Right now there are 11 developers at FuturLab working full-time on PowerWash Simulator. As anyone who has worked in game development knows, you can get an awful lot done with a team of 11 people all focused on the same objective.
Every day new content is conceived, assessed, pushed around, planned, built, implemented and tested by all of the different people on the project, but we all share the same feeling when anyone outside of the studio asks ‘hey, so what are you working on at the moment’.
The answer ‘PowerWash Simulator’ is always met with a Scooby-Doo like ‘huh?’..and then about 30 seconds later a knowing ‘aaaahhhhhh’.
The concept itself fits perfectly into that space where you ask yourself ‘why doesn’t this game exist already?’
If it wasn’t for the outbreak of a global pandemic and the almost global decision to transition millions of people to a ‘stay at home unless you really really have to leave the house’ protocol then perhaps we never would have found the right moment in time to introduce this idea to the gaming world.
As it was, everyone on the team was really starting to feel the strain of going into lockdown and spending day after day, week after week indoors. All that we had at that stage was a small PC game, a playable proof of concept for PowerWash Sim.
Just a dirty house and 3 nozzles, but cleaning it was fun. In fact, it wasnt just fun – it was fun and relaxing, so we made the decision to release it as a free demo on itch.io and let players tell us if we should continue with this idea or shelve it.
The response was super positive which led us to ask, where do we go from here? There’s plenty of simulation games already out there and some of them achieve recognition as top pc games amongst a huge global audience, so within a couple of days we had decided to move from a free demo to a full production plan and to target Early Access as soon as we had something that felt like the beginnings of a full feature set and content plan.
And the details of that content plan (or at least some of its highlights) is the thing that flashes in people’s mind’s eye in the 30 seconds from huh? to ahhhh. In a game like PowerWash Simulator, anything is possible – so long as it can get dirty and be cleaned. Whether it’s a suburban house or a recently returned space shuttle. The Statue of Liberty or the Great Wall of China. The mere process of returning something that is stained or dirty to its former glory is as inherently appealing as it is easy to understand and so we are creating a game that isn’t just the story of a powerwashing professional for hire tidying up the neighbourhood, but a relaxing and therapeutic experiential framework offering players the potential for limitless content possibilities.
To say that we are excited about the future for PowerWash Simulator is an epic understatement. There is a recognition amongst the team every day that we are working on the right game at the right time with a vision that is not only simple and elegant, but also overflowing with creative and technical potential. As we all spend more time indoors, looking for ways to dial down our stress and our frustrations – enjoying a stress-free game about cleaning up the world outside while also calming our own anxieties seems to us to be the best way to release the pressure.
Be good to yourself.