Dev Blog 144: Soon releasing Alpha 34, beginning work on Alpha 35 and the Airport CEO soundtrack now available!

Well, as I’m kind of “expert” in building huge airports, I can tell you, that zoning always stresses my (quite powerful) machine heavily…
So I appreciate, that devs think this through very very well, as performance all in all already is not best…

Edit: To answer your question: As devs introduced international zones, laying all three zones above each other, if needed, is intended…

And this will compromise game performance?

This question only devs (or live-testing) can answer…
From my experience till now, I expect a performance drop in the first step, and afterwards devs optimise… So in the end performance will be at least the same, or even better…
But in all games like this, where thousands, or millions or more “agent tasks” (behaviour, pathfinding,…) have to be calculated at the same time, performance can easily drop to “unplayable” - we have already experienced that here in games early stages…
Especially as they are not targetting “high-end-machine-users” only, devs are doing a great job, considering this very well, for now. IMHO.

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I agree definitely. I play this game on a basic MacBook pro and am amazed at how well the game performs already, considering how massive and detailed I like my airports to be! Can’t wait to see all the new content additions.

When’s the dev blog?

When’s the dev blog?


It’s hard to adjust to the time in Sweden

Again a lot of good discussion here on the intricacies of game development versus realism, what ACEO is and who it should appeal to. I’ll again try to shed some light on our reasoning:

Easy if you want, hard if you can.

This means that we’re trying to build a game that appeals to both the mass market but also to passionate hard core simulation fans. This is in part because after all this is a business and the only way for us to keep doing this is to sell games that fund our salaries so that we can work with this full time. But we also want to make games that we ourselves want to play, hence some very detailed aspects of the game because we are in fact too hard core simulation fans. So what happens when you build games that are “easy if you want, hard if you can” is that casual players who are interested in the title and quickly get pulled in thanks to good game design and a good learning curve increase the number of sales which help pay for the development time of more intricate features. If we were to only appeal to the very niche hard core segment we would ultimately probably build a very “hostile” game that would not generate a lot of sales causing us to not be able to focus on this full time. It’s in a way sort of a similar idea as to Elon Musk and his cars, build a luxury car to fund the development of average cars, but the other way around, i.e. build an accessible game to fund it’s complex features.

This is why we the base game needs to be easily understood and interacted with across all features, partly because it’s good game design and a better user experience but also because we will simply sell more copies and fund the development of this title and the next.

Now, on to some technical Q&A of the most common questions here:

International zone cancels staff zone as they are both specific (and only one can exist at a time). Employees do not care about international zone transitioning as they can pathfind through international zone per default.

It’s performance intensive and feels unintuitive with three layers of zone. We simply do not like that solution.

It’s not a bad idea but it’s not good enough. Yes, there are real world examples of it but it would be a bit tricky from a render perspective given ACEO’s, well, perspective, and would force you into a dual floor construction. Might also mess a bit with transitioning from a jetway to a non-jetway stand so… there’s a few issues there and we have a better solution in mind.

Well, this is not the Alpha 34 topic so… :thinking: :smiley:

Agreed, it’s time for a Compromise™. There’s a reason why were reluctant to give definitive answers to tricky features existence or non-existence and that’s because, as I wrote earlier, solutions emerge as you work on stuff. One-way doors and one-way escalators are for the time being out, yes, and will most likely not be something we include before full release depending on all of the other factors that guide development. But reading in this topic, what most of you want to achieve with one-way doors is segregation or arrival and departure and that is, with a lot of new passenger AI behavior code in Alpha 35, an easier problem to solve. So here’s the compromise:

The jetway entrance length is extended from two (x) to four (x) and baggage claim can now be built in both secure and open zones. This allows for a full end-to-end segregation of arrival and departing passengers, but only if you want. You can shield off the jetway’s arrival point with walls and immediately build escalators or stairs if you want to create specific corridors, which is why we think departure and arrival on the same floor is an easier solution. Baggage bay connections with baggage claim areas cannot be mixed to further guide to construction, i.e. baggage bays will be forced to either connect with only non-secure or secure baggage claim areas. This feature is relatively easy to implement with the changes in Alpha 35, it doesn’t utilize any new complex pathfinding or zone stuff but instead relies on the proven core of our current systems. Will probably share a few pictures of this in the dev blog once that drops.


Once again, I really appreciate not only what you are doing, but how you communicate with us, ‘the community’!
Looking forward to this IMHO perfect compromise!


Thanks for these deep insights and clear words. I’m looking forward to Alpha 35 and what it will bring. What I can’t really imagine right now is how to “shield off” the jetway’s arrival point. I hope this will become clear once the new content is released.



looks nice - i would love see more designs - maybe gate door linked to stand - where you have to hook the door state (Arrival: Locked) (Departure: unlocked) (no plane: Locked for pax but unlocked for staff and emergencies)

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Looks like a good alternative! I look forward to seeing how this works. Just hope arriving passengers don’t spawn and walk into the left hand side of the wall, into departures!

Well, that would completely defeat the purpose so, no, if you build it as I showed it will work as expected.


Excellent, this looks good! Is it possible to remove secure zoning instead of building a wall to direct passengers from the jetway? :slightly_smiling_face:

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Yup! :slight_smile:


Yes yes yes yes yes. Thank you!



Uh that hurts my OCD for symmetry :sweat_smile:
Glad it’s also achievable with zoning. I’m very happy that you took our desires seriously and provided an acceptable solution :+1:t2:


It looks awesome Olof. The picture is self-explaining. So jetway will be a 2-way tunnel, arrival passengers will come from left side and departure will enter on right side of jetway. So that people can build an escalator/stairs or elevators right next to arrival passenger entrance, behind walls, and arrival passengers can continue into other floors.

2 things I want to say;

  • Uh that hurts my OCD for symmetry :sweat_smile:

Yeah I am not the only one :smiley: Can jetway be 3 tiles width instead of 4? Or maybe 5? Poeple can use middle tile for walls so it looks symmetric.

  • Can it be possible that which side of jetway will be for arrival and which side will be departure? My experiences tell me that with some people’s designs, especially for corner stands or extremely unique stands, people will struggle to setup flow of passengers because of directions. If we players can set which side to be used for arrival and departure passengers, that would be amazing. Just a switch to change place of spawn/despawn points and making it disabled when stand is in use would be fine :wink:

Also while I was writing this; I though something;

What happens when a player builds a walkalator into a room with 4-sided walls and with no exit?