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Author Topic: Long game worlds (1950-2030)  (Read 7832 times)

Offline Sami

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Long game worlds (1950-2030)
« on: August 01, 2011, 01:08:45 PM »
Just posting a small question ...

In your view what are the most urgent updates / changes needed to get the long 1950s - 2020s game worlds working? The 1950s test world helped to discover some issues in the early days but when thinking on how things develop and continue for decades, what are your ideas and thoughts.

I would be planning to start such a world as soon as possible (with the exception that it may be shortened if some issues are encountered but then it will be announced well before closure).

Offline CUR$E - God of AirwaySim

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Re: Long game worlds (1950-2030)
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2011, 02:09:16 PM »
- A second tech-stop should be possible. Early aircraft don't have much range and demand is low, so it's hard if 30-70% of the already low demand can't be served because of range. Especially if you have to use tech-stop airports that are a bit off the direct route, like crossing the Atlantic via Island.

- The used market should be for at least as big as in MT#5, (1500 player market for 600 players), maybe bigger, depends on how useful the available aircraft are (I can imagine soviet aircraft are as useful as nearly every other aircraft is, especially if the costs are lower for the game worlds to run smaller aircraft)

- smaller aircraft in the 50s must make money, so a 13 seater Boeing should not need endless staff like it's at the moment

- less slots (maybe 35%?) and increase very slowly to 150-200% till end of the game.

Edit:
- more and hard fuel spikes to erase some bigger airlines every now and then

- maybe some kind of feature that helps to replace aircraft:
if one for example runs DC-4 there is a special dropdown menu at DC-7: "Replacement for DC-6"
a replacement fleet group only adds 50% of additional commonality costs and an airline can have 2 (or 3?) replacement fleets coming at one time.

- prototypes and/or surprise aircraft appearance ( http://www.airwaysim.com/forum/index.php/topic,32446.0.html )
« Last Edit: August 01, 2011, 02:15:33 PM by Curse »

Offline alexgv1

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Re: Long game worlds (1950-2030)
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2011, 02:15:46 PM »
I think to avoid initial rush and for player numbers to match demand, make game world start with, say 100 player spaces (enough for 2 airlines in each top 50 airport - the only ones worth basing in these times). Every decade or so about 100 more spaces for airlines open up. Can either be done in batches of 100 on the turn of the decade (would have to be announced) or it goes up by 1, 2, 5 periodically so maximum player numbers will meet growth. F.E. Currently DOTM has 400 spaces in the 1980s and has increased to 600 in MT in the 2000s.
CEO of South Where Airlines (SWA|WH)

Offline LemonButt

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Re: Long game worlds (1950-2030)
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2011, 03:47:12 PM »
I think to avoid initial rush and for player numbers to match demand, make game world start with, say 100 player spaces (enough for 2 airlines in each top 50 airport - the only ones worth basing in these times). Every decade or so about 100 more spaces for airlines open up. Can either be done in batches of 100 on the turn of the decade (would have to be announced) or it goes up by 1, 2, 5 periodically so maximum player numbers will meet growth. F.E. Currently DOTM has 400 spaces in the 1980s and has increased to 600 in MT in the 2000s.

I second this.  I think the game should start in 1950 with 100 players.  Every month open up 1 more opening, so when the year 2000 roles around you'll have 700 openings.  I think most players who have played the 1950's era already will end up waiting until the 70s/80s before joining anyways (I will).

The other issue will be airport slots.  Growth is still explosive, which means something must be done to make sure those joining later can actually fly somewhere.  The easiest way, in my opinion, would be to have airlines limited to 25% of the slots available at an airport for every time block.  This means if there are 100 slots for the 500-600 hour, they are limited to only 25 slots for their airline in order to keep slots available for other airlines.  The only other option to ensure late joiners have a snowball's chance is to have explosive slot growth to counteract the explosive airline growth.  Airports could start with 50% slots and double every decade, for example.

Fuel is extremely cheap in the early decades, so if someone (like Curse) were to start in 1950, you could bet that when 2000 roles around he'll be king of the world.  Fuel either needs to be very expensive or other costs need to be dramatically increased to counteract this.

