Tuesday, September 25, 2012

MAN TGX wallpaper

As promised yesterday, we are happy to give you another cool computer desktop wall-paper with a licensed truck from Euro Truck Simulator 2 here on SCS Software's blog.

Click this link to download the MAN TGX wallpaper.

Our adventure with Steam Greenlight is taking interesting twists and turns. When we last mentioned Greenlight here on the blog, we were excited to see quite a burst of new votes on that day (see the picture below).

We were hoping to witness the game surging to a higher position, however things got quiet two days later, in fact too quiet. The influx of votes has slowed, and the game has lost a place and is now at #41. We don't think it's a good idea to bother you with this campaign in every blog post, but if it works and always sparks a new wave of votes, we may still do it from time to time. Most of you have had a plan for means of obtaining (hopefully purchasing!) a copy of the game before the possibility of Steam even came up, so you my not care. But for us, having the game appear on Steam could really help get it in front of a much larger audience than just our current fan community, to increase the sales, and to get better funding for future truck simulators.

So if you are a Steam user who just bumped into our game for the very first time today randomly visiting our blog, our long long-time fan who was still sitting on the fence, please consider spending a minute of your time and vote for ETS2 on Greenlight. Thanks! (And tell your Steam friends to do the same ;-) )

Monday, September 24, 2012

Gorgeous YouTube movies

Two great videos drew our attention today. We thought we'd share them with you, along with saying big thanks for so many offers to help with ETS2 translation. We apologize that we cannot really accept you all, on some languages we have been approached by 30+ people ready to help. It's humbling really. We have covered several languages were well it seems, though we might still need a bit more help with Scandinavian languages where we are pressed for time.

Now on to the movies.

The first one is recorded in Scania Truck Driving Simulator, and it's really so stunning.

The second movie is from Euro Truck Simulator 2 beta test, and again it's spectacular film-making.

Thanks guys for helping us with so great promotion of our games on the Internet!

PS: tomorrow, a new wallpaper.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

ETS2 Translators needed

Community translation of ETS2 has been under way for some time behind the scenes already, and several languages are now reported as 100% complete. We have privately invited major contributors from our previous translations, and they are doing a fabulous job.

We are still tweaking things extensively in the game based on tester's feedback, so strings are changed or added frequently. Our translators fortunately are quite patient with us so far when "breaking" their translations this way.

Unlike with the previous projects, this time we do not intend to open up the translation system to just anybody. It was causing problems with too much "noise" and sometimes even malicious abuse of the system.

We are now ready to bring in more translators for languages which haven't got enough contributions yet, and we would kindly like to ask more of you for help.

The languages we need help with are: all Nordic languages, Spanish, Portuguese, Ukrainian and Balkan languages. We DO NOT need any help though with German, Polish, Hungarian, Czech, Romanian, Silesian (yes, we are ready to cover even "small" languages if we find dedicated contributors, Basque anyone?), Italian, and French. We are setting the per-language maximum to 3 people to allow for productive discussion in smaller circles of dedicated people.

What we are looking for: mature approach, solid language skills, excellent English language comprehension, and team spirit. Experience with previous community translations a plus, provable history of community participation a big benefit, too.

What you are getting in exchange? This is a volunteer activity with no compensation, so the most you can get is feeling good about helping your favorite game to be available to players in your own language. We have a history of expressing gratitude to people helping us out by giving out free activation codes for our games (for Scania TDS help we have gifted over 100 free copies of the game), but this is really up to our discretion if we see that the quality (most important criteria) and the overall effort really were a solid contribution.

How does it work? Take a look at Scania TDS translation project.

Please do not respond to this plea here in the comments, DO NOT expose your e-mail or any other contact info here on the blog. If you have read and taken in the whole info above and still want to help, get in touch with us instead on our mail info at scssoft dot com.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Success at eleventh hour

Yesterday afternoon we have successfully concluded our talks with Renault Trucks, yet another major truck manufacturer, bringing the total of licensed truck brands in ETS2 up to three. Yeah, still long way to go, but with Euro Truck Simulator 2 on the market soon, chances are the other big names will finally take notice, too.

