Friday, April 27, 2012

Scania mirrors revisited

There were some complaints from you in the comments here on the blog concerning the shape of the Scania R's mirrors. We take your feedback seriously, and as this particular little detail was easily fixable, we are happy to show you the freshly re-modeled mirrors and a bit of custom tuning.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The map is never big enough

The scope and scale of the Euro Truck Simulator 2 world is the result of a combination of priorities and compromises.

After we finished ETS1, there was a huge wave of feedback asking for "more local roads" - this feedback was really so loud and frequent that we decided to do something about it. There was no chance to squeeze in enough proper non-highway-type roads into a map with the ETS1 scale, we had to go for a more detailed map. We knew we would still be skipping large percentage of highways even with a larger scale map, there is no way would reproduce the real world in anything close to 1:1 scale (not to speak about the implications for gameplay with cargoes taking real days, not minutes, to deliver), but we felt lot more detail was needed.

The scale we decided upon in the end was the scale used in German Truck Simulator and UK Truck simulator "sister" projects. We had built those games to be the starting point for further growth, and this is indeed what the ETS2 world expands upon. Basically we traded detail for coverage. Once you start at a given detail, you can push coverage - the extent of the virtual world - over time, for as long as you can last. But if you start with small scale, there is a hard limit on how much detail can be hammered in. So the trajectory we are following is what was already started some 4 years ago.

At this time, there is over 30 man-years invested into the ETS2 map, counting the map construction itself and building of models and prefabs for the world. We have added new territories of course and added additional polish and roads to the existing areas, but it's a laborious incremental process. The map is a huge investment of time and money, really major risk for us. We have poured in everything we have ever earned from the earlier games.

Of course, now that we have better road coverage, there is huge pressure from you to add complete territory of Europe, and soon. Unfortunately, even though we would love to have all of Europe covered, this is going to take a lot more work and time to achieve. You can view ETS2 as a milestone towards this goal - we hope that the game's sales will help us finance further evolution of the Euro Truck concept and the world in which it is taking place.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Renault Magnum sound recording session

The following footage was recorded exactly two weeks ago already, finally we got around to make the final cut from the material on our camera that day. We had a great time as always, if it wasn't for the damn banana...

As you can see this time the weather wasn't really so co-operative, we had to deal with occasional rain showers, but we still managed to record all the sounds we need for Euro Truck Simulator 2.

Big thanks to Renault Trucks ČR for lending the vehicle to us!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Scania Truck Driving Simulator

The fact that we are working on another truck sim game in addition to ETS2 was one of the worst kept secrets. It was supposed to be under wraps until the very last moment, but such is the life of the games retail market. The publishing and distribution people need to work with retail chains to position any game in the development pipeline way ahead of release, and so the information and speculative release dates kept leaking left and right.

So what is this game and why does it even exist when you could argue that we should focus 100% on Euro Truck Simulator 2?

The project is the result of a very productive dialogue we have started with the great guys at Scania CV AB. You could have read our grumbling repeatedly here on this blog about how difficult it is for the company our size to even get noticed by the big guys, be them truck and trailer manufacturers or logistics companies. The "serious" industry too often considers games as something controversial and unimportant anyway, and even marketing departments are usually too conservative and concentrated on traditional media to grasp the idea that the thousands and thousand of people playing truck sims are in fact the ideal audience that they could approach through our game.

Fortunately, when we approached Scania about licensing their trucks for our games, this was not the case. In fact we immediately moved on to another stage - discussion on how we could work together on something deeper. And when such an opportunity appears - you just don't want to let it pass. This is a chance for us to learn a lot, and also a chance to get our production recognized in the transportation industry in general. We are in this for the long run (or at least so long as we have enough paying customers), and building industry contacts and experience is crucial for us in our quest to build an ultimate truck simulator combining best of both words - interesting for a gamer as well as a professional driver.

Scania Truck Driving Simulator is only about three times the depth and scope of Truck & Trailers, so still a relatively small game, but the variety of activities available in the game makes it way more balanced product. There are driving-school type of tasks in the game for a warm up. There is a big segment devoted to emulating the hard challenges in Scania's Young European Truck Driver competition (BTW you should really check out what the masters behind the wheel are capable of, just watch a bit of the previous YETD finals). But there is also a lot of fun-to-drive realistic-looking scenarios included, plus a sizable map just for free roaming deliveries. This game is packed with hours and hours of interesting driving for sure. Plus our very first step towards making our games networking-enabled, with the possibility to compete (and see other people's driving performances) over the Internet.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Car Delivery

While testing a part of the almost-finished Euro Truck Simulator 2 map, we took a sequence of cool screenshots showing transition of a late afternoon into a pitch black night. The lighting pipeline in ETS2 graphics engine is much improved compared to our older games as you can see.

(There is still some placeholder art in there, we will be changing the trailer for a more up-to-date car to come out of car plant!)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

There is more than just the macho side of truck driving

We are happy to show you a few pictures with our new driver!

Over time, quite a few readers of this blog expressed their wish to have both gender alternatives covered in our games,  and at last we got around to be able to offer such an option.

The images above happen to be from a project that of course everybody already knows about due to massive leaks of information that should have not leaked, but such is life. We had to stay silent due to contractual limitations, probably perplexing you a bit with all the info circulating out there. Fortunately, finally next week we will have the green light to unveil it officially on our own communications channels as well.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Gas stations again

In our quest to portray the individual parts of Europe covered by the game as realistically as possible, we are trying to bring real world brands into the game. Of course we know that truck brands are the most important for you, and rest assured that we are putting a lot of effort into trying to secure as many of them as possible, but the other building blocks of the game play an important role, too.

Gas stations are a very visible element of the game just as they are essential for any real driver. We think that finding recognizable names in the game would help the players consider our world a lot more believable.

With the help of our Polish publishing partner CD Projekt, we are now in the process of approaching Orlen, one of the biggest refinery companies in Europe. Keep your fingers crossed that we can add another notional brick to the building of Euro Truck Simulator 2. The more such building blocks we can pile up, the higher importance the game will achieve in the eyes public and media, and the better our position for continuing to grow the game in the future.

You can help us here, too - when we show this YouTube clip to Orlen in a few days, it would be great if we could boast about a high number of views achieved quickly, and positive reception from our not-so-small hard core fan community. Would you like to have Orlen, Benzina and Star gas stations in Poland, Czech Republic and Germany? Let us know!

What you will see in this movie is just a quick prototype, to present the potential of the game to feature  the brands. In general whenever we can get a brand owner on our side, we are ready to give them dedicated attention to make sure they are comfortable with the detail and fidelity of their stuff as presented in the game world.

Disclaimer: appearance of real world brands in the finished game is subject to approval of the respective trademark owners and was used solely for the purpose of presenting the potential look-like in the game.