For the first time, bus, tram and train are simulated extremely realistic in a single game – and you can drive them, build them or create the world around. LOTUS – simulation will never be the same!
All Reviews:
Mostly Positive (116) - 73% of the 116 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Sep 14, 2018

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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?

“The technical basis for LOTUS is created. You can build and furnish maps, you can import and configure vehicles – and of course you can drive!
The necessary complex tools are basically finished and the simulation has the substantial base features to provide a driving experience with highest claims for realistic physics, sound and system depth. With your feedback we not only want to optimize the tools with regard to your individual demands, but also improve and extend the gameplay to reach our shared purpose: A simulator not only for driving bus and railway, but also to set your creativity free, develop your skills, perhaps take a stroll down memory lane, connect with sympathizers and which most importantly provides a lot of fun for a very long time.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We plan to stay in Early Access until approximately 2019 – just as long as it takes to implement all planned features.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“The following of our planned features are not yet implemented in LOTUS:
  • LOTUS-Simulator
    • AI
      • scheduled traffic and surrounding traffic
      • pedestrians, passengers
      • interactions with AI
    • Gameplay
      • module for road vehicles (bus and trolleybus package) (sold separately when available)
      • schedules and block schedules
      • signals
      • multiplayer including radio and control center
    • Content
      • Map “Berlin”
      • enhanced vegetation
    • Environment
      • weather and seasons
    • Engine
      • 64bit
      • enhanced graphic effects
  • Map editor
    • bridges and tunnelling
    • free forming and painting of terrain
    • AI paths
    • enhanced overhead wire construction
  • Content tool
    • modularization of vehicles, such as displays, printers, passenger information
    • repaints

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The following features are already implemented:
  • LOTUS-Simulator
    • Gameplay
      • driving physics, including real coupling and rail physics
      • simulation of systems (switches, lights, animations, …)
      • individual keyboard and game controller settings
      • free train assembling
      • VR support
      • vehicle-specific real-time support system for incorrect operations
    • Content
      • dummy map “Diorama”
      • Berlin tram GT6N at 90%
      • basic scenery objects for free use
    • Environment
      • daytime, solar altitudes
    • Engine
      • base engine with file management, options, GUI, simulator, Steam interface and efficient multithreading
      • real-time lighting, dynamic shadows, gloss, normal-/bump maps, parallax occlusion, particle system (smoke, steam)
      • sounds
      • plugin interface for external hardware
      • individual adjustment of languages and language files
  • Map editor
    • streets and crossings construction
    • rail track and switch construction
    • laying splines and polygons
    • placing objects
    • simple and catenary lines
    • placing maps on a real world model
    • displaying world map beneath the terrain
    • real digital elevation model (DEM) import
  • Content tool
    • comprehensive content management system
    • import of vehicles and scenery objects
    • substantial configurations of animations, lightings and vehicle behaviour, including complex car configurations, such as Z-positions and Jacobs bogies
    • vehicle scripts and script simulation
    • mesh animations
    • particle systems configuration on vehicle
    • extensive configuration of materials, including night textures and surface character

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“This price of the Early Access version of LOTUS is the same as the price of the release version. We primarily address players and addon developers who appreciate an intense communication with the developers, want to implement their own projects in an early stage of development, want to influence the development of LOTUS or just want to be players from the very start.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“During EA we offer an intense, fast and direct one-to-one support and the opportunity to direct individual requests to the developers, discuss them with them and to possibly integrate them in our application. In addition, every single bug report is of great value and will be processed appreciatively.
Everybody will be able to take part in surveys regarding the next features to be implemented in LOTUS.
Our simulator is so diverse and extensive that we are depending on feedback from different systems, from addon developers with different and international standards and different ambitions as well as from players with different levels of knowledge – to reach our high claims when the release has come, which is why we need you!”
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Buy LOTUS-Simulator + Module: Rails of LOTUS


Recent updates View all (17)

February 6

Patch 1.EA.021

Today's patch introduces countless changes to LOTUS. We explicitly recommend to backup you current work before. Should you run into problems, please use our support forum. Should you encounter improvements, we are looking forward to your feedback. Now, have a lot of fun reading and downloading! :)

1. Vehicle filters
It is now possible to set up a lot of basic informations for vehicles as a content developer - manufacturer, preferred area of operation, operator or technical information. The corresponding lists can be found in the ContentTool, tab "Manufacturer, description, ...", if you loaded a vehicle.

In the current state, those lists are meant to be extended. If you miss a special entry for your project, please tell us right here in the forum and we will add it later.

As a player, however, you can filter through any of your installed vehicles. It is mandatory to choose a LOTUS module and a vehicle type. But if you refine the filter further is up to you. :)

We think that with increasing amount of different vehicles in LOTUS the necessity for filters will come up. This is why we wish to encourage every vehicle builder to set up the filters for their projects so they can be found with the filter for ever. :)

2. 64bit
In this patch we added an experimental version of 64bit LOTUS and the final 64bit version of the ContentTool. Please have a look and report bugs, if you find some.

