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Author Topic: Long-term playability brainstorming  (Read 5909 times)

Offline Sami

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Long-term playability brainstorming
« on: April 12, 2010, 11:36:07 AM »
I have a clear plan about the way AWS is developed and one of the big ideas includes updating the game in such a way that playability in long-term is more appealing. In other words the game should be transferred more into a way where it's not just about buying planes, setting up routes and growing - but also managing an airline that is already established and doing well as it is.

Related to this concept please throw in any ideas or comments that would in your mind make the playability better in long (>12 month) scenarios. I'd like to make extra-long game worlds that can last over a year but requirement is first that anyone could join at any point and have the equal chances -- but also players joined at the very beginning could be still kept interested.

Some pointers:

 * The startup of an airline should be equal, now the early starters get an advantage at the start of the game world.

 * Once the airline is established well and market is filled, there's not much to do other than replace planes and check occasionally for new competition. It can run very well on "autopilot" for a long time..

 * Something to keep the established airlines interested in the "regular" management ..

etc.

Offline jimsom

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Re: Long-term playability brainstorming
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2010, 12:03:32 PM »
- Stock/share exchange. Possible to aquire and sell stocks. Overtake companies. Have subsidary companies or sister companies.
More players in the same airline (for example when airline is aquired by another airline).

- More changes in passenger flow, economic changes, passenger demand varies. Seasonal demand.

- Accidents. Depening on how the airline is maintaining the aircraft. Unlikely, but can cause extreme passenger/image loss.

- Higher possibilities of operational breaks, more staff strikes. Airport staff strikes?

- Ability to compete and "bid" around charter flights, for example "A sports team want to charter a plane from Manchester to New York".
Airline with the best offered quality/price win.
/ jimsom

CX717

  • Former member
Re: Long-term playability brainstorming
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2010, 12:10:01 PM »
Get rid of the computer generate Used aircraft market.
even in 1.2,airlines can expand rapidly by acquiring used aircraft...

Offline jimsom

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Re: Long-term playability brainstorming
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2010, 12:14:07 PM »
Get rid of the computer generate Used aircraft market.
even in 1.2,airlines can expand rapidly by acquiring used aircraft...

Yes, great! A huge problem is that is too easy to get hands on planes.
If we can disable the computer leasing companies after like 1-2 game years, it would both make expansion slower and also make more airlines lease out.
/ jimsom

Curse

  • Former member
Re: Long-term playability brainstorming
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2010, 12:26:58 PM »
Long-term playability:

1) Historic and fictional events.
- Random wars. During a war the traffic (domestic and international) is lower and maybe the goverment takes some of your planes. Lasts some days to 1-2 years
- Disasters. A big disease and nobody wants to fly anywhere till it's over. A big earthquake destroys an airport and you have to focus on your bases till it is rebuild (and if you have no bases, goverment will pay you one). A hurricane reduce the condition of your planes and maybe it's a good moment to give away this 22 year old things. And if you have a good insurance, maybe you earn some money under bottom line.
- Plane crashes. If it was your fault, you have to set up a big image campaing. Or maybe it's the fault of the plane type and it's rated down. Including (dynamic) aircraft statistics, so maybe in 2015 Tupolevs are more favored by pax because they don't crash that often.
- Groundings because of technical problems, all planes of a specific type must go to the manufacturer for 1-2 month.
- Special deals. There is Olympia in Greece? Why not the goverment sends an email to all greece carriers with various options? Bidding to be the official olympia carrier or setting up a plane with luxurious seats and giving it away for olympic flys. Is it worth to pay for it to increase your pax demand as long as the games are?
- Something like US goverment has done in reality (with Pan Am). They give you money for your new long range fleet, but if it's necessary, they take the planes and give them back in desolate condition.
- financial crisis etc. So why at the moment you have to raise your prices one or two times a year (ideal scenario). But if there is a big financial crisis, you must lower your prices, maybe kick some of your staff or ground some aircraft.

