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Changes and updates on the site

Started by Sami, March 11, 2014, 10:06:55 AM


This topic is used to announce all the general updates and changes to the website and core systems, "site changelog".

All game related updates are posted  to this thread:,58865.0.html

All previews of future features are posted to this thread:,91533.0.html

This thread is locked and is reserved for announcements only. Please make all comments to the General forums:,1.0.html



The forums will be soon updated. This update is needed since the support for the current forum software will end in some time in the future. From user's point of view it's simply an update to the 2.0 series of the same forum software. It will be visually a bit different and have more functions.

The site core (fully custom system) uses the forum's login / user management functions as part of the core and that's why any such update isn't easy nor fast. So there has been quite a lot of work so far since all account related functions (login, registration, activations/reminders etc) have to be integrated to the UI. When the update is implemented some time this week a short maintenance break of all services is required (~60 mins).

Here are two previews:
#1 Forum
#2 New profile page, showing also achievements of other players


Not game related, but for info:

* Added a new "What's new" page to let people know easily about the major changes in the system.

* Technical changes to some background processes to help our tracking of users, in order to detect slow pages etc.

* Improvements to newsletter delivery service. Added also a small one-time question popup to game interface for existing users if they'd like to get the newsletter too.


Not game related, but for info:

* The login functionality has been changed a bit. Now by default you are "always logged in", but you can tag "This is a public or shared computer".

If the public computer checkbox is NOT checked your session lasts until you logout (or clear the cookies in the browser, or similar). If the checkbox is checked you will have a session that expires at maximum of 60 minutes from the time you were last seen (= if you leave the computer and do not press logout, you need to login again from that computer if you are idle for more than 60 mins).

This change is made to avoid issues if you forget to logout from a public computer, and the previous system wasn't very clear on this. Please report any problems you may have..


Like system added to forums

Already tested quickly before, it's now again live and improved. You can now LIKE posts made by others in the forums. Each message has a 'like' button (or 'unlike' if you have liked it already), and it also displays who else have done the same.

This is purely a in-site functionality (no relation to social media sites), and just a way of letting you say "thanks" for a good post.

The same 'like' button is also available in the Dashboard press releases section, per each post.

Later on this functionality will be expanded also to profile pages for quick overview / stats.


Technical update to emailer systems

- The site's emailer systems have been updated fully technically, and everything is now handled from the "same place" making it easier to manage technically and to update in the future.

- At the same time the layout of the notification e-mails is also updated, and the layout of the content of the messages will be also updated (bit by bit).


Credits store updated

- The pages and functions for purchasing AirwaySim Credits have been fully updated.

- This is mostly a technical update, the previous "store" was based on some very old code and is now updated to be in line with the latest core engine of the site and systems.

- The basic functionality for the users is pretty much the same as before, but the layout is a tad different. But nothing major. The formatting (and logging) of some error messages etc. have been improved at the same time.

- The looks of the email order confirmation notifications have been also updated.

Please do let me know asap if you find any issues with the updated systems. Other comments naturally also welcome ..


Newsletter update

In continuation of the previous month's update to the emailer systems, also the visuals of the newsletter have been updated to include the same new style and also a bit more info/graphics at the end.

Below is an example of the previous newsletter in the new style (image resized a bit to fit to the forums; and it's from test server so the game worlds list is something old). The layout should work on desktop and mobile mail clients, and also if you are not loading the images (the main part of the news is still text-only and minimal images to keep it readable).

We send greetings to your email inbox only if you have subscribed to the newsletter...

If you have an account to our site you can check your subscription status at the My Account page:
If you are not a member you can subscribe here:


As of 1st Jan 2015 the rules of value added tax (VAT) collection in the European Union (EU) area will change a bit.

Currently the VAT for digital services is paid according to the rate and rules of the merchant's country (Finland in our case). As of Jan 1st the rate will be calculated according to the location/country of each customer instead. So instead of using Finnish VAT rate for all orders within the EU, the orders from Germany are now counted with the German VAT rate for example.

