Bus Simulator 16

Bus Simulator 18 is a very niche sort of game, but it does what it does quite well—not perfectly, but good enough to make Andy Kelly sweat about blowing past a turnoff with a full load of tightly-wound commuters. And now it's a little bigger and a little better thanks to the release of the first free mission pack on Steam

The update adds three all-new missions to the game, "presented by Max Klein," although it doesn't say (and I don't know) who he is. There are also new "sub-tasks" related to boosting tourism in the city of Seaside Valley, including new points of interest to explore (or at least drive people to), three new decals, a full bus skin, and new fleet colors to choose from. 

Also in the package are several changes aimed at improving performance, including disabling third-person camera lag (which should fix stuttering issues) and dialing back shadows cast by license plates on parked cars, which was apparently really an issue. AI for NPC cars pulling onto the highway has been improved, dark areas have been lit up, and a construction site in the city has been slightly moved so that cars won't keep smashing into it. (They were actually clipping through it, but I think the idea of cars constantly plowing into piles of dirt and bricks that are a little too close to the road is a lot funnier.)

Bus Simulator 16

In just about every city in the world, buses dutifully ferry citizens back and forth like blood being pumped around a circulatory system. They’re always there, always running, always reliable, if rarely on time. But when you don’t need one you don’t think about them at all. They’re just part of the scenery.

What I love about simulators is how they give you a glimpse into the lives of people who drive buses, dump garbage, and haul cargo; lives that are, for most people, a mystery. Since playing World of Subways 3: London Underground I’ve never been bothered by a tube delay. Driving those things is hard. Whenever a truck rumbles past me on the street I think of my hours spent in Euro Truck Simulator 2 and I feel like I understand the job, at least on some superficial level. I’m not equating sitting on my arse playing Garbage Truck Simulator for an hour to a hard day’s graft, but you know what I mean.

The latest weirdly specific simulator to arrive on PC is Bus Simulator 18, which lets you drive a city bus around a fictional city, picking up passengers, printing out tickets, and making stops on time. I think most people at some point have wondered what it would be like driving a bus, and I found stepping aboard my Mercedes-Benz Citaro K for the first time oddly thrilling—a feeling amplified by the incredibly enthusiastic woman who walks you through the tutorial.

For me, simulators don’t get much better than Euro Truck Simulator 2. But as great as it is, it’s a pretty lonely experience. Bus Simulator 18, on the other hand, is full of interaction. Pull up at a stop and dozens of passengers will pile on, some of whom will strike up conversations with each other. Some will ask for a ticket and you’ll have to tap their request into your computer and hand them back the right amount of change. You can even turn around and yell at people, telling them to turn their loud music down or get away from the doors.

You can even turn around and yell at people, telling them to turn their loud music down or get away from the doors.

The driving itself is fine, if a little twitchy and weightless compared to SCS Software’s satisfyingly nuanced handling. When you’re pulling a heavy load in Euro or American Truck Simulator you can really feel the weight behind you. But in Bus Simulator 18 the sensation of being in command of a big, hefty vehicle isn’t quite there. What I do like, however, is how many buttons there are to press. You can open the front and rear doors, switch on the lights, honk the horn, unfold the wheelchair ramp, adjust the seat, and a dozen other interactions, which make the buses feel wonderfully tactile.

The map is fun to drive around, with a nice range of scenery and a good mix of built-up and quiet aras. I would have preferred a real city to a fictional one, though. That familiarity of driving through a real city can really enhance the realism and immersion of a sim. The buses are all real, though, with licensed vehicles from MAN, Mercedes-Benz, IVECO, and Setra to buy, customise, and drive. Yes, you can customise your bus, applying garish paint jobs and decals to make it your own. Sadly there’s no option to add undercar LEDs, spinners, or lowrider hydraulic systems yet, though. Maybe in the next update?

Another key difference between Bus Simulator 18 and other sims is how it never gives you a minute to relax. The clock on your GPS is constantly ticking down, and when it hits the minus (indicating that you’re behind schedule) the pressure really begins to mount up. And it doesn’t help that your passengers will comment on the fact that you’re late, complaining when they don’t reach a destination on time. You’re also constantly being graded your driving: using indicators correctly, not hitting the curb, and braking neatly in front of bus stops. Mistakes mean fines, and bad driving will eat into your end-of-route pay.

So if you’re looking for a simulator where you can fire it up and just chill out for an hour, play Euro Truck instead. The most intense that game ever gets is being sent down a narrow country road with a wide load or your mind wandering and you missing a turn-off. This game, however, requires a lot of concentration, and throwing people into the mix, some of whom will randomly ask to be let off before a stop, gives you an endless selection of ways to screw up or lose time.

