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Author Topic: [ok] New Game Start Infra, Traffic levels, Infra upgrades  (Read 1995 times)

Offline JumboShrimp

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[ok] New Game Start Infra, Traffic levels, Infra upgrades
« on: August 29, 2018, 08:56:55 PM »
It might be a good idea for all airports to start at a low level of infrastructure and traffic.  Both Infrastructure and Traffic levels should start at level 2 (allowing only Large Aircraft)

So on the game start, instead of system limiting initial demand and slots, the system would start with normal level of demand and slots, but the demand would be limited by low level of Infra and Traffic.

Then, as players add flights, the traffic level would grow (up to 10).

Infrastructure would be player upgradeable.  For example, 3bn to level 3, 4bn to level 4, ... 10bn to level 10. (above the current 5 limit)

All players flying from the upgraded airport would enjoy the benefits (larger catchment areas and more) but the player spending money would receive unique benefit at the airport (let's say +10 CI points only applicable to the airport).  Player would "own" the level, and if he BKs or closes the base, the upgrade would disappear (creating mechanism for underserved airports to shrink).

To combat the excessive fragmentation (a major problem), the infrastructure (and traffic levels) would not only increase the catchment area, but the higher infrastructure level would create extra airport level attraction to shifting the actual demand.  (details to be worked out).

The effect would be that if a square near airports A and B, whose catchment areas overlap, and airport A has been increased from base level 2 to 4 while airport B is at base infra level 2, the demand to airport X, while equally served by flights AX and BX, more demand would shift to AX because of higher infra level.  Let's say, demand for AX would be:

AX = 4/(2+4) = 4/6 of potential demand

BX = 2/(2+4) = 2/6 of potential demand

Something along these lines would counteract the excessive fragmentation, and would save Very Large Aircraft that have otherwise been rendered obsolete by CBD fragmentation.

Another feature of Infrastructure would be a jump in slots.  For example:
+30 for infra upgrade to 3
+40 for infra upgrade to 4
etc.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2018, 05:20:36 PM by Sami »

Offline Tha_Ape

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Re: New Game Start Infra, Traffic levels, Infra upgrades
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2018, 09:18:49 PM »
Don't post this in the middle of my renewal, damn! :laugh:
Ok, I'll answer tomorrow with my counter proposal, since you steal my ideas ;) But I feel we're getting closer to a solution that would satisfy both ends, that's great.

Offline Sami

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Re: New Game Start Infra, Traffic levels, Infra upgrades
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2018, 09:50:11 PM »
Starting infra level will equal to the level of the airport in the "old" size classification, 1-5. Based on real world (LHR @ 5 etc.). From 5 (or whatever the real life equivalent starting level is, could be even 1) to 10 it will grow based on player actions (how busy the airport is, or perhaps by player investment).

Infra level affects the demand etc. already by enlarging the airport catchment area. Passengers in cities/areas have natural preference to the nearest airport but there is also a component based on airport service level (both infra and traffic levels affect this). (internally this is called airport score value)

This is already all planned out, or even existing in our first city based demand system already, pretty much.

Infra level won't go down. (except perhaps on some unique conditions like if the airport has been "unused" for last decade or so, i.e. it has too much capacity; but that's not part of the first version at least )


So in short; we have this already, apart from the airport expansions which are coming. (how much such an expansion would cost, and more importantly how long it should take and what are the triggers for the AI airport authority to begin the expansion are still things that can be discussed .. but these are also things that can be easily tuned as we go on)

Some costs and other airport factors are already airport infra/traffic size class based but some others, like amount of slots, are not yet. As the expansions are not available yet. But they all will be moved to the new system bit by bit.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2018, 09:58:23 PM by Sami »

Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: New Game Start Infra, Traffic levels, Infra upgrades
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2018, 12:15:51 AM »
Starting infra level will equal to the level of the airport in the "old" size classification, 1-5. Based on real world (LHR @ 5 etc.). From 5 (or whatever the real life equivalent starting level is, could be even 1) to 10 it will grow based on player actions (how busy the airport is, or perhaps by player investment).

I think the problem with this approach is that it is very static.  Player starts with infra/traffic at 5/10 at LHR in 1950 and almost 100 years later in 2036, it is the same.

At least the traffic level should start at minimum level, since there is no traffic at the game start.  Maybe traffic level of 1 or 2 at all airports., and, IMO, infra levels should be no more than 3 in early game starts, just to allow Very Large Aircraft.

From the playability POV, increasing levels of infra / traffic would serve like leveling a character in RPG games.  Something like "cheese" (player reward) that Sid Meyer (legendary game designer) has talked about.

