Friday, October 30, 2020

#Pinktober 2020 Update

The month of October is coming to an end and so is our #Pinktober campaign. We thought this might be a good opportunity to thank our #BestCommunityEver for your amazing support. We also wanted to remind you about the importance of the core message of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and that the lessons don't just end because the month is over.

Each October, many charities around the world organize events, fundraisers, meetings, and speeches to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. With the cooperation and support from hundreds of thousands of companies and individuals worldwide, it has become an important tradition. Often also referred to as "Pinktober" it is usually represented by the Pink Ribbon. It has become a symbol of hope and a reminder to promote and share important health information.

To promote this awareness campaign, we took upon ourselves to emphasize how important regular doctor visits and self-examinations are. You will probably remember our last year's extensive Pink Ribbon Charity event, in which we too threw a few punches at breast cancer along with the ETS2 and ATS community. At the start of the event, we introduced two very special DLCs, one for each of our games, in which we promised to give 100% of the money received to multiple charities focusing on this topic. And we are in this for the long haul.

During the event and through the sales of these two DLCs, together we raised more than 40,000 USD dollars last October, which we later equally divided and donated to three chosen charities. We promised to continue to donate the money raised to charity from these packs every October, even long after our first initial event last year.

And here we are! If you follow our social media or have watched our most recent live-streams, you may already know the news which we are about to share as we continued to raise awareness of #Pinktober during this past month on our Twitch and Steam live broadcasts.

Between the period of October 2019 and October 2020, thanks to the support continuously coming from our #BestCommunityEver, we've been able to raise another 50,000 USD, which we plan to donate in the upcoming days once again. This amazing pile of support and love will be divided into 4 equal amounts of 12,500 USD and given to 4 charities who are in the front line of fighting breast cancer. Three of the 4 are the same as last year, with the addition of a new charity based in the United Kingdom.

Thanks to you, we are able to send much-needed support to these wonderful charities to help people across the world. With the difficult times at hand, we feel the support may be needed now more than ever. Thank you, everyone, who has continued to support the good cause through the purchase of our special charity packs, participated in live-streams, and community fundraisers!

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Czech & Slovak Games Week Steam Sale

Today is a very special day not only for the Czech Republic, our home country, but also for our friends in Slovakia. On this very day 102 years ago (October 28th 1918), Czechoslovakia declared independence. Many things have changed since that time - most importantly, in 1993, former Czechoslovakia split into 2 separate countries: The Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. But the year 1918 still remains the most significant milestone in the recent history of both countries to this date.

To commemorate this special day, Avi Duda, a producer here at SCS Software, came up with an idea that would bring together game developers from across Czechia and Slovakia - to feature their games in a special Steam event. It all started recently when Avi noticed and was inspired by a similarly-styled Swiss Developer Sale on Steam. Says Avi, "I liked the idea of a national sale showcase a lot, it felt like something which would make an impact for the Czech and Slovak game industry... I wanted to highlight not only the best-known games, but also indie games because they need the most support; indies always have to try hard to be visible and have their games discovered." 

As a representative of SCS Software, Avi went ahead to share the idea with the Czech Game Developers Association. "I suggested doing this sale together, as it's something I love doing, and several other developers we probed got back to us supporting the notion". It gained so much positive attention that Pavel Barák, The Chairman of the Czech GDA, went on to contact the Slovak Game Developers Association to ask if they would like to join in for such an occasion. In the next 3 days, the GDA received an overwhelming response from 50 different developers registering their interest in this idea. 

Still, this was only a start, we had to get Steam/Valve aboard with the idea. It took a while, but we have been fortunate to do so thanks to the united voice of the biggest Czech game developer studios. Many weeks have passed as we were trying to arrange the sale. Finally, with the confirmation in-hand and a looming deadline, this final element was required - artwork for the Steam sale page.

Enter Anna Voříšková, a talented artist here at SCS Software. "I fell in love with the idea right away," she said. "I thought it was amazing and I had to be a part of this project!" Immediately, Anna started sketching up ideas for the artwork that would eventually be featured in front of the massive Steam userbase. She goes on to explain her ideas behind the final featured design... "I knew I wanted to make something cute, playful, and eye-catching, but at the same time, I wanted it to have a homely, familiar feeling to it. I figured placing different video game characters and objects on a gamer's desk and have them interact with each other would be the right idea! And since I like to use unnatural colours in my work, I decided to go for a palette full of bright pinks and purples, inspired by the LED lights that often frame gaming setups".

The final artwork features vibrant colours, objects, and characters from a whole host of games from both countries, as featured in the Steam sale event. "It's been a huge honour for me to have had the opportunity to represent both the Czech & Slovak game industries in my artwork." Anna says "I'm really proud of what we've managed to create together, considering how tiny our team was, and how little time we had. I had a lot of fun creating graphics for the event, it's been a truly unique experience and I really hope I get to be a part of something similar again in the future!"

Thanks to the hard work of Avi and Anna, today you can find over 160 games on sale from 72 developers. We encourage you to explore and check out the wide array of games available, created by studios large and small, as well as individual developers. We are proud to see that our small region in Central Europe has produced so many fantastic games played by people all over the planet.

The sale only runs until November 2nd, so make sure to check out all the amazing games and the original featured artwork on Steam's Czech & Slovak Games Week page HERE.

As a historical footnote, you may find this recent article at Ars Technica of interest. It's a well-researched piece exploring the ancient history of Communist-era illicit text-based games produced by kids in Czechoslovakia as a way to protest against the oppression of the regime - pioneers and to a large extent forgotten heroes at the dawn of what is now the Czech and Slovak games industry.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Iberia: Iconic Landmarks

When creating new areas in an upcoming DLC, landmark models play an important role in adding to the authenticity and immersion of a driver's experience. For many, these points of interest are important locations, especially when you want to confirm your location. Today, we are happy to share with you a gallery of iconic landmarks from our upcoming Iberia DLC for Euro Truck Simulator 2. 

