Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Euro Truck Simulator 2 Update 1.24 in Open Beta

A new wave of game updates is almost here. We are going to do a staged release for Open Betas of our truck sim twins; the first in line is Update 1.24 for Euro Truck Simulator 2. We want to avoid receiving too much feedback on too many things at the same time, so we will try your patience a bit more, and wait for a day or two with the Open Beta of the update for American Truck Simulator (+Arizona at last!).

As with every major game update, there are hundreds of changes and tweaks under the hood, but there two very notable new features, and a host of changes worth mentioning in a short changelog:

MAIN NEW FEATURES

Advanced trailer coupling in action:


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  • Speeding highlight can be disabled (option).
  • Torque converter simulation greatly improved.
  • Automatic transmission behavior improved.
  • XInput support added.
  • Added UI support for 4th and 5th controller
  • SKRS detection and support
  • Gear shift selectors (range, split) now have UI support for position-based switches.
DATA AND MODDING
  • Scania trucks reworked, accessories added (intake, mask, bumper, mudflap, etc.).
  • Unit name fixes, most interior accessory and some other mods need update.
  • Damage params moved out from game_data.sii and some more added (including wear and part damage factors).
  • Data driven engines (torque curve, rpm limits).
  • Force feedback data for XInput added (force_feedback.sii).
  • Torque converter physics data added, separated manual clutch data (physics.sii).

You can find the beta in the public_beta branch on Steam. (Steam client → LIBRARY → right click on Euro Truck Simulator 2 → Properties → Betas tab → public_beta - 1.24 public beta). No password is required. A word of caution: make sure to back-up your profile and save game data before experimenting with beta builds!

Please keep in mind that this is still only a test version of the update, it's perfectly ok for you to wait and stay away from it until it's stable and final. If you are curious though and want to assist us in polishing it, we greatly appreciate your help. Please report any bugs on our forum.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Advanced Trailer Coupling

The upcoming open betas for the new game updates of Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator are coming with a new feature: advanced trailer coupling. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and a video can show even more, so let's take a look at it first:



The new trailer coupling feature is optional - you need to enable it in the game's options to adjust the game's default trailer coupling behavior. Make sure to consider your precise reversing skills before doing so! ;)

The standard trailer coupling allowed for quite some room in the relative positions of the kingpin and the fifth-wheel. You could also "cheat" it by approaching the trailer from an angle. The new trailer coupling option uses full physical collision simulation for the kingpin and fifth-wheel - you will be faced with the same challenge as a real truck driver. Expecting this precision from a newbie player may be too intimidating, so we are keeping the standard simple coupling as a default, but we know that a lot of our experienced truck sim players are asking for more realism, and we hope that you will appreciate that we are improving the game in this regard step by step.

In addition to the kingpin/fifth-wheel simulation, we have also added an additional visual treat to several trailers in the game, with an animation of raising the trailer landing gear.

(If you have really sharp eyes, you may notice something in the video which is also a teaser for a whole bunch of new tuning content coming to Euro Truck Simulator 2 soon)

Friday, May 13, 2016

Arizona Panoramas

We are hard at work putting finishing touches on Arizona DLC for American Truck Simulator now. Very soon we should enter first a closed beta and hopefully soon after an open beta phase.


Today we would like to treat you with three panoramas showing the principal river of the Southwestern United States - the Colorado River. The river will not be just a sight to pass. For the players who enjoy hunting for Steam achievements, we have prepared a new one - tied with the river.


Your task will be to cross the three bridges in Ehrenberg, Yuma and Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge near Hoover Dam. You will also have a chance to drive along the edge of two canyons carved by the Colorado River - Grand Canyon and Glen Canyon.


The panoramas above show an artist's depiction of Colorado River near Kingman, again near Yuma, and Glen Canyon.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

New types of industries in France

With each map expansion for our games, we try to come up with new types of places to go. Not just new geography, but also new delivery terminals, bringing new challenges for manoeuvring the truck and trailer. More variety and more eye candy never hurts, but our ambition goes further. We would like the locations in our games to be recognizable, reminding those who know them of their real-world counterparts.

The same will be true for our upcoming Vive la France map DLC for Euro Truck Simulator 2 of course. French industry is giving us a lot of opportunities. Today we'd like to take a look at one industry segment. France derives 75% of its electricity from nuclear power plants, so we thought that featuring a couple of them in the game a rather good idea.

The screenshots below are showing the results of our current work on vast complexes of Civaux and Saint-Laurent nuclear power plants.




Friday, May 6, 2016

Coming soon to World of Trucks


The upcoming major Update releases for Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator will contain a host of improvements: from general map tweaks to AI improvements or improved gear shifting code, from xinput support to additional support for CSIO Technologies cool SKRS transmission shift knob to hardcore trailer connecting mode - more on this later. But today we'd like to focus on enhancements coming to World of Trucks contracts.

The biggest overhaul is hiding under the hood - a lot of our early experimental code running and storing data on our private server farm has been adjusted to run on way more scalable Amazon server infrastructure. As World of Trucks will be adding more game features over time, eating even more bandwidth, we realized that we have to move to the "cloud" pretty much with everything. This change removes several bottlenecks and frustrating hick-ups you may currently experience when connecting to World of Trucks.


External Contracts will work across all of the official map content in the games - full support for American Truck Simulator is coming to World of Trucks at last, as is support for the map DLCs in Euro Truck Simulator 2.

