The Passion of the Garbage Truck

The Passion of the Garbage Truck

See the beauty in a garbage truck.

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It's been a while since I laughed so hard at an article. Your descriptions in the first half the piece were blindingly funny. Loved it.

Fantastic read, Rob. Also, I wonder if anyone's ever made a union strike mod for the garbage simulator or, perhaps better yet, a Harvest Moon mod for the farming simulator.

Great article, I really enjoyed reading it.
Now I want to play some simulators...

Robert Rath lives in Austin, Texas, where he spends his days playing Freelance Writer Simulator 2012

This made me smile.

Yeah those games are mostly garbage. They are only played by people who do not realize how horrible they are. Like... little children or people 40+ who never play(ed) another video game. However, I don't see why we should have more people of those demographics here in Germany, compared to other countries.

Tbh, I don't know why Rockstar doesn't produce simulators. Most of their racing games (at least the ones I saw) feel like they are just their most recent GTA without walking around and without guns. Probably the exact same models and textures everywhere. Making simulator games (that hopefully don't suck as much) should be pretty easy for them.

rofltehcat:
They are only played by people who do not realize how horrible they are. Like... little children or people 40+ who never play(ed) another video game.

Or, you know, those of us who want a break from the flashy stuff?

I've got a fair few of the Excalibur sims, and while several end up in the trash, a few are pretty relaxing, which sometimes is what's needed after a shitty day, as opposed to concentrating on blowing the shit out of Bandits/Orcs/Russians/Russian Orc Bandits.

Heh there is a RockPaperShotgun writer who plays all these simulators because he finds them incredibly amusing. Article very much reminded me of his articles, (in fact I did crosscheck the name to see)

The problem with these so-called "simulators" from Astragon is that they are horribly bad at what they do. I wouldn't mind the boring (there's a game for everyone I guess) if they were atleast good simulators which they unfortunatly aren't.

I've actually tried the farming one and the digging one out of curiosity and the controls and "feel" of the equipment was so horribly off (nothing like the real thing at all) it was almost unplayable.

That once again raises the question of who buys these things? Because it isn't gamers and I doubt anyone who handles the *insert cover art vehicle here* in real life would get any joy out of it.

In my experience all these games seems to be different copy-pasted versions of the same game, with different themes but the same awful physics and vehicle systems simulation. It's basiclly cheap shovelware that put all the "good" simulators to shame. not to mention that they dare use the same font as MS Flight Simulator on the cover art in some kind marketing ploy. Probably aimed at confusing the unknowing masses.

I'm sorry if this post came out a little to harsh, it's been years since I had to actually write something like this in english so the tone might be a little off.

ive played a few sim games like dive to the titanic and they are flawed but can still be interesting if you are in the right mindset. dive to the titanic wasnt too bad apart from a navigator you cant turn off every 10 seconds saying right.. left.. forward which tended to grate on the nerves alot.

there is a market for sims.. look at how many people have played microsoft flight sim

I thought you were joking. nope.avi

I just want to say, this review was very well written and made me laugh pretty hard. I like simulators myself.. I picked up a Train sim on steam last christmas. It's really cool actually, I love how every.. single.. button does something. I can spend hours just messing around with the various models and switching tracks and wandering lazily down different routes into cities.

"We like to see the physical changes our labor creates, especially in an economy where many jobs have less concrete signs of accomplishment. Even collecting garbage is more tactile and outwardly useful than drafting memos or fixing code."

This is true to an infinite degree. I have been looking for the right words to express this exactly, but never found them until now. Thanks!

It is also why I need some sort of "campaign mode" in any game I play. I absolutely love anything that has a sense of persistence and development. I mean, I am still waiting for a fantasy game that lets you live the life of an average citizen or soldier, with all the decisions and tasks that come with it. A flight simulator with career mode? I want it. Even something that simulates office politics and so on would be really really interesting to me.

But maybe I'm just boring...

I honestly think that a world where someone, somewhere, is pouring all their love, affection and creative care into modeling and programming a dustcart is a beautiful world. I... Don't know why, but I just feel that way.

It's just such a beautiful thought. I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would be excited to their very heart by a simulated haygather machine, but I can't deny that I'm glad someone is.

rofltehcat:
Yeah those games are mostly garbage. They are only played by people who do not realize how horrible they are. Like... little children or people 40+ who never play(ed) another video game. However, I don't see why we should have more people of those demographics here in Germany, compared to other countries.

