Friday, September 30, 2016

ATS trained professional truck driver

Nothing so uniquely binds us together as humans than stories - especially stories with happy endings.  We love to hear them, and we love to read them.  We're happy to say we have one of those for you today, so please hear us out.  As the old adage goes, Once Upon a Time...

We have many professional truck drivers amongst our community.  We are proud to know that those hard working men and women appreciate our games and spend their precious free time playing our World of Trucks.

This time one of our fans embarked on a journey in the opposite direction - turning from just an average player of our games to becoming a real life professional.  Meet Dustin Kochara, certified truck driver!

Dustin sent us an email which has made us immensely proud:

"I currently have 197 hours logged into American Truck Simulator (loving every minute of it) your Trucking Simulators have been a huge inspiration in my Career choice, I Graduated truck driving school with a GPA of 3.6  'A' grade. I am now employed at Reddaway (A local truck driving company on the west coast of United States).

I probably would have not known that this was my dream job had i not first played your truck driving simulators, but here I am! And it's funny though, all my instructors I drove with said I was the best driver they have seen in a while, and the best of my class, I was able to nail the backing portion of my test in one to two shots, and was able to do the 90 degree backing in one shot on multiple occasions, even though I have never even been inside a Tractor before in my life, and in my mind, I know your teams creations have helped me.


So, I just wanted to say thank you and your team for opening my eyes and realizing my dream, and achieving it! Also, I get weekends off, so I can continue playing your amazing simulators!"

At the present time Dustin signed a contract with the Schneider company and will cross 11 western states with a 2012 Freightliner Cascadia.


We are very happy that with our projects we were able to contribute to Dustin's success.  We're wishing him good fortune and many miles of safe trucking across both the real and virtual west!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Impressions from IAA 2016


Just as every two years, we have visited IAA Commercial Vehicles 2016, the largest European trade show of transportation and logistics industry. Transportation expos are not as loud and crowded as major games industry shows, but they are in many ways even more impressive. This business is highly competitive, and especially the big manufacturers are ready to invest a lot to make sure their vehicles look the best.


We have walked the floor for three days, looking for inspiration, taking tons of photos, but most importantly, working hard to grow our list of contacts with the industry.

We also wanted to see what the guys from TrailerVue managed to build using our Euro Truck Simulator 2 to show their turn-assist camera system. They did a really great job, and we were happy that their interactive stand pulled quite a crowd all day long.


We were tweeting photos from the show in real-time and reposting to our facebook, but chances are some of our readers will appreciate a short photo report from the event here on this channel.

   
   
   
   
    

Monday, September 19, 2016

Pirates Paint Jobs Pack

Ahoy, matey!  This day 'tis International Speak like a Scurvy Pirate Day! We be joinin' in th' celebration by releasin' themed band 'o Pirates Paint Jobs Pack fer ETS2! 'tis the hour, in fact, we be not limitin' ourselves just to paintjobs. While buyin', ye gunna receive four additional, themed cabin accessories, 'n 'o course th' Jolly Roger scurvy pirate Flag as well! Grog-filled truckin'!


   

   

Friday, September 16, 2016

Schwarzmüller Trailer Pack DLC

We are bringing you the very first officially licensed set of five trailers for Euro Truck Simulator 2. We've been in discussions with the Schwarzmüller Group to make this set since our trip to IAA 2014, so you can see it's taken us some time to finalize the licensing arrangement and to produce the content for the game. The resulting 3D trailer models are highly detailed and have been designed in accordance with technical references.  All told we are excited to say that we're raising the bar on quality again!



Here's the Steam Store link to Schwarzmüller Trailer Pack DLC. The trailers in this set include the Food Cistern, Curtain Sider, Low Bed, Refrigerated Trailer, and Logging Trailer. The Schwarzmüller Group develops, builds, and services commercial vehicles that are ideal for highly competitive and demanding businesses.

As this is the first official content of this type, to celebrate the occasion we have agreed to make another PR stunt and give away 30 thousand activation keys for the new DLC to veteran players of Euro Truck Simulator 2. This could be another case study for future licensing talks and help us prove to brand owners that it's cool the be a part of our games' universe.

ETS2 Schwarzmüller Trailer Pack giveaway

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Steering Creations Pack for ATS

TL;DR summary: Use the form below to enter a giveaway for free DLC!



A week from now the biggest European truck show - the 66th IAA Commercial Vehicles expo - starts in Hannover, Germany. We are going to walk the show floor in force, trying to network with manufacturers and taking as many reference photos of every interesting vehicle as we can.

Before the show starts, we're planning to release a couple of DLCs as a bit of a social experiment. We hope that it might turn into something of a case study on the engagement of the truck sim fan community in the industry as a whole; which would make a great talking point that we can use when we approach brand owners and try to teach them about the benefits of having their officially licensed products appear in our games.


Today with the kind cooperation of Steering Creations, Inc. we are releasing DLC featuring a wide selection of their custom steering wheels for American Truck Simulator. We met the SCI guys back at MATS 2016 in the spring when we were admiring their unique steering wheels that were on display there. Turned out they knew our game very well and were actually curious if there were any opportunities to have their products make it into ATS.  We agreed that this could be of interest for some of our players, and that it might also make for a very interesting PR experiment. So here we go:

We are about to launch a huge giveaway of activation keys for the Steering Creations Pack DLC - in fact, we're offering a whopping 30 thousand keys to American Truck Simulator players. To qualify for this time-limited giveaway we're asking you to visit or follow American Truck Simulator and Steering Creations on Facebook and Twitter. If you're among the lucky first 30,000 you'll get the Steering Creations Pack for free! Meanwhile on our end we can measure the impact of this test and if our 'experiment' garners enough attention it will give us one more argument to bring to the table during licensing discussions in the future. Have fun!