All this things make you think about the situation. Is there need to reroute? Maybe setting planes with small revenue to routes with big revenues, but where the fleet is currently at the manufacturer due to technical problems? Must I replace my Boeings because their image has gone bad? Is the route to this city in South America a good idea, because the country is in war every three years?


2) More micromanagement (so you can't run your airline on autopilot for years)
- engine upgrades. Maybe it's not real in every point, but why not upgrade an 15 year old plane with +MTOW or maybe better engines? It mustn't be unrealistic (put 777 engines on a 737-200Adv), but I think there are ways.
- cabin design. In the 60s it's cool to have a radio for every pax, but if you fly the same plane in the 80s, you have to upgrade it to TVs. (large range of options with influence on route and company image)
- easier system for setting prices. It's not fun to click through ~500 routes to set the prices (competition and inflation changes)
- dynamic demand. Maybe linked with disasters or city changes.


Equal chances for new players:

1) Starting money depends on the average value of existing airlines in your area and on some other parameters. You get a boost if you choose an airport with much slots left (so not becoming the 29th airline at Heathrow) and if you start at a small regional airport in El Salvador, goverment will give you a welcome gift.
2) "New player bonus". The first few month your airline has exact the same company image than your competitors, because everybody wants to know if your planes and service (has to be included :P) is better. After this, say 4 month, there is a report that told you what's good and what's not so good at your airline. So if you do everything right, your CI boosts up what makes your airline more competitive.
3) More starting planes. If you start after 6 month in a 12 month game (real time), there should be an option for new (or a special leasing company) aircrafts. This should skip the part of order some aircraft and wait month (or years) for it. These aircraft shouldn't be part of the normal queue and they should be deliverd immediately. This allows your airline to start with 10 brand new new Fokker70 instead of four old Tupolev if this is your airline concept. If not, there should be a special leasing company offering used planes of any type if this type isn't available at the normal used market.



Sorry if some of this ideas are too far away from topic intention etc., but better bad ideas than no ideas, not?  ;)



Jps

  • Former member
Re: Long-term playability brainstorming
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2010, 03:16:00 PM »
Some ideas:

1. Starting after the initial startup

When starting after the initial start, players should be given some advantages to get them to the same level as those who have started earlier. These advantages could include
 - increased pax demand for some months, for example as suggested above in the form of CI
 - some 'free' slot times = able to depart even when there would normally be no slots at that time. This also for a limited time, for example till the next time slots are auctioned
   (see 2.)
 - ability to lease any plane currently available from a special computer lessor, who only leases to new players for max, say, 2 years with no buy- option. And, the player would be able to terminate the lease any time for free. He could also lease only a set amount of planes, say, 2 big, 4 medium, or 6 small.
This would allow the player some time to generate money and to look out for a plane to lease from a player.

2. A new way to acquire slots

Instead of just giving the slots to those who first grab them, it should be somehow decided on who gets them, on an annual or 2-3 year basis. A bit like auction, but instead of money use some other means ie profit margin or some new to measure who gets what. Or just equally give them depended on the size of the company, with some bonus slots if the company is doing good. And, if the company isn't doing good, give it less slots. This would rule out companies with just huge amount of money.

This way, companies would have to work to earn and keep their slots, and this would also allow new companies the chance to get some/good slot times. Also, as in real life, if the new company doesn't succeed in the first few months (explained at 1.), it wouldn't get the slots, and would most likely have to cease operations.

d2031k

  • Former member
Re: Long-term playability brainstorming
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2010, 04:35:33 PM »
- Higher possibilities of operational breaks, more staff strikes. Airport staff strikes?

- I think this is a good idea to encourage CEOs to keep managing their airlines.  Many airlines are currently struggling in real life because they have grown too fat after years of not being managed efficiently and this is reflected in union ballots and strikes.  This could be perhaps be modelled by implementing a training budget.  Whilst training costs are currently modelled for refresher training and new employees, new schemes would help boost morale before it dips again.  If no new schemes were launched then the spiral would begin with more cancellations, lower CI etc etc.

