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A website for those new to Simulation Gaming,
those thinking about starting to use simulation software,
or those wishing to explore simulation on a tight budget.
My aim is to create awareness of and promote Simulation Gaming to everyone regardless of experience.
To provide useful information and show the pro's and con's of software and accessories, to help others decide their own path and make considered choices, hopefully bypassing any pitfalls or being pushed into purchasing unnecessary items.
I especially want to highlight ways to be able to enjoy simulation on a tight budget. With new software, endless upgrades, fancy controllers, faster computers and specialised equipment, it can soon become a really expensive hobby with our constant need for perfection.
So for those without a bottomless bank account, I want to try to show alternative ideas and methods, to show ways to recycle things and repurpose older items and technology, and where possible to create D.I.Y. alternatives.
When possible I will be doing 'Live Streams', a place to watch my own attempts at using various simulators in a family-safe environment. A place to be able to directly communicate with other gamers, able to discuss topics, ask questions or answer the questions of others, and help each other out along the way.
I will also be making YouTube video recordings, discussing software, hardware and Mods, where possible showing examples. So if any manufacturers or suppliers want me to review their product, then get in touch.
I will also be creating similar information on this website.
For those wondering why I have a Owl background, I chose that to represent the time I do most of my simulation driving, I tend to be a night bird!
There are some really great simulators around at the moment, each pushing the boundaries and making them almost as realistic as a multi-million pound professional simulator. Now what was once only available to the professionals, is available to anyone with a computer.
My favourite ATS truck
My favourite ETS2 truck
We can modify the games by altering the weather, or adding our own accessories, we can add more realistic controllers, and even build custom rigs to house them.
Forever pushing for more and more realism and immersion.
Being stuck at home for health reasons, and especially during the Covid-19 lockdowns, I needed something interesting to occupy my mind and maintain my dexterity, to help with relaxation, and also to satiate the yearning to drive, to get out and explore. The use of the driving simulators did all this and much more, designing and building my own 'Sim-Rig', it also encouraged me to make use of my dormant DIY skills.
Yes, there are many other games out there, war games, racing games, shooter and endless fantasy worlds, but not everyone wants to fight goblins and dragons, some do not want to fight at all. Some of us prefer the more 'Real Life' style of a driving simulator, and there must be many like me who also find racing around a circular race track can become a little monotonous and quickly become boring.
Immersion is everything, and the creators really are making the most of Artificial Intelligence (AI), modern fast graphic engines and advanced sound and graphics, making them so realistic and believable. Additional equipment such as a driving wheel, gear stick and pedals, can really push the boundaries of immersion even further. Although definitely not a replacement for driving lessons, it can be a safe way to gain some driving experience and gain confidence.
Truck / Bus simulators take quite a bit of concentration, they also take time to develop your driving skills, and for those who do not drive 'Semi's' or 'Arctics' for a living, there is much to learn about manoeuvring and using anything up to 18 gears. And if like myself you are from the UK, then actually driving on the opposite side of the road with different road laws. Great practice if planning a driving holiday abroad!
Unlike most games producers that charge the earth, some anywhere up to £150 for a single game, the
Truck and Bus simulator creators tend to use a different approach in the way they make us part with our money. Simulation games can be much cheaper, as the truck and bus simulator creators tend to charge a minimal fee for their default game, ATS / ETS 2 (American Truck Simulator / European Truck Simulator) by SCS can be purchased for under £15, sometimes much cheaper in sales. Bus simulators such as 'Fernbus' or 'Tourist Bus Simulator' by TML can cost a little more for the initial game.
These companies make their profits from aftersales of DLC's, a DLC is an additional map section or alternative trucks/buses. Although the cost of these additions are still pretty low, again around £6-£15, and again often cheaper in regular online sales or when offered in 'Box-sets'. But even so, the cost will soon mount up over the simulators lifetime. That's not to say that the initial game is not playable without them, far from it, but the new items which are released sporadically throughout the year maintain the freshness of the game giving it new life, while continuously growing the game and creating new things to do.
This sales style makes the simulation games affordable to all, and users can expand it at their own rate. The ability to add and to use any of the many thousands of available 'Mods', of which the majority are free, enables you to create a lasting simulator even if on a tight budget.
The Midnight Playboy
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