SCS Software is finally adding my state to American Truck Simulator. Washington State will complete the western coast in the game, allowing intrepid road warriors a scenic drive up Highway 101, or a less scenic commute down the traffic-choked corridor of Interstate 5.
As with most cities in the Truck Simulator games, virtual Seattle will likely be a condensed facsimile of the Emerald City, but it has to be better than the puny version in The Crew or its sequel. There, it was an anemic handful of streets and an unconvincing scatter of landmarks.
SCS Software presents Oregon! The Beaver State! The Pacific Northwest is a decidedly different landscape from what players are used to in American Truck Simulator’s current build. According to the devs, the upcoming expansion goes all in on the forest industry that makes up a large part of Oregon’s economy. Despite the prevalence of big rigs loaded with lumber, players won’t be able to recreate the crash from Final Destination 2, but I’m sure you’ll all try anyway.
A section of Highway 1 in Big Sur, California was closed due to a landslide that occurred on May 20th. If you’re not cruising down the historic Pacific Coast Highway this summer, you may not think this would have an impact on your activities, but if you play American Truck Simulator, think again. SCS Software has implemented an update of the game that includes this 13-acre addition to California’s coastline and closure of the in-game route.
Its reopening in our American Truck Simulator will depend entirely on real world events.
It appears SCS Software may have its first test of their software-as-service approach. As of a few hours ago, the California Department of Transportation has issued an alert that the previously closed route is now partially open. If only American Truck Simulator modeled mud-slogging and dirt traversal!
First they gave us Arizona, then they gave us trucker sex. Now, the very land itself is getting larger in American Truck Simulator. SCS Software says one of the most frequent complaints about their hard-truckin’ sim is that it’s just not big enough. You know how us folks like everything huge? Big Macs. Whoppers. Family size pizza with stuffed crusts. We like ’em big here in The States. The developers are re-scaling the current game from from 1:35 to 1:20, making road distances longer, adjusting time progression, and revamping problem areas. For example, the new version of Golden Gate Bridge in the above image features six lanes of traffic instead of four.
The benefits are clear – you’re going to get a free “take 2” on the West-coast states that you already have in the game, and roomier game world for future expansions. In addition, this expansion will come with new road segments to explore and updated technology for the old roads.
The developers say it will take several months to complete the project, but that they will grow their studio to deal with the additional load while working on the next set of DLC states.
American Truck Simulator launched with two drivable vehicles. Two. You got the Kenworth T680 and Peterbilt 579. I’m not a semi-truck expert, but there has to be at least four or five different kinds of trucks that kick up gravel into my windshield during my daily commute. SCS Software explained that they had licensing issues that prevented them from launching with a fuller stable of long-haul options. It turns out that truck manufacturers aren’t hip to the world of video games and the cross-marketing opportunities they represent. The developers vowed to work on the licensing and get more trucking goodness into the game.
SCS has announced that a third truck is on the way. The Kenworth W900 was one of the first trucks the developers made for the game, but the manufacturer had a different plan.
Truck manufacturers tend to be very careful about their image, and Kenworth, as the pioneer in aerodynamics in cabin design with their T680, had a rather different idea of the ideal truck to have in our game at the moment of release. So it was back to work for us to finish the other truck first before we could hope for the licensing deal to be successfully signed.
A quick trip to Kenworth’s site for the T680 confirms that they do indeed consider it the “most aerodynamic truck ever” whereas the W900 site just says that truck has “traditional” styling. Which is better? Jerry Reed drove the W900 in Smokey and the Bandit. That’s settled.