With 64bit LOTUS all scripts have to be recompiled in the ContentTool, for vehicles and scenery objects as well. To work with 64bit LOTUS, the scripts have to be created with the 64bit ContenTool! It creates from now on always the 32bit script and the 64bit, as well. The applications Compiler32/64.exe are used by the tool to do so.

Objects and vehicles that have not been compiled with 64bit ContentTool will be marked in the Logfile and will not work with 64bit LOTUS.

64bit LOTUS will not cause a performance improvement on itself, but big maps should no longer cause problems upon loading or switching back to the main menu.

One of the pitfalls that we encountered during 64bit implementation was our inputs API, which handles all the inputs from the player (mouse, keybord, controller), since there is no 64bit version of it. But this library is essential to LOTUS for a perfect and complete game controller support as well as force feedback functions. So in case you need controller support with the 64bit LOTUS, a 32bit input application is launched by LOTUS that handles the controller input and passes it to LOTUS. Should you encounter problems with that system (your antivirus beefs, your game controller does not work, ...) please report to us!

3. Performance improvement?
During January we took some time to improve the performance in LOTUS. Besides some changes that are hard to explain, we introduced a new graphics option, which you can use to set up the maximum object visibility.

According to this, objects with higher distance are not shown. As always, we provided some option presets for you, but best is if you check out the new options on your own and find a good point between visibility distance and the performance on your PC.

Invisible objects do not execute scripts per default, since those are in crowd very performance relevant! But object creators will find a new option in the ContentTool, which you should deal with. Traffic lights or signals for example can be seen very far. For this purpose, a new SimStep_LOD procedure has been added, that will be executed (if implemented) every time, the object is above the player set viewing distance and below the creator set lighting distance. Only above lighting distance the object, its scripts and lights will be completely shut down.

For special objects, like the ones who have sound sources (e.g. bell towers), instead of a light distance an option can be set, that the object should always execute the LOD-script. This way it can be heard, even if it is hidden.

To cut a long story short: The new options enable you more settings to refine the maximum performance out of your PC. We hope you like it! :)

4. Patch feature overview
- Simulation: Maximum object distance added to improve performance
- Simulation: Whole vehicle filter GUI added - the map- and entry point specific functions are not yet added!
- Simulation: Check boxes "Per Pixel lighting" are temporarily disabled
- Simulation: If building night textures have a black alpha channel, the night texture is disabled (instead of being controled by the street light variable)
- Simulation: Additional logfile entries upon loading a map
- Simulation: Empty option files are ignored and recreated instead of crashing the apps
- Simulation: Containers with the same name in different folders do no longer overwrite each other
- Simulation: Configuring game controller axles is now more easy due to a damping
- Simulation: GUI: Missing scrollbars added to further combo boxes
- Simulation - Bugfix: Street lights that use "NightVar" work again properly
- Simulation: Error message, if the workshop item list can not be created

- Simulation/ContentTool: 64bit support added!
- Simulation/ContentTool: DXT5 textures are now supported!
- Simulation/ContentTool: The processes that compile the scripts and handle the game controller are now placed in the LOTUS directory and are launched from there. If you anti virus software does not like that, you should whitelist them.

- ContentTool: Vehicle filters, vehicle name and description can now be configured. Should you miss any entries, please report!
- ContentTool: Light effects can be configured to increase with distance
- ContentTool: Object parameter added: Maximum distance for light effects and the option to enable the LOD-script, in case the object is too far away
- ContentTool: SimStep_LOD() added: Is called instead of Simstep() only every 10 frames as soon as the object is no longer visible, but in range for the light effect. If no LOD script is defined, no script is executed.
- ContentTool: Under "test environment" is a button that outputs the current state of a script/text texture in two bitmaps (color and alpha channel). You can use it to properly align a text in Blender, for example.
- ContentTool: Text on text texture can now be aligned to the top and bottom edge, as well
- ContentTool: The script variable test window now correctly interprets the chars "<br>" into a word wrap, so you can test multi line text textures, as well
- ContentTool: Traffic signs and traffic lights no longer cause the warning to be too small for CAT1
- ContentTool: Bugfix: Material parameter "Causes shadow" is now correctly labeled

- MapEditor: The standard position of switches can now be set, as well as blocking switches
- MapEditor: To accelerate saving maps, the auto backup function was removed. Instead, please execute backups often and on your own (Container symbol)!
- MapEditor: The terrain algorithm is only activated if the current work step is completed (e.g. creating a spline)
- MapEditor: The height and gradient of end points of absolute splines and tracks can now be set relative to the terrain (by using the "Z=" button in the top tool bar)
- MapEditor: Upon changing the current tool, the MapEditor remembers the last marked object and remarks it upon returning to the corresponding tool.
- MapEditor: Right clicking an object causes it to be marked in the object list
- MapEditor: Simple splines can be marked in the object list, as well
- MapEditor: "Normal" saving has been improved and is now faster!
- MapEditor: Refreshing function for single objects added: Only the immediate environment of the marked object (spline/polygon) is calculated and only its channel (marking layer, for example) is regenerated. --> Please note: Before the last saving of the map you should generate the whole tile again. Otherwise the areas of the map are empty. In addition, it occurs that the edge of the object environment is not clean. Generate the whole tile to fix this.
- MapEditor: Spline disconnect function added
- MapEditor: Map choosing window now allows double clicks to open a map ;)
- MapEditor: Bugfix: If the last saving of the map was done with Ctrl+S, missing objects could not be replaced
- MapEditor: Bugfix: If a track was changed in height belated, the connections to neighbor tracks broke down and the train derailed
- MapEditor: Additional logfile entries for "Clicking left mouse button"
- MapEditor: Aerial image download is now logged in the debug logfile
- MapEditor: Workshop item list is now named "wsitems.cfg". Please start LOTUS once after updating!

