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!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Grand Canyon State

Arizona has got its nickname The Grand Canyon State thanks to the magnificent steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River. This wonder of nature is playing a very large role for the local tourism with some five million tourists each year, while it just happens to be an obstacle for the transportation industry. But we have been working hard to portray it in a very visible way in American Truck Simulator, inventing some new tricks along the way.

    

Arizona gets into shape very visibly now, and we are eager to start internal beta testing in the matter of the next few weeks. We are also ready to commit to take the map expansion through a public open beta test towards the end of the testing period. We would like to give  a chance to the most curious of our fans to experience the incredible beauty of the new region before the final release.

   

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Cross-promo with Rocket League: Delivering Ball to Goal

We have quite a few people here who love scoring goals and spamming "No Problem." in Rocket League, so we have reached out to Psyonix about a cross-promo between Euro Truck Simulator 2 and Rocket League. The result of our cross over is looking great, see for yourself in the upcoming Rocket League update and in the free DLC for Euro Truck Simulator 2!


Starting later this month, 2 new items will appear in ETS2's accessories: Iconic Rocket League ball to hang on the window of your truck, and the Octane car for the truck dashboard.
Cabin toy physics, introduced in the Cabin Accessories DLC, has been enabled in the base game thanks to this update.

Screenshot from a definitely random location.
Rocket League players will get a chance to get a drop with the ETS2 Rig Antenna.
Wear it proudly and send us some nice goals while using the antenna here or on Twitter! Bonus points if they are from the Hoops mode which is coming with the Rocket League update.


Big thanks goes to Dirkened and Kyle from Psyonix for making this possible!

Hungarian and Turkish Paintjob DLCs for ETS2

Some two years ago we did an experiment by releasing a bunch of country-specific paintjobs to spice up a special edition of Euro Truck Simulator 2 aimed primarily at the UK market. We did not fully realize what we were headed into - with the commitment to provide any official paintjob for all the standard cabin configurations of all the trucks included in the game, we are talking over 50 individual graphics files per DLC. These need to be created and adjusted for the various cabin shapes, and then maintained indefinitely through any cabin 3D model tweaks, file format, or shader tech change.

It did not look unbearable early on through the first few paintjobs packs, but now with thousands of files to keep an eye on across the many paintjob sets, it is kind of scary. Creating a paintjob DLC may take "only" a few man-weeks, but if we need to touch a cabin 3D model, it can cause a month of retouching of existing graphics.

We have been talking about winding down our paintjob work for a long time already, precisely to avoid painting ourselves into the corner with so much work to do anytime we change some truck-related stuff in the game or a related 3D engine feature. We are never quite finished with our tech and games, they are ever-evolving. But the requests are coming in loud and clear from fans from countries that we have not yet covered, and we feel that it would not be right to betray them and ignore them. It's a lot of work, but it doesn't fundamentally interfere with any other area of development.

The micro-department here working on paintjobs is creating great pieces of art, and more people are happy to see unique graphics themed after their country's flag and symbols with the new DLC packs. That's what matters to us. We are not pumping out DLCs just for the sake of it, and hopefully most people take paintjobs just for what they are - a totally optional piece of cosmetic content which you have no obligation to buy, but which can brighten up the game for some fans.

Today we are happy to take two more steps in our quest - to provide the paintjobs packs for the territories where Euro Truck Simulator 2 has a lot of very devoted fans - by releasing Hungarian Paint Jobs Pack and Turkish Paint Jobs Pack.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Expanding Road Infrastructure

While working on the new Vive la France! map expansion DLC for Euro Truck Simulator 2, the team is creating and putting to use a new set extending the range of the various road types, including new specialized prefabs for making highly detailed junctions.


We are also paying close attention to how the road system blends with the surrounding terrain.


Thanks to the amplified database of elements to build the world from, we are once again planning to raise the standard, provide more lifelike look, and offer you more recognizable locations inspired by real world geography.


Great amount of work was invested into improving our system for horizontal road markings. It is now more flexible so that the road lines can be built in better agreement with the actual country-specific rules. (Here is one of the sources of information which we are using if you are curious, on Wikipedia here http://bit.ly/1T3jyyd.)


