Thursday, December 31, 2015

American Truck Simulator Bonus

American Truck Simulator will be released simultaneously in retail and digital channels on February 3, 2016. But that's not "news" any more - hopefully you have the date marked in your calendar already! ;-)

To make as big a splash as possible during the release week - to place high in the best-selling chart and to make an impression on games industry press this way - we would like to create a sales spike just after the game starts selling. We will depend on our fan community to achieve this; when we were thinking on how to catalyze things, we came up with an idea of a little bribe bonus.

Here is the deal: Go to the American Truck Simulator Steam page and choose "Follow" to make sure you get all the important announcements through Steam's Friend Activity feed during the period leading to the game's release.

By getting as many people into our dragnet as possible, we hope for a bit of snowball effect in raising the awareness of the game's impending release - not just among the hard-core fans, but also in general gamer population.

In exchange for the "follow," we are ready to give you an exclusive gift: a set of unique Steampunk-themed truck paintjobs. It's perfectly OK if you buy the game in a retail box or any alternate digital channel - so long as you follow the game's official Steam community announcements and activate your game on Steam during the week after its release, you are eligible for this bonus.

Here is a couple images to whet your appetite:

Saturday, December 26, 2015

SCS Blender Tools - Full Set!

Today we would like to announce the release of SCS Blender Tools version 1.0.

After some two years of hard work, the alternate toolchain for modders now comes with pretty much the same power and flexibility as our internal Maya-based set of tools. It now supports complete creation of any type of items: trucks, ambient AI vehicles, models, prefabs with support of all possible locators including AI traffic lines, you name it.

Up until now, modders were able to pull off some incredible things, thanks to reverse-engineering our formats and creating powerful tools on their own. It is always exciting for us to see so many great mods that have been released, and yet more are still appearing. Admittedly, we are coming quite late to the party now; three years after ETS2 was released. So why did we even bother?

First of all, we really believe that our Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator games have a lot of longevity in them. We definitely plan to improve and enhance them for many years, and with the World of Trucks connecting them eventually under one umbrella, there are still huge opportunities for new exciting mods to appear.

However, even more importantly, we would like to explore new opportunities with User-Generated Content. It is a great inspiration for many game developers to see what Valve is doing with their games like Counter Strike: GO, Team Fortress 2 or Dota 2. Their ability to cooperate with fan community and to integrate UGC is fabulous.

With upcoming support through Steam Workshop - yes, here is a little pre-annoucement right here! ;) - we would love to find a way to invite the best mod content creators to offer their creations through an official channel, or possibly even to pursue a business model that would allow for it to become a part of the standard game content. But to even start thinking about it, we need to make sure that such user content is authored and maintained through a standard tool, a tool which we have under control, which we can update whenever needed, a tool we ourselves are comfortable using. Modders know that our game formats are sometimes changing when we need to make room for a new feature, requiring re-touching and re-exporting of older models. Waiting until (and if) a 3rd party tool support catches up with our changed formats is simply out of question for content that should be working immediately after we update our game. So just to open the gate for officially supported mods, we do need a set of official and well-supported tools.

Enter SCS Blender Tools version 1.0.

Since the previous release of Blender Tools which included Full Truck creation pipeline, the following items had been added:
  • Extensive shader preset library covering all player needs
  • Complete support for Prefab Locators including import/export
  • Material Aliasing implementation
  • Material Flavor system implementation (less shader presets, bigger shader repository)
  • New system for printing warnings and errors in 3D viewport (no need to check console result for warnings)
  • Shaders color management overhaul giving quite same result in Blender as in game
  • Vertex color alpha support as additional vertex color layer
  • Custom normals import
  • Proper handling for meshes with back faces on import
  • Proper handling of initially scaled bones
  • Preview of textures when user is selecting them in file browser

To Get You Started

GitHub Wiki

Wiki is probably the most important place for SCS Blender Tools knowledge base. There you will find the steps you need to take to begin using the tools. You can also find the download links for SCS Blender Tools. And there is even all the source code of the tools, right in the open, which could be quite interesting for the coders out there:


We have created a special forum branch, dedicated exclusively to the SCS Blender Tools. If you feel you found a bug in the tools, or want to ask something about them, or share your knowledge with the other people just getting started - this is the place to be. We will be monitoring the forums and hopefully providing some guidance, but again, we do not expect to be able to respond to everybody and to every cry for help.

ETS2 web, mod page

In case you forget all the links above you can always start with the modding section of the Euro Truck Simulator 2 web page. The links there should guide you not just to SCS Blender Tools but also to all modding guidelines paramount for successful mod creation.

We encourage you to import and check all the models on your own. Now all you need to start is a bit of knowledge of Blender!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Greetings Truckers!

