Positech’s Production Line rolls into early access

Where do cars come from? That century-old question is answered in Production Line [official site], a car-building factory management sim from Gratuitious Space Battles dev Positech, which has now hit early access. We all know cars live in symbiotic relationships with humans, letting us ride in their cheek pouches in exchange for food. And many of us know that a car nearing death will make one final journey to a local park to be set ablaze by teenagers in a mating frenzy. But their beginnings? The truth might surprise you.

Turns out, the human domestication of cars has become so invasive and so immoral that scientists ‘design’ cars to suit their every need then ‘build’ them in labs they call ‘factories’. These Frankensteins stitch cars today from individual pieces, picking everything from their vital battery and beating engine to their headlights and the mechanism of their windowlids. These monsters even intentionally make some cars worse than others, denying them advanced organs to make them — get this! — cheaper. That’s right, they sell these cars. For money. And you might enjoy cold-heartedly designing cars and building the monstrous factories that bring them to life?

Positech started selling Production Line in pre-alpha state in January, and now chief Frankenstein Cliff Harris has bumped it up to early access. That means it’s more done but not yet done. “The current version is fully playable and has multiple maps, a map editor and some achievements,” he says. Still to come are new music, new sound, a user interface overhaul, new car parts, and new features including advertising.

Production Line is £11.99/15,99€/$15.99 in on Steam Early Access and a few Britcents more on GOG. Harris expects the game to be in early access “for at least six months” and “possibly much longer” depending on what players make of it.

Here’s Harris poking at the game in a recent dev video:


  1. TechnicalBen says:

    I would get this, but as it is alpha, I could buy a “puzzel game” and it could turn out into a “card strategy game”. As this opposite happened when I got Big Pharma on the premise it’s alpha played like a “card strategy game”, for it to be changed into a “puzzel game”. :/

    Though saying that, if that did happen, it would balance out. ;)

    Oh the risks of buying into early alphas…

    • TechnicalBen says:

      I take some of that back, tried to see if I could redownload Big Pharma, and cannot see it in any of my accounts (multiple stores is a pain, especially when you realize you just threw out that postit with ALL the passwords on). So I guess I only played the pre-alpha and demos.

      I do miss the alpha of Big Pharma though, the mixing of stats and card based effects/stats was really cool and added to replayability. I think there’s an article somewhere for games that were better in their alphas (Spore being one etc).

  2. xyzzy frobozz says:

    God I hate that I have to trudge through two paragraphs of Alice’s belaboured humour only to get to one (much shorter) paragraph which essentially only tells me that the game is in alpha and “that means it’s more done but not yet done”.

    Well, duuuh, thanks for that!

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      Drib says:

      I found the car talk fun. Don’t be such a miserable sod, what more is there to report than it’s out for EA and so is obviously not done?

    • Umama says:

      I appreciate the writers injecting their style and humour into theses articles instead of just running press releases verbatim like so many other sites do.

      • xyzzy frobozz says:

        But that’s my issue – it’s simply a press release disguised as humour, with no actual information provided beyond that.

        “Here is a game that has entered alpha. I have no more information, so I’ll pad it out into a couple of paragraphs of attempted humour”.

        Lazy stuff.

        • Kaeoschassis says:

          Well… no, it’s not lazy, is it? Lazy would have been JUST providing the press-release verbatim, or arguably, deciding not to run the story at all. Making the effort to pad the article with humour was by definition the very opposite of laziness, whatever else you or I might think of it. What would your idea of going the extra mile have been? Magicking up facts where none exist?

          • xyzzy frobozz says:

            So you’re of the belief that the only facts that exist on this is that it’s entered early access?

            Is that what you’re saying?

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      Joke’s on you!

    • goodpoints says:

      Oh shove it up your tail pipe!

    • spacedyemeerkat says:

      I agree with you in essence.

      I do think it’s overdone but I also appreciate that many love her style – and that’s fine. Room for everyone.

    • teije says:

      I disagree. Little interest in the game (bounced off Big Pharma hard) but read the article because I enjoy her oddball humour.

    • April March says:

      It’s good to know this, friend. Now sit this and put these things on your head, I need to ask you a few questions about a turtle in the desert…

      • xyzzy frobozz says:

        You’re all wrong and I’m right.

        Subjectivity FTW.

    • grimdanfango says:

      Have to say, Alice’s humour is one of the key elements of RPS that keeps me coming back.

      …Well, I don’t *have* to say, but it’s the internet! Burn the unbelievers!

  3. automatic says:

    I thought cars came out from car trees. So they come from people labour? Ewww

    • Otterley says:

      I always thought they started as quadpoles in car pools ^^

  4. darkwhite says:

    Appreciate if someone who already played the game could say whether that is just something more like a Factorio clone without aliens? Or is it more like Big Pharma?
    Been eying this since it popped up on Steam.

    • DantronLesotho says:

      It’s by the same people that made Big Pharma, so I would assume it plays very similarly.

      • RabbitIslandHermit says:

        It’s from the publisher of Big Pharma, not the developer.

    • xyzzy frobozz says:

      Wouldn’t it have been nice to have got some of that info in the article?

  5. Scroll says:

    I don’t think I can support him after he abandoned GSB2 which is still a mess to this day.

    • rubmon says:

      Oh, you’re one of those who thinks a developer should keep on working to infinity on a title that flopped? Because you paid 10 bucks for it, which obviously entitles you to a lifetime of free support?