Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Rims and Tyres Upgrade

Today we would like to discuss another feature that should be included in Euro Truck Simulator 2 update 1.17, appearing along with the release of Scandinavia expansion.

We have been receiving a lot of feedback from the players that truck wheels customization in the game is too limiting, as truck rims and tyres are essentially baked together now in game data. In the Real World out there, the truck owner is of course free to choose any rim and match it with any compatible tyre type.


We are happy to report that at last we have separated the rubber part and the metal part into two separate pieces - tyres and rims. This should provide way more flexibility in tuning the trucks both with stock game content as well us with mods (existing mods should not be badly broken on 1.17 release, but mod authors will want to revisit their creations and reorganize their wheel mods to take advantage of the extra degree of freedom).

Another good reason for us to focus on the wheels now is that we keep trying to establish a working dialogue with tyre manufacturers. How great would it be to introduce real tyres from the likes of Michelin, Continental, Goodyear, or Bridgestone into the game simulation, including not just the looks but also actual technical data and physical properties!


We do not think the changes should stop at cosmetics alone, we are sure that gameplay would only benefit if different tyres would have different properties, and it would be up to the player to choose the correct tyre for a given situation. So for future evolution beyond the 1.17 update, we plan to get inspiration from real world tyre labelling when expanding the simulation properties. We think of adapting the officially existing tyre grading system for our needs...

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Mercedes-Benz joining the Euro Truck Simulator 2 garage soon!


We have some great news to share with you today: Our team has just managed to clear the last hurdle and get the final approval which will allow us to finally include Mercedes-Benz Actros in Euro Truck Simulator 2! Let us show you a bunch of screenshots that were used as a part of our showcase during the review process of the almost-finished truck model.


New Mercedes-Benz Actros truck will be available to all Euro Truck Simulator 2 owners for free as a part of game update shortly after Scandinavia DLC release.

As a small bonus, we are also including a raw review video that was used as a part of the approval process to show the truck in the game:

Monday, March 23, 2015

Russian Paint Jobs Pack is now available!

We were quite surprised when we realized that Russian players form the largest player community on our World of Trucks platform (if you are interested, the next five big communities include users from Germany, Great Britain, Brazil, Poland, and USA).

We would like to say "Thank You" to our fans in Russia by releasing a brand new truck paint job set for them today.

The Russian Paint Job DLC can be purchased from Steam Store using this link.




Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Cargo for Scandinavia

Trailers and cargo are an essential part of the world of Euro Truck Simulator 2. For Scandinavia add-on release, we are going to add several new trailer models for players to pull, we are also expanding the list of cargoes with over 80 new options.


As you can see on the screenshots, new trailers will range across multiple industries. These include wind farm parts, truck carrier rigs delivering trucks from Volvo Trucks and Scania factories to their respective dealers across Europe, and semi-trailers designed for transporting livestock. The new windmill set will be a part of Scandinavia DLC, while the livestock trailer and truck carriers should be a part of a new free game update for all users. This update will go out in sync with the release of the add-on.


Over 80 new cargoes are spread through several categories including: food, machinery, construction, ADR as well as general supplies. Of course each cargo has been assigned only to locations where it makes perfect sense to haul from or deliver to. As an example we went as far as separating farms into two groups: plant farm and animal farm. Each farm type of course has different production output and receiving needs. This trend is kept across the entire expansion with a lot of tweaks in the core game.


Questions about our planned release date are pouring at us every day. We hope to be able to announce official release date soon, we are still testing and fixing and improving, but we hope that the quality we expect of ourselves is within reach. Our goal is to put Scandinavia DLC in your hands within the next two months.


Before the release, we will most likely also go through another open beta round with the core game. For those participating in the beta, this would mean being able to take a look at things like the new trailers or the new daylight cycle system ahead of the Scandinavia official release.

Monday, March 9, 2015

A Special Guest

From time to time, we have a rare opportunity to welcome an important figure from the fan community in our office. Today happens to be just one such day, with Eryk a.k.a. RootKiller accepting our invitation and coming to visit us in Prague. We sure have a lot of topics to talk about!

(Left to right: Timmy, RootKiller, Komat, Pavel)

Friday, February 27, 2015

Over the Seas


Scandinavia is a very different space to work and create in than the territories we have created in the past - it's not just the different sights, it's the fact that the countries are not landlocked like most of the environments in existing Euro Truck Simulator 2 world.


Our previous post contained a general review of the map that might have given you some idea on the scale of the DLC. The Scandinavia territory in Euro Truck Simulator 2 will feature a total of 15 new ports and ferry locations that allow you to board the ferries directly.


We felt that ferries are an integral part of Scandinavian transportation and decided to go an extra mile to ensure that ship models and ferry locations in the game closely reflect the ferry ports and ships you can see in real life. We've spent considerable amount of time to recreate this aspect of Scandinavia in great detail - many of the ports in the expansion have the size of entire cities you've seen in current Euro Truck Simulator 2.


