ATS Mod Review–AI Traffic Pack by Jazzycat

This weeks ATS Mod Review features the wonderful AI Traffic Pack by JazzyCat.  If you want to “jazz” up your AI traffic with all sorts of new real world vehicle types like Ford F150, Jeep Wrangler, Chevy Tahoe, Volkswagen Beetle and even Harley Davidson Motorcycles…then this traffic pack is what you need.   The images below are property of Jazzycat and obtained from the mod.  I included them in this blog article to provide you a better view of what is available from the mod.




What is the Featured Mod and what does it do?

This mod is the AI Traffic Pack by Jazzycat mod for American Truck Simulator.  The mod adds real world AI cars, pickups, SUV’s and even motorcycles to your in-game traffic.

How can I get this mod?

The Freightliner Classic Truck mod mod for American Truck Simulator is available here.

How do I install this mod?

Please see my blog post “How to Install Mods in American Truck Simulator” for complete instructions.

Until next time…

Happy Trucking!!!


Realism through Simulation

I play a lot of simulation based video games.  Actually…if the game doesn’t have the word “simulation” in the title, I’m very much liable to pass it by.  I also have an extremely narrow definition of the word “simulation” and there are some very popular game titles using the word “simulation” in their name.  Some of these titles have absolutely earned the right to be called “simulators” and some have not.  In addition to playing simulation based games, I also enjoy watching others via Twitch and YouTube.  There are a lot of really good gamers out there and likewise there are a lot of not-so-great gamers.  It may surprise you to know that my views of what makes a great simulation gamer versus a not-so-great simulation gamer may have little to do with regards to controlling an aircraft, backing up a truck, seeding a field or driving a train.  The reason?  We’re all a noob at some point.  The majority of the great simulation based gamers don’t have a pilots license, they’ve never driven a vehicle larger than a car and the closest thing they come to running a farm is when they walk through the produce aisle at their local grocery store.  For the most part, what makes them great is how much they strive for realism in their gaming style.

Realism through Simulation

I’m not sure if the tagline “Realism through Simulation” has been adopted by anyone.  I did Google it and I searched using that phrase on YouTube and nothing really relating to video game play or video gamers popped up, so I’m adopting it for my blog.  Realism through Simulation will become my goal as I not only play the various simulation based games I enjoy, but it will also become the threshold for what I write about and how I write about it here on

Mods, Mods, Mods – The root of all that is evil?

One pitfall I see many gamers fall into with regards to realism has to do with mods.  Before I go any further, let me say this.  I absolutely love and support the modding community.  While you may disagree with what I’m going to say next, I truly believe the modding community has been instrumental in the success of many of the simulation based games I play.  Said another way, many of these game titles would have been dead a long time ago without a strong modding community supporting them.  Imagine what it would be like to play ETS2, ATS, FS15 etc. without mods?

But some mods are perhaps the root of all that is evil…or certainly go along ways towards breaking realism.  Again, before I go further….let me just say that I’m NOT writing this article to instruct anyone how they should play their simulation based games.  If you want to haul in the wheat crop pulling a loooooooooonnnnnnnnggggggg train of tippers that is your choice.  Likewise, if you want to cultivate a field with a cultivator measuring almost 150 feet, again that is your choice.

Perhaps the reason why I’ve been thinking about my own game play style and choosing to write about it has to do with a Twitch channel I watched recently.  I’ll keep the identity of the streamer to myself, but he was clearly struggling and I (and many other viewers) were trying to coach him on a few things.  Most of the issues he had were caused by some of the mods he was using.  But towards the end of his broadcast he mentioned that he was bored with Farming Simulator 15 because it was too easy.  Yes, he was cultivating his field with a 150 foot cultivator.

As I try to wrap this up, no I certainly don’t count the rivets or bolts and I don’t compare color swatches.  But for me and how I choose to play these simulation based games…I do strive for authencity.    I believe playing simulation based games as authentic as possible, goes a long way towards keeping the level of play from becoming boring.  It’s one of the reasons why I will routinely plow AND cultivate a field before harvest.  It’s also the reason why I don’t use a 150’ cultivator.

Realisim thorugh Simulation works for me.

Until next time…

Best of luck with your simulation adventures….regardless how you play the game.