Already today we would like to wish you Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year 2016!

Many of you are asking if we are doing a special event of any kind again at the end of the year. Unfortunately, we have not managed to get it ready in time. Over the past few months we have been working on a new World of Trucks functionality which would enable us to do Special Events on a more regular basis. It's something that you look forward to, but we still need more time to spend on this feature.

However, we are not ignoring the special time of the year completely! As of now, a little game update is already uploaded to Steam, it's about to be distributed through our regular Updater for non-Steam edition users, too. It contains a brand new, cheerful in-game scene for the main menu "desktop" screen with a Christmas motif - actually the very scene which you can see on the image above.

Let us thank you sincerely for staying loyal to our truck sims and following us on blogger, facebook, and twitter, and watching the movies on our YouTube channel.

Next year should be a good year for fans of our games - we are going to bring you tons of new stuff, not only for Euro Truck Simulator 2, but now for American Truck Simulator as well. Although we were a bit delayed in our plans, there are also some more interesting vehicles to be introduced to our game universe. We can't wait to tell you more about it soon.

We don't say goodbye yet though. We plan to to post a couple of updates before the end of the year here. There is a couple of additional exciting topics to discuss. Stay tuned!

Friday, December 18, 2015

American Truck Simulator Release Date

At last, we are ready to commit to an official release date of the first edition of American Truck Simulator; the game will hit digital and retail stores on February 3, 2016.

As the readers of our blog will no doubt know by now, this release will be just the first step on the road. A couple of trucks and the state of California that we are bringing you with the base game release is only a fraction of our grand vision - to cover all of North America eventually and to chase every relevant truck manufacturer for a license to allow us to include their trucks into the game.

Well, we have to set on the way, and this is where we start. Hold on tight!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Soundscape of American Truck Simulator

One of finishing touches that we are currently working on for the initial release of American Truck Simulator is integration of enhanced prefab sounds. We want the "soundscape" of the game to feel more authentic. Different sfx can play depending on the changes of day/night cycle.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Server Overload Emergency!


It's not usual for us to publish two blogs in a single day, but it turns out that we need to apologize.

World of Trucks Contracts are more popular than we anticipated, the rate of registrations is currently overloading our server CPUs. We thought the Open Beta lasted long enough for us to understand what we can expect when going live, but obviously we still have some stuff to learn!

We are considering alternatives fast, but at this point, please be patient if World of Trucks might become unresponsive.

ETS2 Update 1.22 available now!

At last we have reached the end of a long but extremely helpful open beta period for one of the largest game updates so far. We are happy to announce that ETS2 update to version 1.22 is released.

Over the period of the last two weeks, over 22500 people participated in our open beta. Over 85000 World of Trucks contracts were completed. The feedback was great, plenty of issues have been spotted and fixed or polished. Thank so much to all beta participants!

Let's do a short recap of major items that made this update:

  • World of Trucks Contracts feature - now you able take jobs from the World of Trucks website
  • Tire decals coloring
  • Simulated tire grades based on European tire grading system (rolling resistance, wet grip, noise levels)
  • The paint shop was integrated into the standard truck configuration
  • Improved truck's chassis geometry by adjusting fifth wheel position for most of 6x2, 6x4 chassis's to decrease under steering under full throttle
  • When clutch axis is not assigned for H-Shifter transmission, truck will handle clutch itself (much like sequential transmission)
  • When shifter layout is named (new attribute "name"), the name string is shown in game for better recognition                   
  • Hired drivers are more efficient when equipped by good truck
  • User defined limit for length of generated jobs in the offline economy (g_job_distance_limit)
  • User defined LOD distance for pedestrian, traffic and parked cars; multiplier of default distance (g_lod_factor_pedestrian, g_lod_factor_traffic, g_lod_factor_parked)
  • Config for disabling "Autoparking" dialogue (g_adviser_auto_parking)
  • Config for disabling Route Advisor popups when hidden (g_adviser_keep_hidden)
  • Fixing missing world on low-end GPUs on OSX
  • Improved physics and stability of trailers (disconnected, parked, AI)
  • User defined traffic density, defined by multiplier to default (g_traffic)
  • Improved simulation of suspension (leaning in curves or when accelerating/decelerating)
  • Improved navigation, lane switching, spawning and obstacle checking
  • New sounds for Volvo FH16 Classic
  • New sounds for Volvo FH
  • Higher resolution textures are used on models in UI screens regardless of the graphics settings
  • Redesigned job and time widget on desktop
  • Day/night effect switching for movers and walkers

As a little gift to the numerous owners of a wide range of our DLCs, in the next day or two we are going to enhance the Christmas Paint Jobs Pack and Ice Cold Paint Jobs Pack with a new dashboard toy and cabin decoration each. If you also own Cabin Accessories DLC, these new "toys" will be unlocked and accessible now.

