Join us on our holy quest to create The Ultimate Airport Management Game!
Many hardcore gamers with enough strategy \ management \ tycoon style game experience would agree there were really gems in almost every thematic area within this genre of games but hardly ever a gem in airport management games.
As we perceive this, not to the lack of trying but the subject area for an airport management game being rather complex and demanding to both player's knowledge and logics skill. Trying to reach out to the broadest audience, traditional game devs always simplified actual airport management to a set of mini-games with pre-defined rules - like: go and plow that snow (rather than estimate the demand for snowplows in your airport and decide whether to own or rent), or create a timetable for your flights by dragging and dropping airplanes on some spreadsheet (without any regard to coming weather, or sudden changes in airline's passenger volume) etc.
Here at STICLI Games, we believe such approach to building a great airport management game truly bleak and misleading. Games of that type do not tell players about real challenges that real aviation faces daily, they do not teach children (nor adults who would like not just spend their money on joy of clicking the snowplows or tugs but also would appreciate learning a thing or two about real world aviation as they play).
On contrary, there's an entirely different niche of flight simulation software, that requires a player (we'd rather call this person a simmer) to learn rules, procedures, radiotelephony exchange, reading aeronautical charts, understanding systems of an aircraft, understanding air traffic control etc. in order to start really enjoying his or her flight simulator experience. It takes years (and boy those years are fun and rewarding) to start flying flight simulator like a real world pilot with live ATC, live weather and realistically modeled flight systems.
When creating Airport Master, the ultimate airport management game, we focus on implementing important realism features (without turning the airport management game into a flight simulator) while preserving full attention to actual airport manager duties including the ability to delegate some of his functions to hired personnel as player's airport grows larger. Indeed, it's okay for small regional airport manager to observe and participate in say local FBO's fuel supplier relations management but as the airport grows bigger it's more natural for an airport manager to delegate this workflow to a dedicated person, while preserving the ability to influence buy and sell price for fuel.
Again, once the timetable of arrivals and departures hits a margin where there's a need to auction timeslots and ground parking times, it's airport manager's responsibility to manage the process in general (deciding whether to invest in shortening turnover times or expanding parking and taxiways infrastructure or alternatively rising the movement fee and\or landing fee during peak hours to eliminate less profitable operations from said hours and move them to less occupied hours). This kind of actual airport management thinking requires player to demonstrate and utilize logics skill which can hardly be developed by constantly engaging in early-game activities like 'authorize refueling on stand A5' or 'move aircraft from passenger serviceable stand to storage hangar for 3 hours'.
Summing up, the pinnacle of making airport management game interesting at all times, rewarding in terms of knowledge, fun and the fulfillment is about rightly dosing appropriate levels of responsibility at different stages of gameplay. And that is exactly how we see the ultimate goal to reach in the final release version of Airport Master airport management game.