It’s been a long time coming, and ever since we were Greenlit over a year ago we’ve been working on Automation to get it to a standard where we’re happy to release it into the wilds of Steam Early Access. Now we finally have a date! Automation is coming to Steam Early Access on the 12th of March. If you’ve bought it from our website you’ll have the option to convert your existing key to a Steam key. Although we still will maintain a stand alone version for those of you who are technically (or ethically!) unable to use Steam.
Here are the most recent Dev Update videos, don’t forget to subscribe to our youtube channel to get the latest and most detailed updates on what we’re working on.
The Smoking Tire Trip
We’ve also come up with what we think is a pretty cunning marketing plan for the Steam launch. Rather than waste our money on boring things like banner adverts, we’d rather pay for something that advertises Automation AND creates some cool car content.
So.. what we did was bring Matt Farah and his crew from The Smoking Tire over to New Zealand for a road trip to make some films about the excellent cars and roads we have here.
The proper films are still being edited, and won’t be out for a month or so, but you can see a few photos and a one take review of my daily driver below. There is also a (fairly NSFW) podcast with us.
We’ve been hard at work on the next major update and preparing for Steam release, and as such have not been very good at posting front page updates, time to catch up!
The next update is taking quite a while because it’s HUGE, big changes to how the flow of car design works, allowing for a much more logical “family” of models to be created from one car along with a bunch of other things like differentials, active suspension and a complete rework of Multiplayer with a whole range of game modes aimed at making it easier to find a game with players and give you a wide variety of challenges.
Steam integration is also happening, and the next update will launch on Steam Early Access (as well as the normal stand alone version). If you’ve already bought Automation you’ll have the option to convert it to a Steam version for free, or stick with your standalone version (no Multiplayer)
There is probably at least a month or two more work left to go in this update, and we’re grateful for your patience as we craft this game. Once we’re out on Steam we’ll finally be starting work on the Tycoon Game aspect of things, exciting times!
If you’ve not already subscribed to our youtube channel, you really should, as our producer Killrob does some very detailed updates on the latest development progress. If you’ve missed the last few ones I’ve linked them below.
Thanks for everyone’s support this year, and I look forward to delivering lots of exciting new updates to Automation next year.
This one has been a little more slow and complex to develop than expected, but after a long 3 months (4 really, but one was taken up with our first holiday in 4 years!) B1414 is now live for everyone.
This update brings more complete car design aspects, along with car designer scenarios and a much improved user interface. There are also quite a few more new car bodies to base your designs from.
The next few months will be dedicated to some fairly unexciting but very important work, ready for release on Steam. We’ll be making major improvements aimed at making Automation more polished, easier to learn, and all around more professional looking.
More improvements to UI and the process of model designing will make it much more logical and simple to design a big range of models based on one particular car. Pop-ups/Tooltips will be added for many thing, and tutorial videos will be done/redone covering every techincal part of the game.
We’ll also be aiming to add a bunch of improved multiplayer modes, including Lap Time and Rally Stage Time challenge modes, with the ability to set your scores over the a few days, so you don’t need to all be online together to compete.
This update will be the first one to release on Steam, which is an exciting milestone, and will hopefully bring in more sales allowing us to bring further people on to work on car body art and other new content, And after this update is out of the way, it’s finally time to start work on the Tycoon aspect of things!
Change Log for B1414
Car Designer Features & Changes
Added Mid Engine Cars
Suspension Easy Mode
Added Quality Sliders and dependencies for all car designer tabs
Adjustable Rim Offsets
Added Multilink Suspension
Added the first automatic gearboxes
Reliability and Environmental Resistance stats
Passenger Space and Cargo Space stats
Production Units, Costs and Service Costs stats
Offroad and Utility stats
Rebalanced Sportiness, Tameness, Comfort, Prestige and Safety calculations
9 Car Designer Scenarios
Rebalanced material properties
Many new part year dependencies
Limited Cars to a Maximum of 2 wings, and 2 lips
Added tire profile year limitation
Base safety will stop progressing 10 years after a body first unlocks
Bodies sorted by Year. Newest at the top
Revised the “Bottoming Out” calculations to be less harsh
Wings/Lips no longer punch holes in the body shell
Car Designer Fixes
Fixed the crash caused by using MPH + dragging the top speed slider to top for high-revving engines (finally!)
Fixed the Yaw Rate graph cut off when using mph as a unit for speed
Fixed Certain cars not being able to complete a lap
Fixed the proper gear delay being used on the test track
Fixed Front Longitudinal AWD engine placement issues
Fixed the sensitivity of resizing various fixtures, making it more responsive
Fixed “steamroller” bug where wheels would become comically wide
New Car Bodies
Large 60s Coupé
2 Large 70′s Coupés
Large 90′s Coupé
Large 60s Sedan
Large 00′s Sedan
Small 80s Supercar
Small 10s Supercar
Large 10s Supercar
UI & Sound
Completely reworked UI and UI flow
Car Design Wizard for the whole car design process
All new UI sounds
Added test track sounds
New Car & Engine Manager
Temporary changed the Platform/Model game mechanic
Many more stats on the three different testing pages
Updated test track UI
Manual start for car testing on testing page
Engine Designer Fixes / Rebalances
Reduced power gain when riching up fuel mixture
Octane rating in VVL systems uses the lower cam setting
Added bypass valve year limitation
Fixed the “your engine was created in a previous version” message bug
Fixed bore and stroke having two decimals too few using imperial units
Fixed a bug where loading a VVL engine set the wrong lower cam setting
Fixed an engine loading bug that caused the block config lua error
Changed “MTBF” to “Reliability” for less confusion
New scenario scoring system implemented for car designer scenarios
Fixed various aerodynamics calculations and exploits
Changed all “Man Hours” to “Production Units”
Added Console can be accessed by pressing tilde (~). Commands are help(), HideBuildings(), ShowBuildings().
Changed to saving screenshots as PNG. If you turn off FXAA, and use the HideBuildings() command, you can take pictures of engines/cars on a transparent back-drop.
Useful for taking screenshots of Engines and Cars with no backdrops.
Fixed the tutorial video sound cutting off after a minute
Thumbnails are now deleted when you delete the model / engine it belongs to
Many more little fixes…
All is going well with the next update, with the Car Design Scenarios playing very well and the new UI looking and working great.
We’re just polishing off the final few bug fixes, and should hopefully have an optional Open Beta update for everyone in the next few days, with the actual automatic update for everyone coming once we’ve fixed any problems in the Open Beta.
Thanks for your patience, I think this update will be a huge improvement in quality compared to what you’re used to from Automation.
Don’t forget to subscribe to our youtube channel, where Killrob does regular Dev Diary videos showing off new features in the works.
What is Automation?
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.
Go ahead, build your dream-car company, or simply aim to dominate the world markets with your superior design skills!
The game is still in development, with the Engine Designer and Car Designer already available for you to try out. We release new milestone versions of the game as they are done, adding new features and content as the game moves closer to completion. Automation is aimed to be released on Steam Early Access in the next few months, and further development will continue until Automation is a complete Car Company Tycoon Game .