Technology

PC Building Simulator is (most of) the fun of building a PC—without pricey GPUs

You can press the buttons on the outside of the case or open it and start installing or removing components.


Samuel Axon

Free-build mode gives you a complete workshop to work with.


Samuel Axon

There is a tutorial that explains every step of building a PC, although it's a big deal.


Samuel Axon

The tutorial also explains the components of the PC.


Samuel Axon

You have your own computer in the shop on which you can perform various tasks; here we choose from a number of very generic songs for the background.


Samuel Axon

There are real branded products in this simulation.


Samuel Axon

The "simulator" genre of PC games was already pretty meta, but it has now reached a new level with PC Building Simulator a game currently available via Steam Early Access. In this one, you build desktop PCs (especially the variety of games) by opening the case, installing components, connecting them to the motherboard for more power, and more, all in a 3D simulation . (Sorry, no VR.)

After a few hours of testing, we were surprised at how much fun it is, even if it's pretty basic. And in this period of crypto-inflated GPU prices for update plans, it may be that it only disturbs the hearts of some PC enthusiasts.

A construction simulator of a PC …

The game comes with three modes: a tutorial "how to build a PC", career, and free construction. The first of these guides you through the key aspects of building a PC and explains the most essential concepts. It would actually be an excellent tutorial for building a real PC, even though it ignores many real world concerns, such as static electricity.

Career Mode puts you in charge of a computer repair business that you inherited from a family member. You have a workspace with multiple desks, as well as storage space for your components, and you check your own personal computer to accept work orders via email. Orders go from "my GPU is dead, can you install the new GeForce GTX 970?" to "help, I have a virus, run a virus scanner," and more. Yes, PCBS actually uses branded computer parts, including actual Power Cooler and MSI type hardware.

Here is a description of some work orders available in career mode:

This is your workspace: you start with just one table you can work on, but you unlock more as you progress.


Samuel Axon

After checking the emails, you learn that this client wants you to install a new GPU.

You will need to order the parts to install them. You can pay for expedited shipping to serve the customer quickly because their computer will probably arrive the day after you accept the job.


Samuel Axon

You end your day by going to the door of your office. When you leave, you will be introduced with this calendar to let you know what's coming.


Samuel Axon

The PCs that you have agreed to serve come to your door the next morning (see left), and all the pieces you ordered also appear (see right).


Samuel Axon

You must unscrew each individual screw to access the computer.


Samuel Axon

The installation of the GPU is a guided business. You can move the camera to get the good view.


Samuel Axon

You need to connect the PC to test it.


Samuel Axon

That's the start. Success!


Samuel Axon

It is the main interface for working on a PC. You can change the mode at the bottom.


Samuel Axon

This time you try to remove a virus – the game also has a software component. To do this, you need a USB drive with antivirus software, which you can find in your inventory here.


Samuel Axon

You plug the USB drive directly into the computer …


Samuel Axon

… and install the software on the machine.


Samuel Axon

"Have you tried restarting?"


Samuel Axon

It looks like a virus scanner program, but very basic.


Samuel Axon

When the job is done, you collect your payment by e-mail. (What, no cryptocurrency support? What type of PC 2018 construction simulator is this ?!)


Samuel Axon

In free build mode, you have a complete storage unit of all available components, and every part of your shop is unlocked, so you can simply build the PCs of your choice. Do you want to install LED lights and install a transparent case? Go ahead, you simulator l33t, you.

It's actually a tip to call PCBS a game; Career mode has some gaming traps, but most of all, it's the opportunity to experience the soothing satisfaction of locking those PCI-e cards without cursing you for dropping the screwdriver.

Optional production values ​​

As you can see in other popular "real-life simulation" series (Euro Truck Simulator, Farming Simulator, etc.), PC Building Simulator graphics are pretty good but nothing is too much trouble. ; amazing. The interface is simple, and you will spend all your time being serenaded by a few tracks of what we assume to be a public domain music that draws quite heavily on rock nineties. It's pretty generic. One of the titles sounds strangely like a mediocre instrumental version of the "Wonderwall" of Oasis. I want to criticize that, but I can not, because it brings back good memories of PC gaming construction when I was younger in the 90s. Your mileage may vary.

This game actually began life as a playable concept demo demonstration on the itch.io independent game market and its teenager creator continued to make a full game based on player feedback . So it is not as if we could expect higher production values.

That said, PC Building Simulator is a surprisingly complete and neat experience for Early Access software. The career mode creates a state of pleasant flow of tasks and rewards, even if there are very few challenges to overcome. The game's Steam page indicates that future updates will focus on adding hardware components that you can play with, as well as the following features:

Cold water
Overclocking
More licensed components
Fully localized in some languages
More options for comparative analysis
More types of career mode jobs

The full game is Windows only, but in a fun way, the itch.io demo includes Mac support. Finally, Mac users who have the urge to upgrade GPUs can live their PC gaming fantasies.

Some Ars staff were convinced that the game should fry the PCs if you do not land before touching them; that there should be a "disaster mode" similar to SimCity; and you should be able to install Linux. No luck on these items of the wishlist for the moment, but here is a support for mod or Steam Workshop.

Preview of the announcement by Samuel Axon

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