Car Mechanic Simulator 2018

YDlJWbyfcDMfdWU-1600x900-noPad The wait is over my friends, Car Mechanic Simulator 2018 (CMS18) has been released to the masses in almost all it’s glory.  I say “almost” only because there are still a few bugs (some small and some large) which have yet to be squashed.  But the devs behind CMS18 are hard at work and making every effort to fix bugs and bring about all the new features promised in this version of their popular simulation based game.   I quite enjoyed CMS15 and I’m looking forward to the newest version.

Beginning Tuesday, 8 August…I’m bringing Car Mechanic Simulator 2018 to the GrizzlyBearSims YouTube Channel in a new feature segment I’m calling “The Grind”.  Episodes of “The Grind” will feature my CMS18 game play as I progress through the various levels on my career profile.  Essentially starting at the very beginning and working my way through the various levels by earning $$$ (hopefully lots of $$$$$$) and XP points (experience points).   No Cheating!!!

The first episode will find me about 3 hours or so into my game play.  Yes, I’m doing my best to save you from watching me fumble around with the new controls and features of the CMS18 game play.  Yes, there are some major differences between both the look and feel, but also functionality with the updated game.  But I’ll discuss some of these, point out a few tips I’ve learned along the way and hopefully deliver episodes in the 30-45 minute range once or twice per week.

As I progress through the game play and open up the auction and the brand new features of barn finds and junk yard, I will create a new playlist for these complete restoration projects.  I must admit that I really enjoy stripping an auction purchase all the way down, rebuilding with 100% new or rebuilt parts and selling for profit.  These special projects videos will include all the steps from initial purchase all the way through the rebuild process.

Now as I stated at the top of the article, there are some bugs in the game.  From what I understand, the dev teams are working hard to eliminate these bugs and also bring about some of the promised functionality.  In addition, the devs are also hard at work on optimizing the game for performance reasons.  I’ve owned the game for approx. a week and in this span of time much progress has been made in correcting bugs and improving the overall performance of the game.  More still needs to be done, but the devs are committed and making excellent progress.

Thank you to all my loyal readers and viewers.

Until next time…

Happy Simming!!!

Jerry

Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 Performance DLC and Update

I’ve had my head buried in American Truck Simulator (ATS) and Farming Simulator 15 (FS15) the past week and completely missed the release of the new Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 Performance DLC and game update to 1.0.7.1.  While I new it was coming, the release date I saw a few weeks ago did come and go.  But we all know that is just how it goes.  I would much prefer game developers take their time and even delay launch/release to ensure a much more stable release.

header

The Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 Performance DLC is available via the Steam website for $4.99 US and includes several new features including new cars, supercharged engines, new shop with performance parts, dyno with chip tuning, engine swaps and the somewhat anticipated 1/4 mile track.

What I like

I actually love this game.  It’s a great relaxing game and I also enjoying streaming my game play on Twitch.  I prefer streaming this over ATS/ETS2 or FS15 simply because I can better keep an eye on my chat stream.  So making the $5 investment to help keep this game alive was a no-brainer.   I like the fact we received several new cars, new parts and new shop features. 

What I dislike

As I’ve mentioned a few times when I’ve talked about CMS15, I was rather late showing up to the CMS15 party.  I’ve only owned CMS15 for a few months, but since those first days I’ve been hearing about the 1/4 mile track features.  To be honest with my readers, from those early days I’ve asked myself “Why”?  Why does this game need a 1/4 mile track?  The short answer is….it doesn’t! 

Car Mechanic Simulator 15 is…..yep…you guessed it.  It is a car mechanic simulator.  Now I know some will say that the two go hand in hand.  Yes, you can stretch your imagination to make it so…but in the present state of the game, I just feel the 1/4 mile track is just a gimmick.  Part of the reason I feel this way is because CMS15 has no support for controllers such as the awesome Logitech G27.  But this is understandable considering this is a MECHANIC Simulator. 

Anyway…have you tried the new Performance DLC?  What do you think?

Until next time…

Happy Simming!!!

JT

Realism through Simulation

I play a lot of simulation based video games.  Actually…if the game doesn’t have the word “simulation” in the title, I’m very much liable to pass it by.  I also have an extremely narrow definition of the word “simulation” and there are some very popular game titles using the word “simulation” in their name.  Some of these titles have absolutely earned the right to be called “simulators” and some have not.  In addition to playing simulation based games, I also enjoy watching others via Twitch and YouTube.  There are a lot of really good gamers out there and likewise there are a lot of not-so-great gamers.  It may surprise you to know that my views of what makes a great simulation gamer versus a not-so-great simulation gamer may have little to do with regards to controlling an aircraft, backing up a truck, seeding a field or driving a train.  The reason?  We’re all a noob at some point.  The majority of the great simulation based gamers don’t have a pilots license, they’ve never driven a vehicle larger than a car and the closest thing they come to running a farm is when they walk through the produce aisle at their local grocery store.  For the most part, what makes them great is how much they strive for realism in their gaming style.

