Spend One Vicarious Hour With American Truck Simulator

Neither rain nor shine nor impending truck...

American Truck Simulator [official site-ish] looks hard. Parallel parking is already the devil, but the idea of slotting ten tons of flammable material into the back of gas station just takes things to extremes. SCS Software recently unleashed an hour’s worth of alpha gameplay footage from the game and it’s precisely what you might have expected: careful turns; meticulous inspections of both wing mirrors; the mandatory leaning-out-of-windows to check for passing school kids.

And that’s not all. If fifty-eight minutes of in-game video weren’t enough to satiate your ravenous appetite for this-totally-not-obvious sequel to Euro Truck Simulator 2, you might be happy to learn there’s more. (There’s always more, but that’s not the point.) YouTuber Squirrel sat down with the people at SCS Software to discuss a variety of matters pertinent to the game’s development.

I’ll admit. I crinkled my nose when I first read about this. I prefer my games more exciting than just long-distance driving. With meaning! Plot! Or, at the very least, competent pyrotechnics! But I’m going to bite my tongue now. American Truck Simulator genuinely does look lovely, even if it might not be up everyone’s driveway. (P.S: If the developers eventually decide to include heated encounters with Los Angeles’s soccer moms when you accidentally crash into them, they will have all of my money. Bonus points if they scream, “Do you know who I am?!” Hint-hint. Nudge-nudge.)

49 Comments

  1. Stuart Walton says:

    Well, there goes my productivity for the next 58 mins and 21 secs.

  2. Belsameth says:

    Here’s hoping this one has proper Rift support! \m/

  3. rustybroomhandle says:

    Kenworth, nice!

    In 1996 I spent 3 months hitch-hiking around the US. Mostly from truck stop to truck stop. 90% of the time in trucks. So this triggers a lot of nostalgia for me.

    One thing that would complete the experience though is including the constant radio chatter.

    “Southbound, Southbound, Parking-lot – You got your ears on??”

    “Uhhhhaffirmative, over”

    “Be advised, you got a pair of county mounties coming up on your side past the twenty-five yard stick, over.”

    “Thanks northbound, Iaaaaahupreciate it.”

    “Ten-ten CB fan, have a nice ride!”

  4. Cinek says:

    Seems like they improved graphics, but makes me wonder what they did to add more depth into the game, especially in terms of company management. Overall though I’m not too keen to get into American trucks… I guess I’ll wait for ETS3.

    • RAGEQUITR2 says:

      I live in america, and although I like the trucks here, I really like the ones they had in ETS2. No doubt, though, that after a few months European trucks will arrive via mods!

    • fish99 says:

      Yeah for me after about 30-40 hours I had done all the delivery types, had a fleet of trucks and garages and there was nothing left to do that wasn’t repetition. The game definitely needed more depth and challenge, like missions with much harder driving conditions (through weather and traffic density) and tighter deadlines, or bigger punishments for trailer damage.

  5. Drake Sigar says:

    Ah, more driving on the wrong side of the road.

    • rcguitarist says:

      Says who? About 65% of the world’s population live in countries with right-hand traffic and 35% in countries with left-hand traffic. About 90% of the world’s total road distance carries traffic on the right and 10% on the left.

      • jrodman says:

        Says Drake Sigar, apparently.

        The majority can be wrong, of course.

        • CookPassBabtridge says:

          Its not really trolling as such, but it is funny when when people get cheesed off over something daft, that was actually intended to get people cheesed off over something daft.

    • Blackcompany says:

      Funny you mentioned this. I’ve been avoiding Great Britain in ETS2 since my first trip there, because I cannot get used to driving on the “wrong side” of the road.

      Perspective, I guess.

  6. inf says:

    I do hope that those engine sounds were placeholders…

  7. Redpossum says:

    This looks good. I played Euro Truck Simulator 2 quite a bit, Steam shows me at 90 hours, and that is a great game as well. The hidden problem is one of an input device. In order to play this game properly, you need a wheel, not a joystick or anything else. Moreover, you need a wheel that has at least two full turns from lock to lock. The cheap and even medium-quality wheels only go about 270 degrees. This means you are looking at shelling out at least 250 US dollars for a Logitech G-25/27 wheel; the cheaper GT will not work properly. This is what caused me to stop playing ETS2.

