Owning a gaming-spec PC is brill. Nothing quite like it, but the first time you have to crack open a case to swap out some RAM or install a new GPU is a harrowing experience, fraught with potentially terrible and expensive outcomes.
Enter PC Building Simulator, a piece of tech-nerd edutainment software that might seem frivolous at first, but I can see it being of real use to some folk, assuming it grows beyond its initial launch via Steam Early Access today.
We've covered PC Building Simulator on and off for some time now, with an early prototype of the game(?) still being available for free via Itch.io. The version that rolled out onto Steam today is the first commercial iteration, containing officially licensed components from a range of big-name manufacturers, and features a basic 'career' mode that challenges you to incrementally upgrade your machine.
While I doubt it'll ever go into the finer, more nerve-wracking parts of the experience (undoing overly tight internal screws, or trying to get your fingers into a barely-visible latch holding RAM into place), it does cover a lot of the fundamentals, and demystifies a lot of the process. It does help that they use nice and spacious cases with minimal cabling shown, the latter of which is a little less realistic than the former.
The developers have extensive long-term plans for PC Building Simulator yet, with a development road-map covering the key features they want to implement between now and the end of the sim's time in Early Access. Among the more advanced tricks they want to teach are installing dual GPUs (less common nowadays, admittedly), cable management skills (my previous PC is a tangled mess of wires, admittedly) and overclocking, along with the installation of water-cooling systems.
They reckon that they'll have all those features and more squared away in just 2-3 months, at least according to the Early Access plan on Steam. The current build of the game is out now on Steam via Early Access, and is priced at £13.50/18€/$18. As mentioned, an earlier demo version of PC Building Sim is still available free here.