RusMap–My First Impressions

I realize the RusMap map mod for Euro Truck Simulator 2 is far from new.  As you probably know, this map mod includes 30 cities in Russia and 12 cities in Belarus.  The most current version of RusMap is version 1.6.1 which was released on or about 21 February 2016.  As the blog title suggests, this is my first experience with this map mod.

My overall experience with ETS2 really only dates back to early 2015.  I picked up both expansion DLC packs including Going North and Going East, then sometime after I tried the Promods map mod which opened up a huge chunk of Europe to me and really felt that was enough.  With Promods I’ve explored as far North as Iceland and down towards Romania, then east into Poland.  But I’ve also kept my eye on the RusMap project and after updating Promods to the latest version I decided it was a good time to look at RusMap.

With regards to map mods available for ETS2, there are several.  The ones I keep hearing the most about are Promods, RusMap and TruckSim Map.  From very early research, I kept hearing that Promods was the best, had the best support base and was the most actively developed.  So that was what I chose as my first map mod.  From further research I’ve learned that Promods and TruckSim Map will not work together. But RusMap will work with either Promods or TruckSim Map.  So just remember, RusMap will work with either…but PM and TSM don’t work together.

Moving along and getting us back on track…

The RusMap mod for ETS2 connects the Belarus and Russian cities with the Going East DLC at the town of Brest.  There are 30 cities in Russia and 12 cities in Belarus to explore.


The following images were captured during a recent drive through Belarus and Russia.  I’ve found no technical issues or glitches.  I’ve personally never visited this part of the world, but I’m certainly pleased with the quality and level of detail I’m seeing with the RusMap mod.

Besides trees, fields, houses and other buildings…the RusMap mod appears to have more “people” activity than I’ve noticed with the base ETS2 game or with Promods.  I like this.  It gives more eye candy to look at while we drive.

Active construction zones with working equipment and working crews.

The developers even included beautiful Russian architecture to marvel at while we drive by.


All in all I’m really pleased with the RusMap mod and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to expand their ETS2 experience.  As I’ve pointed out, RusMap also works well alongside the Promods ETS2 map system.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Until next time…

Happy Trucking!!!


Car Mechanic Simulator–Expert Mode

The much anticipated Car Mechanic Simulator – Expert Mode has arrived.  I began seeing chatter in the Steam CMS15 discussion pages regarding the imminent availability of about 10 days ago.  Unfortunately, the initial timeline was believed to be only two days away…but that proved to be a little longer.  CMS15 officially dropped on 21 March with the following new features:

* no tutorial on new game
* no jobs with listed parts (only body repairs and filters will have listed parts)
* game is not showing blocked parts
* very limited GUI
* no parts access description
* no silhouette around bolts – you need to know where they are
* auction fee – 1000$
* lowered bonus for car restoration (50% compared to normal mode)
* raised XP bonus (200% compared to normal mode)
* no information about over cursor part condition
* job task bonus reduced by 50%
* job complete bonuses raised by 50%
* rust on parts calculated different way
– added CX (drag coefficients) for car physics
– added Drag area calculation for car physics
– added FOV slider in options menu
– new translations for Czech language
– new translations for Italian language

The current version of CMS15 is which was released soon after and includes:

– reverting to normal mode from expert mode (via profiles menu)
– 4 new wall textures
– 4 new floor textures
– 6 new stripe textures
– 2 new jamb textures
– 1 new lifer texture

I’ve actually been looking forward to the new Expert Mode for some time.  To be honest, after spending the first dozen or so hours in the game…I was looking for a more challenging experience and I believed Expert Mode might deliver that.  In recent days I’ve spent a short amount of time testing out Expert Mode and for the most part I do like what I see.

One of the first things you’ll notice is the removal of the information text in the upper right-hand corner including Jobs Waiting, Experience and Account Balance.  This information is now neatly contained within the PC or the Tablet.  Makes sense…  In addition to that small change, the helper information which included the key commands for moving the vehicle, selecting parts dissemble mode or reassemble mode etc.  I’ll be honest, I hadn’t played CMS15 much in the past week or so, and it took my brain a few minutes to remember these key commands.  Perhaps instead of removing these completely, it would have been a nice feature to include this info on the computer/tablet.

As you start to disassemble parts, you’ll notice you will no longer have the green circles around the bolts.  This will require you to remember where these bolts are located and I think this is change for the good.   Also, you’ll need to remember which parts need to be removed first as you’ll no longer see blocked parts.