This all naturally applies only to orders for customers located in the EU area. Users located outside EU do not pay any taxes within their orders.

AirwaySim's online shop will of course comply with these new rules and the necessary minor technical changes have been implemented today.

For users there are no visible changes. The VAT is applied and calculated automatically based on your location (the country you have entered in your profile), and there are no extra charges or any other added fees/taxes (just like today). You will see the "Prices include VAT" text at the Credits store when VAT is included.

We've previously chosen the method of using same prices for all of our customers, regardless of their location, so customers in the EU area are not paying any extra due to these taxes. The Credits prices for all of our customers are always the same where ever they may be located (some merchants choose to add the taxes on top of the basic price, but we'd felt that would be confusing for the users).

Please remember to keep your profile data up-to-date and make sure the country information is correct and based on where you live.


Social media logins

The possibility to login with Twitter credentials has been added. The Google login has been also updated to Google+ (but from the user's point of view everything should remain the same).

At the same time fixed also a bug that prevented merging social media logins to any existing accounts. Now it works again and when you login via Facebook/Google/Yahoo/Twitter you are first asked if you a) already have an account or b) would like to create a new account to AirwaySim. If you choose option "a" you are asked to login with the AirwaySim account and after that the system automatically merges your social media login to your existing account - so you can use either login method. (And you can have even all four social media logins linked to your account if you like.)


Core script and server updates

In preparation of the improved site layout some essential configurations of the server and the core scripts of the website have been updated.

These relate for example to the login functionality, and you may need to login again because of the change.

Please let us know if you have any problems (use the contact form if necessary: ).


In reference to the previous update:

I have noticed that the site logins do not seem to "stick" always (ie. you are booted out of the logged in status if you have not clicked on anything for about 15-30 minutes). This should ONLY happen if you choose "this is a public/shared computer" from the login screen; with that selection such behaviour is intentional (avoiding accidential logged sessions if the user forgets to logout). The issue is that if you login from the quick login toolbar at the top of the site, then the problem I described happens.

So if you wish to maintain a "permanent" login to our site please use the new frontpage or to login for now. The rest of the site will be fixed with the next layout update (of the content and game pages).

If you have more details/info on any such login issues, please let me know.

Also, the Google Analytics visitor counter has been updated to their latest version, and I noticed this caused a new warning to trigger at my personal browser and its "noscript" add-on. But there's nothing new compared to what we had already previously, and not to be alarmed of.  ;)


The front page of the "educational and corporate edition" of AirwaySim has been slightly updated to include the new responsive and mobile friendly layout:

Several universities worldwide are using AirwaySim's customized version as their training aid again this spring semester. We have offered this service only for about a year now.


User account inactivity notifications

The system of purging the user database is updated to better inform members about their account's pending closure, and there are also different warnings sent depending on the status of the user:

- Normal members who have played the games and bought Credits will get first inactivity notification after 4 months (120 days) of inactivity (no logins to the site). Second warning is sent at 8 months (240 days) inactivity and the account closure happens after 10 months (300 days). The email messages include now clear instructions on how to login or to recover your password, and also a direct link to keep the account 'alive' in case you cannot login.

- Members who have only played the free trial and have no other activity are notified after 90 days of inactivity and account is closed after 120 days of inactivity.

- Members who have registered and not played at all receive similar warnings but a bit earlier.

- Accounts which are not activated after registration are removed within 5 days (without warnings).

- Accounts which have been inactive for a longer period of time are also allocated a new free 7-day trial period to help their transition back to the games.

All warnings are sent to the e-mail of each user. No warnings are sent if the account is marked for deletion by the user or banned by the administration. The inactivity level resets after using the site or logging in (playing the games or making purchases is not necessary).


Security updates

The amount of spam registrations has lately increased hugely, and some more restrictive security controls have been now implemented. None of the spam bots have made through beyond the registration process to actually post to the site/forums yet (= no actual harm has been done yet), but it's better to be one step ahead...

