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Role-Based Airline Management

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Poll: Role-Based Airline Management (485 member(s) have cast votes)

I want to spend more of my time on...

  1. Voted Business (managing demand, pricing / fare classes / yield, competition, marketing...) (90 votes [18.56%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.56%

  2. Voted Scheduling flights and managing aircraft (97 votes [20.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 20.00%

  3. Voted I like both equally (298 votes [61.44%])

    Percentage of vote: 61.44%

Would you rather run an airline by yourself or 1 or more other players?

  1. Voted By myself (215 votes [44.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 44.33%

  2. Voted With other player(s) (56 votes [11.55%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.55%

  3. Voted Both / it depends (214 votes [44.12%])

    Percentage of vote: 44.12%

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#1
Yuxi

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With this rare opportunity to recreate AE from the ground up, it's a good time to ask some deep questions about what direction we want to move in for the future. When working over the design, I ran into a conundrum: should AE fundamentally be a airline business simulation or an airline scheduling simulation? Right now we're in the middle: the demand and pricing model lacks sophistication, and there are no timetabling or maintenance details. This keeps the player's workload relatively low. However, if we add many features players are requesting left and right, the game's complexity rises quickly. Players who are more interested in the business/competition side could get turned off by the  micromanagement involved in scheduling flights (especially with timetabling), while players more interested in flight schedules and fleet management would not appreciate the more complex market research and revenue management getting in their way.

 

I want to put forth a proposal to redefine "multiplayer" in terms of AE: allow an airline to have two or more roles filled by different players. For example: one player focuses on researching markets, deciding what routes to fly, and what services to provide at what prices, while a second player orders aircraft and optimizes flight schedules to meet those demands. Dividing the labor in such a way would (1) allow each player to focus on his area of expertise and (2) allow a greater depth of gameplay without adding too much complexity for one player to handle. Of course smaller airlines could still be handled well by one player.

 

Furthermore, if we remove the need for each player to have at least one airline to himself, this may lead to a decrease in the total number of airlines. A large airline could conceivably have 3-4 managers under this model, while a smaller airline would have 1 or 2.

 

Managership under this model need not be all-access. From a technical perspective, it would not be difficult to set up a permissions system where each manager can only access certain parts of an airline control panel or perform certain actions. But from a human perspective, "ownership" of the airline would be more complicated.

 

Conflicts of interest can be solved by limiting each player to managing one airline in a world. Or allow airlines to specify whether managerships must be exclusive in that game world.

 

Obviously, teamwork at the airline level would need a lot more details to be fleshed out for it to be a feasible idea. I'm just throwing this idea out there to see how many people would be interested in multi-manager airlines.

 

Finally, this change would induce a lot more interaction among players (as collaborators!). Then again, not all would agree more social interaction is what we need... :whistling:

 

Thoughts? :P



#2
SirMoo

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How is this any different than just sharing your airline and letting them only work on certain parts? It's seeming like it may limit functionality of team play in a way actually...



#3
Yuxi

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How is this any different than just sharing your airline and letting them only work on certain parts? It's seeming like it may limit functionality of team play in a way actually...

 

This is more looking at what will be the "norm," e.g. if the game is built assuming large airlines will have more than 1 manager, the amount of detail and micromanagement to implement would be different than if we assume 1 player per airline.



#4
SirMoo

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This is more looking at what will be the "norm," e.g. if the game is built assuming large airlines will have more than 1 manager, the amount of detail and micromanagement to implement would be different than if we assume 1 player per airline.

So what you're saying is is that each aspect of the game will have an increased level of micromanagement that will make it more difficult to handle on your own efficiently and that the goal is to make it in our best interest to play with a friend? Hm...



#5
QK Flight Industries

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If this were to take place, would it be possible for a single player to have much of the micromanagement automated?


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#6
Yuxi

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So what you're saying is is that each aspect of the game will have an increased level of micromanagement that will make it more difficult to handle on your own efficiently and that the goal is to make it in our best interest to play with a friend? Hm...

 

That's the deeper problem at hand. Everyone wants more of everything, but at a certain point the number of controls and settings start to become a burden. Like now, if you don't want to deal with IFE/IFS or even marketing and staffing, you can completely ignore all that. On the flip side, it also means those things (like service) don't have much of a role in the game mechanics. Some people want those things to be important but others just want to buy aircraft and schedule flights, so that's where the division of labor could fit in.

 

I'm not wholeheartedly pushing this idea - it's just one solution on the table. Instead of everyone managing a copy of everything, you can have one person doing timetabling, one person researching new markets (which will be much more dynamic in AE 4), another person tracking competition and tweaking fares, and someone just doing branding and making liveries for every aircraft type in the fleet.



#7
2ndAcr

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 I like the idea of managers. I could be primary airline owner, and have 1-2 others help me out yet not have to fear the bankruptcy button from one of them. Then I could be a manager in one of theirs at the same time etc.

 

Would allow a easier way to mentor the new people in how to learn the game at the same time.



#8
Stevphfeniey

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Honestly, I like some of what's being said here, but others not so much.

 

I agree that micromanagement to the level of scheduling might be a little overboard. AE's a game that already takes up too much of my time :P 

However, I do think that maintenance, if implemented, should be based off an A,B,C,D check type system, which would encourage players to A: Have a few aircraft of each type on hand to replace aircraft undergoing maintenance and B: NOT operate all of their planes at the max 20 hours

Just my two cents at the moment  


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#9
SirMoo

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Honestly, I like some of what's being said here, but others not so much.