Realism through Simulation

I’m not sure if the tagline “Realism through Simulation” has been adopted by anyone.  I did Google it and I searched using that phrase on YouTube and nothing really relating to video game play or video gamers popped up, so I’m adopting it for my blog.  Realism through Simulation will become my goal as I not only play the various simulation based games I enjoy, but it will also become the threshold for what I write about and how I write about it here on GrizzlyBearSims.com.

Mods, Mods, Mods – The root of all that is evil?

One pitfall I see many gamers fall into with regards to realism has to do with mods.  Before I go any further, let me say this.  I absolutely love and support the modding community.  While you may disagree with what I’m going to say next, I truly believe the modding community has been instrumental in the success of many of the simulation based games I play.  Said another way, many of these game titles would have been dead a long time ago without a strong modding community supporting them.  Imagine what it would be like to play ETS2, ATS, FS15 etc. without mods?

But some mods are perhaps the root of all that is evil…or certainly go along ways towards breaking realism.  Again, before I go further….let me just say that I’m NOT writing this article to instruct anyone how they should play their simulation based games.  If you want to haul in the wheat crop pulling a loooooooooonnnnnnnnggggggg train of tippers that is your choice.  Likewise, if you want to cultivate a field with a cultivator measuring almost 150 feet, again that is your choice.

Perhaps the reason why I’ve been thinking about my own game play style and choosing to write about it has to do with a Twitch channel I watched recently.  I’ll keep the identity of the streamer to myself, but he was clearly struggling and I (and many other viewers) were trying to coach him on a few things.  Most of the issues he had were caused by some of the mods he was using.  But towards the end of his broadcast he mentioned that he was bored with Farming Simulator 15 because it was too easy.  Yes, he was cultivating his field with a 150 foot cultivator.

As I try to wrap this up, no I certainly don’t count the rivets or bolts and I don’t compare color swatches.  But for me and how I choose to play these simulation based games…I do strive for authencity.    I believe playing simulation based games as authentic as possible, goes a long way towards keeping the level of play from becoming boring.  It’s one of the reasons why I will routinely plow AND cultivate a field before harvest.  It’s also the reason why I don’t use a 150’ cultivator.

Realisim thorugh Simulation works for me.

Until next time…

Best of luck with your simulation adventures….regardless how you play the game.

J

Car Mechanic Simulator–Expert Mode

The much anticipated Car Mechanic Simulator – Expert Mode has arrived.  I began seeing chatter in the Steam CMS15 discussion pages regarding the imminent availability of 1.0.6.3 about 10 days ago.  Unfortunately, the initial timeline was believed to be only two days away…but that proved to be a little longer.  CMS15 1.0.6.3 officially dropped on 21 March with the following new features:

– EXPERT MODE :
* no tutorial on new game
* no jobs with listed parts (only body repairs and filters will have listed parts)
* game is not showing blocked parts
* very limited GUI
* no parts access description
* no silhouette around bolts – you need to know where they are
* auction fee – 1000$
* lowered bonus for car restoration (50% compared to normal mode)
* raised XP bonus (200% compared to normal mode)
* no information about over cursor part condition
* job task bonus reduced by 50%
* job complete bonuses raised by 50%
* rust on parts calculated different way
– added CX (drag coefficients) for car physics
– added Drag area calculation for car physics
– added FOV slider in options menu
– new translations for Czech language
– new translations for Italian language

The current version of CMS15 is 1.0.6.4 which was released soon after and includes:

– reverting to normal mode from expert mode (via profiles menu)
– 4 new wall textures
– 4 new floor textures
– 6 new stripe textures
– 2 new jamb textures
– 1 new lifer texture

I’ve actually been looking forward to the new Expert Mode for some time.  To be honest, after spending the first dozen or so hours in the game…I was looking for a more challenging experience and I believed Expert Mode might deliver that.  In recent days I’ve spent a short amount of time testing out Expert Mode and for the most part I do like what I see.

