Video Game: Automation

Automation is a Simulation Game by Caswal Parker and Andrew Lamb, two independent developers from Australia, that was released on Steam Early Access in March 2015. The basic premise is that you are starting a new automotive company in 1946 and have to lead it to 2020. The game puts much of the focus on car designing freedom and realism. At the time of the Steam release, the only modes available were the Sandbox mode, which allows freeform design of cars and engines, and the Scenario mode, which is a series of pre-designed challenges to meet certain requirements within certain restrictions using those same engine and car design tools.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Awesome but Impractical:
    • You can build an 11-liter race V8 with loads of power, but it will be pretty unreliable, expensive and inefficient.
    • Turbo setups aimed for maximal power definitely count. Of course, they give you enormous amounts of power, but the turbo lag is unbearable and heat problems reduces engine's reliability a lot.
  • An Entrepreneur Is You: The ultimate intention for the Campaign mode. The developers plan to have a simulated marketplace of car buyers and competing car manufacturers, with your sales for a given car determined by a combination of your brand reputation, your marketing spending, and how well it satisfies the preferences of different buyer demographics compared to the other available options.
  • Bland-Name Product: One scenario has the goal of building an engine to the ASCC Trans-Am Series, as opposed to SCCA Trans-Am series.
  • Design It Yourself Equipment: The main feature of this game versus other automotive tycoon games is the wholehearted embrace of this trope. Where another game might give you a slider that runs from "Poor Performance" at one end to "High Price Tag" at the other, Automation gives you all the tools you need — choice of block material, valvetrain, compression ratio, cam profile, fuel system, fuel octane, &c. — to produce both at once.
  • Explosive Overclocking:
    • After setting your engine's redline beyond certain limit (which depends on things like stroke, bottom end parts used and the technology level, represented by year that technology was considered average), its reliability begins to sharply decrease. After you exceed it beyond further limit, the engine fails on the engine stand.
    • After the release of turbochargers you can make the engine so powerful that output heat exceeds the cooling capabilities - or simply melts the engine.
  • Heävy Mëtal Ümlaut: More Pöwer and Weirön 1000BS scenarios.
  • Russian Reversal: 4x4 Drives You! scenario name.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Poster in the engine design room advertises "Hoischen Instruments". Robert Hoischen is the game's lead betatester.
    • There's also a V8 scenario called Daffyflyer MK-X, where you design an engine in 2019 for 30-year anniversary of a small, lightweight roadster. Daffyflyer is the nickname of the lead artist. And he drives a Mazda MX-5.
  • Take That:
    • In one scenario, you design an engine for an unnecessarily heavy car, that has to make 1000 hp, thanks to the marketing department actions. Scenario's name? Weirön 1000BS.
    • In another one, the engine you design is intended to be an overpriced econobox motor, just marketed to be cool. It's called iEngine.
    • An update that adds car designer scenarios has both a scenario where you make the Weirön 1200BS, and the iCar.
  • Technology Porn: The game demonstrates a lot of details about engines. If you like, you can go into the engine testing mode and play with throttle just to listen to the engine sounds.