Omnibus Driving Simulator Released

By Quintin Smith on February 21st, 2011 at 5:26 pm.

It's almost worth playing, just in case it's buggy and we can use 'BUSTED' as a headline

Released, and it’s… impressive. Not even kidding. I came close to letting out a tiny gasp while watching the video below. Make no mistake, Aerosoft’s Omnibus Driving Simulator might have the most impressive fidelity of any 80s West Berlin bus driver simulator ever made. I could tell you that Omnibus driving simulator depicts both the SD200 and SD202 MAN double-decker buses. I could tell you it models fully functional IBIS (integrated on-board information system). I could tell you it contains day/night cycles, weather and unique seasonal effects. But instead of that I’m going to tell you to watch the video below. No, don’t watch it- breathe it in.

Listen to the sound those windows make! Listen to the sea monster gargle of the engine! You can almost smell the eons of spilled beer, feel the misery of shitty sleep.

Shame about the character animations, but whatever. I genuinely want to play this. It could only be better if it featured acts of passenger aggression at 3am, where you’re forced to park, call the police and suffer thoughtless, poisonous abuse for minutes on end.

If you’re interested in Omnibus Driving Simulator too, you can buy it from simMarket.com here. Their version of the game’s in English, and an English version of the manual will appear as a free download on Feb 23rd. If you need me I’ll be right here, trying not to resist the urge to do a Wot I Think.

, .

69 Comments »

Sponsored links by Taboola
  1. Wodge says:

    It will be like that time I watched so much Ice Road Truckers that I had to buy 18 Wheels of Steel: Extreme Trucker, and enjoyed it far more than I should have done. Just need some OTT TV show to get me inspired to buy this, “X25 Pontardawe to Swansea: Insane Bus Man” on Discovery NOW!

  2. Linfosoma says:

    I really want someone to explain this to me. I consider myself to be more or less open minded, but what kind of people play this game?
    I mean, aren’t video games supposed to be some sort of escapism? Who dreams about being a bus driver, riding along under the speed limit doing an incredibly repetivitive task? (which is basically what 75% of Mafia II’s gameplay was like, zing!).

    The mind, it boggles.

    • Consumatopia says:

      I wouldn’t dream of being a bus driver, heck I would never dream of buying this game,but it would be kind of interesting to do a bus driver’s job for a couple of hours, just to see what it was like. Especially if I don’t have to pay fines or serve jail time for the accidents I cause.

      Of course, to even conceive such a desire marks me as almost criminally privileged: “Gee, I wonder what it is like to experience suffering, like one of these common people beneath me still living in the pre-Singularity.”

    • Celsius1414 says:

      I would love to try this out. I’m a big transit fan as well as a big simulator fan, especially flight sims which this reminds me of. Now, I wouldn’t necessarily play this for 24 hours straight, since there’s so much Minecrafting to be done, but I’d love to check it out.

      I haven’t looked into it, but it’d be cool if you could also get a big-picture view of the transit scheme, doing scheduling and whatnot, respond to emergencies, etc.

    • mod the world says:

      I guess if you are a criminal, a special forces soldier or a superhero you don’t want to play games that depict your daily grind. After a hard day of work you just want to play a bus driver!

    • noodlecake says:

      I had a dream about being a bus driver once…

    • Premium User Badge

      Oozo says:

      I don’t know about bus simulators, but I do know for a fact that the farming simulator is played by a good deal of farmers. People who will never be able to afford a 14-ton-John Deere-nuclear-fallout-proof-combine harvester, nor having a field the size of a small European country (colonies included) to plow. So, it actually is a kind of escapism – just a question of what you’re escaping from.

    • patricij says:

      bicycle repairman anyone? *nudge nudge*

    • Dozer says:

      I AM a bus driver – this game exerts a kind of morbid fascination. I mean, yes, I could spend my leisure time pretending I’m at work (after travelling back in time a few decades and moving a few hundred miles), and for kicks do all the things we’re never allowed to do, like drive double-deck buses into bridges.

