American Truck Simulator - Timmy the Duck Thief
Colorado boasts having some of the best wildernesses and mountain ranges in the United States, and from our previous research trip, it's easy to see why. However, while drivers are enjoying the scenery, we need to remember the reason for our journey! Let's take a closer look at some of the new key industries that will be arriving in our upcoming Colorado DLC for American Truck Simulator.



Being a state that promotes its natural beauty, Colorado is always looking at ways of using clean-energy to protect the environment. One of the many investments the state has made is into using windpower as a main source of energy. In fact, Colorado has one of the largest wind farms in the nation, with over 400 wind turbines generating enough power for 90,000 homes!


So it's no surprise that Colorado is home to the number one wind turbine company in the USA, with a highly trained workforce that builds more towers than any other facility in the world. With unique parts and equipment always on the move from the factory to wind farms across the states, we hope you will be a BIG fan of this industry.



Wind turbines might not cool you down on a hot day, but a cold bottle of soda will! Colorado is also home to a variety of bottling plants, each producing and distributing an assortment of different beverages which drivers can deliver to locations across the states.



Trucking isn't the only form of transportation to handle logistics however, on any given day more than 2,000 cargo flights are in the skies above America. Denver International Airport is the 20th-busiest airport and sees millions of passengers, packages, mail and more, pass through its terminals and hubs every year. Drivers will play an important role in the transport of cargo to and from the airport, and with new arrivals everyday, you never know what you might be hauling next!


We are excited for you to check out these new industries in the future, but until then, if you like what you see, make sure to add Colorado to your Steam Wishlist!

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1209471/American_Truck_Simulator__Colorado/
Jun 30
American Truck Simulator - London
From wide open roads to larger sized trucks, everything in the American Truck Simulator world does appear to be a little bigger when compared with its European counterpart. However, one thing that does stay consistently large no matter where you are, is the size of our Special Transport loads!



In the upcoming state of Idaho for American Truck Simulator, owners of the Special Transport DLC will have 3 new routes to drive with the assistance of local law enforcement and escort vehicles. These routes are:

  • Boise to Grangeville
  • Idaho Falls to the Challis (near Salmon City)
  • Twin Falls to Nampa
Each journey will come with its own challenges. So make sure to adhere to the GPS advisor and speed limit which have been set-out for you before your departure, as there is no room for mistakes!


If you are not an owner of the Special Transport DLC, be sure to pick it up whilst the Steam Summer Sale is still ongoing. You can find a wide range of our products from both ourhttps://store.steampowered.com/app/227300/Euro_Truck_Simulator_2/ETS2 & ATS catalog at a discounted price.



Also, if your excitement for Idaho is BIGGER than these loads, make sure to add it your Steam Wishlist! We thank you for your continued support and we can't wait for you to drive the roads of Idaho for yourself.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1209470/American_Truck_Simulator__Idaho/
American Truck Simulator - London
Ever wondered what it is like to walk around the moon? dream no further! Today, we are taking a closer look at one of Idaho's National Parks that is famous for its volcanic history and moon-like landscape.



So how did this part of Idaho become so alien like? Between 2,000 and 15,000 years ago, the area now known as the 'Craters of the Moon National Monument' was formed during eight major eruptive periods, in which lava erupted from the Great Rift, a series of deep cracks that start near the current visitor center and stretches 52 miles.

Since its last eruption, the lava has cooled to form an unusual terrain with volcanic rocks, lava flows and rich dark soil.

This desolate, yet sublime landscape is also known for its connection with space. The Craters of the Moon National Monument allows visitors to explore a moon-like surface without ever leaving Earth. In fact it's so close to the real deal that in 1969, NASA sent some of it's best-known astronauts to prepare and receive training for their future Apollo lunar mission.

Unfortunately drivers of American Truck Simulator wont be able to drive on the moon anytime soon, however; you will be able to get close to the experience in our upcoming Idaho DLC in which we are proud to feature and preserve this unique american national monument virtually!

Also as a bonus for today's blog, we are excited to share with you some exclusive gameplay footage from Idaho! Join us for a ride as we drive between Boise to Grangeville for a preview of what Idaho state has to offer. Take a watch of it at our official YouTube channel below.



https://store.steampowered.com/app/1209470/American_Truck_Simulator__Idaho/
American Truck Simulator - London
Not much time has passed since the last update of American Truck Simulator, and here we are again, excited to offer the community a glimpse of the upcoming version 1.38 improvements, fixes, and new functionality.

It will still take at least several weeks before the full 1.38 release, please keep in mind that this is the first raw open beta, very much still a work in progress build. If you want to take it for a spin, you can help contribute by reporting any bugs you may encounter at the appropriate section of our official forums. Your feedback and reports are extremely valuable for our team and we thank you in advance for taking the time to help us out.