If the airports (like LHR) start as the full potential, and there is no room to grow, there are no intermediate goals for the player to achieve, and there are no rewards for AWS to hand out.  However, if LHR starts at Infra 3, Traffic 2, there are 15 "rewards" that the player can work towards as the game progresses.

Also, with the static approach, there is almost no competition between the airports.  IMO, as opposed to player being "granted" an airport at max level 5/10, instead, player should earn this level.

If JFK and EWR both start at infra 3, traffic 2, it will be a race, it will take some effort to max out the airport at 5/10 or even 10/10.

If the players at EWR max out their airport while the JFK still at relatively low level of, say 4/3, than the EWR players should have a substantial advantage in attracting actual demand.  Advantage they have earned.

The EWR airlines would at the same time be competitors between each other, but also allies, all working on improving their airport.
All of these interactions, strategy, competition are wiped out in the static approach of big airports already starting out big, maxed out.

Infra level affects the demand etc. already by enlarging the airport catchment area. Passengers in cities/areas have natural preference to the nearest airport but there is also a component based on airport service level (both infra and traffic levels affect this). (internally this is called airport score value)

If the algorithm already takes into account distance of demand square from the airport (as a preference to closer airport), than enlarging the catchment area has almost no effect.  It may just increase potential that will never be realized.

I went through one, in GW3, Traffic Level went from 8 -> 9.  I had limited records of "before" and "after", and the change (increase in demand) was not even perceptible.

Since the #1 problem of CBD is excessive fragmentation of demand, widely different levels of infrastructure could serve to magnify the differences between the airports to concentrate demand to best served airports.

The result would be that increasingly superior service at one airport would increasingly "glue" its the demand square to this airport.  This would be a force counteracting the fragmentation (which is the #1 problem with CBD).

As far as preference for closer airports, it should be the case for pax SH only, not for LH and cargo,  If distance of demand square to the airport is ignored for LH and Cargo.  The benefits would be:
- making airport level increases more rewarding
- work toward more concentration of demand, saving Very Large Aircraft from obsolescence

This is already all planned out, or even existing in our first city based demand system already, pretty much.

Infra level won't go down. (except perhaps on some unique conditions like if the airport has been "unused" for last decade or so, i.e. it has too much capacity; but that's not part of the first version at least )

So in short; we have this already, apart from the airport expansions which are coming. (how much such an expansion would cost, and more importantly how long it should take and what are the triggers for the AI airport authority to begin the expansion are still things that can be discussed .. but these are also things that can be easily tuned as we go on)

While Traffic Level can be considered to be the result or output infrastructure (or airport expansions) should have some logic behind them and some player input.  Something like:

Player requests expansion -> Expansion starts (costs are somehow recovered, maybe through increased landing fees etc, or even player investment) -> Expansion completes, slots jump by a big increment.  (no more single slot increments falling from heaven).

It would be also nice if the system provided some feedback.  Such as:
Current Traffic level: 6
Current traffic: X kg
Traffic level increases at: Y kg
Traffic level decreases at: Z kg

Some costs and other airport factors are already airport infra/traffic size class based but some others, like amount of slots, are not yet. As the expansions are not available yet. But they all will be moved to the new system bit by bit.

Sounds good.

It may be a good idea to have some differentiation between costs to maintain certain traffic level and costs to increase the traffic level.  Once the expansion is complete (and costs to increase the level are paid) than the costs should be back to maintain the (higher) level.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2018, 12:21:21 AM by JumboShrimp »

Offline gazzz0x2z

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Re: New Game Start Infra, Traffic levels, Infra upgrades
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2018, 06:39:32 AM »
Well, real life is rather static, you know... And for taking an example I know, CDG is the main parisian airport because politicians wanted it so. Not air companies, who just had to follow. The whole infrastructure is the fruit of an effort outside the scope of the game, and CDG should have a strong infra from scratch - it has been designed so.

ORY is the old airport, and was then decided to focus on internal routes exclusively. Still, it took some medium range international market, as well as a good share of the french overseas traffick. But is short on infrastructrures to welcome a massive LH fleet.

BVA is a rogue effort, which has been moderately successful thanks to Ryanair(and, to a lesser extent, Wizzair), but stays stuck in its niche. The lack of proper infrastructure make it impossible for a company to imagine transatlantic flights from there. The interesting thing is that some domestic traffick could thrive there as well - and does not. Which means the companies flying there have an influence - up to a point.

Having traffick dynamic might be a good thing. Dynamic infrastructures, I'm more doubtful. RL does not work like that.