 

I agree that micromanagement to the level of scheduling might be a little overboard. AE's a game that already takes up too much of my time :P

However, I do think that maintenance, if implemented, should be based off an A,B,C,D check type system, which would encourage players to A: Have a few aircraft of each type on hand to replace aircraft undergoing maintenance and B: NOT operate all of their planes at the max 20 hours

Just my two cents at the moment  

I think you're going a little off the trail here, Steve. But yes, that would be interesting.



#10
Yuxi

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However, I do think that maintenance, if implemented, should be based off an A,B,C,D check type system, which would encourage players to A: Have a few aircraft of each type on hand to replace aircraft undergoing maintenance and B: NOT operate all of their planes at the max 20 hours

 

That is the current plan for maintenance. AE 4 will also use cycles and hours to measure aircraft wear for maintenance purposes, so that by itself should deter operating at 20 hours a day, not to mention requiring spare aircraft hours when downtime is required for any reason.

 

Timetabling (and time-sensitive passenger bookings) does have the benefit of keeping a check on aircraft utilization. The 20-hour/day efficiency would not be achievable with most of the virtual schedules we're operating now when you take departure/arrival times and aircraft movements into account.



#11
SirMoo

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That is the current plan for maintenance. AE 4 will also use cycles and hours to measure aircraft wear for maintenance purposes, so that by itself should deter operating at 20 hours a day, not to mention requiring spare aircraft hours when downtime is required for any reason.

Let me ask about this then... Would it require that every hub we have have a spare aircraft there? Or would the aircraft sort of teleport depending on where they need to be?



#12
ContinentalAirlines

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I like the idea of having a multi-player airline operation. I think that when an airline is formed, there should be designated positions for each player. Such as one person managing aircraft (including maintenance) , 1 player managing schedules/pricing/gate leasing, 1 managing the airlines product (amenities in flight, terminals, cabin outfitting, airport lounges), and the last player being the CEO of the airline.


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#13
Stevphfeniey

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One issue with multi-person airline controlling might be that newer players who don't necessarily know anybody here won't find people to help control the airline. Conversely people who've been here awhile won't have much effort in doing that, which in my view skews the tables more than they already are. Honestly, I like the current system of airline sharing. ie: It's my airline and if I want to run it alone I've no worries in doing so, however if I want a friend to help me I have the option of doing that.


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#14
Sheepy

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I like this idea, to an extent.
However, I think it should be reasonable for a single person to manage up to a fleet of about 200 aircraft. Having more people working on an airline should give you an advantage, but it should not be impossible not to work with someone. I also think that more than 2-3 people with major roles is pushing it a bit.

Conflicts of interest can be solved by limiting each player to managing one airline in a world. Or allow airlines to specify whether managerships must be exclusive in that game world.

Should definitely not be a hard limit to 'only manage one airline per world'. We can make our own decisions! D:

Finally, this change would induce a lot more interaction among players (as collaborators!). Then again, not all would agree more social interaction is what we need... :whistling:


Just thinking, this could theoretically disadvantage those with no/poor English.
There might also be constant 'can i be ur/can u be mi manager' cries from some, particularly newer, members.

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#15
QK Flight Industries

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If this were to take place, would it be possible for a single player to have much of the micromanagement automated?

 

 

Very much against managing one airline per world. Even with incredible complexity, I'm very much sure I'd want more than one carrier/world. :P

 

But mostly agree with sheepy. Players should be able to run mid-size airlines alone rather easily. Automation of micromanagement with the option to give multiple people shared control (and thus easier to turn off the automation.) sounds good.

 

Perhaps automation could work like the "Default" wage (this is being very broad.) It sets a number that is "Okay", but efficiency can be increased if you go in and Micromanage it.

 

Would this automation be applied to timetabling features as well (one of the more known things that will come in AE4...)? For example, fleet management, where the server will automatically assign planes to each route as necessary while the player assigns a certain fleet to that route.


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#16
Sheepy

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I think there should definitely be an automated scheduling system for flight times.
I do, however, think it should default to awful timings for pax...
Alternatively, the game could come up with say four options for 'recommended' times based on slack in your schedule, which you could pick from if you were in a hurry, and you could also input a time manually if your aircrafts could manage it.
This is, however, slightly off topic...

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#17
As97ir

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AE is already perfect the way it is , at least it is to me 


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#18
mxax-ai

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Timetabling would - at least for me - take up way too much time. It'd be ok with just a few aircraft or a much slower growth rate, but once you get to the point of getting several/many aircraft delivered every day, you would not be able to work out a timetable for each of them before the next aircraft arrive. Airlines with more than 1000 (or even 400) aircraft would be basically impossible to manage (alone). Currently I am quite challenged of managing a 800 aircraft airline in the USA with most of the time being needed for finding empty routes.
I'd prefer more effect of IFS/IFE, config (!), etc., instead of going too much into detail in routing aircraft.

#19
mxax-ai

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Timetabling would - at least for me - take up way too much time. It'd be ok with just a few aircraft or a much slower growth rate, but once you get to the point of getting several/many aircraft delivered every day, you would not be able to work out a timetable for each of them before the next aircraft arrive. Airlines with more than 1000 (or even 400) aircraft would be basically impossible to manage (alone). Currently I am quite challenged of managing a 800 aircraft airline in the USA with most of the time being needed for finding empty routes.
I'd prefer more effect of IFS/IFE, config (!), etc., instead of going too much into detail in routing aircraft.

#20
LLC

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moved to a separate topic







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