The only real big struggle came when it was time to remove the drive shaft.  As you can’t really position the camera well enough, you must sort of guess where the bolts are from several feet away.  It’s a good thing I have really long arms.

Here’s what I mean about the bolt removal.  Notice no green circles around the bolts from the exhaust manifold.  Also, they have changed the way rust is calculated.  Not sure if that means how the rust texture looks or how the overall rust impacts the usability of a given part.

Finally, some changes have been made to the way the bonus and XP is calculated and awarded.  The bonus payment has been reduced to 50% and the XP bonus has been raised (200% compared to normal mode).  I think this is also fair.  After all, playing in Expert Mode should have some rewards in the XP dept.

I guess I’ve played in Expert Mode for about 90 minutes or so and I very much like the change.  I’m not sure how the game play will work with a brand new user or profile.  If you are new the game and regardless how much real world experience you have, I would suggest not starting off in Expert Mode and playing in the normal mode for a few hours to get the hang of the game play.  Consider it training.

I look forward to spending more time with Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 and the new Expert Mode in the coming days.  Perhaps it will be time to revisit an auction.  If you’ve been playing CMS15 for some time, I encourage you to try the new Expert Mode.  You can always switch back to Normal Mode via the Profile Menu.

The next update patch ( is coming soon.  It is slated to include the following enhancements:

– 1/4 mile DLC
– better collision meshed for cars
– corrected lifter arms for new cars
– (Maluch) jobs with Maluch have special 150-200% payout
– (Maluch) bolts fix
– tuning tool (change rim size)
– steam achievements
– key rebind
– Steam Cloud Saves (same platform cloud saves only) – on hold – need more testing between mac/pc

I think I’m looking forward to most of those features.  Time will tell just how the 1/4 mile DLC will work.  If CMS15 doesn’t include wheel support for the Logitech G27 I probably won’t be interested.  My opinion simply is I wish Red Dot Games would devote more time to creating new vehicle types versus trying to turn CMS15 into a racing game.

Until next time…

Happy Simming!!!


P.S.  There will be no blog posting for tomorrow (Good Friday or the Easter Weekend).  I hope you all have a very Blessed and safe weekend!

FS15 How To–Setup Logitech G27 & Extreme 3D Pro Joystick

I’ve been searching for a way to enable BOTH my Logitech G27 wheel/pedal/shifter unit AND my Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick in Farming Simulator 15.  I’ve worn Google out and have read through many forums.  I’ve also watched several YouTube videos.  Unfortunately, much of the information available is either in a non-English language or more geared towards FS13.  Some videos and forum threads discuss the need to edit the inputBinding.xml file and some even mention the need to install 3rd party software.  I’ve also read through so many comments from fellow FS15 enthusiasts who are so frustrated and fed up, that they just gave up on trying to get it all to work.

Let’s face it.  Giants SHOULD have done a better job implementing wheel support in FS15.  Simply put…I believe they dropped the ball.  If you are going to develop a driving based game and call it a simulator…YOU NEED TO OFFER WHEEL SUPPORT.  Yes, FS15 can be controlled via the keyboard or a simple XBox type controller.  Some folks are 100% happy with this setup.  However, if you want to take this game to the max and truly push the limits…(and feel good about calling it a simulator) then offer better wheel support like is offered in Euro Truck Simulator 2 or American Truck Simulator.

Now that we’ve got that all out of the way, I absolutely love Farming Simulator 15.  While I play a variety of simulation based games like the previously mentioned ATS/ETS2…I also enjoy Car Mechanic Simulator 2015, Train Simulator 16 and Flight Simulation (P3D).  At the present time I would have to say that Farming Simulator 15 is my favorite.  I believe it is my favorite because there is so much variety in the game play.  FS15 allows us to operate tractors, combines, front loaders, bale hay, manage livestock and of course chop trees down in forestry.

The operation of most vehicles in FS15 is pretty straight forward with the G27.  Press the gas pedal and the vehicle goes forward, turn the steering wheel and it turns.  However, the operation of other functions not so much.  For example, if you are operating the telehandler or the wheel loader…the operation of the front bucket is a little clumsy with the mouse.  Actually it can be downright frustrating.  Considering one spends good money on the G27, the need to use the mouse or keyboard to operate the front bucket really blows away the immersion you are attempting to achieve.

Most know the forestry aspect of Farming Simulator 15 is a very good way to generate a lot of money when first starting out on a new map.  But operating the crane to pickup logs to load the trailer with the mouse or keyboard is just as frustrating as I previously described.  Perhaps more so.

