Monday, December 20, 2010

Extreme Trucker 2 on YouTube

We have been neglecting our YouTube channel in recent months, but in the next few weeks we hope to be able to show off a few nice things there again. We are starting slowly for now, with a slideshow of yet another set of cool screenshots from 18 Wheels of Steel Extreme Trucker 2.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas is coming

One of the features planned for Euro Truck Simulator 2 is the return of a long-lost ability in our sims to choose custom paintjobs for trucks. Players were used to picking from a variety of paint looks in our older 18 Wheels of Steel series games, but currently moders have to work around limitations in our games that don't quite make using of custom paintjobs a comfortable experience.

The situation with paintjobs should improve a lot - both the "out of the box" experience with a solid selection of paintjobs, and hopefully also with mods for the game offering additional content; making this content a natural part of the customization options

We still cannot guarantee that Scania will appear in ETS2 in full glory as an officially licensed brand. Getting the attention from truck manufacturing companies, even just starting the discussions and then taking them to satisfactory conclusion for both sides, is quite tough. In the end, we may have to take the painful measures and strip some of the truck models of any relation with real brands. (So keep your fingers crossed that we don't have to do it too often!) But we thought that these in-game screen shots would be a nice example, a nice teaser if you allow, of our paintjob plans...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Magazine Interview with SCS Software

Our fans in Germany may find interest in a special issue of PC Games magazine, focusing solely on driving simulators. The issue should appear on news stands across Germany starting today.

The magazine contains an extensive interview with SCS Software (and a total of 23 pages devoted to our games in total), covering our history from the very start of the company, our most challenging projects, our opinion on state of the simulation games market, and also some hints about future matters. It also includes a pack-in DVD with demo versions of our simulators released in Germany through rondomedia so far, so it may be a chance to try something that you haven't tried before. The interview is has been translated into German for the magazine of course, but the demos are actually the time-limited demo multi-language digitally distributed editions of our games, so for example German Truck Simulator demo is the latest 1.32 version "Edition Austria."

As a teaser, here is a small excerpt from the interview:

Can you imagine developing an online version of your games (are you even already planning one)? And if you do, what would that game look like? What kind of challenge would it offer the players?
Of course we can imagine transforming our games from purely single-player experience into collaborative gameplay concept. The trouble is that to make it right, the game should ideally be closer to a MMO game – with persistent player data and ability to keep track of the player's progress so far in the virtual world. Actually we have had the concept document for such a game already sketched for several years, waiting “in the drawer” to be used when the time is right. But it's a big task to build something like that - with money to put into development and infrastructure, even a light-weight version of an MMO could represent a multimillion investment. We need to approach this ambition very carefully.  One day we hope to be able to push for online component for our games, we are looking forward to being in position to do so in fact. But as I frequently remind our fans, it all depends on our ability to sell enough copies of our games to be able to afford thinking of the more ambitious plans. There is a simple way to motivate us to accelerate our effort – vote with your wallet for the survival and evolution of the simulation genre.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Driving in Bangladesh

Beta testing of Extreme Trucker 2 is well under way. In a previous post we have showed you a few scenes from Montana. Now let's focus on the other all-new map to appear in 18 Wheels of Steel Extreme Trucker 2. Here are several pictures from Bangladesh, you can find even more in our Extreme Trucker 2 beta testing facebook gallery.

We have received a few complaints that we put too much attention to this game, not giving you enough news about Euro Truck Simulator 2. Please be patient - right now, pretty much the entire SCS team concentrates on wrapping up this project. Yes, Extreme Trucker is a simpler, specific concept, aimed at a younger player, perhaps not deep enough for fans of the more complex Simulator line. But it's a very important project for keeping SCS Software in the business, and being able to continue working on the more serious simulation projects.

Soon we will shift our full attention to Euro Truck Simulator 2 finally, and we'll be happy to give you more news about what is happening with it. One little hint of good news coming soon is that we'll soon be starting on 3D models for dashboards and cabin interiors of Magnum, Premium and Actros - and we are pretty confident that the names and logos will be there in the final game!

Last but not least - don't forget to vote for your favorite fansite on the right side poll bar. We would like to get a feeling about the popularity of the various fans sites out there!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Renault Trucks in Euro Truck Simulator 2

It is time to display a little bit of optimism regarding presence of real Renault tractors in ETS2!

No formal agreement has been reached yet, but our dialogue continues well. Initial reluctance is a thing of the past, and now the fine people at Renault Trucks are even showing signs of support for allowing the presence of their vehicles in our game. If things turn out well, we would actually be encouraged to build not just Magnum, but also Premium tractor, including official paint-jobs!

We thought that we could try to use our blog as a communication platform with the community again, and see if you can voice your support for including Renault in our game as well... so that we could show your comments as a proof that we have a vibrant community of supporters.