Here is a screenshot of the new cabin decorations in action...

Again, great thanks for supporting us during the open beta period. Now turn your engines on, World of Trucks Contracts are waiting for you!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

World of Trucks Contracts questions answered!


Since the start of ETS Update 1.22 open beta, we have received plenty of feedback from you concerning the new External Contracts feature and more. We would like to answer some of the most asked questions.

Before we do so, we would like to remind you: if you opted to participate in the beta and found a bug you'd like to report, we use only one channel to look for such issues - our forum. Please make sure to attach:
  • detailed description of what is happening 
  • game.log.txt
  • game.crash.txt (if a crash had happened)
  • net.log
On Windows machines, all this can be found in My Documents -> Euro Truck Simulator 2 folder. Without those files we aren't often able to pinpoint the exact issue, so such complete reports are greatly appreciated.

Q & A

Q: Why is there the same limit of 6 hours for all contracts? 
A: Right now during the initial tests, we have fixed the time limit to be the same relatively short time window. There may be multiple server restarts during beta updates, and we wanted to avoid frustrating players who are mid-delivery if longer delivery times were available initially. In the future we plan to enhance this functionality, the time limit will be set individually depending on the job. Contract delivery limits are tightly related to implementation of future gameplay, and there are various consequences of what will happen if cargo expires (please stay tuned for that).

Q: I want to drive to pick up my World of Truck job, not be “teleported” to it. 
A: This is perfectly understandable, we aim to make this possible in a future World of Trucks update, for now we have started with the simplest possible "quick job" type of setup.

Q: Are you planning to convert your Single player game to Multiplayer?
A: World of Trucks is envisioned as an optional layer created alongside the existing single player game. We will keep improving the singleplayer experience and add more features and content to the standard game, but we do not want to overhaul it and "fix" what most players would not consider broken. World of Trucks should -eventually - offer an alternate "metagame" with rich - but controlled - player to player interaction, the possibility to form Virtual Truck Companies, and eventually to make it possible to share the same world and make up convoys in a shared multiplayer game. 

Q: The game is enforcing 90km/h speed limit for all World of Trucks contracts. I want to disable it. Why can’t I?
A: As the future of World of Trucks is the same universe shared by many players, we have to make sure all players are on the same footing and have equal opportunities as well as limitations. At the moment we are looking for the right balance between strict control of certain aspects of gameplay and the ability to customize the experience according to player's preferences. In any case, at the core of the game there must be a set of "canonical" rules that everybody will have to adhere to so that there is fair comparison between players and their skills. The speed limiter currently looks like a solid candidate for such a limitation - otherwise people bending physical and legal rules would have an edge over players playing by the book.

Q: Can I change my starting city on World of Trucks? 
A: You will be able to re-select it after Beta. However, you don’t really have to do that. There’s no long-term consequence there, there is no such thing as a wrongly selected starting place. This selection is needed just to start you on the string of World of Trucks jobs.

Q: Why there are no World of Trucks contracts to and from Scandinavia?
A: Currently only the base game is connected to World of Trucks. Please be patient with us, we are already working on the system to allow you to connect Going East!, Scandinavia and any future map DLC’s to World of Trucks.

Q: I’m confused about WOTR Time and Game Time concepts, why introduce another clock if we already are used to how things work with the game time?
A: Based on initial feedback, it looks like we need to improve the presentation of the World of Trucks time in the game and on the site. The whole system is based on real time, not on "compressed" game time, for logical reasons - when there are thousands of people playing the game and sharing the same persistent job data, they cannot each use their local game time to coordinate their activities. And it had better be based on a globally understandable concept of time - like Coordinate Universal Time - rather than something artificial again. So all the servers will be using World of Trucks time, but for player comfort, this may eventually be adjustable to your local time zone, and also we'll try to adjust things to displaying relative time left until a deadline instead of any absolute time listed.

Q: I don't see how much money I get for World of Trucks contracts on the web?
A: What we are launching now is an intermediary step, a hybrid combining the standard single player game with a persistent online system. We will introduce a totally separate economy system into World of Trucks later, using different rates and costs (closer to real world) than what we established a few years ago already for the needs of the accelerated single player game. It may be a little bit confusing right now, as you are receiving in-game money for World of Trucks contracts, but it won’t be so forever.