One of the first things you’ll notice is the removal of the information text in the upper right-hand corner including Jobs Waiting, Experience and Account Balance.  This information is now neatly contained within the PC or the Tablet.  Makes sense…  In addition to that small change, the helper information which included the key commands for moving the vehicle, selecting parts dissemble mode or reassemble mode etc.  I’ll be honest, I hadn’t played CMS15 much in the past week or so, and it took my brain a few minutes to remember these key commands.  Perhaps instead of removing these completely, it would have been a nice feature to include this info on the computer/tablet.

As you start to disassemble parts, you’ll notice you will no longer have the green circles around the bolts.  This will require you to remember where these bolts are located and I think this is change for the good.   Also, you’ll need to remember which parts need to be removed first as you’ll no longer see blocked parts.

The only real big struggle came when it was time to remove the drive shaft.  As you can’t really position the camera well enough, you must sort of guess where the bolts are from several feet away.  It’s a good thing I have really long arms.

Here’s what I mean about the bolt removal.  Notice no green circles around the bolts from the exhaust manifold.  Also, they have changed the way rust is calculated.  Not sure if that means how the rust texture looks or how the overall rust impacts the usability of a given part.

Finally, some changes have been made to the way the bonus and XP is calculated and awarded.  The bonus payment has been reduced to 50% and the XP bonus has been raised (200% compared to normal mode).  I think this is also fair.  After all, playing in Expert Mode should have some rewards in the XP dept.

I guess I’ve played in Expert Mode for about 90 minutes or so and I very much like the change.  I’m not sure how the game play will work with a brand new user or profile.  If you are new the game and regardless how much real world experience you have, I would suggest not starting off in Expert Mode and playing in the normal mode for a few hours to get the hang of the game play.  Consider it training.

I look forward to spending more time with Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 and the new Expert Mode in the coming days.  Perhaps it will be time to revisit an auction.  If you’ve been playing CMS15 for some time, I encourage you to try the new Expert Mode.  You can always switch back to Normal Mode via the Profile Menu.

The next update patch (1.0.6.5) is coming soon.  It is slated to include the following enhancements:

– 1/4 mile DLC
– better collision meshed for cars
– corrected lifter arms for new cars
– (Maluch) jobs with Maluch have special 150-200% payout
– (Maluch) bolts fix
– tuning tool (change rim size)
– steam achievements
– key rebind
– Steam Cloud Saves (same platform cloud saves only) – on hold – need more testing between mac/pc

I think I’m looking forward to most of those features.  Time will tell just how the 1/4 mile DLC will work.  If CMS15 doesn’t include wheel support for the Logitech G27 I probably won’t be interested.  My opinion simply is I wish Red Dot Games would devote more time to creating new vehicle types versus trying to turn CMS15 into a racing game.

Until next time…

Happy Simming!!!

J

P.S.  There will be no blog posting for tomorrow (Good Friday or the Easter Weekend).  I hope you all have a very Blessed and safe weekend!

Auction Report – Chevrolet Bel Air

I’ve been busy at buying cars at auction, repairing them and re-selling them.  Mostly for fairly descent profit.  While my first auction produced a profit, that profit was rather small at only a little over $5,000.  Part of that was due to not fully knowing how to resolve body issues on sections of the car that can’t be removed.  If you look at the image below, you’ll see the rust still visible just above the rear tire.  What I didn’t know then, (but know now) is if you click on that green acetylene tank shown in the background on the same image, you can repair all aspects of the car which can’t be handled through the removal/replace process.  Live and learn….

image

Our recent trip to auction found this old classic Delray Custom which in the real world would be the Chevrolet Bel Air.

 

 

 

 

Here’s the profit/loss breakdown…

Cost at auction $14,200

Cost of parts installed $15,352

Total cost $29,552

Price sold after restoration $71,594

Total Profit $42,042

Not bad at all.

Until next time…

Happy Simming!!!

J

Auction Report–Ford Mustang

I’ve been doing a lot of auction rebuilds in recent days.  I’ve even streamed a few of these on Twitch and have made available the recorded video/audio if you care to watch the play-by-play action.  You can view that video at the bottom or go directly to YouTube and watch.  I’ll try to make this a normal feature with these rebuilds.  But I’ll tell you upfront that the video is not going to be heavily edited.  I just don’t have the time.

I’ve lost count on the actual number of cars I’ve purchased at auction, rebuilt and sold.  However, this is my first Ford Mustang and it was a lot of fun.  As I explain in the video, one of my best friends from high school rebuilt a 1960 something Ford Mustang.  I did the same with a 1964 Chevy Step side Pickup.  Hopefully the 64’ style Chevy pickup will be made available at some date in the future for CMS2015.  That would be an awesome build.

The overall condition of the car was not quite as bas as shown below.  I began stripping the body panels before I remembered I wanted a “before” picture.  I just couldn’t be bothered to put all the panels back on the car.

