Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Montana: Border Summit Pass

Towering high above the U.S state borders of Montana and Idaho is the Bitterroot Range; a subrange of the northern Rocky Mountains. As Montana's largest mountain range, it spans a whopping 24,223 square miles along the border, and with that much mountain, travelers will need to pass through somewhere! 

In our upcoming Montana DLC for American Truck Simulator, truckers will be able to drive through 3 of these border passes. Let's take a closer look at them, shall we? 

Lost Trail Pass

Located on US Highway 93, The Lost Trail Pass is located at the south end of the Bitterroot Valley. So, why is this area called the Lost Trail Pass? Its name was appointed in 1935 by the state in recognition of the Lewis & Clark expedition; A perilous adventure was undertaken in 1805 by the Corps of Discovery with the much-needed help of local Native American tribes. 

Traveling with just horses and their own two feet, these brave individuals led their men forward through the rugged & treacherous mountains that laid ahead. They ended up leaving the beaten and rugged trail in hopes they would shave time off their journey, but this was one of the worst decisions they could have made as they faced great danger, wild animals, steep terrain, and extreme weather. 

Today, the area is a lot safer to pass through, thanks to modern technology and vehicles; and unlike Lewis & Clark, many flock to the area to enjoy the scenery, hiking trails, skiing, and more! 

Lookout Pass

Lookout Pass was part of the first big boom of National Ski areas in the US. The ski area was said to have been first used by a group of Scandinavians local to the Idaho/Montana border area, who discovered the area when they hopped off a traveling freight train.

Officially established as an alpine skiing area in 1935, Lookout Pass is located in the Northern Rocky Mountains at the crest of the Bitterroot Range on Interstate 90.

In 1938, the area was officially opened to the public by the Idaho Ski Club under the name Lookout Pass Ski Area which still operates as a popular destination for tourists and locals alike!

Lolo Pass

With an elevation of 5,242ft above sea level, the Lolo Pass (also known as the Passage Scenic Byway) offers drivers views of gorgeous meadows, mountain peaks, and forested hills. Located along US-12, it is another area where the famous Lewis & Clark expedition passed through in 1805. 

In fact, the Lola Pass Visitor Center serves as one of the many historical landmarks. The buildings were a part of an old nearby ranger station, which was moved in 1977 and restored to meet the increased demands of an information center. 

Today, the visitor center displays information on the Lewis and Clark journey across the Bitterroot Mountains and the 1877 flight of the Nez Perce Tribe and tells historical, natural, and general information about the area.

With so much history, natural beauty, and resorts in the area, it's easy to see why so many visit these border summit passes. As for us truckers, it serves as an important route for safe passage through otherwise wild and rugged terrain.

Montana still has plenty more to explore, so if you want to show us your excitement, make sure to add the map expansion to your Steam Wishlist! Also, to never miss out on anything important, you can also follow our social media profiles (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok), subscribe to our newsletter, or check out our Montana microsite.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Texas - El Paso

Situated at the edge of the U.S.-Mexico border, the West Texas town of El Paso is home to a range of cultures and historical sites unique to the Lone Star State. An average of 320 days of sunshine has earned it the nickname “Sun City,” so you’re practically guaranteed to spend your visit enjoying the outdoors. 

El Paso is within a few hours’ drive to some of the most spectacular places in the southwestern USA including several national parks. With scenic mountains in the distance and unique coloured road elements, such as painted bridges, El Paso is a colourful city to visit! 

One unique industry that El Paso will feature is its International Airport, where drivers will be able to deliver to and from. We can't wait to show you more in the future from this depot along with other industries in Texas.

With all the driving you'll be doing across the state, you'll need to take a rest at some point, and El Paso is a perfect place for a stop! Featuring one of the largest Truck Stops in American Truck Simulator so far, make sure to take advantage of all that space. 

Also, don’t forget to keep an eye out for our Texas DLC microsite, which contains a lot of interesting and exclusive content. And finally, check out our social media profiles (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) and give them a follow, or subscribe to our newsletter, to stay in touch with the latest news!

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Montana: Butte & Port of Montana

Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, is the historic mining city of Butte. Previously nicknamed as 'The Richest Hill on Earth', this city once was thriving with industrial activity in the 1800's because of its abundance of mineral wealth. 

While many of the mines from the 18th Century no longer operate, many of the old mining towers still stand as reminders of the past across the city. Each one of them are unique, and even have their own names! The downtown portion of Butte is rich in monuments and architectural buildings from the past, which our team have done a great job of recreating for our upcoming Montana DLC for American Truck Simulator. 

