American Truck Simulator will encourage sightseeing with Viewpoint cinematics
Starting with Idaho
As a frequent virtual tourist in American Truck Simulator, I am delighted to hear that developers SCS Software are adding feature catering to Sunday drivers like me who really want to admire the scenery. No, they're not letting us get out of our cabs and walk around the world, but they are adding little nodes you can visit in certain places to watch a cinematic scene of local highlights. A little tourism video for the town you're passing through. These 'Viewpoints' will debut with the Idaho expansion, so come enjoy this new video showing the small-town charms of McCall, population 2991.
That's not huge but I do think it's very nice. I'll certainly check out every Viewpoint I pass. Expect a mix of natural landmarks, nice local buildings, and perhaps a spot of notable industry. They'll be flagged with icons on the minimap and in the world, and you can just ignore them if you want.
"Our artists and map designers put a lot of effort into making our game world as beautiful as they can, but often, a location that they may have spent months of time creating will be driven through in a matter of seconds without the player having a chance to admire it," SCS said in the announcement. "There have always been many players keen to explore the world to the fullest, searching for cool places to see, but until now, the game did not offer any tool or incentive for sightseeing."
That's me. I have been late on so many deliveries because I got distracted by a landmark and crawled around trying to find good sightseeing angles. Caused thousands of dollars of damage to trucks bumping against fences too. God, and one night I got stuck in an Austin Powers-esque three-point turn on a bridge because I wanted to admire the river. Save me from myself, SCS.
Viewpoints will first be seen in the Idaho expansion, which is due to launch later this month on Steam. If people like it, we might see more of them, and maybe more tourism features. If not, ah, maybe not.
"At the moment, we still consider the new feature an experiment," SCS say. "If the reception is positive, we are thinking of expanding it further, not just to more cool locations across the whole game world, but also to make it more feature-rich, and a more integrated gameplay element. We are thinking of expanding it with descriptions and more detailed facts on why the place is interesting and important, providing a light education element. We may also consider creating a log of visited places, giving the player a chance to re-play the cut scenes of visited places as a reminder of their travels."
After Idaho, the next expansion will be Colorado.
We've called American Truck Simulator one of the best VR games, though I'm not gogged up myself. I do recommend reading The Mechanic's look at how they create their scale model of the USA.