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.