American Truck Simulator - Paprikson
Landmarks both natural and manmade are the pinnacles of our efforts to make our players believe they're really "there." Their unique appearance often brings, as in the real world, a wow factor. Careful and detailed work with an emphasis on their unique position in our virtual world is essential because people are very familiar with how they look.



The Closed Beta for New Mexico has begun

This is a message that we’ve all been impatiently waiting for! The first clear sight that the release of New Mexico is moving ever closer. Testing is in full swing as well as final polish of all content, fixing bugs and improving everything possible. We’ll continue to keep you informed about the new content that New Mexico will bring to shorten your wait. Thanks for your patience!



The release of latest ATS map expansion is planned for the 4th quarter of 2017.

Articles related to New Mexico:
http://steamcommunity.com/games/americantrucksimulator/announcements/detail/1301947764065966164
http://steamcommunity.com/games/americantrucksimulator/announcements/detail/1273802170612105061
http://steamcommunity.com/games/americantrucksimulator/announcements/detail/1351492437255526351
http://steamcommunity.com/games/americantrucksimulator/announcements/detail/2542695334301387360
http://steamcommunity.com/games/americantrucksimulator/announcements/detail/1453953742373030181
Aug 18
American Truck Simulator - Timmy the Duck Thief
The game got updated yesterday to version 1.28. Thanks a lot to everyone who gave us feedback in open beta!

Main features

Minor changes
  • Auxiliary brakes system support (engine brake and retarder in one control element)
  • Fixed licence plate change in states/countries where no city formats exist
  • Fixed brake vs parking brake behavior
  • Fixed tire noise of silent tires
  • Retarder improvement (better cruise control behavior, no braking with throttle, icon when moving only)
  • Steam Inventory support to allow for distributing rewards from upcoming World of Trucks events
  • Added three more steering wheel designs into the Steering Creations DLC

    http://store.steampowered.com/app/520550/American_Truck_Simulator__Steering_Creations_Pack/

Your game will be automatically updated on Steam (make sure to opt OUT of the beta branch now!).

Also a small personal note: I'm leaving SCS Software on Monday so you'll start seeing someone else here. So keep on quackin' and truckin'! ːacduckː
American Truck Simulator - Timmy
Rumble strips, also known as sleeper lines, or alert strips, are a very smart invention that is definitely saving lives. For some people though, this is not enough. At various highways around the world, in places as diverse as Denmark, South Korea, or Japan, creative minds have altered the frequency of the grooves to produce actual melodies when a wheel is in contact with the rumble stripe. If you keep the correct speed, you will hear a real melody from your tires.

One of such Musical Roads is located on Route 66 between Albuquerque and Tijeras. While maintaining 45 mph speed, you'll hear "America's Beautiful" melody.



We thought that it would be fun to feature this section of the road in American Truck Simulator. After a short research and experimenting with frequencies and musical scales, we have succeeded in realizing this peculiarity. Check out the enclosed video, you can see and hear that this effect is working now in our prototype. It should become a part of the upcoming New Mexico map expansion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edliKMY1jPY

The Musical Road is an all new little feature, the preview you are seeing/hearing may not be the final state. Development is still ongoing and will be subject to extended testing.

American Truck Simulator - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

08americantruck

A stretch of the iconic Route 66 in American Truck Simulator [official site] will play the song ‘America the Beautiful’ as we drive our trucks over it. The DLC adding New Mexico will include a real stretch of road near Tijeras which really does play a song, a real thing I haven’t made up. ‘Musical roads’ are a clever idea, similar to the rumble strips that make cars buzz as a warning but tuning them (by varying the distance between grooves) to play music. My dream ATS is filled with Americana and oddities so this is a real treat. (more…)

American Truck Simulator - Timmy
Open Beta test for the latest update of American Truck Simulator is here!



(Euro Truck Simulator 2 may still need a few more days, as we are fighting with a small but particularly hard to catch bug there.)

You may wonder about the game version number suddenly jumping to 1.28, as at the moment it was sitting at ver. 1.6. We have decided to unify versioning of ETS2 and ATS to simplify communication about game updates both internally and externally. The version number used to denote that ETS2 has been through 27 major updates, while ATS has been through 6 big revisions since the respective game's release. But we realized that this is not a crucial piece of information. It is more relevant and more important to provide the information that the updates, even if they appear at slightly different times, are based off the same core functionality upgrade; that the progress is in sync on both games. That's why we decided to only continue the numbering scheme established originally with the older Euro Truck Simulator 2 game, and stick to it even with American Truck. This way it will be clearer if and when both games reach a particular development milestone.

As usual, this update is full of great features for you to try out. Doubles are the main feature of this particular update which is great on its own. But since there are different regulations in Nevada, we decided to add something special for our fans. Please welcome triples and Rocky Mountain doubles which are part of ATS Nevada economy now!







Apart from those, there is a number of features worth looking into and we are sure you will take the time to study every bit of them through and through as you always do and then enjoy them in the game.
Let's make a list here so you can decide which of them will catch your eye first.

