So many people love the hyper-specific simulator games about trains or trucks or cities or boats or building PCs. In general, I have questions about why these games don't click with me, and perhaps my problem is that I've been trying to make these games click in the manner of traditional game experiences as opposed to being an entertainment experience entirely other. Which is why today's interview with the team behind American Truck Simulator and Euro Truck Simulator 2, as performed by our very own Adam Smith, is a video worth watching. I found my click, and you might find yours as well.
The American and Euro Truck Simulator games are simultaneously intricately detailed sims for fans of big rigs, and chillout games for Sunday drivers who want beautiful scenery with the radio on. Hynek Svatoš and Ondřej Dufek from SCS Software have ongoing efforts to model every American state and truck, and as technology progresses the games become more elaborate; even bordering on beautiful at this point.
Adam opens the video discussing the mockery he got early on at RPS for having such love for the Truck Simulator series. But when the site began to lean-in to the chill-out factor of these titles, folks seemed to get it. In discussion with the team from SCS Software, the subject of whether these are the driving versions of "walking simulators" comes up, as well as whether this is less about the trucks and more about a detailed journey into America.
Amidst other factoids and stories, SCS brings up looking at the data on who plays their games and why, to determine there's a one third split between folks who Love Trucks, Kids Who Want To Drive Trucks, and people just Zenning The Hell Out. The talk also gets into how to create a sandbox with management elements that some players will ignore all together, the split between realistic and exaggerated fun, and how to develop New Mexico and Oregon as incredibly varied expansions for... again... a game about driving trucks that are slightly more large than other trucks.
It's also a pretty frank discussion of the difference between the needs and the expectations of scope for a small game studio, and how it becomes somehow more difficult to create new content as your studio expands.
You can watch all 40 minutes of the interview from EGX Rezzed right now. There are delightful accents, new images from forthcoming updates, and a quick Q&A.
American Truck Simulator is available on Steam now.