So, what can you expect to find in the 1.38 Open Beta for ATS? Let's take a closer look!



First off, the city of Las Vegas has received a major revamp, which includes new road networks, updates to existing interstate junctions, more detailed scenery, and the inclusion of newer vegetation, terrain textures, and much more!



Some of the main changes include new Interstate connection (515), an overhaul to the US-93 junction, and correct positioning of the 'Welcome to Las Vegas' with a new pedestrian island. You can find a more in-depth blog post on the subject which showcases many of the changes found in and around the city.

But the best way to see it all is to see the city for yourself! So be sure to make that trip to Nevada and let us know what you think through our social media channels.

Las Vegas isn't the only part of the American Truck Simulator world to receive an update in 1.38, one of the more noticeable changes are to Truckstops. From our previous trips to the USA to community feedback, we have learnt a lot about these vital services for drivers.



One of the first changes you will notice at Truckstops in ATS is that fuel stations now have lanes with appropriate width for trucks to pull up and refuel in. This is because, in reality, most trucks refuel from both sides and not just from one side like a regular car.  We have also implemented (where possible) guidance lines to help drivers line up their trucks to avoid damaging their vehicles upon entry and exit. Plus there is a completely new truck stop placed on the US-111 road now!

Aside from the changes related to gas stations and truckers' resting areas, we've also implemented a few more content changes across the map. In this update, you will find that Utah has a new road to drive on, the UT-56, but that's not all!



The city of El Centro received a large revamp and we also added the US-191 in Arizona. We also made a few minor changes in preparations for future connection to Colorado in New Mexico's Shiprock and made layout corrections to the nearby US-491.

We are also excited to introduce the inclusion of a computer graphics technique for efficiently approximating ambient occlusion effects in real-time. Better known in it's shorter form, SSAO creates shadows in the areas where objects connect, to give it a more natural and believable look in terms of lighting and shadows.


So what exactly does this feature mean for our players? To break it down as simply as possible, SSAO adds missing shadows where they should have been and improves shadowing in general. It also improves the look of glossy surfaces (such as paint and chrome).



SSAO improves the driving experience and overall visual look of the game, however, this comes with an impact on performance. Technically, it is a post-processing pass on the whole rendered screen at the full internal resolution, so a lot of maths for each pixel.

Less powerful GPUs may struggle to keep up at full quality, and with 400% or similarly high scaling selected, even mid-range machines would feel the impact on fps. If you are not happy with framerate after this update, please open the advanced graphics options in the game and try to find the right combination of scaling and SSAO quality for you. With a weaker GPU, it may be advisable to switch off SSAO completely.


The easiest way to explain to you the benefits of using SSAO is by showing you a range of comparison images, take a look! Keep an eye or two on our blog because we plan to bring you more info about the SSAO in its own dedicated article soon!

We are also excited to introduce a long-requested update to the RGB Color Picker which drivers use to paint their trucks when purchasing or tuning their truck. You now have the option to input specific color inputs (HSV, RGB, and HEX).

Also, In addition to saving color preset for just a single color, the color picker now supports saving a preset for all paint job colors at once. This way player can store and easily try paint job color set with other paint jobs. With this feature we also extended number of user kept color swatches from 8 to 40, for your coloring pleasure.

We know that many drivers like to match their truck colors the same across their whole fleet, so we hope this feature is useful to you.



MAP
  • Las Vegas city revamped (I-515/I-11 interstate bypass + the whole city switched to the template road system)
  • US-191 road implemented
  • UT-56 road implemented + reskin of a little stretch of US-93 around Panaca settlement
  • CA-111 - new truckstop added
  • El Centro revamped
  • New company in Logan, UT (Plaster & Sons)
  • Reworked all truck stop gas pumps to be more realistic. More realistic dimensions and the logic of how they work
  • NM Shiprock redesigned + piece of US-491
  • Various map fixes

VEHICLES
  • Automatic transmission improved (shifting points, adaptive modes)
  • Las Vegas: New ambulance and fire truck

FEATURES
  • Visual improvement - procedural ambient occlusion generation (SSAO)
  • Route Adviser redesigned
  • Navigation ETA to the next waypoint in route adviser and in world map
  • Tobii eye-tracking presets
  • RGB color picker redesigned
  • Added RGB, HSV and HEX inputs
  • Predefined color presets

SOUND
  • Update to FMOD 2.01.01
  • Fixed the retarder sound when the engine is off
  • AI - exclude the gear for trains and electric vehicles

So enjoy all the new additions, but please remember: It's only an open beta, not a stable public version - so you may encounter bugs, instability, kinks, or crashes. It's completely okay if you want to wait for the final release. But if you're interested in helping us to move there faster, we'll appreciate all of your feedback on our forum and your bug reports in this section.
Please check our modding wiki to get details pertaining to mods for the game.
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 → 1.38 public beta. No password required.
    American Truck Simulator - London
    Some of our more eagle-eyed fans may have spotted, in a recent blog post showcasing our team's home work stations, a small teaser displayed on one of the desktops. Did you spot it?

