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:
Mixed (26) - 69% of the 26 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (821) - 80% of the 821 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


Recent updates View all (133)

January 16

Car Designer Revamp Open Beta (R4)

Today’s update fixes many of the annoying smaller bugs that remained, for instance some calculation inconsistencies and the tire size bug. Some new cool stuff has been added to spice up your photoshoots with your creations: steering angle, brake calipers, and moving the car around in the photoscene are now all options therein.

Using steering angle for a little bit of attitude.

Apart from those of you who unfortunately get the “random crashes” we’re still chasing down, this should feel a lot more polished overall and we’re aiming for getting this Car Designer Revamp update out of its open beta phase at the end of next week, with a few more bigger changes to come - scenarios coming back and introducing the new facelift car manager UI for the next iteration of the Lite Campaign.

B180117 Quick Fix
  • Fixed levels not getting unloaded when leaving photoscene

B180116 Additions & Features
  • Added steering slider to the photoscene
  • Added possibility to move the car in the photoscene
  • Added coloring option for brake calipers
  • Added a few new van and ute body variants
B180116 General Fixes
  • Fixed tire size bug were sometimes wheels would become tiny
  • Fixed fixtures disappearing when changing trim year
  • Fixed chassis scaling and wheel placement while on chassis tab
  • Fixed tire speed rating not affecting material costs
  • Fixed suspension ride height switching format at 0.5m
  • Fixed suspension preset assigning wrong damper setting to rear
  • Fixed final testing tab being one step behind actual car calculations
  • Fixed calculations not showing previous values for car using new engine
  • Fixed (almost) top speed not being displayed in gearing graph
  • Fixed emissions becoming a very large number with knocking engines
  • Fixed a lot of data and tooltip issues on new final testing pages
  • Fixed various tooltips, removing unnecessary and adding relevant data
  • Fixed some broken behavior of new chassis types we added too early
  • Fixed when understeer / oversteer warnings come up
  • Fixed undergearing warning not showing up at all
  • Fixed crash when using the engine AI to make an engine
  • Fixed fourth demographic in side panel not being clickable
  • Fixed Portuguese and Brazilian languages missing
  • Fixed seating issues for 90s pickup body
  • Fixed aspect of the logging code to help us catch the big crash bug
  • Tweaked utility base stats progression
10 comments Read more

January 11

Car Designer Revamp Open Beta (R3)

With everyone back in the office we’ve made good progress this week so far, and here is another update for you with plenty of additions and changes.

One thing that needs to be pointed out is that we are aware that some people are getting a lot of crashes, which was mentioned before and was the reason for the additional logging turned on over last weekend. Looking at the crashlog this is basically the only crash our players get nowadays, which is great… and bad because it is a rather deep-rooted issue in the garbage collection of UE4, dirty business!

Totally not a turbine car, by Vri404

The difficult part about it is mostly that no computer in the office can get to crash the game in that way, which makes the rate of iteration very slow to solve the issue. Fortunately, we have a few very helpful Automationeers helping us out, so here a little shout-out to you, cheers! To all you who get lots of crashes: We’re working on it, hang in there. :)

B180111 Additions & Tweaks
  • Implemented new layout for car's final testing pages, still WIP
  • Implemented more in-depth brake & pad effects on stats and costs (need tweaks)
  • Implemented spring stiffness effect for Offroad stat
  • Added seating layout picture adapting to coupes and deactivating buttons
  • Reworked how optimizing steering behavior works
  • Re-implemented aero setting for wing and lip angles
  • Added new dynamic response / agility calculation and progression
  • Revised bottom out calculations and stat effects
  • Tweaked top speed factor in drivability to be more lenient
  • Tweaked several of the new warnings and when they come on
  • Toned down comfort penalty for convertibles
  • Preliminary implementation of a towing stat, needs tweaking
B180111 General Fixes
  • Fixed car import function (again!)
  • Fixed sport suspension preset's damper settings
  • Fixed Utility becoming "NaN" for very slow cars
  • Fixed various tooltips and display values
  • Fixed layout and functionality of Speed Limiter, now works with mph
  • Fixed engine size arrows hiding in the engine
  • Fixed number of seats display on design tab in final testing page
  • Fixed clicking of demographics in side panel for stat comparison
  • Fixed issue with seat rows not updating when switching car body
  • Fixed very slow cars with knocking engines getting super fuel economy
Slowly but surely this new revamp balance is coming together really well, and what a difference it makes, cheers!
22 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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