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DEVELOPMENT BLOG (MARCH EDITION) - CONFIGS, TERMINALS AND SCHEDULES


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Dear Folks,

This month I'd like to share some information about the cfg files. First let's see the new schedule.cfg
As you can see you can assign special liveries (SALMON) for an airline and now it's possible to define if it's a special flight such as cargo or regional (more later).
 

image_2022_03_08T16_36_04_453Z.thumb.png.1a0883b4f1badb68ea73d474d830f81b.png

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Looks good Vic. 

I have been quiet lately, sitting on the side but need to comment on this one.

Your definitely on the right track.

This gives us the flexibility back that Tower 2011 had with extras. Most people probably wont change very much but others incuding myself will relish the opertinity to fine tune as we did in 2011. 

Kev M

 

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Thank you. Yes, I noticed some other typos too, but those are just comments. Some data wont be used by Tower, but we wanted to create a new standard system for any possible future releases.

 

Kev, thank you. We want to make sure we support the mod community with official tools and we tried to cover all requests. I hope the other SDKs will be welcomed as much as these.

 

Vic

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What I miss is the possibility to assign stands resp. gates to the flights. Especially so that a schedule creator gets full control over restarters. I hope you still have that in mind!?!
Furthermore, the pilots should tell the (ground) controller which gate they want to go to (as planned by the creator or a free one if unplanned), just as there should be at least one command for the controller to ask for the gate/stand.
I keep my fingers crossed that this will come. Otherwise, I honestly don't see much difference to T!3D (except for the important and very welcome livery mapping).

Control over the flight characteristics is a really good thing, but not a particularly big selling point in my eyes because it is too technical for the majority of players. A download of files from the community with changed/improved flight characteristics of the aircraft types, that will certainly be very gladly accepted.

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1 hour ago, EliGrim said:

What I miss is the possibility to assign stands resp. gates to the flights. Especially so that a schedule creator gets full control over restarters. I hope you still have that in mind!?!

Hopefully with an airport editor we’ll be able to define terminals/parking at a more granular level. This functionality was available with Tower!2011 and I’d assume we’d have this in the new version based on Vic’s statements regarding the wishlist. However, based on the example above it’s not clear. Hopefully, @FeelThere_Vic can confirm this for us.

The flexibility of the new version should be a welcome change. Definitely interested in the “more later” items too.

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Thanks for the update Vic, great stuff.

I would like to hear your reply to EliGrim's post above as well. Not certain how granular the control/options needs to be, but the capability to have flexibility with regards to gates and assignments, overflow and emergency side-cases are part of what I would like to know at some point.

Essentially, anything that helps us as the user to plan ahead so we aren't trying to do this stuff when a given aircraft is on final would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again!

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What I miss is the possibility to assign stands resp. gates to the flights.

Can you please tell me a real world use of assigning certain flight numbers to specific gates?

 

Quote

Furthermore, the pilots should tell the (ground) controller which gate they want to go to (as planned by the creator or a free one if unplanned), just as there should be at least one command for the controller to ask for the gate/stand.

THis one should be solved. You will know the gate before the plane leaves the runway, not like it is in T!3D.

Quote

I honestly don't see much difference to T!3D 

International vs domestic traffic, gates by special option such as regional flight, special liveries, cargo flights even the operator use the same callsign as they use for the pax flight and of course the special livery.. I think there are quite few differences. 

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Hopefully with an airport editor we’ll be able to define terminals/parking at a more granular level. 

Yes, there will be a gate/airport editor included. 

 

Quote

Definitely interested in the “more later” items too.

Sorry for the confusion. What I meant by the "more later" comment was the fact all those information got together at the terminal.cfg (special flights, liveries, etc)

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2 hours ago, FeelThere_Vic said:

Can you please tell me a real world use of assigning certain flight numbers to specific gates?

