We are pleased to inform that the final testing of the updated software engine version 1.3 has started today. The semi-public testing is expected to last for no more than a week and after that the next full game world will begin.
Version 1.3 is a minor release but contains still various interesting new features (and more tweaks and updates will be added during the fall). Some highlights of the updates are:Major features
Online logo creator software allowing players to make their own logo online without the need of a graphics program.
Airline viewing and searching functions are completely new with true search possibility and map features etc.
Individual airline's info page is completely renewed with a new look and lots of new data; for example direct access to airline statistics and expanded fleet list.
Airlines can now make Fuel Supply contracts with companies located at their bases. Selecting a dedicated fuel supplier may save money.
Base airport restriction of not allowing to open secondary bases at 'top 20' airports is removed.
Airport slot system is updated to model a heavier growth of slots over time (similar system was tested in Dawn of the Millennium #2 game world). Slot prices have also been changed (operations to largest airports is more expensive). These changes help new players to find vacant slots also later in the game.
Routes to same destination by the same airline at the same time are now taken into account. In other words players should now balance their route departure times to a certain destination evenly throughout the day. (read details from forum; link below; thread page 3)
Aircraft history feature; each individual aircraft can be now tracked and viewed. Previous owners and other history of the plane can be viewed.
Aircraft MSN numbers are visible to players.Aircraft related
Dozens of aircraft models added to the database.
Periods for aircraft leasing changed: used aircraft may be leased between 6 months - 15 yrs, and new aircraft (from factory) between 5 - 15 years.
Lease renewals also changed so that minimum renewal term is now only 1 month.
Lease pricing also for renewals and used aircraft depends now on the lease term length (longer is cheaper).
Players selling used aircraft have the option to choose the maximum desired lease period.
Players can also use aircraft currently for sale as lease securities.
Automatic aircraft registration feature; settings page allows to save preferred registration format and every new delivered aircraft is automatically registered according to the settings.
Possibility for "prototype aircraft models" is added. (users can change the course of history by ordering planes that never entered full production! - data is still partly pending)
Engine variants for each aircraft model have now separate launch dates. This means that aircraft can have engine upgrades made available by the manufacturer after the plane has entered production (previously all engine variants were available instantly - data to this feature is still pending but technical aspects are ready)Route related
New rules to airports; very large aircraft may not operate to the smallest airports.
Airport-specific realistic restrictions; for example London City now only accepts the a/c types according to what is accepted in real life.
Added new charts to Routes section illustrating the relation between profits and expenses.
New statistics about airports visible to players.Other new features
Alliances can now have liveries and text descriptions.
Country flags made more visible in various places.
PNG logos / liveries.
Left-hand navigation is minimizable.
Game clock on menu is now "live" and auto-updates itself (& airline money) without page reloads.
'Settings' page is completely renewed.
Various other interface updates and tweaks.
The next scenario, and first to feature the v.1.3 game engine, will start on next weekend. Separate announcement will be posted about the estimated starting time. The upcoming scenario will replace the current Modern Times game world.
Full list of updates, with screenshots, is here