Gamifying the PC Building Process
I don’t often have a couple thousand dollars lying around to build a new PC every 30 minutes, but thanks to early access build of PC Building Simulator I can experience all the highs from building a PC without taking a second of third mortgage out on my nonexistent home. This latest sim from Claudiu Kiss and The Irregular Corporation briefly scratches that itch I have to upgrade my PC more often than I realistically could, while also offering a glimpse, albeit through a rose tinted monitor, into what my life would be like as a custom PC maker. That being said, I think the greatest feat this game achieves is giving more people the confidence to build their own real PC.
As someone who has built a couple PCs over the years for myself, I do appreciate the great detail put into all of the parts; from the screws in the cases to mounting the processor, every technical detail and dimension is accounted for. In light of that, I really like the idea of using this sim as a development sandbox when I am able to build my next real PC. The sim comes with enough popular cases and motherboards that I would expect to create a virtual preview of exactly what I want, or at least almost exactly. While all the core components of a PC are available, I would like to see some support for alternative cooling options, specifically liquid cooling. While not practical in the real world, I think it would also be interesting to virtually build a PC for an over-clocking competition and get a tank of liquid helium involved.
The career mode is where the simulator technically turns into a game, as in it has objectives set forth by virtual customers that must be completed with a limited budget. It’s a small glimpse into the business aspect of custom PC building and repair, and since there isn’t any interaction with real human customers it’s actually a relaxing experience. Most of the customers I had wanted simple upgrades or fixes, often times requiring parts that yielded margins much higher than I anticipated. I attributed this to the game’s early access state since I feel like the developer wants people to experience many different types of requests in the campaign; however, this could also be a glimpse into the ethical struggle of custom PC builders. My inclination is to go with the former of those two.
I’m struggling to how best classify this simulator, whether it’s more of a game or an educational tool. On the one hand, if you are familiar with building a PC and don’t stand to learn a lot, it would lean much more heavily towards the “game” side. On the other hand, if you are a complete newbie to the whole process, you can glean a wealth of knowledge with zero risk by diving straight into the game. Whichever end of the spectrum you reside, PC Building Simulator provides a great PC building experience.
***A PC code was provided by the publisher***