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Kerbal Express Airlines - Regional Jet Challenge (Reboot Continued)


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4 hours ago, panzerknoef said:

Just gonna put it here that you shouldn't count on me for judging. The amount of work is huge and putting it on a set of judges is likely to go down the same path, though the scoring system you suggest should already make work a lot easier. I would also suggest just rebooting it without the backlog, yes people are waiting for reviews, but if they still care they'll just resubmit. You'd save you and your judges a lot of work by just skipping straight to new content. 

I agree with all of the above. I would definitely advise going for more of a self judging system if possible, like most other challenges. I wonder if the challenge would work with a similar format to the K-prize. So have different tiers of achievements, that could easily be determined just from screenshots. At least that would put minimal workload on the judging side of things.

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On 9/16/2019 at 10:27 PM, neistridlar said:

I agree with all of the above. I would definitely advise going for more of a self judging system if possible, like most other challenges. I wonder if the challenge would work with a similar format to the K-prize. So have different tiers of achievements, that could easily be determined just from screenshots. At least that would put minimal workload on the judging side of things.

IMO self-judging would only work with missions challenges that involve missions; they're purely a challenge, literally what a challenge tells in a straightforward fashion. Let's say, "I challenge you to get to Mun, no decoupling, horizontal takeoff & landing.". And K-Prize is one of them.

But KEA is somewhere beyond what a challenge is defined as. It involves a review. You take it for a spin, and you tell something about it, whether it may be good or bad. And literally everyone with the best review(s) and number of airframes bought 'wins' the challenge. Basically you're following the demand of an airline. The category requirement is an example of an airline's demand. You have minimum range, seating, speed and Vr & V2 speeds.

So judging via a screenshot isn't a good idea. At least in my opinion. Let's say I posted a picture of my Fr-30 flying perfectly fine but after testing, judge(s) can confirm a pair of brittle wings that snap under high turns.

Which means contestants might lie just by using screenshots and talking all the good ones. Let's say a challenge bans HyperEdit. But in the screenshot there's little to no proof of such forbidden thing. But in reality the contestant did what is forbidden at the first place.

And as we knew KEA judges comprise of the ones selected for having such a good writing of review. Or 10/10 Professionalism in other words. So just letting contrstants handling other's review is exactly like asking every single passenger of an airline managing fleets, financing, etc. Which could end pretty badly. In reputation, finance and management essentially.

And that's my two cents why we still need reviews from tested & proven judges.

Which I think I still have more words that I forgot as I type on my phone. Time to take higher dosage of raisins &  buy a larger phone or get to a desktop.

Edited by FahmiRBLXian
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On 9/16/2019 at 10:27 PM, neistridlar said:

I agree with all of the above. I would definitely advise going for more of a self judging system if possible, like most other challenges. I wonder if the challenge would work with a similar format to the K-prize. So have different tiers of achievements, that could easily be determined just from screenshots. At least that would put minimal workload on the judging side of things.

I think at this point we should start over completely. I've got a great new idea as well.

 

This thread is simply dead. The last review was done by @panzerknoef on the 15th of January. (Nevermind, it's actually by @panzerknack on the 30th) They've been sporadic for a long time beforehand, and I don't particularly want to know how hideously large the backlog of unreviewed craft has become, possibly it's not even kept up to date.

 

Personally I'd like to amend the rules, but I think it would then be unfair to have planes from before and after compete. (Notably I want to change the passenger count of the Mk 1 cabins, I think 8 is far too many, and that 3 or 4 would be more appropriate. Not much else though.)

 

I've also toyed with the idea of making a sort of tycoon simulation game for it, but it's a lot of work and frankly I can't be bothered to program the thing. But I have had a better idea: I'd run some sort of game, manually. We had companies going on before, and I think it'd be interesting if they actually did things. If you could actually have companies, doing real things and having totals running of budgets and whatnot, that would be interesting. Maybe I could run it (if you've ever played Gearcity you will know what I'm talking about) on a system of monthly updates. Everybody who participates can have company, and I will set up a few rules. (I'm thinking it will be mostly anything goes, so long as it's explained to me so I can keep track of it somehow) I'd set up a world (probably based on Kerbin to some degree) and each company could operate planes, hire pilots, build airfields, design planes, build planes and whatever else crops up. A company could do any of those things, it could do just one or all. I'm imagining players running companies and airlines, making deals and selling or leasing things to one another. (Creativity here will only make it more interesting!)

I'd run a design and manufacturing company. (I won't operate planes if I do this, since that relies mainly on my own rules of how Kerbin's economy works, but if I design and sell planes it's more dependent on what other players think of them.)

