Saturday, April 30, 2011

Schiphol Indeed

This place is not in Sweden, nor Germany, nor France like some commentators guessed, it's in the Netherlands.

Where is this place? #3

There are not many places in Europe where a highway passes so close to the airport that you can almost touch passing jumbos...

The power of the community #2

Within 12 hours of launching the Trucks & Trailers community translation project, 4 languages were already completed. Now 3 more hours later, we are up to 6 completed languages, and every minute some 10 more strings are translated across the mix of 20+ languages. All this was happening on Friday evening and night (at least for European participants). If anything is a clear indicator of the dedication and strength of the truck sim fan community, this must be it. Amazing!

The work is not quite done yet, even for the languages that the system reports as 100% done the review process is still under way. People can vote for the best translation if there are several competing variants, or still suggest alternatives and improvements. It is still worth it to join in and help.

The initial list of languages entered by SCS seems to have been extended by people offering help with even more languages. However it seems that there is now also a bit a mess being created, for example we had "Turkish (Turkey)" as one of the choices, but in parallel somebody started "Turkish" sub-project, so now it's very likely that some of the effort is lost as the Turkish contributors are split into two uncooperative groups. Please concentrate just on the more-completed variant.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Translation in full swing

Again, we are humbled. In a few short hours, the translation has already progressed a lot even during the test stage. So far the technical side looks good, too, we can pull the translated strings from the system just fine.

We are opening the translation to the whole community, we don't want anybody who felt like contributing to feel ignored.

Please start by visiting this page:

The game is still in the polishing stages of the development. Regarding the in-game texts, this means that as the User Interface is still changing, some text may still be changed, or erased, or added. But large majority of the text is already in place, and the system supports further tweaks.

As more people join in the translation effort, inevitably we'll start seeing conflicts and clashes. Each piece of text, be it a simple word or a full sentence, can be translated by multiple people in parallel. Then people can vote on each other's translation or mark a translation as problematic. This process may bring some frustration as people may start arguing over who's translation is the best. We still hope that this can be overcome by the collective wisdom of the community and that the best quality wins.

To thank you, here is a few more pictures from Trucks & Trailers. Thank you very very much!

Trucks & Trailers translation milestone

Today we'll be launching a testing stage of the community translation effort. We need to find out if the crowd-sourced translation solution we have chosen is really as good as we hope it to be.

This stage is invitation-only, based on this test we hope to be ready to invite anybody willing to participate to join in eventually. We should know more next week.

We'll be sending invitation e-mails later today. For now, here is a few new pictures from T&T...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

ETS2 picture of the day

We are very busy today to write much info on the blog, but we thought another nice picture may make your visit here worthwhile.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The power of the community

For several months, we have been trying to get in touch with Brazilian game distribution companies. We are well aware that our games have many fans in the country. After all it's not such a surprise - Brazil's transportation industry is huge, and it is a sure inspiration to find interest in games about trucks.

For a company our size, it is not easy to get noticed and get people to listen to us. Truck simulation games are truly a small niche in the eyes of the big publishing houses. Until now, we did not have any success in establishing contacts in Brazil. The language barrier makes things complicated, and sending e-mails to publicly available contact e-mails just did not bear any fruit.

Enter Brazilian fan community - you must have noticed them actively participating in the discussions on the blog lately. We were bombarded with messages and e-mails from fans urging us to act, and we thought to ask back for help - to help us identify the right publishers and their contact info. But it took even more - and we would like to thank Vinícius for making some phone calls to dig deep and persuade one of the Brazilian distributors that our games are worth paying attention.

So now we have a solid contact, and we started preliminary discussions already - hopefully our games will eventually find their way on the retail market in Brazil. Thanks Vinícius, we owe you at the very least a free game!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Interview for

Short interview with SCS Software's CEO:

The interview is translated into Brazilian Portuguese, but Rafael was thinking of all the international readers and the original English questions & answers are left at the bottom.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Trucks & Trailers translation

Progress update: We hope to be able to launch the translation project by the end of next week at last, as we are still putting finishing touches on the base English language texts.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Where are we?

