected to the rest of the airport so bags checked in by passengers do indeed make their way to the baggage bays ready for on loading. Now, while we do have a lot of stuff left to implement such as…

  • Baggage Warehouse
  • Tilt Trays sorting only if “it’s time to load the bags” (effectively meaning that you can build custom looping belts)
  • Bag Examining Station
  • A solution for the baggage claim process…
  • Finalizing baggage bay design

… this marks an important step. As a testing tool, we also implemented a very temporary UI panel for checking bag data. As soon as we’ve got time, this panel is going to be replaced with a baggage scanning tag.

Here’s a few .gifs of the system in work, sadly the test flight only had a very few number of passengers thus it’s not that amazing to watch. Also, due to time pressure, there’s a few bugs such as the panel saying “owner” twice, an arrow being turnt the wrong way. These’ll get fixed tomorrow!


Employees moving in to work…

Baggage leaving the terminal one…

On it’s way… what’s inside?

Overlooking it…

Yikes! Sloppy work by the security personell right there…

Continuing the Turnaround Processes Simulation

Since everything is up and running again including the baggage bay booking system, job task assignments and simulation and so forth we’ve now started progressing the work with baggage trains and on loading departing baggage. This is where we’re heading with this week’s development and hopefully we’ll manage to implement the old code we had on this so that progress can be swift. With more and more stuff starting to have to play together complexity is on the rise (code wise) but hopefully this won’t pose an issue as we’ve spent a lot of time on constructing solid code.

This Week’s Changelog

From this week on, we’ll include a very unstructured and sporadic “changelog” highlighting minor important accomplishments throughout the week. It’s not going to be by the book by any means at all, or include any version numbers, but it’s a good way to report progress and a step closer to a more open development cycle…

Building System:
  • An issue with the dragging demolition function which caused the old drag pattern to reappear on reset has been resolved
  • An issue with baggage belt tile nodes not updating properly after being removed and then rebuilt on the same place causing dead nodes has been resolved
Conveyor Belt System:
  • Tilt Tray implemented: Bags can now cross baggage belt tile paths when passing tilt trays (if their respective plotted path requires it).
  • Tilt Tray offload feature implemented: If tilt tray is set to offload sorting, every other bag will be diverted.
  • Baggage UI panel! Click on a bag to learn who it belongs to, where it’s going and, if it’s been scanned, what it contains…
  • Refactoring: Renamed a lot of code in order to enhance logic, essentially “BaggageBelt” was renamed to “ConveyorBelt” since, in the future, not only bags will travel down the belt…
  • Baggage Controller variable caching: FPS drops and processing spikes caused by technical debt (as a result of all the added complexity of the conveyor belts) has been resolved. Everything is now running smoother than ever.
  • Building System performance issue found: An annoying issue with the building system causing all builder classes of a certain node object to update (when only itself and its neighbors should be updated) has been identified and added to Fredrik’s backlog (as he owns the building system).

Allright, that’s it for this week folks. Fly safe and we’ll see you on the other side!

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