Sunday, April 15, 2012

Scania Truck Driving Simulator

The fact that we are working on another truck sim game in addition to ETS2 was one of the worst kept secrets. It was supposed to be under wraps until the very last moment, but such is the life of the games retail market. The publishing and distribution people need to work with retail chains to position any game in the development pipeline way ahead of release, and so the information and speculative release dates kept leaking left and right.

So what is this game and why does it even exist when you could argue that we should focus 100% on Euro Truck Simulator 2?

The project is the result of a very productive dialogue we have started with the great guys at Scania CV AB. You could have read our grumbling repeatedly here on this blog about how difficult it is for the company our size to even get noticed by the big guys, be them truck and trailer manufacturers or logistics companies. The "serious" industry too often considers games as something controversial and unimportant anyway, and even marketing departments are usually too conservative and concentrated on traditional media to grasp the idea that the thousands and thousand of people playing truck sims are in fact the ideal audience that they could approach through our game.

Fortunately, when we approached Scania about licensing their trucks for our games, this was not the case. In fact we immediately moved on to another stage - discussion on how we could work together on something deeper. And when such an opportunity appears - you just don't want to let it pass. This is a chance for us to learn a lot, and also a chance to get our production recognized in the transportation industry in general. We are in this for the long run (or at least so long as we have enough paying customers), and building industry contacts and experience is crucial for us in our quest to build an ultimate truck simulator combining best of both words - interesting for a gamer as well as a professional driver.

Scania Truck Driving Simulator is only about three times the depth and scope of Truck & Trailers, so still a relatively small game, but the variety of activities available in the game makes it way more balanced product. There are driving-school type of tasks in the game for a warm up. There is a big segment devoted to emulating the hard challenges in Scania's Young European Truck Driver competition (BTW you should really check out what the masters behind the wheel are capable of, just watch a bit of the previous YETD finals). But there is also a lot of fun-to-drive realistic-looking scenarios included, plus a sizable map just for free roaming deliveries. This game is packed with hours and hours of interesting driving for sure. Plus our very first step towards making our games networking-enabled, with the possibility to compete (and see other people's driving performances) over the Internet.