ATS Steering Creations Pack giveaway

Friday, September 9, 2016

Fixing and Tuning

We are releasing a hotfix for American Truck Simulator to address reports of crashes from users running mods containing in-cabin physics-enabled toys. As ATS doesn't have any customizable physics-enabled cabin content in the standard game, the appropriate code support was not fully enabled in the game's codebase. However a partial code path was still working with the data, causing an abort and crashing the game. If you were not using any cabin tuning mod, you were not affected.

Sorry for the oversight, even a week of extensive Open Beta torture of the game (over 2000 pairs of eyes looking at the game by our estimates) did not reveal this crash. Our theory is that the most advanced game players who tend to opt into the open betas are generally so advanced power-users that they can deal with such a situation and workaround the problem, switch an incompatible mod off, or set the variable of g_toy_physics in the config file from "1" to "0." Unfortunately, nobody shouted loud enough to make us aware of the problem with this class of mods.

The hotfix is also addressing problems on Linux and integrated Intel chipsets, where the recently updated code failed to initialize OpenGL graphics context on game launch.

There is another avalanche of reports criticizing the game's performance; reports of noticeable drop of framerate for some users. We could not replicate this on any of our testing configurations, but we have an alternate theory that may have a merit.

Some two days ago, Nvidia released a new version of their Geforce Experience utility. This is a great tool to keep the graphics drivers up to date and to assist beginner players with optimization of game settings. Unfortunately, it seems that in our game's case, Geforce Experience is overly optimistic, using very aggressive values for the "scaling" parameter (up to 300% on mid-range cards), or for shadow quality.

The term "scaling" sounds innocent, but actually it stands for a super-sampling coefficient. Super-sampling is a brute-force method of anti-aliasing, causing the game to render the whole scene at higher resolution than the target screen resolution, and then downscaling it to actual screen size, making the picture sharper in the process. Setting it to a high value is sure to strain even a very powerful 3D card. To illustrate the matter with an example - if you have a full-HD monitor, the screen is covered roughly by 2 million pixels. With the "scaling" set to 200%, you are asking the game to render everything at a higher resolution, rendering 4 million pixes, effectively doubling the graphics's card load.

The Geforce Experience tool is happy to go and overwrite the game's config.cfg variable values, and the user may not even be aware of this change of the game's settings. If you are unhappy with the game performance, we urge you to go into game's Options screen and review the parameters on the graphics settings tab there to adjust the performance vs. looks balance according to your preference.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Day of the Updates

We are happy to announce that the final version of the 1.4 update for American Truck Simulator and 1.25 for Euro Truck Simulator 2 are now available via Steam. Big thanks to all of you who have contributed with your feedback and bug reports during the Open Beta period!

Let's recap the key features included with these updates:
  • [ETS2 only] Completely revamped DAF XF - we've reworked the old model and improved the it in many areas, increased the detail of textures, and remodeled quite a few of the parts.
 
  • Trailer selection -  When you pick up a new job the game will now give you a chance to change the trailer look (or the trailer itself) if it finds that there are alternate trailer styles or textures available for the given cargo.  Even better, it works with modded trailers as well.
  • Custom steering wheel position -You'll be allowed to adjust the tilt of the steering wheel column or telescope it so you can create your perfect driving position.

Here's a log of the additional fixes and improvements that went into this update:

CODE
  • Cruise control is not disabled by the throttle anymore.
  • Interior camera zoom - You can bind the key for zoom in Options → Key and buttons → Camera controls → Zoom interior camera.
  • Option to set preferred job length generation in options.
  • Option to set split shifting input.
  • More unit display options (volume, consumption).

DATA

  • Steering wheels are now a separate model with a default and exclusive version for each truck
  • Steering knobs - six different steering knobs in each game; you are able to install them at four possible locations on a steering wheel.
  • [ATS only] Customizable cabin lights and horns on all trucks.
  • Low air warning sound added.

MODDING

  • Separated map_data.sii from game_data.sii
  • Look_presets_defaults[] in interior camera
  • Change trailer looks to paint jobs.
Please also check out our modding wiki to get the best advice for modding either game.

Monday, September 5, 2016

American Truck Simulator Rescale Screenshots #2

It's high time for the next batch of screenshots from the ATS Map Rescale project! We are very happy with our progress on the project. We're finishing work faster than we initially anticipated. It is safe to say we're pretty far along overall, but there are still a few areas where we are still working on the first iteration of the redesign - so don't start holding your breath quite yet.

As of right now we're estimating it will still be several weeks before we start internal testing - only after which the game update will go into the highly anticipated Open Beta. Until then, we hope these screenshots will tide you over.

I-5 approaching Los Angeles with a brand new 2 lanes exit junction asset
A new rest stop along I-8 road
I-10 near Los Angeles
Overpass of I-5 and I-10 in Los Angeles.
Junction of  I-80 and Nevada's I-580
Oxnard's updated look

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

French bridges

Hello Truckers! Today we are turning our attention to an undeniably important set of landmarks - bridges. We're re-introducing some of France's most famous bridges in the upcoming Vive la France! DLC map expansion. Can you guess which bridges we're showing?

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The Pont de l'Iroise bridge over the Élorn river, near to Brest
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The Pont de Normandie bridge over the Seine river
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A landmark bridge at the entrance to the port in Le Havre
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A suspension bridge over the Loire river near to Bourges
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The Chavanon Viaduct at A89 autoroute (motorway)