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!
American Truck Simulator - Timmy
The engine is roaring. The town is behind me now, miles of the road stretch into the distance ahead of me. And all around there is just pristine nature. Land of Enchantment is New Mexico's nickname, and we are doing our best have it reflected in our new DLC.





We’ve created a new set of local flora: new shrubs, coniferous trees and over forty new terrain materials (grass, clay, stones). There are tons of new rocks and stones shaping the scenery. Fantastic horizon panoramas created from scanned templates abound. Note the great-looking streams, the map designers are also very proud of the dry and muddy riverbed created with decals.





A picture is worth a thousand words, enjoy the beauty of New Mexico in our screenshots, currently in development for American Truck Simulator!











Articles related to New Mexico:

https://steamcommunity.com/games/americantrucksimulator/announcements/detail/1301947764065966164
https://steamcommunity.com/games/americantrucksimulator/announcements/detail/1273802170612105061
American Truck Simulator - Timmy
Simulation of suspension and weight distribution

For well over a year, our programmers and testers have been spending a huge amount of time and effort with the goal of bringing more interesting cargo and trailer combinations into our games, adding proper support for one of the most requested features: doubles, heavy cargo, advanced and multi-joint trailers.
You may wonder why this feature, in particular, should be so difficult and demanding to pull off. After all, we had reasonably working road trains in one of our earlier sims in the 18 Wheels of Steel series games. But the fidelity and accompanying complexity of our physics simulation has increased by an order of magnitude since then. Making sure all things are in balance and in sync is getting more complex as well. Efficient physics of the trailer where many wheels are touching the road is proving to be a tough task; we had to iterate a lot, especially with cargo weight distribution and accompanied suspension loads.



Over its lifetime, a trailer will carry thousands and thousands of tons of cargo, ideally while operating with as little maintenance as possible. To withstand the harsh demands, and to deliver the load to its destination safely, it is crucial to observe the weight of the cargo. If you overload a trailer, or if you do not balance the weight right, it may cause damage to the trailer, its suspension or wheels, it may damage the road, and most importantly, it will make it unsafe to operate. With the never-ceasing demand to transport more and heavier cargo, the transportation industry has adopted new solutions to overcome the technical and legal limitations, in most cases centering around adding more length and axles to the tractor and semi-trailer.
It is not just about the number of axles though, it is about where they are and how trailer as a whole behaves while under load. There are considerable differences between North America and Europe.

In Europe, the legislative push is to limit the overall length of the truck and trailer combo, while making sure the total weight is distributed such that no wheel is pressing on the road surface too hard. Ultimately, this has lead to adding axles to the rear of the tractor as well as adding them generously under the relatively limited-length trailer. As engineers realized that putting more wheels next to each other causes problems with tyre scrub (due to high lateral friction, a paper about the topic here, chapter 2.1.3), a creative solution was adopted, making the wheels follow the turn or even steerable.



On the other hand, in the USA, the regulation is a bit more flexible about total truck length. There are still tough restrictions regarding weight on each axle, but there is also legislation in place making sure that the weight is not concentrated over a short length, pushing to increase the distances between the axles. The engineers, in turn, made the trailers longer to spread the weight in such way that it will comply with Federal Bridge Formula (source). To lessen tyre wear and to make it possible to make turns in reasonable fashion, trailers with multiple pivot points were adopted.



The primary duty of suspension is keeping the wheel on the road. It is effectively pushing the wheel into the ground to make sure that friction caused by wheels is sufficient to either brake or to corner. It is also in place to absorb the energy of impacts from road bumps, potholes, uneven roads or unexpected shifts of weight caused by side wind. The suspension system has to be incredibly durable, each axle has its own suspension system which takes care of the load on each wheel separately, working as a dynamic system absorbing energy from the environment. There are several types of suspensions used in cargo transportation, but this may deserve a future topic of its own.
Brakes are arguably the most critical part of a vehicle. Either from standpoint of safety of others on road, or safety of the cargo, we all want them to work as intended. With multiple axles on the vehicle, each axle has to have its own brake system.

