Airport Collaboration

Target Audience: General Audience

Company: University of Applied Science Trier

Description: Airport Collaboration is a semi-cooperative XR game where three different players and potentially a moderator play over HoloLenses or Meta Quests that are connected to a PC as a server. The three players represent three major independent companies that are involved in operating an airport. These companies are “Airport Management,” “Ground Handler,” and one “Airline.” The game simulates one day at the airport with a given flight schedule. All companies have different responsibilities in that game. “Airport Management” is in charge of the security checks and the management of the parking positions. “Ground Handler” organizes the transportation of the passengers from and to the outer parking positions of the aircraft. The “Airline” decides which service to book, gives the plane’s final starting order, and can determine if they are willing to pay extra compensation for passengers who missed their plane. All three companies lose the game if customer dissatisfaction gets too high because of missed or late planes. On the other hand, each company must pay attention to generate only a few costs to win in the end. The game mechanics of Airport Collaboration focus on the logistical aspects of managing the airport, customer satisfaction, and the cost structure. In most decisions, the player pitches customer satisfaction against cost structure and influences the cost distribution between the companies. Negotiating between the players under time and decision pressure is paramount to winning the game. The moderator may pause the time flow in the game and can replay a logged gaming session. A synchronized pointing functionality supports discussion between the different players. Airport Collaboration merges the advantage of a computer game with those of a tabletop game. From the computer game, we take the aspect of being able to run a complex simulation in the background. From the tabletop game, we take the possibility to play with other players face to face and discuss and negotiate decisions. This is especially interesting for semi-cooperative games, which have, by nature, a complex social dynamic component.

Skills and Ideas Taught: The game demonstrates to the player that a complete airport is run by several companies whose financial interests may conflict with each other. These conflicts may result in a decline in the airport because the customers’ needs are unmet. This is the fundamental underlying problem in Total Airport Management. Besides demonstrating this problem in general, the game also teaches that for the long-term survival of the airport, finding mutually satisfying solutions under time pressure is important. People who play one of those roles in real life may choose to play one of the other roles to gain insight into their perspective.

Goal: The game’s goal is to manage the airport for one day in one of the mentioned roles without disappointing too many customers and having too high costs. The game’s main challenge lies in organizing their jobs at the airport while counterbalancing cost and customer satisfaction and negotiating with the other players. All this happens under varying time pressure dictated by the flight schedule.

Primary Audience: The primary audience is people interested in the underlying problem associated with airport management.

Assessment Approach: Customer dissatisfaction is continuously measured and displayed on a central board. This board also reveals the reason for dissatisfaction. These find their root in planes needing to be completed on time. The cost structure is shown per player also on the central board. Every player has a side display that displays their current cost structure in detail. When the game is over – because customer dissatisfaction went too high or the day is over – a final scoring is shown on the central board.

Game Engine: Unity

Operating System: Windows 10, Windows 11. Clients run on 3 HoloLens 2 (or MetaQuest 2/Pro) networked with a PC as server over WiFi.