The simulated states of American Truck Simulator look nicer than ever today, thanks to the new lighting system added in a new patch. It's meant to better reflect real-world lighting, with consequences including fixing the issue of even bright days looking a bit dim, adding more drama, and generally looking lovely. I'm certainly keen to revisit some of my favourite trucking routes now, taking my sweet time to enjoy the scenery - penalties be damned.
SCS shared lots of old/new comparison screenshots in a blog post explaining the new system. Sounds like it's been a huge task, with loads of work on art assets needed to support the changes too.
They say that "for some weeks, the majority of all our teams had to stop working on anything else related to our future projects, and go over all the game objects, vegetation, vehicles, and effects; re-balancing things, again and again, to sync them on a shared agreed-upon albedo reference table." Then they needed to tweak vehicle lights, and made new skyboxes, and... "Ultimately, no stone was left unturned, as we had to evaluate and adjust every single element of the games."
Update 1.40 also added more of those sightseeing cutscenes to landmark spots, this time in New Mexico and Oregon. More chassis types, new service signs in several states, and a general road sign update too. See the Update 1.40 release notes for more.
American Truck Sim has a 75% discount on Steam until Monday, bringing the base game down to £3.74/€4.99/$4.99. Expansions and DLC packs have 10-70% discounts too.