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 (27) - 48% of the 27 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (763) - 80% of the 763 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 (120)

September 22

(B170922) Big Update First Major Patch

The first general patch for the big update is here. Plenty of small and large fixes, the reintroduction of color-blind mode and various other additions and improvements should address many of the issues raised by you since release earlier this week.



B170923 Hotfix
  • Fixed engine placement bug. You can fix affected cars by reselecting the drivetype twice.

B170922 Additions & Improvements
  • Added color-blind mode
  • Added several factory road photo scenes
  • Added Canal Dry scene, not as VRAM hungry
  • Added delete and enter key binding for handling fixtures
  • Added back in gearboxes rendering, should now place correctly
  • Improved how wings deform on the car
  • Improved how fixtures like headlights act on curved surfaces
  • Improved fixture handling in general
  • Improved test track engine sounds & volume levels
  • Improved camera behaviour in photo scenes
  • Disabled "drag fixture off car to delete", caused problems
  • Removed file which caused false positives for some anti-virus software

B170922 General Fixes
  • Fixed cars not having wheels in thumbnails
  • Fixed sorting of car bodies in body overview
  • Fixed OHV never getting VVT
  • Fixed UI issue with VVL cam profiles above 60
  • Fixed issue with fixture layering
  • Fixed issue with stamping of asymmetrical fixtures
  • Fixed issue with switching fixture to different variant when two of it exist
  • Fixed issue with overlap of cargo and passenger box volumes
  • Fixed graphical issues with rear double wishbone suspension
  • Fixed issue with chassis size initialization
  • Fixed ',' and '.' affecting tire sizes, now just cycles through fixtures
  • Fixed issue with optional mid engine cars with ladder frame
  • Fixed various car body morphing issues
  • Fixed default suspension heights on suspension presets
  • Fixed issue with gearbox weight tooltip coloring
If you encounter more issues in dire need of fixing, please report them in our dedicated bug posting thread.
Cheers!
19 comments Read more

September 19

(B170919) Big Update Public Release!

Progress has been steady over the past weeks and months, and since the last public release a lot has been added and changed. The game runs much better now and we’ve had to fight UE4 significantly less in the recent months, nowhere near the struggle that was the first UE4-based release. Also, thank you to all those who posted bug reports and feedback during the open beta phase.



What’s New?
This update is the first of three steps to a much improved Lite Campaign implementation into the game. For the most part it focuses on preparing the engine designer and its balance for the campaign, including major rebalances and the AI that eventually will build the engines of your competitors’ cars.

Apart from plenty of balance changes, all engine scenarios have been fully revamped and an all new 23-tutorial pack of scenarios has been crafted to ease in newcomers. The new random engine scenario challenge mode will indeed challenge even the best of you when it comes to engine design and quick, on-the-spot decision making.
https://youtu.be/mwBc6ghWgYM
A quick overview of the changes coming with this version:
  • Updated game engine, improved memory handling
  • Added 32-bit client for those running a 32-Bit Windows 7, 8 or 10
  • Engine designer random challenge mode
  • 23 all-new engine designer tutorial scenarios
  • 43 revamped general engine designer scenarios
  • AI engine generator accessible in sandbox
  • Added ~160 car bodies
  • Added and improved a lot of fixtures
  • Major rebalance to smoothness and exhaust system game mechanics
  • New improved tech pool / quality mechanic
  • Custom test tracks work again, put them into the tracks folder
  • Improved and polished UI, added functionality, vectorized icons
  • Improved and updated translations (WIP)
Please Note: The game can take up to 5min to load on weaker systems and will only present you with a black screen for big parts of that - this is expected, albeit not desirable.

V16s FAQ
V16s are now available to those who supported us years ago by buying the Turbocharged or Supercharged version of the game. We’ve put together a little FAQ regarding the V16s for both those that will get them now and those that might want to get them later.



Have a look here for the FAQ: http://steamcommunity.com/app/293760/discussions/2/1473095965290626494/

Next Big Update Outlook
Before we focus all our efforts on the next big update, there maybe a patch or two for the current version. Many of you will be happy to hear that we have worked out and implemented most of what is needed to make the game moddable with UE4 and we’ll try to bring that to you in the coming weeks.



As mentioned above, there are three steps to the (much) improved Lite Campaign, of which the first one now is completed with this big update. The second step is about getting the car designer ready for the campaign, which requires a car building AI to build your competitors. The next update also will bring back improved car scenarios and expanded car tutorials.

In general, a lot of the car designer will be improved and rebalanced, too, as this will be the best opportunity to do so without causing extra work. We expect this update to be about as quick as the development of today’s release. We will keep you updated on the progress and the details in the coming Little Dev Updates.

We hope you will enjoy this update.
Cheers!
29 comments Read more
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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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