Tuesday, October 16, 2012

We have travelled a long way!

When I started this blog in September 2010, I was thinking that it may take up to a year to release Euro Truck Simulator 2. I thought it will be tough to write here regularly for a year, but that I can last that long. What naivety!

It turned out that our ambition to take the game quality and scope further than just to follow a conservative plan took "a little" extra time to fulfill.

Along the way, we ripped out old physics clean from our engine and replaced it with an all new system. We changed the lighting/shadowing system completely, going the defered-renderer route as many modern 3D engines these days. We implemented a very flexible "tuning" system for truck customization. We re-built several truck tractors and trailers from scratch. We implemented a new license plate generation system, our rear-view mirrors are now much better and configurable, we implemented multi-threaded system for our behind-the-scenes procedural generation systems to lessen framerate spikes. We have a much smarter vehicle AI. We have much more varied weather and time-of-day system, all new animated sky, we recorded many new sounds. We have built a huge map full of interesting landmarks. We put solid work into support multi-monitor, into 3D stereo imaging, we have a flexible and reasonably configurable support for multiple input controllers usable at the same time. When it all started to come together, we gathered a 50+ strong team of volunteer testers from the heart of the community to help us test drive the game in the final weeks. All in all, we have burnt over 40 man-years developing ETS2 - but in fact it was way more as we are building the game on foundations laid be the previous games.

We know it wasn't enough.

Some 33 months after starting to work on the game, we have at last reached a crucial milestone. The game will at last be released this week. But the journey will go on, we have a lot of features to add and improvements to make in ETS2 and in games that will come after it.

We know that our virtual world should cover more territory. We know that some trucks as well as trailers would deserve re-modelling. We'll need to optimize the engine some more to make it work smooth with even more content.  Many truck manufacturers have gone for a facelift or complete overhaul of their product line since the game plan was set to motion. We don't yet cover all chassis configurations, there are interesting trailer combinations that we have experimented with before but haven't had the time to complete. We have yet more truck sounds to record and implement, many ideas on how to further refine our vehicle physics, the AI traffic could be smarter and richer with other types of vehicles.

We know, and with the continued support of our fan community we know that we can do even better. Stay with us!

And what a community it is already. In anticipation of ETS2, this blog has grown visitor counts steadily:

Considering how many websites and blogs are re-posting and/or translating our blog content into various languages to make it easier for readers to check out ETS2 news in their native language, there may be well over 30 thousand people following our progress daily around the world! Once the game is released and even more people discover ETS2, we hope that the community will grow even stronger.

We should now think of ways to make your participation in the community easier. Perhaps it is finally time to launch an official SCS message board, or perhaps the research that you are helping us with from time to time would be better facilitated though a moderated wiki page. It is one of the many tasks of this Autumn for us to come up with a way to tune you in better.

Have a good night!