Perhaps there has been a misunderstanding here, not such much specific flight numbers, but aircraft type or specific airlines or specific destinations (Shenzhen rules)

For example at London Heathrow
At Terminal 5A specific stands are used by flights : 
to / from Ireland
flights by Iberia
At Terminal 5C specific stands are used by A380 (some of which specific flight numbers)
At Terminals 5A, 5B and 5C remote stands are used by specific aircraft types only (bus gates for European destinations and off-stand turnaround)
At Terminals 2, 3 and 4 specific stands are used by some airlines (so in turn their flight number only)

In Tower 2011 I was able to amend all the above stands to meet these requirements
In Tower 3D it was only the Terminal and airline that could be amended, specific stands could not be amended
As a result some A380 went to the wrong stand or some airlines went to the wrong stand
The only case for the flight numbers would be those flights to/from Ireland, the rest would be correct by either aircraft type or airline

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Having gates assigned to specific flight numbers doesn’t seem to make sense, but maybe having the ability to assign a gate as part of the schedule is what @EliGrim was thinking. Again, to handle the restarter conundrum.

To supplement what @MJKERR said above and to reiterate my wishlist items I’ll use KDFW as an example. Terminal E is where non-AAL airlines park and in real life they are assigned to specific gates. With T!3DP assignment can only be done at the terminal level, so being able to assign a specific gate to a specific airline is very much desired in the next version. Additionally, the handling of international arrivals is something I’d like to see addressed. Still using KDFW as an example, Terminal D is where all (except Canada) international arrivals park. This terminal is designed to “force” passengers arriving international flights to go to customs after exiting the plane. AAL flights is the big challenge as they use each terminal at KDFW. So, how do you funnel the international arrivals only to terminal D? For T!2011 I would create a cloned airline, update the schedule to use this airline for the desired flights, and then assign it to Terminal D. I’m hoping the new version has a cleaner solution for this.

 

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Vic:

Having just read the updates MJKERR and crbascott posted and being a "big picture" guy, the following comes to mind:

Community dedicated users who make mods that the community can choose to use as they please. As long as their configuration files asks are included by FT I believe we end up with airports around the world (in-game) that really represent how each specific airport handles traffic throughout the day and night, incorporating runway changes, cargo vs. passenger vs. general, etc. (within reason of course!)

That way, FT doesn't bear the brunt of man-hours committed to minutia concerning real-world operations at a given airport, they only need to provide accurate airport layouts and the means for modders to configure the files as they see fit.

About the only downside I see at the moment is needing to either:

a) expect each individual owner to backup their original config files before applying mods

-OR-

b) FT institutes file structure suitable, i.e., sub-directory specifically for mods that the game checks; if "enabled", it would load and use the mod config vs. the FT default one that stays safe and can't be overwritten.

To me it ends up being an enormous WIN-WIN. The community wants airports and their associated components (gates, sizes, restrictions in the real world) to mimic reality as closely as possible. Somewhere in there is a happy medium between realism and effort involved.

Edited by Pdubya
elaboration, grammar
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4 hours ago, FeelThere_Vic said:

You will know the gate before the plane leaves the runway, not like it is in T!3D

First of all, this is a good thing. What I was alluding to, though, is that every now and then I've heard on radio transmissions that a controller has asked a pilot for the gate. The response to that was either a specific gate or the response was, "Just a moment please, I'm on the phone with the airline."
I would like to experience such situations, of course not with every flight, in T!S3. It could be like emergencies, a special event.
Surely it would be helpful if a real life ATC would briefly comment on whether, how often and under what circumstances something like this occurs.

4 hours ago, FeelThere_Vic said:

Can you please tell me a real world use of assigning certain flight numbers to specific gates?

@MJKERR and @crbascott are both correct.
One is to be able to assign airlines to specific gates, or in some cases to one specific gate, and not just a whole terminal. The ability in Airport Editor to group a single or multiple gates and save them as a separate "terminal" would be ideal, where I assume here that you have control over what types of aircraft are allowed to use the gate. This way, one could simply address this self-created (fake) terminal via terminal.cfg.
On the other hand, it is about the control over restarters. Here I could imagine, independent of the terminals, a restarter column in the schedule.cfg. There one could enter e.g. for an arriving flight the designator of a later in the schedule appearing departing flight. This would ensure that the flight arriving as XYZ123 leaves the airport as flight XYZ124, for example. Previously used restarter rules could be retained and would only be overwritten if a corresponding entry exists in the schedule.cfg.