We are happy to give you a new wallpaper to celebrate the occasion!

You can download the wallpaper in several resolutions here.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Euro Truck Simulator 2 Wallpaper

We have prepared a cool ETS2 desktop wallpaper designed in the same style as the official game packaging.

You can download the wallpaper in several desktop resolution sizes from here.

We have a Scania here in the center of the image, but in fact on different markets there may be different (though similarly looking) game boxes. Here are the possible designs that we have offered to our publishing partners to choose from. Logically different trucks may be more interesting to customers in various countries.

A short update on Steam Greenlight ETS2 campaign - we have jumped another place to #40 yesterday. Maybe the mention in yesterday's blog post has made the difference? Anybody still has friends on Steam who were not yet lobbied into voting for the game? ;-)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Development update

We owe you an update on some things happening now which are already frequently discussed in comments.

Truck brand licensing situation is clearing up, and we don't have just good news. Despite years of trying to approach truck and trailer manufacturers, and in some case very extensive negotiations, we are far from securing all major truck brands. For a long time, we have been showing you in-development screenshots and movies with proper branding. It was a part of our negotiation strategy: to show truck manufacturers how public - our fans - react to real brands in our games. Fans' reaction has been without exception always positive, people are excited about driving "real" trucks - but even that is not strong enough argument it seems. As you may have seen in recent movies and screenshots from the game finding their way on the Internet, we are now in the process of switching back to "Majestic" and "Valiant." The destiny of another major brand still hangs in the balance - after two years of discussions, there are only precious few days to see if the negotiations are concluded successfully at the last minute.

 Steam Greenlight situation is tough, too. We have been giving a good fight, but recently it looks like our little campaign for our fans to vote on Steam is losing steam a bit. It's not a lost cause yet, but our chances of making it into Top 10 anytime soon are not too high. In fact recently the number of votes for ETS2 seems to be slipping compared to the average votes of Top 100 games in the rankings. Here is a screen-grab from current Greenlight statistics available for developers.

We are not losing faith that Euro Truck Simulator 2 can still win your hearts even without all brands covered. The release of the game is only a new beginning, with any luck will be able to boast about good sales numbers, so we may have better arguments to persuade brand owners to join in. We are going to support the game long term with updates, fixes, and improvements, there are exciting things planned beyond initial release.

If you are eager to see some more moving pictures from ETS2, we have created a new Playlist on our YouTube channel with a collection of movies coming out of beta testing. There are 8 videos in it at the moment, but it looks like there are going to be hours of in-game footage there eventually:

ETS2 Beta Testing YouTube Playlist

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Scania Truck Driving Simulator Update 1.5.0

The Scania TDS team has updated the game again, without any fanfare the update to version 1.5.0 has been published on the game's website.

Most of SCS Software's crew is of course going through the crunch time on the final days of development of Euro Truck Simulator 2, but we still care about those thousands of customers who have bought Scania TDS so far. We are committed to supporting and extending the game well beyond release date - and the same and even more is planned for Euro Truck Simulator 2.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Final stretch

Consider it good news whenever you notice lack of updates here on the blog - it just means that we are working so hard and are so deep into high-priority work that we don't even have any time left for creating movies or screenshots. ;-)

This has been the situation during this week - testing and tweaking of ETS2 is consuming all our time. We are close to finish line - our plans call now for releasing Euro Truck Simulator 2 into retail and digital distribution on October 19, 2012. So here you go - here is the date that you have been asking for so persistently!

After leaving you hungry for any news for several days, today we finally have something new for  you. It's an interactive "mini game" on YouTube - actually it's 15 movies linked together, with only the first one being public, the rest you must discover by making choices while "driving."

Monday, September 10, 2012

Scania YETD 2012 With My Own Eyes

It is not a big secret that 99% posts on this blog are actually written by SCS Software's CEO Pavel Sebor. For this post, let me now switch into first person account [click] rather than keeping the corporate "we" line that I have been always using. (Yes indeed, we don't have a dedicated marketing department, we really are a small team trying to punch above our weight.)

