It’s been a while since the last blog, and with the first three months of 2021 already behind us it’s high time we looked back at some recent milestones and our 1.40-compatible releases. Finally, read to the end for some teasers of what’s to come in both ETS2 and ATS!
We recently reached 30,000 subscribers on our YouTube channel, an especially impressive milestone considering we crossed 20,000 almost exactly one year earlier. Make sure to subscribe for development updates, livestreams, and of course our official teaser trailers. Our other social media channels also continue to grow apace. We reached 20,000 Twitter followers and 20,000 members on our Discord server back in January — Discord is the best platform for keeping right up to date with development and getting more involved in the community. And while you’re at it, don’t forget our Facebook page and Instagram!
SCS recently updated both games, American Truck Simulator and Euro Truck Simulator 2, to version 1.40. The main challenge for the compatibility updates of our ProMods maps was the completely overhauled lighting system in both games. We had to adjust all of our light hookups (sources) and self-illuminating textures to be balanced in the new system, as well as readjusting the climate files to match with the new skyboxes.
ProMods ETS2 2.52
As well as allowing you to enjoy our map in the new lighting system, ProMods 2.52 contains a scattering of additions and rebuilds in Germany, the UK, France, Iceland and more! Furthermore, the Middle East Add-on sees new cities and roads in Iraq, Turkey and Jordan. Take a look at the details:
2.52 is only the beginning of new content coming this year across both Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator. The team has been working hard on many projects, big and small. We’ve decided to give you a few teasers to get you excited about what’s coming up!
With the new sound system added, Sam, along with other developers, have been hard at work adding it into both our ETS2 and ATS maps. Below you can see a preview of the new sounds being added around Canada:
These will appear in the next Canada update.
Well that’s it folks, there’s a lot to look forward to, make sure to keep an eye out on our social media for announcements and upcoming development news!
Less than one and a half years ago we were celebrating reaching 40,000 likes on our Facebook page, and we challenged the community to reach 50,000 likes as quickly as possible. Well, considering the huge numbers involved, it didn’t take long to reach this even more impressive milestone. We’re always happy to see our community continue to grow after all these years, so thank you to every one of you for your ongoing support. To celebrate this achievement we thought we could share some more overall progress to see what you can look forward to in the next major updates. The team is working hard on both our ETS2 project as well as Canada for ATS.
Ironically, just as we were getting ready to publish this post, we discovered a problem on Facebook. Facebook has decided that our website goes against ‘Community Standards’, and therefore blocks all content containing links to our domain, promods.net. All the posts on our Facebook page linking to our website, including the blog, have been deleted, and Facebook will not allow anyone to make a comment or send a message (to anyone) containing a link to our domain. While we still have access to our page, at least for now, this restricts our ability to use Facebook as a communication and promotion tool. As part of the Facebook suite of products, Instagram seems to suffer from the same problem.
Fortunately we do have alternatives: Twitter, YouTube and our public Discord server. If you don’t already, make sure to follow us on these platforms, and spread the word that everyone who is interested in getting updates from us should follow us somewhere other than Facebook. As well as posting trailers, previews and occasionally livestreams, we’re already using the community section of our YouTube channel for updates and will continue to do so, while our Discord server is the perfect place to get more involved in the community and is already over 10,000 members strong. Hopefully we’ll get the issue with Facebook and Instagram resolved soon, but in the meantime let’s see whether we can quickly reach some more nice milestones on these other platforms!
Compatibility for ETS2 1.37: ProMods 2.46
Two weeks ago, we released ProMods 2.46, along with a corresponding version of the Middle-East Add-On Pack. These are compatibility updates for ETS2 version 1.37. In terms of the map itself, the only changes are to merge in the rework of four French cities by SCS. However, under the hood there have been some bigger changes.