Offline DanDan

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Re: New Game Start Infra, Traffic levels, Infra upgrades
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2018, 07:43:59 AM »
United Airlines does not profit from passengers that American Airlines is flying to and from JFK, and the general volume of passengers does not make a specific route from an airport much more attractive either. At least not in the short run.
But sure, over the years, with a well-connected airport arround, traffic can grow bigger. If that is represented by a very slowly growing "traffic"-factor, that would certainly be nice to see, and it would make airlines appreciate more to also serve smaller destinations that may not be all that profitable (maybe not reward the 10th flight to a destination as much as the first flight to a new destination). And I would rather call this factor "Connectivity" rather than "Traffic".


Regarding Traffic, what does make sense is that more passengers travel on American Airlines or British Airways between LHR and JFK, because there is connecting flights available, in this case in both airports, plenty. But if now for example United Airlines is flying LHR to JFK, they wont profit in real life from the massive traffic of other airlines at those airports. So in my opinion: the demand of a route should be determined by the connecting flights the airline/alliance offers at the airports.


And I agree, that infrastructure is not something an airline should be buying... since its mostly not the airlines that decide on it or pay for it (and if they do, they make sure that the infrastructure is only available to their airlines passengers; for example brandnew terminals, airport lounges, ...). In the US its more like airlines saying: build us an airport and we move services there - communities invest heavily in an airport (plus tax-discounts and other goodies...) to attract it being used as a hub by a major airline (which in return should bring business to the area).

Offline DanDan

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Re: New Game Start Infra, Traffic levels, Infra upgrades
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2018, 07:47:11 AM »
It might be a good idea for all airports to start at a low level of infrastructure and traffic.  Both Infrastructure and Traffic levels should start at level 2 (allowing only Large Aircraft)

and i think that should depend on the starting year. in 1950, there was virtually no air traffic (weekly demand [or rather flexible passengers that move their flight according to schedules] would be great). but if in 2000 all start at level 1, something went wrong.

Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: New Game Start Infra, Traffic levels, Infra upgrades
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2018, 08:04:49 AM »
Having traffick dynamic might be a good thing. Dynamic infrastructures, I'm more doubtful. RL does not work like that.

In terms of infrastructure, you can think of adding airport buildings, terminals, jetways, gates, customs facilities, cargo terminals, and also connecting highways, train connections etc.

So think of this level of "infrastructure", old Beef Island airport, on Tortolla, British Virgin Islands.  It looked like this still in early 1990s, the first time I was there:

Lower picture is current "infrastructure"

Offline Sami

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Re: New Game Start Infra, Traffic levels, Infra upgrades
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2018, 08:33:00 AM »
I think the problem with this approach is that it is very static.  Player starts with infra/traffic at 5/10 at LHR in 1950 and almost 100 years later in 2036, it is the same.

No it isn't. If you see what I wrote above... Infrastructure level 5 is not the "full potential". https://www.airwaysim.com/game/Manual/Routes/Demand/#Catchment

If the algorithm already takes into account distance of demand square from the airport (as a preference to closer airport), than enlarging the catchment area has almost no effect.  It may just increase potential that will never be realized.

And for this too, like I mentioned above, distance is not the only factor there.

United Airlines does not profit from passengers that American Airlines is flying to and from JFK, and the general volume of passengers does not make a specific route from an airport much more attractive either. At least not in the short run.

Indeed. But those factors built in are made to model more the long-term "attractiveness" of the airport. If people know that airport x has always had good services(routes) they are more likely to use that one. Sort of Route Image factor for airports.

Having traffick dynamic might be a good thing. Dynamic infrastructures, I'm more doubtful. RL does not work like that.

Infra will be dynamic (but only upwards, with some exceptions), and it means just what Jumbo posted in the message with pictures; new terminals etc. So it means it's gonna be slow. From the point the expansion is announced it takes some game years before completed.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2018, 08:38:14 AM by Sami »

Offline Tha_Ape

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Re: New Game Start Infra, Traffic levels, Infra upgrades
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2018, 10:54:21 AM »
While it's true that IRL airlines don't invest directly in the airports, it is also true that some airline do put pressure on the local or central authorities in order to get some changes / implementations made on airport "x".

AWS however won't become a political simulation, so this pressure could be pictured by a more direct investment from the airlines. Maybe with only a limited effect, maybe taking a lot of time before implementation (depending on the size - we're not talking about a log cabin).

It's by no mean the idea that an airport would become the personal toy of airline A and airline B would be struggling because A would "own" the airport, but rather to give some tools to influence the game.

