Building a computer is a lot like making a delicious omelette, only the eggs are solid-state drives and cost about $250 a pop. Instead of spending what could amount to thousands of dollars on your first custom PC build for gaming at insane resolutions and blazing fast framerates, fire up your ultrabook and spend your lunch money on PC Building Simulator which lets you do all the hard work of computer building while reaping no tangible reward.
Screenshot: Patrick Lucas Austin (PC Building Simulator)
If you're unfamiliar with PC construction, PC Building Simulator will spare you the horrors and injuries that accompany the building of your first custom computer (turns out, processors get very hot) by giving you a virtual world where you can click and assemble without consequences. The game also functions as a helpful tutorial of sorts, teaching you the bulk of what you need to know when it comes to actually assembling a rig of your own (or in the case of the sim, a rig for your customers).
You can look forward to -- preferably with a mouse and keyboard -- screwing and unscrewing various nuts and bolts, inserting power supply units into cases, and booting up customer computers to diagnose and repair software issues.
The simulated PC construction game, created by Claudiu Kiss, uses actual component models identical to their real-world counterparts thanks in part to a licensing agreement between the game's developer and more than a dozen PC component and software manufacturers. You won't find anything fantastical like a Brahma 2000 in here, only actual parts from Corsair, CoolerMaster, AMD and more.
Tired of a simple obstacle like money getting in the way of realising your dream of a perfect gaming machine? Well there's a free play option that lets you build using whatever parts you want, no fiscal limitations around.
Did I mention there's a friggin' career mode that lets you unlock additional workbenches so you can do even more fake work? Here's hoping it answers the question on everyone's mind: Is the life of a custom PC builder as glamorous as it seems? Only one way to find out.
As a builder of quite a few gaming rigs, the idea of a PC building simulator definitely seems like it would scratch the itch I have for expensive components that require a long-term financial strategy to acquire.
So, how is it? In a way, it's exactly what I expected, and that's the weirdest part. In my experience, computer builds have been a mostly solitary experience, with me sharing the intimate details of my progress with a select group of nerdy confidants. With the simulator (that would benefit greatly from the addition of VR support) it felt even more solitary. No bragging to your friends about your battle scars, no uploaded glamour shots to Reddit's PC building communities.
It's just you, a room, and a hallway where you procure the digital broken towers belonging to your clients. You check your email, respond to your clients, fix their computers and collect a cheque. Also, you start off in the red, which is basically a reflection of my real world PC building budget.
You can purchase the $US17.99 ($23) simulator on Steam Early Access, where developers sometimes offer early builds of their games for player feedback before an official launch.
That means, of course, the game isn't complete and you can expect updates like case modding, improved cable management, water cooling, and additional career content as development progresses.
It's a lonely road and I kind of love it.