It is precisely you, the loyal fans of our games, that we want to make happy with the presence of real brands in our game. In fact we are using you as our argument for why it is worth it from the point of view of truck manufacturers, too, to allow to have their brands portrayed in our game.

Please if you are supportive of the idea of including Renault Truck vehicles into Euro Truck Simulator 2, leave a comment below. Please let others in the community know of this call for support - it would be nice to be able to show a few hundred positive comments to Renault Trucks in a few days! It would certainly make a good impression...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Testing of 18 WoS Extreme Trucker 2 is in full swing

Beta testing has already started on the almost finished version of 18 Wheels of Steel Extreme Trucker 2 last week. There are two new screenshots from the current build of the game below and several additional pictures in our facebook gallery.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Zooming in on the dashboard

We thought it would be interesting to zoom in even closer on the in-development graphics - and show you what  the dashboard looks like while the artist is working on it. You can see we have made some progress on the FH16 interior compared to last week (this represents several days worth of work!). This is not a screenshot from the game, it's a screen grabbed from Maya (click the image for full resolution).

Friday, November 5, 2010

FH16 interior under construction

People keep asking to see the progress on the Volvo interior that we have shown untextured about a month ago, so we thought it is time to update you on the situation. As you can see, the interior is still not finished, but it's not so far from completion - we still need to do the dashboard and finalize a few little details.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mapping the fan community

Thank you for all of your suggestions!

We have compiled a list of recommended links based on your feedback to the previous blog post and we want to share it with you now. We tried to assign the sites to a system, organized by prevalent language used, so that it's easier for our international community to find sites easier for everybody to understand.

Any pages providing illegal content were not included in the list of course. We also did not include certain sites that seemed inactive, or closed forums with a very small amount of members. If you think that we were unfair in not listing your site, or if forgot or missed some interesting sites, please let us know again - we will periodically update this "map" of fan communities.

-> English (forum) (website, forum) (forum) (forum) (website, forum) (forum) (website) (website) (website) (website) (website) (forum) (website) (website) (website)

-> German (forum) (forum) (blog) (blog, forum) (website, forum) (website) (website) (forum)

-> Dutch (blog) (forum)

-> Russian (forum) (forum)

-> Portuguese (website)

-> Italian (forum) (forum) (forum)

-> Romanian, forum) (forum)

-> French (forum) (forum) (forum) (forum)

-> Polish (website, forum) (blog) (forum) (forum) (forum)

-> Czech (website, forum) (website) (website) (website) (website) (forum, website)

-> Finnish (forum)

-> Hungarian (website) (forum) (GTS forum) (ETS forum) (ETS2 forum) (forum)

-> Indonesian (blog)

-> Greek (forum)

-> Bulgarian (forum)

-> Turkish (website) (website, forum) (forum) (forum)

-> Spanish (website, forum)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

We want to know about you

We know that there are a lot of websites and message boards out there where fans of our games gather to discuss and share info about our games. But we are well aware that we do not know all of them by far, and that we may be missing a lot of what is going on.

So we want to hear from you - where do you go to praise or criticize our games, what is the website where you come to get new mods with impressive maps, models or paintjobs? Where are you putting the screenshots and videos that you make, or look for what others have created? Is a particular message board still active or have the users moved on already? What are the best YouTube channels to find interesting videos?

Do you maintain or moderate a website or message board covering our games? Let us know! We are compiling a list of all relevant places of the internet, both for our internal use so that we don't miss anything important, and also to share with you. This is especially true for non-English sites, with the language barrier not allowing us to follow them directly, but we would like help people find them.

Please post your recommendations as comments under this blog post, in a few days we will make a new post with a compilation of links based on your input. Perhaps it would be a good idea to revisit this research from time to time, to keep the list growing with sites that we may miss initially, so that we all always know that there is an up-to-date master list of all good websites easily available.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Revisiting Extreme Trucker

It is finally time to start showing you more from the second project under development at SCS Software currently - 18 Wheels of Steel Extreme Trucker 2. This game is actually supposed to be finished much sooner that ETS2 - to be available on the market very early next year already.

Extreme Trucker 2 is a project commissioned by ValuSoft. While SCS is the developer, we do not decide on the features and we do not own the resulting product; it belongs to the game's publisher - the game is created on order and budget provided by ValuSoft. Those of you who know the previous game are surely aware that the aim of the games is a bit different than where we are headed with "serious" simulator series - it is simpler, there is no deep "tycoon-style" gameplay included, it's more arcade-like, quicker to get into and enjoy driving in very diverse conditions around the globe.

Extreme Trucker 2 builds on the previous game, but it's not just a small facelift. We are adding two new maps, but all the older maps have been extended too. There should be a glimpse in the new game of the all-new physics system that we are developing, also the AI has undergone major upgrades (and we'll keep on improving it further). We also did important work on the effects system, it will be most noticeable on the way the truck lights work at night.

