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.
User reviews:
Very Positive (25 reviews) - 80% of the 25 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (694 reviews) - 84% of the 694 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Mar 12, 2015

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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

SUMMER SALE! Offer ends July 5


Recent updates View all (106)

June 28

Automation UE4 Open Beta (RC 1)

Update B170629: Notes Below in Changelog!

Today we have a small-ish update for you to get rid of another set of issues, among others the unfortunate bug that placed car fixtures lower upon loading the car. As you can see from the title, this version is considered to be release candidate one, RC 1.

What that means is simple the fact that we consider it polished enough to bring this version to the main branch so that it no longer is an opt-in beta version. By no means does it this imply that we consider it done!

B170628 Improvements

  • Reworked grid view mode scrolling functionality, improved smoothness
  • Opening car/engine manager list or grid now placed current car at top
  • Brought back exhaust pipes to the game
B170628 Fixes
  • Fixed issue with fixtures being placed lower upon loading a car
  • Fixed bug where any loaded engine would be considered too large
  • Fixed bug where 1/4 mile and 1km times were shown as -1.000s
  • Fixed bug where 0-100 and 80/120 times would be displayed wrong
  • Fixed issues where renaming didn't work in various places
  • Fixed top speed slider and removed wrong brake bias slider tooltip
  • Fixed front and rear angle slider functionality
  • Fixed issue with suspension presets not setting ride height correctly
B170629 Improvements
  • Added turbo sounds to engine testing
  • Revised engine exhaust heat model
B170629 Fixes
  • Fixed issue with model and car body selection

We'd greatly appreciate if you could give it a go to see if there are any more glaring game breaking issues with this version - or if we have introduced any new bugs we're unaware of... like the (now fixed) fixture messup.

With the release to the public branch there will also be news more on what is coming next.

12 comments Read more

June 23

Automation UE4 Open Beta (Release 5)

With this fourth update to the UE4 Open Beta we're coming close to pushing this version to the public branch. The option to play either the Kee Engine version of Automation or the UE4 version will remain, so anyone who cannot run or doesn't want to play the UE4 version can continue playing the more feature complete Kee Engine version.

Among other things we have added another launcher option to start up in a "safe mode", setting everything to minimum settings before the game can suck up all that RAM of yours. This should help some people's remaining startup issues.

On the gameplay side of things we got plenty of fixes and additions that will make the experience better or smoother. The reworked brake tab we think will be to your liking, it does play really well.

Here is the comprehensive list of changes in this version.

B170623 Improvements

  • Revamped brake tab, added brake bias slider (tooltip broken)
  • Added a -safemode command line argument & launcher option
  • Added 9 car bodies (many more to come soon)
  • Added appropriate grip and service cost penalties for stanced vehicles /o=o\
  • Added variable electric power steering

B170623 Fixes
  • Fixed engine designer hold/revert functionality locking up
  • Fixed race intake option disappearing and not reappearing when appropriate
  • Fixed the brake airflow slider only adding engineering without function
  • Fixed convertible soft-/hardtops not being implemented correctly
  • Fixed suspension and chassis quality not being hooked up to the sliders
  • Fixed and added car body filter functionality
  • Fixed issue with car body loading prematurely on chassis tab on year change
  • Fixed side panel displaying RON numbers when AKI was selected
  • Fixed issue with coloring of market demographics overview
  • Fixed demographics not updating correctly in the side panel
  • Fixed wheelbase and gearbox not displaying correctly on design overview
  • Fixed various icons on detailed stats page
  • Fixed engine-/car-manager not remembering choice of view mode
  • Fixed top speed line in gearing graph not updating or being accurate
  • Fixed issue with top speed estimation causing lua errors
  • Fixed listbox tooltip closing and reopening when moving between items
  • Fixed tooltips for differentials, traction aids, and power steering
  • Fixed various tooltip bugs on chassis tab
  • Fixed issues with factory photo scene
  • Fixed surface reflections and lighting to update correctly after morphing
  • Fixed various grilles making the game really slow when moving them
  • Reduced flicker of other fixtures while moving one fixture around
  • Various other minor fixes

Summer Sale craziness put aside, have a go with the latest version and see if it now works. There sure are many more things to add and improve, but we think we're at a good point to move on to implementing more of the bigger missing features, including some surprises.


27 comments Read more
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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 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.


  • 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

    • 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.
    • 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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