Time in the game

A question for the mods, or anyone else who knows the answer (I’ve not seen it anywhere, but I apologise if I’m missing the information).

I’m curious as to how time passes in the game - how much real time does an in-game day or hour take? Will there be a simulation of days of the week (Mon-Sun, with different flights on different days)? What about months and seasons affecting demand?

I ask because I honestly wouldn’t know how to pitch this. My instinct is that the game is going to be detailed, so I’d expect time to pass quite slowly, but at the same time this would mean that expansion is slow and that might discourage people from playing.

I found this on Reddit however it is a over 100 days old reply so this might been changed.

Hey, thanks, it’s great that you want to join in on the ride. Time, time scale and etcetera in Airport CEO is not an easy question, I’m actually surprised we haven’t gotten this question before. In the current test build, an in-game minute is equal to roughly three real-world seconds. This value was selected at random and does not have any implications behind it as of yet but we aim to scale the time so that it properly aligns with the gameplay experience and roughly how long real-life turnaround procedures take. The time scale must allow for proper simulation of the turnaround process without it looking rushed while at the same time not becoming something that the player has to wait for. It’s one of those things that we’ll adjust once we can properly play the game for an extended period of time, something that we’ll start adjusting before the first alpha release. Given the nature of an airport, everything in ACEO revolves around time, passenger schedule’s, staff schedule’s (they do work in shifts), aircraft arrival and departure time etcetera, it’s a very important aspect that’ll require a lot of thinking and ideas so we’re glad you brought it up!

1 Like

Yup, parts of this answer is still relevant. The time scale has not changed, but we have made some progress on the thought process. Three real world seconds per in game minute is still a good measure for the testing environment, but might be experienced as slow and tedious if there’s not a lot going on at the airport. I had an idea of perhaps adjusting the time scale depending on the number of important activities going on in the game, I don’t think it has been done before, but it would probably be experienced as weird and uncontrollable. Regarding seasonal change, we’ll probably crunch on season down to one in-game week meaning that four in-game weeks equals one year.


You’re giving us control over the speed right? At least in the screenshots we saw speed controls. If nothing is happening we ourselves could speed up. Would be handy if a certain number of events would slow the game down again

1 Like

Yes, of course! :slight_smile:

1 Like

Honestly, if three real-world seconds are supposed to be one minute, we’re looking at 60 Minutes being 3 hours for us… Is that correct? If that’s the case, then perhaps make it to where seasons are shifted a bit in scale to that?

No it’s really not correct(!). You’re thinking about it the wrong way I think.

One minute in game is simulated in three seconds.
One hour in game is hence simulated in three minutes (60 mins x 3s/min=180s=3mins)
One day in the game is 72 minutes real time.

As today’s DevLog confirmed, there will be time controls so if your fledgling airport has no traffic overnight, you’ll be able to fast forward.


I think you converted it better than I can lol

72 minutes per day sounds like a lot of time to me as standard. 1.2h playtime for a single day in a singeplayer game?

A full day should be done in half an hour or so. Feels more “doable” but I stand corrected if we get the first time to experience the time by ourselves and how the speed up shortens the time a day passes.

So let’s see how this plays out. Maybe it’s perfect. Only God and the devs know. :smiley:

1 Like

The problem is that we are dealing with an impossible universe and an impossible relation between the objects that we simulate and the time that passes. The issue is that objects are simulated in real time, meaning that the time it takes for a truck to move 20 meters reflects the time it would take in real life, but that we then have the game time passing a lot quicker than normal in relation to the simulation.

This effectively means that if we were to slow down the game time to real world time, and keep the ratio between simulated object time and game time, the objects would move extremely slow. Time is an extremely important aspect of simulating airports given the amount of actions that can take place within a single minute. The quicker the game time passes, the lesser actions (like landing and takeoffs) we’ll be able to simulate as one can only fit a finite amount of real time into the game time, and the longer the game time minute is the more real time we can fit.

We’ll have to find a great balance between being able to simulate a realistic amount of actions “per minute” and the game not feeling tedious as the day passes. This is why I’m playing with the idea of having a dynamic minute range system, so that the game time minute length would adapt to the number of things that’s going on… but then again, would probably not be that great from a gameplay perspective even though it could solve this “problem”.

Hope that explains it a little bit better, time is complicated.


@alpha, if it is that speed, time would be way too fast and you would have to start 1930s. If 72 minutes is one day, 7 hours and 18 minutes is a week, meaning that over 3 weeks could be finished in less than a day. If there are 52 weeks in a year, it would be around 17 days to finish one year. This means one real year would be 21 years game time. Again, it is complicated and can be changed, so I think that it would just be a repeating cycle, with no actual years, so it would say: 1:41 PM November 2, instead of it being story mode with real years. I would support a mode where you start at 1930 and go to present day, but it is very hard to implement. Until later, keep years out of the game.

1 Like

If time goes by when you are not THERE, playing the game, keep that. If it does not, make it 1s=

You say this, but of course this is play time. People might only play the game for an hour or two in a day which gives a couple of game days to go by. I think 72 minutes per game day is roughly around the correct length as you can get two or three days into a game session which would allow simulating all aspects but not be long enough to effect long term progress.

I think creating a story mode and years incremented has been suggested and is not going to be in the game due to the level of effort it would require. I think it’s all going to be in the modern era as we have it now although i’m sure some people will make a mod for going through the years.

I need to know, will there be time passing when you are not on? :unamused:If there is, you should keeps the current rate of time. If there is not, time should be sped up.

I don’t think that the game/time will continue ‘running’ while you’re not playing it. :slight_smile: (If this is what you mean)

Yes, that is what I meant. Good info, should be less than 3s=3m then.

No reply since Feb 20 and I was wondering are there any progresses on in-game-time. Because as deveoper said, The time is way more important than details models etc…

I counted it in the video, 3s = 1m


Sounds about right. This is actually ridiculously easy to adjust if it will feel odd, as it is just one variable that controls the length of a minute which we can play with to find the right balance.


We’ve been discussing a few time related aspects this and the previous week in the team in regards to how to pass the time over longer periods, i.e. year and have reached a few conclusions that we can bring up in the next devlog. Our ambition is to simulate seasons, but first we need a working time scale that doesn’t screw up the weekdays so that scheduled flights work as expected… more on this tomorrow.