By no mean an easy-to-use tool, "your dish is ready after 2 mins in the microwave".

For example, going from Infra 2 to Infra 3 could take 1.5 years of lobbying, and then 6 months of works, but Infra 7 to Infra 8 could take 6 years of lobbying and 3 years of works.

I'm not very good for concrete proposals on whole programs, I'd better leave that to others, but the idea is that airports would gain some traits (SH, Domestic, MH, Intl, LH, Cargo, etc.) so that the demand slides more easily towards this airport (or all the ones in the area with that trait) rather than being scattered all around.
You want to fly a regional plane on a < 200nm route to N-Y? Don't go to JFK (and anyway, JFK would have less base demand for such a route that the next airport which is specialized in regional aviation).
And an airport couldn't gain all traits, some would be mutually exclusive.

Currently (in the game) airports create delays if the slot availability is too low. However, what about a congested terminal where a lot of people can't pass the security in time?
IRL, CDG is a rather large cargo hub, but almost only at night.
Etc.

I think I get Sami's and Gazzz's point on one side (no, infrastructures shouldn't start at level 2, even more for brand new airports, and yes, an airline can't get control over an airport) and JS's one on the other. But I globally tend to agree with JS on that matter.
So an airline wouldn't gain control on an airport, but a little leverage after years of operations and investment, maybe yes.

Infra, yes, traffic, yes. So maybe would it be nice to have a 3rd entry that would be the influence of the airlines based at such an airport.

Offline Sami

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Re: New Game Start Infra, Traffic levels, Infra upgrades
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2018, 11:03:27 AM »
The idea is that airports will expand by themselves if they are nearing their full capacity (slots). But players could also request for expansion and possibly pay it (partly) .. But player would not get any personal benefit from that, other than bigger airport and more slots (for everyone).

On early game starts (1950s) the highest possible initial infra level could be 3 instead of 5, and in 1960s perhaps 4, and later 5 is the initial maximum. Though this probably creates the problem that most big airports will become slot locked for decades in early era since expansions take time.

Offline Tha_Ape

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Re: New Game Start Infra, Traffic levels, Infra upgrades
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2018, 11:15:34 AM »
The idea is that airports will expand by themselves if they are nearing their full capacity (slots). But players could also request for expansion and possibly pay it (partly) .. But player would not get any personal benefit from that, other than bigger airport and more slots (for everyone).

My idea about traits (or whatever it would be) is absolutely not to gain a personal advantage. It's the airport that would gain an advantage, I am merely the user of the airport. And my competitor would also take advantage from it.

Then, say my airport slowly specializes in LH (through a/more trait-s). Then the other airport next door that never operated LH would have difficulties competing with me on that matter, at least for the initial start.
On the other hand, as my airport is flying mostly LH, we would rarely see a Beech on the apron (the game would dissuade such ops) and the other airport would much likely have a really easy task on regional/commuters.

Offline gazzz0x2z

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Re: New Game Start Infra, Traffic levels, Infra upgrades
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2018, 12:22:36 PM »
I love this idea of traits. Those would be mostly negative, as it's mainly interdiction who shape airports. HND would be "no LH pax". BVA would be "no cargo". LCY would be "can't expand". Ect...

Offline DanDan

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Re: New Game Start Infra, Traffic levels, Infra upgrades
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2018, 01:23:35 PM »
I love this idea of traits. Those would be mostly negative, as it's mainly interdiction who shape airports. HND would be "no LH pax". BVA would be "no cargo". LCY would be "can't expand". Ect...

yeah, totally cool: but imagine, two airlines at the same airport... now airline A starts: oh, i want to expand longhaul at the expense of commuter flights. airline B is like: hey, i would like to expand commuter-flights, i will invest in that, even though it will make longhaul less attractive! billions wasted? :laugh:

but i would agree that for example runway length could be one of those things that could be "invested" in. so for example airports start with shorter runways, and with time, they can be expanded (up to their current data).

Offline Talentz

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Re: New Game Start Infra, Traffic levels, Infra upgrades
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2018, 03:22:49 PM »
The idea is that airports will expand by themselves if they are nearing their full capacity (slots). But players could also request for expansion and possibly pay it (partly) .. But player would not get any personal benefit from that, other than bigger airport and more slots (for everyone).

On early game starts (1950s) the highest possible initial infra level could be 3 instead of 5, and in 1960s perhaps 4, and later 5 is the initial maximum. Though this probably creates the problem that most big airports will become slot locked for decades in early era since expansions take time.


I am in complete agreement with those (and JS) saying that Infa and/or traffic levels should start out low in the beginning of a game world.

