Thursday, March 7, 2024

California Rework - California Trucking #4

Today we're happy to share with you the final blog on Phase 3 of the California Rework project, which we are excited to announce will come to American Truck Simulator players in the upcoming 1.50 update! Previously we shared with you a variety of different topics here on our blog, which if you missed you can take a read here. So without further ado, let's delve into what the team has been up to! 

Welcome to San Francisco, arguably one of the most famous cities on the West Coast, and the second-most densely populated major city in the USA. We are excited to present to you a look into the work undertaken in and around San Fran, and what changes you can expect to see around the area from a truck driver's perspective. We spoke with Patrik S, who was one of the main driving forces behind the rework of San Francisco about the process behind it all. 

When the team began working on this area, they first looked at how they would approach it. "We all agreed that San Fran holds a special place in our hearts, and that really did like the original version which exists in our current base map" Patrik goes on to explain, — "Created originally by Milan Vavron who we nicknamed the "Father" of ATS maps — he was the very person to work on the map after Pavel approved the ATS project; we wanted to choose a different approach to keep the charm and details he created there".  However after Patrik visited the city back in 2019, and a research trip was conducted more recently, the team came to a decision together on how to tackle the area. 

"We decided to take a different approach from the other cities we had worked on. Instead of removing the whole area and starting from scratch, we decided to revamp his original creation and bring it up to the quality standard we hold today" Patrik tells us, "We made layout updates that match our current standards, including updates to the surroundings such as material switches, newer models and more. We also took the time to correct a few things that were not possible in the past due to technical limitations. This includes things like view distance limitations from areas such as the Golden Gate Bridge and other parts of the Bay Area" 

"We updated but kept the iconic waterfront of San Francisco, as well as the famous steep streets and even added new trams that extend to new areas of the map. The road network has been reworked to give them a modern and more realistic look, and we updated all the road signage with thanks to our Australian colleague, Nathan. However one change you may notice is that a majority of the steep streets have become "secret roads", so that we could keep famous roads such as Lombard Street in-game, whilst not forcing the player to drive where trucks usually don't drive." 

"We also added a new junction at the west end of Bay Bridge, that includes a ramp from the bridge which takes drivers downtown which we are sure players will love. This will be first time in American Truck Simulator that players will experience driving between towering skyscrapers! For the iconic Skyline you'll see from different points around the area, we used some of my own reference pictures to make a panorama model which can be viewed from a distance".

As you can see, the rework team has really gone above and beyond when updating this area. To give you a taste of what is to come, we've highlighted a couple of areas which you'll be able to experience in the 1.50 update for ATS.  

Golden Gate Bridge

Would it even be San Francisco without the world famous Golden Gate Bridge? Our rework team has completely re-made this model from scratch to best represent the current state, look and layout of the iconic landmark. You'll find that it now includes the arch at the south end, as well as the option to drive under the bridge to see the Fort, if you do find the way. 

In total, the team made around 20 different draft versions of the bridge, with different lengths and widths, until they came to a decision on the most suitable one for the scale we work with. This new updated version you will find is a little bit wider and longer than the original, just to keep to proportions.

When you enter the Bridge, you'll approach a completely new tollgate which has been custom built, so it is no longer one large prefab as it was previously. We also decided to remove the artificial fog that permanently surrounded the bridge, and replaced it with an updated system that can generate fog with our weather system. So depending on the time, the day or the weather, the view could be different! 

We are happy to give the love that this wonder of the modern world an overhaul and a fresh update for all drivers to enjoy.

Pier 39

Pier 39, where San Fran meets the Bay to Play. This iconic waterfront area is a popular attraction for residents and visitors alike. Our team which focused on reworking this area made quite a few changes to accommodate truckers and to add in more details. The first being the truck garage which has now been moved from behind Pier 39 to a more suitable location. 

We upgraded the model of the pier significantly, as well as reworking the roads in the surrounding area to better match its real life counterpart. It also serves as a great location for our new expanded Tram network to make a 'U-Turn', which is where the real thing does too! 

You may even be able to spot some of the local residents of Pier 39, who reside there for a majority of the year. We're of course talking about the Sea Lions! Be sure to use your ears to navigate towards them, if you'd like to see them. We are excited for you to check out this famous area for yourself, whilst out on delivery or during your free-roam time. 

As you'll have the opportunity to explore the third phase of the California Rework project in the upcoming free 1.50 update, we've also crafted a brief video trailer highlighting the beautiful transformation California has undergone in recent months. We hope this preview ignites your excitement for what lies ahead!

We look forward to the time when you'll be able to explore this fantastic city for yourself, which will come as a free update to all owners of American Truck Simulator in the 1.50 update. Whilst we're still working hard to bring it all together, be sure to share your thoughts and comments with us on our social media channels, as our team would love to hear how much you love the changes. We hope you enjoyed reading, and we look forward to bringing you more development news in the near future. Until then, keep on truckin'! 

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