Thursday, February 20, 2020

SCS Video Contest 2020 - Results

Due to popular demand, the return of video contest has been a success! This year we allowed you to record on Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator, which brought a lot of variety to the videos submitted.


Our committee of judges really enjoyed watching all your videos, even if it did mean settling down for hours at a time to do so. We were especially surprised by the creativity and work that went into some these entries.

There was an overwhelming majority of ETS2 videos - which is somewhat surprising, considering ATS videos could've been from two states, both single and combined. So due to the ratio, 4 winning videos are from good old Europe and 1 from the States!

HetriX with a professional trailer!


Thizorac with a wonderful Twin Peaks references!


JekaArtz with a well-balanced video!


Tamás Vajvoda (so epic as a whole, we expected a dragon somewhere in there!)


Toast (European trucking with American country music!)


It wasn't an easy choice to pick our winners, as some of the other videos came close to reaching a top 5 spot, however, we have decided to give some of these videos honourable mention special prize for their efforts!
We have also picked some of your entries to be featured on our social media channels, because of the number of great videos you've sent us. We certainly did enjoy watching them all! Be sure to look out for them on our official Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Unfortunately, not all entries made it to our judging panel as they did not reach the requirements we set for the contest, so make sure to read the rules carefully next time!

Also, if you have any feedback, wishes or requests, please let us know in the comment section. What would you change to make our future contests easier or more interesting? Would you like a different format?  One of the more popular bits of feedback we received, which was to reply/ confirm/ validate every entry that was received unfortunately isn't possible for us.

A BIG thank you to everyone who participated and congratulations to our top 5! All winners will be contacted and notified by the email from which they sent their entry.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

FMOD: First Tease

Sound plays a very important role in interactive games, which is why we are very excited to introduce a new sound engine to the worlds of Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator in the near future.


FMOD is a proprietary sound effects engine that will allow us to make really dynamic and complex audio. We have been working on implementing it for a long time already, and our sound designer has already poured hundreds of hours into implementing new vehicle sounds. Eventually, the changes to our soundscape will be more profound as we plan to revisit ambient sound sources all around the environment, this is planned to appear in the game through a series of follow-up updates. The feedback we receive from our community will surely play an important role in how we tune and tweak the sfx in future updates, we expect it to take some iterations.


Another part of the community that might be excited (or nervous) for such a change is our modders. Honestly, they will need to start from scratch to plug their sounds back into the game, as the changes in data structures are considerable. This update will make most existing sound mods incompatible. The silver lining is that the new wealth of features in the sound library will allow for way more fidelity especially with vehicle sounds, so we hope that the deep changes we are coming with will be appreciated. FMOD offers a free application for everyone to use, so mod creators will have some power available to them as our own sound department. To help with the transition, we also plan on releasing some useful tutorials to help you become familiar with this new software.

For those with an eye for detail, you may have noticed a picture we shared across our social media channels this past weekend to tease you. Did you spot it? A long-awaited requested feature will be made possible with this FMOD update - the ability to roll down your truck windows! Look out for a more detailed blog post in a few days!


While we still have a long way to go with this big new feature, we hope you will enjoy this sneak-peak of what is to come and how this new sound engine and the Doppler effect will change the way you hear things around you in ETS2 and ATS.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Valentine's Day: Loads of Love

Sometimes driving the highway can be lonely work, you may have the radio playing, or even have the GPS Voice Navigation enabled, but nothing beats the feeling of driving together with a fellow trucker.

This Valentine's Day, we want to share that same feeling with the community we love. We hope to see you out driving on the roads with us in the future.


Loads of Love,

SCS Software ❤️

P.S: We are also sharing the love with our weekly sale on Steam, with a variety of discounts available across the Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator range. Be sure to check it out! 

Thursday, February 13, 2020

The Eco-regions of Iberia

From semi-arid southeastern deserts to the green coniferous forests, the Iberian Peninsula is home to a rich and very diverse ecosystem. With two dominant climates types, temperatures and weather can vary depending on where you are traveling.


However, Iberia which is best known for warmer weather and its beautiful coastlines can become quite cool during the winter, which brings out the greener vegetation found across the the peninsula.


With Iberia being the second largest European peninsula by area, you can be sure to see a wide range of different ecoregions in our upcoming map expansion for Euro Truck Simulator 2. The variety of ecosystems makes for an interesting challenge for our map teams, who will have the task of blending and combining together the different parts of the region (as explained in more detail in our recent Under the Hood blog).

