Friday, August 17, 2018

American Truck Simulator Update 1.32 Open Beta

The open Beta of American Truck Simulator Update 1.32 is available now, bringing most of the additions ETS2 received a week ago plus some ATS specific bonuses.

IMPORTANT: Due to the scope and scale of the major changes to the game, in order to receive as much feedback as possible, we're sharing this open beta with the community earlier than usual in the development cycle. There are still minor known issues that we're working on, and it’s possible there are even bigger bugs hidden away that we hope you’ll help us discover. If you think that the risk and possible frustration with an unstable and unpolished beta is worth it for you, make sure to backup your player profile to have a safe way to revert to 1.31 in case you get tired of testing. Many mods may have become broken due to extensive data format and logic changes. An early open beta gives the mod authors a chance to start making the necessary changes right away, but for testing at this moment, you may need to disable most mods just to get things working.

With the disclaimer out of the way, let's focus on different elements of this open beta.


Those reading the blog on a regular basis already know that the major addition coming in 1.32 is trailer ownership. So all the ATS players can now buy, tune and paint their trailers too. And since the laws and rules are a little bit different in the USA than in Europe, we added the option to use Long/Wide vehicles and Oversize Load banners to the trailer tuning options. Just don't forget to lock the trailers up if you want to use them only for yourself, since your employees might decide to try them out too!


Same as in ETS2, some of the trailers were discarded and redesigned, while the rest was adjusted for trailer ownership.  This is just the first stage, as development is still ongoing – and will continue for at least a few more months of hard work. But we didn't want to keep you waiting for the final result when the actual state of trailer ownership allows us to let you play with these new toys already :)


With trailer ownership came the need to add "icons" to access the new functionality through the game's central "desktop" main menu, so we reorganized the user interface screen. You’ll probably notice that there are two larger widgets on the right side of the screen now, instead of three smaller ones. Also, new screens for trailer management have been added, and some company management screens had to be changed to handle the new feature.


The next addition brings changes in the map. The ATS map design team felt that some gaps in the map deserved to be filled, while some other previous work should get a retouch. So in this update, ATS receives three new roads: US-550 – from Albuquerque to Bloomfield (Farmington), US-95 from Yuma to Quartzsite (Ehrenberg) and US-191 which connects I-10 and US-60. Also, the intersection of I-5 and I-80 has been razed to the ground and built completely from scratch.


When driving on US-191, right by the newly added small city of Clifton, you'll discover Morenci Mine, the biggest copper mine in the United States. Surely a good place to visit, since there’s also a new cargo dock!


As for other changes, the new ATS update brings trailer cables on AI trucks and one new restriction – long trailers (53 feet – 40+ feet from kingpin to rear axle) are now forbidden in California. Plus one of the community's smaller wishes – parking brake is now disabled by default; those who liked this function need to turn it back on in game options.

Several changes to the code and data were made, related to rendering optimization, and it appears to have brought very nice framerate improvements in some scenarios. But since experience may vary, do share yours with us, please. We're really interested in your feedback on any noticeable FPS changes.


So enjoy all the new additions, but please remember: It's only an open beta, not a stable public version - so you may encounter bugs, instability, and kinks. This time more than ever, due to the sheer size of the update. It's completely okay if you want to wait for the final release. But if you're interested in helping us to move there faster, we'll appreciate all of your feedback on our forum and your bug reports in this section.

If you wish to participate in the open beta, you can find this version in the public_beta branch on Steam. The method to access it is as follows: Steam client → LIBRARY → right click on American Truck Simulator → Properties → Betas tab → public_beta → 1.32 public beta. No password required.


CHANGELOG:

  • Trailers ownership (read more)
  • Major UI changes (Main menu, Company Management screens, Dealerships, etc.)
  • Job filters redesign
  • Some of the old trailers discarded and redesigned
  • New roads added: US-550 (NM), US-95 (AZ), US-191 (AZ), Clifton city (AZ)
  • Remade and redesigned few places (e.g. I5-I80 interchange)
  • Power/air lines on AI vehicles (optional)
  • Rendering speedup
  • Option for automatic parking brake - disabled by default
  • Long 53ft trailers (40+ feet from kingpin to rear axle) forbidden in California

MOD ALERT: 
  • Completely redesigned trailer-cargo logic (cargo data, trailer data, economy, etc.). Most mods will need some work to catch up!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Countryside and Nature

In the previous blog posts covering the development of Euro Truck Simulator 2: Beyond the Baltic Sea (here and here), we have mostly focused on the new industry "prefabs" for industries. Today, we would like to contrast it by looking at calmer and more relaxing sights along the road, like smaller villages and nature of the countryside.