A few pictures here on the blog, a larger gallery has been posted a short time ago on SCS Software's facebook page.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Working hard on new vehicles

We still have a long way to go to complete Euro Truck Simulator 2, but we are happy to show you the progress that we are making here on our blog.

Major effort is going into building quite a lot of all new 3D assets for the new game. There will be some re-use from older generation games, but a lot of things are going to be new - several tractors, certain trailers and cargoes, larger fleet of ambient traffic cars, buildings, vegetation...

Here is a few images from another re-built truck. Keep your fingers crossed that we are allowed eventually to ship this model the way it's been built. We feel quite optimistic about our negotiations with several truck manufacturers that we are currently involved in - let's hope that we can conclude the talks successfully so that there would be more of real world brands represented in the game.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thanks for your suggestions

We really appreciate your suggestions for improving our future games in the discussions under the blog posts.

Rest assured that we read and note all the interesting ideas that we can collect. Your continuous feedback is very important for us - to help guiding us, to give us courage that certain features, even if hard to develop, are worth pursuing. Hearing your voice gives us strength to keep on going.

Many of the things are on our internal lists already - some of them as specific plans for the short- or mid-term, some on our own wish-list for things to achieve in the long run.

Just please keep in mind that as truck sims are really a small genre - these games will never be multi-million sellers - our ambitions need to be in line with their sales potential. We can only afford a small team to work on these games. Where AAA games like Grand Theft Auto series or Gran Turismo series have teams of hundreds of designers, artists and programmers working on a game, our projects like Euro Truck Simulator have been built with core teams of 5-7 people, and it takes us years to earn back even such relatively modest investment.

We would sure love to be able to pull off all the cool things suggested to us, but we need to pick carefully, to plan only what we can handle by the time we run out of money earned from our previous games. If you want to help us build bigger and better games in the future, frankly the best way is to help us make more money - recommend the game to a friend, start a fan page to promote truck sims, record a cool movie and place it on YouTube, discuss our game on your blog or facebook page, and last but not least, help us in our struggle against piracy - don't promote or use warez copies of our games.

Some of the suggestions seem to cover features that we have already addressed or at least paid some attention to in the generation of German Truck Simulator and UK Truck Simulator (and their latest patches). If you have only played the original Euro Truck Simulator, be sure to try out the newer games. They are rather different when it comes to gameplay, it's not just different geography in the games compared to ETS. Here are direct links: UK Truck Simulator, German Truck Simulator (1-hour free trial, demos as of 1.32 version).

Finally, another behind the scenes peek - here is work in progress on a new driver model. Right now we are working on a guy, but based on input from our fan base, it seems that we should also create a female driver option for ETS2 as well.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Work in progress - New FH16 cabin

Here is another glimpse behind the curtain - or rather a peek at a new 3D model under development as it previews in Maya.

This asset still has not been textured obviously, so it's just displayed with basic shading. With the help of hi-res photos that we took in Hannover a few weeks ago, texturing it should not be such a big problem hopefully.

One of the comments from a previous post raised the question if we have all the brands licensed already. Sadly, we don't yet - it's a long process with uncertain result. We are trying to talk to the "big guys" of the truck industry now, keep your fingers crossed for us!

At the moment, the work on any truck models that we do is based on the assumption that we will eventually persuade the brands owners to be officially involved. However, we may end up the same way as before releasing Euro Truck or German Truck/UK Truck generation games, and have to hastily remove all the brands and all the real names shortly before release so that we don't risk being sued.

Well if this blog happens to be followed by anyone with access to employees or even decision makers in the transportation industry and you can help us connect, or if  you have any tips of whom to contact about brand licensing, we would certainly appreciate hearing your suggestions.

Finally Patches for all retail editions of German Truck Simulator!

Finally the update patches to version 1.32 are ready and available for download for all retail-distributed editions of German Truck Simulator.

This patch contains all the new Edition Austria (aka Austrian Truck Simulator) content as well as a few fixes and improvements.
  • Edition Austria content now available as a free update
  • 4 new Austrian cities and scenic Austrian roads
    experimental support for playing MP3 format songs in "radio" (via DirectX internal functionality)
  • experimental support to tune-in to Internet streaming radios playing in MP3 format
  • graphics engine tweaks for improved graphics drivers compatibility
For download and more information check the update page on official game website.

Friday, October 1, 2010

New cabin screenshots

We are creating a ton of new assets for Euro Truck Simulator 2, and we thought perhaps our fans would enjoy seeing glimpses of the things to come from time to time... so here is a small sample

Friday, September 24, 2010

Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung Hannover

A small team from SCS Software ventured to Hannover, Germany, to visit IAA - International Commercial Vehicles show. To describe it in one word, it is huge. There were hundreds and hundreds of vehicles on display, but also all kinds of parts, aftermarket upgrades and research concepts, trucks, buses, vans and trailers, a giant mixture of shiny technology mixed with business guys wearing jackets and ties and beautiful booth babes posing next to trucks.

