Welcome to what is already the fifth ProMods 2.50 preview. This week we are taking a look at the changes coming to the UK, which has seen one of the largest overhauls yet: four cities brand new or rebuilt from the ground up, two dozen cities reskinned, and a large portion of the UK road network upgraded in some way. We’ll start with the southwest of England, specifically the county of Devon, where all content in 2.50 is either new or rebuilt.
Plymouth and Exeter
As we saw in last week’s preview, ProMods is far from a one man job. Plymouth is another great example of that. Back in 2016, IvanGF14 started with the basic layout of this large port city. He planned it ambitiously and was very motivated. Sadly, because of spare time issues, he couldn’t continue his project and so it was put on hold for the time being. Years later, developer Plum decided, together with his Exeter project, to finish Plymouth. Plymouth is a vast city requiring a lot of work, so developer FisherJB decided to help him on the industrial part of the city (once his own project in the Balkans was finished). After Plum finished Exeter, he took over development again from FisherJB and finished his areas and the road to the city’s port, going right through the city centre. But that wasn’t the end. A city without signs doesn’t look realistic or pretty, that is where Mandelsoft, ScuL and Dawid2849 came into action and did a fabulous job. After a lot of time the city is finally completed and you can enjoy the screenshots here, and drive it yourself in the near future.
Plum has some more details:
Plymouth was no easy city to make, it was a challenge. One of the hardest parts was making the road to the port right through the heart of the city. Currently there aren’t a huge number of high quality assets in the game for British city centres, yet with lots of hard work I managed to make something which represents the city centre. Sure, not every building will look identical to its real life counterpart, but there are lots of landmarks which locals will recognise, such as Charles Church in the middle of a roundabout, an anchor made out of flowers near the city centre and much more. The port itself also got a complete rebuild making it as accurate as possible, where you will be able to recognise a lot. By far the hardest challenge though was getting the view from the A38, which cuts right through the city. The fact you can drive deep into Marsh Hills retail park and the industrial estate made it a challenge to optimize too, yet the results are staggering.
Exeter was also a major addition to the South West. The city of 130000 is a centre for business and tourism in Devon, and so was an important addition to include in the UK. In game, Exeter has likely one of the most complex prefabs in the game – namely Junction 29 on the M5 which MandelSoft worked hard on for several weeks to make it highly accurate compared to its real life counterpart. Along with this, Exeter has many recognisable landmarks such as the River Exe, Exeter Airport and more. Below you can see some screenshots of the city.
For those who haven’t seen, some time ago Plum made some cinematics showcasing his work. You can check them out here:
Cambridge and Norwich
We now cross the width of England to the region of East Anglia, where longtime UK developer cashtime2013 has extended the road network and built the region’s largest city, Norwich.
As well as enjoying the view of the cathedral puncturing the city’s skyline, you can look forward to the dirt road to reach a sawmill, which he tried to make both challenging and scenic.
Cashtime has also completely rebuilt the university city of Cambridge. His favourite spot is the view across the river.
Rather than connecting Norwich to the rest of the UK with just one or two roads, a proper representation of the key road network has been created, so you can enjoy an authentic driving experience through rural Norfolk and Suffolk with a choice of route.
There are multiple possible levels of improving an existing part of the map. At one end, the whole area can be deleted and rebuilt from the ground up, as has happened in Exeter, and is effectively brand new content. Sometimes, the basic road layout can be kept, but almost every other aspect is upgraded.
Then, at the softer end, are what we call reskins or refreshes. The goal with these is to get the maximum improvement for the time and effort invested. Swapping out map elements in place can make a remarkable difference: just by replacing ground and road textures, building and vegetation models, interchange and company prefabs, and upgrading the signs, an old area can be made to look ‘nearly new’. Of course, the results are not as impressive as a complete rebuild, but they take a fraction of the time.
This is exactly what cashtime2013 and Plum have done in the UK, making use of the shorter time requirements to refresh a large portion of the country. Shown below are 20 (!) cities which have received this treatment, covering both vanilla cities which were long overdue an upgrade, and older ProMods content which has been brought up to today’s standards.
Large parts of the road network have also been refreshed, with old single-prefab interchanges replaced and landscapes made more realistic. If only we had unlimited developers with unlimited time, we could rebuild everything to the highest possible standards. But in the real world, the reskin/refresh strategy is the best way to improve large areas of the oldest parts of the map at once.
That’s all for now. Thanks for reading, and we’ll be back again next week.