PC Gamer

This article was originally published in PC Gamer issue 280. For more quality articles about all things PC gaming, you can subscribe now in the UK and the US.

My journey begins in Odense, Denmark—the southernmost city in Euro Truck Simulator 2 s new Scandinavia DLC. It s the third largest Danish city and was once ruled by Canute IV, the last Viking king. My road trip will take me through Denmark, over to Sweden, and up to Norway. There s no way to set the GPS in Euro Truck if you re not on a delivery, so I ll be navigating entirely with a map and road signs. I have no idea how long it ll take, but I m sure I ll see some amazing scenery along the way. Or maybe just a load of motorways. 

My bright red DAF XF Euro 6—a modest but reliable truck—pulls away from Odense and I head east towards Copenhagen, or K benhavn as the Danes call it. To reach the capital I ll need to cross the Great Belt Fixed Link, or Storeb ltsforbindelsen, a bridge that connects the islands of Zealand and Funen. It s not long before I see its two great towers in the distance, and as I cross it, What a Feeling from Flashdance plays on the Danish radio station I m tuned to. I m feeling good. Spirits are high. 

I make my way across Zealand, the most populated island in Denmark. To cross into Sweden I ll have to take the resund Bridge, which anyone who s watched Danish/Swedish crime drama The Bridge will be familiar with. This leads directly from Copenhagen into the Swedish city of Malm . It s an impressive structure, and I switch briefly to a thirdperson view to soak in its majesty. Euro Truck is a game of mostly grey roads, which makes the moments when you see stuff like this even more exciting.

What a Feeling from Flashdance plays on the Danish radio station I m tuned to.

I arrive in Malm , a city with 470km of cycle paths. Not that I care in my massive gas-guzzling truck. I head through the city and southeast towards Trelleborg, the southernmost town in Sweden. When I get there, I have my first accident. I drive a little too quickly around a roundabout and my truck rolls over and falls on its side. If this was the real world, that would be the end of the road trip. But luckily I m able to call for help and magically respawn at a nearby garage. 

Karlskrona is my next destination. It s evening now, and the light is fading fast. The road between Trelleborg and Karlskrona is long and narrow, taking me through a picturesque slice of Scandinavian countryside. The sun finally dips below the horizon and I m surrounded by blackness on all sides. It s strangely eerie. I start designing a horror/ truck simulator game in my head. Silent Hill with heavy goods vehicles. Imagine it. Sympathy for the Devil by The Rolling Stones plays on the radio as I roll into Karlskrona, which is the headquarters of the Swedish Coast Guard.

Hey, trucks need to rest too.

My fatigue meter is almost full, so it s time to rest. I pull into a motel and get a few hours sleep. I wake up to a grey, rainy morning. I switch on my wipers and headlights and head northwest to the next city on my route, V xj . Surrounded by lakes, this beautiful city has promised to totally eliminate its use of fossil fuels by 2030. I show my appreciation by driving my big, smelly truck through it. I continue northwest and make my way towards the city of J nk ping, which is built on the banks of V ttern, Sweden s second largest lake. 

From here I head northeast to Link ping, a city that promises to be carbon neutral by 2025. The Swedish seem to care about the environment more than any other country, which makes me feel guilty about fouling the place up with my truck. Good thing virtual carbon emissions don t count. I ve been driving non-stop for an hour and a half now, and I m still only halfway through Sweden. I m finding navigation without the GPS surprisingly easy, but I ve become obsessed with checking the map every other minute to make sure I m not taking any wrong turns. 

I m heading towards Sweden s capital now, Stockholm. To get there I have to pass through S dert lje, which is home to truck manufacturer Scania AB. I wonder if any hardcore Scania fans will see me driving through their town in a Dutch DAF truck and throw eggs at me, but I emerge on the other side of the city unscathed. I continue northeast to Stockholm, an amazing city I ve had the pleasure of visiting a couple of times in real life. But, like all the cities in the game, its digital incarnation isn t quite as impressive. I take some time in the capital to visit a garage and repair my truck, which has suffered hundreds of bumps, scrapes and bangs since I left Odense. The total cost is an eye-watering 27,000 euros. Ouch. 

The rain effects in Euro Truck are brilliant.

