PowerWash Simulator developer diary discusses cleanliness thresholds, dirt design

It’s no secret we’re big fans of PowerWash Simulator here at Eurogamer which, for me, makes this hour-long development deep dive video something of a must-watch.

I’ve often wondered while playing whether certain objects auto-complete faster than others. If you’re yet to try PowerWash yourself, it’s worth knowing the game will, after you clean a certain amount of surface area, auto-complete the rest of the object in question. (This also provides a nice ‘ding’ sound.)

This subject is one of many covered in the developer video, which is ostensibly about how levels in the game are created but also delves into thoughts on dirt design, parkour, and the game’s lack of fall damage.

“We’re very sensitive to the fact we don’t want to frustrate people,” designer Nick McCarthy said, discussing the different thresholds the game employs for different objects. “We don’t want people to have to linger on an object longer than they should.

“Those,” he continued, discussing a fiddly boat window with a embossed rim, “we might be a little more modest on a threshold – give it something like a five or 10 percent, so you only have to clean 90 percent of the dirt on that object to make it ding.

“Thresholds are something we’re always looking at, to try and make better,” he concluded. “People have different washing styles and that just means people have different experiences… Some people are very experienced, methodical… but some players may just not note there’s a little sliver of dirt on the top of a window… We try to find a nice middle ground, set the thresholds up in a way that’s good for everybody.”

After earning 3 million players across PC and Xbox (including Game Pass), PowerWash Simulator is headed to PlayStation and Nintendo Switch. Fresh levels are in the works, with a community vote to decide what gets added next.

While we wait for that, Liv recently took a look at the PowerWash Simulator fans who have taken to speedrunning the game.