Drivers visiting Butte can find several industries to deliver to and from, including an electric network service and electric substation. One unique industry players will be able to work with is the Port of Montana, which is located nearby Butte. 

The Port of Montana is an industrial transload, distribution and warehousing facility with easy rail and highway access to directly benefit businesses throughout the region. It also include a unique Silene Gas Factory, which has been created according to a 1:1 reference! 

With so many reasons to visit Butte, we hope you take a moment to stop by and admire all that it has to offer. Excited? Be sure to add Montana to your Steam wishlist; we appreciate all of you that have done so far. You can also check out our social media profiles (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) and give them a follow, or subscribe to our newsletter and check out our Montana microsite to not only stay in touch with the latest news but find a lot of interesting and exclusive content as well. 

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Canadian Trip Wrap Up

It has been almost two weeks now since the first element of our crew bound for Canada returned back to our offices in Prague. After we interviewed them internally about their trip, we thought it may be interesting to let you know what they got up to! We hope this will be a nice article providing you with more proof that our community is really the #BestCommunityEver!

Our trip to North America had multiple purposes. First of all, we were honored to be invited to participate at the Daimler Truck North America booth at one of the largest Canadian truck shows, the famous Truck World expo. It was a great pleasure for us to be able to have our small gaming station at the very center of the joint Freightliner Trucks and Western Star Trucks booth. Initially, our plans were to ship one of our 4D Motion Sims there, however, due to multiple logistic issues, mostly caused by heavy congestion in the ports of Hamburg and Montreal, our simulator never made it to the destination in time for the expo.

Our crew found a quick workaround to the problem, which they immediately executed by building a gaming station there from products readily available at local stores. On the shopping list was a gaming PC, a chair, a wheel stand with pedals, a big flat screen, and voila - an improvised gaming station was made. 

Not as fancy as our motion sim, but it still did the trick. Local visitors at the event were happy to be able to play our game, and our friends from Daimler Truck North America were satisfied with the result. What a save! A massive thanks to everyone from both the Western Star Trucks and Freightliner Trucks teams who helped us with all these unexpected issues, and who made our crew feel welcome. It was great to hear from the truck manufacturer representatives how much they love the ATS community! Check their messages for you here and here. BTW, we are already working on some new content for you together with DTNA, so stay tuned!

During the opening days of the show, we were lucky enough to meet with quite a lot of fans too. We enjoyed every minute of our long chats and deep discussion about pretty much everything with you, thanks for taking the time to stop by the booth!

However, meeting with the game fans was not the only reason for our presence at this exhibition. Our Industry Partnerships Manager Oscar was with us, too, and that means he was bouncing around, shaking hands, and having promising meetings with representatives from multiple truck OEMs. This may or may not bring some new content for our games in the future. No spoilers for now though!

The other big reason for our trip to Canada was related to our game on a deeper level. We've been lucky enough to get in touch with two amazing guys from our #BestCommunityEver, Daniel and Mark, who helped us by getting three different trucks with different engines, trailers, and mileage so our SFX guys could record truck sounds with them. Our friends really went the extra mile to help us make our games more realistic and we are very grateful and honored to have done these sound recording sessions with them. Mark, Dan, if you're reading this - thank you so much!

Both guys have a great life story too. It turns out that they found and developed their passion and love for trucking through our games! They went on to become professional truck drivers and even owner-operators (a trucker taking on jobs with their own truck) for many years now. It was really cool hanging out with them, chatting about the profession in general and how tough a truck driver's life can be. They provided us with a lot of insights about the automotive industry, trucking, road network, and traffic rules in not just Canada, but in the US as well, and we are going to pass all this along with contacts to them to our other departments for sure! We have prepared a short video for you all and you can check it out and hit the like on it below!

No matter the issues we had to deal with during our trip to Canada, we can say that all the reasons for our stay there, our presence at Truck World, our sound recording sessions, and our licensing talks were a big success and that we had a great time as well. All this would not have been possible without our great, awesome community! We really love you all!

If you're watching our social media channels closely, then you probably know a couple of guys from our crew actually haven't come back to Prague with us - they keep on going across the US. We'll be probably covering their journey here later. They still have some more tasks to do, meetings to attend, and ambient and truck sounds to record around a few places throughout the US. We wish them luck that everything goes smoothly and that they'll return back home safe and sound, with a lot of reference material gathered!