Today we would like to announce the release of SCS Blender Tools version 1.0.
After some two years of hard work, the alternate toolchain for modders now comes with pretty much the same power and flexibility as our internal Maya-based set of tools. It now supports complete creation of any type of items: trucks, ambient AI vehicles, models, prefabs with support of all possible locators including AI traffic lines, you name it.
Up until now, modders were able to pull off some incredible things, thanks to reverse-engineering our formats and creating powerful tools on their own. It is always exciting for us to see so many great mods that have been released, and yet more are still appearing. Admittedly, we are coming quite late to the party now; three years after ETS2 was released. So why did we even bother?
First of all, we really believe that our Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator games have a lot of longevity in them. We definitely plan to improve and enhance them for many years, and with the World of Trucks connecting them eventually under one umbrella, there are still huge opportunities for new exciting mods to appear.
However, even more importantly, we would like to explore new opportunities with User-Generated Content. It is a great inspiration for many game developers to see what Valve is doing with their games like Counter Strike: GO, Team Fortress 2 or Dota 2. Their ability to cooperate with fan community and to integrate UGC is fabulous.
With upcoming support through Steam Workshop - yes, here is a little pre-annoucement right here! ;) - we would love to find a way to invite the best mod content creators to offer their creations through an official channel, or possibly even to pursue a business model that would allow for it to become a part of the standard game content. But to even start thinking about it, we need to make sure that such user content is authored and maintained through a standard tool, a tool which we have under control, which we can update whenever needed, a tool we ourselves are comfortable using. Modders know that our game formats are sometimes changing when we need to make room for a new feature, requiring re-touching and re-exporting of older models. Waiting until (and if) a 3rd party tool support catches up with our changed formats is simply out of question for content that should be working immediately after we update our game. So just to open the gate for officially supported mods, we do need a set of official and well-supported tools.
Enter SCS Blender Tools version 1.0.
Since the previous release of Blender Tools which included Full Truck creation pipeline, the following items had been added:
- Extensive shader preset library covering all player needs
- Complete support for Prefab Locators including import/export
- Material Aliasing implementation
- Material Flavor system implementation (less shader presets, bigger shader repository)
- New system for printing warnings and errors in 3D viewport (no need to check console result for warnings)
- Shaders color management overhaul giving quite same result in Blender as in game
- Vertex color alpha support as additional vertex color layer
- Custom normals import
- Proper handling for meshes with back faces on import
- Proper handling of initially scaled bones
- Preview of textures when user is selecting them in file browser
To Get You Started
Wiki is probably the most important place for SCS Blender Tools knowledge base. There you will find the steps you need to take to begin using the tools. You can also find the download links for SCS Blender Tools. And there is even all the source code of the tools, right in the open, which could be quite interesting for the coders out there:
We have created a special forum branch, dedicated exclusively to the SCS Blender Tools. If you feel you found a bug in the tools, or want to ask something about them, or share your knowledge with the other people just getting started - this is the place to be. We will be monitoring the forums and hopefully providing some guidance, but again, we do not expect to be able to respond to everybody and to every cry for help.
In case you forget all the links above you can always start with the modding section of the Euro Truck Simulator 2 web page. The links there should guide you not just to SCS Blender Tools but also to all modding guidelines paramount for successful mod creation.
We encourage you to import and check all the models on your own. Now all you need to start is a bit of knowledge of Blender!