Sunday, January 31, 2016

Humbled by so Many Positive Reactions

The Internet is really waking up to American Truck Simulator, with first in-depth reviews, videos and streams. So far it looks like we are doing great!
  • 8.5/10 from Destructoid - "A memorable game that's hard not to like and recommend to others." also "With two trucks and two included states, and another one on its way, American Truck Simulator is an investment into the series' future, but it's not a steep one and easily earns its value with what is already presented."
  • 8.0/10 from PC Gamer - "This is a polished, strangely enjoyable simulator that you can easily lose hours to"
  • 8.5/10 from Gamepressure/Gry-Online - "This is the best simulator ever"
Here is a bunch of search links to let you see what is happening live with the game at the moment on Twitch, Youtube or Hitbox.

We have selected a bunch of note-worthy funny, interesting and useful videos for your viewing pleasure.

See, that's why we alternate places for trailer drop-off!

Review and guide for English speaking players

We cannot forget about our Brazilian community

Let's play by French YouTuber - Galax

First Impressions from Keralis over in Sweden

If you are still eager to learn more, don't forget about today's live interview with SCS Software's Pavel Sebor! We understand that Squirrel has assembled a long list of questions from fans about the past, current and future of both American Truck Simulator and Euro Truck Simulator 2. Set your alarm clock to 8 pm CET, 7 pm UK time, that's 2 pm on the US East Coast and 11 am in California.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Official Launch Trailer for American Truck Simulator

We are all living in the world of video, and American Truck Simulator is not an exception for sure. Behold our take at an emotional game launch trailer!

You can expect a ton of fan footage from American Truck Simulator on the Internet in no time after the release of course to help you decide if the game is worth buying. Actually videos and streams will start appearing as of this weekend already - we have begun providing press keys to games media (here is our presskit link). Between the official games industry media coverage and the fan-created stuff, there should be many previews, reviews and honest opinions available to you by mid next week. Here is one already on Rock Paper Shotgun.

Quite a lot of famous Internet personalities on YouTube and twitch scene are also getting press keys from us, so we will see what happens. We are definitely looking forward to learning what the old-guard guys think about our game - the people who have been coming back to Euro Truck Simulator 2 for years, like Keralis, Squirrel, Wujek Bohun, or GeekDomo, people with genuine interest in and knowledge of driving sims, people with strong credit and integrity respected by their fans, people who cannot be suspected of being our secret marketing shills.

One particular event is worth pointing out - after streaming ATS for three days starting this Friday already on his twitch channel, Paul a.k.a. Squirrel will be doing a Q&A session with SCS Software's CEO Pavel Šebor as part of his Sunday Night Trucking stream, starting at 7 pm UK Time, January 31.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Truck Licensing Situation Update

We still owe you clarification on the initial set of trucks shipping as part of the first release of American Truck Simulator. We have been postponing this post until the last minute, as the situation could - and still can - always change (and for the better only now), but we need to be clear at last on where we are.

Over the past year, we have been publishing quite a lot of screenshots and videos showing several in-development truck models. Our fans have quite sharp eyes and take note of all the details, so people are naturally speculating on what's coming based on those shots.

Until recently, we were planning to include at least four trucks at launch, and our screenshots shown over time reflected this optimism. Unfortunately, finalizing the licensing talks and getting all the vehicles past the approval clearance is taking longer than anticipated, and you may have noticed some of those trucks no longer showing in the most recent batches of pictures from the game.

The result is that out of the gate, the game will ship with just two trucks.

Thanks to kind support of PACCAR group, we are happy to confirm the presence of Kenworth T 680 and Peterbilt 579 as part of the launch line-up.

Kenworth T 680 licensed courtesy of PACCAR

Peterbilt 579 licensed courtesy of PACCAR

After the game is released and gets into media spotlight, we will have a very important tool in our licensing talks arsenal - a successful game (fingers crossed) aimed at the relevant market. Licensing talks are often resembling the "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" problem. To obtain a license in a highly specialized field, you just don't walk into a store and get it over the counter. Unlike car manufacturers who have extensive experience with being featured in racing games, for most truck manufacturers this is all unexplored territory. We always need to find a way inside the company to reach the decision makers at marketing/licensing department, and getting our voice noticed is not easy. Just getting the chance to get out point across is often all it takes, and with American Truck Simulator out in playable form and in the hands of customers, it gives us a crucial talking point.

When the game is out on the market already at last, when we can prove its impact on trucking fans at large, we hope for more of the truck manufacturers to pay attention, to realize that it's beneficial for them to participate, and perhaps even push us to hurry so that they are not left behind the pack. We have been through this experience with the launch of Euro Truck Simulator 2, when vocal support of our fans managed to bring the game to the attention to European truck manufacturers missing in the initial version of the game.

We have progressed very well on several additional vehicles, and in the weeks after release, we are confident that will get the clearance to start adding them to the game. We will be adding them for free of course as part of regular game updates, just as is the case with the ETS2.

Kenworth W900 will appear in ATS soon courtesy of PACCAR

Peterbilt 389 will appear in ATS soon courtesy of PACCAR

Now comes the time for an explicit disclaimer - any vehicles and truck brands you will see pictured below this point in text are here only for illustrative purposes, and do not constitute any guarantee that they will be appearing in the game in any particular timeframe. We have implemented them as an experiment when trying to get the door opened. As you can see some of them are already in advanced enough stage to be technically prepared for integration into the game world, yet more are semi-finished and not yet ready for integration with the game engine.

