The Bus This Month

Publisher Aerosoft and developer TML Studios announce The Bus, a transportation simulation coming to Early Access on Steam on March 25th. As the name suggests, this puts the player in the role of a bus driver, allowing the fantasy of being Ralph Kramden. Or at least the German equivalent, as the game is set in a virtual Berlin, which is ambitiously depicted in exact 1:1 scale. This will bring a lot to the genre, including a deep economic component, custom designed routes, mod tools, and even multiplayer support. A glimpse of the visuals can be found in this alpha teaser trailer and the other videos on the TML Studios Channel. Here's more on the game and plans to drive it through Early Access:
The Bus’ massive, meticulously detailed in-game map allows players to edit lines and routes, timetables, tours, and more. Board and deboard passengers, oversee ticket sales, and maneuver through AI-controlled traffic that features a variety of vehicles, pedestrians, and complex traffic light routines. With the “Free Movement” feature, players can even explore the world “on foot” and walk freely inside of their busses. Dynamic weather patterns make for unpredictable workdays, while the full day and night cycle crank the immersion up to a whole new level.

Early Access Special Features Currently Include:

  • Three Modes: Realistic Campaign, Arcade, and Custom
  • Mouse support for convenient driving control with simple keyboard and mouse setup
  • Supports many gaming steering wheels with or without pedals
  • Supports Tobii Eye Tracking and TrackIR
  • “Photo Mode” allows for high quality, UI-free screenshots
  • Two integrated web radio channels: DoubleBass.FM and FlashBass.FM

As part of The Bus’ Early Access phase, developer TML Studios has announced a development plan broken down into three main phases, the first beginning with the Early Access launch that includes the basic build of the game. Phase two will introduce multiplayer mode, bus lines 100 and 200, additional bus models and variants, and a freely drivable area between the main station and Potsdamer Platz with Tiergarten included, and other features. Phase three will add extensive modding tools, a deep economic system that allows for complete management of a player’s bus company, the final bus line 245, and the original bus depot in Indira-Gandhi-Straße. Working directly with feedback from the community during Early Access, TML Studios aims to develop a true fan-inspired gameplay experience that bridges the gap between immersive simulation and co-op multiplayer.