Players would send me messages or post in a thread somewhere (I can work out the specifics later) before every month is over and I'll go and let things play out in my simulated world. We clearly had a good idea. (it's the only KSP challenge that I've done much of. I started about 2 or 3 years ago, and I still see some of the same people coming back, so it must be good)

 

Please, I'd like some opinions on this. I think it would be a pretty interesting idea, and if I only have to update it once per month I think it will be manageably okay, even if at first a monthly update will have a very slow pace.

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@CrazyJebGuy

I think with the advent of dlc and new parts the rules would have to be amended, the details of course will have to come later as clearly in the last few versions the Mk1 cabin provided a distinct advantage.

With any changes the old planes would likely not perform well under new rules and such ought to be kept separate, so that's totally fair.

In terms of a proper simulation, I think there needs to be a balance between playability and realism. Obviously there are some of us who would absolutely love a true to life simulation regarding business management and such, but perhaps that could be a spin off of the challenge? Having a separate thread and challenge entirely would help prevent stagnation should either one begin to lose interest from the community. In that instance the same companies would be ported over, and whatever simulation requirements can be set, but for this challenge I think the goal has always been to design commercial aircraft and design commercial aircraft only. Introducing management may be appealing to some but I think would add stupid amounts of complexity to a challenge that was already plagued by complexity issues.

On the topic of the simulation, there needs to be a lot more transparency than "I'll go and let things play out" but I do like it - I think it attracts a wholly different class of players who don't want to design their own craft but wish to play as an airline - maybe that could be the basis of an actual management challenge? Use only the crafts supplied from the KEA challenge and their respective companies to develop a successful airline. Though time progression may throw a wrench in that (again, complexity vs playability)

I think I would personally just stick to the building challenge, as having to deal with time progression and development is not something I'm most fond of, though it would provide an additional challenge for the building of aircraft if there were limits on parts and such until the company has achieved a certain level of prestige or something else, kind of like how the STS mission challenges progress.

Just some surface level thoughts :) 

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6 minutes ago, NightshineRecorralis said:

In terms of a proper simulation, I think there needs to be a balance between playability and realism. Obviously there are some of us who would absolutely love a true to life simulation regarding business management and such, but perhaps that could be a spin off of the challenge? Having a separate thread and challenge entirely would help prevent stagnation should either one begin to lose interest from the community. In that instance the same companies would be ported over, and whatever simulation requirements can be set, but for this challenge I think the goal has always been to design commercial aircraft and design commercial aircraft only. Introducing management may be appealing to some but I think would add stupid amounts of complexity to a challenge that was already plagued by complexity issues.

It's late at night for me, but I'll respond to this now: (but the rest maybe tomorrow) perhaps it could be different threads (but closely related, e.g. one has all the submissions of aircraft, one has reviews, one has bla and bla... all linked) or just one.

But I know it would be more complex, but assuming I can manage the complexity of all the behind the scenes stuff, it can still be simple for others. If you want to only design aircraft, you can do exactly that. Others are free to go and business their own companies as they would like. (Maybe you can design something and 'sell'/license it to someone else who handles whatever businessy things I add in)

If there are problems, we can work out the details later. But I'm just curious what people think of the overall idea.

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A possible way to make easier to judge could be, perhaps, some kind of automation using kOS or KRPC?

The aircraft must run under the script, and only the ones passing on it will be eye balled after.

The contestant download the same script, and publish the entry when the thing passes the script checks (including taking off, flying around by the minimum distance for the category, and then landing back on KSC).

The judge later just download the craft and redo the script. If we have a confirmation, then the judge would do a proper review.

 

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Personally I'm not keen on the idea of a full business simulation, it requires a huge amount of commitment and takes the focus away from design.

That said, there should definitely be points scored for reusing subassemblies, developing variants of the same aircraft, and specialising in a particular segment.

I just can't imagine most people putting the time in to run a company

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1 hour ago, life_on_venus said:

Personally I'm not keen on the idea of a full business simulation, it requires a huge amount of commitment and takes the focus away from design.

That said, there should definitely be points scored for reusing subassemblies, developing variants of the same aircraft, and specialising in a particular segment.

I just can't imagine most people putting the time in to run a company

It doesn't have to be the same people, but even if one guy did run an airline then you've got KEA already, and then if you just design aircraft you'll be able to see what they're doing.

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I like a restart, but we really gotta set a limit on how many planes get submitted. From what I've read the submissions were over 100.
Knock it down to 10 at a time, then take in another 10, and so on. Do it in smaller steps.