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55 minutes ago, crbascott said:

Having gates assigned to specific flight numbers doesn’t seem to make sense, but maybe having the ability to assign a gate as part of the schedule is what @EliGrim was thinking. Again, to handle the restarter conundrum.

To supplement what @MJKERR said above and to reiterate my wishlist items I’ll use KDFW as an example. Terminal E is where non-AAL airlines park and in real life they are assigned to specific gates. With T!3DP assignment can only be done at the terminal level, so being able to assign a specific gate to a specific airline is very much desired in the next version. Additionally, the handling of international arrivals is something I’d like to see addressed. Still using KDFW as an example, Terminal D is where all (except Canada) international arrivals park. This terminal is designed to “force” passengers arriving international flights to go to customs after exiting the plane. AAL flights is the big challenge as they use each terminal at KDFW. So, how do you funnel the international arrivals only to terminal D? For T!2011 I would create a cloned airline, update the schedule to use this airline for the desired flights, and then assign it to Terminal D. I’m hoping the new version has a cleaner solution for this.

 

I'm not sure it is totally necessary but sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Below is my T!2011 terminal file for KDFW. Keep in mind that its is 6-7 years old, so some of the airlines have come and gone. In the international scenario I described, airline AAI is the dummy airline I created for the American international flights and I assigned it to several gates defined as Terminal_D. Terminal_DI defined gates used by all the other international carriers with one exception. Terminal_DQ was actually only one gate (D16) where the Qantas 388 parked. As you can see I broke up Terminal_E into several areas to reflect the specific gates used by Alaska, Delta, United, Spirit, etc.

Terminal_GA: GA
Terminal_A: AAL
Terminal_B: FLG,EGF,ENY,ASH,ASQ,RPA,BTQ
Terminal_C: AAL
Terminal_D: AAI
Terminal_DI: AIJ,AMX,BAW,CAY,UAE,ETD,KLM,KAL,DLH,SCX,TAT,SKV,SLI,TAI,QTR,AVA,VIV,VOI,JAL
Terminal_DQ: QFA
Terminal_E: XXX
Terminal_EA: ASA,JBU
Terminal_ED: DAL,CPZ,TCF
Terminal_EF: FFT
Terminal_EN: NKS
Terminal_EU: UAL,SKW
Terminal_EV: SKV
Terminal_EW: WJA
Terminal_Cargo: NCA,CAL,CPA,UPS,ABX,CKK,EVA,SIA,AAR
Terminal_Cargo2: FDX

Below is my Las Vegas terminal file from T!2011. Another example of breaking up the terminals to reflect more realistic gate assignments for the airlines.

Terminal_GA: GA
Terminal_2: GA
Terminal_A: COA
Terminal_AA: AAY,OAE
Terminal_B: SWA
Terminal_BN: NKS
Terminal_C: SWA
Terminal_D_5: COA
Terminal_D_6: COA
Terminal_DA: AAL
Terminal_DD: DAL, CPZ
Terminal_DF: FFT, SCX
Terminal_DH: HAL
Terminal_DR: ACA, ROU
Terminal_DU: UAL, SKW
Terminal_E: AIJ, AMX, BAW, CFG, CFS, CMP, NAX, TCX, VIR, VOI, VRD, WJA
Terminal_EA: ASA, QXE
Terminal_EJ: JBU
Terminal_Cargo: NAC,FDX,UPS

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In Tower 2011 I edited the EGLL map so each stand was separate

Terminal_2_T231: ICE,UAL 
Terminal_2_T232: ICE,TAP,UAL
Terminal_2_T233: AAR,ANZ,UAL
Terminal_2_T236: ACA,DLH,GWI,SWR,TAP,THY
Terminal_2_T238: ACA,MSR,SWR,THY
Terminal_2_T239: ACA,AVA,SWR,UAL
Terminal_2_T241: ACA,SIA,SWR,THY,UAL
Terminal_2_T242: ACA,SIA,SIT,SWR

