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American Truck Simulator arrived on Linux day one, which is fantastic, and I was eventually sent over a key by SCS directly to check it out.

It’s really not all that different to Euro Truck Simulator 2, with the same engine and the same issues. I will start with the issues to get them out of the way.

Issues
Their fullscreen support is a bit weird. It’s another game where going into fullscreen will still show the Ubuntu Unity bars; although doing alt+tab away from it and then back to it seems to solve it, which is really odd.

The game audio only supports .ogg files, so no MP3 support and we have no Radio, again.

Force feedback is a bit hit and miss on Linux, as it only works on a few devices. Saw quite a few people annoyed with this.

Thoughts on the game
Performance at 4K resolution was terribly unplayable on my 980ti as it was 30FPS and below, which is far too sluggish for a game like this. A real shame, but the developers have hinted that they will look to use Vulkan in future:

Yes @gtuxtv, our graphics programmers have high hopes for #Vulkan in their effort to speed up our #ETS2 and #ATS games.

— SCS Software (@SCSsoftware) 4 March 2016



Don't ever let me drive, seriously
image

If you find the graphics don’t look too good, change the “scaling” graphical option to something higher. It’s not very well named, but it makes the game look better at higher values. This will affect the performance too, of course.

For someone like me who doesn’t drive, I actually find the game somewhat fascinating. I imagine I’m not the only one. In fact, I think that’s one of the bigger draws of the game. People who cannot drive get to experience not only driving in general, but driving some pretty big trucks and I really do quite like it.

The amount of viewpoints you can pick between on your truck is quite awesome, from a cockpit view to an aerial view above right down to a leaning out of your window view. Nothing says safety like a truck driver leaning out of his window looking behind him as he’s reversing!

Note: It’s not a good idea to hang out your window to see what’s behind you when you’re approaching traffic lights, especially when there's a police car right next to you.
image
I was given a fine—damn.

I also like the different control schemes you can pick. Initially I went for keyboard for the throttle and mouse to steer but found it to erratic on the steering. I settled for mouse look, and keyboard throttle and steering which suits me much better. I think being able to look around with the mouse gives the game a much better feel; I love when you turn so far towards the driver's door window, you then peer right out of it—excellent attention to the details is what I like to see.

I can certainly see why people spend as many hours as they do in this game, as some parts of it really can be quite challenging. The parking in particular can be quite difficult to get your trailers in the correct spot for the right rewards.

I’m probably the worst truck driver around
image

At one point I took a wrong turn, and so I ended up having to do a million point turn to get around properly. Okay, slight exaggeration, but it’s really damn hard not to jackknife your trailer when reversing! After that I may have googled how to reverse with a trailer like someone who isn’t an idiot, when I say may I mean I totally did.

The game has a lot of options which makes me really, really like it. Although a notch against it is that I can only chose between USD and EUR for prices, where’s the GBP option? A minor thing, but would have been nice.

At one point I sneezed so hard (talking real life sneezing here) I veered off into the next lane and head on smashed into a truck. Was quite amusing in an "oh crap" kind of way, but it caused 100% damage to the truck I was in which was a real pain in the ass for my finances. What was disappointing was to see zero visual damage. The game could be a lot better if it had real visible damage on vehicles. This image was taken right after a speedy head-on collision, yet the beast looks like new:
image

Overall I think it’s one of the few “Simulator” games actually worth buying. I find it to be more fun and relaxing than I thought it would be, but not seeing damage on vehicles and still no MP3 or Radio support on Linux really does disappoint me.

What would a game be without upgrades? I'm impressed at the amount of upgrade options, and I look forward to hauling some explosive cargo:
image

I haven't even got to the stage where you can hire other drivers and run your own business, yet I'm having a blast.

I’m really excited to see what the upcoming Steam Workshop support will bring for the game. Hopefully some mods to make the drive a little more interesting, as it can be boring on longer journeys at times.

There’s also not too many trucks in the game yet, but they have already added some new types since the release. No doubt there will be more as time goes on. SCS are pretty good at patches and content for their games.

You can find American Truck Simulator on Steam now.

Now if you'll excuse me I need to go buy a trucker hat. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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Cardbird 8 March 2016 at 2:39 pm UTC
QuoteAt one point I took a wrong turn, and so I ended up having to do a million point turn to get around properly.