In the real world, these equipment functions are managed by pulling a lever or two and in some cases using a joystick (or two).  I purchase the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro joystick over a year ago in an effort to use it for handling the functions of operating the front bucket or grabbing logs.  Unfortunately I just couldn’t get it to work alongside my G27…..UNTIL NOW!!!

As I mentioned at the top of this piece, I’ve searched, I’ve watched and I’ve read in an effort to make this work.  I’ve started threads on many of the popular FS15 forums asking for assistance…and basically heard nothing but crickets.  So in an effort to assist others who may find themselves in my situation…I’ve decided to document what I did to get both my Logitech G27 and Extreme 3D Pro Joystick to work in Farming Simulator 15.

The video below is just a little over 12 minutes long.  In this span of time I demonstrate what I did to get my hardware working.  During this video I setup the basic assignments for the wheel, pedals and joystick.  Both the G27 and the joystick unit offer many buttons which can be programmed in the same manner I demonstrate in the video.  You just need to decide what you want programmed.

Thank you for watching this video.  It is my desire to help as many people as possible.  Please share!  Also please visit my blog site Planes, Trains & Automobiles (and Farming Too!) for more helpful how-to articles, mod reviews and other simulation adventures.  You may also Follow Me on Twitter.

Until next time…

Happy Farming (with a Joystick)


Trucker’s Logbook #5

It’s been a while since I’ve spent much time in American Truck Simulator.  As I believe I’ve mentioned before, within the first few weeks of playing I had pretty much discovered everything there was to discover within California and Nevada.  ATS was released almost two months ago (2 Feb.) and at the time I write this blog posting, we are still very much patiently ANXIOUSLY awaiting for the official Arizona DLC to drop.  Oh, before I continue…let me just speak my mind regarding the Arizona DLC.  I’ll also just state (for the record) that my thoughts/opinions on things are completely my own.  But…(again in my opinion) I would have thought SCS Software would have already released the Arizona DLC by now.  I’m not suggesting it should be released if it was not ready, but I believe there was a certain amount of momentum, excitement, anticipation, drama etc. etc. built up with the build up to the official release of American Truck Simulator (2 Feb.) and it would have been awesome to ride that momentum etc. with the official release of the Arizona DLC around the first month anniversary mark.  Keep in mind that I’m also not suggesting SCS should commit (or even indicate) they can release a new US state every 30 days.  But I just think some of the air has been let out of the balloon.  The more time which stands between the 2 Feb date and the date Arizona is ready will see the balloon go a bit flatter and flatter.  But again, this is all just my opinion.

As we spent time in Europe for our Trucker’s Logbook #3 and #4, it is time we come back to the USA.  Again, with no Arizona DLC…I’ve just been occasionally hauling cargo within California and Nevada.  I’ve also been developing all my hired drivers and making sure they have everything they need to be successful.  Our current status is much the same as it’s been the past several weeks.  Our HQ is in Los Angeles and we have a garage in San Diego and in Las Vegas.  All garages have been upgraded to accommodate 5 trucks/5 drivers.  In addition to the three garages, we own 14 trucks and employ 13 drivers.   There is a reason for keeping one garage slot open.  This allows me to test (occasionally) some new truck mods.  But I’ll likely fill this up soon.  Overall our company is healthy and with over $500K in the bank (and no loans) we are cooking with gas.

So as I said, we are back in the USA and you may remember several weeks ago I discussed the Coast-to-Coast map.  Back in late February I drove from LA to Boston (and back).  In the past several weeks the maps developer, Mantrid has released many updates to this map including the most recent version (1.5) which includes several new routes.  One of the new routes added includes the complete stretch of US Interstate 10 from Los Angeles, California to Jacksonville, Florida.  On Mantrid’s new coast-to-coast map, I-10 takes you through Phoenix, El Paso, San Antonio, Houston, New Orleans, Mobile, Tallahassee.  There are also routes covering a portion of I-35 and I-45 in Texas and he’s included a route from Jacksonville, FL down to Miami and up to DC.

A little more fine print

Before I get into the meat of our posting today, allow me just to re-state the following.  Mantrid’s Coast-to-Coast map was a project he started for his own personal interest of driving from the west coast to the east coast of the USA.  He shared his first version of the map and made it extremely clear it was a work in progress and that the scenery (when there is something to see) is mostly a cut/paste from California and Nevada.  So this meant seeing palm trees in New York City.  While I have been critical of some of the map projects currently under development for ATS (read this post), Mantrid made it 100% clear his map may never be 100% accurate and include 100% real life depictions of the cities and routes he includes.

