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:
Mostly Positive (48) - 77% of the 48 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (1,582) - 82% of the 1,582 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 6-person team
  • 4 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 current version of everything besides the Lite Campaign is 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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Recent updates View all (176)

May 26

LCV3 Patch 4+5 Public Release (B190527)

After many weeks of fixing, optimizing, fixing, adding content, and… fixing stuff that broke again, we do have all the changes rolled into the public branch of the game to serve as a new foundation for the next leap forward in features. Below you find a summary changelog of LCV3 Patch 4 and 5. If you want to see all the changes made, just have a look at the two previous news posts!


The 1990 Vic Reffafi by Flash in the new 10s Design Room photoscene

This is a good point to opt out of the openbeta branch for those of you who chose it only because of some specific fixes and crashes. From here we’ll do some more ToDo list clean-up and add more depth to the factory management in the campaign. As always, these changes will come to the openbeta branch first, but may have their (un-)fair share of bugs.

It sure feels good to finally be able to get this massive list of important fixes over to the public branch, especially all the game stability related things, which should be a big improvement for many who had been struggling with seemingly random crashes of the game.

Here is the summary list of the most notable fixes and improvements since the previous public build from March 20th.

New Content & Tweaks (Patch 4+5 Summary)
  • New improved paint system, with simple and advanced mode
  • Implemented familiarity mode. Visible on item tooltips. Toggle with Alt-key
  • Added many new car bodies, body variants (including Lord Gaben requests)
  • Added many new fixtures
  • Added new themed number plates
  • Added GPU driver detection to launcher, warning about outdated drivers
  • Added 10s Design Room photoscene
  • Added a darker 90's-ish variant on the modern studio photoscene
  • Added paint sorting by Name or Hue
  • Softtops & Trays can now be painted
  • Implemented the effects of production flags (limited / no mass production)
  • Implemented interest rate dependencies on loan conditions and financial situation
  • Updated factory information for tooltips and comparison tooltips
  • Updated general look of sliders
  • Added button in photoscene to directly open screenshot folder
  • Reimplemented and improved sandbox car cost estimation
  • Tweaked gearbox weight scaling (don’t get heavy as fast with more torque)
  • Rebalanced the cost of R&D, making the lower levels more attainable
  • Added Debug Menu, open with F9
  • Much improved photoscene car movement controls

General Fixes (Patch 4+5 Summary)
  • Fixed issue throughout the game that could cause random crashes
  • Added code signing for better compatibility with anti-virus software
  • Fixed a whole load of campaign related bugs (yes, bad ones)
  • Fixes for many many car bodies and fixtures
  • Fixed and tweaked many familiarity synergies
  • Suspension choice no longer allows choosing incompatible designs front vs. rear
  • Fixed suspension ride height weirdness in campaign cars, causing stat fluctuations
  • Fixed issue where the car would "forget" its power distribution and become RWD
  • Fixed various items not having the correct production limiting flags
  • Fixed grid mode car manager not working for sandbox
  • Tweaked interior weight scaling with quality
  • Fixed display issue that could show negative months signing off projects
  • Fixed Engine Factories not correctly finding their production flags
  • Fixed demographics not growing depending on their demographic type

Game Optimizations (Patch 4+5 Summary)
  • Disabled framerate smoothing with VSync, as that was causing low FPS
  • Fixed various small and medium sized memory leaks
  • Optimized calculation performance for campaign play
  • Optimized updating of UI with ongoing calculations, more responsive
  • Optimized loading of fixture thumbnails

For anyone who has had stability issues with the public build, this one should alleviate most of your issues. Give it a go and let us know if things are working as intended. :)

Cheers!
31 comments Read more

May 15

LCV3 Patch 5 (B190515) [openbeta] + RC3

Note for RC3: A quick Saturday patch to get rid of the weird issue the RC2 build had with headlight fixtures and the remaining tooltip inconsistencies. This hopefully is our final release candidate for this update. Give it a go and see if there are any bigger issues that need addressing asap. :) Cheers!

In today's patch we have a lot of under the hood fixes and optimizations for you, along with a new improved car paint system. Also we have optimized campaign calculations and database handling. It should play a lot smoother and make the game more stable as a whole.


MGR99's design for the Merano Dalius

The plan for this update is to have it in openbeta for a few days and then put it onto the public branch. There are so many fixes and improvements since the last public build, we want to get it out to you as soon as possible. Have a look at the changelog below and give this version, available on the openbeta branch, a go!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbqRr5589rQ

B190525 RC3
  • Fixed remaining tooltip issues
  • Fixed headlight fixtures not appearing correctly

B190524 RC2
  • Fixed hold / reverting function which deleted the car choices
  • Fixed tooltips and comparison tooltips
  • Fixed Photoscene presets not loading the car position and settings correctly
  • Removed faulty price column in sandbox car manager, correct car price on testing page

B190523 RC1
  • Fixed issue where the car would "forget" its power distribution and become RWD
  • Fixed suspension preset / ride height resetting wheel material / color
  • Fixed steering angle resetting car rotation in photoscene
  • Fixed competitor cars reading out zero reliability in competitor comparison UI
  • Fixed car rotating after moving it in the photoscene while it has non-zero steering angle
  • Fixed freshly designed cars reverting names back to default names in home screen
  • Fixed all slider plus buttons having a bad hitbox

B190522 Hotfix 5
  • Fixed body quality slider not working correctly
  • Fixed (potentially) paint system where non-paint materials change on their own
  • Fixed materials like carbon not properly being exported to BeamNG

