PC Building Simulator booting up in autumn

PC Building Simulator [official site] is not a game where your hand gets caught in a CPU fan and the PC spins round and round on your fingertip as wacky physics send everything in your workspace flying. Bumping the case as you insert a hard drive will not make your graphics card explode. Trying to insert RAM the wrong way will not make it vibrate and clang until it vanishes through a wall. No, PC Building Simulator is simply a game about building PCs component by component. We’ve mentioned it earlier this year after playing a free prototype, and now it’s headed for a full commercial release in autumn.

As in the real world, players will start with a load of components then piece them together like expensive LEGO. Slap cards into slots, apply thermal paste, pop in cables, screw this and screw that, and let’s POST this sucker.

PC Building Simulator will have a career mode, where players will build systems, perform upgrades, and fix problems for customers while turning a profit. It’ll also have challenges including overclocking.

That might be a lark but hey, a safe way to learn what all the bits of a PC’s guts are and where they go could also be hugely useful for many people. The Internet is littered with stories and pictures from people who spread thermal paste on a CPU’s pins or whacked a motherboard in without standoffs, frying their expensive hardware.

Looks like they’re angling for approval to include real-world brands and components, which would be ideal.

PC Building Simulator is headed to Steam some time this autumn. It’s the work of lone developer Claudiu Kiss. After his early demo “went viral”, publishers The Irregular Corporation swept in to support a full launch.

That pre-alpha demo is still up on Itch.io but do be aware that it’s months old.

I’ve switched to laptops because large objects (plants aside, obvs) feel like horrible burdens that will trap me and latch onto my ankles as I try to flee but I do miss building my own PCs. I especially liked the yielding resistance and noises of inserting RAM then closing the latches. Though it has been a few years since I got in a PC’s guts so, for all I know, they could now be filled with crystal shards and coloured gels.

21 Comments

  1. Faldrath says:

    Alec must be salivating about this, correct? I know he must.

  2. Vilos Cohaagen says:

    Meta.

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    subdog says:

    I hope there’s a mac version

  4. LewdPenguin says:

    This needs to have a boxed edition that comes with a small cheese grater included, so you can properly simulate those moments you need to reach that awkward connector you forgot behind the stuff you really don’t want to unplug again to do, so you work you hand in there and FUCK, I wanted that knuckle!

    Other than that it’d be really cool if this was designed with a framework that allowed people to add in new component parts as they release, I know there’s various websites that let you throw in the list of bits you’re thinking of getting that’ll then have a go at telling you whether it’ll fly or fry if you actually tried putting them together, it’d be neat if this grew up to attract some of the people with lots of time that keep those sites updated so you could get useful info as well as seeing what it’d actually look like all together. Probably more work than one person wants to/can undertake even just building the supporting framework to do that, but it’d still be neat if it happened.

  5. timsmith says:

    I did the motherboard without standoffs thing. I was building my first PC as a first year student in 2002-03. I assumed I’d received a case with a manufacturing error and that the recessed motherboard screw holes were meant to be prominent. I don’t know why I didn’t look it up online or attempt to get the shop to send me a new case, which would have revealed my mistake. Probably too excited to play with my new toy.

    I “fixed” the problem by using the anti-static bag that the motherboard had come in as an insulator between the board and the case. It worked. The computer did eventually clap out four years later, but I think it was the graphics card that died, which you’d imagine wouldn’t be affected. I only discovered my error when building PC number 2.

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      particlese says:

      :D I love that “fix”! I’m especially impressed the pointy bits on the bottom of the board didn’t eventually poke holes through to the metal after four years of fan vibrations and maybe stray foot impacts.

      Another solution would have been to stick cardboard underneath. I rebuilt one of my old computers inside a cardboard box with appropriate holes cut out of it, and it worked nicely for dorm LAN parties for a couple years.

    • frymaster says:

      I know someone who did that and the PC somehow worked… now sure how stable it was, but we all only noticed when he turned up to a LAN event and made a remark about how his graphics card didn’t screw into the case properly

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    particlese says:

    Nifty idea, but I’d probably be more apt to buy the crazy physics version, especially if it had a VR mode where fans also appear out of thin air and lunge at your fingertips, vibrating the controllers and blasting the face-screen with random CGA colors for that authentically surprised, potentially seizure-inducing feeling of panic.

    More seriously, what a good idea to use it as an instructional thingy! That hadn’t even occurred to me until you mentioned it, but I know that for me and the couple of people I’ve helped, the lack of experience and the resulting lack of confidence were the biggest obstacles to having fun building a computer. Once the components were chosen, anyway…

  7. sagredo1632 says:

    I will buy this only if I can set it to run in background and randomly pop-up, unable to be closed until the IT problem is solved. I will then covertly install it onto the machines of a few choice acquaintances and family members.

  8. Stingy McDuck says:

    “But can it run Crysis?”

  9. Killy_V says:

    My PC building skills reached a new high today, I’ve replaced my trusty ol’ MSI GTX970 by a 1080Ti ! yay ! Yes, I’m a noob, I had my PC built by an assembler…

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    MajorLag says:

    I kinda want a PC Building Simulator from the 80s. Where you have a selection of electronics components including SRAM, DRAM, and ROM chips, shift registers, logic gates, resistors, and diodes and have to combine them with one or more processors like the 6502 or z80, and various other components like the VIC or ANTIC chips, etc. on a circuit board you’ve traced out yourself. Then you have to write your own machine code, OS, forth interpreter, whatever. It’d all be ludicrously educational, and you could design crazy impractical game consoles and stuff.

    I mean, compare that to today’s color-coded and keyed components. It’s so damned easy the only thing people will learn is that they’re paying way to much to have someone else do it for them.

    I want the Kerbal Space Program w/ Realism Overhaul of PC Building Simulation.

  11. Spacewalk says:

    All that shit about cases revolving around my arms and RAM flying through walls is why I stopped building PCs and settled for paying other people to do it for me. I have enough accidents in my home already with the furniture flipping three feet into the air before falling through the floor whenever you get up. I have spent thousands on couches over the years which is why I’m sticking with the last PC I got in 2012 because I can’t afford a new one.

  12. racccoon says:

    Pretty close to making the 2k plunge to upgrade soon

  13. dogsonofawolf says:

    “PC Building Simulator [official site] is not a game where your hand gets caught in a CPU fan and the PC spins round and round on your fingertip as wacky physics send everything in your workspace flying.”

    Am still genuinely excited for this, but now also forever saddened the described game does not exist. Damn you, Alice!

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