One way to counteract the "legacy" airlines in the game is to add a new line to the balance sheet: retirement costs.  Many airlines run in the red because of pension/retirement costs.  After 15 years, airlines should start to incur pension costs that last another 20 years based on tenure.  This means if you had 1000 employees in year 1, during year 16 you would have to pay pension payments to those 1000 employees (assumes they've retired).  After year 36, those 1000 employees roll off the books, but the employees from year 21 (15 years prior) are added, which means you're likely dropping 1000, but adding 20,000 for a net increase of 19,000.  A simple formula would be (number of pensioners)*(current average salary)*(80%).  This would help counterbalance airlines from having wild profit margins and buying out their fleet, which ends up going straight to the bottom line.  IRL airlines have to plan for these costs, why not implement them in AWS?  This would also provide smaller startup airlines an opportunity to undercut the legacy airlines with lower prices.  Add high fuel costs and you'll get the perfect storm for players to endure :)

The last part is the "boredom" factor.  Players will get bored with a longer game world when all they can do is upgrade or buy out their fleet.  I think the number of bases should be uncapped, but the staff costs increase exponentially, based on the number of aircraft based there.  Strong players could challenge themselves opening a 10th base and a fuel spike could wipe them out.  I think the challenge of growing an airline to the maximum size possible would be the holy grail for most experience players--imagine having the top 10 airports in the US as hubs with 1000+ planes and eventually collapsing completely due to rising retirement costs and fuel spikes.

Offline BobTheCactus

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Re: Long game worlds (1950-2030)
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2011, 04:24:02 PM »
I'm gonna disagree actually.

if you start early, all the pressure is on you to replace your aircraft quickly, continue to trim unprofitable routes, etc. So being able to secure slots early is really an advantage which balances these kinds of factors out...
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Offline Pilot Oatmeal

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Re: Long game worlds (1950-2030)
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2011, 05:11:02 PM »
A big one for me is the ridiculous amounts of staff per plane, I want to be able to run an airline with 30 Seats or less as it is possible in real life...

EDIT: MU-2 Please sami, I love you :)

Offline Wing Commander Chad Studdington

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Re: Long game worlds (1950-2030)
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2011, 05:58:38 PM »
A big one for me is the ridiculous amounts of staff per plane, I want to be able to run an airline with 30 Seats or less as it is possible in real life...

EDIT: MU-2 Please sami, I love you :)

Yes, that would be great. Not the MU-2, leave that out, nobody wants it!  :P

Offline CUR$E - God of AirwaySim

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Re: Long game worlds (1950-2030)
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2011, 08:04:29 PM »
In fact there is no or at least no more than one aircraft with 30+ seats in 1950 AWS.

So it's no point of "would be nice, sami", it is essential to make it possible for airlines to survive with 13+ seater like the small Boeing 247 (?), DC-3 etc.

Offline alexgv1

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Re: Long game worlds (1950-2030)
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2011, 08:08:08 PM »
In fact there is no or at least no more than one aircraft with 30+ seats in 1950 AWS.

So it's no point of "would be nice, sami", it is essential to make it possible for airlines to survive with 13+ seater like the small Boeing 247 (?), DC-3 etc.

Maybe make it so the only early days demand is first class, as only the rich could afford to fly and the service was most resemblant of first class (recently went into an old BOAC Hermes and it was like the Ritz inside). Or if the demand must be economy, make the prices more in line with first class (5-6x more than standard).
CEO of South Where Airlines (SWA|WH)

Offline Wing Commander Chad Studdington

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Re: Long game worlds (1950-2030)
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2011, 09:07:15 PM »
Maybe make it so the only early days demand is first class, as only the rich could afford to fly and the service was most resemblant of first class (recently went into an old BOAC Hermes and it was like the Ritz inside). Or if the demand must be economy, make the prices more in line with first class (5-6x more than standard).

Yes, this.

Also, maybe only for the 1950s and 1960s we need way more than one tech stop. Just looking at some old BOAC flights;

London - Tripoli - Kano - Lagos - Accra (Hermes)
London - Tripoli - Kano - Brazzaville - Livingstone - Johannesburg (Hermes)
London - Rome - Beirut - Khartoum - Entebbe - Livingstone - Johannesburg (Comet)

This needs to be possible in the very early period.

Offline Maarten Otto

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Re: Long game worlds (1950-2030)
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2011, 09:35:04 PM »
A big one for me is the ridiculous amounts of staff per plane, I want to be able to run an airline with 30 Seats or less as it is possible in real life...

EDIT: MU-2 Please sami, I love you :)

I totally agree on this one...

Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: Long game worlds (1950-2030)
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2011, 01:41:41 AM »
Starting early in the 50s, how about empty used market.

Enough cash to buy maybe 2 new aircraft delivered instantly (out of thin air).   Something like this might be useful for any game world - a new player being able to order new aircraft (or two) and have them delivered instantly.  It might screw up the numbering (just push all the existing orders up by 1).  But it would address the point raised elsewhere - that when a player starts for example now, in MT5, there is nothing really desirable on used market.  I think it is an issue now, that anyone starting, say 6 months from the start of game world up to maybe 4-5 years into the game world has the odds ridiculously stacked against them...