We pursued several objectives at IAA. Of course one of them was to take a lot of photos for research purposes. It was a rare opportunity to get into the cabin of the high-class trucks, to zoom in on all the details in and around the vehicles. The photos will be a valuable extension for our database - to tap into whenever we build new or improve existing 3D models and textures. We already put some of the photos for your viewing pleasure to our Facebook page, and more photos will follow shortly. The impressions from how the transportation industry presents itself is also definitely going to have an influence on our visual design decisions, and maybe even help in enriching game mechanics.

Another objective was to check out German Truck Simulator running as a demo at one of the booths. Yes, GTS is at IAA right now in playable form, used for illustrating the application of eye-tracking, head-tracking and hand-tracking biomechanics tools at Commercial Vehicle Group booth. CVG is the leading supplier of seating for trucks and buses in the US, and we are looking at opportunities with them for possibly adapting our technology for their cab design research & development needs.

Finally, we tried to approach brand management and marketing/PR people from the truck manufacturing companies about the possibility of including real truck brands into our future games. It seems that IAA is the place to be, as we got far more traction approaching people in person there than we managed to achieve in the past three years by e-mails and phone calls. We are of course not sure if we eventually manage to persuade the giant truck manufacturing corporations to give enough attention to small SCS Software and consider the matter and the benefits of having their brand, treated with all respect, clearly visible by players of our games. But we have talked to important people, gave them samples of the game and the "elevator pitch" of why we think it would be a good idea for them to come aboard, and now it's down to patiently working from this start.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Crazy Truck Party

We are back from Czech Truck Fest, tired but full of impressions. We have tons of photos and videos, but experiencing the atmosphere first-hand was really cool, and the insights we have gathered will come handy.

Here is a short movie from Saturday evening - from Best Lit Truck competition. It was already getting late and our camera did not handle difficult light conditions very well, but you can see that it was wild. This just one of several waves of trucks as they took turns on the airfield during the evening.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

First day of Truck Fest

People have been lining up all day to try our games. We got a ton of input especially from the younger generation of players. We rarely get to see complete newbies playing our games so closely, and this was an important lesson for us. On the other hand, many people stopping at our stand already knew our games well and played them before.

Here is an image of a really cool Scania. We have taken a huge amount of photos and footage, this is going to be a new source of inspiration for our future games. We will be posting more photos and perhaps movies from the event over time. Now we have to prepare for another day of the show ahead of us tomorrow...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Packing for the trip

We got the hardware, we got the posters, we got the boxes with the games, we got the T-shirts. Now we are about to stuff it into a van as we are starting out very early tomorrow.

Here is an artist's rendition of our journey from Prague to Hradec Kralove :-).

See you at Truck Fest!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Come see us at Czech Truck Fest 2010

We are going to be at Czech Truck Fest 2010 this coming weekend (September 11-12), demonstrating and selling our games, and taking lots of pictures. If you you don't live too far from Hradec Kralove, CZ, it may be a good tip for a weekend trip.

We will have copies of both older Euro Truck Simulator as well as newer German Truck Simulator for sale for a special exhibition price. Unfortunately, we'll only have the Czech language version for sale, we have not managed to secure stock from other language versions. Well we may have a dozen or so English language or German language copies, but we cannot guarantee good availability.

We are also going to be showing the games on big LCD screen, with a steering wheel and TrackIR head tracking gear. Check out what it looks like - this is from our testing of the demonstration gear in the office today.

Hopefully the weather is going to be nice over the weekend, weather forecast looks optimistic. You can look forward to coverage from the show here on the blog.

Lights, horns, beacons, bars, shields, mirrors...

One of the features that we are concentrating on for Euro Truck Simulator 2 is customization of trucks. Here is an example:

Euro Truck Simulator 2 vehicle customization
We are trying to design the system to be very flexible. In addition to the tuning parts that the game will come with and that will be available "out of the box," it should be possible to cleanly add more parts via mods, without making a mess of it. The game should recognize additional parts and offer them for purchase in addition to the original ones.

Welcome to our blog!

We are excited to launch our official blog to offer our fans insight into what is happening at SCS Software.

We plan to post screen shots of games under development, share behind the scenes information, and point out interesting places on the net related to SCS Software's games - communities, reviews, mods, movies...

Keep on the lookout for upcoming posts, the first few weeks may be a bit rocky as we are only learning to use our blog properly, but we hope to make coming back worth it for you.

Thanks so much for visiting our blog. Enjoy!