Q: Why don't I see fuel consumption for WOTR jobs?
A: We are working on it as we speak and hopefully by the end of beta it will be enabled in some form. Proper handling of fuel consumption and associated expenses will be a part of a later stage of development of World of Trucks when we introduce more of VTC gameplay. As of now with any truck you drive, fuel is still consumed, it's just not so simple for us to report it as the online Contract job may be interrupted or even interlaced with a standard single player job.

Q: I’d like to see a map displayed on World of Trucks to help me choose my next contract.
A: We’d like you to see it as well. And we are working on it :).


Q: What happened to Volvo trucks sounds?
A: Currently the sfx are undergoing equalization polish. Especially the in-cabin sound is indeed somewhat in “unbalanced” state. This game update is introducing a new batch of recent real truck sound recordings into the game, things are still a bit raw in current betas.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Public beta of ETS2 Update 1.22 available on Steam
Complete your first World of Trucks Contract now!

Update 1.22 for Euro Truck Simulator 2 is entering Open Beta on Steam today.

The update comes with a ton of improvements and fixes (see below), but for us the central new feature are Contracts - a new kind of jobs available from World of Trucks. During this public beta we will be testing the robustness of our server infrastructure, and watching for errors across the job-dispensing system. As always, we are looking looking forward to your feedback and reports of any bugs you may help us find.

The new feature is implemented both in the game "client" as well as on the World of Trucks servers.

The first thing you will see after accessing World Of Trucks Job Market screen is city selection dialog. Contracts are actually the first in a series of steps to create parallel gameplay to what we have now working in the standard single-player game. Contract jobs are handled separately, your vehicle's position while on a Contract is also tracked and stored independently of existing standard game jobs under way. The Contracts system will let you choose where you want to start your journey in this alternate game experience.

We have received numerous questions on why are we even venturing into this direction when there are so many other game features to implement that we could and should pursue. Looking at Contracts in isolation, they are indeed not a game changer. But as the saying goes, Rome wasn't built in a day.

Our long-term vision is to create a complex new meta-game on top of the existing game with online gameplay, rich economy, RPG elements, virtual trucking companies, and eventually multiplayer support. To get from point A to point B, we'll need to pass a lot of milestones, test out many things, and we would be happy to have you along for the ride.

The current implementation of Contracts is just the first of several steps that we are working on. During the beta period, depending on severity of any bugs discovered, we may touch the core of contracts generation mechanisms. Please be aware that all stats gathered during the beta period will be wiped before the final 1.22 update is made public.

But there are way more changes coming with Update 1.22. Another feature worth highlighting is extension of the simulation to cover European tyre grading system. Along with it comes a little cosmetic improvement that will allow the players to apply color to designated parts of the tyre. In fact this too is only a start of a more extensive push to have richer customization options for wheels, with more cool stuff being prepared for future game updates.

Let's review what we have in store for you...

Check out highlights what wen't into 1.22 Update:

  • World of Trucks Contracts feature - now you able take jobs from the World of Trucks website
  • Tire decals coloring
  • Simulated tire grades based on European tire grading system (rolling resistance, wet grip, noise levels)
  • Modified naming scheme of tires
  • The paint shop was integrated into the standard truck configuration
  • improved truck's chassis geometry and adjusted fifth wheel position for most of 6x2, 6x4 chassis's to decrease under steering under full throttle
  • multiple fixes of trucks models: Volvo FH16 2012, Volvo FH, Mercedes-Benz Actros, Mercedes-Benz New Actros, Iveco Hi-Way, Iveco Stralis, DAF XF Euro 6, DAF XF 105, MAN TGX, Renault Magnum, Renault Premium, Scania R [see extended log]
  • When clutch axis is not assigned for H-Shifter transmission, truck will handle clutch itself (much like sequential transmission).
  • When shifter layout is named (new attribute "name"), the name string is shown in game for better recognition.
  • Hired drivers are more efficient when equipped by good truck.
  • User defined limit for length of generated jobs in the offline economy (g_job_distance_limit)
  • User defined LOD distance for pedestrian, traffic and parked cars; multiplier of default distance (g_lod_factor_pedestrian, g_lod_factor_traffic, g_lod_factor_parked)
  • Config for disabling "Autoparking" dialogue (g_auto_parking_disabled)
  • Config for disabling Route Advisor popups when hidden (g_keep_adviser_hidden)
  • Fixing missing world on low-end GPUs on OSX
  • Improved physics and stability of trailers (disconnected, parked, AI)
  • multiple instances of holes, shadow, vegetation placements [see extended log]
  • improvements in signs fixes in multiple countries [see extended log]
  • many fixes for incorrectly positioned objects [see extended log]
  • various models and prefabs fixes and optimizations [see extended log]
  • User defined traffic density, defined by multiplier to default (g_traffic)
  • Improved simulation of suspension (leaning in curves or when accelerating/decelerating)
  • Improved navigation, lane switching, spawning and obstacle checking
  • New sounds for Volvo FH16 Classic
  • New sounds for Volvo FH
  • Higher resolution textures are used on models in UI screens regardless of the graphics settings
  • Redesigned job and time widget on desktop
  • Day/night effect switching for movers and walkers

