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Author Topic: Research trees  (Read 2435 times)

Offline swiftus27

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Research trees
« on: September 30, 2010, 05:16:53 PM »
Okay, this would take a TON of work to do...

Here is an example of what I thought up:

Small Airlines:

Propeller Operations 1:  -->  Turboprop Maintenance 1:  --> 

Small Aircraft 1: --> Regional Pilot 1: -->

Short Routes 1:  --> Small Airfield 1: -->  Short Route Image 1: -->

So, I get X number of points over Y time.  I can put those points in one category until another one unlocks.  Only after Z researches can I go on to tier 2. 

At the end, all three trees come together for some massive benefit (limit 1 per customer). 

As you go down a specific tree, the benefits get better.  You specialize.  You can then become much more efficient at what you prefer to do.   Right now, I'd say give a massive benefit to small airlines looking to do short routes... But then again, that's just now.

Have some be prerequisites of others. 

LASTLY, make the research based on time for small airlines and MASSIVE costs for those looking to specialize in large ones.   

Again, this is just ideas. 

The net benefit is that we will see airlines that choose to specialize receive more benefits versus those who lease and fly everything.

Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: Research trees
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2010, 06:30:58 PM »
What would be some examples of benefits of this research?

Offline swiftus27

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Re: Research trees
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2010, 07:00:07 PM »
For instance, increased desireability, lower maint costs, cheaper plane costs.

There are a few variables that can be toyed with.

So for example, one tech will give you a 0.5% decrease in lease costs for all propellor a/c.  Another would do the same for maint costs.   Perhaps another will give higher benefits but only to c and d checks.

I know this would have to be balanced and would slightly increase server load.  It would increase the fun factor.

Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: Research trees
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2010, 08:08:25 PM »
I don't think lower leasing cost would be a good idea.

Lowering maintenance cost might be an idea.  A couple of things I can think of:
- higher employee productivity (in general, or per staff category).  Meaning, you might need, say 95 rather than 100 employees
- higher marketing effectiveness ($1.00 of marketing spending may give you effect of $1.05, or $1.10)
- lower probability of delay due to scheduling by, say 5%.  25.5% would become 20.5%

I am just commenting on possibilities of research, not if it is a good idea to invest programming time into it - ahead of other projects.

Offline swiftus27

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Re: Research trees
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2010, 09:10:43 PM »
Nice to hear the feedback.  I'm trying to figure out something that will help engross a player and keep them involved until the end

Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: Research trees
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2010, 09:28:21 PM »
As far as keeping players interested, IMO, number 1 item would be passenger connections.  You would start from low demand between cities, and it would grow as you add connections.

Right now, you can schedule a flight that supplies, say 120% of demand on a route, and that one flight, the same airplane may stay exactly the same for 20 game years.  With demand being dynamic, there is always room (and need) for tinkering, optimizing things, new ways to compete.

Throwing alliances into the mix, and code-sharing, every airline in the alliance is contributing, and there is actually a reason for alliance members to communicate, plan and tutor newer players.

I do like the idea of research trees, but its effect would be much smaller compared to passenger connections.

Offline Sami

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Re: Research trees
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2010, 10:17:43 PM »

Can't see how this would relate to any realworld operations? or?

Offline swiftus27

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Re: Research trees
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2010, 10:55:27 PM »
Sami, perhaps it isn't 100% authentic.  Anything to keep a player engrossed will help keep players playing.

Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: Research trees
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2010, 12:04:07 AM »
Can't see how this would relate to any realworld operations? or?

I think in general, it would be management effectiveness:
- Doing the same amount of work with fewer employees, making each employee more productive.
- Avoidance of errors.  People make mistakes, and keep repeating the same mistakes over and over.  The whole field of Quaity Control is there to identify, measure and come up with strategies to avoid the same mistakes.  Then, implementing the strategies.

Offline swiftus27

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Re: Research trees
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2010, 01:18:56 AM »
another "tech"

1.  XXXX efficiency.  2% less YYYY staff needed for that job.



Offline schro

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Re: Research trees
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2010, 03:10:41 AM »
Can't see how this would relate to any realworld operations? or?

I think this best relates to having a competitve advantage that has been built in the real world.

