Thursday, July 2, 2020

Colorado: New Industries

Colorado boasts having some of the best wildernesses and mountain ranges in the United States, and from our previous research trip, it's easy to see why. However, while drivers are enjoying the scenery, we need to remember the reason for our journey! Let's take a closer look at some of the new key industries that will be arriving in our upcoming Colorado DLC for American Truck Simulator.

Being a state that promotes its natural beauty, Colorado is always looking at ways of using clean-energy to protect the environment. One of the many investments the state has made is into using windpower as a main source of energy. In fact, Colorado has one of the largest wind farms in the nation, with over 400 wind turbines generating enough power for 90,000 homes!

So it's no surprise that Colorado is home to the number one wind turbine company in the USA, with a highly trained workforce that builds more towers than any other facility in the world. With unique parts and equipment always on the move from the factory to wind farms across the states, we hope you will be a BIG fan of this industry.

Wind turbines might not cool you down on a hot day, but a cold bottle of soda will! Colorado is also home to a variety of bottling plants, each producing and distributing an assortment of different beverages which drivers can deliver to locations across the states.

Trucking isn't the only form of transportation to handle logistics however, on any given day more than 2,000 cargo flights are in the skies above America. Denver International Airport is the 20th-busiest airport and sees millions of passengers, packages, mail, and more, pass through its terminals and hubs every year. Drivers will play an important role in the transport of cargo to and from the airport, and with new arrivals everyday, you never know what you might be hauling next!

We are excited for you to check out these new industries in the future, but until then, if you like what you see, make sure to add Colorado to your Steam Wishlist! You can also check out our InstagramTwitter, and Facebook profiles for more exclusive pictures.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

BIG In Idaho!

From wide open roads to larger sized trucks, everything in the American Truck Simulator world does appear to be a little bigger when compared with its European counterpart. However, one thing that does stay consistently large no matter where you are, is the size of our Special Transport loads!

In the upcoming state of Idaho for American Truck Simulator, owners of the Special Transport DLC will have 3 new routes to drive with the assistance of local law enforcement and escort vehicles. These routes are:

Boise to Grangeville
Idaho Falls to the Challis (near Salmon City)
Twin Falls to Nampa 

Each journey will come with its own challenges. So make sure to adhere to the GPS advisor and speed limit which have been set-out for you before your departure, as there is no room for mistakes!

If you are not an owner of the Special Transport DLC, be sure to pick it up whilst the Steam Summer Sale is still ongoing. You can find a wide range of our products from both our ETS2 & ATS catalog at a discounted price.

Also, if your excitement for Idaho is BIGGER than these loads, make sure to add it your Steam Wishlist! We thank you for your continued support and we can't wait for you to drive the roads of Idaho for yourself.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Idaho: Caution! Contents Are Hot

Ever wondered what it is like to walk around the moon? dream no further! Today, we are taking a closer look at one of Idaho's National Parks that is famous for its volcanic history and moon-like landscape.

So how did this part of Idaho become so alien like? Between 2,000 and 15,000 years ago, the area now known as the 'Craters of the Moon National Monument' was formed during eight major eruptive periods, in which lava erupted from the Great Rift, a series of deep cracks that start near the current visitor center and stretches 52 miles.

Since its last eruption, the lava has cooled to form an unusual terrain with volcanic rocks, lava flows and rich dark soil.

This desolate, yet sublime landscape is also known for its connection with space. The Craters of the Moon National Monument allows visitors to explore a moon-like surface without ever leaving Earth. In fact it's so close to the real deal that in 1969, NASA sent some of it's best-known astronauts to prepare and receive training for their future Apollo lunar mission.

Unfortunately drivers of American Truck Simulator wont be able to drive on the moon anytime soon, however; you will be able to get close to the experience in our upcoming Idaho DLC in which we are proud to feature and preserve this unique american national monument virtually!