The game’s a little sterile visually, and features some really over-the-top lens flare. Are those brake lights radioactive? But the buses, inside and out, are brilliantly detailed. And the audio design is fantastic too, perfectly capturing the noisy clatter of being aboard a bus. There’s Steam Workshop support too, and modders have already started releasing decals and paint jobs for real-world bus companies if you want to bring a little extra realism to the experience.

Bus Simulator 18 could do with a lot more polish, and someone desperately needs to proof-read the dialogue captions, which rarely match what’s being spoken. But, like most of these niche sims, I’m glad it exists. It’s given me a chance to experience, in some way, what it’s like to be a bus driver, and I never really considered how stressful the job could be. I think I’ll stick to Euro Truck Simulator 2, where I don’t have to deal with people and can drive for long stretches without interruption, but this is still a fun simulator, with an infectious enthusiasm for this most noble and misunderstood of professions.

Bus Simulator 16 - PsychoCow


Attention, bus drivers: Our first gameplay trailer of Bus Simulator 18 is online! Next to first gameplay impressions the trailer is also offering a first look at the game’s official licensed buses of the popular bus brands Mercedes-Benz, MAN, IVECO and Setra. The release of Bus Simulator 18 is planned for June 20, 2018.

Here is the link to the English version of our trailer on YouTube:
https://youtu.be/EN32ZgmPizY

And here is the link to the game on here on Steam:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/515180/
Bus Simulator 16 - PsychoCow


Today we are happy to officially announce the start of the application period for the closed beta test of our upcoming Bus Simulator 18!

The development of Bus Simulator 18 is a big step into the future of this popular city bus simulation franchise for creators and players alike. Thanks to the use of Unreal® Engine 4, bus fans can now not only look forward to huge changes in the game’s visuals but also the implementation of a wide variety of new features and detail enhancements.

In comparison to Bus Simulator 16, Bus Simulator 18 comes with a brand-new, freely driveable map that is 2.5 times as large as the one of Bus Simulator 16 and will offer an even greater number of interesting city districts. Another new feature that will delight Bus Simulator fans: In addition to the originally licensed city buses by famous makers such as Mercedes Benz and MAN, Bus Simulator 18 will for the first time also include buses by the manufacturer IVECO.

Players will also find that many wishes coming from the game’s faithful community have been implemented in the newest version of the game. This includes the options to drive by day and night as well as an improved progression system and significantly expanded modding options, which now allow not only for the addition of the player’s own bus models but also the creation of whole new cities. To top it all off, Bus Simulator 18 now comes with a synchronous multiplayer mode where up to four players will be able to play together at the same time.

In order to give players and fans of the series a chance to thoroughly test the already very advanced stage of development, publisher astragon Entertainment and developer stillalive studios have now opened applications for a closed beta test of Bus Simulator 18. A unique chance not to be missed by any bus or simulation fans!

If you would like to test Bus Simulator 18 already before its official release and provide the developers with valuable feedback during the polishing phase of the game, you are welcome to complete your application form between March, 27 and April 4, 2018 under the following link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfVnVsj0-CR6j_7V54FjKmncOu3IceiBa15ZxylM9m9zvsBpQ/viewform

We are already looking forward to your feedback!

Your Bus Simulator team
Bus Simulator 16 - PsychoCow
Dear community,

in order to guarantee you the best possible gaming experience for you we have planned some maintenance works on our Bus Simulator 16 multiplayer servers for the first day of each month. Starting on March 1st, 2018, from now on the maintenance works will be carried out every first day of the month during the time between 4:00 am and 4:10 am (CET or CEST).

During this time the servers won't be available so you may experience problems loading or saving multiplayer games until the servers will be up again.

Thanks for your understanding and have a good time playing!


Your Bus Simulator team
Bus Simulator 16 - PsychoCow


Great news: The MAN Lion's City CNG DLC gives players access to three officially licensed and faithfully recreated natural gas powered buses of the popular MAN Lion's City CNG series. The maneuverable two-door MAN Lion's City A 21 CNG is, with a length of 12 meters and offering 30 seats, perfectly suited for the winding alleyways of Sunny Springs’ city center. Fans of huge articulated buses can look forward to driving the 18.75 meters long MAN Lion's City A 40 GL CNG sporting 5 doors and 39 seats. The 14.6 meters long MAN Lion's City A 44 L CNG comes with three doors and 44 seats and counts as the game’s first real three-axle bus with a self-steering rear axle!

http://store.steampowered.com/app/609880




Players not already in possession of the main game will find an all-around happy game package in the comprehensive Bus Simulator 16 Gold Edition. In addition to the main game and the MAN Lion's City CNG DLC the Gold Edition also contains all other currently available updates and DLCs. This includes the MAN Lion's City A 47 M DLC, the three originally licensed city buses of the Mercedes-Benz Citaro DLC as well as exciting extra missions from the available mission packs of the game. A real treat for all bus and simulation game fans!

