Automation is a car company tycoon game in which you design and build cars from scratch. It is you who designs everything from the very core that is the engine, over the chassis, to the suspension and the car's looks. Several games have tried this before... but were able to merely scratch the surface.
Recent Reviews:
Very Positive (11) - 81% of the 11 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (781) - 80% of the 781 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Mar 12, 2015
Developer:
Publisher:

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“We held back on launching Automation into Early Access until the game had a solid, fleshed-out core which the main tycoon part of the game will be based on. We also wanted to make sure we can offer enough content and polish to warrant presenting and selling the game to a larger audience.

Previously we offered an early access version of the game via our website, but this sales platform and distribution channel has been outgrown by the steadily increasing interest in the game, becoming complicated to manage for a small team like ours.

Finally launching the game on Steam Early Access makes possible to speed up development with any additional income, allowing for quicker content addition (car bodies, engines, etc.) than otherwise possible. It also allows us to get additional manpower to the team to tackle the huge job of game balancing and AI programming.

Last but not least, with the major milestones of completing the car designer and engine designer under our belt, the implementation of multiplayer features means using the Steam API for network communications, saving us a lot of double work associated with developing our own networking code first.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“Completing the game and adding all content promised will likely take anywhere between one to two years. This may seem like a lot, but a complex game like Automation takes a small team a long time to make to the standard we do. Rest assured that we are confident of finishing all the promised features of Automation, even if it may take quite some time.

We're not known for being good with estimates, but always deliver and are good at avoiding feature creep. Our development process focuses on milestone builds that introduce new features every ~3-4 months and are both beta-tested and reasonably polished-up. Any major problems with these milestones are addressed quickly in hotfixes before we move on to the next milestone.



Quick Facts About Development:
  • Fully independent developer
  • Small 5-person team
  • 3 years of full-time development so far
  • First public demo released April 2012
  • Funded by preorders, 14000 sales before Steam Early Access
  • Modular development approach: 3 main parts, 2 are feature complete
  • Major updates every ~3-4 months
  • Focus on transparency, community contact and open discussion
  • Frequent YouTube & Facebook development updates

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“In Early Access our efforts go towards adding more detail to the tycoon and management part of the game. Once the campaign mode is fully playable, more content is added (engine types, car bodies, scenarios, multiplayer modes) and the game is polished up and balanced before it being considered complete.

Since Mid 2015, a portion of our team has been focused on porting Automation over to Unreal Engine 4, and the next major update release will be on Unreal, giving huge improvements in graphical quality, performance, UI design and general playablity, as well as giving us the developers the tools to develop Automation better, faster, and maintain it far into the future.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The current Early Access version of the game has the following, fully functional and playable, yet content incomplete features:
  • Car Designer
  • Engine Designer
  • "Lite Campaign" simple Tycoon mode.
  • Car/Engine Sandbox Mode
  • 60+ Scenarios and Tutorials
  • 35+ Base Car Bodies
  • Tons of in-game videos and descriptions


    Please Note: The current Steam Early Access launch version contains a simplified "Lite Campiagn" version of the Tycoon gameplay. Future updates will add more detail and complexity to these aspects of the game.

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“Yes, by buying into Early Access you save around 15% and get the warm feeling you are helping a niche independent game dev.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We already do, we have a great active forum community, and we have an amazing core testing team recruited from the testers. If this really is the game you always dreamed of, you can help us make it.”
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Buy Automation - The Car Company Tycoon Game

 

Recent updates View all (126)

October 31

(B171101 -04 -06 -07) Favorites, Fixtures, Improvements

Added info for patch B171104, B171106, B171107 to changelog below!

Okay, it was not the last patch before the big update Autobahn after all, there were a few more things we wanted to put in this version. The reasoning here is that with mods there will be a lot more fixtures coming, and we want to give you a way of handling those with some efficiency. Hence, we’ve now properly implemented the favorites system for fixtures. This also allows you to save custom variants of certain fixtures for which you changed materials and such.



Here are the changelogs for B171101, B171104, B171106, B171107:

B171107 Additions & Fixes
  • Another test and potential fix to the random crashes
  • Reimplemented fixed high-res screenshots
B171106 Additions & Fixes
  • Potentially fixed one of the major "random crash" causes
  • Added even more logging to hunt more of the crashes
  • Fixed one of the doorhandle not being placable
B171104 Additions & Fixes
  • Added more logging to get more info about crashes
  • Added a few more fixtures
  • Improved fixture thumbnails
  • Fixed material (glass) issues on headlights
  • Fixed taillights that did not deform correctly
  • Fixed mirrors that did not spawn
B171101 Additions & Fixes
  • Added favorites system for fixtures
  • Added various headlights, taillights, and mirrors
  • Improved granularity of color sliders for paints
  • Improved paint and material previews
  • Improved loading procedure when exiting out of photo scenes
  • Fixed various car bodies and their morphs
  • Fixed small bug in game loading procedure
  • Updated to the latest translations
We’ve started work on the next big update now, with the first thing on the ToDo list being the engine size calculation revamp to make it compatible to the car AI. The latter just learned how to tune the brakes it puts on a car, it’s getting there!

Cheers!
35 comments Read more

October 26

(B171027) Patch + Little Dev Update

Last Patch Before the highway to the Next Big Update
With today’s patch we’re fixing up some remaining issues and fork the builds such that we can fully focus on development for the next big update. Part of what will be in the next big update is the revamp of the car designer, adding a lot of depth and realism to it. If you are interested in hearing about some of the planned balance changes, check out the latest Little Dev Update.

https://youtu.be/FELi0Y8UxFo
Our 3D artists will continue to work on adding more fixtures and car bodies for a while, so you can expect the occasional patch with more content along the way to the next big update. Our aim is to get this wrapped up for you until Christmas, and we’ll keep you updated on how things are progressing via Little Dev Updates. There will be plenty to show and discuss.

