With the new Great Lakes Simulator PC game, players can navigate the entire length of Lake Huron and Lake Superior on a virtual cargo ship for an immersive experience.
Shores in the game are not random, they are shores seen in real life. The ships that players pass are real ships, and the cities they pass through are real cargo ships that pass every day.
“Port Huron is of course in the game,” said game developer Jason Dial of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
The Great Lakes Simulator will be available on Steam, a digital video game distribution service, on December 15. Dial said he spent 500-600 hours working on the game he created on a scale of 1 to 1 to make it feel as real as possible.
Players can drive freighters the entire 750 mile distance from Duluth, Minnesota, to Port Huron. At real-time scale speeds, a round trip takes days, but in the game players can compress and pause time, taking the commute 10 minutes at a time.
Players can navigate the lakes at night using only lights. They can travel through blinding snow and intense thunderstorms, encounter ships along the way, and take care to avoid collisions. They can watch traffic and lighthouses or watch the sun rise and set over the Great Lakes.
“Ships are of course the star of everything,” said Dial.
He said that this game is not a traditional action-packed game that one might find on Steam. Traveling on the lakes requires a lot of waiting as time and distance go by, so it’s for people who want a “quick getaway”, people who have 10 minutes before they have to pick up their kids and can load the game up. .
“Boom, here you are in the middle of Lake Huron,” said Dial.
He said this concept is unique and “niche”. It takes its inspiration from the concept of ship hunters and the entire ship ecosystem, with Dial himself being a fan of Great Lakes freighters.
In fact, he was on his list to come to Port Huron and see them with his own eyes, so last July he and his dog Lewis took to town to give him more authority for the game.
“We swam in Lake Huron with the freighters,” he said.
In Great Lakes Simulator, players can start south of Port Huron, pass under the Blue Water Bridge and into Lake Huron. Dial worked hard on the positioning of the buoys and range lights and included the Fort Gratiot lighthouse, he said.
He said there are already a lot of people interested in the game with hundreds already asking to be alerted when it releases on Steam. It’s still fine-tuning the prices, but Dial said the game will cost less than $ 20.
Over time, he plans to add new ships to the game, eventually allowing players to navigate real ships and communicate with other players in the game.
“It helps the immersion of it all,” he said.
This article originally appeared on Port Huron Times Herald: Great Lakes Simulator Lets People Drive Freighters in Port Huron