Today we have another pair of screenshots from a city we are adding to Euro Truck Simulator 2. You couldn't yet drive on this particular piece of road when the ETS2 project started, it has been opened relatively recently.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Your help with translations

We are really overwhelmed and humbled by the response of the community. We are now very confident that this is going to be a viable way to localize our games in better quality and into more languages than we could have imagined. Thanks to everyone who volunteered, and please stop posting your e-mail contacts here in the blog comments, you really do not want to be a prey for spam harvesting robots. We will be launching the translation project in a few days, and of course you will all learn of it right here on the blog. Thank you again!

SCS Software's main website redesign

We have just unveiled a refresh of our corporate website at Of course for the active fans to keep up to date on daily news, it is more important to follow this blog, our Facebook and YouTube channel. However making a good impression on newcomers to truck simulation games genre cannot hurt either with a cleaner look of the primary web.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Crowdsourced translations

We have an idea that we would like to discuss with you.

In the past, we have paid significant amounts of money for localization of our games. Just translating German Truck / UK Truck generation games into 12 languages cost us about the same as a full year salary of a member of SCS Software's team. Even after the huge expense, there were still several important languages left out, so many of our fans and customers had to play the game without official support for their native language. We also heard complaints from some of you about the quality of the translations. It may be a better idea to spend the money on extra art or extra features and employ another designer or programmer.

What if we asked you for help? Would you be ready to donate your free time to help us localize Trucks & Trailers (which is not so much text), and ETS2 later (which will be quite a lot of text)?

There are technologies out there to facilitate the job, for orchestrating the crowd-sourced localization. Technically, multiple people could even work in parallel on translating to the same language, to distribute the burden. With voting on quality of other people's translations sentence by sentence or word by word, the system should even catch any mistakes.

With your help, we could hopefully cover more languages than we would dare to spend on with the usual approach, and make the games enjoyable for more people around the world.

Chances are our strong community would come up with much better translation than even profi translators who are never knowledgeable enough about transportation industry. What do you think?

Meanwhile, to satisfy your hunger for images, here is a couple of work-in-progress screen grabs from the Euro Truck Simulator 2 again, this time from the UK.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Truck physics

We wanted to show you more than static pictures for a change today, but recording, encoding and uploading the video has taken quite a while.

Here is a look behind the scenes, into the developer's kitchen - our test bed map for vehicle physics development.

This is our testing grounds used by the programmers for constant physics tweaking, you won't find it in the final game.

No need to comment again on missing wipers or mirrors, we know about it, it's a known limitation of the test setup. The user interface code and loader code for truck parts setup is still not accessible in this branch of the development codebase.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Trucks & Trailers and stuff from ETS2

Here is a set of screenshots from T&T which reveals quite a bit about Euro Truck Simulator 2 actually. Both games share many assets, not just vehicles, but also elements from the world.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Where is this place?

We have another riddle for you today! We are sure there are people among the readers who will be able to recognize this place being constructed for Euro Truck Simulator 2...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Machinery to spice up the world and cargoes

Our 3D designers are always very busy, there is so much more that they need to build than just the trucks. The world of Euro Truck Simulator 2 needs tons of props to feel populated and diverse. Here are a few examples of new models - heavy machinery that you may be able to see along the roads. Also they should make an interesting cargo to transport on a flatbed from time to time...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Trucks & Trailers & the last few weeks

The clock is ticking, and the deadline that we have committed to is fast approaching - we need to finish the work on the game quite soon. We still have a lot of ideas on how to make the game better and more fun to play and replay, but at one point we'll need to say "enough" - this is good enough for version 1.0. The game has already been announced for release into the retail chains by our territorial distributors, and we had better deliver on time.

Depending on how well you guys receive the game, we are thinking of reserving some capacity for adding new features to the game post-release. Not just bug fixing, but actually supporting the game with major new features. Some of the things we would like to try in the T&T setting are just too tempting. We may not be able to get them into the initial release of the game, but we may develop them over time. Now let's just hope that the game will not bomb in sales - we would be in trouble and less inclined to invest more time and effort (=money) into the project.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Trucks & Trailers & pedestrians

Today's screen is from Trucks & Trailers. As you can see we are using the game as a sort of laboratory for experimenting with humans in the virtual world. Especially the city scenes look way more natural when they are not barren of all life any more.