    • Blackcompany says:

      As someone who began ets2 with a controller I can vouch for this. I scrounge for a g27 & its a world of difference. It really changes things & enhances the feeling of being in the cab.

      • melnificent says:

        I third this.

        As someone that has shunned steering wheels as a gimmicks for countless years I was talked into getting a G27 by my kids. It’s a world of difference, driving a truck is no longer tappy tappy tappy on the keyboard for a slight turn just a gentle turn of the wheel.

        • jrodman says:

          I got a steering wheel for Euro Trucker 2 and it killed the game for me, sadly.

          Firstly, the steering wheel came with no reasonable solutions for the floor pedals. I thought maybe it would have rubber grips and some weight. Nope. Even the desk grip of the wheel was a little janky.

          Then, Euro Trucker made me go through a LOT of work to get it configured, and then offered no way to get back to the mouse controls after I couldn’t get the floor pedals working.

          Oh well, I had a fun month or so with the game.

          • GameWarden says:

            You realize that you can change inputs at any time in settings?

          • Blackcompany says:

            Couple of tips:

            Wedge something between the pedals and your wall/desk etc to block their movement.

            Check and see if the device has a profiler software available. The G27 works with ETS2 without the Profiler, but not fully. some of the buttons are not picked up and the pedals did not quite function as individual pedals without the profiler active and configured.

            I know its a lot of effort, but it is worth the time. Trust me.

    • Premium User Badge

      Grizzly says:

      The Logitech Driving Force GT will go 2 and a half turns lock to lock, actually.
      Though you won’t get a clutch pedal.

      • P.Funk says:

        Whats with these kids? G27 is the only game in town? Don’t make me flagellate myself.

    • OctoStepdad says:

      I completely agree. I started playing on the x360 pad then I bought a g27, it makes the world of difference. I think one of my favorite parts of euro truck with the g27 is the shifter. Shifting through roughly 12 gears while working the clutch makes for a great experience.

    • fish99 says:

      It’s not *too* bad on a 360 pad. Personally I wouldn’t dig my G27 out for a game like this, it turns it into work. I just want a chill experience with it.

    • Blaaaaaaag says:

      My DFGT works just fine with ETS2, you’re talking crazy you crazy talking crazy person. It has 900 degrees of rotation and force feedback, the two very minimum requirements for really any driving game.

    • Larwood says:

      As somebody with over 400 hours in the game using just the keyboard for controls, I can state with complete confidence that this is wholly inaccurate. Some people seem to assume you can’t drive it with a keyboard so they go straight to the controller or similar and don’t give themselves a chance to get used to keyboard controls.

  8. Wowbagger says:

    This, farm simulator and floor sweeper simulator are things I will never get. How mundane do you want your gaming experience to be exactly? (Watch paint dry simulator out next week)

    • Cinek says:

      It’s actually not that bad. Sort of simplified company management game with some added challenge in parking and driving within the rules while optimizing time consumption.

      Quite a nice game to play after being frustrated with multiplayer gaming.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      The good things with games is that the various mechanics can be engaging enough that suddenly the setting and the theme can become extremely unimportant.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      Each to his own. ETS2 is a great game.

      Intrresting opinion piece on where ETS2 succeeds where The Crew fails:

      link to twinfinite.net

    • fish99 says:

      I bet you’d enjoy at least one of those games if you tried them.

    • sg1969 says:

      Good thing nobody is forcing you play them

  9. jellydonut says:

    Why isn’t this an expansion pack to ETS 2?

  10. thedosbox says:

    Heh, I like the way they present the in-cab FOV adjustment as a seat adjustment. Totally makes sense, though it hadn’t occurred to me.

  11. Chaz says:

    The map is looking a bit small right now. I hope it expands to take in a larger variety of scenery.

    And boy, they sure do like their dials in American trucks.

    Anyway looking forward to it, but we still have the ETS2 Scandinavia DLC to come first.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      I’d buy this in an instant if they’d add some “Ice Road Truckers” style stuff. Let me do the Dalton Highway and some of the winter road lake and river crossings please!!.