By far the most complicated problem we encountered was the distribution of weight along the multiple axles and pivots of new trailers. We had to rework weight distribution algorithms in order to make it work for new trailers and to make sure that old ones wouldn't be negatively affected. Our constant battle with the numerical stability of the suspension simulation code is far from over.
During testing and tuning, we encountered many issues, some quite hilarious, especially when we had to (re)learn backing and reversed steering. We had a lot of fun debugging it. In general sense, it was all about making the behavior of the trailer appear to work correctly with the player's input. That proved to be the largest challenge for us, especially with steerable trailers for ETS2. We definitely enjoyed working on them immensely. In the end, our determination, grit, and dedication prevailed, and it was a very proud moment for us to share our experience and the final product of our tireless effort with all of you!

Related articles:

https://steamcommunity.com/games/227300/announcements/detail/2362546845450439701

https://steamcommunity.com/games/americantrucksimulator/announcements/detail/1336854469196981783
American Truck Simulator - Timmy
Looks like 2017 is going to be a very exciting year for truck sim fans. Today we are here to announce the release of Heavy Cargo DLC for American Truck Simulator!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7MtoAkM-1A

http://store.steampowered.com/app/620610/American_Truck_Simulator__Heavy_Cargo_Pack/

Much like in our previous release of Heavy Cargo Pack for ETS2, this DLC contains a set of new features that will enhance your gameplay. Let's see what you can look forward to in this heavy haul pack.

New Cargoes to haul

We are introducing 9 cargoes for you to haul:
  • Crawler Tractor
  • Bulldozer
  • Lift Truck Chassis
  • Lift Truck
  • Cable Reel
  • Milling Machine
  • All Terrain Crane
  • Scraper
  • Transformer
All of these cargoes range in weight from 55, 000 lbs to 123, 000 lbs (25 - 56 metric tons), so there is plenty of work to be done if you want to get them to their destination.



Trailers

If you are wondering why these trailers look very different from the ones used in Europe, look up Federal Bridge Gross Weight Formula.  The trailers tend to be quite long and multi-pivoted for a good reason.

Let's familiarize ourselves with each part.

The first part which is the closest to the tractor is called the jeep and it is connected to the truck via the normal fifth wheel. The second part is called the lowboy and that's where the cargo is placed. It's either in the middle or it's the last part, depending on the configuration. The third part is semi-optional in relation to the cargo that is transported. It's called the spreader (or the stinger or the axle booster as it is called sometimes) and as the name suggests, it is there to spread the weight of the cargo across more axles and greater length. All three have their own pivot point which makes backing really entertaining and actually generally not advisable.



Our Heavy Cargo Pack comes with a mix of 2-part and 3-part (with spreader/stinger) configuration trailers, chosen to suit each particular cargo.



New engines

We have recently added new engine variants (with real behavior) to the game and we feel that this is the right time to remind you of that. All trucks now have a 600 hp engine option available and some trucks even have a stronger engine to choose from. There are of course still lower power engines available too - very sensible and economical choices for most transportation scenarios.

See you on the road!

If you happen to play both Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator, consider this link: SCS Cargo Addict Bundle.

Related announcement:

https://steamcommunity.com/games/227300/announcements/detail/2362546845450439701

http://store.steampowered.com/app/620610/American_Truck_Simulator__Heavy_Cargo_Pack/
Dota 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

‘Terrible’ only in the sense of their gaming capability. Honestly, I’m sure your> laptop is lovely to look at and it was definitely a extremely sensible idea to spend all that money on it instead of buying a holiday or helping to save the pandas. Truth is, though, that playing recently-released games on the vast majority of laptops is about as effective as starting an online petition to uncancel your favourite television show.

A little discretion goes a long way, however. Sure, you may be denied the glossiest of exploding viscera, but it is entirely possible to keep up with the Joneses even on a Terrible Laptop that has no dedicated graphics card. Here are but twelve contemporary games – either recently released or still-evolving going concerns – that will indeed run on your glammed-up toaster. Additional suggestions below are entirely welcome. … [visit site to read more]

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