- Content: Some traffic light added in fir green
- Content: The standard car traffic light have now new light effects
- Content: GT6N is 64bit compatible
- Content: Further Berlin buildings added
1 comments Read more

January 5

Patch 1.EA.017

- Simulation/ContentTool - Bugfix: Bug with alpha channel (transparency for example) of DDS textures finally fixed!

- Simulation: Track quality is now inherited from track properties in the Map Editor. The current values may have to be properly adjusted!
- Simulation - GUI: Scrollbars sped up when clicking on the arrow buttons
- Simulation - GUI: Dropdown menus can now be scrolled (Vehicle choice, repaints, maps, ...)
- Simulation - GUI: Advanced scrolling with mouse wheel and some bug fixes concerning this
- Simulation - Bugfix: If the Standard PIS file of a map is missing, the Simulation no longer crashed

- ContentTool/Simulation: Animations added for modules
- ContentTool/Simulation: Correction in the Shader code - "Factor from alpha channel" now has an impact on the detail map and the "hard" alpha transparency
- ContentTool/Simulation: Material property 'Texture offset in X or Y direction' added

- ContentTool: Only animation types can be created that fit the object
- ContentTool: Warning added for working directories inside the LOTUS directory
- ContentTool, Bitmap-Fonts: Understandable error message added when the formats of the textures do not fit each other

- MapEditor: Adding a <br> into an Init string variable, leads to a proper word wrap
- MapEditor - Bugfix: Train leaves the visible track. But only for future situations! Existing situations have to be located in the Map Editor, open the properties of the concerned track and close them again. Then save.
- MapEditor: "Delete all" button added for missing content
- MapEditor: Creating a new object with "N" no longer resets the object list.
- MapEditor - Bugfix: Empty object lists on new map

Language: New entries!
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About This Game

LOTUS-Simulator is a driving simulator in a class of its own! At the beginning, the player chooses freely a vehicle and drives it around town, enjoys the ultra-realistic feeling of driving and the original sounds and may even forget that the vehicle is virtual. Once gripped by the excitement of simulation driving, the standards increase: stick to tight schedules, carry special passengers, master the difficult traffic. But that’s not all. The ambition grows with the experience: Now the multiplayer is played under real conditions – the colleagues in the control centre coordinate by radio, the game leader set challenges in the middle of the road, unpredictable weather, real duty rosters and long shifts. And after all, how about recreating the way of the school bus and to master the student’s traffic this time on your own? Didn’t the mate from the historic vehicle society have an ancient tram car with crank control standing around? You could breathe life again into it in the simulator – as a museum run or maybe even at the time it originates…

With LOTUS, dreams and ideas come true – and the best of it: every good realization will find followers and supporters that are hoping for extensions or are looking for exhausting the adventure of simulation driving. They are waiting for you!

LOTUS, that means: L like Leitstelle, (German, control centre), O like omnibus, T like tram, U like underground, S like suburban train.


  • Modular structure: Buy and play only what you are interested in – vehicles of the railway, like trams or trains, or vehicles of the road, like buses and trolleybuses, or even other modules that will be released later.
  • Realism: Driving physics, environmental physics, graphical effects, sounds, weather, seasons and the world coordinate system are uncompromisingly realistic – that is our first priority.
  • Multiplayer: Driving different tours with friends, greeting each other at the meeting point, ensure the connection by radio, coordinate everything in the control centre on your own or follow the instructions of your colleague – this and much more is provided by the multiplayer of LOTUS.
  • Map editor: With many tools, aids and quite a few ingenious gimmicks mountains are moved, embankments planned, tracks laid and streets tarmacked. Afterwards the landscape is shaped and decorated with buildings, trees, lights, stops, benches, fences and much more.
  • Content tool: Whether a single scenery object or a whole vehicle – with the content tool the objects are configured. From material settings to complex animation, from the design of the physics, the sound settings and the import and debugging of scripts, the content tool accompanies and supports the developer.
  • Plugin interface: A discarded crank, the board information system with display, a driver’s desk or a whole cockpit can be operated with the simulator and get information back from it by the use of the plugin interface.
*Schedules, passengers, traffic, multiplayer and weather will be enabled during Early Access and are not available from start!

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7, 8, 10
    • Processor: 2,6 GHz, 4 cores
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512 MB VRAM
    • Storage: 5 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: OpenGL 3.3

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