This (instant delivery of new aircraft to new players) might help player retention - important thing for AWS, IMO, even though there is no precendent for this in real world.  But I think the game play and player retention should trump that.

The slot situation - the current workaround for shorter game worlds side steps the issue of slots availability (or lack of slots that used to be a huge frustration before the current workaround).  I don't think the current workaround would work very will in a long game world.  For this reason, I would urge reconsideration of slot growth based on demand...

ICEcoldair881

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Re: Long game worlds (1950-2030)
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2011, 07:30:02 AM »
I think I'm just going to throw it out there - maybe all those FFP, IFE, connecting passengers, codesharing and whatnot feature requests should be included... would be more realistic and interesting to see how everything turns out in 2020/2030.. :D

Cheers,
ICEcold

Offline Pilot Oatmeal

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Re: Long game worlds (1950-2030)
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2011, 07:58:28 AM »
I think I'm just going to throw it out there - maybe all those FFP, IFE, connecting passengers, codesharing and whatnot feature requests should be included... would be more realistic and interesting to see how everything turns out in 2020/2030.. :D

Cheers,
ICEcold

woah lets not get ahead of ourselves here, we want this to be added in a couple of weeks, not years

ICEcoldair881

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Re: Long game worlds (1950-2030)
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2011, 04:01:23 PM »
 :laugh: 2020/2030 in-game, not in RL. :P

Cheers,
ICEcold

Offline Sigma

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Re: Long game worlds (1950-2030)
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2011, 04:44:47 PM »
In fact there is no or at least no more than one aircraft with 30+ seats in 1950 AWS.

So it's no point of "would be nice, sami", it is essential to make it possible for airlines to survive with 13+ seater like the small Boeing 247 (?), DC-3 etc.

The "Early Days" test game was one of my most profitable ones because the overhead is so dirt cheap.  Employees were cheap and aircraft were practically given away.  I was breaking even on an aircraft purchase in just a few weeks.

The  bigger issue was that I did so well because I was in DFW -- central to the entire US market.  If you were on a coast, it was impossible to create flights beyond the middle of the US because they were limited to a single tech-stop which isn't enough when aircraft have ranges of like 300-500 miles.  This wasn't terrible on the east coast, there was a fair amount of nearby market.  But on the West Coast, where most every decent flight is at least several-hundred miles, it was difficult to make an airline of more than just a relative handful of routes.

Offline Sami

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Re: Long game worlds (1950-2030)
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2011, 05:07:07 PM »
1950-2020; 17,5 months with 30 min days and 20,5 months with 35 min days :P

I would opt to start from 1965 or something like that instead. Keeps us out of the DC-3 flood at least.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2011, 06:27:09 PM by sami »

Offline Maarten Otto

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Re: Long game worlds (1950-2030)
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2011, 06:22:37 PM »
1950-2020; 17,5 months with 30 min days and 20,5 months with 25 min days :P

Ai captain. But I'm sure left is not right and up is not down because I do have the feeling this calculation is a bit strange....

Offline Sami

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Re: Long game worlds (1950-2030)
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2011, 06:27:20 PM »
Typo... =>  35 mins days = 20,5 months.

Point was that it's so friggin' long that I'd have to rethink my strategy regarding version updates. Since it's rather complicated to make larger changes to running game worlds (already in regards of possible bugs, not taking into account the actual implementation and changes to databases etc). But still, I would be in favor of the long 'rolling' game worlds since it practically eliminates the initial rush.

One additional thing to check is that AI brokers rotate and order the planes properly in long term scale so that new players will always have something to choose from.

Games will have increasing player number, and also they will be 'themed' according to present naming convention (with the game 'theme name' changing automatically when it jumps to the new era - but game world name will stay the same, they will be boring like "Server #1 - Era: Modern Times" etc)
« Last Edit: August 04, 2011, 06:30:55 PM by sami »

Offline Sanabas

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Re: Long game worlds (1950-2030)
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2011, 06:49:58 PM »
1950-2020 is just under 12 months with 20 minute days. Or 9 months with 15 minutes. Dunno about 15, but I think 20 would still work ok. 10 hours away for sleep/work/etc is still only 1 game month for your airline to look after itself.

I'd still happily play the first long game world even if I knew it wasn't getting any updates past current 1.3, that future small improvements, and the big future changes (cargo, city based demand, hub & route options) would all only apply to later starting games.

 

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