Like what you see? Be sure to check out more exclusive images found on our Twitter and Instagram account, and make sure to add Iberia to your Steam wishlist!

 

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Dawn over Idaho

After driving hundreds of miles through the night, the first light of the morning is often a very welcome sight for drivers. For many, it's the first glimpse of the surrounding landscape as the sun rises creating spectacular colors and rays of light in the sky, which makes for a beautiful photo.


With Idaho for American Truck Simulator beginning to take shape, we wanted to share with you a selection of shots from locations across the state during a sunrise. With just enough light to make-out some known landmarks, we thought it would be fun to present you with a challenge!




Let us know the location of each of these shots in the blog comments or on our Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, and we will pick one lucky person who will win a special prize. Be sure to get guessing, and to add Idaho to your Steam Wishlist if you're excited by what you see.

Friday, February 7, 2020

SCS On The Road 2020

It's time for us to get ready for the SCS On The Road season 2020, and we cannot wait to get travelling again. Each visit to a different location presents the opportunity for us to meet people from our community, as-well as meet with new and existing industry representatives which could lead to potential future collaborations and releases.

We are excited to announce that for 2020, we plan to travel to a variety of industry and gaming exhibitions around the world. You can expect us to be on the show floor, however in some cases it might not be exhibiting with our SCS Sim Trailer or booth, but walking the show floor, so be sure to keep an eye out for us in our trademark ETS2 or ATS T-Shirts!

The first stop on our Calendar takes us to the Mid-America Trucking Show, which we last visited in 2016 (where did the time go?) shortly followed by our first ever trip to Truck World Canada to meet with various industry contacts, but we hope to meet many of you from our community too.


If you are planning to attend any of these events, be sure to let us know! Our team would be more than happy to say hello, have a chat, and take a selfie. You may even receive some ETS2 or ATS swag as a gift. However please keep in mind that some of these events are still being planned, and that changes may be made to our schedule, which will be sure to inform you of on our blog and social media channels.

Last year we also enlisted the help of some of our local fans willing to help us on some of these events. We think it's a great way to connect with a few of our most loyal fans and offer them a very unique (and also paid) experience.

If you would like to become a part of our crew for a weekend, please let us know. Successful candidates must be 18+, native speakers of the region of the given event, have great social skills, knowledgeable players of our games and active members of the fan community, ideally with a history of involvement with our betas, or perhaps recognised creators from the modding community.

If you are free for two days of your time, have the skill and the passion to become a "roadie" and become join our crew, please get in touch with us by mail on this address.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

ETS2 1.37 - Rework of French Cities

As you already know, we plan to focus on technical improvements in our upcoming semi-regular game updates; first sound and then graphics. However, a small part of our map team is constantly working on improvements of the existing parts of our game worlds, to help improve the overall look and feel of some of the older areas of the games.


In update 1.37, the French cities of Metz, Reims, Strassbourg, and Dijon will receive a fresh lick of paint with a rehaul of its roads which have been given a new look. You will also notice that many of the older vegetation models have been replaced with newer models, along with some of the terrain materials which have been updated.


But that's not all! You will also find that some of the traffic signs have been switched with newer assets to accurately represent the area, along with one of the road intersections which has had its layout reworked (can you spot which one?)



What other surprises lie around the corner in future updates? You will just have to wait and see, but for now, we hope you will enjoy the refresh of these french cities and hope you will take the time to revisit these cities when 1.37 is ready.

Be sure to check out our various social media channels (Twitter/Instagram) for exclusive images of the reworked cities not found here.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Under the Hood: How to build a world for American Truck Simulator

This article was originally created for Vortex, Czech-based media. Due to the growing interest in different positions in SCS, we decided to translate the whole mini-series of these talks to publish here, on our blog. Today, we bring you first episode, featuring Ondřej "Duffator" Dufek - ATS world architect


When I meet someone for the first time, they often ask "So, what do you do exactly?". "I make video games, I'm a game developer" I often say, expecting more questions to follow. "Oh, interesting, sounds cool" they respond, but I can tell that they don't understand what that means and continue to ask more. "So work in programming or graphics?" is a common follow up question. "Neither, I'm a Map Designer" which is usually followed by more confusion. And that's why I'm here - to explain what exactly a Map Designer in SCS Software does for a living.

