Creating a flight sim add on that gives meaning to flying

Flying in simulators can be great fun, but as many things it does get old after a while. That's why add ons like live weather, career mode etc exist - to add to the challenges and stimulate the user more. However there was a hole in the market of flight sim career mode add ons, and we saw it as an opportunity to create something that the flight simulator community had been missing.

Other flight sim career mode add ons have outdated and complicated UI, no manual, no onboarding, overall big learning curves and users feel bored and unchallenged. There is also a clear divide between casual players and tycoon players, and there doesn't seem to be a add on that caters to both. We wanted to change that.

Client

Kestor



Team

1 Project manager, 1 Product designer, 1 Game designer and 2 Developers



Role

Lead Product Designer



Timeline

The project started in November 2020 and is still ungoing

Goal

The goal is to create a career mode add on for flight sims that will allow you to advance in your career as a pilot. We want the experience to be engaging, intuitive and realistic to the pilot experience.



Solution

Starting off small by launching a very scalable MVP where we aim to cater to both casual and tycoon players. A realistic pilot experience with gamified features to add to the immersion. From there we ask the flight simulator community for their insight and feedback and implement updates continously.

01

Alpha 1, MVP

Game mode, light & dark theme, Profile, Job, Aircraft and Finance

02

Alpha 2

TBC

03

Alpha 3

TBC

04

Alpha 4

TBC

Í

01. Discover


In this phase it was about gathering as much information as possible through client interviews, user interviews and spending a lot of time on forums and YouTube to understand the users and the market.

Since this was a game genre I wasn't entire familiar with I spent a lot of time desiphering pilot language and looking up flight terms.

02. Explore


The two main focuses in this phase was the users needs and frustrations and the competitors.

We did a survey with 85 respondents where 44% of them stated that the newcomer NeoFly was their favourite flight sim career mode add on - mainly because the developer listens to the feedback and implements updates very quickly.

The flight sim community is very active and vocal on the forums, giving the companies a direct line between them and their users. Somehow all of them, except NeoFly, fail to see what a gem that is and completely ignore their feedback, and quite often also block them.

What do the users want?


We understood from the start that it would be a huge challenge for us to create something that would attract both tycoon and casual players because their needs couldn't be more different.

The tycoon players thrive on mastering complicated systems and techniques by themselves with no help, in fact, big learning curves are exciting to them! They want to have a very realistic experience because they are pilots (or they want to be).

Whereas the casual flyers are looking for a fun activity to play with mates to kill time and relax on the weekends every now and then. Hence resulting in a very diverse bunch of user personas.

🍿 To be continued...