      If the game’s going to deliver an authentic bus-driving experience, it’s really all about the AI of the other road users. That’s the defining experience of driving a bus, at least for me. I don’t know if the developers have made a sheep-farm simulator, but if they have, the AI for the sheep would be the ideal starting point for a typical South-West England road user. Queue in the bus lane in its hours of operation, because the car in front did. Ignore the bus lane and queue in the other lane when the bus lane is open to all traffic, ditto. Begin to overtake the bus that has started driving away from the bus stop; just following the traffic!

      The weaving-a-large-bus-through-a-narrow-curving-street-full-of-parked-cars aspect appears to have been overlooked, based on the screenshots – then again, maybe Berlin doesn’t have narrow streets anymore and it’s just my misfortune I work in a city that’s basically a limestone beehive. And the can-we-fit-between-the-scaffolding-truck-and-this-brick-wall part – very important. Have they included realistic missions like “get to the bus station with enough time to pop into Sainsburys for a sandvich before the next trip” and “endure the sound of all the ceiling panels resonating very loudly to the engine for four and a half hours without losing your temper with more than three passengers/motorists”? And the flavoursome minigames like “Spot the hidden vehicle defect!” and “Why won’t it move?”.

      However, I doubt it will run on this 3ghz Pentium IV with nVidia 7300GT, so I’ll just keep playing Dwarf Fortress and Cities in Motion.

    • pistolhamster says:

      Being a coach driver was my childhood dream. I was just fascinated by omnibusses. The public service you conducted. Committed to a tight time table. Starched uniform. The control you had over the automatic doors. Oh yes, I wanted to be a bus driver really bad. And I actually wished someone would make a bus driver game, I mean, back then you could buy Trashman from Microbyte. And I bought it. And I kind of wondered why no one made Bus Driver Man.
      Well, 25 years later, they did!

      @Dozer, if there is one major lack in Berlin it is narrow streets. At least I never managed to find any. Its low rise and with wide roads all over. And busses!

    • Dozer says:

      Opening and closing the doors is kind of fun, actually. Sadly, my depot’s buses only have one set of doors each. Similar buses in French and German cities sometimes have three!

    • Premium User Badge

      stahlwerk says:

      Dozer, for Berlin you’d start with this behaviour for the Berlin-native driver’s AI. Then you model the people from elsewhere as going in random/opposite directions, and randomly stopping to swear at their GPS or ask for directions because their street maps from 2 years ago are hopelessly outdated.

    • Edawan says:

      @Linfosoma : You might want to read this interview about UK Truck Simulator, which is really the same niche.

      (I remembered the link from a Sunday Paper a long time ago :P )

  3. bookwormat says:

    It’s magical!

  4. patrick says:

    Quinns is channeling Tim? I didn’t even know he’d died!

  5. Caddrel says:

    Is there co-op multiplayer?

    • Quintin Smith says:

      Your friends could sit behind you and play Omnibus Passenger Simulator!

    • Wilson says:

      @Caddrel – That’s pretty much what I thought on watching the video. I was actually thinking it could use some social networking feature where your friends can ride in your bus, and critique your technique. Alternatively, an in-depth career system where you have to juggle your dream to be the finest bus driver in town with the requirement to complete missions given to you by the secret society of which you are a member. Kind of like Floor 13, but with buses.
      Edit: Quinns beat me to the comment regarding your friends as passengers. Great minds think alike?

    • Dozer says:

      Believe it or not, Second Life players have asked the same question about flight simulators connected to the VATSIM virtual air traffic control network (lots of people flying planes in the same online space, with other people at simulated radar desks with lots of microphones and phonetic alphabets). “Could there be a VATSIM client to allow us to be passengers on another person’s simulated flight?” they asked. Answer from VATSIM: No, that would be an absurd use of network connection resources, you’re a bunch of freaks. IIRC.

    • pepper says:

      Dozer, that is disturbing.. I mean, I enjoy flightsim because it allows you to do the actual flying instead of sitting in a seat, I dont like flying as a passenger( except when skydiving, something gotta bring you up ). How can people possibly enjoy sitting in the back of a simulated plane looking at the mostly rather plain scenery, yes I know there is some beautiful scenery out there. But I have never managed to avoid the boring looking bits on the long haul.

  6. Wilson says:

    I am so glad that games like this exist. Though the human animations are a little too sinister. Perhaps move the arms in just slightly. Then it would be perfect.