Yeah, I'll test a few myself. No problem.

 

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54 minutes ago, GDJ said:

I like a restart, but we really gotta set a limit on how many planes get submitted. From what I've read the submissions were over 100.
Knock it down to 10 at a time, then take in another 10, and so on. Do it in smaller steps.

Yeah, I'll test a few myself. No problem.

 

That's where another bit of my business sort of idea comes in. It will cost your simulated company money to design a plane, (though you can get more money if people buy it) which will keep it down a bit. On top of that, maybe a hard limit that you can have no more than 6 unreviewed planes submitted at any one time or something.

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Personally I'm not gonna agree with a management-based challenge and would prefer a design-based challenge.

BTW I've gave my brain child a few posts back, and typing here would give more strain on my finger provided that I typed this on my phone.

Edited by FahmiRBLXian
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1 hour ago, CrazyJebGuy said:

That's where another bit of my business sort of idea comes in. It will cost your simulated company money to design a plane, (though you can get more money if people buy it) which will keep it down a bit. On top of that, maybe a hard limit that you can have no more than 6 unreviewed planes submitted at any one time or something.

That's why I picked 10. It's not too much, not too little, and if somebody's plane/craft is not on the current review list, they can either wait or withdraw their submission.
And we list which craft we review for the week. More communication to the submitters, the better.

 

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1 minute ago, GDJ said:

That's why I picked 10. It's not too much, not too little, and if somebody's plane/craft is not on the current review list, they can either wait or withdraw their submission.
And we list which craft we review for the week. More communication to the submitters, the better.

 

10 is reasonable. Perhaps a little high, but reasonable. Remember that's per person, so it could still multiply out to large numbers.

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31 minutes ago, CrazyJebGuy said:

10 is reasonable. Perhaps a little high, but reasonable. Remember that's per person, so it could still multiply out to large numbers.

Well we'll have to put a leash on the large numbers. It can balloon in a heartbeat if we don't.

 

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7 hours ago, CrazyJebGuy said:

That's where another bit of my business sort of idea comes in. It will cost your simulated company money to design a plane, (though you can get more money if people buy it) which will keep it down a bit. On top of that, maybe a hard limit that you can have no more than 6 unreviewed planes submitted at any one time or something.

Honestly we could probably use the money to at least stop useless designs from being spammed. Like a good plane would be bought in numbers so a lot of profit and a lot of options to start designing new planes. However if you design poor planes, they'll be bought in smaller numbers or even not at all. That results in less funds for the builder which means they won't be able to design as many planes afterwards since they just won't have the budget. Hopefully that will push the designers to spend more time and effort on their planes and it would save the judges the pain of flying something that's basically a waste of their time. I think that might be a more effective consequence for bad design than just to bad review they get now, along with it giving an actual purpose to the "planes bought" part at the end of each review. 

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1 minute ago, panzerknoef said:

Honestly we could probably use the money to at least stop useless designs from being spammed. Like a good plane would be bought in numbers so a lot of profit and a lot of options to start designing new planes. However if you design poor planes, they'll be bought in smaller numbers or even not at all. That results in less funds for the builder which means they won't be able to design as many planes afterwards since they just won't have the budget. Hopefully that will push the designers to spend more time and effort on their planes and it would save the judges the pain of flying something that's basically a waste of their time. I think that might be a more effective consequence for bad design than just to bad review they get now, along with it giving an actual purpose to the "planes bought" part at the end of each review. 

However, I do want a rule where a reviewer can say that the RnD cost nothing, because clearly none was done. I want this so that you can invoke in on the designs that are so bad that they're great fun to review. There's been a few bombshells of planes like that, and I like them. (Though I want it to be rare)

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9 minutes ago, CrazyJebGuy said:

However, I do want a rule where a reviewer can say that the RnD cost nothing, because clearly none was done. I want this so that you can invoke in on the designs that are so bad that they're great fun to review. There's been a few bombshells of planes like that, and I like them. (Though I want it to be rare)

Do agree on that. Sometimes the bad planes make for the best reviews out there! Still though, if people really want to do that, they could design a good plane first, get the budget to RnD a few planes at a time and one of those can be a meme. Or if you really don't care, just go with the meme from day one and risk being hampered in your plans for after that. 

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10 minutes ago, life_on_venus said:

What about a tiered system?