As I’ve already driven the more northerly route from LA out to Boston, I wanted to pick up a route that would take me out across the southern portion of the USA on I-10.  The one we chose was hauling a load of toys from Sell Goods in LA out to Charged in Miami (in a Fedex trailer).  The route is a whopping 2,716 miles with an estimated drive time of 70 hours, 36 minutes.  The job will pay $66,245 or $24.28 per mile.


Again our route takes all the way across the southern portion of the US along I-10 from LA to Jacksonville, Florida.  Then down I-95 through the Space Coast portion of Florida to Miami.


As we did for our last coast-to-coast trip, I have opted for the Kenworth W900.   It’s still dark thirty as we fuel up at our LA garage.  The trailer pickup point is just around the corner.

We pickup our FedEx trailer just before 4:30 AM on Thursday morning.  We are fully rested, fully fueled…”we’ve got a long ways to go and a short time to get there”.

The absolute worst part of this entire 2,700 mile trip will be the first few hours of driving 55 mph through California.  Thankfully, once we cross the state line into Arizona and continue eastbound, the speed limits keep rising.  (well mostly)  Welcome to Arizona!

Unfortunately, Mantrid placed a red light intersection and a 30 mph speed zone through Phoenix.

Hello New Mexico!

Our first night (and fuel stop) will be near Deming, NM.  We still have a very long way to go.

As I said earlier, there isn’t much to look at in terms of scenery.  Miles and Miles of Texas (I-10 between El Paso and San Antonio)  Speaking of Texas and I-10, US Interstate 10 is just over 880 miles from the entry point just before El Paso to the Texas/Louisiana state line at Orange, Texas.   We spend the better portion of Day Two just crossing Texas.  We would spend our second night just outside Lafayette, Louisiana.

The scenery just outside New Orleans with a few ships in the gulf.   This is somewhat near the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway (but not really depicted on this map)

After a very long day 1 (driving across CA, AZ and NM) and a long day 2 (driving across TX), the US States of Louisana, Mississippi, Alabama zipped by pretty quickly.  Our third night would place us around Melbourne, Florida (along the Space Coast portion).  This would set us up for an easy day 4 with less than 200 miles to drive.  As I’ve said, the coast-to-coast map has a lot of cut/paste features from CA and NV.  Does the image look familiar?  This is in Miami, but this is also in LA.

We’ve arrived at Charged in Miami, Florida.

I continue to level up and progress nicely.

Parked up at the nearby repair shop where will plan out our next opportunity.

If it can be worked out, ideally I would love to get a route from Miami that I could haul north up to the DC or NY area.  Then before I head back to Cali, I would like to head back to Oklahoma City then South down I-35 through Dallas/Ft. Worth and continue south on I-35 to San Antonio.  While there is nothing to see along this route.  My parents live half-way between Waco and Austin (Temple) on I-35.  We’ll see if can make all that work out.

If you aren’t bothered by long stretches of open road with little to nothing to look, and you aren’t bothered with some cut/paste to populate some of the cities along the way AND you truly want to experience driving the long and open road, then check out Mantrid’s Coast-to-Coast map.

Now for a bit of good news.  I really don’t follow that many of the add-on on map projects for ATS.  You can get a better understanding of this by reading this blog posting.  But, I do follow Mantrid’s progress.  Mantrid continues to work on this map and is adding more routes, more cities and more stuff all the time.  This map may never be to the level of quality and accuracy we will see from SCS or from the likes of ProMods.  But it was never designed to be.

Enjoy it…or pass it by.  The decision is yours….

By the way, it took me just under two hours (real life hours) to drive from LA to Miami.

Until next time…

Watch out for those bears….


Auction Report – Chevrolet Bel Air

I’ve been busy at buying cars at auction, repairing them and re-selling them.  Mostly for fairly descent profit.  While my first auction produced a profit, that profit was rather small at only a little over $5,000.  Part of that was due to not fully knowing how to resolve body issues on sections of the car that can’t be removed.  If you look at the image below, you’ll see the rust still visible just above the rear tire.  What I didn’t know then, (but know now) is if you click on that green acetylene tank shown in the background on the same image, you can repair all aspects of the car which can’t be handled through the removal/replace process.  Live and learn….