In Tower 3D, this meant all of the above all had to use the same airline codes, plus the A380 would be using the incorrect stands
From what I read the configuration that I had in Tower 2011 will work in the next version, albeit some modification, plus correctly swaping out the A380 to the correct stands
Overall it looks like a step forward

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18 hours ago, Pdubya said:

Vic:

Having just read the updates MJKERR and crbascott posted and being a "big picture" guy, the following comes to mind:

Community dedicated users who make mods that the community can choose to use as they please. As long as their configuration files asks are included by FT I believe we end up with airports around the world (in-game) that really represent how each specific airport handles traffic throughout the day and night, incorporating runway changes, cargo vs. passenger vs. general, etc. (within reason of course!)

That way, FT doesn't bear the brunt of man-hours committed to minutia concerning real-world operations at a given airport, they only need to provide accurate airport layouts and the means for modders to configure the files as they see fit.

About the only downside I see at the moment is needing to either:

a) expect each individual owner to backup their original config files before applying mods

-OR-

b) FT institutes file structure suitable, i.e., sub-directory specifically for mods that the game checks; if "enabled", it would load and use the mod config vs. the FT default one that stays safe and can't be overwritten.

To me it ends up being an enormous WIN-WIN. The community wants airports and their associated components (gates, sizes, restrictions in the real world) to mimic reality as closely as possible. Somewhere in there is a happy medium between realism and effort involved.

Thank you. Tower!Simulator 3 has a new structure, it uses local cfgs. So everything (including screen configurations) are per airport based. This will give you more flexibility to make modifications without changing all the airports or rules. Indeed it means lots of files. We will see if we can check it somehow on a local computer, but right now the top priority is to somehow check if the two players use the same files during multiplayer. Obviously we wont be able to sync it (one player bought some traffic add-on and the other didn't) but at least we try to send a notice about the different files.

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19 hours ago, crbascott said:

Having gates assigned to specific flight numbers doesn’t seem to make sense, but maybe having the ability to assign a gate as part of the schedule is what @EliGrim was thinking. Again, to handle the restarter conundrum.

To supplement what @MJKERR said above and to reiterate my wishlist items I’ll use KDFW as an example. Terminal E is where non-AAL airlines park and in real life they are assigned to specific gates. With T!3DP assignment can only be done at the terminal level, so being able to assign a specific gate to a specific airline is very much desired in the next version. Additionally, the handling of international arrivals is something I’d like to see addressed. Still using KDFW as an example, Terminal D is where all (except Canada) international arrivals park. This terminal is designed to “force” passengers arriving international flights to go to customs after exiting the plane. AAL flights is the big challenge as they use each terminal at KDFW. So, how do you funnel the international arrivals only to terminal D? For T!2011 I would create a cloned airline, update the schedule to use this airline for the desired flights, and then assign it to Terminal D. I’m hoping the new version has a cleaner solution for this.

 

This is something that you will be able to do in Tower! Simulator 3 by assigning new "terminal" names to certain gates and assign the right airline in the terminal.cfg Every gate will be editable so you can create new terminals by individual gates.

 

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So, how do you funnel the international arrivals only to terminal D?

In T1S3 you can assign "international" or "domestic" parameters to terminals too.

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I'm not sure it is totally necessary but sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Below is my T!2011 terminal file for KDFW. Keep in mind that its is 6-7 years old, so some of the airlines have come and gone. In the international scenario I described, airline AAI is the dummy airline I created for the American international flights and I assigned it to several gates defined as Terminal_D. Terminal_DI defined gates used by all the other international carriers with one exception. Terminal_DQ was actually only one gate (D16) where the Qantas 388 parked. As you can see I broke up Terminal_E into several areas to reflect the specific gates used by Alaska, Delta, United, Spirit, etc.

You will be able to do this in T!S3 You will need a free Untity 3D to edit it. Since it's a 3D simulator most of the SDK is Unity based. 

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