For example, Americans advantage post deregulation was the Sabre reservation system. Allegiant is turning itself into a major Md80 parts dealer to suplly its own fleet and profit from helping others out. Deltas tech ops group becoming trained and certified on airbus maint a long time before the northwest merger was announced ( delta was all boeing/Douglas at that time).

Basically, hes suggesting a system where you choose one or many specialization that will bring a competitive advantage to your airlines bottom line as a rwult of the significant investment that you make imo the skill.   

Offline Sigma

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Re: Research trees
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2010, 03:44:27 AM »
You know, at first I found this idea pretty comical actually.

Then I thought about it some more.

One of the problems with AWS is that the entire game is based off averages of averages.  So regional is unfeasible and long-haul makes a ton, just to give one example.  This makes the game difficult for people trying to do a single strategy -- the game works best once you know how to game it and manage the right mix of short/long and domestic/international to make the averages work in your favor.  So we end up with a very homogeneous mix of airlines of what works most effectively in AWS because all the 'rules' are the same, which is VERY unlike the real world where different airlines focus on very different operating strategies because it takes a very different method to be an effective Southwest versus an effective American Airlines versus an effective British Airways for example.

Additionally there are no union or government regulations here that often times play a massive role within an airline's history and decisions they must make -- they might keep it from being able to maintain 4-engined planes effectively, to operate long-haul competitively, or to put a base where they want. And it's not that I envision these 'techs' (which is a poor word in this case, but a game mechanic that most people can identify with) taking the place of exactly those situations but rather the mechanic could serve to function as those sort of strategic decisions that an airline has to make and that can often effect its performance negatively even decades later with unforeseen consequences.

The idea of choosing a "Regional Pilot" "tech" seems stupidly gamey.  And, to be frank, taken that simply, it really is.  But if you look at it another way it makes a lot more sense.  Call it a new labor contract where you've manage to get a nice pay cut out of your small aircraft pilots in exchange for a pay raise on long-haul pilots.  This is a perfectly realistic concession that a union would make.  And if you're a regional airline you're thinking "So what, I don't have any of those pilots anyway".  And maybe you don't for 10 years, but then you decide you want to and now you're faced with higher labor costs on those routes.

Or you work out a concession with the machinists that will you to operate a 4th fleet type with a minimal penalty at the cost of a much higher penalty if you go to 5 fleets.  Or you open a base and you have to decide whether you're only going to operate short-haul or also want long-haul and that impacts that huge overhead salary penalty you pay.  Really I could think of dozens if not hundreds of these that could really differentiate one airline from another, even on multiple game-worlds with the same base, whereas now they're all the same.  This could really make a different in the long-term replayability of the game.

So instead of calling these "techs" or some sort of "research tree" akin to some RTS game, let's think of them as "strategic decisions" (which isn't to say that some of them may not involve time or money).  With the ultimate goal of making your airline a little more unique than all the others.  If you're a fan of the Fallout series of games, you could think of these as the Perks and Traits that the series is famous for.  "Traits" are chosen to start and they are bonuses to certain stats that also have negatives to other stats.  And "Perks" are earned every X levels and allow some sort of bonus to a particular stat.  I would envision more "traits" than "perks" in such a system here, meaning that your choices weren't just bonuses but rather also effected something else negatively.  That way it's about balancing both the upside and the downside.

And I think these, at least usually (some might be private), would make for great "Announcements" within the Airline News section too and give that section a little more liveliness and a lot more interest.

Offline Unbornio

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Re: Research trees
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2010, 01:53:18 PM »
Have you been playing too much Civ 5?  ;D
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Offline swiftus27

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Re: Research trees
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2010, 03:51:51 PM »
^^^ only a few playthroughs  ;)

Offline Sami

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Re: Research trees
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2011, 07:36:59 PM »
Instad of calling them techs or research, this would be the same as achieving higher efficiency or level in staff training or company procedures etc .. (= the older the company gets, it knows more about stuff...)

And in that sense it's something that can be considered.

GEnx

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Re: Research trees
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2011, 08:53:53 PM »
Wouldn't it be possible to "exploit" this game-like style a little further? Why not let the user choose a certain "airline type" at an airline's inception, much like choosing a class in RPG's? So for example you could choose Regional airline, International airline, Budget airline etcetera, where each business model incorporates different economic variables (e.g. salary as Sigma pointed out). In fact, this is not much different from the real world, where an airline decides on its business model before they start operations. I think this would differentiate airlines even further.