Our recent trip to auction found this old classic Delray Custom which in the real world would be the Chevrolet Bel Air.





Here’s the profit/loss breakdown…

Cost at auction $14,200

Cost of parts installed $15,352

Total cost $29,552

Price sold after restoration $71,594

Total Profit $42,042

Not bad at all.

Until next time…

Happy Simming!!!


Farming Simulator 17–Looking Ahead


October has been an important month in the Farming Simulator franchise.  As it has historically been the month in which the new version of Farming Simulator has been released.  Farming Simulator 11 was released on October 29, 2010, Farming Simulator 13 was released on October 25, 2012 and Farming Simulator 15 was released on October 30, 2014.   Unless Giants runs into delays, we should expect Farming Simulator 17 to become available this coming October.  That’s less than 8 months away.  WOW….can you dig it?


Here’s my Top 10 List of improvements/enhancements I’d like to see in Farming Simulator 17.

Better Wheel Support

Of all the things I could think I would be interested in seeing in the new FS17, better wheel support was on the top of my list and I would almost be willing to bet that it is probably near the top of your list too.  Especially if you use a steering wheel to enhance your FS15 game play.

FS15 was my first entry into the Farming Simulator franchise.  I have absolutely no experience with FS11 or FS13.  But it is somewhat apparent (at least to me), that Giants really, really, REALLY missed the boat with regards to wheel support in FS15.  While it is very much possible to do everything that needs to be done with a mouse and keyboard or like a XBox stile controller, this is a simulator.  If Giants is to be serious about calling this game a simulator, then it truly needs better wheel support in FS17.  I’m not suggesting a little bit better….I mean a lot better.  If FS17 isn’t on par with that of Euro Truck Simulator 2 and/or American Truck Simulator (with regards to wheel support) then in my mind, I don’t see the need to upgrade.  Period!

Considering one of the more popular wheel units (Logitech G27) has been available since 2010, and only a small portion of the buttons work in FS15 and even the wheel and pedals is very problematic at the best of times in FS15 suggests to me that Giants didn’t take wheel support serious enough with FS15.

Final thoughts about wheel support and FS17.  Yes…Giants did team  up with Saitek and co-developed the Farming Simulator wheel, pedals and console controller.  Before I purchased my G27 (spring 2015) I debated on waiting until this unit was available.  I’m so glad I didn’t wait.  I’ve watched plenty of YouTube “Unboxing” videos and the lack of quality really shows with this controller.  While it is “Plug and Play” and automatically configures itself to the FS15 game…I’m really, really glad I own the Logitech G27.  But just because Giants partnered with Saitek shouldn’t mean they should only care about Saitek users.  Time will tell….

Better First Person or “In Cab” Experience

I almost rarely drive any of the equipment from inside the cab or in first person view.  The reason for this is because the first person view along with functional mirror use is seriously lacking in FS15.  While I hate to keep comparing FS15 to games like ETS2, but considering ETS2 was released in 2012 and features a wonderful first person “in cab” experience with functional mirrors and it’s a year older than FS15, it just proves that FS17 needs to really step up their “game” in this area.

Vehicle Mechanics

I personally think it would be cool if the equipment needed to be serviced.  I’m not necessarily calling for a “Car Mechanic Simulator 15” process….but something better than what we have in FS15.  So in FS15 we pay a price per day for equipment maintenance.  This is automatic and we’re not required to do anything.  The only maintenance we are required to do is re-fuel and occasionally wash the vehicles.  I  think this should be expanded into more.  For example, (referring to ETS2 or ATS) over time our trucks develop a certain amount of “wear and tear”.  This can be caused by crashing our truck into something or it can also just be from driving.  In ETS2/ATS we are required to drive our truck to a repair shop or dealer for this repair work.

In FS17, it would be great if this type of function could be implemented.  I’d suggest two different approaches.  First, initially all work would need to be done at the dealership and at a higher price.  Then, a good option for a placeable object would be a repair shop.  Let’s face it,  most farmers are extremely good at being self-sufficient.  Then in purchasing a placeable repair shop, the work done would still have a cost (oil, filters, tires etc.) but the cost would be lower as the work would be handled by the farmer.