Also as a bonus for today's blog, we are excited to share with you some exclusive gameplay footage from Idaho! Join us for a ride as we drive between Boise to Grangeville for a preview of what Idaho state has to offer. Take a watch of it at our official YouTube channel below.

Friday, June 26, 2020

ETS2 1.38 Open Beta

Following up from the Announcement of the ATS 1.38 Open Beta,  we are excited to offer the community a glimpse of the upcoming 1.38 version's improvements, fixes, and new functionality for Euro Truck Simulator 2.

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, and 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 over 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 ETS2? Let's take a closer look!

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

Some of the main changes include updates to road junctions have been re-worked to be based on more true-to-life layouts. Road signs and roads in general have also been updated with more accurate, realistic and detailed textures.

You can find a dedicated 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 Lille and let us know what you think through our social media channels.

Another significant change that has been made in 1.38 is to the various truck dealerships located across Europe. Each represented truck brand now has its own unique dealership design. All dealerships locations across the Euro Truck Simulator 2 map have received a refresh, so make sure to re-discover them in-game as you drive past (trust us, it is well worth the stop!).

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 will 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  when purchasing or tuning their truck to paint it. You now have the option to input specific color codes (HSV, RGB, and HEX).

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

We know that many drivers like to match their truck's colours across their whole fleet, so we hope this feature is useful to you.

The DAF XF Tuning Pack has also received a small update which will now allow all DAF trucks chassis covers to be painted. We look forward to seeing how drivers will take advantage of this new customization on their DAF fleet as we know many drivers like to match their truck colours. Be sure to tag DAF Trucks and SCS Software on our social media channels with photos of your newly painted vehicles.

There have also been changes made to our GPS Route Advisor, which now features a cleaner and more modern-looking UI allowing for a larger on-screen map view. That's not all however, as we also added new information for drivers using checkpoints for their journeys.

Players will now be able to see useful information on their next checkpoint marker such as the distance to their next checkpoint, and their estimated time of arrival through their GPS and world map.

On the subject of maps, this open beta also includes a lot of bug fixes across the whole ETS2 map. Many of these bugs were reported from players from our community, so thank you for your reports! They really do help make a difference for others to enjoy a more smooth and immersive gameplay.

The FH Tuning Pack for Volvo Trucks have also received a small update based on feedback from our community. Drivers can also expect to find new tuning parts including front wheel covers, side deflectors with LEDs, stock front bumpers and rear top fenders with plastic and chrome options. 

We are also happy to bring 3 new Special Transport routes for drivers to take on in our latest map expansion for Euro Truck Simulator 2, Road to the Black Sea. These routes are:

Resita to Targu Mures
Istanbul to Edirne
Pleven to Sofia

Each journey will come with its own challenges. So make sure to adhere instructions given on the GPS advisor and the speed limit which have been set-out for you before your departure, as there is no room for mistakes!

This addition will come as a free update for owners of Road to the Black Sea and Special Transport for Euro Truck Simulator 2.

  • Lille re-skin
  • Unique Truck Dealerships
  • Special Transport routes in Road to the Black Sea
    • Resita to Targu Mures
    • Istanbul to Edirne
    • Pleven to Sofia
  • Automatic transmission improved (shifting points, adaptive modes)
  • Paintable chassis covers for XF Tuning Pack
  • Fixed steering deadzone
  • New tuning parts added to the FH Tuning Pack

  • Visual improvement - procedural ambient occlusion generation (SSAO)
  • Route Advisor redesigned
  • Navigation ETA to the next waypoint in route adviser and in world map
  • Tobii eye tracking presets
  • RGB colorpicker redesigned
    • Added RGB, HSV and hex inputs
    • Predefined color presets

  • Update to FMOD 2.01.01
  • Individual horn sounds for each truck
  • Fixed the retarder sound when the engine is off
  • AI - exclusion of gear-shifts 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 Euro Truck Simulator 2 → Properties → Betas tab → public_beta → 1.38 public beta. No password required.