Thursday, March 31, 2011

Resting area near Prague

Work on the map continues at solid pace, but we are not through yet even with the initial pass over the virtual world. Once the map reaches alpha (which is still going to take several months), we'll start with finalizing and polishing.

We'll also need to go over the whole map and put signs everywhere where they should be. As there are now several countries covered and each should get specific road signage, we expect this to be a major task. Fortunately we hope that by this stage we'll have a new smart road sign editor available to create signs in a WYSISYG manner from sets of country-specific building blocks, and then spawn them into the world dynamically at run-time.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Somewhere in France

Another day, another screenshot. This time with supersampling enabled, but still you can see that the power lines just as any sub-pixel size/width object when rendered are a bit of a problem - in principle such objects in the scene require massive supersampling or multisampling to alleviate aliasing artifacts.


Some 25 anonymous comments can be certainly expected that the truck is lacking the mirrors or visor, but you need to understand that the game is still very much in development. In the previous games, our truck models contained everything including accessories in them; they were not customizable by the player. In Euro Truck Simulator 2, trucks are going to be extensively customizable.

We already have several man-months of work invested into building models of many variants of customizable options, dozens of lights, horns, tyres, bars etc. etc. were built. So we should be able to offer for example rear view mirrors at the cheapest price as black plastic, or you can pick color matching the body paint, or even chrome. However, map designers who typically take these screenshots for use on the blog do not yet have access in their map editor to the truck customization interface, so all they are left it are default trucks stripped off all optional parts.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Serpentine road through Sumava Mountains

We are awfully busy these days, but here is a quick screenshot to help you pass the time until more news are posted...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Doubles

We thought a few new pictures might make some of you waiting for Euro Truck Simulator 2 to be released happy ;-).





We would like to conclude this blog entry by a disclaimer - we really won't be able to put every feature that you guys dream of into the game. We would love to, and if you keep buying our games so that we can afford to continue developing truck sims, future versions of our games will be of course more and more feature packed. There is now a solid chance that doubles may make it into Euro Truck Simulator 2 as you can see - but for some things, we may have to be patient until Euro Truck Simulator 3, or American Truck Simulator 1, or whatever future may have in store for us...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Euro Truck Simulator 2 roads and prefabs

We often hear complaints from you that the road lanes in our games are too wide, and questions why don't we adjust them to the correct width.

Actually, the people who complain the most about this problem are SCS Software's own artists and designers! Of course we know that our roads are wider than in reality, and it causes quite a lot problems with how the whole world is perceived, with sizes of elements along the road and in the world versus the vehicles etc. If only we could use realistic proportions for our roads, our life would be so much simpler...

Unfortunately, what we have now is a compromise that we will have to live with if we want to keep the game playable for majority of the customers. If everybody was playing our games with steering wheels or at least gamepads, with their smooth and precise control, it would be a no-brainer to use tighter road lanes. However, well over 90% of people playing our games are using keyboard only. We don't want to frustrate these players too much, and you must be aware that it's not really so simple to stay in the lane when steering using the arrow keys even with our current overly wide lanes.

It would get much worse if the lane width was only a bit over 3 meters as in reality. Bumping into AI cars in adjacent lines while driving through a curve or through an intersection would be far more frequent and way too frustrating. We just cannot afford to make our games only for a few thousand super-hardcore simulation fans, and upset everybody else. We need to keep frustration low to make the driving experience enjoyable to the widest possible audience, just to have a chance to stay in the business.

And now for your daily dose of visual treats, here are a few samples from newly created intersection prefabs. More pictures from this series have been placed into a new  Gallery on Euro Truck Simulator 2 facebook page.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Trucks & Trailers promo screens

Here is a few brand new screens that we feel represent Trucks & Trailers better than the older pre-alpha images that have been plastered all around the Internet.




Monday, March 21, 2011

Trucks & Trailers

We thought we still had a bit more time to prepare before publishing the information about our new small game, but it looks like our German publishing partner - rondomedia - has started the PR machine a bit earlier than we expected, and so we can no longer keep this secret.

For several months, a small group of people at SCS Software has been working on a skunkworks project that we call Trucks & Trailers. We used the project to develop and test new graphics technology and new concepts. But our ambition was also to evolve the gameplay prototype into a complete game. A game that would not be as complex and full featured as our bigger simulator series, yet provide enough fun. A game concentrating on one specific skill that every truck driver needs to master - navigating tight spaces with the tractor-trailer. It's a very straightforward concept - no company management, not even point A to point B cargo delivery, just pure game of skill. Initially we viewed in narrowly as a game packed with park-this-truck-here types of challenges, but over time we have expanded the view to include also drive against the clock through various obstacle courses.

The game is not finished yet, we still have a few short months ahead of us to wrap it up. But Trucks & Trailers should be on the store shelves much sooner than Euro Truck Simulator 2, and at a much cheaper price point, so we hope that you will find it a worthwhile appetizer. Trucks & Trailers borrows some things from our older games, but there are also a lot of new models, assets and features in it that are developed for Euro Truck Simulator 2. So you should get a great preview of the technology changes, the new shading system, and also you should be able to drive some of the new tractors that are being built for ETS2. We think it's a perfect little game to help you keep yourselves entertained while waiting for Euro Truck Simulator 2 to be released!

