Monday, May 30, 2016

The Power of Community #5
Custom Truck Simulator Shifter Hardware!

We love to be surprised by cool things happening in the truck sim fan community. After blazing through their Kicstarter for SKRS 18 Speed USB Shift Knob, Cory & gang at CSIO Technologies have built a company around a unique business plan - offering high-quality custom hardware tailored for the specific need of truck simulator games. We feel that they deserve a mention here on the blog.

The replacement shifter knob is actually using original Eaton Fuller part with additional circuitry for communication with the game. It is compatible with several high-end shifters: Fanatec, Thrustmaster TH8RS and TH8A, and Logitech G25, G27 and G29 steering wheel shifters.


Given the price point, it is something only for the most enthusiastic fans. But as there is quite a lot of people who have been ok with buying a $200-$300 steering wheel just to play our games, CSIO may have a decent chance to be viable in the long term.

For the upcoming updates for Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator, we have improved the setup screens in the game to autodetected the new controller, and to understand the new type of switches on the shifter. We are happy to embed one of CSIO Technologie's YouTube videos on setting up the device in our game (as it currently works in the open beta).


Talking about community involvement, we had the pleasure last week to welcome two influential Polish youtubers playing our truck sims - our Prague office was visited by Wujek Bohun and Wolny Kanał. If you understand Polish, we expect them to cover the visit on their channels.

The guys had a lot of opinions on particular features and suggestions for our games to unleash on us, we felt that it was a very constructive discussion. Mixing together Czech, Polish and English languages, we got along pretty well. Hezký den! Miłego dnia! Have a nice day!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

American Truck Simulator Update 1.3 going into Open Beta

The Open Beta of Update 1.3 for American Truck Simulator is available on Steam. And yes, if you are keen to explore it even before the update is officially released for everybody, the testing version contains the much anticipated Arizona DLC!


Here is out little marketing blurb for Arizona: Drive through the streets of 15 new cities including the largest city and capital, Phoenix, and visit the distinctive southern centers Flagstaff and Tucson. Discover a section of the famous Route 66 with its key landmarks. Cross the Colorado river over unique bridges and explore many wonderful vistas and famous landmarks within this region.


The Arizona State is not the only new feature of 1.3 update of course. The list of changes and fixes is much longer, here is a recap of the key ones:

MAIN NEW FEATURES
CODE
  • Blinker auto off can be disabled (option).
  • Speeding highlight can be disabled (option).
  • Torque converter simulation greatly improved.
  • Automatic transmission behavior improved.
  • XInput support added.
  • Added UI support for 4th and 5th controller.
  • Gear shift selectors (range, split) now have UI support for position-based switches.
DATA
  • New accessories added to 579 a T680 (bullbars, deflectors, sideflares, etc).
  • Default air horn added to all trucks (attribute air_horn in sound accessory).
  • New engine sound of W900 (air intake).
  • Interior sounds of all trucks rebalanced.
  • US specific engine data.
MODDING
  • Damage params moved out from game_data.sii and some more added (including wear and part damage factors).
  • Data driven engines (torque curve, rpm limits).
  • Force feedback data for XInput added (force_feedback.sii).
  • Torque converter physics data added, separated manual clutch data (physics.sii).
    

You can find the beta in the public_beta branch on Steam. (Steam client → LIBRARY → right click on American Truck Simulator → Properties → Betas tab → public_beta - 1.3 public beta). No password is required. A word of caution: make sure to back-up your profile and save game data before experimenting with beta builds!

Please keep in mind that this is still only a test version of the update, it's perfectly ok for you to wait and stay away from it until it's stable and final. If you are curious though and want to assist us in polishing it, we greatly appreciate your help. Please report any bugs on our forum.

We added another portion of Highway 101, which leads from San Rafael to Eureka. Highways surroundings is composed by typical redwood forest. We have also added new city of Ukiah hosting supermarket and farm depot.

Last but not least, yesterday we released the public beta version of SCS Workshop Uploader tool, that is compatible with latest game updates. More details here

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Euro Truck Simulator 2 Update 1.24 in Open Beta

A new wave of game updates is almost here. We are going to do a staged release for Open Betas of our truck sim twins; the first in line is Update 1.24 for Euro Truck Simulator 2. We want to avoid receiving too much feedback on too many things at the same time, so we will try your patience a bit more, and wait for a day or two with the Open Beta of the update for American Truck Simulator (+Arizona at last!).

As with every major game update, there are hundreds of changes and tweaks under the hood, but there two very notable new features, and a host of changes worth mentioning in a short changelog:

MAIN NEW FEATURES

Advanced trailer coupling in action:


CODE
  • Speeding highlight can be disabled (option).
  • Torque converter simulation greatly improved.
  • Automatic transmission behavior improved.
  • XInput support added.
  • Added UI support for 4th and 5th controller
  • SKRS detection and support
  • Gear shift selectors (range, split) now have UI support for position-based switches.
DATA AND MODDING
  • Scania trucks reworked, accessories added (intake, mask, bumper, mudflap, etc.).
  • Unit name fixes, most interior accessory and some other mods need update.
  • Damage params moved out from game_data.sii and some more added (including wear and part damage factors).
  • Data driven engines (torque curve, rpm limits).
  • Force feedback data for XInput added (force_feedback.sii).
  • Torque converter physics data added, separated manual clutch data (physics.sii).

You can find the beta in the public_beta branch on Steam. (Steam client → LIBRARY → right click on Euro Truck Simulator 2 → Properties → Betas tab → public_beta - 1.24 public beta). No password is required. A word of caution: make sure to back-up your profile and save game data before experimenting with beta builds!