After all the troubles with loading the game, and the countless players asking why their game only shows a black screen (making tea and waiting solved that problem), we investigated and significantly improved the loading process of the game. The loading screen should now come up a lot quicker and overall load times should be quite a bit shorter. Here is the list of changes for today’s patch:

B171027 Additions & Improvements
  • Improved loading procedure and load times
  • Improved photoscene handling of car placements
  • Added mod support for custom photo scenes
  • Added some more fixtures (head- & taillights)
  • Added tooltip to show fixture variants of a fixture family
  • Changed fixture highlight to only be an outline
B171027 Fixes
  • Fixed default fixture material not being shown in UI
  • Fixed issue of fixtures not taking paint color correctly
  • Fixed issue with Lady Bug scenario limitations
Also keep your eyes peeled, we think we might have something of a car design competition coming up in the next weeks...

Cheers!
21 comments Read more
See all discussions

Report bugs and leave feedback for this game on the discussion boards

Current Release Status

The current release contains the Car and Engine design aspects of Automation along with a simplified "Lite Campaign" version of the Tycoon gameplay. Future updates over the next 12 months will focus on adding more detail to this side of the game, as well finishing our work porting Automation over to Unreal Engine 4, giving major improvements in graphical quality, performance, playability and UI Design.

Read the Early Access description for a full overview of what is finished so far, and check out out http://www.youtube.com/user/AutomationGame for regular development news updates -

About This Game

**NEW UPDATE**The "Lite Campaign" simple Tycoon mode has now been released!



Automation will allow the player to become an armchair CEO - to build their own car company from the ground up. Create and run anything from a boutique supercar manufacturer to a mass-market multinational mogul. With powerful tools like the Engine Designer, the player can create cars and their engines in mind-boggling detail.

The grand campaign will start in the year 1946 and run until 2020, with the main goal being to build a successful, renowned car company from scratch. All types of car manufacturers can be led to success if managed properly; building the right image over the years is key. The player’s tasks are to design engines and cars, to manage factories, production, Research and Development, as well as advertising campaigns. In game, time advances at the pace the player chooses and pauses automatically for events and occurrences.

Automation is comprised of three major game components - the Engine Designer, the Car Designer and the Company Manager. These components are naturally strung together by the game’s goals, made to be user-friendly and intuitive to use. A multitude of tutorial missions, videos, and descriptive texts help car novices become experts. Almost infinite options give the player all the creative freedom to create unique cars with vastly different engines.

KEY PLANNED FEATURES FOR THE COMPLETED GAME:

  • Extremely Deep, Technical, Creative – Experience unheard-of creative freedom in a highly technical, realistic gameplay experience revolving around building a car company from scratch. Go ahead and build your dream-car company!
  • Dynamic World Markets – Master realistically modeled dynamic markets, distribution, and demand. Try to cater to the needs of over 40 different target groups and their needs, or find your safe-haven niche in a cutthroat economic environment.
  • Flexible Car Designer – Design the cars you would have in your garage. Choose from diverse chassis types and materials, engine placements and drivetrain setups, gearboxes, suspensions, brakes, tyres, and finish off you design with fully customisable body types, looks and styles.
  • Highly Detailed Engine Designer – Delve into endless possibilities combining different 4-stroke petrol engine configurations, internals, head types, forced induction systems, fuel systems, headers and mufflers. All based on different 4-stroke petrol engine configurations: Inline 3, 4, 5, 6, V6, 8, 10, 12, 16, Boxer 4, 6.
  • Dynamic Engine Sounds - Turn up the volume and blast out the awesome fully adaptive, unique engine sounds that directly reflect your design choices.
  • Grand Campaign, Scenarios, Sandbox – Aim to dominate the world markets with your superior design skills in the grand campaign, play a quick scenario challenge, or just tinker away in sandbox mode to create the most insane engines ever.
  • Complex, yet Easy to Learn – While the game is highly technical, it is made easy to learn by means of well-illustrated in-game tutorial videos, detailed descriptive texts, as well as a multitude of tutorial scenarios.
  • Network Play – Play cooperatively with your friends or take your intuition for the perfect car design and challenge up to 7 human competitors in epic, multi-session network games.
  • Community – Join one of the most awesome and helpful communities out there, share stories about your exploits, talk to like-minded people, discuss your IRL car projects and engage in community challenges.

***IMPORTANT NOTE:*** The current version contains a simplified "Lite Campaign" version of the Tycoon aspects. More detailed Tycoon gameplay will be the focus of future major updates. Please read the Early Access description above for an overview of what is done so far. We are also in the process of porting the game to Unreal Engine 4, and you can expect major improvements in performance, UI design, visual quality, and stability in the next major update.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7, 8, 10 - 64 bit
    • Processor: Dual Core
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Support Shader Model 4.0 (Intel HD3000 Integrated, Geforce 8 Series, Radeon 2000 Series)
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Requirements for Ultra Low Settings. Framerate may be poor in some situations.
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 10 64 Bit
    • Processor: Recent Intel i5/i7 or AMD 6 core or better
    • Memory: 16 GB RAM
    • Graphics: AMD 290x or nVidia 970GTX or Better
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Additional Notes: System requirements for good frame rate Epic Settings. Solid State Drive highly recommended for best loading performance
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