It is still too early to come to conclusions regarding presence of people walking or riding bicycles in ETS2. We would need to make sure that the player can never hurt them - to keep the game's parental rating low. This is an important factor for a game that's supposed to be played by boys aged 7-10!

Monday, April 11, 2011

French toll road

A couple of new pictures from Euro Truck Simulator 2. This is from a place where a local road is about to connect to the highway.

As we are trying to portray a sizable part of Europe, of course the backbone of the road system in the game must be the major highways. However, we are also trying to spice up the game with a sampling of local two-lane roads to give the player a taste of both.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Trucks & Trailers at Transport 2011

The biggest Scandinavian transportation show of the year is over. We have a few pictures to share with you, showing people enjoying alpha version of T&T.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Another cabin interior under construction

Even if it's still untextured, it is most likely very easy for you to guess which truck this belongs to!

We are now in the review stage of geometry submission for this new 3D asset. Already, there are several man-weeks spent on the work; between research and actual 3D model construction. Still some more weeks ahead of us to finalize everything. In the end, a truck interior may take up to two solid months of a senior 3D artist's effort to build the model, animate the levers and dials, and texture the cabin.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Still working on trailers for ETS2

Our work on refreshing the trailer fleet for Euro Truck Simulator 2 is still under way. Today we'd like to present you the current progress on another trailer.

Please keep in mind that whatever you see here on the blog is still subject to change. While we are trying to approach as many companies in transportation industry as we can to get them involved and to kindly allow their brands to be present in the game, we are not always 100% successful. We will keep trying, but it is inevitable that in the end, we may have to "invent" fantasy brands or even change some designs as we will not be able to use real life originals.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Interesting perspectives on the blog

Google's Blogger service has a cool new feature - alternate views of the blog. The condensed, picture-heavy representations of SCS Software's blog's content across time and across topics offer tasty surveys of things we have shown through the months, literally at a single glance.

Here are some of the views: Mosaic -Flipcard - Snapshot.

To HDR or not to HDR

One of the benefits of the new renderer used in Euro Truck Simulator 2 is the ability to use High Dynamic Range (HDR) internally - basically work much better with light in the scene.

We are still learning how to use this new technical feature for the right artistic effect, but the early results are promising. Just check out this screenshot comparison - it's the same scene, once taken with forward renderer with the old light method, and once taken in the new deferred renderer with HDR enabled. We still keep the functionality in the engine to switch between the various methods simply by changing a variable value, so it's very easy to do performance and visual quality comparisons.

The new method screenshot may be a bit over-saturated, but it's still work in progress, we keep tweaking the parameters. The promising thing is that we'll be able to portray the "mood" of the weather and time of day much better - to use high contrast on a sunny noon versus soft shadows in the evening etc. So the world should feel far more vibrant and alive through the day and night cycle than with the relatively flat colors range that we were limited to with our older games.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Transport 2011

Another little step in our effort to establish transportation industry relationships - alpha version of Trucks & Trailers is going to be shown in playable form at Transport 2011, major transport exhibition in Denmark. The exhibition is taking place in the city of Herning, in the middle of Jutland, Denmark, this week from April 6th till April 9th.

This event is of course visited mostly by transportation professionals, not by gamers, so industry decision makers will actually be the first to get a taste of our little sim. The game is going to be shown at the booth of Dansk Transport og Logistik and the plan is to have a large screen at the DTL booth with Logitech G27 installed and people invited to come and sit behind the wheel and show their skill.

We have first configured the G27's buttons on the shifter to work as splitter on, splitter off, high range, low range, but in the end most likely for the purpose of the exhibition a simplified shifting scheme will be used.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Trucks & Trailers images

Time for a change of topic - our second game under production - Trucks & Trailers - also deserves our attention!

These are not gameplay images, the camera is revealing a couple of sceneries in the game. The environments are just set pieces of course, in most challenges, the game takes place in rather confined areas. Unlike Euro Truck Simulator series games, Trucks & Trailers is not about long haul deliveries, it's about the fine art of manipulating tractor+trailer in limited space under pressure.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Map Research & Development

Here is an example of early stage work on a new asset for the Euro Truck Simulator 2 map, based on research pictures that we keep gathering all the time.

Can you tell the location?