Automation - The Car Company Tycoon Game

Automation - The Car Company Tycoon Game

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Killrob  [developer] Jun 15, 2018 @ 4:59am
Automation BeamNG Exporter FAQ
Just a bit more information about the exporter!

1. How does the exporter work?
2. Is Automation required?
3. Can exported cars be modded?
4. Will Automation mods export?
5. Important links
6. What will be exported?
7. The Exporter Collaboration
8. What about interiors?
9. Can you export multiple trims?
10. Will fixtures like lights be functional?
11. Engine-only exports?


1. How does the exporter work?
You design a car as you normally would in Automation and once you are done you hit the export button on the car’s summary page or within the car manager. That takes you to the exporter room from which you can finalize the export by another simple button click. At that point your new car will be waiting for you in the vehicle list within BeamNG.

2. Is Automation required to drive Automation cars in BeamNG.drive?
No, Automation cars are handled similar to normal car mods. That means you can build cars for a friend who doesn’t own Automation, although if you both have Automation you could send the 30kB Automation .car save file instead of a 30MB car export mod for BeamNG.

3. Can Automation cars in BeamNG.drive be modded?
Yes! If a modder wants to design their car in Automation and for instance add a nice interior to it, that is entirely possible. Just make sure to credit Automation when you do. :)

4. Do Automation mods export?
Yes! Mod car bodies and fixtures export just like vanilla content. So if you for instance want to make a mod for BeamNG.drive, you could make the car shell for Automation as a mod, design the looks with fixtures and then export it to BeamNG.drive and continue to flesh out the mod using the exported car as a basis.

5. Important links
Automation FAQ: http://discourse.automationgame.com/t/automation-faq-updated-3-nov-2017/131
Automation Forums: http://discourse.automationgame.com/
Automation on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/293760
BeamNG FAQ: https://wiki.beamng.com/BeamNG_FAQ
BeamNG Forums: https://www.beamng.com/forums/
BeamNG on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/284160/

6. What aspects of the cars are exported?
In the current first release version of the exporter we have the following features implemented.

  • Car Visuals - The meshes for chassis, body, engine, gearbox, suspension, all fixtures, wheels and brakes are exported. Some fixtures can break off your car, and your car materials and paint find their way into BeamNG as well. Fixtures like lights and wings have basic functionality.
  • Car Deformation (Basic) - A basic implementation of car deformation is implemented, it never will be as good as for native BeamNG cars, but this aspect is something we will improve on until release and for future updates.
  • Engine Sounds (Basic) - Automation engine sounds are exported, at the moment only the exhaust note.
  • Engine Data - Accurate power and torque curves for naturally aspirated engines, and good approximations for turbo engines are exported to BeamNG, along with idle RPM, max RPM, engine inertia and friction.
  • Drivetrain - We export the accurate gear ratios, gearbox type, choice of differential, transfer case (4x4), traction and electronic stability control, speed limiter, drivetrain losses, and fuel economy.
  • Wheels & Brakes - Tires are exported the way you create them in Automation, with accurate sizes, tire tread, and friction coefficients. Brakes are exported with their appropriate strength.
  • Suspensions (Basic) - Definitely the trickiest part beyond the fundamentals, the suspensions need to work and scale for an immense range of possible car designs. We export all Automation suspension data, including spring and damper stiffness, camber, and anti roll bars. The suspension types that are exported with unique geometries are double wishbone, struts, trailing arm, torsion beam, and solid axle coil.

7. The Automation Exporter Story & BeamNG Collaboration
Since 2011 the most requested feature for Automation has been “I want to drive my cars”. Making such a feature within Automation would be nigh-on impossible due to the complexity, as well as time and money required to make any even decent driving game. That is why for a long time we considered making an exporter for Automation that allows players to drive their cars in a dedicated driving game.

About two years ago we started to work on an exporter for a racing game and got pretty far: chassis, bodies, fixtures, and engine stats exporting. All that was still based on the Kee Engine version of Automation. Unfortunately, the developer was neither helping out, nor responsive, and we had to stop working on that side project as a consequence of that.

With the switch over to UE4, we gave the exporter idea another shot and were looking around for suitable games, seeking to reuse most of the expertise and code we gathered making the other exporter. BeamNG at that point looked like a good candidate, and in a quick “over-the-weekend” try to export something from Automation into BeamNG manually, we saw that this actually might be possible. Work on a prototype proceeded in late 2017 and about three months into it we were confident this would work out.

We got in touch with BeamNG and were met by significantly more enthusiasm for the exporter than in our previous attempt. Also, getting direct help in solving technical issues made progress quick. In February 2018 we had a finished prototype that somewhat reliably exported cars.

