Author Topic: Beginner's guide  (Read 2027 times)

Lawrencelot

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Beginner's guide
« on: July 08, 2018, 05:08:03 pm »
With about one day experience of playing this game I feel like I am more than qualified to create the best tutorial there is for this game!  ;) Especially since there isn't any yet.

So let's see what you need to do to get up and going with your own airline in this game!

Step 1: Make an account

First you have to make an account. Choose a username, e-mail, password and most importantly: your airline name. Most existing non-player airlines have names like Air London or Air Canada, but you're free to choose your own name.

You also have to choose the type of airline, each with their pros and cons. We'll pick "Humble Beginnings" here.

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The world screen
After creating your account, log into the game. It will show you a map of the world. If you zoom in on the map, you will see all airports of the world.

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« Last Edit: July 08, 2018, 06:27:47 pm by Lawrencelot »

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Lawrencelot

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Re: Beginner's guide
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2018, 05:08:14 pm »
Step 2: Choosing your headquarters

Now comes the most difficult step: at which airport will you place your headquarters? This is from where all your flights will leave, until later in the game when you get more bases of operation. Here are some options for choosing your headquarters:

-A big international airport, like London Heathrow. Pro: lots of traffic, can handle large planes. Con: lots of competition, high fees and upkeep costs.
-A small airport. Pro: Low competition, easy to impress, low fees and upkeep costs. Con: low traffic, can't handle large planes.
-Something in between.

High traffic means more money, of course. But the more competition from other airlines, the less you will be able to use the airport's facilities (as other airlines want to use them too) and the more you will have to stand out so that passengers choose your airline.

In this guide we'll choose something in between, in Jeju, South Korea.

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Note: Your headquarters also determines your home country. Since countries in this game can have different kinds of relationships with each other, this will affect your company too. Your home country also determines which airplane models are available to you.

City information screen
You should check the city information screen before placing your headquarters. It provides many details, but here are a few things you should pay attention to:
-Airport scale: higher means more traffic and usually more competition.
-Average income level: the higher, the more expensive you can make your ticket prices and the easier it is to sell business and first class tickets rather than just economic class tickets.
-Country market openness: this determines how the country deals with foreign flights. If the country is completely closed, for example, you can only have domestic flights in this airport.

Click on "View airport" to get to the next screen.

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« Last Edit: August 09, 2018, 08:48:33 am by Lawrencelot »

Lawrencelot

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Re: Beginner's guide
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2018, 05:08:24 pm »
Airport information screen
On this screen you see more information about the airport, for example which airlines are the biggest in this airport (in this case Air Busan). Click "Build Headquarter" if you're certain you want to start the game in this airport.

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Congratulations! You've constructed your first base of operations, which is shown with an icon on the world map too.

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« Last Edit: July 08, 2018, 05:17:45 pm by Lawrencelot »

Lawrencelot

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Re: Beginner's guide
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2018, 05:08:36 pm »
Step 3: Your first route

The next step is to choose a city to fly to. To see which cities are already connected to this airport, click on the airport and select "Flight Map". This shows you all the lines from or to this airport. You can exit the flight map with the button on top of the screen.

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Now again you have a few options for choosing your first route:
-A big international airport. This will generate lots of traffic but might have a lot of competition.
-A small airport. Not much traffic, but it's easier to build up your reputation here and build your brand, and it's cheap to set up the route. They will also charge less airport fees making smaller airplanes more viable.

Of course there are lots of other things to consider, like distance, passenger flow, income of the country, etc. In this tutorial we will choose a few different routes to showcase the options. First off: a big international airport with no direct competition, Tokyo! As you can see in the flight map below, no lines are going directly from Jeju to Tokyo. The passengers that want to take this route probably travel via some other Japanese or South-Korean city. So we can challenge the competition with this direct flight. You always want to think about how you can beat the competition, either by providing lower prices, better service, faster travel, or something else.

Click on the city you want to fly to and click "Plan Flight".

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« Last Edit: July 09, 2018, 04:30:30 am by Lawrencelot »

Lawrencelot

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Re: Beginner's guide
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2018, 05:08:42 pm »
Route details screen
The route details screen on the right provides a lot of information. First, if it's not possible to fly to this city (for example you can't immediately start with intercontinental flights) it shows it in red. Note: the warning "Limited slots offered by destination airport" does not mean that you can't establish the route, just that you can't increase the flight frequency yet. Second, you need to make sure you actually have an airplane available. If you didn't start with any planes, you can purchase them on the bottom right. We started with a few Cessna 421s, they have no trouble with this short distance route. Click on create or find out what's the problem if you can't click on it (no plane, distance too large for your plane, no intercontinental flights allowed, etc.). You only have a limited number of slots available by the way, which is shown next to the departing airport.

