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Author Topic: What I think Could Make Airway Sim the Best Airline Simulator Possible  (Read 711 times)

Offline tungstennedge

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I started airway sim a few weeks ago, or about 5 in game years ago and so far have found this to be one of the most realistic airline simulators there are I've seen, but it lacks a few key features that could make this truly the best possible airline simulator.

For some background information, in my current game-world I have about 170 aircraft and have been growing rapidly with a healthy 10-15% margin, and even in this short time, have made some many observations about the play patterns for this game.

The first thing I noticed, is that much on the time playing this game feels like a demand finding grind, which is okay, because itís decently fun, but the reason it is necessary to find open demand is an issue of its own. The problem is, there is no way to realistically compete with other airline offering the same routes for passengers, meaning for new airlines, or for airlines which simply want to operate with higher margins and grow quickly, finding open demand is one of the only ways to do so. One of the biggest downfalls with the game I noticed is the lack of methods to compete with other airlines, since route value and name value both cap at 100 and passengers are then simple evenly divided among airline based on the seats they have available. The fact that changing price barely effects this balance makes competing dull, and there is not much another player can do to try aggressively compete with another player, it becomes a war of attrition, and the loser is determined by who could but expenses most, not who could turn the higher profit, a major flaw IMO.

Another this I found is that when I play the game, I often open hundreds of tabs and record routes with open demand on a google docs so I can a compilation and idea of how much open demand I have for new potential bases, and then I go to open a base. Whenever I'm doing this, I always feel as if I should be writing a bot to do this work, and this is a problem because it means the skill cap is too simple. One of the things I think that needs to happen with passenger demand, and I believe it is already in the works is a population-based demand generator that works something like the current cargo demand system, which considers populations in areas, and such good stuff. However, I do think this approach would still be a bit simplistic since it still fails to offer enough ways to compete. In my opinion, demand should not be a concrete number, (not even like the potential demand) and instead demand should depend on the nature of the supply in addition to the factors of the cities connecting (population of the cities being connected, wealth of the area, and real life travell)(those three are what I hope is the minimum that are being considered currently). Now what I mean by nature of the supply, if in my believe the number of people who choose to travel will do so based on factors of the supply. For example, wealthier business traveller value speed, time, and service factors, while tourist value price the most, with some still consideration of service. Price should also be very important as it is in real life, however, service would still be a decider within certain price margins, for example, most tourists would be willing to pay up to 25% more for better service, depending on how much better one airline service was over anothers. Additionally, this price difference would be more extreme at longer ranges, and much smaller on shorter distances. Ofcourse everything I am saying now details and exact percentages and such should be changes and tampered with as needed, but basically I want it to be possible to model all types of carriers, like Premium like emirates, or budget like ryan air, I wish it was possible to model all these types of airline in airway sim. However, all that is possible currently is some sort of middle ground airline. It would be fantastic if this game was accurate enough to real life that if an airline could offer good enough prices it would cause places to become destinations (like budget carries), or focus efforts on premium cabin product and excellent services to become like some flag carriers of middle eastern carries. Going back to demand, tourists #'s should depend mostly on populaton number, and only a llittle on economic factors, while business numbers should be the opposite. Amoung tourists, in better ecnomies a larger % of the travellers would simply refuse levels of service that are too low, unless certain route pairs were monopolies, and in worse economies, a smaller % would do so. And for buisness passengers, the #1 consideration would be time of flight and departure time, but other important factors would be service, but also flight puntuality is important since they cant be late. Anyways, this is just and insight to what I think demand should be based on.

One of the things I mentioned in the last part was service level, but I never explained how this should be calculated. In my opinion, it should be a 50-50% split between hard product and customer service. Hard product should encompass the age of the latest cabin overhual, the legroom of the seats, (which should be accurate to the inch instead of choosing from 4 options) the entertainment, and food+amenities, while the soft product is based on the professionalism and skill of your flight attendants mostly. Another game I played called Air Tycoon Online 3 was poor in many aspects but nailed this one, the player could choose what food to serve on what flights, what amenities, and how much to invest in the training of crew for better service, and all these factor affected satisfaction, which would be one of the greatest dividers for how passengers would be split among airline on competitive routes.

