To be honest: We have no concept for the Marketing function at all at this point.
Although we know that there must be such a function eventually - that’s why there’s a placeholder in the first place - we struggle with it’s implementation. The reasons have to do with game design: How do you implement any kind of marketing without making it yet another tool that gives advantages to already large airlines?
Because in the end any kind of marketing we can think of boils down to a very simple formula: More marketing = more passengers. And that’s a clear advantage for any company that already has large amounts of money.
Not if you base the marketing effect in relation to the total financial turnover (needless to say I’ve mentioned that more than a year ago…). To get the same positive effect (e.g. more passengers), airlines should have to spend the same percentage of turnover, therefore making it exactly equally “difficult” for small and large airlines…
I’m well aware of this suggestion. But then one has to ask: What’s the point? if we do it this way, it’s merely another button to click and we can put a label on it saying “Click here to have more passengers than you had before”. Maybe I’ve lost my creativity, but I fail to see how this would enrich the game in any way.
This would make sense if one could differentiate between routes and of course the amount. Say, for every 2% spending the ORS value increases by 1 (just an example!). Then one could choose if he wants to increase the attractiveness on a route because of high competition and on the other hand don’t spend marketing on a monopoly route. And for those who don’t like it that complex: just an ‘overall’ button.
What is it good for as well? To lower the ridiculous high margins and bring them closer to reality (although that’s not what everyone likes…)
I think that one thing missing in AirlineSim is “tagged” traffic. Currently, all passenger/cargo traffics are absracted as indiscriminate traffic flows, which choose their travelling path on the basis of so called “performance price ratio”. As it is, that is too simple to modeling the real life. Prior to implementing any marketing tools in the game, I’d suggest the AS team consider introducing some mechanism to differentiate the traffic first. For example, the rich would never be the customer of a low cost airline, despite the fact that most low cost airlines really provide a best performance price ratio. So there should be some market segments exist inside the total traffics. Some other tags, such as membership of certain airlines or alliance, preference of airlines based on certain country/city, etc… can also be applied. In this way, the airline imaging system could be expanded to a multidimentaional system which characterize the airline’s “tropsim” towards a certain traffic tag. Finally, the marketing tools, such as advertisements and frequent traveller plans, can help on promoting the characteristics of the airlines. Although all these ideas may significantly increase the loading of the game servers, I believe they also raise the playability of the game.
Thank you for this input. But I guess your suggestion is based on a wrong knowledge. Sure, the demand will be distribute by a price/performance/service ratio. But this doesn’t mean that only due to the point that a low cost carrier has the best ratio, it will receive all bookings. To give a simple example - two possible connections between two cities. One airline a true low cost airline with a ratio of 100% and one airline with full service and personal flight attendant and so on. This one has to take a higher ticket price of course. Therefor the ration may be 90%. This results in 55% of the bookings for the low coster and 45% for the expensive airline (yea, you are right, there is also public transportation too …)
Therefor the simulation already have different passenger - the ones who like it cheap and the others with high service product.
I can understand your traffic distribution design, however, the idea behind my suggestion is somewhat different. In your example, if the expensive airline provides 4 flights per day between the two cities, then only about 20% of total passengers remain taking the low cost airline’s plane. Why such a fierce competition occurs between a high-ending airlines and a low cost airlines? Because the traffic model assumes that all passengers only care about their input(money)/output(service) ratio, while in real life, money is nonsense to some people, money is everthing to others, some people always choose Japanese airlines and some people prefer Indian airlines more.
To be honest, I don’t think it’s very important to simulate the passenger types/preferrence in great detail, for the simple price/performance model has reflected 90% of the real life. The rest 10% of the real life is likely to charge the AS team 90% of additional working loads . But if the price/performance ratio is all for AS passengers, why we need marketing functions? We can just lower the ticket price to solve any problem, can’t we?
As the AS team members are reading this thread, I’d like to give another suggestion, which is not relevant to the marketing topic (Sorry to mess things up ). The fact that we can see so many ATR/DASH/CRJ/EMB in top airports like NRT/LHR/DXB annoying me a bit recently. I’ve also read some posts in this forum complaining about this. I think the root-cause creating the issue (I’m not sure if you also consider this situation to be an “issue”) is that the time slot is too easy to retrieve. How about making some rules in acquiring the time slots? For example: let’s say two new airlines are created based at Dubai, namely Dubai Airlines & UAE Airlines. The two airlines then automatically gains a quota of 500 take-off/landing in UAE region. At every week end, all airlines can bidding for additional time slots. Time slot distribution can be calculated based on the price quoted by every airline and the passenger number transferred per slot during the past week. e.g. Dubai airport offers 100 new slots quota now. Dubai Airlines apply for all the 100 time slots at a price of $10/slot/week. UAE Airlines apply for 40 slots at a price of $5/slot/week. In the past week, Dubai Airlines transferred 200 pax/slot and UAE Airlines transferred 1000pax/slot. Based on these datas, an algorithm could be designed to calculate the max new slots available to Dubai Airlines & UAE Airlines. Aussuming the calculation result is 50 to Dubai and 50 to UAE, then finally UAE gets all 40 slots it required and Dubai Air get 50. This of course is not a comprehensive solution, I’m just curious if the AS team has any similar plan to change the slot occupation manner.