Dev Blog 53: Reparing Surrounding Systems, Performance Improvements & Aircraft Voting

January 10, 2017

What a week it has been! We’re still enjoying the downtime of the holidays, well, perhaps one of us more than the other, but that’s the perk of being unemployed. Last week we told you that much of the ACEO code base is being reassembled after the massive grid overhaul which meant that this week was all about repairing old stuff… and boy’ have we been repairing!

This week has also consisted of a very successful next-aircraft-to-be-implemented-vote where a grand total of 178 future CEO’s decided to partake in the ACEO democracy and make their voice heard. Which aircraft won? You’ll know soon, but first…

Repairing Surrounding Systems

… we want to talk a little bit about all the fixes we have made this week. It has truly been a week of fixing stuff, especially the surrounding systems which we consider to be systems supporting the main activities of simulating the agents such as queue and baggage belt simulation but also stuff like being able to demolish objects and construction simulation. All these examples sum up what we have been working on this week and everything mentioned is pretty much put back into place with the exception of some remaining testing work. This has of course wholly consisted of under the hood work so while we’ve got nothing new to show, the devlog will instead feature a number of random .gifs of aircraft taxiing around the new test airport we’ve built. As per usual, they are very small to preserve your bandwidth, quality is not representative in any way, any tearing, lines or other weird stuff is not representative. Enjoy.

Performance Improvements

The best part about this week has been enjoying the massive performance improvements that the reconstruction of the grid system has resulted in. Any kind of construction is as of now instant (except for dragging terminals which still needs some improvements) due to a much smarter and thus faster grid system. We have also implemented a new internal updating method for the various walkable layers, layers defining what areas are walkable for what type of person (passenger, priority, security staff, contractors and so forth) which has also proven to be a lot faster than the previous collider based system. More importantly, we are now moving ahead with a unified code base and the notion that there now is nothing more to rebuild which is… amazing. Yes, there might still be improvements to be made such as smarter algorithms, but there is no longer any technical debt in terms of a giant patch to pull off. Feels great.

Aircraft Voting

Due to popular demand we’ve decided to put some work into implementing another aircraft type! Since the ACEO community is the best thing we’ve got we decided to let it have its say and thus we held a public voting session where future CEOs could voice their opinions and decide the next aircraft type to be implemented in ACEO. The options were the Fokker 70, the Bombardier Dash 8 (Q400) and the BAe 146-200 (Avro RJ85) and we can now happily announce that, as a result of the vote, we will over the coming weeks implement the BAe 146-200 as it emerged victorious with a total of 79 votes out of 176 (44,9 %). Keep a look out on the forums for the thread showcasing the progress!

This Week’s Changelog

New Grid System:
  • Completely overhauled and re-implemented the queue building system and brought it back to full functionality including a dynamic queue projection function
  • Overhauled major parts of the baggage building system resolving multiple errors
  • Resolved a boundary issue with building rooms causing room specific object placement issues
Building System:
  • Resolved serialization issues
  • Completed a series of small fixes leading to major performance improvements across several areas
  • Fixed a bug causing lag on terminal construction
  • Fixed an issue with the bus stop not updating against road sprites
  • Updated an issue with doors not correctly being placed on walls
  • Fixed an issue with runway now updating the grid properly when extended
  • Implemented a fix reducing save game loading time from 30 seconds to 5 seconds
  • Resolved a number of serialization issues
  • Overhauled parts of the construction simulation process and repaired some broken stuff
  • Fine tuned some variables related to passenger and employee walk speed
UI and Sprites:
  • Corrected some stupid code in regards to clicking clickable objects
  • Selection canvas rotation issue resolved
  • Resized several aircraft sprite sheets to reduce files size and improve performance (does not affect quality)
  • Re-designed the livery attachment system enabling much more flexibility when creating liveries
  • Added liveries to the Boeing 737-600

Over the coming week we expect to finish off the last parts of the repairing work as we’ve still got some annoying minor bugs to sort out , but when that’s done we are ready to steam off towards new horizons with a very much improved code base. Releasing a new gameplay video, completing the testing of all serialization systems, completing the passenger, employee and baggage simulation cycles, implementing more aircraft types and testing, testing testing is up next on the agenda after this. And then what? We’ll see. And see you we will next week! Fly safe.

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