Patson Luk

ew Airline management simulation online game, gauging interest

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Hi all!

I started this hobby project a while ago and put in a several months of time to build an airline management simulation game. This is my first stab at writing a game (I am a software developer but my job has nothing to do with games at all...)

I want to write an airline simulation game that has good depth in simulation, and focus on things that are fun and challenging.

The game is close to a playable stage and I plan to release it as a free-game. (it's my hobby project anyway). But the problem is I would need to start putting in money to get at least an online cloud server and the SSL certificate. So I wish to gauge interest from this forum and see if anyone would like to give it a try

The main highlights are:
  1. Real passengers that make decisions on what route to take based on various factors : Awareness of your airline, Loyalty to your airline, ticket pricing, seat class, service quality, # of connections, total travel time etc etc. This is different from several games that I played before which appeared to oversimplify flight demand with no connection flights. Having realistic simulation here provides many different strategic options

  2. Thousands of airports with basic data driven by real geographical information (surrounding city population, income, airport scale etc)

  3. Demand from airport to airport is calculated dynamically (not really based on real world data), which means various changes in game condition (not yet implemented, conditions are static for now) will affect demand accordingly

  4. Reactive UI - not a UI expert here. But at least I tried to make the code runs fast and the control flow reasonable

Some screenshots:

World Map View showing the routes flown by an airline based in SFO:
screeshot-1.png?raw=1

Airport View showing details of an airport (HND):
screeshot-2.png?raw=1

Showing the passengers map of the route from SFO to HND with all the connection flights taken by virtual passengers
screeshot-3.png?raw=1

Here's a short clip of the gameplay

airline-management-project-clip-1.gif?ra

 

My goal is to have a simulation good enough to generate data similar to real world's, while giving flexibility to simulate new outcome based on the dynamics of the conditions. For example one can start a really successful airline in a city that can actually alter demand distribution that is different from those observed in our current world (some part that I have not implemented yet but on the list for more end-game type - Airlines can make heavy investment in city/airport such as funding airport expansion, city projects to enhance a city's attributes etc)

Various rules and constraints are placed to make the game challenging in various ways, and the real passenger simulation also help here. For example I tried to start from various cities as HQ:

  •   Pyongyang - domestic demand is very weak. It's a closed country that does not allow international connection flight. The demand to fly out of the country is also low (due to low income). Other major western countries do not allow direct flight neither. The most lucrative routes are those to China - though people from Pyongyang do not travel much, the are a good number of business and tourist passengers from China. Also as it's a closed country, it does not allow international airline to operate to the country, which means my airline at least can dominate the domestic market and any foreigners want to travel to any of the country's cities would need to use my airline for both the flight to Pyongyang and any other domestic flights
  •  Anchorage - domestic demand is relatively weak for all the closer cities. It's relatively stronger linking to major west coast cities like San Francisco and Los Angles, unfortunately to fly those routes, it would need airplane with longer range - which also has higher capacity. Those routes simply do not have enough demand to keep profitable. However, one option is to borrow loan from bank and operate flights to closer Asian country like Japan. Now it provides a route from say San Francisco to Anchorage and then from Anchorage to Tokyo. This will benefit all the the domestic routes operated by the airline as it now opens up a route to Asia. However, intercontinental route is NOT allowed for new airline that has not accumulated enough reputation. So the airline need to find someway to expand it's passenger base while still keeping the airline afloat
  •  San Diego - domestic demand is quite strong, but operating from a major airport increases the expense alot : office upkeep, renting airport slots etc. Major destinations are mostly already have other competitors (since i don't have real players now, I pre-generated airlines in 250 major airports). The most lucrative flights are actually the ones flying to Mexico, as the airline can charge more flying international and those routes are mostly shorter ones that allow smaller airplanes the new airline can afford


Thank you for reading my long post! All your thoughts, suggestions and questions are greatly appreciated!
 

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I adore management sims of all sorts.   I would definitely be likely to play this.

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This sounds pretty cool. I would try this! I used to love Airline Tycoon as a kid, this looks like a big step up from that.

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It certainly seems like a good idea, and I used to play Airline Empires. Ultimately, I stopped as I couldn't commit the time to it anymore. I'm not sure if I'd have enough time for this one. Nothing against you, of course. Just my schedule.

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Thanks all for the replies!!!! 

I actually bought a domain name and pushed it to Amazon Web Services ($$$)

Which means, http://www.airline-club.com is now live!!!!    😝

Please take note that the game is still at a pre-pre-pre-pre-alpha stage so quite a few things might not work properly / not yet implemented

Several REALLY important notes:
1. The website is NOT yet SSL protected (no https://) with means it's vulnerable to middle-man attack. So please do NOT use sensitive password. Your password however, is hashed and protected in the database (which means even someone manages to hack the database, they will not be able to figure out your password). Using password generation service is advised (lastpass etc)
2. You will likely be a confused with the flow and certain mechanics in the game. I tried to at least make the initial flow relatively reasonable. A forum will be added to the game (at the minimum) later today (or this week) to explain the basic mechanics 
3. The website will go down occasionally w/o notice as it's still under very active development
4. As much as I would like to avoid, sometimes data flush might happen if there are major code changes

But otherwise, the game should be playable (I have been playing it myself …)

Hope to see you playing soon (and pssst it's free)!   🙇‍♂️

 

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