My time in Sweden is almost over. I ve noticed that Scandinavia is much greener than other parts of Euro Truck s map. It has a very different feel to other parts of the continent. The architecture, road signs and landscape feel unique, but I still haven t seen anything that s made me stop and go Woah! like Keanu Reeves in Bill & Ted s Excellent Adventure. I leave Stockholm and head to V ster s, the sixth largest municipality in Sweden. From here I make my way to rebro, which is my route into the next country on my Scandinavian road trip: Norway.

It s here, on the road between rebro and Norway s capital, Oslo, that the scenery starts to get much more dramatic. To the strains of Elton John s I m Still Standing , I pass a chain of gorgeous lakes surrounded by dense forest. I m so distracted by the scenery, spinning the third-person camera around my truck, that I slam into a passing car. The roads here are dangerously narrow. Luckily, no one seems to be dead, and I pull away with nothing worse than a 400 euro fine. I eventually cross into Norway, and by the time I reach Oslo, it s the dead of night. I find a nearby station to refuel, then park in a motel to rest.

Oslo has been the capital of Norway since 1814, when the country gained its independence from Denmark. It s one of the fastest-growing capitals in Europe, although if I crash into any more cars, that might no longer be the case. There are far fewer cities in the game s recreation of Norway than its version of Sweden, and so the drive west from Oslo to Bergen is pretty barren. But I don t mind, because it s clear from the moment I arrive in Norway that this is the most visually splendid part of the new DLC. The game s engine had to be upgraded for the scenery here, and it shows. It s much grander, and prettier, than anywhere else in the game.

Rainy or not, Scandinavia is beautiful to look at.

The road to Bergen is long and mostly straight, but the countryside is so scenic that I don t mind. But, once again, I become so enamoured by my surroundings that I have an accident. I crash my truck face-first into a wall, but luckily I don t flip over and can continue driving. But then the dashboard starts blinking with a message: Seek service immediately! My engine is still running, but it s seriously damaged, and keeps turning itself off in the middle of the road. I m in the middle of nowhere, so I have no choice but to limp on to Bergen and find a mechanic there.

I m drawing closer to Bergen, but night has fallen, so I decide to rest again. My fatigue meter is fine, but I don t want to miss out on any of this Norwegian scenery. It s a bright, sunny morning and I continue my journey, past a stunning mountain range, down winding roads, and through a series of tunnels carved into the volcanic rock. I emerge from one of these tunnels and find myself in front of Hardanger Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in Norway. It s every bit as impressive as Sweden s resund, and leads right into Bergen itself. Rod Stewart s Maggie May blares triumphantly on the radio as I cross the giant bridge towards the city.

On the other side, there s still a bit more driving to go before I reach Bergen. The roads continue to snake through the mountains, with a few sheer drops along the way. There are more tunnels too, including a few underground roundabouts that I ve christened undergroundabouts . I can see why this Scandinavia expansion took so long to develop. It s absolutely massive, and the scenery is unlike anything else I ve seen in the game. As I draw closer to Bergen, I feel a bit sad that my journey is almost over. Euro Truck is a bizarre kind of therapy for me. It s a meditative experience that makes me forget all the troubles in my life. Not that I have any real troubles, but you know what I mean. It s pure escapism. With trucks.

The dark road to Bergen. Great name for a book.

Finally, I reach Bergen. It s known as the City of the Seven Mountains, because of the mountains that surround it, which makes it sound like a location from Game of Thrones. It s such a cool place that I ve decided to go there myself in real life. But probably not by truck. My truck, incidentally, is a wreck. I m low on fuel and I m several thousand euros in debt because of those repairs in Stockholm, but I made it. The journey was 1,257 miles in total. I could have taken a shorter route, but I wanted to see as much of the continent as possible. In the end, it took me just under three and a half hours of non-stop driving to get from Odense to Bergen. In real life it would have taken a significantly more time-consuming fifteen hours.

Combined with the Going East DLC, which adds Eastern Europe to the map, the Scandinavia expansion makes Euro Truck Simulator 2 a dizzyingly massive game. Even though I feel bleary-eyed and exhausted after my three-hour road trip, I m already planning my next one. Maybe I ll take things to the next extreme and drive across the entire map, starting in Scotland and ending in Bergen. I can only imagine how long that ll take. And maybe I ll do it with an Oculus Rift. Delivering cargo for money is the core of Euro Truck s structure, but next time you play it, don t bother. Just pick a destination, drive there, and enjoy the scenery along the way. It s more relaxing than yoga.

PC Gamer

The world's best game about transporting wood shavings to Strasbourg is about to get a little bigger. As part of the upcoming 1.19 expansion for Euro Truck Simulator 2, the Going East! expansion will gain two additional Hungarian cities.