      • Chaz says:

        Yeah, some sort of licensed Ice Road Truckers DLC should be a no brainer given the show’s popularity world wide.

  12. LionsPhil says:

    Fffffffffffffffffffffffiddlesticks.

    I’ve managed to resist ETS2 ever since the demo suckered me so badly that it ended up snapping me out of it with a “hey, don’t you think it’s time to buy the full game?” popup. This might actually get me. I’ll be another comfy-zombie.

  13. Sidewinder says:

    Ten tons of flammable material? I’d always imagined European trucks were smaller, but not THAT much. An American tanker truck is (usually) going to be carrying about 9,000 gallons of the stuff; add in the diesel the truck itself is using, and that’s more than 30 tons in and of itself.

    Also, unless you are moving VERY slowly, or they’re driving to soccer practice in a tank, anything those LA moms say is going to be said to Saint Peter. Truck crashes are VERY not pretty.

    • Cinek says:

      Europe is much more densely populated and distances between large cities are far smaller than in the US, so trucks are scaled accordingly. If you’ll go to north eastern outskirts of the continent, into the Russia, you can find trucks comparable if not bigger than these running through US (though mind you – they tend to be much, much older… but also capable of handling much harsher temperatures and by far worse roads).

  14. P.Funk says:

    Oh wow, they finally added real loading docks. Now can I please request that they actually make them mostly full so that its actually a challenge to reverse into them? I also pray that this game will see the death of the totally empty concrete lot with no features or even paint lines and would be impossible to park properly in without the glowing meta lines.

    However I know that deep down this game will disappoint me. Its not really a sim, its a time expender. Its here to burn time while “relaxing” and all that jazz. This is no Omsi. Oh if only the trucks had some of the sense of realism that the Omsi buses has then I’d be giddy to drive this endlessly. Alas its not really a truck sim. The trucks aren’t simulated to be like real trucks, they just look it. There’s no sense that any truck is really that different from another, or that you’re really piloting some monster that should take a serious amount of practice to learn. Its just a casual fuck off waste of time (which is fine). I just which I could uncheck the fuck off waste of time box and have my truck turn into a beast thats worthy of the word “sim” for when I feel like something more engaging.

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      Motion passed for fuck off waste of time box.
      Gentlemen, alert the messenger pigeon detachment.

    • WyldFyr says:

      As someone with close to 2000 hours as a yard switcher (but no OTR or even class A), I can attest that the maneuver I saw about half way through the video wasn’t that far off. I am very interested in knowing if It can help with retraining and improving on those skills. Also would like to know if you can turn off the helper graphic. I did notice that the lane was painted, although in my yard the lane is painted so you line the trailer up against it, not just parallel, as in the game. (It varies from place to place and with what type of dock it is I queses, as a lot of OTR drivers would come into the yard and park just like that.) Finally, I agree, that yard was a pretty quite place. Wonder if there will be yards where you have to dock and get it right quickly or risk causing traffic problems.
      -my $0.02

  15. Blackcompany says:

    I love ETS 2 and I am very much looking forward to this game.

    But.

    That map size…it worries me. This isn’t even a significant fraction of the area covered in ETS2. And that’s just the vanilla territory. You add in major mods – ProMods, TSM, heck even the Brazil and Hungary total conversions – and this does not even scratch the surface of what’s on offer in ETS2. Of what’s available, right now, in their other title.

    Frankly, I think they should postpone the release of this title for six months to a year. Release it when you have at least 10 states, not 10 cities, to drive through. Cause much as I love the idea of this, I think a lot of people are going to want to wait and see, in order to make sure the promise of a larger map covering more states actually comes to fruition. Having been burned before by the ‘we promise more content to come’ routine, I might well be one of those who waits myself.

  16. Hex says:

    Seems like a Japan Truck Simulator would be the logical next step. Pretty interesting routes to drive on out there. Narrow mountain passes and all that.

    Also many of their truckers take a perverse delight in tricking out their rides. A google image search for “Japanese Semis Trucks” can be pretty enlightening.

  17. JustAchaP says:

    Some people are forgetting its in alpha atm