Part of the reason why we chose to extend the gameworld northeast was to increase the variety of the views along the road. We were looking for a change, and the Baltics are definitely very much unlike the previous Italia DLC. There are vast areas crisscrossed by the road network between larger cities, and we do our best to emulate the experience of driving on these roads with the local architecture and small villages.

You will need to navigate many narrow village roads, and a ton of our time was dedicated to the many natural beauties that reign in these less populated areas. We have added, adjusted, and modified many of our plants, shrubs, and tree models to get the perfect mix for the region. We have, for example, added a revised or new version of pines, birches, cherries, aspens, limes, and oaks. There are also brand new representatives of flora like silver spruce, and hogweed.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Waking up the sleeping dragon

Two winters ago, as a prize for completing the Christmas Grand Gift Delivery 2016 event, we have rewarded the participants with a time-exclusive content in the form of two pieces of DLC; one for American Truck Simulator and one for Euro Truck Simulator 2.


There was no other way to earn or buy the packs, but as time goes on, we are receiving more and more requests to make our pair of Dragon DLC available for purchase, to make it accessible to new players who have discovered the truck sim phenomenon since then. We have decided to grant this wish, and the two tuning packs are now on Steam Store:


The content of each pack is unique and can be obtained on its own, but we know that there is quite an overlap of ETS2 and ATS player base, so we felt that many people may appreciate a cheaper way to purchase both DLC at the same time. We have created the Dragon Design Bundle with a nice discount to make it possible, so make sure to check it first if this catches your interest.

Dragon Truck Design Pack Content:

Euro Truck Simulator 2 2 Exclusive Paintjobs Front Wheel Hub Cover Rear Wheel Hub Cover Exclusive Dragon Designed Interior Backlight American Truck Simulator 2 Exclusive Paintjobs Front Wheel Hub Cover Rear Wheel Hub Cover Exclusive Steering Wheel

You Are A Dragon Be A Dragon!

Friday, August 10, 2018

Euro Truck Simulator 2 Update 1.32 Open Beta

Open Beta of Euro Truck Simulator 2 Update 1.32 is now available as a preview of things to come. We will launch the open beta for the upcoming ATS update soon, too, once we are done fixing the first wave of reported problems from this beta.

IMPORTANT: Due to the scope and scale of the major changes to the game, in order to get as much feedback as possible, we are sharing this open beta with the community earlier than usual in the development cycle. There are still minor known issues that we are working on, and there may be even bigger bugs hidden there that we hope you will help us discover. If you think that the risk and possibly frustration with an unstable and unpolished beta is worth it for you, make sure to back up your player profile to have a safe way to come back to 1.31 in case you get tired of testing. Many mods may have got broken due to extensive data format and logic changes. An early open beta gives the mod authors a chance to start making the necessary changes already, but for testing at this moment, you may need to switch most mods off just to get things working.

With the disclaimer out of the way, finally, let's focus on the positives. If you thought 1.31 was big (we did), 1.32 is huge with its truckload of new content!


The first major addition is trailer ownership. A dedicated cross-disciplined team worked on this feature for more than a year, and we believe that the result will be a welcome addition to our games. Now trailers can be bought, tuned, painted and used by both you and your company drivers. So don't be surprised if you don't find a trailer in the garage you left it in. One of your employees might have taken it for a ride - that is if you didn't lock the said trailer to limit it only for yourself.



While working on this feature, the vehicle team also discarded and recreated several of the old box trailers and adjusted the rest for trailer ownership. B-double trailers made it to the game - but their usage is limited only for specific regions. This game update is by far not our final word on trailer ownership, there are still several more classes of trailers that we need to revisit and adjust. It will take us several months of hard work to complete, but we did not want to let you wait for a game update this long.


With trailer ownership and the need to add more "icons" to access new functionality through the game's central "desktop" main menu, we decided to reorganize this central game user interface screen. You will no doubt notice that there are now two larger widgets on the right side of the screen instead of three smaller ones.



