Engine Building for the Video Game Generation

While we were browsing YouTube looking for crazy, high-revving engine videos, we stumbled across something a little different. Automation – The Car Company Tycoon Game is a cross between The Sims and engine modelling software, allowing you to not just design and build both cars and engines, but manage the production side of things as well. While the latter is cool, what really piqued our interests – being the nerds we are – is the in-depth engine designer which is an advanced engine building simulator.

Everything from an 11,000 rpm twin-cam four-cylinder to a twin-turbo big-block, or even a V16 is available in the engine building simulator for you to go crazy with. Every parameter you can change on an engine in real life can be altered in the game. Once you choose your engine parts, specs, and materials, you can then run your engine on the dyno. Once on the dyno, you can swap parts, adjust settings, and tweak parameters and see how those changes affect your power and torque curves, in real time. The physics engine used is so realistic, publisher Camshaft Software bills it as edu-tainment, and it comes complete with tutorials, parts descriptions, and an extensive manual to support budding engineers. Also included for those easily-bored without a challenge, the game features engineering challenges, which gives you performance goals and design parameters in which to work.

As we poked around the software, we noticed a trend emerging among our staff; we’re all pretty competitive. As we familiarize ourselves with the software more, chances are, we are going to be spending far too much time trying to one-up each other with our “builds”. Normally video games aren’t in our wheelhouse, but since we assume that you, our readers, are as into engine design and theory as we are, we figured that this would probably grab hold of you as firmly as it has us. Just don’t blame us for the time you spend delving into all of the features the game has to offer.

About the author

Greg Acosta

Greg has spent over a decade in automotive publishing as Senior Editor of Race Pages magazine. In his free time, he is a firearms instructor and volunteer in the police armory.
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