For hardcore explorers among you, you are welcome to read our 1.22 Full Change Log

You can find the beta in the public_beta branch on Steam. (Steam client -> LIBRARY -> right click on Euro Truck Simulator 2 -> Properties -> Betas tab -> public_beta - 1.22 public beta)

Please report any bugs you may find here.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Parallel Jobs
Introducing the Concept of World of Trucks Time

Greetings! Today we'd like to cover a design-oriented topic relevant for the upcoming Euro Truck Simulator 2 Update 1.22.

After quite a few rounds of private beta tests and fixes, we are getting close to releasing the first Open Beta of the update to Steam. Along with the release of the Beta, we will roll out the Contracts feature on World of Trucks (as already covered earlier on our blog).

Once you'll run the new version of the game, you will see that we have been through a slight modification of the main user interface "desktop" screen. We have redesigned the job info widget - the element on top of the screen showing you information about your current assignment.

With the addition of World of Trucks Contracts, we now need to provide the player with enough information on the jobs received this way as well as on the regular Freight Market or Quick Jobs supplied by the standard game economy.

In fact, the player can be assigned both type of jobs in parallel. The new Contracts are actually happening "online" - the game communicates with the back-end servers frequently to update the system on each player's vehicle position and situation. Network connections though can be shaky, and the player should also be able to take a break from a delivery easily taking two-hours in real time, so we need an ability to interrupt a Contract (save the player's progress) and resume it later. But the next day, the player may be offline, or just decide to go for a quick normal delivery before resuming the Contract job. So in principle we need to make sure that there can be two concurrent job assignments.

With Contracts (and the fact that they are the first step towards more complex features), we have also faced a new game design challenge - the concept of time in the game. As of now, you were used to the accelerated Game Time (sometimes shortened in the game as G.T.). It's the clock used for the standard-game day cycle, accelerated so that 24 game-time hours take approximately 72 real minutes. We are not going to change the flow of time in regular game, but for Contracts, we are going to introduce a new clock - World of Trucks Time  (you may see it shortened in the game as "WOTR Time", or "W.T."

World of Trucks Time is based on Coordinated Universal Time, a real-world "clock" where 24 hours takes no less then real 24 hours to complete. We use it to synchronize all World of Trucks features - jobs, future economy and player interactions, and upcoming online activities. It is what the servers use internally, but we have decided to also make it visible for the players, so that they can understand what the delivery deadlines are etc. So you will encounter World of Trucks Time immediately when taking your first World of Trucks Contract.

All World of Trucks jobs will be based only WOTR Time limit to complete. Right now during the beta, while we are stress-testing our server infrastructure and sorting out potential bugs, the WOTR Time for job completion will be fixed to only several hours for any job. Once we feel the servers are working as intended even under load, we will further increase the precision of tracking and also have Contracts with a wider range of time limits for enhanced gameplay experience.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Many Projects, One Goal

We are working hard on American Truck Simulator: California, fine-tuning it and polishing the content and features.  You may have seen glimpses of the locations already before in our earlier blog posts, but we thought the couple of panoramas below are still so cool that you will appreciate seeing them...

We have to admit that we have been in the "let's finish it" mode working on American Truck Simulator: California longer that we hoped.

Basically, the "problem" is that we want to give it all to you. Euro Truck Simulator 2 has been great success for us - so we thought that we absolutely should not abandon it - let's continue to improve and expand it! While we are at it, let's venture across the ocean too with American Truck Simulator so that we can make happy more of the global fan base of the truck sim genre. At the same time, we knew that we will need to go deeper - and from this the ambition to create the complementary World of Trucks project was born.

We are adding community features and infrastructure to support implementation of a grand trucking universe with Virtual Trucking Companies and eventually with rich multiplayer. We would also like to introduce more vehicles into our world than just plain semi-trucks, so work has started on adding alternate gameplay and driving experiences into our simulation system. At the same time, we know that we need to keep pushing our graphics technology, there are still many things in our game engine to improve and optimize, and balancing such changes while trying not to break the game mods too badly is not easy at all.

Pursuing all these goals at the same time has been quite a ride. We have more than tripled our head count at SCS Software to over 50 people currently since the days of release of ETS2. While the content teams working on the projects are separate, they share the programming team, and we are still learning tough lessons when it comes to improving our testing and release pipeline.