MAIN FEATURES
MINOR CHANGES
  • Auxiliary brakes system support (engine brake and retarder in one control element)
  • Fixed LP change in states/countries where no city formats exist
  • Fixed brake vs parking brake behavior
  • Retarder improvement (better cruise control behavior, no braking with throttle, icon when moving only)
  • Fixed suspension load gauges
  • Steam Inventory support to allow for distributing rewards from upcoming World of Trucks events
Doubles are just amazing and so much fun, we are sure you will agree once you try them yourselves.

Background screen options are a new cosmetic feature that changes the background of the main menu to better suit your style. You will have to try and choose one that suits you best.



Flares have been a big change that was worthy of its own dedicated blog post and you can take a look at it here.

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 American Truck Simulator → Properties → Betas tab → public_beta → 1.28 public beta. No password required.

During open betas, there is a dedicated beta site for World of Trucks, which is used to safely test all new features. Please visit World of Trucks Open Beta web for more information. Also check our modding wiki too to get details pertaining to mods for the game.

Just as with the previous Open Beta releases - please keep in mind that this is still only a beta version of the update! You may experience instability and/or bugs and kinks. It’s completely okay if you want to wait for the final release. But if you are interested in providing feedback at this stage, be sure to let us know on our forum. We appreciate all your feedback immensely.
American Truck Simulator - Timmy
Dear American truckers. In your future travel plans, please keep in mind the temporary closure of the offshore section of  California's coastal Highway 1. As you already know from the IRL media, Big Sur landslide interrupted the iconic route.

We always strive to bring something new in our game updates. This time, at this particular spot, we will not give, but take. The next update will close the Highway 1 section. Its reopening in American Truck Simulator will depend entirely on real world events. Fortunately, an alternate route is going to be available.



American Truck Simulator - Corleth


Welcome back to next episode of the UtH series. First of all, we'd like to thank you for all of the good feedback you've given us under previous articles dedicated to the deeper description of how things are made at SCS Software. The last article became quite a wall of text, so I'll try to grow something shorter and smaller this time.

Yes, the word grow is used as intended there, because today we're going to take a look at assets of vegetation in our games! So grab your gloves, shovels, clippers, fertilizer etc. and let's go gardening!

You need to know what you want to grow

Maybe it starts to sound quite repetitive, but the creation of vegetation assets begins at the research phase too. As we've written a few times already, when you want to make in-game content close to reality as possible, you need to gather all available information about everything you're going to recreate. And vegetation is no different. You definitely don't want to bring roads, mountains, buildings and everything else precisely created by real exemplars and then ruin the final feel of the whole new zone by adding trees, bushes, plants etc. who are totally not even from the same climatic zone. For example, just imagine desert full of deciduous trees. That'd look really foolish.
Hence, as in the other realms of a creation of our games, we do deep research for vegetation too. When a new zone is being researched, we gather information and useful material about places and zones located near the roads and highways which are going to be implemented. And not only the plants, but also ground and terrain such as fields, forests, meadows and so on. For this purpose, we use every possible way of getting quality material. For example an external database of textures, photos, online photos and videos searching tools, applications similar to 'streetview', satellite shots and also our own photos and videos which we try to capture every time some of our colleagues are somewhere on the roads. Sometimes it's easier, sometimes it's not.



As you probably know, our company is located in Prague, Czech Republic. That means we're located in Central Europe. So when we create a new state or zone for ETS 2, it's much easier to get good material by our own doing than for new areas in ATS. Yes, vegetation is different in each European country too, but it's still quite similar, well known for us or at least not so far away. If you're asking that it means we sometimes simply take a camera and go into the woods then the answer is yes. For example, in the team of asset designers, it's quite normal that one of the artists dedicated to vegetation systems says something like he's not going to be available in the office tomorrow if the weather will be good for shooting. Maybe we can publicly admit, that some of the deciduous forests in France had their foundation in material captured in the nature of the Kunratice valley, a small part of Prague. Does it sound like our colleague got it too easy? Unfortunately, he didn't. Because when he was there, the weather suddenly changed from partly cloudy to quite a big storm and he came back wet and cold as an abandoned dog. But as it's said, there's no greenery without water.



Seeds, ground, and patient care, right? Or not?

But how are the vegetation assets made? When we have all the good data and material we need, the phase of creation begins. It starts with a texture and mask. You need to capture and recreate the look, colors, pattern of foliage, bark, translucence, shine, shadows and so on. Then it's time to create the whole model. To make the width, height, shapes, roots or treetops. To decide how big the vegetation asset will be, how small, how it will look dry, fresh, healthy or withered. As we've been gaining experience with every new zone we made for our games, we started to create more looks and versions of every single vegetation asset we create. The reason is probably really obvious - to have more options, to be able to create the whole forest composed of different trees and plants of the same or similar species. No one wants to make a greenery zone full of exactly the same models of vegetation.