Click on "Create". We'll worry about the other stuff later.

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Now you find some more route information on the right. It's empty for now, but as the in-game weeks pass by (about 10-15 minutes per in-game week) it should start showing some useful graphs and numbers. While you wait for this to happen you can build more routes.

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« Last Edit: July 09, 2018, 04:10:57 am by Lawrencelot »

Lawrencelot

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Re: Beginner's guide
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2018, 05:08:49 pm »
Office screen
Another thing you should do while waiting for the in-game weeks to pass by, is check out the office screen (by clicking "Office" on the left). It shows your income, but also has an important button, the Service Funding. You should set that to some higher number than 0 if you want to increase the service quality of your airline, which you probably should. Click on the gear, fill in a number, and click the checkmark. It should then give some kind of indication of how fast your service quality will rise. The amount of money you need to spend to increase your service quality changes over time!

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Let's set up a second route while we wait! This time we'll do a route to a smaller airport for fun, like Luoyang, China. If you check the route details, this airport is so small that is no direct demand (the Y/J/F stands for economy/business/first class). So it will be hard to attract passengers, but there's also no competition!

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« Last Edit: July 08, 2018, 05:46:37 pm by Lawrencelot »

Lawrencelot

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Re: Beginner's guide
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2018, 05:08:56 pm »
Step 4: Generating profit

An in-game week has passed, and our first passengers have travelled to Japan! You can see this by clicking "Routes" on the left, and selecting the first route. The graph on the right is all green, which means that all the economy class tickets have been sold. The route has yielded a revenue of $2,394! However, it is not generating a profit. Running an airline comes with all kinds of costs, which you can see on the right. You'll have to either wait until things change (for example, your company can become more well-known over time) or try to change something about the route. Let's do the latter by clicking on "Edit".

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If all tickets were sold but the route does not generate profit, you could try to increase the ticket price. That's what we'll do here by clicking the green "+" icon. You can also increase the flight frequency, by letting even just one airplane fly multiple times per week on that route. But usually the airport does not know your airline well enough in the beginning to allow this. Over time they will allocate more slots to you, especially airports with less competition.

You can also change the number of airplanes on this route without changing the frequency. This does not seem to increase the route's capacity however, so it's best to only increase the number of airplanes when you want to increase the frequency but you get a warning like 'Limited by the number of airplanes'.

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« Last Edit: August 09, 2018, 08:50:37 am by Lawrencelot »

Lawrencelot

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Re: Beginner's guide
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2018, 05:09:03 pm »
Airplane screen
While we wait to see if increasing the ticket price actually generates money, let's check the airplane screen by clicking "Airplane" on the left. You can see all kinds of information here, but right now we're interested in creating another type of route, a long-distance route with direct competitors. So "Max Range" is what we're interested in.

The Embraer ERJ140 seems to have a decent range. If you didn't start with one of these already you could buy it. Or you could buy a cheaper variant.

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It does not make sense to let airplanes with more range fly short routes. So we go a bit further away and check out Hong Kong. On the flight map we see that there is already a route from Jeju to Hong Kong, so we'll have to think about how to compete with them!

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« Last Edit: July 08, 2018, 06:10:30 pm by Lawrencelot »

Lawrencelot

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Re: Beginner's guide
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2018, 05:09:10 pm »
Maybe we can compete by providing a better service? Yes, let's set the Service Level to five stars!

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We'll wait and see if that works out. In the meantime, our second route to the small airport has some data available. The graph is all grey, which means that no one bought tickets for this route.

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« Last Edit: July 08, 2018, 06:14:14 pm by Lawrencelot »

Lawrencelot

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Re: Beginner's guide
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2018, 05:09:16 pm »
It's only a small airport after all. But maybe if we offered a better deal we could attract more passengers. Or maybe we just have to wait till our airline becomes more well-known. Let's try to increase the service level and lower the price.