Sometimes it feels like for every step forward we need to take two back, but we are stubborn and dedicated, and we are confident that in the end we will deliver on all that we have started. In our quest, we feel that quality is the most important thing for you and us. That's why, more often than not, we tend to adjust our plans and sacrifice release schedules in order to stay true to our mission and to build new pieces of the puzzle in a way that they will all fit well together.

Very soon, you will see us take another step with World of Trucks. The first release in American Truck Simulator line is on the horizon, and the team working Euro Truck Simulator 2 has great things in development too for you for the next year. Please be patient with us and stay tuned!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Japanese Paint Jobs Pack Released

We are continuing in our quest - to cover the territories where Euro Truck Simulator 2 has a lot of players - with a new paint job DLC pack. This time we are paying tribute to Japan.

Very surprisingly even for us, the number of activated copies of the game in Japan puts the country into a Top 15 list, so we thought that it should definitely be included.

We would like to eventually cover at least the Top 20 regions, so in the next few months, our players in the Netherlands, Turkey, or South Korea can look forward to receiving a paintjob treatment. At the same time, our goal is to cover Europe for ETS2, surely the European countries where we have a sizeable loyal player base, as we of course understand the complaints from players for example from Italy or Hungary that they do not have their own flags available yet. So more paintjobs are still on the way, and there is also a refresh of the paint job selection user interface screen on the way to make the interface less clumsy when working with a long list of choices.

Some of our fans complain that we pay attention to such unimportant cosmetic stuff (from their point of view anyway), when we should push to include the more important features. At the same time, we get a constant stream of e-mails from players in countries that we do not yet have covered by paintjobs, asking us to finally create their national paintjobs pack.

Rest assured that the work on paintjobs does not detract our attention from any other development projects going on at SCS Software. It is handled by a dedicated micro-department consisting of two talented artists, working at their own pace. It is not a major source of revenue for us, and the pricing policy we have in place makes it clear that we do not plan to get rich selling truck liveries. Yes, every little bit helps, but we see the work on new paintjob packs mostly as a service to our playerbase. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

It's all about the Tyres/Tires

Today we would like to introduce one of the features that you can expect with the upcoming Euro Truck Simulator 2 update 1.22 - Tyre grades. We have already mentioned that we are looking into it in one of our earlier blogs. We are happy that it finally came to its fruition.

Inspired by actual European regulations, we tried to adapt reality to fit our game. All tyres are now graded based on three parameters: fuel efficiency, wet grip, and noise levels. The game takes tyre properties into account, so real life tyre grades correspond with in-game behaviour. Of course by long wear or damage, tyre quality may degrade.

We will now also support different tyre sizes. In the original game, we referred to a tyre (back then actually the whole wheel) just by its name. We are now enriching the simulation to include support for alternate tyre sizes, so the size is added to the naming convention.

While revisiting the tyres, we thought that it would be cool to add support for what we see in the tuning and modding community - tyre coloring. Stock tyres just sport the standard rubber look of course, but for additional tuning effect, the colour of designated parts of a tyre (like the manufacturer names or logos) can be altered. The in-game support is quite comfortable, allowing to choose the particular colour with a comfortable colour picker widget.

We are about to enter internal testing phase of this feature. As usual, before the final release, you can expect a round of Steam open betas - for those of you ready to help us out with community QA, or just cannot wait but experience any new features as soon as possible.

Oh, there is also a new original manufacturer-branded DLC coming, which will greatly expand your tyre choice ;).

Friday, October 30, 2015

Tractor-trailer Challenges

American Truck Simulator is bringing a wider range of semi-trailer lengths compared to what we have in ETS2 now. The longest variants and the overall resulting length of the whole tractor-trailer pose an extra challenge for navigating tight intersections and maneuvering at the cargo drop-off points.

Consider the comparison image above - it's clear that the driver of the big rig on top will have a considerably harder time getting through tight bends or taking a turn on a narrow street. Often the shortest path through a city may not be the best path to reach the destination without risking damage to your semi. The same cargo delivery point which seemed easy with a shorter trailer before can become a nightmare when you come next time with a 53-foot trailer.

A trailer's axle positioning will also challenge the players to expand the skills they are bringing over from driving trucks in Euro Truck Simulator 2. Double axle configurations are more common in the US, and certain configurations of axles will have a different tendency to jack-knife.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

World of Trucks report

We haven't reported much recently about what is going on with our World of Trucks vision. Yet through all our recent releases, in the deepest and darkest caverns of our office, a small team has been integrating networking code, programming the back-end servers, and establishing base economical design structures of World of Trucks. The project is very much alive, although we have to admit that we are slower in being able to roll out the first wave of features than we hoped a year ago.

