Monday, November 20, 2017

Sicily

The island of Sicily lies in the south on the very tip of Italy's "shoe." Our version of the island contains three coastal cities with seaports, it is the second largest island we have created so far. Considering the scale of our game world, this relatively small piece of land surrounded by the sea required a specific approach to its design and to the creation of the distant horizon. It was quite a tough challenge to fit in all the roads, the cities, industries, and natural beauties, including Mount Etna, one of the largest natural landmarks in Italy.


Our design of the island reflects the typical Mediterranean climate and its unique architecture. The feeling of Sicily with its scorching sun is central to quite a few famous Italian movies, so we have tried to transfer this mood to our virtual world.





Thursday, November 16, 2017

Euro Truck Simulator 2 Update 1.30 Open Beta

Open Beta of Euro Truck Simulator 2 Update 1.30 is ready for you to try!


How come we have skipped a version number? As both our flagship truck sims were getting ready for a major DLC release relatively short time apart, we had to run two parallel testing tracks. Code and data "freeze" for ETS2 happened several weeks after ATS was already "forked" for the release of its 1.29 update. As a result, Euro Truck Simulator 2 will be skipping a version number, while American Truck Simulator will catch up to the same 1.30 codebase version shortly after the update of its older brother.

Anyway, ETS2 Update 1.30 is bringing plenty of new, cool, and, of course, free stuff that we'd like to discuss...


MAIN FEATURES


  • Map improvements - city of Milano was completely remade, the whole northern part of Italy improved
We refreshed the old part of Italy which is already present in the base game to make it fit better with the quality of the upcoming Italia DLC. Consider it a sneak-peek into what it is going to be like.
  • Overhaul of navigation algorithms
New navigation code has been introduced in American Truck Simulator already and it is a huge change that required major programming effort and ended up being a large improvement over the old one. The navigation is now capable of sending the driver back along the same stretch of the road if need be, which may seem trivial, but it actually required a total redesign of the underlying data structures. We are looking forward to your feedback on this.
  • Time zones support
ETS2 now also supports time zones, which is going to be handy for further growth of the map. For now, this change will be affecting the UK only, since other ETS2 countries are in the same time zones.



ADDITIONAL CHANGES


  • ZF-16 transmission supporting upcoming DLC for all trucks that missed similar one
  • Map fitted to correct projection (more exact environment behavior), map panning option
  • Multi-torque engines support (used in DAF engines 2017) 
  • Basic engine and transmission info in quick job truck tooltip
  • Trailers with country restrictions are towed only to services in given countries
  • Further polish to DAF, Volvo, and SCANIA trucks
  • Tons of map tweaks and fixes in the base map and older map DLCs
  • New luxury yacht cargo

TOOLS / MOD ACCESS


  • New interactive tool for environmental lighting and weather setting (included in the editor)
  • New interactive tool for traffic behavior and rules debugging (included in the editor)
  • New scene preview tool (included in the editor)
  • New navigation parameters in map data
  • Assistance service parameters in economy data
  • Truck scale weight costs in economic data


We are ready for the open beta and looking forward to your feedback! Positive or negative, send it our way, as we are striving to improve the game as much as we can. Your help and participation in Open Betas is highly appreciated.

During open betas, we are operating a dedicated alternate site for World of Trucks, which is used to safely test all new features. Please visit World of Trucks Open Beta web for more information. Also, check our modding wiki to get details pertaining to mods for the game.

If you wish to take part in the open beta, you can find this version in the public_beta branch on Steam. The way to access it is as follows: Steam client → LIBRARY → right click on Euro Truck Simulator 2 → Properties → Betas tab → public_beta → 1.30 public beta. No password required.

Just as with the previous Open Beta releases - please keep in mind that this is still only a beta version of the update! You may experience instability and/or bugs and kinks. It’s completely okay if you want to wait for the final release. But if you are interested in providing feedback at this stage, be sure to let us know about your findings on our forum; you can join the general discussion here, and report any bugs here. We appreciate all your feedback.


Oh right, I would almost forget:

New Generation S and R Scania trucks are a part of this update! 



With almost two man-years invested in building the new vehicle models and implementing them into the game since the start of the year, this is our most detailed truck ever created.



Just as the reworked northern Italy, the new Scania will be released absolutely for free.

Enjoy your Open Beta and be sure to check our forums if you are having any trouble and need to report anything. Preferably, test the game both without and with your MODs, to see how the "vanilla" version behaves, as well as any interaction with the modifications you are used to using. Make a backup of your player profile to make sure you can go back in case that you do not find 1.30 ready for you yet!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

SCS 'On The Road': Game Developer Session 2017

Our small 'On the Road' crew had a really great time at Transport Expo 2017. Here is a photo from the event. It was a pleasure to talk to quite a bunch of dedicated and knowledgeable fans who visited us!


We are already in the middle of preparations for another event. Our next stop will be Game Developer Session 2017, a special conference for professional as well as wannabe game developers, to be held November 17-18 in Prague, Czech Republic.

We are looking forward to meeting industry peers from the region of Central Europe and listening to speeches presented by experts from around the globe.


We'll be there with one of our 4D motion seats (just the seat, the whole truck & trailer won't fit inside this 19th century historical building!). The motion seat powered by our games is a great piece of technology to show off and brag about, and should be handy for starting conversations. ;)

Also, one of our colleagues - Patrik, a senior map designer in our ATS team - will be giving a speech explaining the complexities of building a rich road network for our truck simulation games. We hope that it will be of interest for fellow game and map designers from other game companies as well as for students visiting the conference.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

New Mexico DLC arrives alongside
American Truck Simulator update 1.29!

