Future of AirlineSim

Hi everyone,

I was wondering, what are the plans regarding the future of AirlineSim? What are your opinions on the current state of it? I like this game very much, but it’s sad to see that not much is changing.

  • For example, we’ve been hearing about the introduction of reservation classes many years ago and it’s still not a thing.
  • The stock market turned out to be broken, and still it isn’t fixed.
  • Why can’t we make additional revenue by for example selling stuff on board, as most airlines right now do?
  • Why passengers request catering, headphones etc. to be happy, while nowadays in reality no one expects that on shorthaul flights?
  • It’s true that the impact of IFS is now not as serious as in the past, but still the game requires too much focus on luxurious service instead of building a price advantage.
  • Why can’t we hedge fuel?
    I could go on and on with possible new features/changes that would add more realism and fun to the game.

Don’t get me wrong, I love this game, been playing for many years, but it just saddens me to see its stagnation.

All inputs and comments are welcome :slight_smile:

PS I believe there might have been similar topics on the German forum, but sadly I don’t speak it

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That’s a jolly good topic!

AirlineSim definitely needs improvements and changes to make it more enjoyable for players.

I definitely back all the points you’ve laid out, but I’d also add:

  • business pax on short-shortish routes should not require very fancy seats to be satisfied
  • price of airplanes should fluctuate in relation to AGEX - so that enormous airlines require more time to be created
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As for threads: yes, there are - I’m no actual translator though… I can’t speak it either. I do remember it got heated pretty much every time it was discussed - though to be fair, it’s usually one or two people that elevate the threads here that do get spicy. Not calling names.

To reply to the original, a few things:

  • I pointed out on discord that on the most recent PU blog “Slow Burn”, we have a wonderful quote from Molp:

    I of course cannot speculate, but I would love for this to be something AS related. Unsure though, and unfortunately, I have a pessimistic outlook.
  • The third point: the point here becomes that people don’t “expect” it because most airlines have gone to shit, especially in the US + EU, with their customer experience. Blame this on 2008, Doug Parker, competing with Ryanair, whatever - but the reality is that airlines have been cutting costs like it’s trendy. In reality, the passenger (especially the ones on premium classes) have not lowered expectations, they have simply gotten used to the change around them. To rephrase that, the customer didn’t lead the change - the airline did.
  • The fourth point: Why do you think people fly Emirates over Air India on LHR-DEL? Service matters to a certain group of people. What I think would solve this best is having different sectors of the population - the Leisure traveler, the VFR (sort of the middle, really) and the Business traveler. This could also (likely just in my dreams) be related to the demand on city pairs and airports - so people flying to Mykonos would mostly be Leisure, LHR would be Business, Philippines would be VFR, etc - and sort of a %L-%F-%B metric of demand type per airport (or metro area, if we’re still planning on redistributing demand per metro area), so airlines would need to adapt their service to fit the demand type, like Iberia has sort of done with its Express brand, and the US airlines tried to do with Song, Ted, MetroJet, etc). As for booking classes here, pax in different sectors could use any booking class, but airlines would be more incentivized to offer certain perks to certain demand types as part of booking classes - like Executive passengers appreciating Flexibility, and VFR travelers appreciating baggage allowance, etc etc. Kind of a more realistic way of answering “Why am I choosing this flight over the others?”, as the answer depends on the type of person and trip.
  • I would rule out #5 because that would mean newcomers have no chance to make it when conglomerates get large enough to stockpile all the fuel. I know it’s realistic, but it would detriment the growth (and income) this game apparently desperately needs to make development time worth it. It would also involve redoing the whole pricing formula, and I think at that point it’s too much of a hassle. Not saying it wouldn’t be appreciated, but I feel like the devs will shut this one down. But then again, that isn’t a hard threshold to meet…

To reply to Vanderpool

  • The first point, same as the one for #3. Do you appreciate flying Business* across short haul europe right now? What about the US’s “First”? It’s terrible, especially as of late. BA’s ‘Club Europe’ is literally their Y seats with a middle seat divider. It’s not like pax appreciate it - I sure don’t, especially when there’s such a pricing hike - so again it’s not like we got less picky, it’s that it was shoved on us and no one could do much. *some airlines stopped calling it business (SAS, for example) to avoid austerity complaints, but it is their most premium cabin on “full service” flights so the point stands.

  • Airplane pricing related to demand? I believe a better way would be to have a discount for new enterprises and sort of a ‘negotiation scheme’ that rewards for loyalty - like how WN is getting less than 45% pricing on those MAX 7s, because they’re simply WN.

Some other features I’d like to see added:

UM

  • When you place a UM bid, to have a ‘maximum bid’ feature, to allow for instant rebidding until a certain threshold.
  • Bid money is not taken until you win the plane - and when you win an a/c auction, you have a period of 24h/72h/1 week to confirm if you want the plane or not, otherwise it goes to the UM. It would help people not overbid/overpay for aircraft.
  • Maximum bid prices, so the Chinese do not win every single auction by jacking prices up to undesirable levels - maybe 200%?
  • Private bids. The filter option is there already.

Scheduling

— When you set up a new instant flight number in flight plan, to have the option to adjust turnaround options and terminals as well, just like you do now with price + service.
— Ability to set up these same options when mass creating numbers in Flight Numbers tab.
— Shortcut to AGEX like we do with fuel prices in the world homepage.
— Ability to create other short cuts á la the PU interface. Not that flexible, but the ability to see for example

A serious look through of the restricted routes and market investment tools. Everyone chooses the same 2 airports for a reason, and many markets could use it.

