Thursday, March 30, 2023

Switzerland Rework - Alps

Our rework team is currently working hard on bringing Switzerland up to the current standards, and there is one particular aspect of the country that is impossible to overlook - the Alps. Offering magnificent views, the newly added roads will make it worth your while to visit.

More than half of the Swiss territory lies in the Alps, which makes it one of the most mountainous countries in Europe. The Alps include stunning landscapes with snow-capped peaks, green valleys, and water bodies, and the rework of Switzerland in Euro Truck Simulator 2 will capture this beautiful essence with awesome detailed additions such as the glacier in which the river Rhone originates, which you will be able to directly pass by.

One of the main attractions of the Switzerland rework in Euro Truck Simulator 2 is the three possible routes through the Alps from north to south. These routes offer a unique driving experience, and each one has its charm. 

The first route is the Great St. Bernard Pass, which is located on Route 27 and is famous for its tunnel. The second route is the Gotthard Pass, which is located on the A2 motorway and features the well-known road and rail tunnel. The third route is through the Val Mesolcina valley, which is located on the A13 motorway.

We will also add the A9 road which will be the topic of a separate blog post in the future. For now, we hope you are already looking forward to the fresh content in Switzerland and we can’t wait for you to check these marvelous mountain roads out. For any updates regarding the date of when this update will be available make sure to follow our social media (TwitterInstagramFacebookTikTok) to stay in touch with all the latest news.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Kansas - The Sunflower State

As you might remember, recently we announced Kansas DLC for American Truck Simulator. Before we fully dive in with the classic news from the development, we have decided to sit down with some of the developers and create a blog article that will let you know a little bit about some of the SCS members themselves, but also their thoughts on this DLC. Sit back, relax, and check out what Patrik, Seki, Martin, Ilona, and Anton had to say about who they are and what working on the Sunflower State means for them.

Patrik, Kansas DLC Lead

As the Map DLC Lead for American Truck Simulator, my primary responsibility is to oversee the development of the assigned map expansion, which is currently the Kansas DLC. I have previously led the Washington and Colorado DLCs, and I started as a regular map designer when we were still working on California.

Our goal with the Kansas DLC is to show players that even seemingly empty and monotonous states have their own unique atmosphere and impression. Our biggest challenge in this project is to create large grass areas that are visually appealing, modern, and well-crafted. Kansas has a distinct architecture that differs from the states we've worked on in the past, so we're also facing the challenge of creating new assets such as neglected shops, barracks, houses, and other buildings.

Players can look forward to a dozen new cities, and we will gradually release the list over time. We are also working on improving the economic model, which we will share with our #BestCommunityEver in due course. Moreover, new economic chains will be introduced as part of the Kansas DLC, as we regularly do with every new DLC in ATS.

Seki, DLC Asset Lead

As the DLC Asset Lead and a senior graphic designer, my role at SCS involves collaborating on graphics for ATS and all related projects. I've been with the company for seven years and have contributed to all DLCs for ATS released thus far. While there are others on the team, collaboration is key to our success, and I credit the entire ATS team for our achievements.

As the DLC Asset Lead, I'm responsible for the quality and delivery of all necessary 3D models for the DLC, including everything from generic benches to city and depot areas where trucks move. I consult with Map Designers and ensure that all landmarks are delivered to their cities or settlements. I initially joined SCS as a graphic designer, where I created models for the game, including the last major project, Random Events. I then switched to DLC Lead and completed projects in Idaho, Texas, and am currently working on Kansas.

Our goal is to bring players a new state where they can spend countless hours in their trucks, discovering the beauty of Kansas and its industries. We aim to beat the previous map expansion and give players the best possible experience. We have added many new landmarks to cities and their surroundings, including unique rest areas, truck stops, and industries. We are pushing the limits of our creation with each DLC, and we believe that Kansas will be a great example of this. While we can't reveal everything yet, players can definitely look forward to many new locations and experiences.

Martin, Kansas DLC Map Designer

I started at SCS 2 years ago and I have worked on several projects including California Rework, Texas and the city of Emporia, which was my first attempt at designing a city. Currently, I am working on two settlements, roads, and we have received a new palette of terrain materials, which also includes a new set of grasses that I have to include into the map. 

