Frequently Asked Questions
We get asked dozens of the same questions every day, so here is a list of all the answers to the most common ones.
1. Can I drive my car in Automation?
No. As a very small development team, Automation is already a very ambitious and complex project, and we’re dedicated to making it high quality, realistic and fun. To create a realistic driving simulator to our standards would take a 25-person team (twice the current number of staff at Camshaft Software) at least 3 years and about 5 million dollars to make. Additionally, there is already very strong competition in this genre of game, and the potential return on investment is not there.
However, we do collaborate with BeamNG and have created an exporter that allows you to drive your designs in BeamNG.drive, the first version of the exporter was released on July 13th 2018. There might be exporters to other driving / racing games in future, but that would require significant input from the developer of the respective target game.
2. Diesels, Wankels, 2-Strokes, Hybrids, and Electrics?
These engines will not be included in the base Automation game. Diesel and Wankel engines are a possibility for future DLCs once Automation is in full release, but there are a lot of things we need to finish first - including other DLCs/content packs - before we can devote the time and resources to adding either of these engines into Automation. Despite their simple appearances, both diesel and Wankel engines would each require an all-new engine designer to be made for them!
Electric and hybrid drivetrains are also out of the question, as they are extremely complex to engineer; hybrid drivetrains are the most complicated engineering and software problem in the automotive industry at the time of writing, and there is just no pathway to making this work in Automation and be “fun”.
3. Which engine configurations will be in the core game, DLC?
In the core game: I3, I4, I5, I6, V6, V8, V10, V12, V16 (Info: V16 FAQ ), Boxer-4, Boxer-6.
This means all engine configurations planned for the core game are now in the game.
A potential first engine pack DLC after the game is done: I2, Boxer-2 (Flat Twins), V4.
In case the sales are high enough we’d consider making: I8, Flat-8, Flat-12.
Our ability to make these packs also depends on being able to acquire the respective engine sounds.
4. W-Engines, VR-Engines, custom bank angles, and firing order?
Creating W- and VR-engines for the game would require a whole new set of base 3D assets because of how different the blocks and heads are for these engines compared to what we have in game. Unfortunately, due to how uncommon they are, this makes them unviable additions for the game.
Custom bank angles not only are technically difficult to implement, but also are a bad idea in general apart from very few exceptions: there are few optimal bank angles for every configuration that even make sense. The most common ones (apart from 72 degrees V10s) are represented in the game. The same is true for firing orders, which also are linked to bank angles.
5. Motorcycles, 3-wheelers, large trucks, micro-cars, busses, tractors, multi-axle, tracked vehicles?
Due to the large amount of time and money it would take to properly implement any of these other vehicle classes, their technologies, and markets, unfortunately this is a “No” to all the above. Automation is and will remain a (production-) car focused tycoon game.
With the Advanced Trim Settings tool added in the LCV4.2 update of December 2022, it is possible to visually make vehicles of these types and export them to BeamNG.drive, but the actual mechanicals of these edited vehicles still remain as conventional, four-wheeled vehicles, and their performance calculations DO NOT change as a result.
6. Superchargers, more turbo options, different turbo configurations?
With the LCV4.2 Update, we have greatly expanded upon the turbocharger options available in Automation, with many new configurations available for all engine formats. With the Supercharger Updates, we will be adding sequential turbochargers as well as superchargers - Roots, twin-screw and centrifugal - to Automation. This will complete the forced induction revamp, and fully flesh out the forced induction options in Automation.
7. Hemis, sidevalve, and flathead engines
There are no plans to implement these head designs. The reasoning here is that they were technically surpassed by other existing designs at the time the game starts in 1946. Of course there were very good, even iconic, engines made using these designs, and this is not to diminish their achievements. Automation is technically reasonably accurate, and this would mean there would be no real incentive to use the older tech because it would give you an overall worse performing engine compared to the same effort being put into a different, also available head design.
8. Extend the game to before year 1946?
The pioneering days of the automotive industry indeed are fascinating, but we can’t see that working in the context of Automation. Most of the engine layouts and tech that stood the test of time were available since very early on (Inline 6, DOHC-4… in 1922? No problem!). That means tech which doesn’t stand the test of time and straight up is just inferior would have to coexist with the good tech. There would be no good incentive to use worse designs except for “it’s cool”, and sure it would be.
Unfortunately we cannot invest the heap of required time and money to make this tech for something that would not work well in Automation. We rather use that time and money to make Automation the best it can be. By the post WWII era, the automotive industry had mostly settled on different viable designs, most of which are represented in the game already.
9. Extend the game to beyond year 2020?
For the core game we do not plan to expand the year range, we don’t want to spread the existing content thin, rather we focus on making the game the best we can in the existing year range. If Automation is successful enough and we get around to making an expansion for the game that includes electrics and hybrids, it would make sense to extend the year range, for example, to 2040.
