Friday, June 19, 2020

ATS 1.38 Open Beta

Not much time has passed since the last update of American Truck Simulator, and here we are again, excited to offer the community a glimpse of the upcoming version 1.38 improvements, fixes, and new functionality.

It will still take at least several weeks before the full 1.38 release, please keep in mind that this is the first raw open beta, very much still a work in progress build. If you want to take it for a spin, you can help contribute by reporting any bugs you may encounter at the appropriate section of our official forums. Your feedback and reports are extremely valuable for our team and we thank you in advance for taking the time to help us out.

So, what can you expect to find in the 1.38 Open Beta for ATS? Let's take a closer look!

First off, the city of Las Vegas has received a major revamp, which includes new road networks, updates to existing interstate junctions, more detailed scenery, and the inclusion of newer vegetation, terrain textures, and much more!

Some of the main changes include new Interstate connection (515), an overhaul to the US-93 junction, and correct positioning of the 'Welcome to Las Vegas' with a new pedestrian island. You can find a more in-depth blog post on the subject which showcases many of the changes found in and around the city.

But the best way to see it all is to see the city for yourself! So be sure to make that trip to Nevada and let us know what you think through our social media channels.

Las Vegas isn't the only part of the American Truck Simulator world to receive an update in 1.38, one of the more noticeable changes are to Truckstops. From our previous trips to the USA to community feedback, we have learnt a lot about these vital services for drivers.

One of the first changes you will notice at Truckstops in ATS is that fuel stations now have lanes with appropriate width for trucks to pull up and refuel in. This is because, in reality, most trucks refuel from both sides and not just from one side like a regular car.  We have also implemented (where possible) guidance lines to help drivers line up their trucks to avoid damaging their vehicles upon entry and exit. Plus there is a completely new truck stop placed on the US-111 road now!

Aside from the changes related to gas stations and truckers' resting areas, we've also implemented a few more content changes across the map. In this update, you will find that Utah has a new road to drive on, the UT-56, but that's not all!

The city of El Centro received a large revamp and we also added the US-191 in Arizona. We also made a few minor changes in preparations for future connection to Colorado in New Mexico's Shiprock and made layout corrections to the nearby US-491.

We are also excited to introduce the inclusion of a computer graphics technique for efficiently approximating ambient occlusion effects in real-time. Screen Space Ambient Occlusion, better known in its shorter form SSAO, creates shadows in the areas where objects connect, to give it a more natural and believable look in terms of lighting and shadows.

So what exactly does this feature mean for our players? To break it down as simply as possible, SSAO adds missing shadows where they should have been and improves shadowing in general. It also improves the look of glossy surfaces (such as paint and chrome).

SSAO improves the driving experience and overall visual look of the game, however, this comes with an impact on performance. Technically, it is a post-processing pass on the whole rendered screen at the full internal resolution, so a lot of maths for each pixel.

Less powerful GPUs may struggle to keep up at full quality, and with 400% or similarly high scaling selected, even mid-range machines would feel the impact on fps. If you are not happy with framerate after this update, please open the advanced graphics options in the game and try to find the right combination of scaling and SSAO quality for you. With a weaker GPU, it may be advisable to switch off SSAO completely.

The easiest way to explain to you the benefits of using SSAO is by showing you a range of comparison images, take a look! Keep an eye or two on our blog because we plan to bring you more info about the SSAO in its own dedicated article soon!

We are also excited to introduce a long-requested update to the RGB Color Picker which drivers use to paint their trucks when purchasing or tuning their truck. You now have the option to input specific color inputs (HSV, RGB, and HEX).

Also, In addition to saving color preset for just a single color, the color picker now supports saving a preset for all paint job colors at once. This way player can store and easily try paint job color set with other paint jobs. With this feature we also extended number of user kept color swatches from 8 to 40, for your coloring pleasure.

We know that many drivers like to match their truck colors the same across their whole fleet, so we hope this feature is useful to you.

  • Las Vegas city revamped (I-515/I-11 interstate bypass + the whole city switched to the template road system)
  • US-191 road implemented
  • UT-56 road implemented + reskin of a little stretch of US-93 around Panaca settlement
  • CA-111 - new truckstop added
  • El Centro revamped
  • New company in Logan, UT (Plaster & Sons)
  • Reworked all truck stop gas pumps to be more realistic. More realistic dimensions and the logic of how they work
  • NM Shiprock redesigned + piece of US-491
  • Various map fixes

  • Automatic transmission improved (shifting points, adaptive modes)
  • Las Vegas: New ambulance and fire truck

  • Visual improvement - procedural ambient occlusion generation (SSAO)
  • Route Adviser redesigned
  • Navigation ETA to the next waypoint in route adviser and in world map
  • Tobii eye-tracking presets
  • RGB color picker redesigned
    • Added RGB, HSV and HEX inputs
    • User defined color presets

  • Update to FMOD 2.01.01
  • Fixed the retarder sound when the engine is off
  • AI - exclude the gear for trains and electric vehicles

So enjoy all the new additions, but please remember: It's only an open beta, not a stable public version - so you may encounter bugs, instability, kinks, or crashes. It's completely okay if you want to wait for the final release. But if you're interested in helping us to move there faster, we'll appreciate all of your feedback on our forum and your bug reports in this section.

Please check our modding wiki to get details pertaining to mods for the game.

If you wish to participate in the open beta, you can find this version in the public_beta branch on Steam. The way to access it is as follows: Steam client → LIBRARY → right-click on American Truck Simulator → Properties → Betas tab → public_beta → 1.38 public beta. No password required.

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