Thursday, September 22, 2011

Scenes from Poland

We are happy to announce that we have reached agreement with CD Projekt, major games publishing house in Poland, to release Euro Truck Simulator 2 in Poland together. We are sure that our game will now receive the attention and care of a much stronger publishing partner than our previous releases in the country.

CD Projekt is organizing their quarterly special event today, they call it Jesienna Konferencja CD PROJEKT. They have asked us to prepare a short clip from ETS2 for the purpose of presenting an early look at the game to their visitors from retail chains. Warming up  people in the distribution "channel" - persuading retail chain decision makers and store managers that it is worth it to stock our game and put it on the shelves where potential customers can see it - is a crucial job of publishers and distributors in each country. Nice to see the Polish guys working on the task already.

We were happy to help our friends at CD Projekt out and created a short movie with scenes from Poland. There is not much new stuff in the movie that frequent visitors of our blog haven't yet seen, but we thought you might like to see it too, while the movie is still fresh.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Eurotunnel

The following set of images may be of interest especially for our fans in the UK - they are showing one of the means to reach continental Europe.






Disclaimer: Any presence of real-world brands in the development screenshots is not indicative of what we will be allowed to put into the finished game. Negotiations are still under way.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Time of Day living screenshot

Here is a very simple view of a scene with static camera, but various time of day.



We still have some work ahead of us in day/night cycle simulation (as well as bad weather which we are not yet even ready to show - the new effects are not completed). We are now tweaking tone mapping parameters; our new HDR system has a lot more degrees of freedom for settings things up compared to our old engine, but it also means that we can spend a lot of time with the alchemy of finding the best approach.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Scania DemoCenter at Södertälje, Sweden

Sometimes our dialogue with truck manufacturers regarding official licensing of their brands for our games takes an interesting turn. It just so happened earlier this week, when SCS Software's CEO Pavel Šebor was invited to drive a few laps at the Scania DemoCenter. This vehicle demonstration circuit is very near to Scania's headquarters and factory in Södertälje, just south of Stockholm, Sweden.

Pavel drove a truck for the very first time in his life on this day, so it's obvious he was nervous, but excited at the same time. He might have driven a bit slow, but considering that he was driving a V8 730 HP tractor in a loooong Scandinavia-specific 24 meters configuration, loaded with 60 tonnes of cargo, it was a smooth ride for a newbie. Perhaps playing the truck games really gives one a head start when it comes to driving the vehicles for real ;-).


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Time of day

One area where we hope to get considerably better than any of our previous games is day/night cycle in ETS2. The new rendering engine with deferred shading and HDR allows for a lot of new cool things. We are still not done with tweaking the effects, but things look quite promising.



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Working on road signs

Quite some effort recently is going into populating the Euro Trucks Simulator 2 world with road signs. This represents many man-weeks of grueling work. Creating the art and models is quick compared to actually placing the thousands and thousands of signs into the map - and then having to come back to make corrections again and again.

Unlike our previous games, we strive to have country-specific signs, the images below are from France.




Friday, September 9, 2011

Truck brand licensing

Here is a small example of what goes on during our licensing talks - as we try to prove to truck manufacturers that having their vehicles portrayed in our games is no harm for them, but rather a benefit, pictures are a very illustrative argument...




One year anniversary

This blog was born a year ago! We would like to thank you for your patience, loyalty, and for the many intelligent comments providing important feedback to us.

Perhaps it's time to answer one frequently asked question, it may help a bit cutting down the amount of spam in blog comments.

We are still not sure when the game will come out. Definitely not in 2011 though.

Why? We are committed to quality, not to particular release date.

We understand that many of you will not be happy about the game taking so long to be developed. Our publishing partners are not taking this easy as well. We are not happy about our own performance either - to put it mildly. Taking so long comes with big costs, literally. The amount of time (and as a result, money) we have already sunk into development is putting us into very dangerous position - we may not ever be able to get the development costs back from the sales. Truck sim genre is really a small niche of the games market, the PC games and "big" games in general are in decline overall with the mobile/tablet gaming revolution, too. We are afraid that no matter how good a game we may be able to develop, the sales will still be worse than ETS1 sales. We will be at the mercy of truck games fans to realize this and judge the result of our hard work - they will vote with their wallet to decide whether we survive past ETS2 release.

So you can imagine that we really try as hard as possible to get the game finished, we don't want it to be our swan song. The game has already been delayed several times; we planned to have it done faster, but our ambitions were probably a bit higher than they should had been when we started - all the massive upgrades planned for game visuals, for physics, for richer world, for the AI, for deeper gameplay... it turns out that with the quality bar we had set for ourselves, it's more work than we anticipated. We keep sinking every single cent that we have earned from our older games during the last 2 years into the game's development. We really appreciate that even though our back-catalogue games are getting older, there are still some people out there who are buying them. This is basically our life line now.

Will all the hard work and the long wait be worth it? We still strongly believe so. Euro Trucks Simulator 2 will not be the next best thing since sliced bread, after all it's just a small game (with our team's size about 5% or less compared to AAA driving games like Gran Turismo, Forza or Need for Speed, we cannot do miracles), but it will be by far the best truck sim game we have ever created.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A7 Afsluitdijk dam in the Netherlands

You may still remember an older blog post where we were showing early work on the ETS2 area portrayed in the following movie. We have revisited the area now in the current build of the game with the intent of creating another short living screenshot movie, but in the end we have recorded quite a bit longer stretch of road. Hopefully you won't mind ;-).



Disclaimers will be needed again - yes we know that the mirrors reflection angle needs some work, and we'll do something about it about the time the game ships for sure. Also, while we are presenting one of the coolest trucks in the world here, licensing talks about presence of particular truck brands in the game are still under way, and we cannot guarantee that anything that you see in our movies or screenshots from work-in-progress state of the game will be allowed to appear in the final game.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

ETS2 nature

We have created another short "throw away" movie instead of static images, showing a few nature scenes in ETS2. The art team is striving to make the virtual world non-static, feeling natural and alive rather than very much frozen like in our older games. The world that the player drives through is a very important part of the overall experience - after all we hope that you will be spending hours and hours in this world, and we need to keep you interested in exploring it.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Route 66 Work In Progress teaser picture

We thought this might be interesting especially for fans of a particular French truck manufacturer. However, as usually we have to point out that until definitive agreements are signed and the final version of Euro Truck Simulator 2 gets the confirmation "green light" from the truck companies, the images we are showing are no guarantee that you will see the models in the game.