- A further staff cost over time could be pensions provisions.  Setting aside part of your budget for a pension scheme could potentially create a pensions crisis if not enough cash was budgeted for.  In the longer worlds, staff could retire and dip into the pension pot when they do.

- Linked to the above two, maybe fleet utilisation could play a more important role in CI or staff morale.  I had an airline (Manchestair in MT#1) with around 30 idle aircraft for over 4 years and I was still raking cash in, despite the fact I had aircraft sitting around because I couldn't be bothered to reschedule routes.  Maybe an efficiency rating could be obtained from fleet utilisation and a low efficiency could adversely affect CI or staff morale.

- Maybe advertising's effects could diminish over time, so that you would have to renew your advertising department every so often in order to maintain your high CI.  Maintaining a high CI is essential to keeping a large airline going and currently it's very easy to plough cash into marketing and raise your CI.

- Alternatively, CI could alter in regions/countries.  If you're based in North America then your CI in South America could be different depending on the aircraft used and routes served.  This would allow certain markets to be targeted etc and a newer airlines could capture markets if they concentrated on these markets.  This could be linked to where the carrier is based.  (It has been mentioned before I know) but linked to this maybe pax might prefer the local carrier and so could obtain routes from the 'other end' more easily.

-As a final point (linked to some of the other)  Maybe budgeting for various departments could be included.  This could have an auto setting, that like the current personnel set up would over compensate, or to ensure efficient operations a manual one that would require the CEO to plan ahead for the coming years.

- As mentioned by others, I also think seasonal demand, geographical catastophes like earthquakes and hurricanes and events such as the olympics, world cups, tournaments and expos etc would help retain interest for the longer worlds.

Hopefully some of these ideas might spark something :)

Keep up the good work - I'm really looking forward to v1.2s launch.

Dave :)
« Last Edit: April 12, 2010, 04:40:06 PM by Daveos »

Offline type45

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Re: Long-term playability brainstorming
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2010, 04:48:46 PM »
Yes, great! A huge problem is that is too easy to get hands on planes.
If we can disable the computer leasing companies after like 1-2 game years, it would both make expansion slower and also make more airlines lease out.

just a little problem: if somebody join after those 1-2 game years, how can he start? ;) no plane sin used market and most of the slots are taken by older airlines, so his 5 credits are spent to make himself upset ;)

remember the situation in ATB1, big airlines get more planes at used market and earn more, order new planes earlier but never release planes back to market. Stop providing planes in used market is not reducing the different between big airlines and small airlines/latecomers, but increasing. The problem is those better planes never go back to the market, not too many planes. I think what we should do is try to make them back to the market (or by force) but not reduce the supply. If really need to reduce, make sure smaller airlines will not be effected because they will always be the losers, not those big boy you want to stop

CX717

  • Former member
Re: Long-term playability brainstorming
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2010, 05:15:03 PM »
first or first two aircraft deliver instantly can speed up the start a bit.
and V1.2 new aircraft delivery did improved.Even you order a plane with long production list,you still able to get your first plane within couple of months.
But remember in reality,during the economic bloom,airlines can hardly acquire any decent used aircraft from the market.
The ingame used market just keep generate some good quality aircraft is completely unrealistic.
If generate used aircraft is a must,only 15 years old+ aircraft should be generate,not some 7 years old A300.

Offline type45

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Re: Long-term playability brainstorming
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2010, 05:27:46 PM »
first or first two aircraft deliver instantly can speed up the start a bit.
and V1.2 new aircraft delivery did improved.Even you order a plane with long production list,you still able to get your first plane within couple of months.
But remember in reality,during the economic bloom,airlines can hardly acquire any decent used aircraft from the market.
The ingame used market just keep generate some good quality aircraft is completely unrealistic.
If generate used aircraft is a must,only 15 years old+ aircraft should be generate,not some 7 years old A300.
If you cannot find anything to lease, first or first two aircraft deliver instantly cannot help ;)

but the idea of limiting the quality available in market is a good idea I think......it that possible to introduce a system to let some of those good quality aircraft reserve to new or smaller airlines, like only visible to them? Leasing companies order new planes too......

