Sunday, November 25, 2012

SCS Software's old games on IndieGala

For about 12 more hours today, you can buy our ancient games Bus Driver and Deer Drive through This is a unique opportunity to get the games legally on the cheap (pay what you want!), support SCS, and also support a good cause at the same time.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Evolving ETS2

Seeing the initial success of Euro Truck Simulator 2 on the market, we are more and more ambitious in our plans to improve the game in the long term.

We are working on many improvements for the upcoming game updates, and today we'd like to show you a glimpse of some user interface touches that you can look forward to in the next patch: using other currencies when listing expenses and general company accounting than just Euro, and making the information supplied through Route Advisor a bit richer.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Patches Patches

Yesterday's patch wasn't such a smooth ride as we had hoped, sorry. Your response was initially quite shocking for us as lot of problems were reported. In the end, we distilled the problems to a few core causes, and we have worked overnight to provide you with an updated patch as soon as possible. We apologize for the trouble, we were confident that the patch was mature and ready after extended testing, but we still missed some things.

The lessons learned and suggestions for you:
  • Let the patch finish! On some computers it may take up to 10 minutes for the patch to do its job, Windows may even claim that "application not responding" but in fact the patch is taking time to update all files. If you interrupt the patch before it's finished, you will end up with executable files and game data files out of sync, and the only fix will be a complete uninstall and re-install of the game.
  • The patch will fail and mess cracked or altered game files. The patch doesn't just plain copy new executable files or data pack files into the game's folder, it uses the existing files and only changes the inside sections of them which were changed. If your .exe's or .scs'es were in any way altered, the patch will fail, and fail silently - we never tested it against cracked game.
  • Make sure you have enough room on the hard-drive volume where your game is installed before you apply the patch. To be safe, you should have 4 GB of spare room on the hard drive for the patch to do all the changes. In the end you will end with about the same free space, the extra spare room is needed just for the patch operations.
  • The patch may have crashed for people using banned Product Keys, there was a bug in the code which should act "mercifully" on banned keys and only show up the Activation Screen again, but instead the game was crashing. Our mistake for not testing the patch with banned keys.
  • It seems that there may be some mods out there which affect the game save files in ways that make the new version of the game unable to read the save files. If you are using mods, make sure to make a backup of your "profile" folder so that you can safely revert things.
  • The ultimate reason that we need a new patch today is that there were incompatibilities with the patch and certain retail editions of the game, that was a problem we did not catch during testing, but should be fixed with this minor update today.
When things fail still for you and you are in doubt what to do, the solution is to uninstall the game and install a new complete fresh version of the game. Keep an eye on mod incompatibilities, and to avoid frustration of lost game progress back up your game profile.

Get the new patch from ETS2 Update page.

Get the complete new version of the game from ETS2 Download Page.

If you had no trouble with yesterday's 1.2.5 patch, there is no need to update again actually, functionally it's the same game. In fact even with the latest patch the game still identifies itself as version 1.2.5 as we haven't touched the game binary from 1.2.5 to

Also please have patience with the new Asian languages support, the features necessary to make it work in the game are quite new and translations did not have much time to stabilize. Consider it the first step.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

ETS2 patch 1.2.5

You are getting the news first, right here on the blog!

We have the patch up now, initially available through torrent before mirrors come online. Full game installer is going to follow probably only tomorrow, we have accelerated the whole release process to get the patch to you ASAP, and will have to catch up with the other files.

Go get the patch:

Here is the short version of the change log:
  • DAF - added as new licensed truck brand
  • added command line parameter -nodx9ex which disables extended DX9 interfaces for compatibility with Xfire
  • support for Unicode characters
  • support for Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Bulgarian
  • enter your name in profile with non-ASCII characters
  • better automatic save/load system
  • fixes in registration plates for SK, NL, FR, I, S, BE, A
  • recreated lamps illumination of all trucks, trailers and AI vehicles
  • readjusted fatigue simulation
  • new gearboxes for each truck
  • adjusted steering
  • over two hundred indvidual map fixes and prettyfications, fixed weather areas, added new lamps to prefabs
  • several inaccessible roads removed from navigation system
  • a bus added as AI vehicle in traffic
  • improvements of AI handling on prefabs - speed, acceleration, and braking
  • decreased Valiant dashboard brightness
  • route advisor's "running line" corrected
  • added extra tier to progress history - progress is shown up to level 150 now
  • skill screen doesn't pop up on level up anymore if there are no skill points available
  • rain probability slider added to Options
  • truck braking intensity slider added to Options
  • subtle improvements in HDR tonemapping

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Can we climb even higher?

