SCS Software program has a long-running lineage within the driving-sim style; 24 years, to be actual. Inside that point, the studio has produced quite a lot of beloved titles resembling the assorted entries within the 18 Wheels of Metal franchise, Bus Driver, and as of late, American Truck Simulator and Euro Truck Simulator 2. However, one thing in regards to the two aforementioned sims actually stands out compared to not solely SCS’ older titles but in addition in distinction to most different sim titles.
The large distinction is that American and Euro Truck Simulator 2 each have fairly a little bit of age on them at this level, but they’re each actively being supported by SCS. This assist doesn’t simply come within the type of minor patches, both. No, full-on expansions have change into the norm for each sims, with heavy updates sprinkled in between. In actual fact, the latest main replace lastly outfitted American Truck Simulator with on-line multiplayer; a characteristic that had solely been achievable by way of a neighborhood mod beforehand. To not point out the graphical improve that each titles obtained earlier this 12 months. Clearly, SCS is pouring quite a lot of assets into the persevering with growth of those growing older titles. However, why the change to this mannequin? Quick reply: it really works.
Work sensible, not laborious
The important thing technique that SCS has been in a position to make the most of with a purpose to pull this off is by what can solely be thought-about to be very intelligent optimization. Each ATS and ETS2 search to construct upon the DNA that SCS’ earlier driving-sim titles possessed. This isn’t irregular; it’s how most titles are made, in any case. However, SCS has carried out this in another way via a staggered launch.
Whereas each sims got here out in a really accomplished state that did really feel like a step up from their predecessors, additionally they each had a reasonably small chunk of content material to get pleasure from to start with. Only a handful of vehicles, a comparatively modest map, and restricted customization choices and in-game job varieties. It was a greater product, however a smaller product. But, you’d have solely skilled this when you purchased both sim throughout their early days. They’re definitely way more complicated now, which is strictly what SCS’ profitable technique has been.
Fairly than pour a considerable quantity of assets right into a single massive launch, the studio has unfold issues out, letting every title naturally develop with time. Though these sims have gotten older, they’ve gotten higher as a consequence of extra superior instruments and strategies being regularly launched over time. Added to that is the sheer quantity of content material that each sims have additionally been regularly up to date with, particularly the map expansions.
Apart from the automobiles themselves, crucial a part of a driving simulator is the surroundings. Particularly within the case of titles like American and Euro Truck Simulator 2 which characteristic totally open-world maps, surroundings design turns into all of the extra essential; it’s the life and breath of the expertise. And that is the place SCS has excelled primarily.
The studio clearly takes the names of its two premier sims fairly critically and actually. Each of those sims don’t merely attempt to give the sensation of driving in the US and Europe, they actually do attempt to present an genuine recreation.
Fairly than having an extended growth cycle with the complete sims, the studio has as a substitute drawn out their lifecycle by drip-feeding new releases of map expansions each a number of months. Numerous hours are spent combing over minor particulars like historic info, well-known factors of curiosity, geographical and topographical maps, street networks, structure, and the like. SCS’ designers have a look at all kinds of references to craft their recreations of real-life locations. That is no simple feat contemplating the sheer scale of all of it.
Within the case of each titles, the map is expanded in a border-to-border configuration. The US has many states which are bigger than some international locations, so that they’re massive undertakings inside themselves. However, Europe has quite a lot of variations in architectural and regional variations, so the zest and air of every nation should be authentically captured. That is why every map enlargement takes a number of months to make. It’s not an artificially lengthy cycle, it’s simply taken SCS a number of years to try to craft every new space correctly. Though neither sim tries to go for a 1:1 scale, simply cramming so many essential particulars right into a truncated map continues to be a problem that the workforce has clearly mastered. No marvel why its fan neighborhood treats every launch with excessive ranges of pleasure.
This stage of high quality not solely retains the userbase engaged and impressed, however it additionally retains SCS’ lights on. With a modest charge of $12 per enlargement, the corporate has landed on a snug pricepoint that additionally occurs to suit a nicely spread-out launch schedule. By charging so little each a number of months, followers and newcomers alike don’t essentially really feel a lot of a “pinch” per se when it comes time to open up their wallets. That is the place the aforementioned distinction in comparison with most different sims actually comes into play.
SCS used to have the same old technique of releasing a wholly new sim each different 12 months or so. Others nonetheless do this with video games like Farming Simulator. The opposite typical technique is supporting an present sim with a endless deluge of recent payware content material from completely different studios with worth tags that aren’t too far off from complete video games. Prepare Simulator and Microsoft Flight Simulator each match into this class. Thus, SCS has just about carved its personal little area of interest.
The numerous age of each American and Euro Truck Simulator 2 retains the bottom worth extremely low, typically as little as $5 (USD). This arguably makes the every-so-often launch of a brand new map enlargement really feel even cheaper. The icing on the cake is that the constant updates are all the time free and frequently present little enhancements to the sim itself, in addition to facelifts to older areas of the map. Extra substantial upgrades come each every so often however are nonetheless free. Then there’s the increasing car roster, which is one other freebie that’s thrown in from time to time, thus holding issues feeling comfortably recent. SCS has grown so nicely into its mildew that it’s even been lately been partnering with truck producers to debut new vehicles utilizing their titles, thus additional propping up the studio’s stage of legitimacy.
The change to an extended assist cycle with well-spaced out updates and expansions has clearly labored out for SCS Software program. The truth that all this time has solely allowed the studio to craft extra complicated items each go-around solely make this deal even sweeter. I like each new launch because it exhibits that the studio’s designers by no means actually appear to get complacent. It’s like they’re all the time attempting to outdo themselves, which simply retains the expertise feeling refined.
Whereas a purely next-gen launch utilizing a totally modernized engine would definitely be spectacular to see, it’s laborious to criticize the standard that American and Euro Truck Simulator 2 have achieved regardless of their dated DNA. In actual fact, extra trendy alternate options have been launched even lately, and nonetheless don’t seize the identical stage of attraction and complexity as SCS’ veteran workforce. In the meantime, the neighborhood stays very happy to maintain supporting this studio, always trying ahead to the following chapter in these long-running sims. If and when every title really captures all of America and Europe correct, I’m actually trying ahead to trying again on what can be a particularly spectacular journey.
https://www.pcinvasion.com/american-and-euro-truck-simulator-2-devs-have-mastered-sim-economics/ | American and Euro Truck Simulator 2 devs have mastered sim economics