American Truck Simulator more accurately simulates America

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I’m not really good at math, but here are the raw numbers. American Truck Simulator used to be at a scale of 1:35. With today’s update, it’s at a scale of 1:20. According to the developers at SCS Software, this means the maps are 1.75 times larger. I think they need to check their work. By my math, 1:35 minus 1:20 means the maps are :15 larger. Maybe it’s a metric thing. They’re European.

Math errors aside, this is a Big Deal. A fundamental part of level design, and especially open-world design, is the density of stuff. Which is directly related to the size of the maps. On one end of the scale, you have Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, which squeezed the Caribbean Sea into a tightly packed pond of concentrated naval action. On the other end of the scale, you have the original Battlezone in 1980, which didn’t have a single thing in it no matter how many quarters you spent looking for something. So when a developer releases a game and later says, “Uh, we’re going to rework the world to make it this much bigger, it’s going to have an effect on the gameplay experience.

And in the case of a laidback truck driving simulation like American Truck Simulator, more open space is appropriate. In Europe, everything is close together. That’s why they have so many wars. So Europe should have a high map density. You drive a half hour out of Paris and you’re practically in Warsaw. But going from Los Angeles to Las Vegas? It’s like playing Battlezone.

Mostly I’m just glad to have more room to drag that big-ass trailer around without constantly scraping other cars. In the words of Moe Howard, “Spread out!”