This post is not going to be about ETS2, if you are desperate for the news about this game, please save your comment vitriol for some other day. You could be asking why lose time here when SCS should be fully concentrating on getting Euro Truck 2 out of the door. Well, we need to work on our relationships with truck manufacturers all the time to establish, maintain and improve them. Licensing brands officially is definitely not something akin to walking into a store, putting a "brand" into the shopping cart and going towards the check out line. It's always a very individual process, requiring identifying and getting in touch with the right human in the huge company machinery. Sometimes, we don't even get our chance to start with the proverbial 30-second elevator pitch, but other times we do make some traction, and we can't afford to ever let go. In this particular case, the cooperation is really going strong fortunately.

I was always curious to see the Young European Truck Driver finals in Sweden. We spent a lot of effort on Scania Truck Driving Simulator, and I thought that it would be great to witness the event that was the blueprint for one of the key features of the game. I am happy to report that I was lucky to see it, actually I turned this opportunity into a deeply personal test of what kind of impression real trucks can make on very young computer game players. ;-)

Scania is holding an open day event alongside the YETD finals in their factory, and it's really a massive event. Thousands of visitors were expected, and as the weather was very favorable, you can tell from the pictures above that the crowds pouring in were indeed big.

We started the day by taking a tour through the floor of the chassis production factory and checking out some nicely styled pimped up trucks parked along the way to the competition area.

As planned, our Scandinavian publishing partner Wendros had a row of ten computers with large LCD screens and steering wheels lined up under the roof next to the factory hall, and the seats in front of the monitors were constantly occupied right from the start of the event. It wasn't so packed when we first passed by, but later in the day usually each computer would have a little line of people, kids as well as adults, waiting to be the next to play. It was really heart-warming to see such interest in the game.

Visiting the Scania Shop tent felt good too - boxes of Scania Truck Driving Simulator were very visibly on offer among all the other merchandise and in high demand from what I could see.

Further along the way towards the competition grounds, we have admired even more spectacular trucks presented by Swempa.

This cabrio probably isn't meant for everyday haulage jobs, though. ;-)

Finally after some popcorn, games, and quality time spent crawling through the cabins of trucks parked in the open for kids to explore, we reached the competition grounds. I couldn't shake the feeling that I have seen this all before, many times, on my computer screen in the office. This was my final realization that the Scania TDS art & design team at SCS Software truly did a great job portraying the competition so realistically.

I am no expert in photography or movie making, but I did my best recording the very finals of the competition from our seats among the cheering audience. The video is a bit shaky and the perspective not so great, surely Scania will eventually release a much better cut recorded and edited by their professional team. But I still hope that this "personal perspective" may be interesting for some of you, the atmosphere is definitely there to experience.

The final Super Z  discipline turned out the be very dramatic until the very end. Congratulations to Gabriel Warde from Ireland for winning the Grand Prize!

PS: On a related topic - we are ready to release a new patch of Scania TDS, but we are stuck on quite a few languages not having the new texts translated on GetLocalization. Can you help?

Friday, September 7, 2012

ETS2 vehicle registration plates

One wish-list item we can take off the list, a hundred more to go...

During the past weeks, we have toiled on the flexible registration plate system both for trucks as well as all types of AI vehicles. The goal was to represent each country in the game with proper license plates for front and back of vehicles (which usually differ, and not just by color as in the UK). Our previous license plates system was often criticized before for not being good, in fact in the early days of beta test it was the most raised issue for taking away the feeling of reality on the roads. So we decided to listen to player's feedback and do something about it. The new system is very flexible; it's data driven so customizable and extendable, it's procedurally generated so a huge number of combinations are possible, and it's actually better optimized than the old system.


We DO listen to your feedback all the time, you just must keep in mind that the volume of requests for features to include in the game is huge. If we were to grant all your current wishes (and no doubt more will come), we'd have to spend several more years on the game before it's finished. Nobody really wants that, right? ;-) We really need to concentrate now on just wrapping up what we have started already to get the initial release of the game out. We know you are very impatient to get your hands on the game already.

