The fact that our new portal has launched successfully represents the first finished step on our roadmap to an international version of AirlineSim. Although this was a lot of work we are certainly far from finished. By giving you a brief insight into the things ahead of us, I would like to open our new "From the Hangar" blog, a place where we will try to show you as many aspects of AirlineSim's "backstage area" as possible and to keep you informed about current developments. Please don't hesitate to leave a comment and tell us what you think!
So what are we working on right now? Some might wonder about this as obviously there already several AirlineSim servers in operation...why can't we just "push a button" and thereby start our first international one? It's a bit more complicated than this.
First of all, AirlineSim has been and still is a socalled Beta. This means, all features and functions of the game are basically subject to revision and improvement. It has been in this state for quite some time now and obviously we'd like to dispose of this label sooner or later. Therefore we see the launch of a completely new game world in a brand-new environment as an opportunity to get some major plumbing done that has been difficult to take care of before. This work focusses on performance optimization in various corners of the game as well as gameplay aspects like preventing exponential growth of large airlines. Unfortunately there are far more issues we'd like to address than time permits, so right now we're in a selection process to figure out which features are most important and can be finished within the given time frame of no more than 3 to 4 weeks. We have already decided that a major overhaul of the human resources part of AirlineSim will be pushed back to a patch after the launch as it affects too many different areas of the game and requires a lot of time both for development and testing.
But brushing up the game itself is just half of the story. Especially the new account managament system, named Aquila, needs to be integrated into our existing game worlds since both our German and our international servers wil run on the same code base. This is more complicated than it may appear because it means that we have to find a way to merge all the player's accounts on the three different game worlds into one in Aquila. This is especially tricky when one and the same user has used different nicks or email addresses on different servers.
Beyond the technical things, many organizational tasks need to be taken care of. This includes finalizing the documentation and translation of the game, clarifying the last remaining details with payment providers and doing the scheduling and resource planning for the coming weeks. Also we need to make sure that the international audience gets to know about us, as an empty game world won't help in paying our bills. Therefore we're busy wiriting newsletters, informing game portals and other online magazines and developing a marketing strategy. This might sound "big business" at first but is a crucial part of the job if we want this project to become successul interntionally.
As you can see we have plenty of items on our to-do list. Our internal goal is to get most of this done or started within the coming 2 weeks as I'm taking my first vacation in years in the end of July (Yay!!). So hopefully everything will be ready to go for the pending transition in Germany after my return. And whenever that took place, there's nothing keeping us from launching our first international game world.