As the name suggests, the main role of a Map Designer is to create maps. Our job is to create a virtual world and environment in which a player travels and works. In SCS Software as you know, we create truck simulators, so we have to create everything you could possibly see outside of your virtual truck's window.


"Ah, so you create 3D Graphics!" is probably the main thought running through your mind right now, but that isn't entirely true. To clarify what we do more, I like to think about map designing similar to building with Lego bricks or playing Minecraft. Being a Map Designer isn't about making an individual cube or element, nor does he create a specific model such as a house, bench, tree. All of these are created by his colleagues in the asset department, so he can put them together in a map editor, creating a small part of our open world. With enough trees, you'll get a forest, with a number of buildings, you'll make a town. We're called Map Designers because our game space isn't composed of individual game levels, it is an open world which we watch mostly from a birds-eye view. So the comparison to the creation of a map offers itself.


Nevertheless, that would be a very simplified description of our work. The important word in the job title is "designer" - a man or woman designing something (not just a car or electric kettle).

Our game world is stylized, a miniature variant of the real world. Due to the technical requirements and manpower, it has been created in a 1:20 scale. So a designer has to choose one thing out of twenty and drop the rest, there isn't space for more. It's a pretty hard decision and one of the first and foremost duties of a map designer, to what he wants to create.

For example - take a process of road-making. Think of a section of road with the surrounding country, which connects two cities. The goal is to find out as much relevant information about it as possible (the length, height, what landmarks are there, points of interest, climates, landscapes etc) to create a draft which s/he will able to process and finalize. So the task at hand is mainly about filtering and the priority of information, along with staying within the boundaries of limitations.

And what limits are we talking about? Everything! - from scale, time, resources available and more. The real world is unique, and almost every place is original. Unfortunately, we can't afford such a luxury in our game world, where the number of available models we can use is limited. Designers must make up their mind of which models to use, and where to place them. For example, which house is most similar to the pattern found in the real world, how it could be improved using his or her 'artistic license' to stylize the in-game world. Another limitation is technology, unlike pre-rendered animations, our world must draw itself in real-time using various PC configurations. We can't fill it with an unlimited number of models and details. Another limitation is surveillance distance, which is the number of reflections in mirrors or water surfaces. All of these aspects directly influence the output and framerate. And the last big limitation is time. Our players expect a new expansion in a reasonable amount of time, so we can't take too long with our production.

In our studies of the road section we are working on, we find out the most characteristic details of the road and see if it is possible to re-create these in-game. The goal is to transfer the look and design into our virtual world. In an ideal case, a map designer creates a landmark on a 1:1 scale. During the 1:20 compression, it's impossible for us to include all of the most interesting places, as they would be located next to each other (due to the scale), which would not be true to life or distance. So our task is to combine both interesting landmarks between longer stretches of road to make them stand out. For example, if a 20km stretch of road had three farms and a large forest, it would end up likely two of the farms and a majority of the forest would be removed to correctly imitate the real-life landscape on a 1:20 scale. Another task of map designer is to connect different types of landscapes together and to create a smooth transition when travelling between forests and towns.

And that is what a map designer job consists of. Finding solutions to various design, technical and artistic obstacles. Whether it be a virtual city, junction, or dirt road, it is a combination of art and technical skills to be able to find a creative solution.

So I hope this very explanation helps you understand a bit more about what a 'map designer' does. If we we're to go in-depth into all the nitty-gritty details of our work, we would need a series of articles, perhaps a documentary! Let us know if you enjoyed the general theme of this blog, and if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

A Look Back at 2019

2019 was one of the busiest years in terms of releases for our company. As you can see by the amount of blog & social posts last year; our teams worked hard throughout the year to bring you new map expansions, trucks, DLC's, updates & more.

To help put things into perspective, we created a short compilation of all the major releases, events and updates from 2019 in a short wrap-up video. It's hard to believe all of this was accomplished in one year!


With a new year ahead of us, we are already working hard on many new updates, map expansions, vehicles, World of Trucks events and new public events to attend. Some of these have been mentioned in one our recent previous blog posts; however with a bit of luck, we hope to surprise you with a few more additional extras for you to enjoy around the releases you normally would be expecting from us.

Be sure to keep an eye right here on the blog and on our social media channels for news, teasers and more! What was your favourite release, update or event of 2019? Share with us your comments below.