Interview: Computer Repair Simulator

Posted on by Ryan Shoptaw

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With the wild success of both YouTube and Twitch, more and more computers are being built specifically for gaming. With computer channels on YouTube like Austin Evans, Linus Tech Tip, and Unbox Therapy becoming wildly popular and custom computer builders like iBuyPower and CyberPower PC now being sold in major retails, it’s hard to not agree.

One small group of people are working on a game that will teach us all how to repair and build computers in a game known as Computer Repair Simulator. We recently sat down with the game’s Software Developer Garrett Swindell to discuss this giant project.

Gaming Conviction  What inspired the idea of Computer Repair Simulator?
Garrett Swindell: Several years ago I was looking for a computer game that allowed me to fix / troubleshoot issues on computers that showed high detail level and was technically accurate.  Seeing there were no games available like this, I decided to begin making one.  I am a geek at heart, love electronics, and love being challenged by the issues I come across in the field of work…this is what has inspired the idea of Computer Repair Simulator.

GC: You released an alpha build a month ago, how has the feedback affected development?
GS: It has really been a game changer.  My philosophy in game development is give the players what they want, as long as it is reasonable and continues to keep the integrity of the game.  I had a lot of great ideas come in that forced me to begin rewriting the game from the ground up again while implementing new code foundations to support some of the great requests.  The good news is that I have a lot of the graphics, models, and content done, I just need to shore up the code a bit.  Some of the requests that came in were related to school curriculum, in game tests, custom hardware imports for companies who are training, etc…the list goes on for a while.  A lot of the requests were already planned, however we just wanted to get the alpha release out to prove the CRS concept…obviously we got a huge response from it so we will keep going.

Concept Art
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Concept Art

GC: Do you feel that Computer Repair Simulator would work best as a educational tool as it teaches players how to build/repair computers?
GSIf you want my true answer, it is to trick the players into having fun while crushing them in information and experience.  Knowledge in this area is difficulty to come by now a days as most users are actively searching videos online to fix problems and few have troubleshooting skills.  Now they have a chance to experiment in a virtual environment and take hardware apart piece by piece, screw by screw, component by component, or they can get the chance to work with software that would otherwise teach them how to tweak their own systems for the best performance, or show them methods of resolving common issues.

GC: I know there has been discussions about funding options. Does that mean we could possibly see some sort of crowdfunding in the future?
GSA week ago I posted something on our website to help fund the project where the money would be going towards software licensing upkeep and development.  We are always moving forward, but not at the pace we would like to…we are a very small team.  I am experimenting with different techniques to raise some money to help with the development…but if we can’t get it, we will still continue forward as every single one of us is passionate with what we do.  We did discuss crowdfunding websites at one point, just not 100% sure about that yet as we are doing just fine as is, we are just trying to think for the future a bit.

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GC: Is there a possibility they we could see the option of learning how to overclock CPUs or configuring higher Mhz of RAM in the Bios?
GSAbsolutely, even adding smoke if necessary!  There will be a lot of theory in these areas so users begin to create an awareness of patterns, relationships, and optimal settings.

GC: Will there be any brand name companies affiliated with the game?
GSThis is where it gets really interesting.  The simple answer is yes, you will soon begin seeing well known company brands within the game.  Contracts have not been signed yet, so I would like to stay on the side of caution and hold off on announcing them now  I can say I have companies for memory, motherboards, GPUs, chipsets, software, and IT equipment.  This is extremely exciting and I feel like a little kid keeping secrets, but I promise it will be worth it.  Some of these companies have already began brainstorming ideas on hardware/software giveaways for in game progress and activity.  How cool would it be playing a computer repair game and all the sudden winning a contest item like computer hardware and/or  user peripherals?

GC: Where can our readers keep up with the development of Computer Repair Simulator?
GSRight now the best place is computer-repair-simulator.com, which is our main site.  Don’t be worried about the posts, we are in heavy R&D now implementing new systems for the game, so you may not see much activity for the next 2 months.  There will be different releases for helping test though.