A design company starts at tier 1, where they can submit 1 plane at a time. As more of their planes sell they get the ability to submit more designs, and larger ones such as jumbo jets

It's already there, kind of. Each company starts with a set amount of money (10 million, it doesn't matter what exactly) and designing a plane costs money, and bigger, more complicated planes will cost more. (Each type of plane will have a base cost, say 400k for a turboprop, plus maybe 12k per passenger and 5k per part count, so a typical turbo prop might be 800k-ish to design, a Smallie might be 1.1 mill and it goes up as the planes get bigger)

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30 minutes ago, CrazyJebGuy said:

It's already there, kind of. Each company starts with a set amount of money (10 million, it doesn't matter what exactly) and designing a plane costs money, and bigger, more complicated planes will cost more. (Each type of plane will have a base cost, say 400k for a turboprop, plus maybe 12k per passenger and 5k per part count, so a typical turbo prop might be 800k-ish to design, a Smallie might be 1.1 mill and it goes up as the planes get bigger)

Sounds like a pretty good idea to me. Especially since the most problematic planes are usually the jumbos, this system of yours would work pretty well at preventing people from spamming poor quality jumbos. 

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Yes, that sounds really good actually.

What are your thoughts regarding the categories in the current challenge?

I know in the reboot they added 3 categories (S/M/L hopper), but I'm wondering if some categories should be added or removed for the reboot.

Large hopper, for example, doesn't make much sense because in real life these small city airports only operate smaller planes.

Equally, I think turboprop and seaplane could be turned into S/M regional prop, with extra points for operating on water, snow, gravel, etc.

Finally, we've seen most passenger 747s retire and A380s are going the same way. Since jumbo jets are becoming obsolete, what about replacing it with an Ultra Long Haul category, where you can enter either a traditional jumbo or newer widebody aircraft and compete over cost per passenger mile (with hard minimums for range and speed)?

Edit: To clarify, a system of:

S Helicopters

S/M regional prop

S/M hopper

S/M/L regional jet

M/L Ultra Long Haul

Edited by life_on_venus
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I also think the limits play well with time progression, as it is unlikely for a new company to immediately jump into building large airliners (except Airbus, apparently, but that's not a fair comparison), and so I think not only should part counts be limited by the RnD cost but also what parts to be used.

Say for instance new companies are limited to low cost, low budget parts in the beginning and then would have to progress to newer, better parts. I think that will introduce a handicap enough so that the 'market' does not get flooded. I think it will also encourage the development of variants and promote a more realistic progression and evolution in a company's lineup of airliners.

For categories, here are my thoughts:

Light aircraft - just in case someone thinks a 2 or 4 seater is worthwhile - Skyhawks and such

Feederliners - this would include both helis and small aircraft that fill the role of feeding into regional airports from airfields and/or small airports to larger ones. No jet engines in this category - think of King Airs and 1900Ds as real life counterparts, 10-20 seaters?

Regional Aircraft - These would fill the role of flying between destinations w/o much demand or need fast turnarounds - analogous to CRJs, ERJs, Dash 8s, etc, these may conflict with small jets even though they have different niches. 40-120 seats

Jet Aircraft - you know and love these, and I'm not sure on how to categorize them, probably just small and large, or Narrowbody and widebody, maybe? With long haul and short haul classes in each?

Now the demand and design of each category will likely be influenced by other factors should they come into play. That will probably require a deeper dive into the simulation side of things - how much demand is there between cities, fuel prices, maintenance costs, cost to buy vs lease, company reputation, and more, but this is just a generalized overview.

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Yeah, those categories sound good. Maybe we should go old-school KSP and create a set of .cfg edited parts all entrants must use.

I'm thinking various generations of jet engines with slightly better power/efficiency, and so on.

I don't think KSP has the variety of parts to make so many competitive designs.

We saw this with the previous challenge - there was 1 design for small jet that was simply the best, and couldn't be improved upon

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1 hour ago, life_on_venus said:

Yeah, those categories sound good. Maybe we should go old-school KSP and create a set of .cfg edited parts all entrants must use.

I'm thinking various generations of jet engines with slightly better power/efficiency, and so on.

I don't think KSP has the variety of parts to make so many competitive designs.

We saw this with the previous challenge - there was 1 design for small jet that was simply the best, and couldn't be improved upon

And that would be the winner!

And it's time to dust off my Prop-Stars....they have been improved upon, eventho' they are still a bog standard design. ;)

 

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16 minutes ago, GDJ said:

And that would be the winner!

And it's time to dust off my Prop-Stars....they have been improved upon, eventho' they are still a bog standard design. ;)

That isn't quite what I meant ;)

The design was a good one, but it wasn't the best solution to what the airline wanted at that particular time, with compromises where necessary.

It was the best because it used like 5 parts in a really unrealistic manner, because KSP currently has limited aircraft parts

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