Szeged and P cs will be added to the Southern side of the country. You can see screenshots of the new areas below. As explained on SCS blog, "quite a few kilometers of new roads were created to provide good connection to the older section of the map.

Update 1.19 is currently in closed beta testing. No release date has been given, but a public test is expected soon.

Community Announcements - Timmy the Duck Thief
Euro Truck Simulator 2 Update 1.19 is nearing completion. The closed beta is in full swing and hopefully next week we will be able to start the final stage of testing - and offer you access to a public beta.

In this short blog let's just touch one small but nice feature that this update will bring you. We are expanding Going East! content with more of the Hungarian territory, bringing you two new cities: Pécs and Szeged. As you can see on the map, quite a few kilometers of new roads were created to provide good connection to the older section of the map.



Here are a couple of fresh screenshots from the new part of the game world:













http://store.steampowered.com/app/227310/
Community Announcements - Timmy the Duck Thief
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:
    • "eut2.dif.lum"
    • "eut2.mlaaweight"
    • "eut2.truckpaint"
    • "eut2.reflective"
    • "eut2.unlit.vcol.tex"
    • 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

GitHub wiki

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:

https://github.com/SCSSoftware/BlenderTools/wiki

Forum

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.

http://forum.scssoft.com/viewforum.php?f=159

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.

http://www.eurotrucksimulator2.com/mod_tools.php

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!
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

The worst music. The worst>. And yet, at the same time, the Beach Boys-as-muzak soundtrack to this new American Truck Simulator [official site] footage entirely fits the faintly awkward cheesiness of the sterling lorry driver series. I sort of love it.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Ben Barrett)

What are the best Steam Summer Sale deals? Each day for the duration of the sale, we’ll be offering our picks – based on price, what we like, and what we think more people should play. Read on for the five best deals from day 7 of the sale.>

… [visit site to read more]

Community Announcements - Timmy the Duck Thief
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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMHDzCwNXE4
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.)

http://store.steampowered.com/app/270880/
Community Announcements - Timmy the Duck Thief
We have been kindly invited by the PC Gamer magazine to show a bit of American Truck Simulator to the public as part of their PC Gaming Show, taking place in Los Angeles alongside E3. The day is here at last, even if for us Europeans it's actually so late at night that it happens to be tomorrow.



The eyes of the gaming industry are now fixed on E3 2015, the largest annual gaming event in Northern America. We are happy that American Truck Simulator can be a part of it, even if only in the form of a short video clip. Anyway, we are in good company there: Blizzard Entertainment, our Czech buddies at Bohemia Interactive, Cloud Imperium Games, Devolver Digital, Microsoft, Square Enix and more of the best developers and publishers in PC gaming are taking part in the PC Gaming Show.

You can watch the event live on PC Gamer’s Twitch channel and discuss the show on Twitter via #pcgamingshow. The stream starts at 5 PM PDT (12 AM UTC, 2 AM CEST), the show starts an hour later at 6 PM PDT (1 AM UTC, 3 AM CEST). Full E3 schedule is available here.

By the way, did you think to click the underlined American Truck Simulator link already?

Community Announcements - Timmy the Duck Thief
Today just a very short update. We have just released a hot fix update 1.18.1.3 for Euro Truck Simulator 2. It includes several general game fixes.



Fixes are:
  • fix for occasionally appearing triangle flickering
  • fix for missing geometry on some Windows XP configurations
  • Scandinavian countries license plates are added to World of Trucks



It took us a while longer to collect all loose ends after Scandinavia release. One of such finishing touches were country license plates for Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

All three countries license plates are currently available for customization for your trucks, as always, via the World of Trucks website.



Enjoy! And don't forget, war never changes.
Community Announcements - Timmy the Duck Thief
We have just updated the official Euro Truck Simulator 2 website with all new graphics and content. Hope you like it!



The website of course is mostly intended to attract newcomers to the game. If you are a seasoned visitor of our blog or any other communication channels, you are more likely to frequent the World of Trucks website for your daily dose of cool images from the game.

Meanwhile, we are taking the opportunity to remind the world of the cool new truck - Mercedes-Benz New Actros - introduced into the game as part of Update 1.18. To celebrate it, we have a new YouTube promo video ready for you to enjoy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VT9u9J3Tt20

It is not just us celebrating, you should definitely consider checking out this tweet from our friends at @Mercedes-Benz Trucks.

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