  7. Teronfel says:

    Finally a good bus simulator!!!

  8. ukpanik says:

    Can’t wait to not stop for people waiting in horrid weather conditions.

    • Shark says:

      Even better: not closing the damn doors on a windy winter day

    • Dozer says:

      How about not waving at the approaching bus when you’re waiting at a stop served by several different routes?

      Or otherwise doing an Oscar-winning impersonation of “Pedestrian waiting for friend coincidentally near a bus stop who has no intention of travelling by bus today”.

  9. _Jackalope_ says:

    I want to play this just to drive around in a city which is 50% populated with my VW Golf Mk2.

  10. Pointless Puppies says:

    The presentation is decidedly old school, but I like the idea.

    And yes, like everyone else who gets their hands on this, if I ever buy this I’d probably spend the majority of the time doing as bad a job as I possibly can.

  11. Atomosk says:

    This is amazing. The details… the sounds… The environments kind of have an old Colin Mcrae 4 feel to them. I hope this catches on and they release it on steam with hundreds of new bus and city DLCs like that train simulator thing thats always there. I would pay unreasonable amounts of money for a San Francisco MUNI bus sim made by these people. Suicidal bums and hood rats starting fights optional.

    • El Mariachi says:

      You’d have a hard time driving your virtual MUNI bus any worse than they do in real life.

  12. Navagon says:

    This leaves me bus-ting with excitement! We need a Wot I Think or at least an Impressions of this one. We need to know what the passengers are like and how many times you need to call the police to cart the junkies off while trying to appease your more law abiding customers.

  13. Daniel Klein says:

    Does anyone else dream of a racing game that starts off at this level of fidelity and shittiness and then gradually ramps it up to Burnout Paradise levels? No? Just me? Alright then. I’ll be discussing the racing game of my dreams with the voices then.

  14. wootles says:

    So where’s the realism? I don’t see any cars cutting off these things. I believe that’s the most tactful situation a bus driver has to learn to anticipate is when that 94 honda civic decides that your bus isn’t there and decides to turn in front of you. If this game had that, then we’d talk.

    • konrad_ha says:

      Apparently you didn’t watch the whole thing, because this is exactly what happens at the end. It almost made me jump out of my seat.

  15. Soon says:

    Apparently, my buttocks have some sort of Pavlovian response to those engine sounds. And that bouncing is kind of sexy.

  16. Marcin says:

    Wow. I’ve been playing Test Drive Unlimited 2 and while a lot of fun, the engine sounds in that game aren’t fit to tie Omnibus Simulator’s shoes. Something about the sheer bassy, throbbing fidelity of that sound is so … captivating.
    I foresee I’m going to be playing this.

  17. Javier-de-Ass says:

    this looks fucking fantastic. I’ll have to buy it later. still got my threescreen setup going on after two straight weeks of delicious delicious tdu2. hopefully it will handle threescreen okay

  18. Fox89 says:

    I knew I’d regret not spending the extra £100 for a card with DX11 :(

  19. Ateius says:

    I look forward to the adventures of Quintin Smith: Off-Road Bus Driver

  20. ZIGS says:

    What is left for the Germans to simulate?

    • Shark says:

      seniorenspaziergang simulator 2011
      nyc hotdog stand pusher simulator 2011
      omnibus simulator 2012

    • Radu says:

      Fun.

    • Javier-de-Ass says:

      pyromaniac simulator
      mass murderer simulator
      sex simulator simulator

    • Premium User Badge

      stahlwerk says:

      I don’t believe we had full-on facility management yet. Hausmeistersimulator 2011, how many clicks does it take you to screw in ze lightbulb?

  21. faelnor says:

    Too bad this really looks ugly :( This could be the DCS of public transportation.

  22. Premium User Badge

    yhancik says:

    While I have no interest in playing some public transport simulator, I must say I’m impressed by the rather rich sound of that game !

  23. Jake says:

    How can the player in the video go for 10 whole minutes without ramming anything? Surely the real object of the game is to slaughter as many passengers as possible? Going under low bridges at top speed, plowing through bus stops, jumps, etc. They should call it Death Bus.