We are about to achieve an internal milestone at last, and we'll start preparing the first proof of concept test with the World of Trucks community at large. The plan is to provide the facility to take jobs via the Job Market on the World of Trucks website to deliver inside our Euro Truck Simulator 2 game, and have the results reported and stats updated back on the WoTr site..

With such a system in place, we'll open up a route to do more frequent special events (still remember last XMas gift delivery event?). Thanks to a system of events or "quests" provided via World of Trucks, we should be able to spice up the experience for some of our most hard core players who play the game every day. But that's only a start, the "online jobs" system should be at the core of a major upgrade of World of Trucks eventually, providing robust Virtual Truck Companies support.

But for now, let's show you a hint of what's coming in the first wave. We call the new online delivery jobs "Contracts" - you will sign up for them directly from the World of Trucks website. In the current form, the presentation is a kind of mixture between Quick Jobs and Freight Market you are used to seeing in ETS2. It allows for performing the jobs using a stock truck as configured in the standard game, but it doesn't rule out the use of modded trucks. Completing the contracts will also still contribute to your progress through the normal campaign of the game, adding the appropriate XPs and money earned to your bank account.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Halloween DLC revisited

Greetings truckers!

Halloween is approaching, and we continue with our occassional habit of injecting older DLCs with new content. This time, our Halloween Paint Jobs Pack has received two new spooky decoration items for your interior as a bonus: Pumpkin Bobblehead and hanging Evil Bat.

Note: the new interior accessories are accessible only if you also already have installed the Cabin Accessories DLC activating the hook-up points.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Poznań Game Arena 2015

Last Friday we woke up in the middle of the night and drove over 500 kilometers to visit Poznań Game Arena - the biggest Polish gaming trade fair.

Our publishing partner IMGN.PRO kindly organised a gorgeous pre-release presentation of American Truck Simulator at PGA, with a total six stands where the visitors were able to preview the game.

Three of them were equipped with professional driving seats and high end Logitech steering wheels. All of that in order to give the thousands of visitors a chance to experience the driving in the best possible way.

We were positively shocked by the attention paid to American Truck Simulator by the visitors and media, the booth was crowded non-stop. We had an opportunity to answer on microphone quite a few questions regarding topics which are frequently raised by the fan community. We are embedding and invite you to watch a couple of interviews given during PGA which have been already uploaded online.

IMGN.PRO booth was also visited by several renowned YouTubers, including Wujek Bohun - the most recognizable Polish YouTuber focused on the simulator genre. Wujek was very kind to become the host of one of trailer parking competitions taking place in front of an 80-inch TV screen.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Trailer drop-off redesign

Today we would like to talk about a different approach to dropping off trailers at the destination for delivery that we are about to introduce with American Truck Simulator.

We wanted more variety, and implement it in a way similar to what would be happening in a real-world situation. Upon arrival to the destination, you are expected to stop at the gate's activation point (just as you already do when picking cargo in Freight Market). This emulates the dialogue the driver would have in this situation with his dispatcher or the gate-keeper to get instructions on the particular spot or bay for unloading.

The feature is still under evolution as we get lots of feedback from beta testing, but above you can see a possible - very schematic - user interface presentation we are trying now. (So far the feedback is telling us we need to be clearer about the kind of challenge ahead, so we may still improve the user interface.)

In American Truck Simulator, the majority of cargo terminals has been designed to contain several alternate spots for dropping off trailers. Some are easier to manoeuvre into, some harder. The game will select one of the more difficult spots randomly, and this will be the spot at which you are requested to drop the trailer off during this particular delivery. But a fall-back spot will be also offered for the drivers who don't feel up to the challenge (and there will also be an offer to skip any need for parking the trailer whatsoever, just as it was possible anytime in ETS2). There will also be varying XP rewards based on difficulty of the maneuvers needed to park the truck & trailer in the particular spot.

We believe that this added variety will be appreciated by our fans, it is kind of a mini-game inside the game that breaks up the monotony of deliveries that we had in ETS2. In fact if we do see positive feedback from ATS about it, over time we'd like to come and revisit our existing Euro Truck Simulator 2 cargo depots to allow for more spots for trailer drop-off as well.

If you are not in favor of more UI windows popping up on you and breaking your "flow" through the game, there will be a new entry in Gameplay Options to set your preference there - whether you always prefer to take on the more complex challenge - where the company "really" wants it - or just mostly settle for the easiest back-up unload spots.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

American Truck Simulator - Important Security Announcement

Hey Truckers!

We have recently received reports that some websites are claiming to be offering a pre-release beta version of American Truck Simulator for download.

