Thanks to Times Herald for this:
The new PC game Great Lakes Simulator, allows players to sail the full length of Lake Huron and Lake Superior on a virtual freighter for an immersive experience.
The shorelines in the game aren’t randomized, they’re shorelines seen in real life. The ships players pass are real ships and the cities passed are ones real freighters pass by 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 video game digital distribution service, Dec. 15, 2021.
Dial said he has spent 500 to 600 hours working on the game which he created in a 1-to-1 scale to make it feel as real as possible.
Players can drive freighters the full 750-mile distance from Duluth, Minnesota, to Port Huron. At scale speeds in real time, a round trip journey takes days to complete but in the game players can compress and pause time, taking the journey 10 minutes at a time.
Players can navigate the lakes at night using nothing but lights. They can journey through blinding snow and intense thunderstorms, meet ships along the way and take care to avoid collisions. They can watch for traffic and lighthouses or watch the sun rise and set over the Great Lakes.
“The ships of course are the star of everything,” Dial said.
He said this game isn’t a traditional, action-packed game one might find on Steam. Traveling on the lakes is a lot of waiting for time and distance to pass, so this is for people who want a “quick getaway,” people who have 10 minutes before they need to go pick up their kids and can load up the game.
It was inspired by the concept of ship chasers and the whole ecosystem of the ships, with Dial himself a fan of Great Lakes freighters.
In Great Lakes Simulator, players can start south of Port Huron, go under the Blue Water Bridge and into Lake Huron. Dial worked hard on the positioning of the buoys and range lights and included Fort Gratiot Lighthouse, he said.
Great Lakes Simulator on Steam