Reminds me a lot of this. I loved that scene.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGiQOCX9UbM
Xpander 8 March 2016 at 2:44 pm UTC


damage model isnt implemented probably because of the agreements with truck manufactures
its pain in the ass.

i myself dont really care about the radiostations much, since i listen my own music anyway and have mouse binds to change tracks in my playlist etc. but would be good to have it..

FFB would be nice and head tracking is also a bit hard to configure perfectly but its doable


great game, multiplayer would be even more amazing, there are some mods but no A.I. traffic and i think only for windows atm.
lvlark 8 March 2016 at 2:46 pm UTC
This seems to be done quite well, then, although I'm still not very interested in racing/driving games..
The wording on the title was a bit confusing though, I thought you meant the game never allowed you to drive a real truck (but maybe only vans or something).

Also, just out of curiosity, what's the added value of ATS over ETS? Is it mainly so that Americans can ride in more familiar lands, or do the traffic/roads/trucks differ enough for people to want to have both? Or are there different features? Could be thrilling to be able to drive ice roads..
Xpander 8 March 2016 at 2:51 pm UTC
lvlarkAlso, just out of curiosity, what's the added value of ATS over ETS? Is it mainly so that Americans can ride in more familiar lands, or do the traffic/roads/trucks differ enough for people to want to have both? Or are there different features? Could be thrilling to be able to drive ice roads..

well, Europeans can also see US landscapes & places which is amazing imo. Roads are different yeah, trucks also, turning radius is different but you can get US trucks into ETS2 also via mods. There arent much different features. Parking is a lot Harder in ATS when you choose the hard parking mode, there are cops that drive around and fine you (in ETS2 there are just speedcams afaik), Weigh-In stations. Its not too much different, but the maps alone make it really interesting at least in my opinion.
rustybroomhandle 8 March 2016 at 3:08 pm UTC
I play ETS2 using a Logitech Driving Force GT wheel. It works fairly well there (and presumably on ATS also) but on ETS2 at least, the force feedback and rumble was not fully implemented yet. (On Grid Autosport it's fully working)

Even without these features though, a wheel is the best way to play this.
Xpander 8 March 2016 at 3:16 pm UTC
rustybroomhandleI play ETS2 using a Logitech Driving Force GT wheel. It works fairly well there (and presumably on ATS also) but on ETS2 at least, the force feedback and rumble was not fully implemented yet. (On Grid Autosport it's fully working)

Even without these features though, a wheel is the best way to play this.

you might want to check here: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/linuxff/discussions/0/405692224235574471/
rustybroomhandle 8 March 2016 at 3:21 pm UTC
Xpander
rustybroomhandleI play ETS2 using a Logitech Driving Force GT wheel. It works fairly well there (and presumably on ATS also) but on ETS2 at least, the force feedback and rumble was not fully implemented yet. (On Grid Autosport it's fully working)

Even without these features though, a wheel is the best way to play this.

you might want to check here: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/linuxff/discussions/0/405692224235574471/

Yus. It's not a driver issue though - the rumble and force-feedback works perfectly in Grid Autosport. I believe it's just a limited implementation in *TS on Linux.
oldrocker99 8 March 2016 at 3:24 pm UTC
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I already learned from Euro TS that I should never drive a truck ...I don't need to buy American TS to find that out.
wvstolzing 8 March 2016 at 3:24 pm UTC
I have some idea through one of my uncles that long-haul truck driving is an extremely demanding job. I'm tempted to pick up one of the available simulations, but I'm pretty sure I lack the patience to play it properly, without turning it into GTA.
minj 8 March 2016 at 3:41 pm UTC
This is using the same engine as ETS2. Regardless of steam workshop mods do exist for ETS2 and they work on linux just fine. Well mostly.. there are some glitches and other issues with some models that somehow break in OpenGL mode but the fault-tolerance in DX swallows them fine.

As for ATS mods, some small (or low-quality) mods have already appeared AFAIK.

The problem with ATS is an atrocious scale of 32.5:1 and the snail's pace of SCS development. They are better now than stock ETS2 for sure but silly things like traffic lights on a highway are still there. Not that map modders are very eager to fix it. Good development takes time and the investment is arguably worth it.

ETS2+Promods mod will be more than enough for me.
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