If you encounter any issues accessing the site (or registering) please contact us.


New My Account pages

The My Account page has been completely revised:

  • New look to the page, with a tab-based format.

  • The first tab, Summary, shows the general information about your account, as well as newsletter and social login status.

  • Airlines tab displays the key data on every airline you have. (this may be expanded in the future)

  • Credits tab shows the current Credits balance and the transaction history. The separate history page is removed.

  • Achievements tab replaces the separate listing page. The achievements earned and locked are listed here. You can now also see how many other members have certain achievement badges.

  • Mentor tab is the place to access incoming mentoring requests.

  • The user profiles of other users are also expanded and you can see more information from them on this page now (airlines, achievements etc).

  • Remember that while you are able to see your email address on the profile page, it is never shown to anyone apart the administration.

This thread is locked and is reserved for announcements only. Please make all comments to the General forums:,60273.0.html


Time Zone update

The geolocation services have been updated.

During registration the system will now have a better guess on where you are located and will automatically supply the country of residence for the registration box. The system will also now automatically detect your local time zone and adjust the profile settings accordingly.

Further, all existing user accounts have also been passed through this time zone detection. If you have not previously set your local time zone, the system has now set one for you based on your last location (IP address), assuming it found a IP-location match from the geolocation databases. So please check My Account page at and look at the Local time field. It should match your local time ... If it doesn't then move to Account settings at and edit the Time Offset setting from the end of the page (it's a simple +/- adjustment off the server time which runs in UTC).

The geolocation update is done to keep the user data up-to-date (statistical and taxation reasons), and the time zone update is done so that customizing services in the future will be easier and will provide better results for you.

This thread is locked and is reserved for announcements only. Please make all comments to the General forums:,60273.0.html


Newsletter update

The systems handling our e-mail newsletters have been completely revised. The in-house system has been replaced with Amazon's delivery network and a new list manager software. This allows us to gather better information on the delivery rates of the monthly e-mail newsletter.

At the same time the technical systems dealing with the newsletter's subscription have been also updated. I would urge everyone to check the My Account page ( ) and see if the subscription status is correct (= if you have subscribed previously, make sure you still are).

The newsletter's look has been also fully updated to make sure it works of most of the email softwares without problems. The new system includes also web-fallback for the email newsletter in case it cannot be viewed in the browser.

This thread is locked and is reserved for announcements only. Please make all comments to the General forums:,60273.0.html


Support Ticket system update

The contact form's backend (the support ticket system) has been updated (new version of the system etc.).

There shouldn't be any noticeable differences to the users, but just a heads up if something doesn't work.

The 'contact us' page also includes now a live Average Response Time metric where you can see how fast on average the tickets receive a response.

This thread is locked and is reserved for announcements only. Please make all comments to the General forums:,60273.0.html


My Account pages

Minor changes:

  • My Account's Achievement listing has now expandable area so you can see who else have the same Achievement.  (click on the "xxx other members have this Achievement" to expand the list)

  • Credits store page ( has now more currency choices, and the currencies are automatically detected based on your profile's country. So if you are for example from Thailand the store page will now show the estimated price in Thai Bahts (THB) too (previously only some key currencies like USD were tied to their respective countries; it's expanded now). But remember that it's for reference only - Euro (EUR) is the currency in which they are purchased and billed  ... = local currency just for your convenience, and reference is only shown for the currencies for which our bank supplies the data for.

This thread is locked and is reserved for announcements only. Please make all comments to the General forums:,60273.0.html


Error pages

Technical changes:

  • The error handling and logging system has been updated.

  • The updated system is a bit better from admin's point of view and includes also nicer error pages for the users.

  • If there are some "unwanted"/"unexpected" errors please let us know.

This thread is locked and is reserved for announcements only. Please make all comments to the General forums:,60273.0.html