Again, I was mostly lucky in the fact that so many parts were repairable.  Big ticket items like the engine block, crankcase, rear end etc. were all repaired to 100%.  This helped keep my cost of parts down.  But I did splurge on a custom paint job and custom rims ($900 each).  The yellow paint color was a suggestion from one of my Twitch viewers.  I think it turned out great.

As with all my auction rebuilds, I tear down all parts and restore the car to 100% condition on both parts and body.  That is just how I roll….

Here’s the profit/loss breakdown…

Starting Bid at Auction $9,223

Cost at auction $20,723

Cost of parts installed $16,691

Less sale of old parts $3,130

Total cost $34,284

Price sold after restoration $71,570

Total Profit $37,286

Until next time…

Happy Repairs!!!

J

Car Mechanic Simulator 2015–My First Auction

I’ve got about 17 hours in the game and I’m having fun.  That is what matters.  I’ve sort of shifted my game play from ATS to CMS2015, but will certainly get back to ATS, ETS2, Farming Sim, Flight Sim etc. etc. very soon.  Anyway, with approx. 17 hours invested in game play…I’ve managed to earn enough XP and cash to afford to unlock the external parking which allowed me access to the world of car auctions.  I believe it requires 9000 XP and $50,000.  So I actually waited until I had saved up about $80,000 before I actually unlocked the parking.  But with parking unlocked and about $35K, I headed to the auction house to buy my first car.

My first car purchase at auction. This is the Katagiri Katsumoto (Honda Civic Coupe).  A beauty, she’s not.  But the price was right.

With a limited budget, I decided I would not pay over $10,000 for my first auction purchase.  The first few vehicles that rolled by all went for well beyond my pre-set limit.  Then this little junker rolled by.  She’s not pretty to look at right now, but I’m hoping after I fully restore her to 100% she’ll fetch a nice price.

With almost 20 hours of game play (and some real world mechanic knowledge), I’m finding the teardown and rebuild of the various components to be much easier than when I first started the game play.  Of course, this is my first 100% teardown but I’m up to the task.  I’m hopeful with my maxed out repair tools that some parts will be repairable to 100% and the actual parts I must purchase will be minimal.  But you just don’ t know until you tear into it. 

The tear down went fast and I was pleasantly surprised that many parts were repairable to 100%.  This is why it’s wise to dump all your XP points (1 per 1000) into the repair tools.  Skip the garage redesign until you make sure you max out the repair tools. 

Here’s the after picture.  Not bad…

Was it all worth it? 

Here’s the profit/loss breakdown…

Cost at auction $4,739

Price sold after restoration $27,319

Total Profit $5,224

My total profit would have actually been slightly more, but I accidentally purchased a few wrong parts.  I clicked my mouse a few times too fast.  But in the end it will balance out as these will be parts that I should be able to use on future jobs.  Also, as you can see in the picture above, there’s still some rust damage on the back part of the car.  I wasn’t sure how to fix that, but have since researched and figured out what I need to do next time.  All-in-all I had fun on this restoration.  I’ll take a few more customer jobs and then head back to the auction house real soon.

Until next time…

Happy Repairs!!!

J

Car Mechanic Simulator 2015–First Impressions

I’ve been seeing Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 being streamed on Twitch for a while.  The game itself was released in May of last year (2015).  I wouldn’t say I wasn’t intrigued by it on first sight, it was just one of those things that didn’t jump right out and say “BUY ME”!!!  But, I did add Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 to my Steam wishlist.  Yesterday, I received an email notification from Steam that an item on my wishlist was on sale.  That item was of course Car Mechanic Simulator 2015.  At 55% off it’s normal $19.99 price the cost was an only $8.99 and I decided to go ahead and add yet another simulation based game to my inventory.  As you can tell, with game titles like Flight Simulator (really P3D), Farming Simulator 2015, Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator…I’m really a junky for the simulation based games.  Oh…yea…I do occasionally play Grand Theft Auto 5 (GTA5).  I suppose that is a simulator for “how to be a thug”.  But all I really do in GTA5 is drive around Los Santos, steal cars and sell them and occasionally knock off a store.  I don’t blog about GTA5 and I don’t plan to.  By the way, the Steam Sale for Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 is still on.  If you don’t have it yet, consider picking it up now!