Thanks for the incredible volume of feedback on the previous blog post. I have taken the time to read all of it. I always do read all comments, even though sometimes it can be a pain - it's been quite a lot of reading during the past 2+ years!

Whether we go for paid ETS2 extensions or not, rest assured that we are going to release fixes for the core game for free, and we do not plan to stop just at fixes, we have lots of improvements in mind.

However, we also need to move forward. If we kept improving the game forever and for free, of course we'd make the hardcore players super happy, but while having our development capacity occupied this way, there would be no investment into future projects. One day we'd run out of juice. So finding a viable business model for extending Euro Truck Simulator 2 in parallel to being able to launch new project(s) is highly desirable. You get new content and new features relatively quickly, on the order of months, rather than having to wait for years for a new big game like it was in the case of ETS2. And with crowdsourcing, there is a chance to both have the cake and eat it - we wouldn't have to pick between evolving ETS2 and starting something new, we may have enough resources to grow SCS to pull off both.

Maximizing the revenue from ETS2 is crucial for giving us the strength to invest even more into our games. We are really grateful for your help in spreading the word of mouth and exposing new players to the phenomenon of truck sims. You are fantastic, thank you! We were delighted recently by very positive and thoughtful user reviews on Metacritic and long discussion that the game inspired on hardcore player websites.

We have made it to GamersGate, we have made it to Origin, but one big piece of the puzzle is still missing - making it to Steam in order to get the game in front of millions of its users. I have been bringing the topic up on the blog repeatedly, some of you might be tired of it already, but there are also many who keep asking for news on this topic. Anytime we mention our ETS2 Steam Greenlight campaign, we can see very positive effect on the votes coming in. Just check the graph below to see what the mention earlier this week has managed to do:

We have climbed one more step on the ladder!

I am sure regular readers of this blog who happen to have Steam accounts have all voted long ago, but there are more people coming every day. The "power fans" who have websites, message boards or facebook pages bringing news about the game are also doing a lot to help. Thank you for keeping the Greenlight campaign in focus and reminding your visitors of its potential benefit for the future of truck sims developed by our little company. Valve is going to announce a new wave of Steam-approved games on November 30, can we still make a difference? So please keep the YouTube movies coming, make sure to have your blog and facebook posts reminding your audience about it, there is this whole network of modding sites where tons of players are coming every day, there is Twitter,  there are institutionalized "friends" on services like Google+ or even the very Steam itself... all these and more are channels that can be used to help spread the word.

Thank you!


Friday, November 9, 2012

Not today

We wanted to release the 1.2.0 Euro Truck Simulator update today, but unfortunately we are not yet ready with the patch. While testing the release candidates over the last few days, we kept finding glitches with each new build. We weighted the pros and cons, but in the end we decided that it would be irresponsible for us to risk releasing a semi-broken patch. Please bear with us; we know that many of you are waiting for the numerous bug fixes and optimizations in this game update. The patch is almost here, but at the moment the best estimate for its release is "early next week."

The paragraph above may set negative tone to the comments on the blog, but let us risk opening a different topic.

We are thinking of creating the first DLC for the game - extending the game world by about a dozen cities. To put this into perspective, our older games like ETS1, GTS or UKTS all had below 20 cities in them, so when it comes to the effort required, this is quite a task, quite an investment.

Would you tolerate it if we put a price on such a game expansion and asked for your money to buy it?

Would you support us if we prepared a campaign on a site like or to help us finance the development and give you a chance to pre-order the expansion through it?