TrackIR Integration

I’m going to call out TrackIR integration as an area I hope Giants puts into FS17.  While it is true you can get TrackIR to work with FS15 through their mouse look emulator, it’s not the same as what we enjoy with other simulation games.  I believe with a better first person experience AND TrackIR, it will truly make Farming Simulator 17 a great simulation game.

Better Camera Support

While this may be available from mods, I’d like to see better camera functionality in FS17.  We should have the ability to pre-set various camera views which can either be selected by keyboard or controller button assignment or simply cycle through the list.  If you are familiar with Flight Simulator X (FSX) or Prepar3d (P3D) and the add-on called EZDok.  EZDok is a 3rd party application (mod) which allows the user to establish a series of camera views (internal or external).  You might have one view setup from the pilot perspective, another view of the CDU, a wing view etc. etc.  Unfortunately the camera view in FS15 tends to have a mind of its own unless you correct that with a mod.

Better Game Physics

I think we all hope to see improvements in this category with FS17.  I’d like to see the issues which causes a tractor to leap off the ground when connecting an implement be a thing of the past.  Also, I’d perhaps enjoy forestry work if the logs didn’t jump around as if they were possessed.

More Crop Types

While mods certainly offer us a “sky is the limit” experience regarding crop types.  For those who enjoy this game on the console platform, I’m sure they would love to have more crop types from the standard barley, canola, wheat, potatoes, sugar beets etc.

More Animal Types

Like with crop types, I hope FS17 brings us a bigger variety in the animal husbandry department.  Having the opportunity to raise elephants, giraffe and the occasional monkey should be at the top of Giants list of priorities.  Of course, I’m joking…I’m just checking if you are paying attention.  I suppose with exception to goats, horses and perhaps emu/ostrich…most typical barnyard animals are represented in the FS15.  I’d like to see Giants enhance the visual textures and perhaps offer a wider variety of textures.  I’d love to raise Longhorn cattle on my farm/ranch.

Better AI Traffic

OK…I’ll admit that AI traffic is a pain in the backside in all areas of simulation based games I enjoy.  To me this is a very low priority as I’m happy to just leave my AI traffic turned off.  Yes, this means I don’t see other cars/trucks driving around…but then again, most maps I play I’m more focused on the actual farm aspects of harvesting, planting and raising my livestock and don’t really care about seeing other cars.  But I know some people really are hoping for better AI traffic, so I’ve included it on my list.

Better Textures (Ground/Dirt especially)

Of course there is a fine line to walk with regards to just how much can be done and not seriously sacrifice computer performance.  For the most part the crop textures look pretty good in FS15.  But the field/dirt could use a bit of a upgrade.  But as far as I’m concerned there are much bigger areas of need and the reason why I’ve listed this one last on my list.


Well….What do you think?  Is this a valid top 10 wish list?  Or is this a pipe dream?


Until next time….

Happy Farming!!!


FS Mod Review–Bale Counter

While baling hay or straw, do you wonder just how many bales you’ve made?  Wonder no more with the Bale Counter mod.  This mod is super simple in both its approach and function.  It’s so simple, this will likely be one of the shortest blog postings I’ve written.

Once the mod has been installed you’ll notice a small change to the HUD in the lower right corner of the screen.  The addition of two new icons which resemble bales of hay will appear and a count.


In the example above, I had been baling and accumulated a total of 8 bales from the field.


If you want to reset the count, just click the “R” key and that will reset the count on the left side.  The count on the right will remain to indicate the total number of bales created.


How can I get this mod?

The bale counter mod is available here.  I have personally downloaded, installed and tested this mod.  The mod works and I use it on all my maps.

How do I install this mod?

Please see my blog post “How to Install Mods in Farming Simulator 15” for complete instructions.

Until next time…

Happy Baling!!!


ATS Mod Review–Better AI Truck Traffic

Would you like to see other types of AI truck traffic in American Truck Simulator than the Kenworth/Peterbilt offered in game?  This mod will introduce many different types of trucks to the AI fleet and provide much variety including cab-over and conventional.


What is the Featured Mod and what does it do?

This mod is the Truck Traffic Pack by Jazzycat.  This mod will introduce many different types of trucks to the AI fleet and provide much variety including cab-over and conventional.

How can I get this mod?

The Truck Traffic Pack by Jazzycat mod for American Truck Simulator is available here.

How do I install this mod?

Please see my blog post “How to Install Mods in American Truck Simulator” for complete instructions.

Until next time…

Happy Trucking!!!



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