Bus Simulator 16 - PsychoCow


Good news: Today we are happy to present you a first impression of our upcoming MAN Lion's City CNG DLC for Bus Simulator 16. According to plan the DLC will be released together with the extensive Bus Simulator 16 Gold Edition on May 24, 2017. We hope you are already looking forward to it as much as we do!
Bus Simulator 16 - PsychoCow


All aboard: Our new Mercedes-Benz Citaro DLC for Bus Simulator 16 is now available here on Steam! The DLC offers the unique opportunity to take the wheel on officially licensed buses of the popular Citaro series for the first time. In addition to a three-door Mercedes-Benz Citaro solo bus and a small and maneuverable Mercedes-Benz Citaro K two-door bus, the DLC also offers the possibility to integrate an 18,1-meter long Mercedes-Benz Citaro G articulated bus into your vehicle fleet to lead your bus company to ultimate success!

Here is the link to the Mercedes-Benz Citaro DLC on Steam:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/563890/

Patchnotes:
In addition to the new DLC, we also provided a small update for Bus Simulator 16. Here an overview of the changes and optimizations:
  • Fixed deadzone issues for Logitech G920 Driving Force
  • Improved several building textures to reduce flickering
  • Fixed bus customization for DLC bus MAN Lion's City A 47 M
  • Small improvements on the bus models
  • Fixed some minor clipping issues
  • Localization adjustments for some languages
  • Several other small bug fixes

We wish a lot of fun with the new buses!

Your Bus Simulator 16 team
Bus Simulator 16 - PsychoCow
Today we are happy to present you the official trailer for our upcoming Mercedes-Benz Citaro DLC for Bus Simulator 16. The release of the expansion pack on Steam is planned for January 25th, 2017. We hope you are looking forward to the new buses just as much as we do!

https://youtu.be/_fWS91mYXAQ
Bus Simulator 16 - PsychoCow
Note: Here we go again! After some minor start difficulties, we have just re-released our latest update as well as the performance-optimized test version of Bus Simulator 16 in the special performance branch here on Steam again. If you would like to test our performance optimized test version extensively and give us feedback, this would be great! At this point once again a big thank you for your patience and support!


Dear community,

today we are happy to announce that we have prepared an additional performance optimized version of Bus Simulator 16 in a separate download branch here on Steam. In terms of content this version is identical to the standard version of the game, but should contain a noticeable performance increase for numerous computer configurations.

The performance patch is in a beta stadium and should be tested by you. Please note that the patch is intended to collect performance data. We use the data to compare the results between this and the standard version of the game. So it would be great if you will support us and test the performance patch. You will always be able to change back to the standard edition if you like to.


How to download and install the new test of the performance branch:
For all who want to test the new version in the test branch here on Steam, please follow these steps:

Right-click "Bus Simulator 16" in your Steam Library -> "Properties" -> "Beta" -> select "performance_branch"

The new version will now be downloaded and installed automatically. (May requires a Steam restart to trigger the download.)

Note: After a short time playing, the new test version will ask you for a short feedback. If you will tell us at this point, how far the performance of the optimized test version has changed compared to the standard version, this would be great. Of course the data will be provided to us completely anonymous and confidential and will be used for evaluation purposes only.


How to switch back to the standard version of Bus Simulator 16:
To switch back to the current standard version of Bus Simulator 16, simply follow these steps:

Right-click "Bus Simulator 16" in your Steam Library -> "Properties" -> "Beta" -> select "NONE – Opt out of all beta programs"

The current standard version of Bus Simulator 16 will now be downloaded and installed automatically. (May requires a Steam restart to trigger the download.)


Patchnotes:
Next to the performance tweaks in our experimental test version, we have also prepared some game improvements for the standard version of Bus Simulator 16:
  • Fixed occassional erroneous camera transition when starting a drive.
  • Fixed loading bar jumping from completely filled to empty when loading starts
  • Several small bug fixes


For feedback regarding the Performance Branch version please visit our "Feedback Performance Branch Version" forum here on Steam: http://steamcommunity.com/app/324310/discussions/4/

Thanks for your support!

Your Bus Simulator 16 team
...

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