Just one more day until AirlineSim 6.3 launches along-side a new game world. This post will try to answer all the questions you might have concerning the new version, what will happen to legacy servers and what you can expect of the new game world. If we missed something, let us know!
AirlineSim 6.3 and Dynamic Turnaround Times
What are "Dynamic Turnaround Times"?
As the name suggests, this feature makes the turnaround times that are currently a static part of the flight time a separate item in the flight plan of an aircraft. To read more about it, have a look at the initial announcement or watch the video introduction we released yesterday.
How can the turnaround times be influenced?
At release you will be able to influence the turnaround times using these settings/factors:
- Amount of seats you install.
- Size of airport you operate from/to.
- Amount of on-board service you provide.
- Boarding method (remote stand or boarding bridges)
- Cargo policy (accept none, only in containers etc.)
What other influencing factors are planned for the future?
Right now, some influencing factors are static or based on simple standard formulas. We intend to eventually replace those with better models that can be influenced by the user. For example, there will be settings concerning cabin cleaning, the amount of baggage passengers may check in, the amount of boarding bridges owned terminals provide and many more. If you have a good idea for other factors, let us know!
Will the new systems cause delays of my flights?
The initial version will only cause delays in two ways:
- If you deliberately cause overlaps in your flight plan.
- Flight times have a minimal fluctuation built in that will sometimes add or subtract a few minutes for random noise.
Will there be more sources of delays in the future?
Yes, the plan is that any turnaround activity can be the cause of delays, especially when they are on the critical path. These delays will be semi-random, which means that we intend to make the probability of delays dependent on factors the user can influence at least to some extend. And example would be "staff mood": If your staff mood is low, chances for delays are increased. Note that we will add these factors one by one over time, probably with the introduction of new or the rework of existing features.
How can I deal with delays?
You can't, at least not directly. AirlineSim is a strategic-tactical game, so we do not want users to be doing "operations". Delays will be dealt with by the system, and so will cancellations due to excessive delays. This happens with the systems already in place, like automatic transfer flights to avoid cascading cancellations.
How can delays be avoided or minimized?
The best way to avoid delays is to leave some buffer in your flight plan. Long-time players will be able to judge from experience how much free time to leave in a flight plan to be safe.
Where can I see whether flights are delayed?
The list of flights of an aircraft shows you the planned and expected arrival and departure times, including information about any delays and their sources.
What's the effect of delays?
Minimal delays have no effect other than that they might accumulate over time when your flight plan is built very tightly. Longer delays will cause image and monetary penalties. Excessive delays will cause the cancellation of the affected flight. In the future, we plan to make your historic on-time performance a dedicated component of your airline's image.
The turnaround of my narrow-body takes extremely long. Why?
Narrow-bodies usually only have a bulk cargo compartment and - on short flights - might have a lot of "spare payload" available. By default, this payload will be used to accept cargo which is very slow to load in bulk. So check your cargo preference settings for the affected routes/flights.
Can I set airline-wide default cargo and boarding preferences? Yes, in your airline's settings you can define which boarding and cargo preferences should be set by default when a new flight or airport pair is created. As with all the other custom settings, these will be inherited by subsidiaries unless overridden.
The new cargo capacities look way off! Why?
We did our best to get accurate data for the new cargo volumes of the aircraft types in the game. Since the values provided by aircraft manufacturers and other sources are not standardized, there will be cases in which our values are off. If you come across something that looks wrong to you and you can provide a better source, please let us know and we'll look into it.
The new game world
What will the configuration be like?
The new game world will launch with a standard configuration. The only differences to other game worlds will be that no used/out-of-production aircraft will be available and that it will employ a slightly adjusted formula for standard prices.
How long will it run?
Since we will use it to launch a new feature for the very first time, the new game world will run for 4 months.
Will there be a persistent game world again soon?
Once we feel like 6.3 is working as expected and all the formulas and parameters have stabilized, we will launch a new persistent game world eventually. Right now it is too early to set or even announce a date for this, though.
AirlineSim 6.3 and legacy game worlds
Will AirlineSim 6.3 be installed in existing game worlds?
Yes, all legacy game worlds will be updated to version 6.3 some time after tomorrows launch as soon as we're sure there are no fundamental teething issues.
This is a disaster! How am I supposed to adjust my airline?
Don't worry: Technically, the legacy game worlds will run version 6.3, but all the turnaround times will a.) remain static and b.) be exactly the same as they are right now. The random flight time fluctuations mentioned above also won't be active in existing game worlds. So nothing will change for your airline. Just be careful not to cause overlaps in your flight plans: This will be possible with the new system and will, of course, cause delays (see above).
Will the system be switched to "dynamic mode" eventually?
It depends. Once we feel like 6.3 is working as expected, we might leave the decision about whether to update legacy game worlds to "dynamic mode" to the affected players, for example by doing game world-specific polls. But nothing has been decided yet and when in doubt, we'd rather stick with the old system as to not destroy existing airlines.
Will legacy game worlds continue to receive updates?
Yes, absolutely. Dynamic Turnaround times are designed to be a configuration option, so all game worlds will be running the same software and all will receive the same patches in the future.