Production Line conveyor belts into early access

The upcoming tycoonist car factory game Production Line [official site] has been travelling along the development assembly line since its announcement in September last year, getting bits and pieces welded on by creator Positech. Now it’s ready for the next phase. The giant machine-like claws of Steam early access are waiting to tear it asunder and put it back together again from May 18. “This also signifies that I think the game is ‘good enough’ at its current state to be considered an Early Access title,” says developer Cliffski, who in this metaphor is, like, a foreman with a high-vis jacket or something. Here’s a wee trailer.

“Efficiency is everything!” That’s exactly what Graham makes us shout three times in unison every morning at our desks. You’ll be tooling cars together in the best-but-also-cheapest-but-also-fastest way that you possibly can. It’s all about micromanagement, twiddling with the supply chain, the factory layout, and so on. As such, it’s aimed at the tinkering tycooners that enjoy other management sims like Big Pharma (another Positech-published game).

It has already been playable to an alpha crowd for some time, we should note, so this is more of a formal launch into Steam’s wider pool of potential players, which Cliffski admits will bring both benefits and drawbacks.

“Releasing to EA will no doubt swallow up a lot of time dealing with new tech support questions and how to play questions etc,” he says, “which may slow the pace of new features and bug fixes slightly, but hopefully not too badly.”

That doesn’t sound very efficient, Cliff! EFFICIENCY IS EVERYTHING.


  1. theslap says:

    Looks pretty cool but after being burned by Big Pharma, I think I’ll wait to see more. Sort of wish the products being built was something other than automobiles but it’s a minor complaint.

    • battles_atlas says:

      Read Rivethead and you’ll change your mind.

      I got a lot of enjoyment out of this, given how bare bones it was at the time.

      • picaroon says:

        I haven’t thought of that book in years. What a great read. I still remember his description of a bar: “What it lacked in ambiance, it made up for in ambulance.”

    • LTK says:

      Big Pharma wasn’t developed by Positech, it was just published by them.

    • BillyBantam says:

      Interested to know how you were burnt by Big Pharma. I loved it.

  2. Herzog says:

    I started working for a production line company half a year ago. With no technical background (in commercial field) – learning by playing. Will get this!

  3. KDR_11k says:

    Since my work is somewhat related to the car industry I have to avoid this game to not fulfill the stereotype of Germans going home to simulate their job…

  4. grimdanfango says:

    I would ordinarily have had a passing interest to try it out…

    But Factorio.

    • Nosada says:

      Still giving this a spin, but it’ll have to work hard to draw me away from my .15 infinite resource megafactory :-)

  5. falcon2001 says:

    I actually really like this push towards workflow management/puzzle games like Big Pharma and Factorio. I’ve also been enjoying Reactor Idle and Factory Idle as well, which are web-based idlerish games that are all about balancing different things to achieve production.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Factorio succeeds because it’s *not* a puzzle game at all. It’s a game which allows sloppy solutions, but subtly encourages and rewards efficiency and optimization and clever solutions.

      Compare to something like Infinifactory; puzzle games just say no and make you feel like an idiot until you find The Solution.

      I dunno what this game will be, but Gratuitous Space Battles was very much a puzzle game disguised as a strategy game, so I’m a little wary.

    • wu wei says:

      Cheers for the pointers to Factory/Reactor Idle.