The movies below do not represent the final game, they are not official trailers. The videos are showing work-in-progress state of the game, actually they are both several weeks old, and were originally created for our private discussions about the game with the distributors. We plan to publish new screens and better movies in the upcoming days and weeks.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Pictures taken along the way to Praha

Time to show a couple of pictures from the map again. These images are from the Czech Republic.

Our ambition is to make railroad crossings fully functional in Euro Truck Simulator 2, with the lights flashing and the bar going down and up again after the train has passed. The second picture is a simple resting place along the road. Again the goal is more realism and more freedom for the player at the same time, we want to give you a chance to park and rest anywhere where it would be legal in reality, not just at a few "icon spots" as in the past games.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cool Liner almost done

A few extra hours of work, and the model nears completion...

Just as with the tractors, now that we'll have a few decent-looking models, it is time to approach the owners of the brands and try to persuade them to allow them being featured in our game.

Is it not a simple process - even just identifying the right person to talk to, and finding a way to present our case, reaching the ears of the decision makers, is a major hurdle.

We like to think that it can only be beneficial for the brands to appear in our simulations - after all there are many many fans of real trucks who play our games. The amount of free publicity focused at the right audience alone is something that money could hardly buy. But it is not so simple, for many people computer games are still too new media, often perceived as something controversial. So we need a little luck too usually - establishing the dialogue first and then meeting with somebody who is a bit of a computer games fan too, somebody who can appreciate the benefits versus risks, and trusts us enough to see it worth investing their time into work on a licensing arrangement. Sometimes, these negotiations take months and months, we go through highs and lows, sometimes a step forward is followed by two steps back. We are taking this very seriously, but we just cannot guarantee to you yet that all the brands and models that we are presenting here on the blog will eventually make it into the game in full glory.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Work-In-Progress: Another trailer

Thanks to everyone who suggested interesting ideas for container-derived types of cargo for the gooseneck trailer!

We are working hard on refreshing the palette of available trailers and cargoes in Euro Truck Simulator 2, and today we'd like to show you another new trailer model, still under construction, but already recognizable.

Monday, March 14, 2011

What would you like to transport on the gooseneck trailer?

When we had shown you the screenshot with the gooseneck trailer, we hoped to spark a discussion about the purpose of this trailer in the game. But it looks like we should have been more explicit. People are paying too much attention to the unfinished visuals.

There was a nice suggestion to put a mobile office as a cargo type for this trailer, but we were wondering if you can come up with more cool tips. We cannot guarantee that we will implement everything on everyone's wish-list, but here is your chance to influence what we put into the game. We are currently researching suitable cargo models to create for transport on the gooseneck, and your input has repeatedly proven so useful that we wanted to consult you again...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Linear Light Pipeline

As we are currently overhauling our tools, systems, shaders and textures to new lighting formulas, the artists are a bit worried (as always) about posting screenshots from the game. They always suggest to wait until this or that gets fixed so that we don't show half-broken things. But that's the purpose of the blog, right? To give you a peek at the game while it's still rough and unpolished and very much in development, in the hope that your feedback and attention to detail will help us give it the right polish eventually...

Anyway, here is a quick shot of a scene at dawn that we felt was atmospheric enough to hide any little problems ;-)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Still trailers

Work on new trailers continues, as you can see we are improving upon the initial version of the Mega Liner model, also thanks to your feedback.





Friday, March 4, 2011

Trailers

We hear lots of suggestions that it's time to replace some of the very old trailer models that we have been using since before original Euro Truck Simulator. You are right, and indeed, such is the plan!

Here is a quick glimpse of the very recent work being done in this area. Now if only we could manage to identify, approach and get some friction with the right kind contacts for brand licensing even at the level of trailer manufacturing companies...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fonogame mod competition results

On behalf of fonogame, the Polish distributor of our truck sims, we are happy to report that the results of their mod competition were just announced on their website. Very solid works were submitted, it is amazing how much creativity you guys can show consistently in mods created for fun in your spare time.

We promised the fonogame people to post the names of the winners here on our blog to give them bragging rights for being acknowledged by SCS Software. Great work guys!

1st place: Norbert87
2nd place: Maciej_Trans_Port
3rd place: TomBaka
4th place: ModsBuilder
5th place: Ropasiak

1st place gets the money prize, 2nd place tech stuff + games, 3rd-5th place gets game prizes. All of the five awarded also get unique posters signed by the original team that created Euro Truck Simulator at SCS Software. The posters are a truly limited series created just for this purpose.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Improvements in traffic AI

One of the areas that we are spending a lot of effort and time on for Euro Truck Simulator 2 is improving the AI of the vehicles in the environment. None of our previous projects even had a single full-time AI programmer, the AI was always a compromise as there were simply too many tasks for too few programmers.

We thought that you may be happy to learn that we are aware of all your complaints over the years, and trying hard to improve the AI for ETS2. This video is showing a couple of situations used for testing the changes in AI. Of course this is not a glimpse from the actual ETS2 map, this is a crude map for testing and debugging the AI code.

As you can see, finally the cars can navigate roundabouts, but there are many more things improved in the code, major as well as subtle, so that driving among the ambient traffic should feel far more natural!