Based on list C Foreign Investment
— I would argue Kuwait can get off the list.
— Add markets like Micronesia, which do not get much love, as no one wants those traffic rights.
— The same reasoning can be applied to certain more African countries.
— My native Uruguay has had no flag carrier since 2012, and airlines have been foreign and failed since BQB’s fall in 2015.
— If we’re being realistic to the point of foreign investment, Peru’s traffic is more than 90% foreign airlines (though they’re trying to change that), and after TAME’s liquidation, so is Ecuador’s. Jamaica also has no home grown airline.

For forbidden routes to be (re)considered

— Belo Horizonte Pampulha to Belo Horizonte Tancredo Neves/CNF
— Sao Paulo Congonhas/Guarulhos to Campinas
— San Sebastian to Bilbao
— DFW and Love Field to/from Alliance FW and Dallas ADS
— remnants of Israel boycott routes
— If flights from Libya cannot fly to the US, why can other ‘Tier 2’ airlines fly nonstop to the US?
— Tokyo Chofu to both major Tokyo airports
— Chicago Rockford to other Chicago area airports
— Warsaw Chopin to Modlin
— Why cannot airlines fly MIA-FLL, or FLL-PBI, but can fly MIA-PBI?
— A consideration: Vienna to Bratislava

Add something, anything, to the handbook. Please.

Make alliance posts notifiable through PM. Unless I click on that tab purposefully, I would never know that was there.
Speaking of alliances, having the ability to forge deeper partnerships as alliance members would really be nice - like sharing some financial details, ability to book seats on partner flights, and for airlines to select a booking class in-game to be bookable by either the alliance as a whole or a partner airline as well as the airline, etc.

And I’d like to pose an open question. Is the lack of major updates or arguably even communication since 2018 attributable to anything? PU? Is it simply a lack of staff in the Simulogics end? Money? I’d love to have the option of patreon for the people to fund the dev team, if that will help see the change we all want. But I think I’m getting tired to recurrently pay for something that I won’t see improve, especially when we’re promised otherwise. I know the devs do not like to ‘cancel promises’, and I sincerely hope you will be able to add everything some day. We understand. We want to help see this game grow further. I don’t think I’m alone in saying we, as a community, would just like to hear a “hey, we’re alive” message, especially as PU is getting them weekly.

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Good points @jetcruise0707 !

I strongly agree with the alliances point, currently there’s no use in being a part of them.

One more thing that came to my mind, is that we need an updated European Common Aviation Area. For some years the Balkan countries, Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova have been in it. It would add some realism to playing as an European airline.

As for your open question, my view is that the devs are probably more involved in PU (although I don’t know pretty much anything about that game). I doubt that money is an issue with AirlineSim, it still has pretty solid player numbers, and I even bet that many players would agree to a price increase if we would see that the changes are happening.

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I don’t want to go into any kind of detail, partly because we do not have finalised plans yet and partly because I don’t want to get people too excited at this point. But at the core of the current AS stagnation are essentially two issues:

Number 1 is that the current codebase of AS is around 15 years old (or “ancient” in software terms) and that many of features available today are essentially broken. The stock market, aircraft market and alliances have been mentioned above, but I could list more examples. So adding new or overhauling features is difficult both for technical and for game design reasons.

Number 2 is that the company needs more than one leg to stand on if we want to continue making (and supporting) games in the future. Keep in mind that AS has been around for almost 20 years now (post on that coming soon) and we have no plans of stopping to operate it. Prosperous Universe is our first attempt at spreading the risk, but we are a tiny team and working on more than one project at a time while one of them only just launched in Early Access is extremely tough.

So long story short: Some things (that I can’t and don’t want to discuss just yet) are planned for AS, but we are spread thin in terms of resources and everything will take some time (as usual). Meanwhile, AS is going to continue, even the old game worlds that - at this point - generate a questionable amount of revenue :smiley:

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“Old” codebase may very well be sufficient if it’s proper maintained and maintainable at all. You won’t believe how old the software is in some large companies. :wink: Since AS is almost 20 years now, what happend last 15 years? Building on top of a barely maintained codebase?

It is true that a company needs more than one leg to stand on, but simulogy should not neglect the one it has while building the other. No one guarantees PU will be a (commercial) success. Especially when simulogic gets the reputation of barely caring about its paying customers of “older” games.

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Even in MLM you have two legs, and one is always stronger than the other one… Actually, that’s true even in real life with human body :wink:

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And that is fully ok. But if you decide to improve your leg strengh do you train jumping around on one leg only or do you go running and train/develop both legs?

Well, ideally, we’re trying to get the second leg to get around the same length as the first one to then continue growing both at similar speeds. To stay with the analogy :wink:

Judged by the experience of numerous years single leg training by now, what is your estimate until both legs have the same lenght? And I would appreciate a realistic estimate and nothing compared to your promises for 2020 (justifying the credit costs for AS which were hardly accepted without any development promise) as those as we all know by now were not only a tiny little bit too optimistic (freighter conversion tool, kits with e.g. winglets to upgrade aircraft, new booking classes, demand updates for all airports, a functioning support…)

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Where AS is going is sad but somehow I still love the game and it feels incredible to play it again. Sadly, not everyone shares my unconditional love for the game which has meant that a lot of people have felt like the game is dying and left. It is really sad to see.

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