The release date of ETS2 doesn't mark the end of development for the game. Just as with Scania TDS, and if fact even more so, we are committed to continuing development of the game beyond release version. Future updates will not contain just bug fixes if any are needed, but also major feature additions. There are also plans brewing for extending the virtual world - of course we are aware that many of you are not happy that we are not properly covering more of the territory of Europe. It will not be a small undertaking, but with your support, we may be able to gradually grow the virtual world, too.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Scania YETD 2012 finals this weekend

You may still remember our little game Scania Truck Driving Simulator. ;-) By the way a new update for the game is coming with two more Dangerous Drives challenges. (You can also now vote for this game on Steam Greenlight, just as for ETS2)

One of the goals when we created this game together with Scania was promotion of their Young European Truck Driver competition. It was a tough task for us to implement the fine control and detailed truck vs. world collision model for the competition events in the game, but we think we came pretty close to the real thing. The project has been an important stepping stone and great learning experience in our quest to develop the ultimate truck simulator.

This weekend, the genuine YETD competition is concluded at the final event taking place in Södertälje, Sweden. On Saturday, September 8, a crowd of some 10,000 people is expected to show up to cheer for their champions from all around Europe.

SCS Software's CEO Pavel Sebor will also be coming to enjoy the day. If you happen to be a true truck freak, you can see the finals streamed live on your computer, unless you actually plan to come in person. Here is a short video recap of how it looked during the 2010 finals days and the superfinals if you are interested.

Our Nordic publishing partner Wendros will also be coming too, in quite some force. They will bring and install 10 "demo stations" - computers with large screens, wheels and pedals, to run Scania TDS. This should give the visitors plenty of opportunity to check out the game and have fun with the virtual re-creation of YETD, while the finalists will be sweating in the "Knock the King" and other disciplines on hot asphalt. It will be a great event, Pavel hopes to take some good photos and post them on the blog next week.

Let us conclude this post with screenshots from the upcoming Scania TDS update as an appetizer for the patch :-)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Bratislava to Birmingham

We would like to point you to another time-lapse Euro Truck Simulator 2 video depicting a cargo delivery, created by one of our hard-working beta testers. The video is a bit grainy due to high compression rate, but quite cool nonetheless.

Meanwhile, ETS2 Steam Greenlight campaign continues. Don't worry, we are not really adding any zombies ;-)


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Not enough zombies!

Thanks for everyone's support with Steam Greenlight campaign for Euro Truck Simulator 2. We have over 1,600 votes already, and over 50 pages of mostly very encouraging comments.

Still it looks like it might be a good idea to add a few zombies into the game; judging by some of the leading submissions so far, adding zombies could bring us an order of magnitude more votes! ;-). We'll most likely resist the temptation - but kidding aside, this is a cold reminder for us as well as for you our fans that the potential of our truck sim "niche" is really limited compared to mainstream topics that Joe the gamer wants to deal with in the games he buys. The scope, depth and quality of our games are always going to be limited by how much money = manpower we can invest into them; how much money it's possible to make selling them to people willing to buy them. This pool is not that big. Exposure is key to get the game in front of as many eyes as possible.

The push for ETS on Greenlight will definitely continue for some time, nothing is decided yet. We thought that perhaps the fan community can help us even more in this long term effort. The effect of our blog has its limits, the news will get old very quickly. But quite a lot of you are running trucksim-related websites, blogs, facebook pages and message boards. Some visitors may come to you only from time to time, wouldn't it be great to have something permanent on the page to bring their attention to our cause?

We would like to offer you a set of banners and buttons that you can put on your web property to support ETS2. If you like any of the buttons, please use them to link them to the ETS2 Greenlight page. Big thanks!

We have these buttons and banners nicely packed in a ZIP file for download, with version including JPG on black and white backgrounds and PNG with transparency, at several sizes here:


To wrap up this post, we have another YouTube movie for you. This one has been actually recorded over 2 weeks ago, some of the things in the game have been changed since then, and even the game logo in it is now obsolete. But we thought it would be a shame to lose all the work invested into creating the video, we quite like it.