Tbh, I don't know why Rockstar doesn't produce simulators. Most of their racing games (at least the ones I saw) feel like they are just their most recent GTA without walking around and without guns. Probably the exact same models and textures everywhere. Making simulator games (that hopefully don't suck as much) should be pretty easy for them.

That wasn't the point of the article, and no. No, they are not horrible. They like their things, and you like yours. Making generalizations like that is why we have people equating online shooters to virtual Breivik training grounds. Stop it. Please?

This was a good read. Thanks for that.

Yes... these games are a continuous wonder to us German gamers too... but they are always good for a laugh.

"Die Polizei" (The Police, of course) is btw the WORST sim game ever developed. The people at Gamestar magazine did a brilliant video about it. It's on the tube.

Cool

And here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BJG1Q3uLdE

It's not important if you don't speak German.

How come you don't mention the educational aspect? I know from experience that some flight sims are close enough to the actual thing that they can be a useful training exercise for pilots, i imagine part of the appeal of these simulators is that they can teach you a little bit about the small corner of the world they are simulating.

WoahDan:
How come you don't mention the educational aspect? I know from experience that some flight sims are close enough to the actual thing that they can be a useful training exercise for pilots, i imagine part of the appeal of these simulators is that they can teach you a little bit about the small corner of the world they are simulating.

Because, as several people have mentioned Astragon's sims are hilariously bad bug-filled shovelware with little attempt at realism, and give the sim genre a bad name.

The only think you gain from them is a sinking feeling you've wasted money and have yet another turd stinking up your Steam library. I've only played demo versions of their stuff, but even that left me feeling ripped off.

I know one game that's fun for all the right reasons when it comes to economic wrangling and strategy, The Guild 2, it's pretty awesome.

Though I have always liked economic management games...

But yeah simulation games tend to be underrated by most.

Also, awesome humour levels in the article!

Come on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEJHrmliVQw

I knew about the awesomeness of Farming Simulator since... like, forever.

Also, the rockpapershotgun coverage was pretty cool too.

CyborgGinger:
It's been a while since I laughed so hard at an article. Your descriptions in the first half the piece were blindingly funny. Loved it.

Thanks! I enjoyed writing it. Not necessarily playing the games, mind you, though I have to admit I actually laughed until I cried more than once while playing Garbage Truck Sim.

Tallim:
Heh there is a RockPaperShotgun writer who plays all these simulators because he finds them incredibly amusing. Article very much reminded me of his articles, (in fact I did crosscheck the name to see)

Yeah, a few people have brought that guy up. I had no idea, and it's probably best that I didn't. I think a lot of the fun of this article came from the fact that I came to these games entirely fresh.

Muspelheim:
I honestly think that a world where someone, somewhere, is pouring all their love, affection and creative care into modeling and programming a dustcart is a beautiful world. I... Don't know why, but I just feel that way.
It's just such a beautiful thought. I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would be excited to their very heart by a simulated haygather machine, but I can't deny that I'm glad someone is.

I feel the same way. The whole culture has this very genuine charm to it that's both incredibly funny yet immediately endearing. Check out that link to World of Simulators Magazine... really, it's worth it.

WoahDan:
How come you don't mention the educational aspect? I know from experience that some flight sims are close enough to the actual thing that they can be a useful training exercise for pilots, i imagine part of the appeal of these simulators is that they can teach you a little bit about the small corner of the world they are simulating.

Astragon didn't seem to push the educational aspect when I talked to them, and I would guess there's some kind of licensing process you need to go through to certify your sim as "educational." I get your point about flight sims (I played some of the flight school-sanctioned takeoff/landing ones when I went to ground school) but this article was focused more on the blue collar-type sims. See, I understand where the market is for flight sims, but Garbage Truck Sim? Street Cleaner Sim? Underground Mining Sim? Those types of games I just couldn't fathom an audience for, past depressed civic employees who've been suddenly laid off.

Of course, when you add in the modelmaking community that sort of thing makes perfect sense - especially since some of the most popular sims are flight and train sims. What kind of machines to modelmakers love? Planes and trains.

 

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