Some time ago, SCS changed the projection used for the background/UI map. As of 2.46, we are using the SCS map as a base, extended to the regions added by ProMods. Since our early days of pioneering groundwork, cities and roads were placed on best effort, because no guidelines were available at the time. Since SCS introduced the new background map, they didn’t always line up with the SCS map, requiring tweaks to the map in several areas. The biggest offset was in the Middle East as this is furthest from the centre of the map projection. Platypus, developer of the Middle-East Add-On, had to move the content to its correct position in chunks, before reconnecting them. This change means that mods which change the background map (to satellite imagery or a paper map look, for example) and were compatible with ProMods will need to be updated. To assist with this, the new background map files are available here.
Of course, the biggest change in ETS2 1.37 is the implementation of the FMOD sound engine. ProMods adds quite a few new sounds and they had to be converted into the new formats. This proved to be quite difficult, showing that changes under the hood are just as capable of causing problems as more obvious map expansion. This is why it can take some time for us to release a compatibility update even when the ETS2 update is seemingly irrelevant to map mods. That being said, the long open beta period of ETS2 1.37 meant we were able to release our updates around two weeks after the finalisation of the game update, despite the complications from FMOD and the new background map.
Our other official add-ons have been updated too. The Trailer & Company Pack (TCP) version 1.25 includes skins for more trailer models including the Krone and SCS box trailers, whilst the Cabin Accessories Pack (CAP) version 1.11 is a pure compatibility update.
Progress on 2.50
It has now been more than a year since the last ‘major’ ProMods update (2.40) and we’ve been talking about 2.50 being in the works since last year. What’s going on? Well, the largest delay has been caused by merging the Road to the Black Sea DLC. As we’ve explained before, it is surrounded by ProMods work in many directions so required more than 10 connections to be made. Each of these includes a border crossing which, in true ProMods style, we wanted to represent as realistically as possible, requiring more research and mapping time. Therefore, the merging process took up the time of numerous developers.
At the same time, the more our map grows, the more areas we have to maintain. Our oldest work does not stand up well next to new mapping from both us and SCS – this is why DLC merges have tended to favour SCS content over the old ProMods work. A strong example of this is Moldova, which looked so outdated compared to SCS’ latest standards in Romania that we have no choice but to rebuild it from the ground up. So, increasing amounts of time need to be spent upgrading/rebuilding our existing content to keep the whole mod at an acceptable standard.
The coronavirus pandemic has had mixed effects. On the one hand, many team members have more time off work, university or school, while in-person hobbies are cancelled. But, as many of you have no doubt experienced yourselves, suddenly gaining a lot of free time in these circumstances does not automatically lead to increased productivity. Motivation for hobby projects may be inconsistent. For those working or studying from home, continuing to sit in front of the computer after the end of the working day may be less appetising. So, as in all aspects of life, every team member’s response to the situation is different.
Finally, some of our developers have to split their time between working on our ETS2 and ATS packs. It is important to note that a relatively small number of developers are involved in the ATS Canada project, but this does mean that we are spread a little more thinly. Fortunately, an increasing number of the developers in question have completed their contribution to the ETS2 project for 2.50, so can focus almost exclusively on Canada. Progress has ramped up in the last couple of months, and you can look forward to some more previews here soon.
We are doing our best to take these complications in our stride, and are shifting to focus on wrapping up as many projects as possible into releasable sections. But as always, there is no release date, not even internally. Any number of things could cause further delay, not least the graphics updates expected in future game versions.
Today we want to announce that we have opened a Discord community server as an additional platform to interact with us. The Discord server has the purpose of bringing people from the ProMods community together and be an additional source of information and updates.
Another feature of this Discord server would be to gather information and help for new modders. The goal is to create a platform where new modders can reach out to more experienced ones in order to exchange our skills. One of the things we are planning to do from time to time is livestream our own session in which we work in the map editor.
Privacy and Security is a top priority to create a positive environment on our Discord, this is why we have set up a verification system. The verification system links together your forum and Discord account, when verified, you will have full access to the Discord. You will be able to join the Discord if you aren’t verified, just not have access to all the channels.
We had many challenges with the verification system. Thanks to the help from mgefvert, we managed to set up a secure verification system.
How do I verify?
This guide covers how to join the official ProMods Community Discord and be verified, having access to all the channels.