Game need character

This is not a well defined idea. If i look at the screenshots / gifs, the game looks promising. The mechanics sounds like they are sound.

However, what i think this game still lacks - at least from what i have seen so far - is character.

If we i.e. look at project highrise: it was mechanically sound, an interesting concept, challenging at times… but it lacked character. and it suffered from it. I hope the devs learn from that story :slight_smile:


Sorry but I didn’t understand what u mean by ‘character’. Please Explain :confused:

1 Like

I think they’re regarding to quirks, like things that make this game different from others etc

I think this game is unique to begin with, and that giving it ‘character’ will just ruin it.

With character i mean something that makes this game not only unique, but also memorable.

Would it be memorable to go from a small rural airport to an international-mega-airport all because of your brilliant management? (Also, I hope there is a screen identical to the one that you’d see as a passenger with all the departures and remarks etc. because that’d just be entertaining as it jumps from the odd 20 flights a day to the 2000 per day like in Atlanta…)

It is an interesting thing you bring up, however, the concept of character is very diffuse. It could mean a ton of things depending on who you ask. When I think of character in game, I think of things like re-playability, uniqueness in graphics/art, uniqueness in gameplay, uniqueness in idea, response & feedback, “feel”, moddability etc.

So, I am curios to find out why you say it lacks character?

I would also say is very difficult to code and design character. It is more something that evolves over time.


I know that ‘character’ is very hard to program, since it’s indeed a combination of a lot of factors.

Before i continue, please keep in mind that i’ve been following this project from - almost - the beginning (back when the reddit group had 23 members :slight_smile: ). I love what you guys are doing and the direction you’re taking this. I see many positive things in this game and i’m only focusing on this 1 part. This is meant as positive feedback, so please take it as such :slight_smile:

If we look at art style - at least to me - it doesn’t look very unique. It’s functional, it’s crisp, but it looks … prison architect-ish. The passengers look a bit bland and everything is pretty grey. Not that this is necessarily bad, but it doesn’t make this game stand out.

I can’t comment on the game play yet, since we haven’t really seen any :slight_smile: which is why i’m commenting about this now.

I gave the example of project highrise. what you hear about that game a lot is yes, it features some interesting mechanics, but after a little while, it’s just more of the same. It has no real replay value, and (too) soon people move on to another game.

From what i’ve seen so far, nothing really stands out. The aircraft are beautiful :slight_smile: The idea of running an airport is fantastic, but if you get down to it, it’s basically a management/building game a la prison architect, project highrise, and many others. Nothing really makes this game unique at this time.

i don’t want this game to fail just because it doesn’t stand out enough :slight_smile:

I hope i’m making some sense, because this is a very… ethereal subject.

It’s hard to determine the “character” of the game from what we’ve seen so far. The game is still in development; we’ve seen quite a lot of GIFs and a few clips from the game, but no actual video as of yet (the devs will be bringing that to us soon from what I’ve heard).

The game might lack character based on what we’ve seen, and that is only to be expected. As Frederik has said, character evolves over time and I’m sure that we will see something come through as the game comes to fruition.

As a guide for Frederik and Olaf, though, putting a bit of light humour into some aspects of the game wouldn’t go amiss. Inject your own sense of humour into the game in little bits here and there, and you won’t go wrong. This way, you’ll put a small personal touch to Airport CEO, and give it some character.


This is certainly in the right direction :slight_smile:

If a game has “replay value” is not related to it having character. Replay value is gained by making a game flexible - basically not repeating itself - or have different modes to play with (Story, Sandbox, you name it…). You can built every terminal yourself into details and have new layouts all the time. [insert my wish for challenging environments here]

Character is more of what attracts you to a game over another offering the exact same gameplay. And I find ACEO has with a combination of (presumably :wink:) deep economic system (which games like Prison Architect and Project Highrise don’t have, thus you figure those games out very quick) and an artstyle basically being realistic-cartoony (which no game in the same category has, too).
I actually don’t see ACEO missing character. And if it does or loses it, it’s alone in a long unserved airport building market… Sooo it’ll have mercy. :smiley:

I think, as Fredrik stated, re-playability and uniqueness in gameplay are two of the major aspects of ‘character’. For example, in Prison Architect, Factorio or Cities Skylines there is so much to do that you won’t get bored quickly and easily wheras Project Highrise all you do it build up. There needs to be both options in gameplay, but also direction and objectives such that you feel like you’re achieving something whilst playing the game.

First person Shooters often have character based on the progression of a story and the satisfaction you get when you kill somebody, building and management games have the same sense of progression in that your building or company grows and you are able to achieve more and more complex stuff.

Allowing this complex stuff to occur, which in this game could be multiple terminals all running smoothly with aircraft departing and arriving all the time can provide the sense of character and business. Supplementing this with a drive to do more, make your airport bigger there needs to be the element of challenge remaining. There needs to always be a “problem” to solve but not too many problems that it becomes overwhelming such that one might give up.

Also great sound design really helps character, you feel immersed and in the situation, nice warm sounding effects. When you’re close to a terminal you can tell whether the people are angry or happy based on the chatter and the noise coming from it, subtle attention to detail things really help with character.