    Whenever we manage to find spare capacity, we like to revisit a part of the existing world to improve upon our old work. Often it's a part of the training of a new map design team member. Sometimes, it's a concerted effort by our seniors to raise the quality of a particular location that we get a lot of heat about from the community.

    In an upcoming 1.38 update, Las Vegas, the entertainment capital of the world will be receiving a revamp to some of its road networks and surrounding scenery. So what changes can you expect to see? Let's take a closer look!




    One of the first things drivers might come across upon arriving is a new Interstate connection, which connects the I-15 to the I-11, known as the 515. This important route allows drivers to ultimately avoid driving through the city itself, which we are sure that any trucker with a tight delivery schedule will appreciate.


    A couple of important interstate junctions have also received an overhaul to their looks and road networks. The US-93 junction now features a more true to life layout; with the new option for drivers to exit and head into the city. The I-15 junction has also received a more up-to-date look to better represent what locals nickname 'The spaghetti bowl', and it's easy to see why!


    If you do decide to drive down Las Vegas Boulevard, you will see that this road been given a fresh redesign and that (most importantly for tourists), the 'Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign' is in the correct spot! This also features a new pedestrian island, where visitors can park and take a closer look at the world-famous sign.


    Truckers will also now find a truck stop located in Las Vegas, which has been redesigned to more accurately represent how tractors refuel from both sides of the vehicle. This new design will be eventually rolled out across more truckstops and gas stations in ATS, so keep an eye out for future blog posts talking about this topic!


    These are just some of the changes that are coming in 1.38 for Las Vegas, however, there are many more changes that are featured in this revamp. From new vegetation to more detailed ground textures and smoother road layouts, we can't wait for you to see it for yourself.


    With more changes to come in the pipeline, you can look forward to future blog posts with even more details of what is to come in 1.38 for American Truck Simulator and Euro Truck Simulator 2. Don't miss out and stay up to date with the latest news from us on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

    Jun 11
    American Truck Simulator - London
    If you happen to be driving between Salt Lake City and Portland, you can be sure to see beautiful landscapes, magnificent forests, numerous small cities and even smaller towns along the way. However, there is one major bustling metropolis which is an essential stop for any traveler passing through, the city of Boise!




    Located in the West of Idaho, relatively close to the state border of Oregon on the I-84, is the capital city of Idaho. Home to many small businesses and several high-rises, it is the most populous metropolitan area in Idaho; containing the state's largest cities which include Boise and Nampa.




    But you won't have to admire this city from afar, as Boise will be one of the cities that truckers will be able to drive through in American Truck Simulator. You may even spot some ambulances, fire trucks and police cars with liveries unique to the city patrolling the downtown area as you pass through.



    Did you know that Boise also is also known as the City of Trees? The main reason behind this nickname is because of the state's abundance of (you guessed it!) trees! Idaho has a staggering 4.7 million acres of wilderness, which to put that number into perspective, is roughly the same size as US's three smallest states combined!


    Excited to visit Boise? Then be sure to add Idaho to your Steam Wishlist, and don't forget to check out our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter too! You can find exclusive content from upcoming projects, the latest announcements, community screenshots, giveaways, and much more. So if you haven't already, make sure to give us a like or a follow and you won't miss out!

    https://store.steampowered.com/app/1209470/American_Truck_Simulator__Idaho/
    American Truck Simulator - London
    It's time we take a closer look at our next upcoming state for American Truck Simulator, Idaho. We are starting off slow here, as we do not want to spoil the enjoyment of discovering the beauty of the state by showing you too much, too early.

    Take a seat in the position of the driver and join us as we haul lumber from a harvest site near Sandpoint to a paper-mill factory in Lewiston. Let us know what you spot along the way!


    We are excited to give you a look at what Idaho will have to offer come this year with this footage. Please note that this map expansion is actively being worked on and the contents of this raw gameplay footage may not represent the final product.

    https://store.steampowered.com/app/1209470/American_Truck_Simulator__Idaho/
    American Truck Simulator - London
    From housing to flooring, furniture and the paper in your book, wood products are more prevalent in your daily life than you may realize. The logging industry plays a large role for the economy in the United States.



    In the North of Idaho (also known as the panhandle), the forest and timber industry is one of its leading economy contributors thanks to the region's rich and thick forests. For many players of American Truck Simulator, logging industries have become a favorite destination as many of them are located off-road and present a unique challenge for drivers.

    Drivers can look forward to more challenging climbs between rocks as well as some tight turns which may prove difficult for longer or heavier trailers.