Boeing has a list telling what kinds of planes available to lease, let's see what types of planes there now :P
http://active.boeing.com/commercial/am/index.cfm?content=include/reports.cfm&pageid=m38072

I hope I can still get new planes quick even in new systems ;) what I think about the new system is "old planes will return to market even slower because nobody can return them back before the replacement arrived".  :-\

CX717

  • Former member
Re: Long-term playability brainstorming
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2010, 05:40:08 PM »
Check the age...most of them are 20+.
And you can always lease a new aircraft.

Offline type45

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Re: Long-term playability brainstorming
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2010, 06:04:54 PM »
I wonder how the age effect the cost, I know it will go up but seems like not affordable to airlines

of course I saw a GOOD case in JA2 as somebody lease some 24yrs old Britannia to fly and ended his way to become a bigger airline ;)

Offline MCR247

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Re: Long-term playability brainstorming
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2010, 08:27:58 PM »
Sorry if this has been suggested, I'm in a rush  :-[

What about having it so you can choose and change what type of airline you want to be
ie
Holiday airline
Budget Airline (no TV, catering)
erm Normal Airline (AA,BA etc)

Also you could choose catering that affects route image

I also think that it would be good if you could do this
If you have an AC with an upcoming C/D Check, you could have a short term lease of an aircraft that you could transfer the schedule to, without having to change the aircraft type manually etc BUT you would have to do this in advance because the people leasing them would have to accept/decline the short term lease. Maybe the 'upcoming c checks' could be extended to tell you upto the next 2/3 months
« Last Edit: April 12, 2010, 08:42:10 PM by MCR247 »

Talentz

  • Former member
Re: Long-term playability brainstorming
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2010, 08:44:04 PM »
I wonder how the age effect the cost, I know it will go up but seems like not affordable to airlines

of course I saw a GOOD case in JA2 as somebody lease some 24yrs old Britannia to fly and ended his way to become a bigger airline ;)

Haha... dont remind Kim how his DC-8s were losing to my 25+yr Britannias :laugh:

~ Long term playability?

Well I still think that a well established airline is nearly impossible to compete against with the way the game is built. Think you tested that fact Sami  ;)

However, to better level the playing field, acquired slots needs to be changed from the current system. Expanding on what the posters above me have said, slots need to move towards a biding system.

I envision a slot system that is: 50% "first come first serve", 25% bidding and 25% restricted. Wheres at the start of a game world, everyone has access to the "public slots". Once those slots are below 5% the 25% bid restricted slots be come available.

As for the 25% restricted. Those become available to airlines who "meet" the requirements. (airline age, ect ect) We can fine tune the requirements at a later point.

So basically every airport will have at least 25% of slots available for airlines who meet the "requirements".


This would help newer airlines alot and also change up the gameplay a bit for the rest of us.


- Talentz

castelino009

  • Former member
Re: Long-term playability brainstorming
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2010, 10:31:39 PM »
The main aim here should be safeguarding the intretst of airlines based at that particulat airport. Airlines flying in should less priority.
The second basesystem in V1.2 has got this sorted,as no one can fly 2nd leg routes but when we build a base we are attacking somene elses base. Its like having 2 airlines frm 2 diff cities.isnt this unfair for that person? this is direct competiton unlike before where players lost a bit of money on fuel flying empty or half full to their second base.

My Idea is after a certain period of time every routed created has go through a automatic route check. So once we create route the game takes 1 day (game time) to assess whether this route legal/acceptable or not. Idea behind this is to to limit other airlines exploting the hub. Competiton is good, needed and provides healthy envoirnment but if played right and most of them here just act as  if they are in the battle field and wanna destroy anyone in their path.

Also games to be shorter, max 15 yrs. longer the game easier the charm wears off especially when new games start.