UI changes and additions did not stop there. We have created new screens for trailer management and several existing company management screens had to be changed to handle the new feature. While we were at it, we have reviewed how our user interface code works with color gradients in sRGB color space and decided to recalibrate it, improving font clarity and color perception. We hope that these changes and the number of trailer tuning options will please everyone.



The second big news is the start of the rebuilding effort of the old parts of ETS2 game world. It will take us considerable time to overhaul all the areas in need, but the first step has been taken. The road network in northern part of Germany has been torn out and replaced, and all German cities received a facelift. In fact, four German cities have been razed and built again from scratch.

Let's review the catalogue of other additions and changes. The new ETS2 update finally brings Scania 2016 to AI traffic, you will also be transporting them shiny new to truck dealers from the factory in Södertälje. The trucks in AI traffic now feature trailer cables, with the option to turn them off for performance reasons.



Euro Truck Simulator 2 lighting has been readjusted and brought in sync with day/night cycle system in American Truck Simulator. New skyboxes are coming and yet more are planned, to increase the variety of environment and weather.


The programmers have made several changes to code and data related to rendering speed, and we see nice framerate improvements in some scenarios. But your experience may vary, and we are interested in your feedback on any noticeable fps improvement or change.

We continue to reflect some of the changes and events in the real world, and the speed limit in France was dropped to 80 KPH on some roads. And lastly, one of the small wishlist items – automatic parking brake is now disabled by default; so those who like this function need to turn it back on in-game options.


So enjoy all the new additions, but please remember: It's only an open beta, not a stable public version - so you may encounter bugs, instability, and kinks. This time more than ever, due to the sheer size of the update. It's completely okay if you want to wait for the final release. But if you're interested in helping us to move there faster, we'll appreciate all of your feedback on our forum and your bug reports in this section.

If you wish to participate in the open beta, you can find this version in the public_beta branch on Steam. The way to access it is as follows: Steam client → LIBRARY → right click on Euro Truck Simulator 2 → Properties → Betas tab → public_beta → 1.32 public beta. No password required.


CHANGELOG:
  • Trailer ownership (read more)
  • Major UI changes (Main menu, Company Management screens, Dealerships, etc.) 
  • Job filters redesign
  • Some of the old trailers discarded and redesigned
  • Scania 2016 added to AI traffic
  • B-double type trailers added
  • Updated part of Germany map (read more)
  • Lighting improvements (sync with ATS)
  • Power/airlines on AI trucks added (optional)
  • Rendering speedup
  • Option for automatic parking brake - disabled by default
  • The speed limit in France dropped to 80 KPH on some roads

MOD ALERT:
  • Completely redesigned trailer-cargo logic (cargo data, trailer data, economy, etc.). Most mods will need some work to catch up!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

SCS On The Road: Gamescom 2018

The biggest European gaming event is coming! We'll be there for you for the whole duration of Gamescom 2018, from 21st to 25th of August, 2018.

Last year's Gamescom was our first experience in the role of an exhibitor. We were happy to see long queues lining up to experience our sim rigs, even though we had our SCS Sim Trailer placed out in the scorching sun. (Take a throwback-look at a short report of Gamescom 2017)


We have decided to move our show under the roof, to a more visible location that would be more comfortable for our visitors and fans. We've partnered with our friends - German distributors of our truck sims Astragon Entertainment GmbH - to build a combined expo booth showing our trucks sims next to their catalog of games. Of course, we will be there in full force - a real truck with our SCS Sim Trailer attached. You will find us in the center of Hall 8.

We plan to show new stuff coming to both American Truck Simulator and Euro Truck Simulator 2, so if you make it to Cologne, you can look forward to driving on some of the all-new roads. ;)

We would also like to invite press and all creators who make videos, stream, write reviews or publish articles dedicated to sim and driving games - we'll be happy to welcome you at our VIP meeting point!

Send a short email message (preferably written in English) with some info about you and your profiles, channels etc. along with the purpose of your visit to ontheroad@scssoft.com to let our SCS On the Road team know you'll be there and are interested in talking to our team. We'll do our best to reserve our time for you.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Update 1.32 Appetizer: Trailer Ownership

Some hints about an upcoming major new feature of our truck sim games have already been spotted by the fan community, and it's time to finally start talking about it openly. Trailer ownership has been requested for years, and it's coming at last, as a major part of the upcoming 1.32 update both for Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator.


