ATS Map Mod Projects

I have briefly made comments when talking about map mods for both American Truck Simulator and Euro Truck Simulator 2.  The words I’ve used to express my own opinion of map mods is quality over quantity.  At the present time (according to the SCS forums for ATS map mods) there are about ten different ATS map mod projects underway in various forms of competition.  With ten or so being actively discussed in the SCS Forums I linked to above, how many are currently in various forms of development that we may not know about?  Who knows right.  In all honesty, the only expansion may I’m truly interested in is the map of Arizona which SCS Software is currently working on.  But that of course is a different story.

The ATS Map Mods actively being discussed in the SCS forums include the following:  Coast to Coast Map, Hawaii, MHAPro map ATS – by Heavy Alex, Alaska, Project Australia, USA Offroad Map, Project Utah, Republic of China, DFW Metroplex, Project Idaho and Oregon.  Whew….what a list!

I’m going to re-group the above list into a few different categories.  The first being, “I Get That”, “I don’t know what this is about” and “Why?”  This will be fun, let’s go!

I Get That

Coast to Coast – This map project started as a personal project of a modder named Mantrid.  I’ve talked about the Coast to Coast map before as well as another helpful ATS mod titled Speed Limit Fixes.  Mantrid created this map for his own use in order to be able to drive longer distances than what we currently have access to in ATS.  When he shared this map he indicated it was a work in progress and for the most part, the map consisted of a route taking truckers from California through Arizona and out to the furthest point of Boston.  The cities included along the way were pretty sparse and the scenery was really just a duplicating cut and paste from that of the base California and Nevada map.  That is why on the first release or so of this Coast to Coast map you’ll see palm trees around New York City.  This map (current release is 1.4.1) has been much improved and Mantrid has plans to further develop it based on feedback received in the forums.  One of the next major editions to the map will feature Interstate 10.  I-10 runs from Los Angeles all the way to Jacksonville, Florida.  The route will take virtual truckers through Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso, San Antonio, Houston, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Mobile, Pensacola, Tallahassee.  At least this is the real world route.   It’s unclear just how far Mantrid is planning to develop this map.  While I drove the distance to Boston once, I’ll likely drive the I-10 route when this version is released at least once.

USA Offroad and Alaska – This is really a combined project from what I understand.  While I attempted to install, I had issues and quickly backed out.  But the concept is worthy of me classifying it in the “I Get That” category.  With Alaska, every one has probably seen the History Channel program titled Ice Road Truckers.  I’m not sure why this is on the History Channel, but that is a completely different discussion.  The program showcases life as a trucker driver moving goods across the the dangerous roads in Canada and Alaska.  Unfortunately, to get to Alaska you sort of drive north to the California border and the next thing you know you are in Fairbanks Alaska.  I’m not sure what happened to Oregon, Washington and much of British Columbia.  I think I would almost prefer this map to just be a stand-alone map, not tied to California.

DFW Metroplex – Perhaps the only reason why I’m not placing this into the “Why” category is based on what I’ve read about this map mod in the SCS Forums.  The mod developer is planning to create new prefabs, roads and road signs which better meet those seen in this area.  He has created this YouTube video showcasing the prefabs for his new DFW map.  I grew up and lived many years in the DFW area and this is one map that I’m looking forward to playing.  However, the discussion thread has gone quiet with the last posting being from me back on the 19 of February.

I Don’t Know What This Is About

MHAPro Map ATS by Heavy Alex – For the life of me I can’t figure out what this map is about.  I’ve read the three pages in the SCS Forums and I’ve read a portion of his blog site but I’ve yet to see a image of the map or a detailed description of what his map mod does.  Best I can tell is this is just a modified map to cover the already existing California and Nevada region.   I’m currently watching a YouTube video titled ATS Gameplay Jackpot Elko MHA map.  But there is no narration and it’s hard to tell what really has been changed with this map mod.  While I could try it to find out.  Nope, not without a better description into what the map mod does and what it covers.  I’ll pass….

Why?

Of course, anyone is free to develop and distribute any mod they are capable of creating.  Just like anyone is free to download, install and play these map mods.  I also completely understand that based on the length of time it has taken SCS (from release of ATS) to still not release Arizona…that we’re talking several years before all of the lower 48 US states are available.  The last update from SCS Software regarding the release of the Arizona DLC was back on 1 March and here’s the direct quote from SCS Software “We don’t have a release date to announce yet, but there should not be more than a couple of months of solid work ahead of us, plus the final testing and polishing stage.”   So a couple of months?  That could be two, it could be three…it could be even more.  I say this only because if my wife asks me to do something, my response might be…Yes Dear!  She may ask when I’ll do it, and my response might be “I’ll do it in a couple of minutes”.  In most situations, my definition of “A Couple of Minutes” is more than TWO.   So having said that, let me start with the Utah, Oregon and Idaho.

Utah, Oregon and Idaho – History often repeats itself.  For whatever reason SCS chose to start in California and Nevada they will likely move East and North as they develop and release DLC maps.  Depending on whatever direction SCS decides to go AFTER Arizona, the states of Utah, Idaho and Oregon are bordering states to California and Nevada.  Most likely (at the very least) chance are pretty good that Utah “might” be coming after Arizona. Of course, I could be complete wrong and SCS could continue their eastward expansion across New Mexico, Texas etc.  But my gut is telling me they will work their way north and east as they expand across the lower US 48.  So in time these map mods will be obsolete.

Finally, with regards to Hawaii, Australia and Republic of China map projects.  Just why?

In closing, here’s my recommendation to all who want to create ATS map mods.  Please visit the ProMods forum and read this thread.  ProMods is recruiting developers who want to be part of a team in creating quality map mods similar to those we see from ProMods for ETS2.  For me, quality is always better than quantity.

Until next time…

Happy Trucking!!!

J

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