My Summer Car is an upcoming game about building your own vehicle in the reputedly "hot, hot, hot" Finnish summer. It also promises absurd difficulty, lots of death, and all-important physics bugs. Listen to a man with a wonderful accent show you a weirdly-compelling experience:
I've only been to Finland in the winter. I thought I got lost beside a field on my jog through the snow to the ocean, but it turns out the field was the ocean, frozen solid. I was there for a talk, and I was warned in advance not to worry about any jokes I might be telling, as Finns do not laugh in public.
But lead developer Johannes Rohola's My Summer Car site is funny, or at least I think it is — in a world of user-friendliness, anything that looks like an ancient Geocities website injects joy into my stuttering heart. Maybe it's the bright-red ticker promising "Never seen before true car building and driving simulator!", or the nostalgic UNDER CONSTRUCTION banner. The animated chicken, exploding again and again.
The list of implemented features promises My Summer Car "does have graphics of some sort" as well as "fully functional dashboard similar to flight simulator." But the list of features the developer is considering implementing is even better:
PLANS, BUT NOT PROMISED!
Window stickers, like "More beer"
Extensive damage system, for parts dropping off and wear and tear
Drivable cargo van and rowing boat
Ability to make kilju and sell it to get some cash
Suomi KP/-31 to shoot fishes, cans, or something else
Rallycross-style dirt track
Drag strip and local drag racing events
Able to go to sauna, drink alcohol beverages and get wasted
Lively environment with houses, nature and animals
There are actually a number of ponderous, intensely-detailed (and often budget-constrained) vehicle and machine simulations floating around. Often, the character in these "boring" vehicle simulations comes from the glitches and weirdness that arise when a game with high-level detail is marketed at a niche audience with minimal resources — and the thriving mod community attracted to that weirdness. This piece my friend Joe Bernardi did on games like Euro Truck Simulator, Farming Simulator and Train Simulator is an awesome and fascinating look inside that experience.
Even better: When you are forced to attend a video game trade show abroad and discover the booth for, say, Farming Simulator – it'll have a life-like, hulking tractor, hopeful-looking staffers, and no attendees (they are instead queuing for flashier things).