We have improved the client part of Contracts, so you will be able to take jobs directly from the game, without the need to Alt+Tab to the web browser and back. It's more comfortable and streamlined, making it equal to Freight Market experience in the standard game. You will be able to easily see the closest jobs around your truck's current position in the world, so making your choice should be simple. But of course you don't get "teleported" to the trailer, you always have to actually drive your truck there.

We have introduced regional setting into World of Trucks, so you will be able to adjust the units according to your local preference.


We are now in "code freeze" stage for the upcoming game Updates - already firmly in closed beta territory - bugfixing and polishing the new features with our private group of trusted beta testers. We still have a bunch of issues sitting in our bug tracking database that we want to squish before switching into open beta mode. We are looking forward to another open beta, it's always great to see people interact with the new features, but we are still a couple of weeks from that moment. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Italian and Slovak Paintjob DLCs for ETS2

Over sixty people are now contributing on a daily basis into the growth and improvements of Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator, and this number will continue to grow. There is some Big Stuff in production in our labs; projects that we keep iterating on until we feel that they are ready for release. Sometimes it takes a while until we are truly ready. You can be sure that we feel the same sentiment as you - we wish that SCS were able to release new maps and vehicles faster, too!

We are trying hard, SCS has been on a hiring spree in recent months, we have four new talented developers joining our map and vehicle teams just this month. Actually our office space is about to reach 100% capacity full, so we are negotiating our options to make sure we can hire even more people. We may end up renting more space in our current building, or maybe even moving on to a new location again eventually.

The one area where we have become very productive over time is creation of country-specific paintjob sets for Euro Truck Simulator 2. We know that paintjobs are Small Stuff - and a bit controversial for some of you - as we are all impatiently waiting for the Big Stuff to appear. But we still owe paintjobs to a lot of fans who have not had their home country covered yet. We are now confident that we will be able to create paintjobs for all the countries which you can visit in the game, and some more for countries where we know there a lot of ETS2 players.

For now, our friends from Italy and Slovakia can finally welcome Italian Paintjobs Pack and Slovak Paintjobs Pack respectively. Have fun!


Friday, April 29, 2016

Arizona road network

Arizona is not just more of the same. Our work on California and Nevada started well over two years ago, and even though we kept polishing the game all through the development cycle, the map design process and the roads were largely based on our older generation of tools and prefabs. Meanwhile, our tool-chain has matured considerably with the ETS2 team's work on Scandinavia and Vive la France, and for Arizona, the ATS team is using the power of the new modular system to put the road network together.

  

Things look sharper with higher resolution textures and better continuity of segments. But more importantly, rather than having to do with the limitations of huge monolithic prefabricates in places of intersections, the modular system is bringing way more flexibility. We can get the intersections to look closer to their real-world inspirations at particular locations. There is a greater variety of shoulders and side-walks, we can mix in elements like unique authentic pillar types and matching bridge segments for given interchanges.

 

In all our truck games ever since the first 18 Wheels of Steel games all the way to current American Truck Simulator maps, we have always been struggling hard with the limited space in our scaled-down version of reality. There never seems to be enough space to squeeze in all the right types of roads and the right types of intersections.

For Arizona, we tried hard to make the combination of road types clearly separated, with country roads and city roads crossing and joining the freeways and interstates with appropriate types of intersections. It has a nice side-effect too, the speed limits can now be harmonized and more logical, which contributes to a significantly smoother ride.

  

An extensive system of horizontal marking makes the roads and intersections look more authentic. We have also improved the coverage of warning and information markings for Arizona.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A touch of Rocket League in Euro Truck Simulator 2

The guys at Psyonix have pushed the pedal to the metal again, and their just-updated Rocket League is once again attacking the top positions the Steam Top Sellers chart, congratulations!

A lot of truck driving players are not locked into just the sim niche. Looking at RL and ETS2, you could hardly find two driving games that are more different, and yet, there is quite an overlap between the player bases. People are having fun, and that's great, no matter which game they choose to play.


So if you happen to be a fan of both games, it's a matter of fortunate timing that today, we are bringing you a couple of Rocket League toys to install into your Euro Truck 2 cabin. As covered in a recent blog post, these include the iconic Rocket League ball and the Octane car to decorate your dashboard with. Have fun!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Blogging from the PAX East show floor

In 1998, two guys have started an innocent webcomic focused on video games and the games culture. Fast forward to 2016, and Penny Arcade is a massive cultural phenomenon of its own. It is spawning four huge gaming expos every year, and here we are, showing American Truck Simulator at PAX East in Boston, MA.



The scale of the expo is overwhelming, even though not quite as giant as Germany's GamesCom and fortunately not as loud. A tiny team from SCS is on the showfloor as well, manning two demo seats with American Truck Simulator, and definitely not ducking under the pressure as the crowds keep pushing by.


It is our first time showing the game at a public event since it was released. It is great to see the line of people always waiting for their turn behind the wheel! We have met several dedicated fans of our truck sims with hundreds or even thousands of hours spent in the world of Euro Truck or American Truck, and enjoyed the conversation with them (yeah, we know, we should hurry up with Arizona!). It is also quite an inspiration to see first-time players experimenting with the game, trying foolish things, or some taking it very seriously and driving super carefully.


We would like to thank our publishing partners at IMGN.PRO for inviting us to participate at their expo booth. They have managed to strike some great partnerships for the ATS demo stations. The game is running very smooth at 400% scaling on the XoticPC computers powered by NVidia GTX 980 3D cards, and visitors seem to be having great fun driving the big rigs while sitting in Playseat gaming seats equipped with Logitech G29 steering wheels. Cannot get much better really. Thanks guys!