Please keep in mind that this is still only a test version of the update, it's perfectly ok for you to wait and stay away from it until it's stable and final. If you are curious though and want to assist us in polishing it, we greatly appreciate your help. Please report any bugs on our forum.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Advanced Trailer Coupling

The upcoming open betas for the new game updates of Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator are coming with a new feature: advanced trailer coupling. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and a video can show even more, so let's take a look at it first:



The new trailer coupling feature is optional - you need to enable it in the game's options to adjust the game's default trailer coupling behavior. Make sure to consider your precise reversing skills before doing so! ;)

The standard trailer coupling allowed for quite some room in the relative positions of the kingpin and the fifth-wheel. You could also "cheat" it by approaching the trailer from an angle. The new trailer coupling option uses full physical collision simulation for the kingpin and fifth-wheel - you will be faced with the same challenge as a real truck driver. Expecting this precision from a newbie player may be too intimidating, so we are keeping the standard simple coupling as a default, but we know that a lot of our experienced truck sim players are asking for more realism, and we hope that you will appreciate that we are improving the game in this regard step by step.

In addition to the kingpin/fifth-wheel simulation, we have also added an additional visual treat to several trailers in the game, with an animation of raising the trailer landing gear.

(If you have really sharp eyes, you may notice something in the video which is also a teaser for a whole bunch of new tuning content coming to Euro Truck Simulator 2 soon)

Friday, May 13, 2016

Arizona Panoramas

We are hard at work putting finishing touches on Arizona DLC for American Truck Simulator now. Very soon we should enter first a closed beta and hopefully soon after an open beta phase.


Today we would like to treat you with three panoramas showing the principal river of the Southwestern United States - the Colorado River. The river will not be just a sight to pass. For the players who enjoy hunting for Steam achievements, we have prepared a new one - tied with the river.


Your task will be to cross the three bridges in Ehrenberg, Yuma and Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge near Hoover Dam. You will also have a chance to drive along the edge of two canyons carved by the Colorado River - Grand Canyon and Glen Canyon.


The panoramas above show an artist's depiction of Colorado River near Kingman, again near Yuma, and Glen Canyon.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

New types of industries in France

With each map expansion for our games, we try to come up with new types of places to go. Not just new geography, but also new delivery terminals, bringing new challenges for manoeuvring the truck and trailer. More variety and more eye candy never hurts, but our ambition goes further. We would like the locations in our games to be recognizable, reminding those who know them of their real-world counterparts.

The same will be true for our upcoming Vive la France map DLC for Euro Truck Simulator 2 of course. French industry is giving us a lot of opportunities. Today we'd like to take a look at one industry segment. France derives 75% of its electricity from nuclear power plants, so we thought that featuring a couple of them in the game a rather good idea.

The screenshots below are showing the results of our current work on vast complexes of Civaux and Saint-Laurent nuclear power plants.




Friday, May 6, 2016

Coming soon to World of Trucks


The upcoming major Update releases for Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator will contain a host of improvements: from general map tweaks to AI improvements or improved gear shifting code, from xinput support to additional support for CSIO Technologies cool SKRS transmission shift knob to hardcore trailer connecting mode - more on this later. But today we'd like to focus on enhancements coming to World of Trucks contracts.

The biggest overhaul is hiding under the hood - a lot of our early experimental code running and storing data on our private server farm has been adjusted to run on way more scalable Amazon server infrastructure. As World of Trucks will be adding more game features over time, eating even more bandwidth, we realized that we have to move to the "cloud" pretty much with everything. This change removes several bottlenecks and frustrating hick-ups you may currently experience when connecting to World of Trucks.


External Contracts will work across all of the official map content in the games - full support for American Truck Simulator is coming to World of Trucks at last, as is support for the map DLCs in Euro Truck Simulator 2.

We have improved the client part of Contracts, so you will be able to take jobs directly from the game, without the need to Alt+Tab to the web browser and back. It's more comfortable and streamlined, making it equal to Freight Market experience in the standard game. You will be able to easily see the closest jobs around your truck's current position in the world, so making your choice should be simple. But of course you don't get "teleported" to the trailer, you always have to actually drive your truck there.

We have introduced regional setting into World of Trucks, so you will be able to adjust the units according to your local preference.


We are now in "code freeze" stage for the upcoming game Updates - already firmly in closed beta territory - bugfixing and polishing the new features with our private group of trusted beta testers. We still have a bunch of issues sitting in our bug tracking database that we want to squish before switching into open beta mode. We are looking forward to another open beta, it's always great to see people interact with the new features, but we are still a couple of weeks from that moment. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Italian and Slovak Paintjob DLCs for ETS2

Over sixty people are now contributing on a daily basis into the growth and improvements of Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator, and this number will continue to grow. There is some Big Stuff in production in our labs; projects that we keep iterating on until we feel that they are ready for release. Sometimes it takes a while until we are truly ready. You can be sure that we feel the same sentiment as you - we wish that SCS were able to release new maps and vehicles faster, too!

We are trying hard, SCS has been on a hiring spree in recent months, we have four new talented developers joining our map and vehicle teams just this month. Actually our office space is about to reach 100% capacity full, so we are negotiating our options to make sure we can hire even more people. We may end up renting more space in our current building, or maybe even moving on to a new location again eventually.

The one area where we have become very productive over time is creation of country-specific paintjob sets for Euro Truck Simulator 2. We know that paintjobs are Small Stuff - and a bit controversial for some of you - as we are all impatiently waiting for the Big Stuff to appear. But we still owe paintjobs to a lot of fans who have not had their home country covered yet. We are now confident that we will be able to create paintjobs for all the countries which you can visit in the game, and some more for countries where we know there a lot of ETS2 players.

For now, our friends from Italy and Slovakia can finally welcome Italian Paintjobs Pack and Slovak Paintjobs Pack respectively. Have fun!