Now going back to the issue of open demand finding, doing all this searching also made me realise, the fact in itself that the play has access to a nearly perfectly accurate demand finder is a issue in itself, as I feel its unrealistic that that information would be so precise in real life. In my opinion, airline should need to do audits to find information about demand, and its expense should depend on factors such as the population of the cities in question, and how foriegn the destination is. Additionally, these audits should have far less accuracy than the current game is. I believe something like 70% accuracy for domestic and 60% accuracy for international and 50% for international long haul would be good.  However, I am also aware that this system wouldnít be possible with the current demand model- since it has some unrealistic faults. The system is currently based on real life supply rather than real life demand, which creates some problematic and unrealistic situation if my audit idea for demand finding were to be implemented. For example, when scouting for demand I found my base Osaka Kansai periodically had 400-500 demand for some caribbean destinations about 7000-8000 Nm away, and 400-500 demand for south american cities 8000-9000Nm away. Ok, thats fine, yet however, some nearly equally large cities in the same area had absolutely 0 demand. I can only assume that is because in real life there is no daily flight to the neighboring cities, even though there are passengers in real life flying to those destination through transfers or other means. And this leads into another suggestion- transfers.

I think one of the biggest lacking parts to this game is that lack of ability to fill larger planes though transfers, and I think that is one of its biggest downfalls. The coincidence is, because IRL airline fill large planes though transfers, and airway sim is based of on real life supply, ironically this inaccuracy makes large planes in airway sim viable despite the actual real life business model of hub and spoke is not viable ingame. Now how do I think airway sim tranfers should be implemented? I think there should be some kind of way to simply select two existing routes of yours, and offer that routes and as a transfer, and the transfer routes should have its individual pricing. Offering transfer routes would also increase your need for ground baggage handlers and increase office expense, and in return, your long trunk routes get feeders and your smaller routes also experience and small increase in utilization. The addition of transfers would mean more complexity to the way passengers could choose to travel. Passengers prefer direct, but will transfer if it means paying less, or travelling on an airline with better service. Additionally, passenger care about the total trip time of their journey, so passengers try to aim for shorter trips, meaning banked hubs become a factor to aiyway sim aswell. This means scheduling all flight to come in within three hour spans becomes a new challenge, as to allow passengers to travel in minimum to to and from the maximum amount of destinations. If done right, it would result if huge profits and load factors, and if done wrong results in delays, cancellations, and missed flights, as well as dealing with the consequences of requiring more staff and higher expenses on banked hubs.

Now having said all this, I donít want to sound like im hating or complaining about this game, it's still the best simulator out there. However, this game really has the groundwork laid to become nearly thes best imaginable airline simulator, I believe the hard work is done, and even if just the current cargo system was transferred to passengers as well, this would already make this game great, however, if transfers were to be added additionally in a realistic way, and a few tweaks were made to allow for competing through means of service or pricing (both with their merits), then this game would be trueling astounding.

PS from what I know this game has just one developer, and there is a lot of work to do for just one person, so I understand if what im asking for is unrealistic. On the other hand, seeing this game has made me want to program an airline simulator myself, I just donít know where to get so much information about planes, their maintenance and fuel statistics and so on. Also I doubt by first year programming skills are enough, but Iíll give it a try!

Offline numb

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Re: What I think Could Make Airway Sim the Best Airline Simulator Possible
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2018, 09:27:19 AM »
Hit the nail on the head mate. I have played a couple of other simulators like this and Airwaysim is buy far the best. One of the other ones I played had in flight meals and services similar to Air Tycoon 3 such as blankest and pillows. It also had in flight entertainment options.

The other sim had in flight meals but it also had transfers to and from smaller feeder flights. It also had the ability to build terminals and maintenance hangers  and to be able to rent extra space in those terminals and maintenance facilitiesout to other airlines at a negotiated price.

The other great thing I liked about that sim was the ability to open subsidiary companies like a regional airline similar to Qantas and QantasLink or Qantas New Zealand.

If things like these were added you would by far have the best simulation,

Offline jamier

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Re: What I think Could Make Airway Sim the Best Airline Simulator Possible
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2018, 05:25:42 PM »
connecting passengers, ability to develop airport infrastructure and ability to setup subsidiaries are a must for airway sim to be anything more than a get your airline big then get bored.

Unfortunately things aren't developing fast enough so people get bored and leave game worlds, look at the current game worlds, not a single one has over 300 people playing of which 4 have less than 200.

Offline byrne

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Re: What I think Could Make Airway Sim the Best Airline Simulator Possible
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2018, 12:10:06 PM »
Agree with the above. Fantastic basis, great mechanics but I always find myself wanting to feel more involved. Possible improvements I would like to see:
1. Relationship with airports - i.e. investment, facilities, lounges, partnering in growth plans, etc. I would love to plan an airport but that may be too far out there.
2. Relationship with customers - Possible to invest in market research to identify possible routes and breakdown customers to target specific ages / needs / socio-economic groups.
3. Relationship with business - i.e. contracts for cargo / package holiday companies / car rental firms / hotel chains
4. Relationship with aircraft manufacturers - I like the realism of the aircraft choice but would love the chance to invest / influence design / sign exclusivity deals for discounts, etc.
p.s. I couldn't write half a line of code and feel like a kid telling van gogh to add more elephants but if this game had the above I would play every day.


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