Landmarks can be found in all shapes and sizes, from medieval castles to statues of historical figures, and Iberia is full of them! Heading to the south-east of Spain, you may come across the Alcazaba of Almería, one of the largest castles in the country constructed in 955AD. Standing high on a hill, this fortress serves as an important monument to the city. 

Aqueducts and viaducts are landmarks that one might not consider interesting, but some of these bridges have been standing for hundreds of years and continue to serve as an important landmark for travellers. 

While it is not easy to decide on a list of landmarks to include in our upcoming DLC (from the hundreds or thousands that exist across the peninsula of Iberia in reality), we hope you will be able to recognize and admire the ones chosen and recreated in detail by our talented art team.

These are just some of the areas of Iberia that feature prominent landmarks, do you recognize any of them? If you do, let us know where you think they might be located in the comments. Oh, and don't forget to take a moment to add Iberia for Euro Truck Simulator 2 to your Steam Wishlist, which really helps supports us and our upcoming releases. Thanks for your support!  

Friday, October 23, 2020

Colorado: Nature

Colorado has one of the most unique and varied natural landscapes found in North America. From emerald-green national forests to the incredible red rock formations jutting up from the earth at Garden of the Gods, you’ll find it nearly impossible to resist taking the time out of delivering loads to explore the natural beauty this state has to offer.

In our upcoming Colorado DLC for American Truck Simulator, you’ll find many places to enjoy the state's vast natural beauty including national parks, national monuments, state parks, and many other natural attractions. 

One such place is Ouray, which has rightfully earned the nickname the Switzerland of America thanks to its natural alpine environment. Located within the San Juan mountain range, we are sure truckers won't want to miss out on having a lunchbreak at the look-out point, which gives passing travelers a beautiful view of this Victorian-era mining town.

No matter where you are headed, Colorado offers natural beauty and stunning rock formations at every turn, so make sure you have your camera on hand for that picture-perfect shot with your truck. 

If you like what you see, then be sure to add Colorado to your Steam Wishlist. It really helps support our upcoming expansions and notifies you of any releases or future sales. We thank you for your on-going support and we look forward to sharing even more info soon!

Monday, October 19, 2020

8 years on the roads of Euro Truck Simulator 2

Last year on this date we released a blog post celebrating the 7th anniversary of Euro Truck Simulator 2. It feels like it hasn't been that long since we wrote that article, and yet here we are with another year passed, milestones reached, tons of content created and another anniversary to celebrate. While the world experiences a difficult time, we know that many of you use Euro Truck Simulator 2 as an escape from reality to relax.

On the 18th of October 2012, Euro Truck Simulator 2 was released to the world. Since then, it truly has been an amazing ride from the very first km in our in-game world, and we definitely could have not wished for a better community.

Even though the world is currently going through a challenging period, we wanted to take a few minutes of our time to say thank you to our #BestCommunityEver for all the wonderful support, for being our motivation and for helping us make our games even better as time goes on. 

And because we are in a celebration mood, we thought it would be nice and appropriate to "reward" you with a slice of the birthday cake. Hence we decided to show you something yet unrevealed, still in a pre-alpha stage, but already cool and promising. A few screenshots from the next map expansion for Euro Truck Simulator 2, which is already in the making and planned to be the next release after Iberia!

How do you like them? Do you have an idea on the location of these shots? For now, we can't share any more info with you as we have switched our focus back to Iberia, but know that we will bring you more info about this project in the future!

Happy 8th Anniversary!

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Community Spotlight: Truckers.FM 5th Anniversary

Our #BestCommunityEver is full of many wonderful and talented individuals, teams and groups who bring a variety of projects, modifications, and more for everyone to enjoy. Today, we are bringing a special blog post on one of the more unique communities who are celebrating their 5th Anniversary this weekend. 

On the 16th of October 2015, Truckers.FM, a dedicated online radio station for Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator drivers, began broadcasting on-air with a small team of friends. Today, Truckers.FM is the largest radio station dedicated to the Truck Simulation community and one of the biggest in the gaming radio genre. 

With a strong team of  40+ volunteers consisting of management, presenters, production, Discord moderators, and even a dedicated event ‘street’ team from around the world, TFM has grown into a fully-fledged independent radio station that is popular among a wide array of simulation gamers. 

Every day, Truckers.FM broadcasts to thousands of unique listeners with a variety of radio shows,  keeping truckers in-game entertained and informed on the latest news whilst on the road. We are happy to see how this part of our fanbase has grown in the past 5 years, and we wish TFM many more years of success! We are proud to have such amazing team on-board with us through all these years and we really appreciate all the support and extra promotion for our newest content, events, releases, and all other hot news that they've always been ready to voluntarily promote. Plus, thanks to these guys and their project we were also able to meet and later welcome to our internal team one of our best community managers we've ever had - Alex a.k.a London!

This weekend they are hosting #TFM5, a celebration of their 5th anniversary, and the individuals who help support them with a virtual truck fest and convoy being hosted on the TruckersMP servers & special on-air programming. That is not all, however, as they have teamed up with HyperX, Fanatec & many more great developers and teams to giveaway over 2000 euros in prizes on their Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and on-air at Truckers.FM. And we have pledged ourselves to not only support their celebration by spreading the word about it but also providing them a bunch of free Steam keys for multiple DLCs, to spice-up the pool of gifts a little bit. So make sure to give them a follow and to tune-in this weekend!

Find out all the details on how you can attend and take part in their virtual celebrations on TruckersMP at their dedicated blogpost here.