One the biggest reasons players leave GWs is because of the lack of competition/accomplishment after the initial blood bath start. Which incidentally, is the biggest reason players join GWs.

With that in mind, if we could expand that period of "morning rush" ala the start of a GW, it would greatly help to keep players here longer.

To complete my roundabout way of explaining, with the new system class and CBD, all GWs need to start with lower Infa/Traf levels. Even at the largest airports. Though you could argue that the biggest named airports should start with a slightly larger Infa/Traf level simply because players are going to choose name brands over anything else.


I think this part of the equation will help AWS be more balanced towards the inner-mid point of the game as the "start" will be expanded from 2yrs to 5-6 yrs. Allowing more players to have a better chance at surviving their mistakes, grow and be more committed to staying for the 80yr lifetime achievement award.



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Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: New Game Start Infra, Traffic levels, Infra upgrades
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2018, 08:35:05 PM »
The idea is that airports will expand by themselves if they are nearing their full capacity (slots). But players could also request for expansion and possibly pay it (partly) .. But player would not get any personal benefit from that, other than bigger airport and more slots (for everyone).

Maybe landing fee or passenger fee surcharges can pay for the expansion.  That way, all players using the airport will

On early game starts (1950s) the highest possible initial infra level could be 3 instead of 5, and in 1960s perhaps 4, and later 5 is the initial maximum. Though this probably creates the problem that most big airports will become slot locked for decades in early era since expansions take time.

Infra level 3 sounds good for 1950s, for largest airports with international Long Haul demand.  For information, below is a picture is New York Idlewild Airport (Today's JFK Airport) in 1955.  Looks like a comparable (or lower) level infrastructure to the current Tortola airport (which we have in the system as level 3), just more "traffic".

I would imagine Level 4 infrastructure to be airport with gates and jetways (jet bridge).  These were only started to be introduced in 1959/1960 and only made it to a handful of US airports by mid 60s.  So introducing infrastructure level 4 should really only start to be wide spread in 1970s.

Traffic level should be no more than 2 at the start of the game world.  It should really be zero, but we need some catchment area, to reach the near city center.

The system already has a method for adjusting Traffic Level (potentially once or twice per year), so no further adjustments should be needed in the system, just capping Traffic level of all airports at level 2 at the start.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2018, 09:10:26 PM by JumboShrimp »

Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: New Game Start Infra, Traffic levels, Infra upgrades
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2018, 10:06:58 PM »
United Airlines does not profit from passengers that American Airlines is flying to and from JFK

Suppose you are a regional airline and the mainline airline adds a lot of MH and LH.  The regional airline will benefit from all this extra traffic (Traffic Level in AWS.  And also from extra services and facilities (Infrastructure Level in AWS)

So, it may the situation may be a little more complex in new CBD as far as competition.  In the old days, it was always great to BK competitors, in the future it may be so straight forward, if the airports need to be developed to grow demand.

Unlike the current situation, where airports start off at level 5/10.  Currently, player is always better off killing competitors...
« Last Edit: August 30, 2018, 10:24:29 PM by JumboShrimp »

Offline yearofthecactus

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Re: New Game Start Infra, Traffic levels, Infra upgrades
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2018, 11:16:39 PM »
On a slightly unrelated note, the infra levels in gw1 and gw2 have been static for a long time.

In gw2, there was a change in the late 1970s, where airports like LHR and LaX went from 5 to 6, and they remained the same.

In gw1, there hasn't been any change at all for the duration of the gw, the big airports are still at 5/10 and all the others remain at their starting number.

Is this correct, my thought was it was supposed to grow as the game progressed, but something seems to have stopped working.

I know here we're discussing the fact the new system isn't live, but I thught the old system simply did this automatically as time goes on, leading me to think we have a bug. Surely it can't be right that LHR in 1965 was 5/10, and is 5/10 in 2001.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2018, 12:27:02 AM by yearofthecactus »

Offline Talentz

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Re: New Game Start Infra, Traffic levels, Infra upgrades
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2018, 04:18:42 AM »
I think under the new system, which we have indeed switched over too, Infa is capped at 5 for now. (via Sami admin settings)



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Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: New Game Start Infra, Traffic levels, Infra upgrades
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2018, 07:49:05 AM »
In the old system, we had airport size, something like:
very large
large
significant
small
insignificant

if I remember the names correctly.  It never changed.

These old names were changed to Infrastructure Level from 1 to 5 and these never changed as far as I know.

"Traffic Level" in range of 1-10 has been added relatively recently, I think at the same time as CBD was introduced.

 

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