While our upcoming title is currently in testing and polishing phases, please note that we will not be offering a beta or demo version to the public before the day of release.

Any websites that provide links or other options to download the game before the official release are attempting to distribute and install viruses or other malware on your machines. We strongly recommend against downloading any game installers from other sources than links listed on our website, our trusted hosting partners, or directly from Steam.

Be safe out there, and as always keep an eye on our blog for news and announcements regarding our new projects as well as updates for our already released games.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

American Truck Simulator Trailers

One of the many problems we are coping with when building American Truck Simulator is handling the trailers. The regulations for overall tractor and trailer length are mostly stricter across Europe, and this made our life easier when designing the intersections and teaching the AI truck drivers to take the turns there.

In the ATS road system, we are pursuing two goals that are a bit difficult to combine for our tech - including a choice of longer trailers and yet at the same time spicing up the game by having tighter places to maneuver through. We believe that we have come up with the right creative solutions to crack this problem, and we hope that you will enjoy the trailer variety and driving challenge.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Cabin Accessories DLC available now!

We are happy to announce that our brand new Cabin Accessories DLC is available now on Steam.

Accessories is a thematic departure from our usual map and paintjob DLCs. We hope you'll enjoy it, let us know if we are on the right track creating such new content for you.

Along the launch of Cabin Accessories DLC, after a short beta, the 1.21 Update is available as well. This update aims to update the game code for the DLC in order to fully support accessories physics simulation, but it also includes a ton of small fixes across the project.

To recap the update changes:

  • Improved reflections in the cabin interior
  • Fixed spider paintjob from Halloween DLC missing for some variants of DAF Euro 6 cabin
  • Adjusted external interior for Actros 2009
  • Added automatically generated Range-Splitter layout for H-Shifter
  • Improved compatibility with G29 force-feedback
  • Improved sounds of tires and suspension
  • Improved sounds for manipulating blinker and brake sticks
  • Reduced volume of interior stick noises
  • Workaround for missing geometry on low-end Intel GPUs on OSX
  • Fixed possible use of incorrect files after switching between profiles with different set of mods
  • Corrected vegetation sometimes appearing at wrong places in the map
  • The hud mirror switching key (F2) now enumerates all combinations: both off, only far on, both on, only near on
  • Improved road collisions

Friday, September 25, 2015

Cabin Accessories Coming

We are about to launch open beta of another Euro Truck Simulator 2 game update - version 1.21. This is mostly maintenance release, with hundreds upon hundreds of touch ups of the map, improvements in road and terrain collision detection, AI code optimizations and improvements, some tweaks to physics, UI, sounds, and more.

This update also paves the way for a new DLC - Cabin Accessories. It's a collection of practical as well as totally impractical things with which you can decorate the interior of your truck cabin. Showing you the video below is better than trying to describe it in words; all the accessories are physics-enabled...

Update changes are:

  • Improved reflections in the interior
  • Fixed spider paintjob from Halloween DLC missing for some variants of DAF Euro 6 cabin
  • Adjusted external interior for Actros 2009
  • Added automatically generated Range-Splitter layout for H-Shifter
  • Improved compatibility with G29 force-feedback
  • Improved sounds of tires and suspension
  • Improved sounds for manipulating blinker and brake sticks
  • Reduced volume of interior stick noises
  • Workaround for missing geometry on low-end Intel GPUs on OSX
  • Fixed possible use of incorrect files after switching between profiles with different set of mods
  • Corrected vegetation sometimes appearing at wrong places in the map
  • The hud mirror switching key (F2) now enumerates all combinations: both off, only far on, both on, only near on
  • Improved road collisions
You can find the beta in the public_beta branch on Steam. (Steam client -> LIBRARY -> right click on Euro Truck Simulator 2 -> Properties -> Betas tab -> public_beta - 1.21 public beta)

Monday, September 14, 2015

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week

Our fans have kindly reminded us that this week, American Trucking Associations, the largest national trade association for the trucking industry in the USA, is commemorating National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.

These eye-opening figures from an ATA's press release are worth quoting here: "There are over 3.4 million professional truck drivers delivering our everyday needs nationwide. These professional men and women log more than 169 billion miles each year."

The numbers are staggering, but it's only "just" the United States. All around the globe there are millions more truck drivers who all deserve appreciation for their hard work. Without trucks and their drivers, our modern world would be simply impossible. Too often we see that people fail to recognize and appreciate this fact and concentrate instead on some of the negatives that transporting goods and supplies by trucks may bring unfortunately, while so little attention is paid to its critical importance for our everyday lives.

We would like to join the celebration and show you a couple of truck paintjobs that are going to be a part of the initial release of American Truck Simulator.