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.