    We will also be revisiting your favorite timber harvest sites, introducing a few new assets and 3 new timber harvesting locations as part of our newest Idaho DLC! These industries have been given a lot of love by our ATS community, and in turn we hope this will bring a fresh look to these popular industries.

    Idaho will also see the introduction of a new prefab that will bring a new overall feel to the timber harvesting industry. 

    Like what you see? Before you log off steam, it wood be nice if you could add Idaho to your Steam Wishlist! Plus make sure to check out our Twitter & Instagram for more axe-clusive images not found on this blog post!

    https://store.steampowered.com/app/1209470/American_Truck_Simulator__Idaho/
    American Truck Simulator - London
    Back in 2019, four members of our American Truck Simulator map team (Nicolaj Toft Nielsen, Tomas Opekar, Tomas Dubsky and Patrik Sadlon) took to the skies and traveled across the pond to the USA on a very important research trip. While we couldn't tell you at the time (as it would ruin the surprise), our team made sure to keep a detailed account of their trip, and here are just some of the highlights of what they got up to.



    Traveling over 2000 miles in just 7 days, they managed to visit everything they had planned on their list. From capital cities to small towns and everything else in between, our team had an important task to complete; to photograph and document various locations around Colorado to assist in the creation of our upcoming map expansion.

    "Our trip across Colorado was a really unique experience for me, not just because I was in US for the first time, but mainly because of how diverse Colorado is." Tomas O., one of our ATS map designers explains "We were able to see a big metropolitan area of Denver on the edge of the Great Plains, travel across the beautiful Rocky Mountains and through deep canyons to see vast desert landscapes around Grand Junction... considering our game and work, the trip was beneficial in many ways. We took a huge amount of reference pictures, which was especially useful in areas with no or low-quality Streetview photos"

    "One might think that looking at pictures of such places is enough & that you do not need to visit these locations, but then when you do, you immediately gain an understanding of the size of that place, its orientation, what kind of buildings are there, what type of road material they use, what vegetation grows there and so on" Tomas D says "And you can feel the atmosphere and the vibe of towns, landmarks, truck stops and it really helped me gather inspiration out of it."



    "The most beneficial thing for me was gaining a sense of the vastness and size. Especially when compared to Europe, where you have a city or village around every corner and freeways are divided with one crash barrier and not a 60 meters wide grass strip... One can easily miss roughness of the road and other subtle details as well as a sense for tilt and steepness. What seems like a completely straight road across a wide plain landscape on Google Maps, may not actually be like that in real life."

    The team found many examples of this on their journey, as they discovered many natural features that would have not been picked up in online photo references. Locations such as the Million Dollar Highway where the team took references of various rock formations that would not have been visible from the public road, which included a waterfall running right underneath it! Instead, they made sure to take plenty of unique photos and videos from their journey, to show and share with their colleagues back in Prague.


    Along their travels, the ATS map team also came across many of the truckstops that dominate the U.S highways. With each stop, the team learned something new about these rest spots for drivers and what makes each one unique. They even had the opportunity to chat with a few friendly truckers and ask a few questions! "The best part of the trip for me was definitely to see the big truckstops, services, those huge junctions and impressive road infrastructure." says Nicolaj T. "We learned an important lesson about how truckstops work and how we can make them much more realistic! For example, trucks always back into their parking place"

    The team didn't just learn about the infrastructure of truckstops but also the environment that surrounds them as Patrik S. explains. "Now we all know truckstops are much noisier then we thought... we also saw some very unique cargoes parked at these truckstops, we made sure to take some inspiration for future ideas!"



    So how does all of this translate in-game? Well, you'll just have to wait and see, but thanks to this trip, the ATS map team has gained an invaluable amount of information and understanding of Colorful Colorado. "I think it’s very important for developers to see the thing they are about to recreate, with their own eyes" Nicolaj T. explains. "Especially in this case where we are developing content from the other side of the world. Personally, I’ve never been to the states before, and I actually didn’t think to have a trip like this would change my perspective as much as it really did"

    We hope that trips like this will help us push the quality level of our map expansions to an even higher level. That we will be able to recreate some of the places we visit more precisely than ever before. See the examples we've prepared for your below. Did we nail it?


    If this makes you excited as we are for Colorado in American Truck Simulator, make sure to add it to your Steam Wishlist!

    https://store.steampowered.com/app/1209471/American_Truck_Simulator__Colorado/
    Half-Life 2: Episode Two - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brendan Caldwell)

    Kick the tires, whistle at the paint job, spin the keys on your finger like a revolver and then shoot the car with the little laser of unlocking. It’s time to get back on the road. What’s that? Entire country in a state of unprecedented lockdown? I see. Well, lucky for you, we concern ourselves here only with pretend cars, the indoor joy of fictional journeys on virtual roads. Here, my housebound friends, are the 9 best road trips in PC games. Seatbelts on, please.

    (more…)

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