Once again it’s time to share my desktop for Clare’s challenge. It’s another virtual world shot that greets me each morning with pleasant memories of a drive down the E55 along the Adriatic coast of Italy…

You can see from the roadsigns that we’re passing Ancona, where the autostrada moves inland to avoid the city. I’m driving Azyet, a DAF XF105, and we’re hauling a load of Vinegar from Graz in Austria down to Pescara. The clouds suggest that there may be rain later but we reached our destination with the sun still shining 🙂

I thought long about including this item in my PPAC entry for this week. I do like to look at the rules for challenges and stretch them a bit 😉 But this one goes beyond the point of stretching and steps outside the basic concept in that it’s not a photograph. Perhaps we need a separate category – SPAC (Screenshot Public Art Challenge) or DPAC (Digital Public Art…). However, I think it’s worth sharing…

This week is ‘Shark Week’ – Something which, I believe , began on Discovery Channel and has been embraced by Shark fans and other lovers of the natural world. To celebrate the occasion, one of my trucking friends and digital artist Si’yann has created a special trailer skin for us to use in the truck simulator games….

…Does that count as public art? Well, unlike my personal trailer skin, this one is available for anyone to download into their game and haul freight with. So it’s public to all who own the SCS Software games. Si’yann christened him ‘Shork’ and he appears on her instagram artists page as an item of digital art rather than a trailer skin – you can take a look at Si’yann’s art here. So, Shork is definitely in the public domain, just not painted on a wall 😉

Anyway, hope you liked the art work. Here’s some shots of my Merc hauling Si’yann’s special Shark Week trailer…

Happy Shark Week everyone! 🙂

Last time I reported that I now have two profiles in Euro Truck Simulator 2 and explained the serendipitous way that the situation occurred. I have continued driving in both profiles over the 3 intervening weeks. In the Company profile I bought a garage in Toulouse, got a second DAF XF105 and hired my first driver. Subsequently I saved up enough cash to buy a second truck for myself. This time it is a MAN TGX. Christened Eleanor de Aquitaine and painted in our current standard livery. Here she is heading north on the A75 en-route to Clermont Ferrand…

…The current target for the company is to buy another garage, get another fleet vehicle and hire our second employee. Eleanor will be working towards that.

In the other profile where I am working to complete the last of the Steam Achievements for the game, I have retired all my old ‘company’ trucks from use. Along with the FLB that I showed last time, I now have a Scania R2009 with a 560HP engine…

…I did some clearance of unvisited roads around A Coruña in Spain with this truck. I’m not a lover of the Scania, but it’s a means to an end. I’m also viewing this profile as being one where I will drive trucks that won’t be a part of my company and the Scania fits the bill in that regard.

Looking ahead to SCS Software’s plans for future development, I know that there is a new section of road due to be added to Spain/Portugal with the v1.41 update. With that in mind I abandoned further work in Western Spain and turned my attention to Germany where the recent map upgrades mean there are a lot of roads to revisit.

On the 4th of July, while driving from Magdeburg to Köln, we achieved the milestone of having driven 90% of the map…

…To explain the map view, the roads I have driven are yellow and those still needed are grey – red is the planned route. I used to have all the roads in this area but everything around Dortmund was extensively rebuilt as part of the upgrades to Germany that released at the same time as the Iberia map. The whole swathe across southern Germany from Stuttgart to München and on to the Austrian border is also largely grey now along with the main route north through central Germany from Zurich to Kassel. This is what happens when you try to complete the Pathfinder Achievement – one step forwards, two steps back. Each DLC release and any map updates impact on the percentage of the map you’ve driven. It can be soul destroying if you let it. I think, if SCS had realised how big a hit the game was going to be and how far the maps would grow, they wouldn’t have put this achievement in! In some ways my predicament is of my own making – I could have worked towards this several DLC’s ago and probably had it completed 😦

90% – that’s the first time I have reached that milestone for this achievement. I had mentally set that as the watershed for an all out attack on the undriven roads. It will mean doing a lot of dead-heading – driving without a trailer. That’s something that I would not do while I was operating as my company so, it’s again fortunate that the profiles are now seperate. That’s the task I have now set about. I have a nice window to work in – apart from the new road section expected in Iberia, the next map to be released will be Central Russia. That’s a big area and although we are already seeing images of some of the scenery for that release, I think it’s still a couple of months away. Hopefully, I will be done by then!

I will be wanting to drive quickly so I needed a truck that is stable, one that has a relatively low profile. I decided to get a Mercedes-Benz Actros MP3 for this work…

…and went for a 6×4 chassis because that configuration also tends to be more stable. Again, it’s not a truck that would be part of my company fleet. I decided to start clearance operations in the Southeast – in Turkey to be precise – and work my way north up the east side of the map. Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary. Lots of industrial complexes to visit – a massive powerplant…

…A steelworks or two…

It wasn’t all dead-head work though. Once I got into the Czech Republic, I was able to clear off two longish sections of road across the border into Austria / Germany by taking loads to Linz and then on to Stuttgart for another load back to Prague…

…Grinding through the Bavarian Forest with a couple of tractors on the return run 🙂

I pushed on north clearing the roads of Poland and on into Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia before tackling the western area of Russia around St. Petersburg. Yesterday morning I completed that and here is a shot of the map in that area…

…You’ll notice that there is no yellow on the map. Don’t be alarmed, I’m using a map mod that highlights the roads that I need in red and shows everything else in grey – makes it easier to see any outstanding small sections of road. The lower half of the map is Estonia and Russia. The crumpled circle to the right of centre is the St. Petersburg ring road. The place with all the red on the upper left of the screen is Finland and that’s my next target 🙂

This post is overly long so thank you for reading. I’ll leave you with a sunset – here’s the Merc crossing the Danube at Cernavodă….

…Keep the shiny side up everyone 🙂