Our dev teams met for the first time via Skype in mid February. At that point we established that, indeed, working together on an exporter in an official capacity would be fantastic for both BeamNG, Automation, and their players.

In mid May 2018 we decided that within two months a first more polished version of the exporter could be realised and released with a joint update for both games! To our knowledge this marks the first time a major feature such as this is implemented as a cross-product tie-in between independent studios.

8. What about interiors?
Interiors are not planned to be added to Automation 1.0. It would take a lot of time and effort to implement a good system for interior design, which unfortunately won't be feasible. This means that exported cars will only have cameras / viewpoints placed outside the car, rear view and bonnet cams.

9. Can you export multiple trims?
For now only single cars (a single Trim) export at a time. We will for future versions look into the possibility of exporting a full model with all its trims, structures the same way in BeamNG.

10. Are fixtures like lights be functional?
Mostly, yes. Depending on where they are sitting and what materials you have chosen for them they should work for what they think they represent... that can sometimes go wrong, of course.

11. Will it be possible to export only an engine?
No. Engines-only exports would be something to look into for later versions for sure. We have discussed the issue and see no bigger problems with its implementation, it is just not as high of a priority as the full car exporter.
Last edited by Killrob; Jul 15, 2018 @ 3:01pm
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Showing 1-15 of 198 comments
A Tomato Jun 15, 2018 @ 5:20am 
Can I just say this is one of the few times an update to games made me tear up with joy

I'm so happy that this is becoming a reality, and I hope this can pave the way for future collabs of this sort - or at least compatibility with additional games!
Killrob  [developer] Jun 15, 2018 @ 5:55am 
Suspension and engine meshes are being exported too, yes!

@A Tomato: Cheers man, feels great to hear that :)
phale Jun 15, 2018 @ 6:10am 
Will modded bodies and fixtures be able to be exported?
WildKarrde Jun 15, 2018 @ 7:12am 
YYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
RAA! Jun 15, 2018 @ 9:17am 
This is like a dream come true, I highly respect both of these games and to see them come together is just amazing.

Gonna be exciting to see how this develops! I hope the good relationship between the Automation team and BeamNG continues to grow.
Prasiatko Jun 15, 2018 @ 9:21am 
Seriously impressive to get the suspension to export accurately. How did you manage to account for the likely hundreds of possible geometry combinations?
Le_troll_des_bois Jun 15, 2018 @ 10:48am 
Mother of god, how ♥♥♥♥ing awesome is that ??!!

That will definitely benefit everybody ! Players, automation and beamNG.
Great job to everybody involved, i'm really looking forward for this !
WildKarrde Jun 15, 2018 @ 10:56am 
Originally posted by Prasiatko:
Seriously impressive to get the suspension to export accurately. How did you manage to account for the likely hundreds of possible geometry combinations?

I assume they combined the physics engines of the two games to some degree.
MacKaNmeisteR Jun 15, 2018 @ 2:09pm 
Wow! Two of my favourite automobile simulations coming together. "Is this real life or is this fantasy?" xD

Also I can see this collab update as a HUGE E-sport potential. Just think about it, teams building cars to compete against eachother with (or without) regulations and drivers to race them.
Sure you can't have pitstops, random mechanical failures, tyre wear nor the possibility to refuel in BeamNG but it would be aweso...
Wait nvm that would require ALOT of performance optimizations :/
But still an awesome idea right? :))
ComradeTovarish Jun 15, 2018 @ 2:15pm 
I wouldn't say E-Sports level, but I am 100% sure there will be plenty of forum challenges that are going to use the exporter either for time trials or driving reviews.
Last edited by ComradeTovarish; Jun 15, 2018 @ 2:15pm
GitGud Jun 15, 2018 @ 3:48pm 
<333333333333333
accent Jun 15, 2018 @ 7:25pm 
I didn't think that the camera placement blocks that you place when making car body mods would come to be actually used any time soon but holy heck it's nice to be proven wrong. Things I will want to do: 1: a forum challenge where you "buy" cars, tune them and then compare lap times. 2: just see what my company lore cars are like. 3: make crazy memerific cars
iamzod Jun 16, 2018 @ 4:41am 
This is epic, two of my favourite sandbox type games collaborating!!!!
Hermit Jun 16, 2018 @ 8:24am 
Big credit guys, both to you and Beam...this is really cool :D Thank you for all your work.
CBR JGWRR Jun 16, 2018 @ 12:28pm 
Another question - is the export function only going to be available for the UE4 version, or will it be available for both Kee and UE4 versions?
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