We are proud to announce that the New Mexico map expansion for American Truck Simulator has just been released!


New Mexico's nickname is the “Land of Enchantment.” A lot of unique natural scenery will accompany the players during all hauls. The state has a lot to offer in terms of landscape variety: Rio Grande, Carson National Forest, Baylor Peak, Pyramid Rock and other recognizable landmarks.

Thousands of miles of roads lead through urbanized areas like Albuquerque, sparsely populated trading posts, lush forests, mountain ranges and rest stops in the middle of the desert. There are many unique functional truck stops around New Mexico's highways to spend the night, rest, refuel or repair a damaged truck.


Main features

  • Over 4,000 miles of new in-game roads
  • 14 major cities, including Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Roswell
  • 11 custom rest/truck stops for parking and refueling
  • More than 600 completely new 3D assets
  • Complex and realistic custom-built junctions and Interstate interchanges
  • 8 new company docks and industries
  • Unique landmarks both natural and man-made
  • New Mexico achievements to unlock

Useful links


We hope that all virtual truckers will have a lot of fun in the latest map extension of American Truck Simulator!


American Truck Simulator official Update 1.29 is out


We want to thank everyone who participated in the open beta. The final version of the update is now ready and the game should update automatically on Steam, unless you have automatic updates disabled. We're very grateful for your help!

You can find the whole list of major changes and fixes in Update 1.29 outlined in our previous post here.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Under The Hood: US Traffic Signs


Welcome back to the fourth article of the 'Under the Hood' series. Today, we're going to take a look at the traffic signs in our games, specifically focusing on American Truck Simulator development.


As our experience and our team size are growing, we can afford to dedicate more attention and development time to various aspects of our game world. Traffic signs are no exception. During the early years of development, with a relatively small development team, we had to take a lot of shortcuts and simplifications to finish the project in a reasonable time. Looking back, we now realize that our first take at the arrangement of traffic signs as used in our rendition of California and Nevada left much to be desired. From our perspective of a developer based in Europe, we thought it was believable, when in fact we have unknowingly omitted quite important building blocks of the whole logical system.

We have focused a lot more on research in the past year, and managed to dedicate enough manpower to road signs. Especially for drivers with actual experience from US roads, this is going to be very noticeable in New Mexico


It's not just about the look of individual signs, their shape, dimensions, color, numbering, or proper font choice - these are non-negotiable of course. We now have a very flexible toolset at our disposal to compose a sign from its elements. We can also choose specific details that are particular to a given state or region, like different poles. But ultimately, it's about the whole system.


New Mexico DLC marks the start of a new era, taking advantage of the new set of traffic sign building blocks. The new set is also used when building the next ATS world region, which is already very much under development.


For future game updates, we have a plan in place and capacity reserved to also revisit the "older" states of American Truck Simulator, to make the signs more accurate. So you can look forward to further improvements in California, Nevada, and Arizona.

As you can see in the images, our asset designers have created a new set consisting of about 200 new traffic signs. Our programmers have come up with a new system, allowing the map designers to use and combine the base and info part of the traffic signs from a wide variety of options. This efficient new system will be useful for example for traffic sign poles made out of wood instead of the more typically used metal.


Only overhead traffic signs on our highways? Not anymore, because we've also created several new types of traffic sign placement. There will be signs placed on highway bridges you're just passing under, affixed to sound barriers placed alongside the road, and so on, just like in real life. We are doing some tweaks and upgrades to the standard overhead signs. We can now appreciate even small details like the difference between the placement and style of how the exit number is positioned. With all these upgrades we're trying to cover as many specifications per state as possible.


You can also look forward to meeting some diagram traffic signs, showing a schematic drawing of the upcoming intersection. We can also work better with "control cities" on highway signs. Eventually, even though for sign placements we are somewhat limited by the 1:20 scale of our world compared to reality, our ambition is to have 100% realistic road signs in American Truck Simulator.


Please let us know your opinions, wishes and suggestions, or which topic should we cover next our 'Under The Hood' series articles.

Friday, November 3, 2017

SCS Software coming to Transport Expo 2017


We would like to invite our fans to see us and our magnificent "sim trailer" next week at Transport Expo 2017. Especially if you are living in Prague, Czech Republic, or within reasonable driving distance, this is an event that you should definitely consider.

The team at SCS Software is super busy these days, and we were not sure if we can risk investing our time into any other activities. We have our hands full with testing, bug-fixing, polishing, and pushing out New Mexico, Italy, Special Transport, and a couple of related game updates to you in the coming weeks. However, when we realized that this exhibition is our unique and perhaps last opportunity this year to meet the players of our games in our home city, it was clear that we just have to find a way to come!


We are really looking forward to meeting you! And for our fans in Czech language: Těšíme se na Vás! Můžete se projet v naší speciální mapě, kterou používáme pro veřejné akce. Rádi Vám ale také ukážeme Nové Mexiko, Itálii i Special Transport DLC. A pokud Vás zajímá jak probíhá vývoj našich her nebo volné pozice v naší firmě, je to také dobrá příležitost pobavit se přímo s našimi developery.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

New Mexico map expansion for ATS will arrive next week

After extensive testing, we are ready to announce the release date of the latest American Truck Simulator map add-on. The wait for New Mexico DLC will be over on Thursday, November 9th, 2017.


We're still working on final touches and optimizations, but feedback from both internal and external beta testing is, fortunately, coming back mostly very positive, so we feel reasonably confident to finally commit to the release date.

For Steam digital distribution, we set the price to USD $ 11.99, € 11.99, £ 8.99, the DLC will also show up in box distribution in some territories. Do not forget to check out New Mexico coming soon page, where you'll find screenshots, the trailer video, and the feature list.