We are at a crossroads now. We are committed to improving Euro Truck Simulator 2 for a long time, but we also need to start new project(s) to keep the business going and have new games to sell in the years to come. These priorities are competing for our focus, for the available man power in the team. Crowd-funding may turn out to limit the risks a lot for us to give us the means to grow the team and grow our development capacity to take on more projects or to build our future games faster and with richer feature set. But it's an uncharted territory for us, and we would appreciate your feedback, so that we avoid costly public relations blunders and disappointments.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Status Update

Lots of points to touch today...

Gaming Press: Euro Truck Simulator 2 seems to have a hard time grabbing attention of mainstream gaming news sites and media in general. Most reviewers learned to ignore small simulation games, and ETS2 is simply getting the same treatment, even though we managed to convert quite a few people to our side who might think of themselves of hardcore gamers (see for example this long thread on Overclockers). The game hasn't even attracted enough reviews on major sites to be given a ranking on (see ETS2 page on Metacritic), strangely there are not even any user reviews there. Metacritic happens to be THE games industry website by which games are ultimately measured if they succeeded or failed critically, yet ETS2 doesn't even register on their radar so far. Looks like a potential task for all of us to help with evangelization of ETS2 to the masses ;-).

Steam Greenlight: Being largely ignored by gaming press may also influence things when Valve Steam team is screening games. Even though the game has scored some very nice positions in recent PC games best-selling charts in several European countries, we still don't have an easy path to make it to Steam. Looks like pushing the game through ETS2 Greenlight campaign is our only hope. Putting a little note into ETS2 in-game news on the Profile screen has helped a bit - we are getting more votes every day now than a week or two agoc- however, we did not really jump much higher in the queue.

Patch: We expect to do the "freeze" on code & assets for the planned ETS2 update tomorrow, and have it tested and ready for release by the end of the week. The patch will include numerous fixes and little improvements, the volume of feedback from you was huge and we managed to address hundreds of little things that were reported, even though there are still hundreds more to look into, not to speak about the big things on peoples' wishlists. Stay with us, there are more updates in the plans, we definitely plan to improve the "core" game for many many months (and in the next blog update we may discuss our options for expansions ;-) ).

New Translations: The new game update will also include several new languages, we are well on the way to add Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese. Recent changes in the game required adding a few new strings, so if you are one of our ETS2 GetLocalization loyals, please check your language again.

New servers: We still don't have much actual sales data available for ETS2 retail sales, usually data are reported quarterly, so we just rely in our guesswork on publicly available best-selling games charts to give us a clue. Anyway the anticipation of success on the market for ETS2 has given us confidence to have two new servers installed at our ISP. In the coming days we plan to finally launch official SCS Software message board to be able to interact better with the fan community and to give you a better way to discuss our games.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Our truck games at Gamex

Just a quick ad if you are by chance living in Stockholm, Sweden area. Our Nordic publishing partner Wendros is showing both Euro Truck Simulator 2 and Scania Truck Driving Simulator at a major games trade fair Gamex this weekend. And what a cool show it must be with a real Scania R-series truck on the show floor for visitors to climb into! Find out more about Wendros at Gamex here.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Automatic Testing

While developing Euro Truck Simulator 2 and specifically the physics simulation in the game, we have been putting a lot of effort into improving our vehicle physics model. Our goal is to make it as close to reality as possible. We have come a long way, but we would like to go even further of course.

Complexity of the physical model is growing - small change of one parameter in the system can often have hard to predict consequences. There are more and more combinations of parameters or configurations which need to be properly tested. Just to mention a few, there are at the moment three different axle configurations, engines with different hp, surfaces with different friction coefficients, we test both acceleration and braking at varying slopes, with or without the trailer which may be of different weight...

If you count all the combinations which should be tested, you arrive to hundreds of thousands, and it has become impossible to test everything traditionally at the hands (and steering wheels) of human testers. Such testing would be too time consuming and hard to organize systematically. Since we want to deliver maximum possible quality, we had to come up with automatic testing.

Vehicle is given prepared instructions and it is placed on a testing map with specific terrain profile. All possible combinations are tested automatically overnight and the results are processed afterwords using Perl scripts. This way we can often catch problems hiding among the many combinations. Although human testers are indispensable, we can conclude that the energy invested into building this test procedure has already paid off.