Thursday, March 31, 2016

Game updates need more time in beta

Whenever we go for Open Beta of a game update, we always do it hoping that there are no major problems with the update, that the beta process will be just a confirmation that we are in good shape for official release. So we are not exactly happy that we have already passed two weeks of open beta tests for ETS2's 1.23 and ATS's 1.2 updates. But we never want to compromise quality because of time pressure. We are focused on providing you with game updates which is thoroughly tested and polished. Please have patience with us, cool stuff is on the way with this and more game updates in the future.

Meanwhile the ATS map team is hard at work on Arizona DLC, a free map expansion coming for American Truck Simulator. We are getting a ton of requests to show more of what we are working on. We never want to show it all, generally speaking we want to keep surprises for players during their first experience with a game or a new content update. But hopefully you will enjoy these a few new screenshots showing the new state! As you will see here, we have a few novelties appearing with the DLC release, including new AI vehicles, new roads and intersections...

Friday, March 25, 2016

Mid-America Trucking Show 2016

We have already made a couple of trips across the Atlantic while working on American Truck Simulator, but it's clear that we'll need to be there more often. There is research to do and business to chase there.

There is a major trucking industry event just around the corner which is an opportunity for both - Mid-America Trucking Show 2016 is taking place between March 31 and April 2, 2016, in Louisville, Kentucky!

A crew of six members of our team (including our CEO Pavel Sebor) will be there all three days, easy to recognize with the dark T-shirts featuring American Truck Simulator logo, mostly running around at quick pace with cameras in hand. If you plan to visit the show as well and happen to bump into us, make sure to say hi!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Power of Community #4 - First days of Steam Workshop

We have used the title "Power of Community" a couple of times already in the history of our blog. We think that it is very fitting to use it again.

Within just a few days of launching current open beta of Steam Workshop for Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator, both our games got inside Top 200 list of Steam games with the largest Workshops. Not bad considering the feature is still in beta! So far we have 148 items for ETS2 and 97 for ATS. Some of the mods have been downloaded over 10,000 times.

We were hoping to get the game updates through the beta period quicker, but we are still working on addressing the feedback from testers, so the release may be pushed into next week. Meanwhile, we would like to show you a few great mod samples from both ETS2 and ATS:

It is fun to see members of the community trying to grant the wishes of each other. If you take your time to regularly read the blog comments (we do!), you may have noticed a constant reminder from a reader in Hungary demanding that we release an official paintjob pack, or very frequent demands of the same type from the Turkish fan community. Well, somebody was actually quicker than SCS Software and offered community version of Hungarian Paintjobs and Turkish Paintjobs!

We are happy to reveal that actually official paintjobs packs for both countries are already pretty much completed and waiting for release, which will technically be possible after we get the current game updates out of the door. Here is a couple of teaser shots from the official paintjobs DLCs:

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

American Truck Simulator 1.2 Open Beta

The open beta of the ETS2 update has been live for two days. We want to thank all of you who’ve already participated and given us feedback! It means it’s high time for the ATS beta! Update 1.2 for American Truck Simulator is entering Open Beta on Steam today.

We’re working simultaneously on both ATS and ETS2. The same game engine allows us to make changes to both games in parallel, so some improvements to the game may be familiar to you from the previous blog post about the ETS2 open beta. Among the features and fixes common to both games, you can find a lot of improvements solely for ATS, which we've been working on since the release of the game last month.

The main features included in the open beta are (as in ETS2) Steam Workshop, SCS Workshop Uploader app and Ultimate Wheel Customization. We described them with depth in the previous blogpost.

More Features and Improvements
Here's is log of the additional fixes and improvements that went into this update:

  • Steam Workshop
  • Ultimate Wheel Custiomization
  • Navigation path (red line) can be disabled (option)
  • Disable of hidden Route Advisor popups (option)
  • Autopark feature can be disabled (option)
  • Speeding highlight on Route Advisor
  • Fixed cruise control locked on by retarder
  • Multiple position of engine brake
  • Improved truck stability during retarder usage
  • Keyboard steering improved
  • Speed limits polished
  • Speed limits signs enlarged
  • Stop signs removed from traffic light controlled crossroads 
  • Turn left traffic light added to some crossroads
  • Certified scales are now working
  • Traffic light on interstates removed (where possible)
  • AI improvements
  • Steam achievements for Nevada
You can find the beta in the public_beta branch on Steam. (Steam client -> LIBRARY -> right click on American Truck Simulator -> Properties -> Betas tab -> public_beta - 1.2 public beta). No password is required.

Report any bugs, as usually, on our forum.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Euro Truck Simulator 2 Update 1.23 in Open Beta Now!

