WHAT’S THE PLAN FOR 2019?
We want to increase our time budget for AirlineSim again to improve both our support and the game’s development in 2019. Here’s a preview of what’s about to come:
- An aircraft conversion feature that will enable you to convert passenger aircraft into freighters or retrofit winglets to your fleet.
- The in-game demand data for passengers and cargo will receive a global update.
- “Historic” game worlds with accelerated time advancement - so you can play through several decades of aircraft history.
- A completely new wiki will be launched to provide reliable information about AirlineSim.
- More patches to improve smaller issues in the game and fix bugs.
Is the AS update gonna come out first or Aerosoft A330?
One more thing to say: Lack of manpower has always been the argument of Simulogics. Meanwhile I am very sure there are many players, despite very disappointed, are willing to contribute through volunteering for the development, including myself. Such player community that actively participates and pushes forward the game development progress has been the rule of the game industry and its existence always, always signals the success of the game.
Again, if Simulogics staff have time to repudiate every single player feedback, then I highly recommend them to at least refer to some successful stories.
As I’ve seen you repeating yourself over and over again about the lack of commitment of the “Simulogics developers”, it’s probably good to give you an explanation why everything is going so slow in AS: There is only one programmer.
The fact does not void the argument I repeated again and again.
A) There are too many games, some bigger in scale developed by one programmer that keeps receiving updates. To me, at least, I don’t see why AS cannot move on with one programmer. If simulogics just decides to stay where it is, then with the current strategy of raising the price I don’t doubt AS will go further south.
B)Meanwhile, in 2019 programming is not a rare skill and it is certainly not awfully difficult to learn. And curiously nobody really responds to this perspective. I do not see why it is a red zone to the only developer. Yes, there are copyright concerns, legal concerns, etc but all of which can be easily worked out. I don’t need to remind anyone that Minecraft is an analogous successful story. It is developed by only one programmer and what vitalizes the game (and makes it a world-class classic) is the player community contribution. xNotch still makes a ton of money out of it.
So yes the attitude of the developer seems to be willingly failing the game to me. I do think it is time for the developers to seriously do a cost benefit analysis on AS and the effects of involving the player community in AS.
Programming is not difficult to learn, that’s true. But to understand the processes which belong to the code requires some knowledge which AS is perhaps not showing to the outside. Which is fair enough and absolutely comprehensive.
It is a shame that there is no development but shouting again and again will not help. AS is kind of deaf for this.
I agree with you on the motivation for keeping the core code to themselves and I surely understand. What I am suggesting is that there are ways to work around and involve the player community more while not damaging core copyrights of the original programmer. Essentially, what adds to the top of the source code are modification works.
While simulogics might be deaf about it but as a paying customer I am sure shouting is better than silencing.
Programmer here (not Simulogics). Not only do I consider your statement an insult to my profession (look what happens when you outsource “programming” at $9/hr to India), you seem to be completely ignoring the customer (aka: player).
Even as an outsider, I can see that your concept of blindly throwing resources (“programmers”) into the equation to get more features might affect us players adversely.
Since new features usually imply new servers (due to changes in game economics), the infrastructure cost would raise as well.
After playing for a few years, I think that I have enough understanding to see that Simulogics tries to address both the priorities and the number of new features in a balanced way. For one, we have had polls in the past where we could suggest our personal priorities in new features. Moreover, they are handling expectations by posting updates about plans for enhancements (such as the one you quoted above).
I do not understand your mention of “Aerosoft A330”. This looks like a airplane simulation game. Absolutely and definitely uninteresting game play to me. Or did you want to imply that AS should start to hire programmers so that they can push their users into buying DLC’s, such as beautiful airport buildings and liveries (that’s what I understand as Aerosoft’s business model)?
Unfortunately, I think you completely miss the point. I agree that the development should not be outsourced to outsiders. (and I never suggest that the development should be done that way.) In contrast, I suggest Voluntary Player Community Contribution/Participation. This is supposed to be a modding process where player-constructed features, upon voting, can be added to the new game worlds. (Again, customized Minecraft servers are perfect examples) As far as I understand simulogics at least intends to attract more customers by offering customizable game worlds.
I do think your mentioning outsourcing programmers in India and else is completely irrelevant with this discussion. Your argument of the Aerosoft commercial model has nothing to do with what I raise. For your information, Aerosoft 330 is also a project that seriously lag behind schedule so it’s literally just a meme.
