Warehouse & Logistics Simulator Is On Steam, Easy To Mock

By Graham Smith on February 26th, 2014 at 4:00 pm.

Someone's paradise.

Warehouse and Logistics Simulator has just been released on Steam. It contains “original Jungheinrich forklift”, a “huge variety of quests” about lifting pallets from point A to point B, and no collision detection on the people idly milling around the warehouse.

There’s a launch trailer below, and some thoughts from me while I attempt to resist all the easy jokes.

I’m in no real position to make fun of something like this, as I genuinely enjoy a whole range of nerdy simulation games. But as I’ve been reading about it, I wonder how much a game like this is intended to be “genuinely” enjoyed. The Steam reviews suggest its buggy, feature-light, and from a developer known for other similarly iffy games. The Steam forums are mostly populated by people who bought it ‘for the lulz'; in other words, their enjoyment is ironic, and comes mainly from the game’s mere existence. People are buying it as a kind of punchline.

Its publisher – who are also responsible for Agricultural Simulator: Historical Farming – must know that these people are part of their market. I want to know what the ratio is, between people who buy the game because they want it and people who buy it so they can tell people they bought it. I wouldn’t judge either group, but it strikes me that the latter group’s cynical enjoyment is dependent on the idea that there’s a large group of the former. “People really like this stuff? That’s cray.” If its inevitable mockery is built-in, a deliberate part of the game’s appeal, that seems considerably less fun an idea.

Exhibit A to suggest that’s the case: there’s also DLC available for the game, called Hell’s Warehouse. It adds zombies.

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50 Comments »

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    • ucfalumknight says:

      Thanks for that. Really interesting article. Giants and SCS are very good developers making very good games. I have logged a ridiculous amount of time with FS2013 and ETS2. The Modding community is a huge boost to these two games.
      There are some developers pushing crapware out the door under the guise of simulators. This dev seems like one of them.

    • DThor says:

      Yes indeed, very interesting. This has always fascinated me since the day I stumbled across the dlc for train simulator and found it to total *$2000* and climbing. Then there was the bus simulator, where you get your route and need to keep to schedule, not leave anyone behind, and make change. Of course it’s easy to mock, but kids aren’t dropping hundreds of euros on dlc, these are obviously adults, and I was wondering how these publishers survive, or indeed if the world is becoming populated by countless millions of autistics (that’s another column). This seems to be the modern equivalent of trainspotting, and of course model trains. I would argue that apart from the low profit margin, I’m betting this is very much a European mindset. On a sociological level, it’s really quite fascinating.

  1. Brinx says:

    Killing zombies with a forklift actually sounds like a great use of my time.

  2. Wulfram says:

    People seem to like doing things that seem like they have less “game” than this does, at least in concept.

  3. Allenomura says:

    Does it include a Klaus physics simulator mode?

    • Kollega says:

      That’s a very good idea, actually… why won’t someone make a game that recreates Staplerfahrer Klaus? I mean, don’t we have enough developers who already did that minus the forklift truck?

  4. EOT says:

    Pfft…pig-disgusting JH trucks. Hyster’s where it’s at yo.

  5. Phoibos Delphi says:

    “People really like this stuff? That’s cray.” Mr. Smith has been introduced to an 80s supercomputer, I believe!

  6. Moraven says:

    Shenmue did it first.

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      Don Reba says:

      Shenmue did it best.

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        DrScuttles says:

        Shenmue 3 confirmed?

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          welverin says:

          Don’t taunt me!

          Of course my first thought upon seeing this article was that people mock the forklift parts of Shenmue and yet a game like this exists.

  7. MrBucket says:

    Agricultural Simulator is crap… pretty much every release from this publisher is utter garbage, bug filled, and way too cumbersome. Any time they release something I think they stop development at alpha and move on to the next cash grab.

    • KDR_11k says:

      Huh, the farm sim fans seem to like Agri Sim the most out of the available options.

  8. Oculardissonance says:

    Wow it seems like the actual game is dlc and the main game was an after thought. I mean who makes a serious sim with the later intent to add a weaponized option with mines? Its too bad you seem to be playing the invisible man but I suppose being attacked by zombies gives credence to that scenario as opposed to having a normal warehouse job despite miraculous powers of invisibility.

  9. Viroso says:

    You know what though, I enjoy organizing and optimizing things as best as possible. I think a lot of people do, actually. Who hasn’t spent too much time organizing their inventory, tweaking their characters.

    You know it could actually be fun. You manage some Amazon like company and you have to create the most efficient way to organize, store, find, retrieve and ship your products. The game could give you as most freedom as possible so you’d come up with your own crazy systems.

    You’d try to come up with the best way to fit as most differently shaped products in the smallest possible space, kinda like a game of tetris, or create your own product categories and so on. Could totally be fun. Imagine, running your delivery company at maximum efficiency and then finding out how to increase it by .1%. The thrill.

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      Surlywombat says:

      Thats not this game though, this game you drive a forklift.

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        Harlander says:

        Amazon Warehouse Optimisation Simulator would probably end up feeling like SpaceChem, from what I’ve heard from people working in the warehouses

  10. Shadrach says:

    If you can faithfully recreate the events in Staplerfahrer Klaus then it will be GOTY for me!

    • Sharlie Shaplin says:

      I did a forklift course years ago, and remember being shown that with english subs as part of it. It was the day I learned that the myth of Germans not having a sense of humour, was a huge lie.

      • HadToLogin says:

        Of course they have. Problem is, their sense of humor makes them laugh when they see someone smoking in “no-smoking” room (vide Airline Tycoon) :) .

