Kicking off 2021 and wishing everyone a Happy New Year 🙂 Anyone who follows gaming, and probably quite a few non-gamers too, will have seen the disasterous release of the much hyped Cyberpunk 2077. Yet another Triple A games publisher demonstrates a lack of care for their customers and a belated offer of refunds will not heal the damage done to their reputation. If you’re wondering why I’m writing about a role-playing game when I’m supposed to be talking trucking, it’s because SCS Software also chose to apologise to their customers at the end of November. But rather than cause a tarnished reputation – it served to further enhance the good opinion of the company held by the community 🙂

The ‘apology’ came in a tweet with an attached blog post detailing some of the forthcoming developments while explaining that sadly, the Iberia DLC was going to be delayed. The community response was very positive and full of understanding. It has – not to put too fine a point on it – been a difficult year with much of the development work having to be done from home. In the face of those difficulties, what SCS have achieved is amazing and the only slight gripe to be heard regards the lack of new things for Euro Truck. American Truck has seen three new trucks added to the game as free updates, The Mack Anthem,..

…the Western Star 49X…

…and, most recently, the Freightliner Cascadia…

…The image of which, with that gift laden trailer tells you that SCS have again given us a christmas event too!

Also in ATS, we’ve had two new states as paid DLC’s, Idaho (which I posted about back in July) and Colorado with associated community events to take part in. Here are some screenshots from Colorado…

It’s impossible to do justice with just a few screenshots but I can tell you it is a stunning addition to the game.

Although Euro Truck didn’t get much with Iberia originally planned for delivery during the year, a number of French cities got a reskin to bring them up to the latest standard. Moving into 2021, The Ruhr area of Duisburg and Dortmund, along with the cities of Dusseldorf and Cologne, will get the map rebuild to bring that part of Germany up to the latest standard. Hopefully Iberia will finally be released and it looks like there will be a further map addition in the East (SCS are only teasing about that presently).

In ATS, California is going to be updated to the latest mapping standard and we know that the next state, already being worked on, will be Wyoming. Both games benefitted from new trailers and improved sounds too in the past year. There will be a major update to the lighting in both games in 2021 – something that has played a part in the Iberia delay. Given all that was delivered in 2020 and what is planned for 2021 – I really don’t think SCS had anything to apologise for! Here’s to a great 2021 – Keep on Truckin’ everyone 🙂

Today we’re going to take a trip from Mannheim to Amsterdam in our white DAF XF named ‘Lady Galadriel’. In terms of the route within Euro Truck Simulator 2, this entails driving mostly on the older map builds although there is a section within Germany where we encounter the updated map with improved quality and realism. I have recently re-enabled a mod to improve the traffic realism, so you will see more ai vehicles. If you watch closely, quite early on, there has been an accident on the opposite carriageway and later there is a car that has clearly spun!

Lets talk interiors. In my US trucks the ostentation is most commonly chrome and paint although I often have a dreamcatcher or something else as a hanging ornament. In Europe it’s more likely that there will be interior hangings. For my in-game trucks, they can be a reminder of the past activities. So, the right-hand pennant on the windscreen in ‘Lady Galadriel’ is a Turkish Tourist Board advert whilst on the dash itself you can see a Turkish flag. This is a reminder that she was the truck that did the ‘Orient Express’ achievement, driving from Paris to Istanbul along the route of the famous train. Other trucks in my fleet also have reminders of their achievements. The Home Trucker hanging is a reminder that we’re still following Covid-19 guidelines and should act appropriately – several of my trucks in Europe and the US carry that one.

This video is 38 minutes in length. If you can stay with it until I make a fuel-stop roughly midway, you will see the improved maps and be able to compare with the earlier version (most noticable at intersections). You’ll also experience some unpleasant weather. A bit later on we’ll cross the Rhine on the Rodenkirchener Brücke with a glimpse of Köln to the north. If you have the extreme fortitude to stay with me until we arrive in Amsterdam you’ll be rewarded with a very nice sunset 🙂

If you’re out on the roads, drive safe. If you’re in the US braving either Fire or Flood – again, stay safe!

The past few weeks have seen me deeply immersed in sport. I’ve been listening to the Cricket World Cup on Test Match Special while driving my truck. Then this week has seen the annual Tour de France cycle race which I really enjoy watching on my computer. Additionally, Tuesday saw the first pre-season friendly game for Wingate & Finchley so I’m back at work photographing the team in action.

In my last Trucking Digest I said I’d be getting back into Europe and with the Tour de France in full flow I decided to get out and about in the Renault Magnum and give it a suitable French paint scheme. With the Tour on during the day, my driving has to be early morning or late evening – not that this affects the time of day in the game 😉 On Wednesday evening I enjoyed a long run from Dresden to my Montpellier base with a load of carrots. This included a run along the re-mapped A4 autobahn which has several punishing climbs and this rather intriguing piece of engineering near Chemnitz……This is the Bahrebachmühlen Viaduct which was built circa 1870. The A4 Autobahn was built in the 1930’s. It became necessary to widen the road in the 1990’s but the viaduct’s piers were too close together so a rebuild was required. The rather unique engineering solution seen in the screenshot, was built between 1999 and 2003.

The last part of that 3-shift journey saw me making a brisk run down the eastern side of France from near Dijon on the A6 to Lyon…
…and continuing south on the A7 before picking up the A9 at Orange to park up at home just in time to turn out the lights and close up for the night 🙂

This morning, before the start of the cycling, I did a rather nice ‘afternoon’ cross country run from Munich to Klagenfurt. This is a wonderful switch-back route through the Austrian Alps…

…That scenery is a great way to start the IRL day 🙂 And here we are parked up in the maintenance facility at Klagenfurt…

Keep the shiny side up everyone 🙂