B190521 Hotfix 4
  • Fixed issue with some car parts not recoloring correctly
  • Fixed various items not having the correct production limiting flags
  • Fixed issue with car affordibility ratings in sandbox

B190520 Hotfix 3
  • Fixed missing 60s sports coupe bodies
  • Fixed rims being matte black by default
  • Fixed default colors / materials not showing correctly in UI
  • Fixed 10sSedanLarge_Wagon being 4 instead of 5 door
  • Fixed dyno to engine driveshaft connection
  • Fixed issue with UK style number plates
  • Fixed passenger volume not being displayed correctly in stats

B190517 Hotfix 2
  • Added paint sorting by Name or Hue
  • Fixed global paints not live previewing on car
  • Fixed previous tab button not disappearing from UI on body selection
  • Fixed pinned market for car in campaign not updating correctly
  • Fixed grid mode car manager not working for sandbox
  • Fixed engine bay fill factor not showing correctly in engine family tab
  • Fixed campaign issue that allows to sign off without an estimated trim price
  • Fixed display issue that could show negative months signing off projects
  • Fixed issue with displaying the export path for BeamNG exports
  • Fixed Engine Factories not correctly finding their production flags
  • Fixed mass project sign off showing negative shifts for multiple car projects
  • Fixed issue with HRL badge not showing up
  • Fixed problem alloy and steel material
  • Fixed leather and cloth material exporting white to BeamNG
  • Fixed EU CD05MR0 plate sticking out too far
  • Fixed and updated numerous numberplate textures

B190516 Hotfix 1
  • Added 10s Design Room Photoscene
  • Fixed crashes related to fixtures in general and fixtures / body loading
  • Fixed red bumper glitch, rear bumpers didn't recolor correctly
  • Fixed quality slider buttons not working properly
  • Fixed fuel economy test page in detailed stats
  • Fixed the numbers for reputation and prestige showing the same value
  • Fixed issue with selecting the gearbox / drivetrain
  • Fixed weight being rounded too much on car summary page
  • Changed low flake paint setting to have no flake, i.e. none
  • Added double clicking a paint swatch to apply it to the current slot
  • Added main slot controls to 2nd paint tab to allow for quicker navigation
  • Added function to click the paint above the edit slot button on the paint UI
  • Added GPU driver detection to launcher, warning about outdated drivers

B190515 Main Features
  • New improved paint system, with simple and advanced mode

B190515 Art Fixes / Additions
  • Added new themed numberplates
  • Fixed car body bounds issues for several cars
  • Fixed various specific car body issues
  • Fixed pickup bodies not having paintable beds, more still to fix
  • Updated general look of sliders
  • Added button in photoscene to directly open screenshot folder

B190515 Optimizations
  • Disabled framerate smoothing, as that was causing low FPS
  • Fixed various small and medium sized memory leaks
  • Various SQLite optimizations and data compacting for campaign
  • Optimized month tick calculation performance for campaign play
  • Optimized loading times of car bodies
  • Optimized fixture placing to reduce freezing for complex fixtures
  • Optimized updating of UI with ongoing calculations, more responsive
  • Optimized loading of fixture thumbnails
  • Optimized demographics to use one tooltip widget instead of 60

B190515 General Fixes
  • Fixed deleting a planned facelift causing corruption to parent model
  • Fixed default car materials not importing correctly in new paint system
  • Fixed issue throughout the game that could cause random crashes
  • Fixed issue with company reputation dropping fast in campaign
  • "Fixed" issue with engine sounds, upped min engine idle to 600 RPM
  • Fixed signing off factory throwing you out to wrong UI tab
  • Fixed issue with deleting a planned facelift or trim upsetting the calendar
  • Fixed interaction between familiarity and engineering setup sliders
  • Fixed issue with cross-configuration familiarity gain for engines
  • Fixed forecaster buttons not having a selected state
  • Fixed demographics not growing depending on their demographic type
  • Fixed Body Quality Slider causing UI to reload
  • Fixed a situational crash on exiting the game
  • Changed game build version numbering system
  • Photoscene sublevel option now only appears with 1+ options
  • Added tooltip to display reason a factory is unavailable for selection

B190515 Modding
  • Fixed issue in modding tools, Example Decal mod was missing

Let us know about any issues you discover in the bug posting thread here in the forums! :)
Cheers!
24 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. As well as an Open Beta of the Car and Engine design aspects of Automation built in Unreal Engine 4, giving major improvements in graphical quality, performance, playability and UI Design.

Currently we're hard at work on a new, improved, Unreal Engine based Campaign mode, coming soon!

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**Drive Your Automation Cars In BeamNG.drive!



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.


Automation also features an in-game exporter which allows you to export and drive your vehicles in BeamNG.drive. The exporter is simple to use: design your car and engine in Automation, tune them to your liking, hit the export button, start up BeamNG.drive and your new car is right there in the vehicle list, with the aesthetics as well as many of the fine engineering and performance details of your car design simulated accurately

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.

Drive Your Automation Cars In BeamNG.drive


The Automation team is stoked to announce that in collaboration with BeamNG we have created a simple-to-use, in-game exporter that allows you to drive your Automation cars in BeamNG.drive, and explore a 3d version of the Automation Test Track!
For more info, check out the official announcement posted here on Steam and the Exporter FAQ.

***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. The current Open Beta is also an almost complete remake of the game in Unreal Engine 4, for a huge improvement in visuals, performance and usability. Currently the Lite Campaign is only available the legacy Non-Unreal version, but we're hard at work making a new improved Campaign mode.

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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