My first impressions of the game are positive.  Again, I’m a fan of simulation based games.  It’s really all I play.  However, I will say that sometimes the word “Simulation” is often over used in the gaming industry.  Perhaps it is an unfair comparison, but yea…I do compare each and every simulation based game I play against Flight Sim.  Simply because, Flight Simulation (FSX, P3D, XPlane) is NOT A GAME.  It is a simulation and done very, very well.  Yes, there are adolescent kids (and some adolescent adults) whose primary desire in Flight Sim is to crash their aircraft.  If you apply the “80/20” rule to Flight Sim, you actually have more than 80% who are solid, hard-core aviation enthusiasts and take their involvement in the hobby (yes it is a hobby) very seriously.  However, as much as I am enjoying American Truck Simulator at this time.  ATS (while has some simulation aspects to it) is very much a game when you stack rank it against Flight Sim.

With regards to Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 (CMS2015), yes…it is a simulation based on the car mechanic profession.  I purchased just the base game pack (on sale for $8.99 USD) to start with.  I really didn’t want to get too far off in the weeds with add-on DLC until I could determine if this was something I would fine enjoyable.  For me, (at this time at least) the game has my interest.  I’ve spent almost 3 hours playing the game and during this time I’ve completed 21 jobs .  (see below)

2016-02-24_00001

What I like about Car Mechanic Simulator 2015

Game play is fairly easy.  All you need is a keyboard and mouse.  No really, that is all you need!  Trust me, I’m not a keyboard/mouse sort of guy.  I don’t know how guys do it.  I seriously don’ t know how guys (and gals…sorry about that) play games like ETS2, ATS etc. with just a keyboard and mouse.  Yes I get that folks may be on a limited budget…but I recommend at the very least a controller.  But I digress…really all you need to play CMS2015 is a keyboard and mouse.   I don’t believe controller support is even offered in the game.  But it is possible 3rd party applications will allow you to interface a controller to the game.  But again, it really isn’t needed.

Just because I’ve been flying flight sims for over 30 years, I don’t believe that qualifies me to be a pilot.  However, I’ve learned a lot about aviation and flying the more complex aircraft offered by PMDG, A2A etc. will teach you about the aircraft.  I also believe it would be a stretch to say after spending 100’s of hours playing CMS2015 that one could go open a garage and become a successful mechanic.  But CMS2015 does at the very least give you a high level functional view at how most parts fit together.

The game runs like a champ on my system.  Of course, I just upgrade my GPU to the GTX 980Ti so if it didn’t I would have been disappointed.

What I dislike about Car Mechanic Simulator 2015

The first thing that bothered me about the game was something really rather basic and perhaps petty on my part.   After about a half dozen jobs (mostly brake or suspension related) I had a job offered involving a replacement cylinder block.  This of course required a full engine tear down and re-assembly.  The fact which bothered me was after all that work, a new oil filter was not required to complete the job.  The very same thing happened early today when I had a job to replace an oil pan.  I don’t know about you.  But I would never perform any job on an engine which required draining the oil and re-using the oil filter.  Of course, I realize I could have replaced it anyway…but I believe that would have come out of my profit and not been a cost I could have passed onto the customer.

With regards to replacement parts.  As you go through game play, your obvious and primary role in this game is to repair a car.  In doing so, you have to go over to your computer and look and order parts.  The parts are available immediately after ordering which I think should be changed.  There should be some length of time between when you order parts before they are available.  This would simulate the time it takes for a parts runner to go to the parts store and retrieve the parts.  This would allow a better opportunity to multi-task.  After you strip down all the defective/damaged parts on car 1, you place your order and then start working on car 2.  The length of time can be as short as 5 minutes…but I feel this would better simulate how this process works in the real world.

One other small issue I have is not enough mixture of jobs.  Meaning, while I don’t want every job offered to be a low paying air filter change, I also don’t want every job offered to be a full engine tear down.  But perhaps over time more variety in jobs will be presented.  Finally, why offer so many jobs which aren’t available due to XP rating?  The game appears to offer you four job opportunities at a time.  Two are jobs you can accept and two are jobs you can’t due to not having enough XP.  Why offer those jobs at the early stage of game play?

The in-game music is terrible.  It would have been nice to include a radio option (similar to ETS2 or ATS) where you could play music of your choice through the game.  For me, I turn the in-game music all the way down and play other music outside of the application.

Final Thoughts

Yes, I realize my actual time spent playing CMS 2015 is only a few hours.  But then again, this is a “First Impressions” blog post.  I will most certainly spend much more time playing this game and may even go ahead and purchase one or more of the DLC expansions.  I think the Pickup and SUV DLC will be my first DLC purchase for this game.  Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 certainly fits into my “Planes, Trains and Automobiles (and Farming Too!)” interests.

Until next time…

Happy Simming!!!

J