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 (58) - 84% of the 58 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (1,450) - 82% of the 1,450 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 (173)

March 21

LCV3 Patch 3 (B190321) [openbeta]

This week's big patch comes with a mixed bag of fixes and additional content. As you can see the changelist is slowly shifting towards more polishing rather than straight up fixes - which of course is a good thing. That doesn't mean we're out of issues to tackle of course... let me check... there are "just" ~150 items left on our ToDo list for this update. With most things not even being on there.


The new photoscene! Car by LS-Vehicles.

Plenty more impovements and fixes coming your way! Anyway, here is the changelog:

B190321 Art Fixes & Additions
  • Added Canyon photoscene
  • Added several of 80s vans
  • Added 2.6m wheelbase version of 2010s coupe
  • Added 70sBL20-35_4dr and 70sBL20-35_5dr car bodies
  • Added a few 60s sports car fixtures, and modern round headlights.
  • Added sunroof/window option to fixture UI
  • Unified car & fixture paint thumbnail generation
  • Fixed chassis poking out in rear with 00sSupercarLarge
  • Fixed 10ssedan02small body family chassis issues
  • Fixed fixtures cutting holes slightly offset on 10sSUVHuge_02 family
  • Tweaked reflections and ambient occlusion in the car design room
  • Removed a factory that was not supposed to be in the isle of skye photoscene
  • Fixed missing texture for front Solid Axle Coil suspension
  • Fixed the 1955 pickup and 40s Jeep Ute being labeled as a "SUV"
  • Fixed the 10sSedanSmall having the wrong body
  • Fixed incorrect (very high) weight for 90SUV_5dr
  • Fixed too short engine bay of 10s_Full_Cor
B190321 General Fixes & Improvements
  • Tweaked how wide V engines to be a bit narrower in the bay
  • Changed trim/variant/family/model grid items to use textbox as title
  • Added tooltips to fixture paints with icons (trim, bumper etc)
  • Improved graph in hub, more useful scale and axis
  • Added tooltips to car project & engine project factory items and panel
  • Added tooltips to plot selection buttons
  • Improved plot control UI, disabling if they're not usable
  • Added difficulty score multiplier info to campaign end screen
  • Photo manager now actually takes 1080P and 2160P photos as stated
  • Trims overview now picks best scoring demographic by default after cloning
  • Reduced font size on hub graphs
  • Added tooltips to summary items on 2nd panel of factory
  • Fixed scenarios list being empty, all tutorials and scenarios are back
  • Fixed issue which prevented upgrading to a huge factory
  • Fixed Market & Economy graph being inverted
  • Fixed glued aluminium monocoque chassis requiring steel presses
  • Fixed not reaching 100 km/h being seen as amazing in demographic taste
  • Fixed engine facelift not automatically switching to the new engine for other cars
  • Fixed issue with bumper color becoming indicator texture
  • Fixed all paints reloading when a car paint or fixture paint is selected
  • Fixed graphs with overriden axis labels and values showing data labels incorrectly
  • Fixed engine renaming on 5th panel of car project
  • Fixed last two timeline sections having same tooltip name
  • Fixed factory UI not showing need for galvanization plant
  • Fixed behavior of the BeamNG Export button in the car manager
  • Fixed new Campaign presets not showing correct score (due to tech)
  • Fixed Engine/Car Hold/Revert controls incorrectly reloading UI
  • Fixed driver assists engineering/production units tooltips not updating correctly
  • Fixed chassis material tooltip sometimes being tricky to open
  • Fixed environmental resistance being the same for all chassis materials

The patch is now live on the opt-in openbeta branch of the game and we're looking forward to more of your feedback.

Cheers!
11 comments Read more

March 13

LCV3 Patch 2 (B190315) [Public]

Note: This patch, including its two hotfixes, is now on the main public branch of the game. Enjoy!

Today's patch is a bit smaller than what we'd like it to be for two reasons. Our lead programmer was knocked out by an "it's just a flesh wound" accident and spent a few days in hospital (now recovering), while our other programmer spent a full week on drastically cleaning up some of the structures of the car and engine project code, unifying them as much as possible in the process. The latter won't be visible to you, but will save us from lots of issues in future and make changes quicker. The former will just leave a big scar.


MGR_99's rendition of the Merano Verdini.

Despite that, we're continuing to fix and polish up the LCV3, and here is the changelist for today's patch released only to the openbeta branch of the game for now.

B190315 Hotfix 2
  • Fixed BeamNG Exporter producing cars that can't be loaded in BeamNG
  • Added new car body 70sBL20_35_2dr
  • Added safety confirmation for deleting projects
  • Fixed (probably) the issue of you not being able to select a project region in the LCV3
  • Fixed issue of model/family data not being properly given to all trims/variants
  • Fixed not being able to rename facelifts
  • Fixed selection of demographics for trims from hub
  • Fixed factory names not saving
  • Fixed issue with 60sSUV_SWB being in the wrong car body family
  • Removed descriptions being that of "Compression" everywhere

B190314 Hotfix 1
  • Added Steel & Window Material as options or fixture paints.
  • When a trim or variant needs updating / fixing, it now flashes the edit button
  • Fixed the preset fixture modes not showing on the fixture paint UI
  • Fixed issue with autosave not saving correctly in some situations
  • Fixed cars from old version not being able to be imported anymore (openbeta issue)
  • Fixed (for real now.. hopefully?) trims and variants renaming themselves
  • Fixed issue with deleting and then creating a new facelift not updating data correctly
  • Fixed facelift where not changing engine showing original engine engineering time

B190313 Improvements
  • Tweaked factory load management AI to more evenly split shift load
  • Improved savegame naming and timestamps display
  • Polished up some campaign UI (Model / Family project managers)
B190313 Fixes
  • Fixed campaign difficulty issue, competitor strength was reset to 50% on new game
  • Fixed issue with brake quality slider effect on brake fade being broken
  • Fixed high factory cost on upgrading / retooling factories after 2+ uses of factory
  • Fixed engineering time table in car summary engineering times
  • Fixed issue with how mods are processed, to make loading more reliable
  • Fixed loans not being visibly added to your current money until month tick
B190313 Art Fixes
  • Fixed number plates looking black
  • Fixed melting issues on 80s190 family
  • Fixed 90s Flatnose people mover body causing game crashes
  • Fixed ute tray holes from fixture stamping on 90spickup family
  • Fixed up some lighting and redid some materials in the canal photoscenes
  • Fixed material inconsistencies between raised and lowered car lifts in design room

More coming next week! :)
Cheers!
26 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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