Today is a bit of a milestone for SCS Blender Tools feature scope. With this update, the tools are finally supporting creation and export pipeline of fully fledged trucks - with equivalent power to tools used internally at SCS Software.
It took us a while to organize full truck creation, as the range of things that needed addressing is quite extensive. There is the vehicle model itself, but there is also the rest of the structure and data - the upgrades and locators ("pins"), and full animation support.
Speaking of animation, SCS Blender Tools now support animations not only for the vehicle parts, but also for any 'movers' in our game: world animated objects, animals, and people.
With the latest update, we are now about two thirds of the way towards having SCS Blender Tools support the full range of asset creation for our truck games - the one last major area remaining are the "prefabs" for elements like roads and intersections. This will become our next focus.
The vision for SCS Blender Tools is to eventually have it become a common standard out there for how Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator mods are created and shared. The hot "buzzword" or "buzz term" in the games industry these days is User Generated Content, stuff that communities of game fans can produce on their own to improve the games they love, and we would definitely like to help our already very active fan community produce higher quality, easier-to-share content for our games. We have Steam Workshop in our sights as the likely platform for wide-scale mod exchange, and for that we need rock solid asset creation and export pipeline. If we achieve 100% technical compatibility between SCS-created content and user-generated content, the holy grail would be very close cooperation with the creators - possibly even integration of the best mods into core game content or official DLCs.
Here is the full list of changes in the latest version of SCS Blender Tools:
- Animation system implementation
- Shader presets can now be searched by name, as list is getting longer
- New truck sample base including all the definitions to create complete truck
- Updated sample base with added wind powerplant and human character with animations
- Other improvements:
- Vertex color statistics tool
- New versioning system
- Unified relative paths with forward slash for all platforms
- Import speed in case of big amount of materials
- New shaders:
- A lot of new extensions for existing shaders
Just in case you haven't seen the two previous posts about SCS Blender Tools releases:
To Get You Started
Wiki is probably the most important place for SCS Blender Tools knowledge base. There you will find the steps you need to take to begin using the tools. You can also find the download links for SCS Blender Tools. And there is even all the source code of the tools, right in the open, which could be quite interesting for the coders out there:
We have created a special forum branch, dedicated exclusively to the SCS Blender Tools. If you feel you found a bug in the tools, or want to ask something about them, or share your knowledge with the other people just getting started - this is the place to be. We will be monitoring the forums and hopefully providing some guidance, but again, we do not expect to be able to respond to everybody and to every cry for help.
ETS2 web, mod page
In case you forget all the links above you can always start with the modding section of the Euro Truck Simulator 2 web page. The links there should guide you not just to SCS Blender Tools but also to all modding guidelines paramount for successful mod creation.
We encourage you to import and check all the models on your own. Now all you need to start is a bit of knowledge of Blender!
We are truly humbled by public reception of American Truck Simulator. The readers of our blog have known about American Truck Simulator for a long time (the first reveal was in September 2013, that's a long time already!), but E3 and PC Gaming Show were a unique chance for us to show the game to even more people.
About 180,000 people were watching the Twitch stream when American Truck Simulator was featured in the PC Gaming Show. You can watch it here in past broadcasts.
There are many articles about the game out already and yet more are coming, we are super excited that American Truck Simulator is getting so much attention.
ATS was even one of the worldwide trends on Twitter, which shows how much attention we've got!
Here is the teaser shown during the PC Gaming Show:
As some of you have noticed in yesterday's post, the American Truck Simulator website is now live. "Coming soon" Steam store page was also published yesterday - if you like getting Steam notifications about announcements from your favorite games, please click on the Follow button, we will always publish ATS-related content both on our blog and in the Steam game hub. (Question: Do you want to see most ATS-related posts in the ETS2 Steam hub too? Tell us in comments!)
See you at Gamescom! (We plan to show way more of the game, including an interactive demo.)