One of the most exciting parts of my job so far was designing the city. However, my focus now is on creating a rural-farming atmosphere in Kansas, which is known for its vast grassy plains and farming communities. There will be many farm depots, farm assets, silos, and wind farms to explore, and players will have the opportunity to get up close to the fields with their trucks.

Overall, players can look forward to a truly immersive experience in Kansas, with a focus on the state's farming heritage and beautiful natural landscapes.

Ilona, Kansas DLC Map Designer

As a map designer at SCS for four years, I am responsible for designing the layouts of two cities, Colby and Hays, in western Kansas. I also designed depots and generic architectural elements, such as shops and suburban houses, that reflect the state's diverse architectural styles. For example, as part of the new DLC, we've added a brick-and-mortar store and I hope this new store will be a great authentic detail for the town center. Moreover, the generic architecture in Kansas is characterized by great diversity, as it is unique in many ways but it also contains elements of various architectural styles from the surrounding states

Having previously worked on Oregon, Utah, Colorado, and Texas, I am most looking forward to creating an authentic experience that conveys the unique feeling of Kansas. The biggest challenge will be portraying the vastness of the open plains and endless vistas through the use of details. Players can look forward to exploring Kansas's farms, plains, and downtown cities, with unique architecture and details that capture the state's essence.

Anton, Researcher

As a researcher, I deal with a little bit of everything. With every task, our job consists of two components. Firstly, we need to look for more technical kind of information like which variants of the warehouse are more typical for a given state. But also we try to find a deeper meaning behind the raw data we process. For example, while working on the Kansas DLC we took great inspiration from the work of American painters known as the regionalists. They are famous for depicting the American midwest in a really insightful and captivating manner. We used their work a lot, communicating our impressions of the state to our map designers and 3D artists.

Because in our line of work, we need to translate our own vision of a state to the rest of the developing team, each DLC is a surprise for me. I’m really interested to see how 3D artists and map designers are going to implement our comments and ideas regarding Kansas feel. A map expansion is always more than just a mechanical arrangement of assets down the road. It’s the idea of a geographical and economic area that the developers build in their minds as they work on a state. I like to think that we help them in creating that internal image.

(Illustrative image)

(Illustrative image)

We hope you have enjoyed this very early insight into what you can expect to see in the upcoming Kansas DLC. For more news in the future make sure to follow our social media (TwitterInstagramFacebookTikTok) to never miss any updates. We can’t wait to show you more!

Thursday, March 23, 2023

West Balkans - Architecture

We’ve previously slightly touched upon the topic of what makes the West Balkans DLC unique by talking about the local culture. Today, we’ll shape the image of the region even further by showing you screenshots representing the architecture, along with bits of brief information as well.

The West Balkans DLC will include a diverse range of architectural styles. Countries like Albania, Croatia and Montenegro have a strong Mediterranean influence mainly reflected in lots of balconies, some of them facing the sea (the balconies actually appear often in all the states located next to the Mediterranean Sea). Albania has something even more specific - a high amount of family houses that are always under construction.

Meanwhile, Serbia and North Macedonia (specifically Skopje) still have a somewhat brutalist character, with its monstrous concrete blocks of flats still standing as a reminder of its past.

Slovenia, on the other hand, has a mix of architectural styles, partly suffused with Alpine architecture with high gabled roofs. In old cities like Sarajevo, there is a lot of old architecture that has been preserved and stands as a testament to the entire region's rich history.

However, it's not just the diversity of architectural styles that makes the map expansion exciting, but also the fact that the dedicated team has produced a bunch of specific assets just for the DLC. These will eventually come in handy in some cities, where you will be able to get to the center and experience interesting landmarks up close!

All in all, architecture is always under many influences and we hope you will truly immerse in the local atmosphere while driving across West Balkans map expansion. We still have more topics in store for you, so make sure to follow our social media profiles (TwitterInstagramFacebookTikTok) to always be notified of any potential news or updates.