VJC



Offline MCR247

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Re: Long-term playability brainstorming
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2010, 06:52:57 AM »
In a worldwide game, I think you shouldn't be allowed to have HQ/BASE at the top 20 biggest airports. Otherwise, say later in the game, a small airline comes in and bases themself at a small airport, wants to fly a Heathrow as it has lots of pax, then often, most of the slots will be gone

Offline type45

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Re: Long-term playability brainstorming
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2010, 08:34:08 AM »
Talentz, I remember you do not use Britannias at that time? :o this is something happened when he based at SBGR no SAEZ, right?

and actually, this is a game which we need to destroy anyone in your path ;)

I don't think it is normal if the top 20 is empty, give some other restrictions to those airline will be much better

Talentz

  • Former member
Re: Long-term playability brainstorming
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2010, 08:50:08 AM »
Hmm.. must be JA3 I am thinking about. I used Britannias from start to finish in that game world. Some of my aircraft underwent 3 D-checks by worlds end. Yet they still made a profit (even factoring the horrid 25yr D-check cost!)


- Talentz

ksliu9

  • Former member
Re: Long-term playability brainstorming
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2010, 02:58:37 PM »
Hmm.. must be JA3 I am thinking about. I used Britannias from start to finish in that game world. Some of my aircraft underwent 3 D-checks by worlds end. Yet they still made a profit (even factoring the horrid 25yr D-check cost!)


- Talentz

I think that's the logic of US-based airlines (e.g. UA, AA), which is quite different from Asia-based airlines (e.g. SQ, CX). US-based airlines are used to keep an aircraft for many years, some of them are over 30 years old, are also quite common. While for Asia-based airlines, they are used to retire those over 15 years old aircraft.

mikk_13

  • Former member
Re: Long-term playability brainstorming
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2010, 10:43:58 PM »
I would like more involvement with the alliances.

Code share agreements where you have to negotiate with the partner individually to set it up. eg. how many seats and prices etc etc etc.

more to manage with the cabin, eg television, lie flat seats, food,

upgrades for aircraft. eg. for 'future' games (those in the 2010+) new fuels like Air new Zealand bio fuel projects, new wing tips, new engines, able to refurbish aircraft so your old md80's will not scare the customers over to the rivals flying 73NG's, engine upgrades, 'more customization of aircraft',
frequent flyers, lounges at you hubs, alliance lounges,

You could have contracts for charter flights eg. sell entire flights to holiday destinations that normally would not have much traffic, eg if you were based in frankfurt you could sign contracts that you will fly a 737 to antalya daily and you will get X amount of money for this. might make it fun if you have to compete with other airlines for the business. Maybe a way for the charter flight to work is to have a contract which anybody can bid on. With the bid they must specify the type of aircraft they will use etc. Say there is contract on offer for flights from mallorca to Germany. if you won the contract you could base 4 ac at the airport. It would become a 5th base and you can only has a few select airports you can fly to. This would not effect the other traffic flying the route. However you must for fill the obligations of the contract.

introduce freight. Able to determine how much freight is loaded onto your pas ac. Also you could have a freighter fleet. I am sure there are mail runs all over the world.

able to buy shares of smaller airlines. Upto 49%. so you make money as they grow. able to trade shares. able to start subsidies.

What if people joining the game can start a subsidy of your airline. You can bank role the new airline, you can supply a few startup aircraft, however you can control a few aspects. if the new player decides to leave the game the small airline will be sold off to another airline, eg they will get all the aircraft or absorbed into you airline eg you take over all the aircraft (whichever is your choice). Or if the airline does not make much money it can be sold by the company that owns it, or if it is poor financial state it can be sold. For an example you put an offer out to start a subsidary airline at gatwick. You supply 5 737's and 5 million dollars. You can give more money to the airline as needed to become well established. A term of the contract is your airline receives 10% of all profits. So a new player joins, he accepts and starts you subsidiary. He builds the airline up however you decide that you wish to sell the airline and put it on the market. Another airline buys it and receives the profits. Say the airline does badly, and makes no money for an extended time, the parent airline can close it down and take over the assets or sell it. I don't suggest that the parent can close it down when it is profitable. This would mean you could kick people out of the game.

 

 

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