The sea transportation network will allow you to use alternate connections between locations in Scandinavia and other territories of the map, as the ferries will also connect destinations in Poland and United Kingdom. At the same time, we wanted to avoid abuse of the ferry system that would allow players to just "hop" around the map quickly without the need for much driving, so the ferry network is intentionally not as dense as in the real world.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Corporate Cooperation

Our effort to secure official licenses of trucks to put into our games continues, now our focus is on Northern America. Courting the truck manufacturers - getting their attention and reaching the decision makers - is really not easy at all for a small company like SCS Software coming from outside of the transportation industry. The licensing negotiations in some cases take years to complete, and sometimes we are asked to prove that we are really taking this seriously.

Here is a little photo report we have just received from our friends at Kenworth/PACCAR. We have created a special demo based off an alpha build of American Truck Simulator for their corporate event, and they also tried to bounce it off the public to see the reaction. We are very excited to hear that both the company executives and the visitors of a science fair really liked the demo!

One more important step to give you fully licensed trucks in our American Truck Simulator...




Thursday, February 19, 2015

SCS Blender Tools - First Step


It was already quite a long time ago when we first mentioned our goal to empower the mod community with tools matching in power of our internal asset creation pipeline. The road to get there has proved to be somewhat bumpier than we anticipated, but we are happy to report very good progress at last.

Today we are releasing the first version of SCS Blender Tools. There is still a lot of work left to be done on polishing and on proper support of the most complex types of 3D assets, but already we are in good enough shape to invite you to try things out.

Please keep in mind that what you are getting is a beta, with no express guarantees that it will work perfectly or work at all in your desired context. You are getting a dump of up-to-date SCS Blender Tools codebase, we are not holding back any part of it. There is code in there which at least partially covers all of the wide spectrum of different 3D model types in our games, but as of now we only bring out to your attention specific aspects of SCS Blender Tools we consider ready. More advanced stuff still needs time to mature.

At this point in time, it is only the types of assets listed below which we suggest you to experiment with. We do not have the capacity to provide extensive support on our forums, but we'll keep an eye on them to see if we can chip in where the community needs guidance. But there is a little point trying to get us to respond to questions concerning areas of the tools considered unfinished.

With that said, the current version of SCS Blender Tools brings you the creation and export pipeline of static geometry

We included several sample models that generally illustrate the possibilities of asset types that you can perfectly accomplish today. Those models should guide you in creating well optimized models, just the way we make them.

Let's inspect sample models in closer detail:

Detailed building model
This is a model of a detailed building. We use such models up close to the player, therefore the texture, the mesh resolution and level of detail are quite large. Once you import it you can see it uses little more material than simpler models to best accommodate its up-close placement.

Far distance buildings
This is a model sample we place at far distance from the player. The mesh is considerably simpler and the texture is much smaller. Because it is placed at large distance from the camera in the game, lack of resolution is never noticeable. As you can see its uses important optimization - multiple buildings are combined into one single mesh, using exact same material and texture. This allows graphics cards to process such models much faster (as just one piece of geometry, not multiple pieces).

Truck bullbar upgrade model
Here's a sample of a truck upgrade part - Scania bullbar. We intentionally included slightly more sophisticated upgrade model. This way you can see usage of materials and alpha channel on that bull-bar netting. Pretty much all truck upgrades (roof grills, low grills, side-skirts...) were built this way.

Front truck wheel
Rear truck wheel
And last two samples of even more specialized geometry - truck wheels. They use their own set of materials, we recommend that you explore the structure. Check out the usage of textures and mesh complexity. These models also show you an example of 'Parts' usage, and the way how special 'shadow-caster mesh' with its 'shadow-caster material' is used to make your own truck wheels correctly. [Note that there is a plan to eventually split the tyres and the wheel disks into separate upgrade parts in some future update of ETS2/ATS.]


To Get You Started

GitHub Wiki


Wiki is probably the most important place for SCS Blender Tools knowledge base. There you will find the steps you need to take to begin using the tools. You can also find the download links for SCS Blender Tools. And there is even all the source code of the tools, right in the open, which could be quite interesting for the coders out there:

https://github.com/SCSSoftware/BlenderTools/wiki

Forum


We have created a special forum branch, dedicated exclusively to the SCS Blender Tools. If you feel you found a bug in the tools, or want to ask something about them, or share your knowledge with the other people just getting started - this is the place to be. We will be monitoring the forums and hopefully providing some guidance, but again, we do not expect to be able to respond to everybody and to every cry for help.

http://forum.scssoft.com/viewforum.php?f=159

ETS2 web, mod page


In case you forget all the links above you can always start with the modding section of the Euro Truck Simulator 2 web page. The links there should guide you not just to SCS Blender Tools but also to all modding guidelines paramount for successful mod creation.

http://www.eurotrucksimulator2.com/mod_tools.php

We encourage you to import and check all the models on your own. Now all you need to start is a bit of knowledge of Blender!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Welcome to Oslo!

Oslo happens to be one of the largest urban agglomerations featured in Scandinavia DLC, in fact Oslo and the surrounding areas is possibly the largest city we have built so far in Euro Truck Simulator 2.

As you can see in the screenshots below, we are using new types of junctions and intersections extensively in Scandinavia, in this particular case to connect the city to the large port that incorporates a ferry terminal.

Oslo itself is filled with several smaller loading docks in different districts of the city located a couple of kilometers away from each other. There are so many opportunities for exploration!