Trailer ownership may not necessarily have the same meaning for everybody, different people may have slightly different ideas of what it should include and how far it should go in depicting reality. In our games with lots of different systems, layered on top of each other, we had to figure out a way to add the feature without breaking the existing gameplay loop which has been very much ok for the majority of the millions of players who tried the game over the years, while bringing enough of a change for people eager for more depth. The core feature set had to be created in a reasonable timeframe so that the bulk of the implementation and testing can fit inside a period between two game updates. In reality, the work has been going on for over a year, employing a big cross-discipline team here, as there is a huge number of changes to gameplay logic and economy, camera work, user interface screens, there are tons of new models, artwork, textures, and paint jobs.


We had to decide on what is essential and concentrate on this core. In the upcoming update, there are still some elements left where we see an opportunity to go deeper eventually. Some trailer classes have not been refurbished yet so that they have not been made available for trailer ownership, this will have to wait for a future update, too. We are hopeful that the new feature will be accepted positively especially by the hardcore part of the truck sim players, as we have created not just a fully-fledged equivalent to the existing truck upgrade shop, but there's so much more included.


A new, separate configuration section in the form of trailer upgrade shop will let you build, configure, tune and paint your owned trailers. You can choose from multiple chassis, trailer types, and paint jobs and you’ll be able to tune your trailer with many different parts, of course, the wheels are customizable as well. Company paint jobs available in ETS2 will offer the right options for your new trailer to fit into your company's visual style. From now on your AI drivers are able to choose fitting trailers from your trailer pool and use them!


In a nutshell, we have refrigerated, insulated, curtain siders and dry cargo trailers for both games coming in the update as ready to be owned. Moreover, ETS2 will host moving floor trailer variants. For European trailer configuration, you can choose from single, double or also the newly available b-double. American Truck Simulator will host 28, 45, 48 or 53 feet trailer versions in double, triple or even Rocky Mountain double configurations - these will be based on the geographic location of your garage to comply with the law in each US state. Flatbeds will be available for both ETS2 and ATS. Addition to ATS trailers are also flatbeds with a rolling tarp system (equivalent to European curtain sider). You can see there will be many trailer lengths and types combinations to haul cargoes of all sizes. We added one more fitting feature: ADR (HAZMAT) cargoes will „spawn“ appropriate warning sign on your trailer.


The new addition of trailer ownership logically means big changes to the in-game economy. It will be much more cargo-focused, but Quick jobs and Freight market will stay around as simpler and satisfying options to get into the game. A whole new Cargo Market screen will let you search for deliveries on your own trailer. Yes, we had to create a LOT of new cargo visualizations for this new feature.

We will show you more of trailer ownership before 1.32 is out, and it's also going to be battle-tested as a part of the upcoming Open Beta, so the wait should not be overly long. We hope you’ll be just as excited for its release as we are!

Friday, July 27, 2018

SCS On The Road: Invitation to Truckstar Assen

We already dedicated a topic to the Netherlands yesterday with the release of Dutch Paint Jobs Pack for Euro Truck Simulator 2, and we are back today with an invitation especially for our Dutch fans to meet us in person.


This weekend, July 28 & 29, our On the Road team and our sim trailer will be at Truckstar festival at Assen’s TT Circuit in the Netherlands. Truckstar is one of the largest and oldest truck fests in Europe, and the organizers expect over 2,000 trucks to show up. If you plan to be there, too, or if you live nearby and are deciding what to do with your Saturday or Sunday, our crew will be very happy to welcome you in our sim trailer and give you a chance to drive our truck sims in our 4D motion seats.

As an appetizer of what kind of experience and atmosphere one might expect at a major truck festival, let us recap our most recent roadshow event. Our sim trailer was spending the previous weekend at Master Truck Opole in Poland, and we're still full of impressions. Two days full of tuned trucks, amazing paint jobs, interesting accompanying program, and thousands of visitors - could we ask for more?

Check out a small gallery of photos taken during the event. You can always find even more photos on our social media channels, just as usual.


Our SCS Sim Trailer attracted a lot of visitors since very early morning till the evening when we locked it up again. Our fan base in Poland is truly huge and we loved every moment spent with people interested in our work.