A beautiful truck spotted somewhere north of Los Angeles

A valiant truck driven across a landmark Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

A Maya render of another cool but only semi-finished truck

Meanwhile, we are still hard at work improving Euro Truck Simulator 2. As we are showing a ton of North American vehicles today, we did not want our European fans to feel betrayed. So we thought that a teaser image of a new truck being readied for introduction to ETS2 will cheer them up today.

Renault Range T spotted somewhere in south of France

Thursday, January 21, 2016

American Truck Simulator & World of Trucks

Greetings truckers!

American Truck Simulator is well on its way to the February 3 release, and we thought that it is time to discuss the plans for its integration with World of Trucks universe.

On release day, we are going enable the support for uploading screenshots and setting custom license plates of your truck. We expect that shortly after release we will see a huge amount of great shots uploaded to the service from the game. The editorial team is constantly overwhelmed by the volume of great shots appearing every day, so it is very likely that they will have a hard time picking a few of the best to use for the Image Spotlight feature in ATS loading screens.

But we ALL expect more from World of Trucks eventually than just a glorified facebook for game screenshots, and there is definitely more on the way. Since the release of Contracts feature for ETS2, over 4.8 million tons of cargo had been transported. Contracts are coming to ATS as well, however first we need to verify that the networking infrastructure is ready and will work under load, so it will be rolled out in an update soon after release.

We are currently improving Contracts by adding an ability to list and take Contract jobs directly from inside the game, not having to take a detour via the World of Truck website. It should add to convenience and usability. Even if some features may over time migrate into the game client, it is important to keep them exposed through the website interface, and it will also be the case here. We are going to build further superstructure on top of Contracts while implementing Virtual Trucking Companies (VTC) support.

There is one more little announcement we need to make: We are about to say good bye to an existing World of Trucks achievement - “Refined Identity”. One of the reasons is that we are soon going to introduce more fine-grained privacy settings for users of the website, but actually the main pressure for its removal is technical. As our server infrastructure is growing and we are migrating most of the services to cloud-based back end, the related database queries are getting difficult to perform cheaply and effectively.

As a result, this particular achievement will become a “Legacy Achievement” and it will no longer be possible to earn it. The plan is that as of February 1, we will switch off the detection code for this achievement, so it will no longer be possible to get it. But if you have earned it already or will be able to grab it in time before Feb 1, it will stay in your profile. If you are a bit on the compulsive hoarding extreme collector side of the spectrum and need to have it all, you only have a few days left, so grab it while you still can! :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Real World Inspirations

The virtual world of American Truck Simulator is necessarily depending on artistic license when depicting reality. The scale is much different; when a hundred-mile stretch of real road must be passed in a matter of a few minutes in our game, there is simply not enough room to cram all the real-world bends, intersections, and landmarks into it.

But we try hard to have many recognizable places and details into ATS, to make the world exploration more fun, to make the impression believable.

Here is a few comparison pictures (with real location photos courtesy of Google Maps, thank you for all the help Google!) of some places in the game that represent our approach. We do not want to overhype this aspect though, what you see are carefully selected highlights. The game can of course only manage to take inspiration from a tiny subset of all the available landmarks, we are understandably not covering all of Los Angeles or Las Vegas street by street.

Please check out our American Truck Simulator facebook page if you want to see several more world comparison pictures.

Friday, January 15, 2016

American Truck Simulator Map DLC Clarifications

It's time to respond to the avalanche of questions coming our way concerning our plans for the initial edition of American Truck Simulator and its post-release future.

The day one release will contain the state of California. That was always the plan.

We are happy to confirm that on February 3rd, we will also have the state of Nevada fully ready for release. We were still not sure about Nevada's finish-line when the game box packaging design was being finalized, so the boxes sitting on retail shelves will put the spotlight on California, but there is actually more coming your way right out of the gate. In short, DLC Nevada will be a free game update for everyone, no matter where or when you will have bought the game, available immediately on official release date.

It is also public knowledge by now that we are hard at work on the state of Arizona. On the packaging of the retail box, there is actually an explicit statement that DLC Arizona will unlock for owners of this game edition when it's eventually finished. We are delighted to confirm that Arizona DLC will also be a free game update for everybody. You will just have to wait for it a little bit longer, this part of the world is still under development.

You do not really have to worry about the particular channel where to purchase the game, whether it's on Steam, in any other digital store, or in a bricks-and-mortar shop, the playable content will be the same for everybody.

Actually, we should also mention that next to this base release, several retail publishers have decided to also offer a richer (and more expensive) edition of the game on release, calling it Collector's Edition. These bigger cardboard boxes are surely nicer, they contain a cool selection of additional merchandise items, so it would be for example a very cool birthday gift with extra value. But when it comes to the game itself, the installation media is the same, and the same set of DLCs will be unlocked for those buying this special edition of the game as will for people with the regular edition of the game.

Recommended price of the game is going to be $20/€20, though it is to be expected that for alternate currencies, some local market specifics and the need to display a nice round figure may cause slight variations.

We surely do not plan to stop working on American Truck Simulator world with Arizona. However, please be aware that the road ahead of us is long, and it will take us years to cover the continent. We will continue to add features to the game with regular free updates, but most further map expansion DLCs, if not all, will be paid. We have had to pick a business model allowing us to build more than ten times the amount of content compared to what we are launching with.  If you are looking forward to drive coast to coast, you will not be able to do that now, and it will cost you more eventually than the price of the initial purchase.

It would be great to get the chance to reach the East Coast, it would be fabulous to be able to push north towards at least 60 degs latitude and south towards the Equatorial. But ultimately, it is up to you, our fans, if this happen - you will vote with your wallets. We expect to get the right guidance from you on future growth of our team to handle the new opportunities and challenges.

Thank you for your patience and support!