Software Inc. – Early Access Preview

 

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Software Inc. by Coredumping is an Early Access Simulation game, starting in the 1980’s, your aim is to build your company from scratch in the hope that one day your business will dominate the software world.

A typical game will start like this.
Name your company
Name your Founder
Customise your founder, are they male or female? How will they look? What will they wear? (This is purely cosmetic and has no impact on the game as far as I can tell)
What sort of personality will they have? Generous? Mean? Optimistic? Snob? This will affect how they interact with the other members of the team and can affect effectiveness and morale.

Choose your game mode (currently there is only Free Play mode available to play, Scenarios are due to be added later)
Decide on a difficulty level, Easy, Medium and Hard (personally I struggled for a bit on easy…)

Select how much cash you start with
Select how many days are in a month (1 for quicker games, 8 for longer more thoughtful ones)
Hit start!

I will say straight off, this does not feel like it’s aimed at casual players, the sheer volume of information thrown at you through the avalanche of tutorials is, at first, rather daunting. There is a lot to learn and it is not as instantly accessible as similar titles, Game Dev Tycoon, for example.

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With that out of the way and now with all the necessary fundamentals in place you will need to design the layout of your headquarters. Your staff will want a pleasant working environment to keep morale and efficiency high. So, you will need to make sure that there are enough heating and ventilation systems in place, you don’t want your staff to freeze in the winter or your PC’s to overheat in the summer.

You are not limited to creating a single floor building, you can build up to 12 stories high and you can even add a basement where your servers can be stored. Although when my servers died a horrible fiery death as nobody would use the lifts to go down and fix them… It was entirely my own fault, I had put a lamp in the way and nobody could walk around it.

The early part of the game will see you taking contracts to keep the money flowing and when you have a suitable stash of cash built up you can think about hiring new staff or training the crew you currently employ. Of course, if you’re a one man studio and you are the only member of staff, popping off to college will have a detrimental effect on your income.

The cleanliness of the office can also have an affect on the team’s capability. After a while you will notice the flooring will start to stain with footprints as the team walks back and forth between their desks and the coffee machine or to the lounge with its big sparkly TV (I treat my staff well). This can be solved by calling out a cleaner for a one-time fee or hiring a cleaning team for a fixed amount each month. The same can be said for the maintenance team who will look after the radiators and ventilation systems. IT support is also available, but only when required, demanding payment each time.

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With enough time and effort you’ll eventually progress to creating your own Operating systems, Visual/Audio tools, Anti-Virus software, Game engines and then Games themselves, but these take a while to develop. You do not want to be aiming for this with only 1 team, so it’s best to have several teams working on several projects at a time.

Coredumping has a Trello page setup HERE to show the upcoming features and bug fixes, which is a really nice way to see what’s coming up and what parts of the game they are currently working on.
I do really like Software Inc., but the sheer amount of information to take in through the tutorials is a little overwhelming and the simple 3D models may put some people off, but if you stick with it, you will find a game that can suck you into its world of team management, staff training, office design, all in the name of designing the best software around.

Pro’s:
Fun to play
Satisfies the Simulation Itch

Con’s:
Could be intimidating to some

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