"Bus Simulator 21 Next Stop is a game through which we want to get people interested in the bus world. Although it is primarily entertainment, we aimed for the most realistic approach possible," says Pierre Friedrichsmeier of Astragon Entertainment.
Two years ago, Astragon Entertainment introduced Bus Simulator 21, a computer game that captivates many bus enthusiasts. The game can be played in two ways; either you drive the bus as you would in any game, or you take your seat as the driver and control the bus from the driver's seat with a view of the dashboard. "We try to make the game as realistic as possible so that it gives a good impression of the work as a bus driver and thus potentially makes players interested in that profession," Pierre Friedrichsmeier points out.
“To achieve this, we cooperate with renowned bus manufacturers such as MAN, Mercedes, Setra, Iveco, Volvo, Scania, VDL, Ebusco, Bluebird and BYD. With Mercedes and MAN, we can have data from the vehicles' can database that allows us to implement more data about the vehicle. When we do not have that information, we try to represent it as realistically as possible. Sometimes we do choose to make a compromise so as not to spoil the game aspect too much. In a game, you can hardly make the driver come from behind his steering wheel to slide out the ramp for a wheelchair, for example; we choose an automatic system for that."
"At Busworld, we wanted both to make Bus Simulator 21 Next Stop better known and to attract new partners to add more variety to the game. Players can already choose from a wide fleet of vehicles with which they can enter the road," continued Pierre Friedrichsmeier. "This way, we want to offer them a lot of experiences that they may be able to take advantage of later when they take a seat on a real bus simulator."
In the game, the driver is rewarded or punished for his driving. He receives fines for violations, has to use his direction indicators, receives the bill for bodywork damage when he hits bollards or his manoeuvre causes an accident. Just as well, there are bonus points to be earned, which the driver can use to set up his own bus company and buy a variety of buses.
During the ride, he must neatly stop at stops, let passengers get on and off, and must close the doors when he wants to leave again. The driver must also check that no objects have been forgotten in the bus, may have to ask passengers to move on, not block the doors or mute their smartphone music.
Bus Simulator 21 Next Stop can be played on PC, Playstation 4 and 5 and on X-box.