SCS Software has been supporting both American Truck Simulator and Euro Truck Simulator 2 for several years now with gradual updates to keep the games fresh. As we roll along further into 2020, SCS has announced the next major update for the game’s infrastructure: FMOD support.
FMOD is a very powerful sound engine that allows designers to implement a complex audio system into their projects. In the case of SCS, the team is using it to add “new vehicle sounds” to both titles. In addition, players can expect “profound” changes to each game’s soundscape, as the team “plan to revisit ambient sound sources all around the environment.” A series of updates will add in the new sound effects with SCS then looking to their fan community for feedback as to how further tweak the new sound system.
Music to my ears
While the new FMOD support has not yet been rolled out in public releases, SCS has provided an early sample which shows the difference between the current soundscape and the upgraded one in American Truck Simulator:
The difference is extremely pronounced. With FMOD off, engine sounds from the passing vehicles are really only audible as they’re passing and quickly fade away. With FMOD on, you can still hear as each vehicle passes by, but this is now accompanied by the ambient sounds of basically the entire street. Indeed, this is far closer to real life and anyone that’s been on a busy street knows how loud it can get.
If you look on the Steam Workshop for either ATS or ETS2, you will see that there are a number of user-created sound modifications are already out in the wild. SCS admits that with the major changes being made to the way each game’s sound system works, most of these sound mods will be rendered “incompatible.”
And, “one more thing”…
The devs capped off this announcement by revealing one more sound-related feature that is coming as part of this update: rollable windows! SCS admits that it has seen the many requests for such a feature over the years, and now it’s finally going to be a real thing. The team actually teased it over on Twitter a few days ago with a screenshot from American Truck Simulator that looks innocent at first, but once you zoom into the passenger-side window of the truck, you see that it’s partially rolled down.
I honestly don’t recall this feature being a part of any other driving simulator that I’ve seen. The closest you can get to this effect is opening a door and/or driving an open-top vehicle. As you know in real life, cracking a car’s window does result in a much heavier soundscape as the wind blows through the cab while driving along with more amplified sounds of passing vehicles. And when stopped, you can hear the motor of the car more clearly. So, with FMOD now being implemented, this entire experience should be very pronounced in both American Truck Simulator and Euro Truck Simulator 2.
The devs have not yet revealed when they expect to publically release this update, simply ending their announcement by saying “we still have a long way to go.” Thus, it may be best to expect this to come further down into the year. Hopefully, it’ll be in time for the new expansions that are coming to both ATS and ETS2.