Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Industrial cooperation

Apologies for using the form of hints and teasers, we are still waiting for final legal steps to be able to officially announce a second project in development at SCS Software, but for now, we can unveil at least a few bits of background info.

Back in 2010, an unfortunate sequence of events caused another small Prague-based independent game development studio to shut down. Suddenly we had the opportunity to hire several senior people in one swoop, basically a nucleus of a very talented development team. It would be a pity to miss such an opportunity, but we knew we just could not afford growing our head count at the time. The higher monthly burn-rate just wasn't in line with our revenues, and looking at where the extrapolated lines on the cash flow graph were intersecting, it was clear that we wouldn't be able to sustain so many people until the end of ETS2 project, even if a few extra programmers and artists could possibly speed up its development.

As we were scratching our heads on how to have our cake and eat it too, we came up with an idea: let's take a risk and do an experiment to pursue smaller opportunities - try to produce limited-scope projects next to the opus magnum of Euro Truck Simulator 2 project. Basically the goal was to explore additional aspects of the truck driving phenomenon, build smaller games quickly in a few months, and try to see if they can bring back the investment as fast and hopefully even indirectly help the progress of ETS 2.

This was the road which has led to creation of Trucks & Trailers. This project turned out to be a success - new 3D models were built that ETS2 benefited from, new engine effects were created for T&T which ETS2 immediately took advantage of, we could spend more time on AI now that multiple projects benefited from it, and both teams were providing each other with inspiration. And almost as a side effect, a little application which could help wannabe truck drivers get some insight into trailer maneuvering was born. Last but not least, the accounting books looked a bit better with another game providing helpful revenue.

As we were getting close to release of Trucks & Trailers, a very exciting opportunity appeared in front of us, in the form of close cooperation with a leading truck manufacturer. We did not think twice about it, this was a chance to learn from the "big boys" and of course a chance to bring our game to wider audience than just our loyal but not so numerous fan base. We also knew that this time we could aim higher and be more ambitious about the feature set of this project, we were sure we could build something that more of you would find worth playing.

Here we are some half a year later, with an almost finished game.. Stay tuned!