    • clive dunn says:

      That’s exactly what i was thinking. A GTA style bus rampage trying to tot up as much damage as possible. I’ve got a horrible feeling it’ll just say game over, try again, as soon as you merely tap the bumper of the obnoxious BMW ahead.

  24. manveruppd says:

    I would be tempted to buy this if it was a contemporary setting instead of 80s, purely cause I love Berlin and it would be fun to make-believe like I’m back there and driving around. But I’ve only ever been there in recent years, and there’s been so much building since the 80s that I’d probably only recognise a handful of landmarks if I bought this game.

    • Dozer says:

      I think the first release just simulates one or two routes, not the whole of Berlin. If you watch the video, there’s a side-by-side comparison of the game and the real world as recorded by a camera on someone’s dashboard.

  25. Premium User Badge

    Olero says:

    Kickdown!!!!

    But seriously, the sound design of this game is frightingly similar to the real world buses. Though there still are some points missing if they want to make this a more accurate simulator:
    – Nobody greets the busdriver anymore these days! The polite 50s are over…
    – No way the seats of the bus can be so sterile. Where is the gum? Or the missing headrests? And the graffiti.
    – You should be able to drive away from a bus stop, just before people get in. And have those people chase your bus, waving and yelling. Or does that only happen to me?
    – There should be a lot of bicycles driving in Berlin. And just like the Honda Civic mentioned earlier, they should be in total ignorance of buses.
    – When the sun goes down, there should be agression inside the bus and mostly directed at you, the grumpy busdriver
    – There really aren’t that many twins in Berlin. Or twin cars for that matter. Good luck finding your own car there!
    – That window should become stuck when opened
    – Etc.

    But hey, the sounds are really really nice, and that window looks schmoove!

    • Jake says:

      I think Kickdown!!! must be a Bulletstorm-esque kill with skill, I’m just guessing here as I am no bus expert but perhaps it is what double-decker bus drivers call it when they deliberately break really hard when you are off balance on the stairs so that you faceplant the stairwell in front of the pretty girls.

      As for two of your points there – I say hello to bus drivers, but then I am quite lonely, sometimes I also say ‘fancy going for a pint after this?’ but that rarely happens. And as for why the seats aren’t covered in chewing gum, remember it is set in Germany, where they prize cleanliness above all else, especially chewing gum. I think this also explains why their window slides so smoothly.

  26. tom01278 says:

    But is it moddable? And if so, can I recreate Speed?

  27. Nemon says:

    I’m afraid this game might cause rape.

  28. boldoran says:

    Say what you want about this but they captured the sounds perfectly.

  29. pilouuuu says:

    GTA Berlin?

  30. Thants says:

    Sound like an excuse to post the Bus Driver’s Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USbxZ6MfE70

  31. luckystriker says:

    Considering I played the rather awful Euro Truck Simulator, this one looks an easy buy.

  32. Rugged Malone says:

    Heh, why do so many games like this get the walk animations wrong? Left foot forward does not equal left arm forward, silly animators.

    Is there some 3D engine where it’s prohibitively expensive to rotate the shoulder and hip pivots in opposite directions? :)

    It’s a drill-sergeant’s nightmare in there.

  33. konrad_ha says:

    Now if Rockstar can bring every vehicle in the inevitable next GTA to this level of detail things will get interesting. Also 80s Berlin is quite an interesting setting when you think about it.

  34. Sunjammer says:

    The thankless ‘Morgen’ really sells the experience for me. Those awkward automatons inspire fear and hate, just like real bus passengers.

  35. bartleby says:

    Awesome. Now I can ramp start a bus. A dream come true.

  36. seb says:

    I have to disagree with the “shitty sleep” remark — some of the best sleep I’ve had was on a bus. No, really. Something about that droning engine noise and the slow, gentle swaying. I always found it actually quite relaxing. Unless the bus is crowded and full of screaming kids of course. In which case it is like going through purgatory.

  37. 3lbFlax says:

    I loved the bit at 8:15 where the final boarding passenger is a clone of the woman sitting on the right. I assume this is the point where the slow-but-steady segue from bus simulator to Philip K. Dick-inspired sci-fi nightmare begins.