        Who knows, maybe this is just a smile-less gore video for them, one they only show between 23-6 (or whenever they don’t have that “you can’t see this violent video game right now, wait until kids go to bed” censorship).

    • Mollusc Infestation says:

      I only opened this article to post the same link.

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        phuzz says:

        Yup, and also in reply to the comment above about running over zombies with a forklift.

    • Muzman says:

      I was going to post this as well
      They should make some sort of game that’s a bit like Surgeon Simulator meets the -dismount games. You have to operate your stiff and poorly maintained forklift and its incredibly dangerous load between all these oblivious and fragile humans with all their delicious blood.

  11. Jertornas says:

    So.. this isn’t the hangar module for Star Citizen?

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    AndiK says:

    You know, these things *could* be quite interesting if the developers only bothered to add actual physicz to these kind of games. Forklifts are prone to tip over when driven too swiftly around a bend. Or up/down a ramp the wrong way. Or with the load too high up. The load on the pallettes is often rather loose – brake too hard or do the swift turn thing again and it topples off.

    I mean, if playing this were *some* kind of challenge; if you needed to be at least a bit care- and thoughtful about your moves. It might actually be fun…

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    LTK says:

    A three-minute trailer (which honestly felt like six minutes) and not a single instance of dropping a box and spilling the contents, tipping the forklift over with a sudden stop, or crashing into a huge pile of physics objects! These people should be banned from ever making trailers for anything again.

    • Turkey says:

      The boxes explode Half-Life 1 style if you drop them, and then a new box instantly spawns at the pick-up spot. It probably wouldn’t look that great in a trailer. Probably why they didn’t show the forklift go through the aimless ghost people neither.

  14. RogueJello says:

    Honestly, I could see a market for 5 year olds, I mean who didn’t play with trucks and stuff.

    Also, if they got the physics right, for training people to do the real job, before they’re driving around something that can easily maim, crush, and kill, not to mention cause thousands in property damage.

  15. TWChristine says:

    I always defend simulators because I feel they give anyone a chance to try out things they may or will never have a chance to experience such as flying planes, driving trains, and yes, even harvesting crops. But this one kind of makes me feel that ya know..anybody can walk into local lumber warehouse and get a job to experience the joys of moving stock around. As always though, to each their own. I just hope there’s a DLC where you play the jackass that loads yogurt skids on transports as carelessly as possible. Bonus points if it topples over as you put it on, ignore it, and proceed to ram it forward anyway.

  16. CARDYKEV says:

    I wonder how many recorded hours Hilary Devey has?

  17. hotmaildidntwork says:

    Aimless ghost people? boxes that just respawn when moved or destroyed? A bodiless protagonist that can ultimately change nothing no matter what actions they take?

    Are we sure that this isn’t some sort of re-interpretation of the sisyphean myth for the modern era?

  18. edwardoka says:

    Having worked in a warehouse in my youth*, I can confirm that this is a reasonably accurate simulacrum. However, I’m not sure how the Damp Rotten Cardboard Smell DLC will be able to accurately model the attendant respiratory problems. Hopefully they will include DLC that allows you to treat pallet trucks as scooters and abuse your role as night shift administrator to arrange impromptu races with the pickers.

    * I didn’t work there for long. Presumably something to do with pallet truck racing leagues.

  19. Frank says:

    If it taught something about supply chain management or the variety of different warehouses (e.g., Amazon’s vs old-school), that would be cool. Warehouse logistics sounds a lot more interesting and easier to set up in a game than most of these other oddball sims whose titles I sometimes see on Steam.

    Oh, looking at the last comment, it would be very cool if such a game had pallet truck racing!

  20. wwoup92 says:

    This mom is blessed; I just want to add her story. She has been unemployed for months but now receiving money in her spare time on laptop. She basically makes $6000-$8000 a month online here http://7.ly/egQy

    • Jac says:

      Basically YOUR MUM.

      Although I respect the fact that wwoup92 is a valued member of the RPS community, is there not a simple way of blocking these posts containing an obviously dodge link to a site at the end? I am trying to resist the lure but it is a sad inevitability that no man can resist such constant temptation and it shouldn’t be too hard to ensure the filter doesn’t stop people posting genuinely useful links.

  21. Jac says:

    Cray?!? Nein! Cray cray. Yes.

  22. mr.black says:

    I think lots of it has got to do with the quality of the product made. After slick and enjoyable ETS2 very small number of people would go and just mock the game. Sure it has some gaming restrains larger studios would rather do seppuku, than ship the game without, but it’s very playable, managing aspect is fun and simulation of trucks.. well, really is one of the best and closest to reality on the whole market.
    Now those other simulators most probably can scratch the itch some kids or adults have about playing with stuff they couldn’t in real life – tractors, great transporters, forklifts, but technically they’re peace of crap. So niche market’s out there, but no one is skilled enough to either care, or be able to do any better that what we already have.
    The more, the merrier, methinks, here’s hoping this market will blossom (in quality) as well as indie, time management, HOG and all the others.

  23. The Random One says:

    That trailer was only a few steps removed from the “420 Noscope Cornshot” pastiches. Methinks Graham may not be very off as to the publisher’s intentions with this title, at least.

  24. bstard says:

    I’ve always had questions about these sim game, who on earth would spend many gold pieces on Train Sim or Sim a Farm, but then I realized I play sims with defending towers, with hack’slashing mobs and the worse of all: the sim of medieval Europe aka CK2. So I guess we all have to spend some time in the purgatory.

  25. Urthman says:

    This is the game that professional wizards, stunt-drivers, assassins, and zombie hunters play in their spare time.