If we look at art style - at least to me - it doesn’t look very unique. It’s functional, it’s crisp, but it looks … prison architect-ish. The passengers look a bit bland and everything is pretty grey. Not that this is necessarily bad, but it doesn’t make this game stand out.

I have to disagree. I would not changed the art style. It is realistic the same way Cities Skylines is and I think Skylines has character partly because of this. Some even complained about Skylines being to colorful and made it more grey with color corrections.


From what i’ve seen so far, nothing really stands out. The aircraft are beautiful :slight_smile: The idea of running an airport is fantastic, but if you get down to it, it’s basically a management/building game a la prison architect, project highrise, and many others. Nothing really makes this game unique at this time.

Nothing at all? I believe this game is unique since it is about airport management which it was a while ago since the last one. There will always be games which look alike if you get down to it. For example all sport games are just different sports however there are many popular series in the sports genre.

I quite like how the game looks!! :smiley: I’d love to see a cartoony aspect too, and that’s where the people come in, I think. I feel like a PA KIND OF feel would be good way to base them, but NOT exactly, yanno? So my idea was this…

1 Like

Here’s my 2 cents. I think trying to force “character” into a game is dangerous, it makes you feel like you have to do stuff differently, or mimic other people.

I’m not worried, for the following reasons

  1. most importantly, you guys as the devs clearly have personality and a sense of humour. You can tell from how you write your devblogs, and how you are on the forum. You also care about what your making. Especially as it’s just the two of you ATM, This means the game will inevitably have a healthy amount of you guys and your personality in it. That will give it character.

  2. you get that your making a game (with eventually epic detail in some of the simulation) but still a game, NOT a simulator. Your not exactly copying how airports run (because lets face it, some of that could get dull). The design choices you make will shape what things look like.

  3. It’s growing organically, so it won’t end up feeling like “just another” game.

Just my thoughts :slight_smile:

1 Like

I enjoy what you’ve said here! Both @Olof and @Fredrik have done an amazing job, and they continue to! Shout out and props to you guys!

As for my design, it was a simple idea that I thought of for people, XD

Like the backside! XD

I really think that the devs will find SOMETHING that differentiates this game from others, but I know they’re doing a remarkable job with what they have, and that’s amazing!! I can’t wait to see what THEY come up with!

Cool drawing XD

I believe what he’s referring to is something that will not just get you to play the game, but something that will keep you playing it. Rimworld for example, is a game that has more than just replay-ability. You become involved with the characters in the game, and interested in keeping them alive and happy.

One obvious possibility is to make the game easy to learn, but very difficult to master. The problem with a lot of games is once you’ve played them through three or four times, you’ve learned all the optimum strategies, and the long term replay value suffers.

Making the game difficult enough that you appreciate your advancements, but not so slow that it becomes dull or stagnant at any particular time is also important.

Some examples that come to mind for Airport CEO might be having a vested interest in perhaps some of the airlines that you first attract to your airport. Can the airlines grow with your airport? Will that small airline that you first started with perhaps expand and someday be a competitor for the world travel market like the other big airlines? Will they choose your airport to be one of their most important hubs? Or will the nearby metropolitan area that your airport serves begin to build high rise buildings that could restrict some of your runways options, or will noise abatement areas spring up near new residential areas?

Other examples are having vested interests in training and retaining your crucial staff members. Are your security people well trained? The people that solicit your airline contracts? Are they demanding pay and benefit increases, and will you satisfy them to keep them on property? Is that new fueling contractor working out or are they consistently late and skirting safety by not maintaining their equipment or testing their fuel?

Some of these things may be well outside the scope of your existing or planned designs, but these are just some rough examples of things that could draw you into games for infinite replays. Very limited funding to limit rapid expansion, or different game developments that force you to think outside the box a little from your normal airport. These type of things would create a unique challenge for many games, and perhaps could be procedural generated.

Wish I was a game designer. These sound like fun options to consider.


I’m reading this discussion with interest and i’m glad the members of this forum respond in good taste :slight_smile: I see some points that indeed touch upon what i mean and i see some different opinions or points i hadn’t considered yet (both in favor and against). It at least is helping me get this clearer in my mind. YAY. Mission accomplished.

You can’t force anything, but forewarned is fore armed :smiley:


@pderuiter After so much discussion and long replies, now I can understand what u meant by ‘character’.

I am no expert in Games or judging them but I feel this game is unique. We have all seen airport management games and this game is turning out to be best among them. We certainly need to enhance it but ‘character’ cannot be made instantly. It develops over time and Airport CEO has lots of time and coding left. Tycoon games can never match shooting or racing genres… But if u compare with existing tycoon games… Airport CEO is slowly getting depth along with simplicity which itself will behave like a ‘character’ to the game. SIMPLICITY IS THE BEST SOPHISTICATION

All we need is some humour or features that have not been seen anywhere (but interesting ones).
@Olof @Fredrik u guys are doing great.
@pderuiter u did a gr8 job by making this topic. Some serious discussion happened that will certainly help the development.