When the models are done and the textures are put on them, the whole compositions are recreated a few times again but with different 'Level Of Detail' (as you can see on the picture below). The purpose for that is to bring even more options for map designers as they need to distinguish highly detailed assets which are placed near the roads where players are able to drive or lower detail assets which are placed on the horizon far away from the player's close range. The whole set of new vegetation is further assigned to the map designers along with new textures for ground, terrain, 2D 'walls of textured horizon' which serve as coulisses at the maximum viewed distance. And also the information and suggestions of its use and placement.



Gloves + shovel or keyboard + mouse?

Definitely keyboard and mouse. Like the other assets and models in our games, which are made in graphic applications and software, vegetation is no different. Two colleagues out of our team of asset designers are currently dedicated for vegetation systems, and they use the same or quite similar tools. It doesn't matter if they're going to make new buildings, traffic signs, or trees and plants. So if you're interested in which software they use, we can give you some tips such as Adobe Photoshop or our own SCS plugin for Blender and Maya. This plugin also includes specialized Vegetation tool.

 As you can see in the gif below, one of our colleagues found passion and love in vegetation asset development since one classified space program ended. Do you recognize him?



The whole process of new vegetation asset creation is really complex, comprehensive and quite difficult. As you can probably imagine, every single tree or plant, ground or terrain texture needs a different approach if you want to make it well. And even when you have enough time, material and skill, you can't capture nature's diversity exactly as it is in reality. Moreover, there are many other things which we need to keep in mind but nature doesn't. For example the impact on players' hardware, polygons, scale or texel (pixels in a meter) detail limitations, a transition between models' LODs (level of details), vegetation translucence, wind animations (set manually for each single branch) of the whole trees or in the leaves,  and much more. There are so many things you mustn't forget. And our games are not located right in the middle of nature but on the roads. We can imagine how hard it must be for studios which make for example RPGs or FPS shooter games. But on the other hand, they often don't need to do everything according to reality, right?

Don't forget to water the plants

Well, it looks like I failed with my initial intention to write a shorter article than the previous one. Hope you don't mind and that you've enjoyed reading it, that it has brought new information about how another part of our games is made. 
As always, thank you for your time and I'm looking forward to reading your comments, criticism, feedback, and suggestions on which topic you'd like to see covered in the next article from the Under the Hood series. Until we meet again, have a great time and don't forget to water the plants. At least those you have at your flat or house. And we'll keep an eye on those which are in our games. Do we have a deal?

Related articles:
http://steamcommunity.com/games/americantrucksimulator/announcements/detail/983300335205240431
American Truck Simulator - Corleth
While working on the New Mexico DLC for American Truck Simulator, we thought it would be fun to include the city of Roswell, the site of the famed "Roswell Incident." Fortunately, it made sense to include it as a node in our road network layout.

UFO enthusiasts and skeptics alike will celebrate and remember this year's 70th anniversary of the 1947 incident that many people believe involved an extraterrestrial spaceship crash-landing on a ranch in the Roswell area. This event led to many conspiracy theories and belief in the existence of flying saucers which persist until today.

We're serving the first American Truck Simulator's Roswell appetizer in the form of a few screenshots. Here you can find several landmarks which local experts will surely have no trouble recognizing.









Articles related to New Mexico:

https://steamcommunity.com/games/americantrucksimulator/announcements/detail/1301947764065966164
https://steamcommunity.com/games/americantrucksimulator/announcements/detail/1273802170612105061
http://steamcommunity.com/games/americantrucksimulator/announcements/detail/1351492437255526351
American Truck Simulator - Timmy
We are working hard on addressing the remaining known issues before we can start the Open Beta process for the next major updates for both Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator. We thought that you may be interested in learning about one little visual improvement that we are planning to introduce as a part of the update...

We have never been quite happy with the way vehicle lights look, doing something about it was on our wishlist since the launch of Euro Truck Simulator 2. Our coders have actually improved the underlying system a while ago already, but finally, we have caught up with them and tweaked the "sprite" graphics, which in fact involved painstaking re-adjustment of a ton of various numerical constants that define light flare behavior.

The light flares in our games have always been growing too big at a short distance, masking out the entire headlight and any interesting shape and detail. Our goal for the change was to make sure that the lamp mask can be seen during both day and night without the excessive glare.



At longer distances, the new system adjusting the flare intensity still had to make sure that lights do not disappear. The eye is very good at catching the photons coming in even from a tiny source in the distance, and our system has to emulate it.

You can see the results of our effort on today's comparative series of screenshots.



American Truck Simulator - Timmy
A lot of fans have reminded us that the release of the Heavy Cargo DLC packs for Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator respectively would make a nice opportunity to introduce some new Steam Achievements for the games.

We decided to heed the advice and just added 5 new achievements for each game, slightly different so that owners of both games can have a somewhat different experience hunting them down.



Thanks to /u/rockandrole8 on Reddit's /r/trucksim who made a nice comparison of the two sets of achievements!

The Steam sale continues and our games are on sale. Get some DLCs and surprise your friends!
...

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