We are happy to announce that open beta of Update 1.23 for Euro Truck Simulator 2 is now available on Steam.

We are bringing a lot of changes in the core game; you will find a condensed change-log at the bottom of this blog post. Let us introduce the major additions with more detail:

Steam Workshop

Steam Workshop is a hub which allows simple distribution of game modifications created by community. Thanks to Steam Workshop, you can download and install mods effortlessly from a safe and trusted place.

Here's a short how-to on downloading and activating mods from Steam Workshop:
  1.  Launch the game, go to the "Mod Manager" screen, and click on the "Steam Workshop" button in the top part of the window. The Steam in-game browser will appear and you will see the game's Steam workshop page. 
  2. Go to "Items", select a mod which is interesting for you, and click on the green subscribe [+] button. Steam will automatically download the mod. When it is ready, you will see the mod in Mod Manager. 
  3. Double click on the mod to activate it and then click on the "Confirm Changes" button in the bottom part of Mod Manager, 
  4. Load your profile and try your mod. (note: pay attention to mod loading priority to avoid mod incompatibilities) 

SCS Workshop Uploader app

Modding our games through Steam Workshop will require use of a dedicated tool for mod makers; a new dedicated Steam application - SCS Workshop Uploader. You can grab it from your Steam library under Tools category.

We have also prepared a Wiki with full SCS Steam Workshop Uploader documentation and modding tutorials where you can find guidance how to use our tools for mod creation.

Please note that at the moment we do not include support for map mods in the Uploader, this will come later but it requires more work on sanitization of all the data making up the map.

Ultimate Wheel Customization

As previewed in one of our previous blogs, we have expanded wheel customization options to match real-world customization flexibility. Wheels now consist of a tyre, a disk, nuts, a hub and a hub cover, and you can choose and tune each of them separately. We have recreated the old wheels in the game from these building blocks, but you can mix and match them freely now to get many more combinations. We have also tweaked the materials to bring you alu-disks which are the most regular type of disks used.

More Features and Improvements

Here's is log of additional fixes and improvements that went into this update:

  • Steam Workshop
  • New Rims 
  • Traffic offense can be disabled (option)
  • Navigation path (red line) can be disabled (option)
  • Disable of hidden Route Advisor popups (option)
  • Autopark feature can be disabled (option)
  • Speeding highlight on Route Advisor
  • Smart cruise control can use activated engine brake when no retarder is present
  • Advanced shifting simulation
  • Real shifter layouts (Scania, Volvo, ZF). To activate them you need to use new profile or remove your custom H-Shifter layouts
  • Improved truck stability during retarder usage
  • AI improvements
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 - 1.23 public beta). No password is required.

Report any bugs, as usually, on our forum.

Friday, March 11, 2016

France Sneak Peek

Bonjour truckers!

We are on the verge of releasing open betas for a new update of both ETS2 and ATS, but we still need to iron out a few details and go through another internal testing pass or two to make sure that there are no profile-breaking issues.

So instead of talking Open Beta already, let us show you a little bit of new France that we are working on for Euro Truck Simulator 2. These are a bit raw screenshots where you still can see some placeholder models, a sort of a peek behind the shoulder of a map designer as he still keeps working on his area. Our goal with the new map DLC is to improve the feel of authenticity once again compared to any of our previous work.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Ultimate Wheel Customization

It's not just Steam Workshop support, there is another important feature coming with the next ETS2 and ATS update. Compared to where we were only a year ago with the whole wheel being just one monolithic truck part, there's no other way of putting it: we're going to provide you with ultimate wheel customization!

We were never quite happy with the existing system, it was too limiting. Customizing wheels should be more varied, more flexible, more fun! We have split our wheels into multiple components: Tire and Disk separation was introduced recently, in addition to it we have now added customization sub-components of the disk: Hubs, Hub Covers and Nuts.

Check out this little video clip that we have made. Rather than from static screenshots, this feature is easier to appreciate in motion:

Advanced wheel customization will come simultaneously to both Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator with the upcoming update. Just splitting the existing wheel models into parts that you can recombine according to your wish will already give you a vast variety of different looks. On top of it, we'll soon release a small but cool DLC with extra wheel tuning options - things like paintable metal parts or crazy nut designs. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Arizona Teasing

We have been working hard on Arizona DLC for American Truck Simulator already for several weeks before we have shipped the initial release edition of the game. We are making great progress, but there is still al lot of content left to be finished. We don't have a release date to announce yet, but there should not be more than a couple of months of solid work ahead us, plus the final testing and polishing stage. Maybe we should try to use the Open Beta approach for Arizona, what do you think?

Anyway, we thought you may be happy to see a couple of screenshots as part of the confirmation that we are firmly committed to giving you Arizona soon...