Dev Blog 79: Steam Direct Update and A New Flight Planner

August 8, 2017

Good evening and welcome to the 79th blog issue of the Airport CEO development blog. This time we’re posting a little earlier than normal and will continue to do so since it’s just way better for ones health not to stay up late and writing blogs at 4AM. Speaking of that health, let’s skip the chitchat and get straight to it!

Steam Direct Update

We have now submitted a build for Steam to approve. This is the last step in the Steam release train, at least from Steam’s verification process perspective and it is of course a major hurdle to overcome. If the build is approved, we will have complete control over the release procedure from that point on. However, regardless of wether the build is approved or not we still have internal test programs running that we need to complete before the initial release and until those are finished we will not be announcing any details on the exacts of the launch. We still very much plan to release within August 2017.

The Airport CEO Steam Community has taken off pretty well and is filled with future CEO’s discussing various details on the title. Make sure to head over there and join the group as well as putting the title on your wish list!

A New Flight Planner

Due to popular request from the forum we have decided to reiterate on the design of the flight allocation process. Previously flights were assigned stands automatically at random (well, not random, a sophisticated algorithm) but it seems as if you all though that was a bit too basic. From a coding perspective it worked very well since the game engine, essentially us, were in control and could make decisions that we ourselves knew the frame of but from a gameplay perspective it didn’t seem as fun. We get that, it’s obvious that the more control the player has the more their decisions take expression in the world they control and in a game that’s all about control; that’s a good thing. The challenge is that when we let you in on managing one of the core aspects of the game we also let in an unpredictable variable. How should we handle a player’s rescheduling of a flight? To what extent, in terms of time, can the player be allowed to reschedule a flight and to what stand? What is the best way to implement passengers adapting to a sudden gate change? What should happen if a player wants to remove a stand that has several scheduled flights on it? So what we’ve done is to rip that previous piece of stand assigning code apart and are instead enforcing it on the player via the UI which means that we still control the extremities of to which extent a possible stand rescheduling is possible while also allowing the player to set their individual flight schedule.

The rows below in the flight planner are therefore now auto generated from stands places in the world (depending on if they are activated, accept commercial flights, are connected to a security check-point and a taxiway node and so forth). The labels “A1”, “C1” and so forth indicate the gate’s name which can be assigned via the stand panel. There are some rules enforced in the flight planner to avoid you planning an impossible flight such as the scheduling of a flight to a stand that does not match the aircrafts weight class, the rescheduling of a flight that is already approaching its assigned stand and so forth. Allowing players to schedule flights to specific stands brings in a lot of new questions regarding terminal layout. We have therefore started experimenting, or rather been forced to start working on supporting more complex terminal layouts with multiple security areas. More about these in the next blog…

This Week’s Changelog

Aviation:
  • Solved an issue where aircrafts could deadlock on landing and takeoff due to bad referencing variables
  • Finalized implementation of the Swiftly airline onto all liveries
Economy and Business:
  • Starter approval ratings are now all at 50%
Building and Construction:
  • Fixed an activation toggling issue when deserializing unbuilt information desks
  • Resolved a bug which caused a noticeable lag when removing a lot of unbuilt road
  • Room placement now repeats on build
  • Solved an issue where runway compass headings didn’t spawn properly
  • Solved an issue which cause conveyor belts to not be properly built at all times
  • Fuel trucks are not any longer able to unload fuel into unbuilt fuel depots (lol)
Simulation:
  • Player’s can now assign flights to specific stands
  • A lot of testing and verification of the above mentioned feature
  • Made employees a lot smarter to cope with more complex terminal layouts (will not mention more about this until next week when we’ve done some more testing)
  • Testing
UI and Audio:
  • Fixed an issue with a non working coloring panel
  • Fixed a weird offset issue on the in-world flight information panel
  • Fixed a minor issue with a panel size not being correctly rendered in the procurement panel
  • The map zoom is now somewhat restricted to avoid caching a lot of map tiles
  • Solved an issue where the camera could freeze player input when using the localization feature
  • Solved deselection issues of objects and their related panels when performing object connections (between stand, cargo bays and check-in desks)
  • Solved an issue with job task container sorting
  • Revamped design aspects of the flight planner and implemented a tab system instead of a dropdown and cycling buttons (one tab for each day as requested by the community)
  • Revamped a lot of code involved in the flight scheduling process to support player assigned stands

In other news we have mostly been working hard on our feature and bug backlog. Swiftly is now fully implemented and operating the skies (ignore the acrobatic ramp agents).

We’ve also finally implemented street lights! No more darkness outside. On this screen the tops of the lamps look like black dots but we have since then mildly tweaked those to look better. Also the lighting effect itself will most likely see some revisits over time.

Let there be light! And now, let there be and end to this development blog. Until next time, fly safe!

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