I don’t know how you found my views insulting but I surely didn’t intend to do so because again I program too. Off topic and personal opinion about what you quote (maybe where you find the comment insulting?) —unless you are in academic side of CS, I guess programming will soon become the essential skills and new standards of literacy for everyone, which is great. I don’t think the statement that programming isn’t awfully hard is any wrong because programming is supposed to serve as tool. If a tool is unusable and inaccessible that is simply not a good tool. Even not so smart people like me can learn and benefit from programming so I don’t see why should programming be seen as a super cutting edge technology that only a small bunch of people master. It’s 2019 not 1989.
I so need this in my life!
Most of the volunteers would be people wanting to learn new technologies and gain experience. Good for them, but not so much for code they would produce. Managing work of other people also takes time. Imagine you spend 3 days going through code with a new hire and explaining everything, then he quits after two weeks.
Please consider adding additional features to the interlining request pages. Maybe something along the lines of displaying the possible connections to the airline requesting the interline.
The thing is that even in 2019, I believe a lot of people are still writing 1989 codes…
Even for modern games, the core mathematical models for the system are very often done by a single person, partly because of the complexity, and partly because of the lack of documentation. I believe the ORS, among things, certainly contains a lot of voodoo codes. In a sense, airlinesim is very slim, and contains only the core parts of other game where modification by others is very hard.
Also, this is a multiple-player online game with competing parties involved. To prevent players from getting an unfair advantage, the system cannot be open to the players to modify.
When you look at the examples with a vibrant modding environment, you note that those are mostly sand-box games where players either play locally or cooperate with each other. You will not see players contribute their codes to PUBG, for example. (Note: those things do exist, except they are called cheating)
However, I do not completely disagree with your viewpoint. While the backend should probably remain proprietary, the webpage frontend can definitely be improved. Some Plugins for automation and UI improvements can be contributed by the players. (Though I personally think a large part of the front end shall be scrapped given it is so sensitive on network lag. A lot of things shall be pre-loaded and computed locally)
In terms of feature, I think it would be really nice if we can introduce the concept of a “flight misson”, which is a combination of several flights that starts and ends at the same airport. This would allow the assignments for flights much easier.
Also, if possible, the game should allow a flight cycle over arbitrary number of days. Currently, only daily cycles and weekly cycles are possible. However, in reality, 2 or 3 aircraft can fly daily flights forming a 2 or 3 day cycles. Though this could be challenging as the flights are not assigned to the same aircraft every week.
What is the difference between 2019 code and 1989 code? Or: How is the result of a 2019 code better than the 1989 code?
Martin knows this game like no one else does and is probably the only who can actually develop the game. When I was active there was a team of players who volunteered to help in the development. Everything from testing, brainstorming, addition of aircraft, ect was done by volunteers. We volunteers usually discussed something and then when Martin had time he did the programming and we would do the testing. It worked brilliantly and the game got some great updates. Afterwards Martin ran out of time to program AS, though the volunteers were still very active and helped with the small tweaks and fixes that kept the game running.
What seems to have happened now is that development has stopped as Martin is prioritising other projects and I have no idea what the status of the volunteer team is. Having done everything I could within AS and not receiving anything new I did not feel like continuing subscribing to AS was worth it. In a way it’s like Netflix but not receiving any new content.
I can’t stress this enough that AirlineSim is still an absolute fantastic game (by far best I have ever played) and it will give at least 2 years of entertainment but beyond that there is not much more to do and there is nothing new on the horizon. Sadly it feels like the days of an ever improving game with a vibrant community run by two absolutely brilliant people (Martin and SK) are over…
Browser addons certainly would be nice. Things that could do addditional statistics or automate things would improve current tedious experience. I used to play Hattrick, they provided the possibility for players to create own tools (there were no browser addons at that time) that would connect to the game and gather statistics or do other things. These tools had to be approved by Hattrick team to be able to use the api, then were available to everyone either for free or paid. They also needed to connect to user account, but didn’t use game login, but separate authentication info dedicated for tools.
AS could do the same
- create API for access to game functions
- create authentication method for tools
- approve and distribute tools / browser addons created by users
- provide server for testing
Since in AS there is a ton of statistics and micromanagement involved, potential for addons is huge, with little effort from the team.