Offline Sigma

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Re: Research trees
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2011, 10:56:47 PM »
Wouldn't it be possible to "exploit" this game-like style a little further? Why not let the user choose a certain "airline type" at an airline's inception, much like choosing a class in RPG's? So for example you could choose Regional airline, International airline, Budget airline etcetera, where each business model incorporates different economic variables (e.g. salary as Sigma pointed out). In fact, this is not much different from the real world, where an airline decides on its business model before they start operations. I think this would differentiate airlines even further.

The problem with this, while easier to do, is that you're kind of stuck then.  It's not fun to be stuck with a certain style of play in a world that constantly changes -- even moreso if sami gets all the things done he wants, namely dynamic airport sizes and city-based demand.   Business may all decide on a business model to start, but if they stick with it in the face of changing circumstances, they're simply doomed to failure.

If you wanted what your suggesting, I would think it would be easier for the game to simply determine said variables based off actions -- i.e. fly a bunch of short routes there should be minimal overhead compared to an airline that flies a bunch of long-range routes and then adds a short route.  Anytime an airline branches from its core competencies it would cost more versus someone who does business that way all the time.

Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: Research trees
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2011, 03:48:12 AM »
The problem with this, while easier to do, is that you're kind of stuck then.  It's not fun to be stuck with a certain style of play in a world that constantly changes -- even moreso if sami gets all the things done he wants, namely dynamic airport sizes and city-based demand.   Business may all decide on a business model to start, but if they stick with it in the face of changing circumstances, they're simply doomed to failure.

I agree.  It is not fun to be stuck to one style of play.  It is good to have freedom to start one way, and then, mid way adopt a completely different strategy with the same airline, replace / upgrade fleet as player chooses or finds necessary.

GEnx

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Re: Research trees
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2011, 12:57:40 PM »
The problem with this, while easier to do, is that you're kind of stuck then.  It's not fun to be stuck with a certain style of play in a world that constantly changes -- even moreso if sami gets all the things done he wants, namely dynamic airport sizes and city-based demand.   Business may all decide on a business model to start, but if they stick with it in the face of changing circumstances, they're simply doomed to failure.

Changing your core business model then isn't really a smart thing to do for any sort of business. It's like having Ryanair to decide to go from a budget airline to a "quality" airline, which is the most stupid thing they could do. Of course, change is an essential part of business (hence the vast amount of literature on it), but that only in very extreme cases applies to the entire business model. It would completely discard a firm's knowledge base and FSA's (Firm Specific Advantages) which make up the business as it is.

If you wanted what your suggesting, I would think it would be easier for the game to simply determine said variables based off actions -- i.e. fly a bunch of short routes there should be minimal overhead compared to an airline that flies a bunch of long-range routes and then adds a short route.  Anytime an airline branches from its core competencies it would cost more versus someone who does business that way all the time.

This is a much better implementation of what I was suggesting, though this might require much more work. I think it should also take into account ticket pricing, seat configuration, salary and so on to get a more complete picture of what the company is doing. This would also get the player much more involved into salary decisions for example than he is now, making the game closer to reality. Penalties for moving from one model to the other should firstly increase with the airline's age, and secondly be huge. Why? Because again, changing your entire course of action (budget -> quality) is an extreme form of organizational change.

Offline alexgv1

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Re: Research trees
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2011, 01:13:25 PM »
Changing your core business model then isn't really a smart thing to do for any sort of business.

Not always, Aer Lingus would have gone bankrupt or been bought out by Ryanair if they hadn't changed their staffing and pricing structures to meet the growing number of low cost competition. Sometimes it can be a prudent business move. Another example, US carriers changing their route structures from point to point to a hub and spoke structure.

If you wanted what your suggesting, I would think it would be easier for the game to simply determine said variables based off actions -- i.e. fly a bunch of short routes there should be minimal overhead compared to an airline that flies a bunch of long-range routes and then adds a short route.  Anytime an airline branches from its core competencies it would cost more versus someone who does business that way all the time.

I'm in major agreement here. What type of business model you are should just be from the decisions you make. Also liking Quinoky's contributions in their second paragraph above.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 01:16:14 PM by alexgv1 »
CEO of South Where Airlines (SWA|WH)

 

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