Interview: astragon talks about the upcoming Construction Simulator 3

Construction Simulator 3 is arriving on mobile soon, and we were lucky enough to talk to the astragon team about what makes this a superb sequel, the challenges tackled in development, and what the future holds for the series.

So what’s Construction Simulator 3 all about?

For the first time, mobile players will be able to experience the action on the construction site through the eyes of their in-game character via the new cockpit camera. Further, Construction Simulator 3 introduces a new setting with three unique districts in the idyllic European Alpine foothills. New license partners include BOMAG, Bobcat, CASE and the WIRTGEN GROUP, consisting of WIRTGEN, VÖGELE and HAMM that expand the vehicle fleet to over 50 machines & vehicles by 14 brands. Players will be able to make use of these vehicles in over 70 different construction jobs.

What kind of contracts will you need to complete in the game?

Due to the different districts the player travels through during his or her aspiring career, the types of contracts vary greatly depending on the size of the player’s construction company. Players will be challenged with all kinds of missions from small delivery jobs, to earthmoving, gardening and landscaping, building houses and office building up to building entire bridges and other exciting constructions in particularly challenging special assignments.

What challenges did your team face during development, and how did you overcome them?

From the gameplay side the integration of the Liebherr LB28 Drilling Rig was really a huge challenge. This machine is so complex in handling and its work process that it was really hard to implement it properly in a mobile game with its limited space for complex controls and buttons.

Besides that, one of the biggest technical challenges was to fit the even more detailed environment especially with all its vegetation, small props and the added vehicle interiors into the limited resources of the supported mobile devices. We had to put a lot of effort into performance and memory optimizations, since we intend the game to run on the same devices as its predecessor, even with its growth in size and the addition of more details.

What specifics tools and techniques did you use to develop the game?

Since the beginning of the development of the Construction Simulator series we are relying on Unity3D as our game engine. Over the years we gained a lot of experience using it and meanwhile we know more or less every do’s and don’ts within the engine. Besides Unity, we are using 3ds max and Maya for creating the 3d models and Photoshop for the model’s textures.

As CS3 is a mobile title, most of the assets are low-poly and only have simple diffuse shaders with smallest possible textures. But for the vehicles, our heroes, we have a more dedicated shader setup which makes use of a normal and a specular map. The normal map defines smaller details on the machines and gives them an overall more realistic look especially in combination with a specular map, which defines the shininess of the surfaces and a rendered cube map reflection, which exposes these glossy areas.

Which part of the game are you personally the most proud of and why?

Hard to say. I’m really proud of the complete game as it is really a perfect combination of a very nice and detailed environment, with really cool, detailed, functional machines and great missions to be played. And all of this in a quality, which is really outstanding on the mobile games market.

How difficult was it to get the licenses for the game?

Sometimes it’s harder and we have to discuss and explain a lot what the game is all about and sometimes it’s really easy and a licensor is asking us what he has to do to get his machines into our game. Acquiring the first brands really needed some persuasive efforts. But once we had Liebherr, MAN and Caterpillar on board the next brands were much easier to convince.

Are there any differences in the Android version of the game?

Content wise it’s exactly the same game on iOS and Android. As we are facing a lot more Android devices with various performance indices we added some more options on graphic effects and graphic details so the players can adapt their settings to their device.

What does the future hold for Construction Simulator 3?

We’ll see. Looking back to CS2 it might be that we also add some new missions and maybe introduce some new brands. But nothing is set in stone at the moment, so stay tuned.

Construction Simulator 3 will be available for pre-order on the App Store (Link) as well as pre-register on the Google Play Store (Link) starting today. The release is scheduled for April 10, 2019 on both platforms. 

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