We are eager to bring you new content, and there is a lot of it on the way, but it's clear to us that when it comes to this new part of the world of ETS 2, there is still several solid months of work to put into the new map DLC before we can finally release it. Stay tuned, thanks for your patience!


Disclaimer: This add-on is still very much work in progress. You will notice placeholders for new trees and shrubs in some of the shots.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Extra Wheel Tuning Options

Hot on the heels of the recent game updates for Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator, we are bringing you a new batch of optional content building on the new wheel tuning functionality.

We are introducing a pair of "aftermarket" Wheel Tuning Packs in the form of DLC, with new unique parts tailored for the Euro style and American style wheels respectively. The recent changes in the base games - splitting the monolithic wheel models into multiple parts - have already brought you a lot of freedom in making hundreds possible combinations of wheels. With the new DLC stuff, the number of potential combinations grows by another magnitude or two, especially if you consider that some of the parts can now have any color you wish applied to them.

The sets of the tuning parts are different and unique for American Truck Simulator and Euro Truck Simulator 2, so it's not like you would be paying for the same thing twice, but we are making it easier for player of both games to obtain the DLCs for both games. If you buy the DLC for either one of the games, things are set up on the back-end so that the Wheel Tuning DLC is automatically unlocked for free for you in the other game. Have fun!


 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Parallel Game Update


At last, updates 1.23 for Euro Truck Simulator 2 and 1.2 for American Truck Simulator are live. We would like to thank everybody who participated in the extended open beta. We have received a huge amount of valuable feedback that made us re-engineer some elements of Steam Workshop support to make it more robust.

Let us recap the key features coming for both games with the this update wave:
  • Steam Workshop - an external hub which allows simple distribution of game modifications created by community. Thanks to Steam Workshop, you can download and install mods effortlessly from a safe and trusted place.
  • Ultimate Wheel Customization - We have split truck wheels models into multiple components: Tire and Disk separation was introduced recently, in addition to it we have added customization of sub-components of the disk: Hubs, Hub Covers and Nuts.
  • SCS Workshop Uploader app - Modding our games through Steam Workshop will require use of a dedicated tool for mod makers; a new dedicated Steam application - SCS Workshop Uploader. You can grab it from your Steam library under Tools category.

The list of changes and fixes is much longer, if you are interested in more details, check ATS and ETS2 changelogs:

UI
  • [ETS2 only] Traffic offense can be disabled (option)
  • Navigation path (red line) can be disabled (option)
  • Disable of hidden Route Advisor popups (option)
  • Autopark feature can be disabled (option)
  • Speeding highlight on Route Advisor
VEHICLES
  • Improved truck stability during retarder usage
  • Smart cruise control can use activated engine brake when no retarder is present
  • [ATS only] Fixed cruise control locked on by retarder
  • [ATS only] Multiple position of engine brake
  • [ATS only] Keyboard steering improved
  • [ETS2 only] Advanced shifting simulation
  • [ETS2 only] Real shifter layouts (Scania, Volvo, ZF). To activate them you need to use new profile or remove your custom H-Shifter layouts
MAP
  • [ATS only] Speed limits polished
  • [ATS only] Speed limits signs enlarged
  • [ATS only] Stop signs removed from traffic light controlled crossroads
  • [ATS only] Turn left traffic light added to some crossroads
  • [ATS only] Certified scales are now working
  • [ATS only] Traffic light on interstates removed (where possible)
OTHER
  • AI improvements
  • [ATS only] Steam achievements for Nevada

Please also check our new modding wiki, to get the best advices for both games modding.

Steam version of the game will be updated automatically by default, unless you have changed the update preferences. Also if you are using any of the older betas of the game on Steam, you will stay in the beta and will not be automatically going through a game update.

It has been great to see so many mods appearing on Steam Workshop already during the open beta. For those of you not yet familiar with Steam Workshop, we have created the following short step-by-step video explaining the process of adding a mod to our game.