Dev Blog 91: Alpha 23 Deployed & New Airline Design Contest

November 7, 2017

Good evening airport CEO and welcome to yet another executive briefing on Airport CEO and its current development state. Today’s devlog is being written on our newly acquired hardware so it is safe to say that it’s been a very interesting week in both good and bad terms, let’s stop chitchatting and get into what’s important.

Airport built by discord member Exitus.

Last Week

Last weeks development was mainly characterized by the arrival of the new development hardware. Building and configuring the new computers ate up a good two to three days worth of development time which means that general development has seen a somewhat lowered progression and activity both in terms of feature implementation and bug fixing, which can be seen on the Jira dashboard.

The chart looks slightly different than the public one due to public viewing restrictions but they both share the overall trend. We expect the curves and weekly trend to rise during this week’s work.

However, when you’re reading this devlog Alpha 23 will finally have been deployed on the default branch. A lot has happened under the hood, as the full patch notes can be seen here, and we’ve mainly targeted path finding performance improvements, general bug fixing and new UI feature implementation such as the long awaited employee job task overview sub panel and a vehicle stock overview panel.

The main reason for the delay has been stability concerns regarding the path finding system as we’ve been implementing new technology to improve performance. This initially brought a few critical bugs which we simply could not ship and took a few days of work to figure out and mitigate. Since a part of the solution to these bugs was to cycle the version of a key underlying component we had to do additional testing to the basic systems, one of which broke, before being confident in the stability of Alpha 23.

After soaking for a few hours on the experimental branch it has now been deployed and given its large changes we will continue to monitor its stability over the coming week. In the meantime we will split the remaining development time for this week in three halves, continued bug fixing where severity is prioritized, implementation of the new service vehicle pack and script profiling and optimization. When the ACEO development team is fully transitioned into their roles as professional game developers we will provide a set release schedule for the upcoming default branch deployments, most likely on a monthly basis but more information on this will be provided at a later stage.

As always, you can follow the development progression via the public Airport CEO Jira.

New Versioning Number

In the previous devlog we flagged for an upcoming versioning number change and with the newly deployed Alpha 23.0 to the default branch this change has now taken place. This will be the version we will use moving forward consists of the major version type, minor version number, revision number and the build number, i.e. Airport CEO Alpha 23.0-0.

The major version type indicates pre-alpha, alpha, beta or full (1.0) and is only incremented on major version transitions. The minor version number is incremented on each default branch deployment and signifies a larger, more stable, change to the code base. The revision number is incremented on each experimental deployment and signifies step-by-step changes to the code base for testing new features as well as bug fixes and performance improvements. Lastly, the build number is a way for us to keep track on what build version is deployed on the experimental branch, it will most likely only be incremented on critical bug fixes if the experimental branch has an update that breaks game play. So, to summarize:

Airport CEO A B.CD

A: Major build type (incremented on major version transitions)
B: Minor build version (incremented on larger and more stable changes to the code base (default branch))
C: Revision number (incremented as new features and bug fixes are tested (experimental branch))
D: Build version (incremented only when a new build is deployed on the experimental branch)

We hope that this new numbering system will make it easier for you to follow and keep up with while also allowing us to more easily manage what issues that have been deployed to the experimental and default branches. Starting with the next experimental branch cycle we will provide structured patch notes for each revision deployment so that it’s easier to know what has been changed or fixed.

Efficient! Another view of Exitu’s airport.

New Airline Design Contest

It’s happening! We’ve heard your demand and decided that’s its time for another opportunity for you to become a game artist. While we’re busy planning the implementation of support for moddable airlines and liveries you can already now begin sketching your ideas and, potentially, have them implemented into the game by partaking in the new Airline Design Contest. The instructions and rules can be found in that linked forum thread and up to potential winners have the opportunity to win an Airport CEO key, an additional secret prize, an honorary forum badge and of course the title of hobby game artist as well as bragging rights. Get it on the fun now!

That’s it for this week, we’ll keep it short and get back to development. Looking forward to keeping you updated on the progress over the coming week and also, if you’re at the LiU Game Conference in Linköping, Sweden, and see an Apoapsis Studios developer roaming around – don’t be afraid to say hello.

Again, don’t forget to check out the patch notes for Alpha 23.0. Have a great week and as always, fly safe!

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