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Our third route has some data available too, and in fact, it has generated a large revenue! In fact, if you check the circle diagram, 20% of the passengers of this route use our airline! Not bad for a first week of business. Clearly, providing a good service has paid off, as the overall quality is 46 while that of the competitor is 35. However, the route does not generate profit yet. Let's edit the route to see what we can do about that.

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« Last Edit: July 08, 2018, 06:19:00 pm by Lawrencelot »

Lawrencelot

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Re: Beginner's guide
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2018, 05:09:24 pm »
The airport has offered us another slot. This allows us to increase the frequency: our airplane could fly twice a week on the same route, allowing more passengers to take this route. We could also increase the ticket price, but let's try to offer some tickets to the wealthier people. By adjusting the slider next to "Seat Configurations" a few times, we can some seats for business and first class passengers.

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After waiting a few more in-game weeks, we see that the revenue of this route has increased! We can keep adjusting the ticket price and other aspects, but the route is already generating a larger profit than the negative profits of the other routes. And in fact, even the route to the small airport is generating some revenue now. Hopefully this increases as we connect to more cities and as our reputation increases. We also started with a debt, but as soon as we've paid that off it also becomes easier to earn money.

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And that is how you set up your airline and start to earn money!
« Last Edit: July 08, 2018, 06:26:45 pm by Lawrencelot »

patson

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Re: Beginner's guide
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2018, 02:07:37 am »
Wow thanks Lawrencelot for the hard work! i always want to write up something like that but are always too busy to write more code lol

Several things to add!

More large airport pro:
- Larger scale airport can accommodate bigger jet (like A380), smaller airport (scale smaller than 5) might only allow certain smaller models to fly

- Larger airports are usually located in geographically favored position (gateway cities i would call). For example west coast cities in the US - they are ideal for connection flights to Asia for as it's in the middle of other US cities on the right and all asian destinations. Virtual passenger in this game will be reluctant to travel the opposition direction from their final destination. For example a passenger from Las Vegas wants to fly to Hong Kong and there's no directly flight. 2 Airlines offer direct flights to Hong Kong - one from Houston to Hong Kong, another one from Los Angeles to Hong Kong. The passenger will very likely to fly to LA first then to Hong Kong as it's a shorter route. Of course there are factors like price/quality of flight and airline loyalty that would be in play. But in general short the flights, more like a passenger will opt for it

- Larger airport usually have bigger airlines based in it. BUT wait??? how could that be a pro? Yes, more competition is real, but at the starting phase, bigger airlines could actually boost your routes. Here is the reasoning - due to route limitation, big airlines usually pick larger 1st tier cities as destinations, that mean your new airline can fill in the void to offer routes to 2nd tier cities, now bigger airlines also have high capacity link to all the overseas cities, which means all those overseas passenger can travel to this large airport, and take connection offered by your airline to those smaller cities!! It works just like in real world!

More Small airport pro:
- Smaller airport are in general easier to "impress" (raise loyalty), that means it will open up more slots for your airline more rapidly
- Smaller airports HQ have lower upkeep and cheaper to upgrade
- Smaller airports charge you much less for airport fees - that makes smaller airplanes more viable. I code it such that it's very hard to be profitable if both the departure and destination airports are major ones. Both of them will charge a premium and it's relatively to fly low capacity airplanes


Also picking HQ is very important (as Lawrencelot pointed out all the points up there) and there are more:

Your airport HQ determines your home country. There are country mutual relationships in this game and your nationality affect how other country will react to your new airlines and passenger demands.

Hostile countries will not even give you any change to operate in their airspace!

Your home country also determines what airplanes models are made available to you. For example Russian company would not sell you any of their airplanes if you are based int he US, nor a north Korean airline can purchase any Boeing models

Some less opened country will not give "5th freedom of air" - ie The right to fly between two foreign countries. Therefore if you aim at operating a lot of international flights, you would want HQ in opened market (market openness 8+)


Ah...that's my dose for today...it's getting late

But thanks again for the help Lawrencelot !   ;)


Lawrencelot

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Re: Beginner's guide
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2018, 04:27:26 am »
Thanks, I did not know some of those things! I've added some of them to the posts above.

Blackrowan

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Re: Beginner's guide
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2018, 01:04:45 pm »
This might be good to have linked on the main game page for new players.

Zulu

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Re: Beginner's guide
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2018, 12:32:42 pm »
Question: Airlines such as Air Brussels-BRU, Air Vancouver-YVR, etc.: Are they computer-generated?