How large will the initial map be?

The question really asks itself. How much space are we expecting to have, and are there going to be large scale things like highways etc for connections?? Just curious.

@Olof or @Fredrik

Will there be any speculation on this at this moment? I’d also love to see challenging scenarios of dealing with water, maybe mountains, etc. All of those types of things really debate where an airport puts their services and amenities.

It’s a good question. In my mind, in the beginning the map is really tine round 4 square kilometers, and the ceo has to buy more land, if he needs.

I can imagine it is one of the initial choices.
Or you get more / cheaper land, but far away from a city (your passenger source), or land the size of a postage stamp, but smack in the middle of the city.

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like at Airline Tycoon… That was not bad and changed the way of gaming.

It will be large enough, as developers we will not put any restraints similar to Sim City in regards to the map’s size and so you’ll have a big sandbox and we could of course implement the possibility of buying more land if needed. However, we will issue “recommendations” or perhaps guidelines as to what amounts of simulated agents the game can push out on an average computer at an acceptable FPS. We currently do not know what these amounts are since there is still loads of optimization and testing left to be done!

In regards to different terrains, water is indeed possible, mountains or very much so elevated terrains is a bit more tricky (in regards to how it would perform or be interpreted from a gameplay perspective). Initially I’d say water, yes, elevated or rough terrains, no.


I wouldn’t care about mountains anyway. It is not like being in a mountain usually affects your airport in itself. At least not unless you want to make something like Lukla, which I would say falls out of scope of the game

If you want to simulate mountains, make impassable tiles with a retextured wall

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Thank you for clearing this up!!! I’d love to see an option about purchasing land and expanding, as some airports grow with the influx of business.

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One thing to consider is the location of the airport. Airports close to a big city can get more passengers but get limited or more expensive land, and airports far away from the city have to provide better land connections and get less passengers but can expand much more easily.

There could also be government taxes for airports close to cities due to noise, pollution, etc. There’s a bunch of cool dynamics that could potentially easily be added later on.


From hccampos

“There could also be government taxes for airports close to cities due to noise, pollution, etc. There a bunch of cool dynamics that could potentially easily be added later on.”

That sound nice. What’s about: For Airports close to cities it’s forbidden for planes to land between 23:00 and 05:00 o’clock?

@IE_Meiky77, in an attempt to revive this thread, I think your ideas are great.:slight_smile: Perhaps in urban areas, planes would not be able to land between 12:00 AM and 7:00 AM, and not be able to take off from 9:30 PM-5:30 AM because of local residents. I do want the map to have lots of space, in simcity there isn’t enough land. Different terrains would probably not make much difference, and you need to have flat and open room. The only problem would be mountains. @Olof and @Fredrik, whats your opinion on this?

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Agree with @Ryan above, a government or council could restrict the opening times of your airport depending how close and how populated the area is around your airport

I’m curious if any of the devs played the original Airport Tycoon game created in 2000? One of the things that really made that game successful (compared to all of the successors that failed miserably) is the fact that it focused on things “outside of the terminal”. Most airport tycoon games nowadays focus on terminal/people flow. Having a large terrain map with multiple runways and many gates makes an airport simulator more like an airport simulator.

Since the last time you posted this I am wondering if you can give a better estimate to the number of airplanes that could be present on a map at any given time? Is it 10? 20? 50? Airport Tycoon realized that they couldn’t ‘sim’ all of the passengers realistically so they lowered the ratio of passengers to planes in simulation (much like sim city 4 does). If I only wanted to focus on people flow in terminals there are plenty of games out there that do that and fail to immerse me in a ‘true’ airport simulator.

Yes they have played it. Definitely. You cannot start on a project without looking at the mistakes of previous one. And this was my first question in my first email to the Devs. “Have you played AT??”

And as far as the simulation goes, i feel Devs CAN develop a realistic heavy simulator. But they will have a tough time finding a budget hardware to test it. The software part is the Devs’ part and i believe they can optimize it (to a certain extent) to simulate more objects. All comes down to hardware, so if you have a performance device (like Dell Alienware) then the you can certainly have more objects simulated.

They said they have average machines they run it on, not just high end.

One interesting option might be to allow optional scaling the passenger numbers so you as a player can choose if you want to focus on passenger flow / terminals and full realism, or if you want to go down to fewer passengers per plane but have better performance and build huge international airports with 50+ large planes simultaneously.

For example have 3 different settings:

  • Passenger simulation ( 100% passengers, 100% action timers )
  • Balanced simulation ( 25% passengers, 400% action timers ), default option
  • Airplane simulation ( 10% passengers, 1000% action timers )

There could also be a checkbox to “show real passenger amounts” so each passenger on “Airplane simulation” mode still shows up as 10 passengers when boarding a bus/plane. Basically instead of 300 only 30 people are drawn and simulated on the map, and when 1 of them have not boarded their plane yet the plane shows 290/300 boarded.

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Certainly a valid option, but i hope the developers concentrate on getting the game done with the passenger numbers they have now. Let’s see how good / bad performance is going to be before we talk about optimizing / abstracting

I certainly agree, the numbers and default value in my suggestion was to make it feasible to simulate large international airports when game is released. SimAirport currently sits at 1-3 fps when running 4k agents on a decent gaming rig ( and does not go into as much detail as Airport CEO does so I think the concern is valid ).

The upper limit of what I have seen done in terms of number of simultaneous agents simulated is 64k ( in Cities Skylines ), and that will bring the most beastly machines to their knees as well.

Doing some very rough math here each very large airplane will need ~1000 agents (450 boarding + 450 deplaning + staff ), so even if the developers perform excellent here and can match the industry leader in terms of simulation and path-finding performance for sim games, they will run into performance issues with the largest of international airports.

In my experience it’s not a question of “if” there will be performance issues, rather about how soon, so planning for it early with backup plan A, B and C prepared for implementation if needed might prove useful.

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I’ve always built very large maps on games like this:
Cities Skyline - ~400K population before one of my cores maxed out and starting lagging behind the other parts resulting in some very odd game mechanics
Factorio - Over 300K copper/min, making 1.8 rockets per minute. Game plays at 25 fps though.
Prison Architect - 4000 prisoners before I gave up and stopped expanding.
SimAirport is terribly optimized but have built airport averaging 4000 passengers at peak hours.

In all of these games CPU has been the limitation. Cities skyline is one of the few games that actually put multi-core processing to a good use. However, I think for Indie game developers there is little to be gained from multi-core programming due to the time investment vs. return.