10. 12k+ RPM rev limit, higher Octane fuels?
Automation is a game focused on running a car company that builds factory production road cars, and maybe a few touring car style race cars. In that context neither a rev limit above 12k RPM, nor fuels that don’t see widespread use make sense to include in the game. We chose the 12k RPM rev limit as it covers every production car engine ever made and then some. Due to the way we get engine sounds produced, anything beyond 12k RPM would be more or less impossible and remaking all sounds very expensive. Yes, there are very few, limited-production, highly-specialized cars running motorcycle engines able to rev higher, but as the name implies, “motorcycle” is not “car”.
11. When will Automation be released, how can I get it?
The Early Access version of the game is sold via Steam and you can find our store page here: store.steampowered.com/app/293760/ . New content and features are released to the public version in big updates about every 3 months, with separate smaller patches and content updates in between. We’re always prioritizing quality over rushing the game out unfinished, but for those daring enough there usually are opt-in open beta phases of new major milestone updates. The full game is still quite some time away, we’re currently focusing on fully implementing the tycoon elements of the game and the campaign mode.
12. Will Automation be on Mac / Linux / Mobile / Console?
Automation is currently a Windows PC release only at the time of writing. We are currently undertaking a small-scale, private test of a macOS version of Automation. No console or mobile versions are planned at this time, nor are any cross-platform Windows versions.
Automation is currently listed as “Playable” on the Steam Deck, where it will likely remain for the forseeable future; to be listed as “Supported” - full compatibility with the Steam Deck - is not likely at the time of writing.
13. What if you run out of money/get hit by a bus? What happens to my preorder?
We’ve already committed a lot of our own money and eleven+ years of our lives to this project, so we’ll do everything in our power to make sure this game gets finished. But in the end, if you’re not comfortable spending ~$30 to unlock all the currently available content, or don’t like the Early Access model, don’t buy the game yet and take another look when it is done.
14. If I buy the Early Access version, do I need to buy the game again when it’s done?
No! If you buy the game at any point during development you will get access to all the versions released after your buy including the finished version of the game once it is released. What it does not include are V16 engines, unless you have one of the old premium preorder packages which including them.
15. When will “feature X” be released?
The best way to keep up with the development of the game is to follow our YouTube Channel and the Little Dev Update series. If we haven’t announced a release date for something, it is because we don’t know ourselves. We develop the game in well-defined smaller projects which you are informed about regarding scope, content and progress on our YouTube channel. We also post development news items and release notes for patches in our Steam news section.
16. Will you add “car body X” or “fixture Y”?
We are constantly working on expanding the car body and fixtures options available in the game. That is done both by porting over the remaining old cars from the Kee Engine, and by adding entirely new ones. We have contracted some of the best modders of the game to create new content for us and there is a lot more to come in future updates. Our focus is on filling the gaps in car types available over the years first. Also we want to have car bodies have as many meaningfully different body variants as possible. However, there is no specific schedule for adding this kind of content, new bodies and fixtures will make their way into every bigger update until the game is considered done, and most likely beyond that point.
17. Will you be able to design car interiors?
Not entirely, no. Interiors in Automation will always be dictated by the Car Designer, and will have no visual effect on your finished cars. With the 3D fixture mode added in the LCV4.1 update, you can place fixtures inside your car to create the visual appearance of an interior, but it will have no effect on the performance of your car in Automation. Additionally, with how cars export to BeamNG.drive, any fixtures placed to create an interior may or may not export properly, nor will they have any animation or functionality as a native BeamNG.drive car would have.
18. Can I help? Can I help translate?
The biggest hurdle for an indie with a good product is visibility. We don’t have a publisher that does the marketing, so to large degree we rely on you guys to get the word out. Spread the word, the more interest we can drum up the better! Contact YouTubers you think would enjoy the game and tell them about it, etc.
You can help us out by translating the game to your native language, widening our potential audience.
All translations are community based and you are most welcome to help translate and/or proofread the translations! Quite a few languages are available to be translated for as is, but we will add more over time and as requested. We use crowdin as a platform for the community translations. It only requires you to make a free account with them. You can join the translation project via this invite link .
This video illustrates the translation process: How to translate with crowdin .
19. Can I become a Beta Tester?
If we need beta testers, we will ask for them from time to time either in a forums thread, or by announcement on the Official Automation Discord. To be chosen as a beta tester, you must be a regular contributor to the Automation community, and be known to the development team as a helpful member of the community. The closed beta is not for FAAAN (Fool-Around-And-Accomplish-Nothing) players though, you are expected to do actual work which isn’t fun all the time, and often full of game-breaking bugs, but the process is very rewarding in the end when you see how things come together!
20. How do I get my V16s? Who gets them? Can I get them?
This is best answered by the V16 FAQ .
There is also a brief explanation in video form.
Hope this has helped!
Anything else I missed? Ask us!