Monday, November 26, 2018

Blast from the past: First ETS2 Studio Versions

This is a first in a series of blog posts that's going to bring you up-to-speed on the current developments of Mods Studio project. Let's begin by taking a stroll trough our old releases...

The first publicly available version was numbered v.0.3and it was released on October 6th, 2013.

Main Window

Main window
Main window of the app was a MDI form with only a couple of options: File, Tools and About. I'm still a fan of old-school MDI windows, and still think this was probably the best design that we ever had.

Tools menu
Pictured is the tools menu. The initial version (0.3) had only the first two options, but we added more and more with each release.


SCS Archive Extractor
SCS archive extractor was just a simple user interface that used SCS Software's own extractor command line tool to do the work.

Tobj File Editor
Before E2S, most modding tutorials required use of Hex editors to edit the TOBJ files. Not to mention, the method of padding file and similar practices of the time...

Workshop Icon Generator
Simple tool to create workshop icons, as many mods missed them back in the day. Later, the tool was expanded with and "overlay" option and the "default icon" template.

SCS Color Calculator
A simple two-way tool to convert between SCS and RGB color spaces.

Main tools (Mod projects)

This was the bread and butter of E2S: Standalone trailers tool and Truck Skin tool. Initial version had only the trailers tool and only 2 trailers at that. That's actually why I made E2S: I was not happy with 'replacement' trailer skins as I believe mods should add content and not replace it. On the other hand, making standalone trailers was a painstaking process.

Two main project options (v.0.4)
Two main types of projects in v.0.4 - the idea was to add more with each release. Unfortunately, when we created a brand "new" UI (around v., I think) - we limited ourselves to these two + variable editor. In retrospect, a bad move.

Trailer tool: Trailer type selection

Trailer tool: Skin selection

Trailer tool: Cargo editor

Trailer tool: Cargo selection
Trailer tool offered stock SCS trailer types, and a list of standard SCS companies to deliver cargo from/to. Skins were DDS in the first version, but soon we offered option to use PNG, as many of our users didn't have tools to edit DDS images. Later versions had options to edit the list of trailers, companies...

Truck skin tool - truck selection

Truck skin tool - skin image selection

Truck skin tool - properties

Truck skin tool - workshop icon
Truck skin tool offered all SCS trucks and 50keda's 2009 Scania R, the most popular mod truck of the time. (Later, we added option to add mod trucks). All of the tools featured validation (Right side of the window), that showed the user what they are missing for a working mod. I still am proud of the design and functionality of our first ETS2 Studio.


First E2S was built using Visual Studio and was coded in C#. All of the UI was done in Windows Forms, and as the title says - it was Windows only. We used some external libraries to convert PNG to DDS, zip/unzip files and such. Also, we used SCS Software's own tools (extractor), and some base files for the trailers.

Next post will deal with the Mods Studio version that most of you know and have used for a long time, and after that, we'll get into the under the hood things of the upcoming Mods Studio 2.0.
So, folks, stay tuned!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Development of new Mods Studio starts in August

Hello everyone, it's been too long!

So, development of brand new Mods Studio is just about to start...

For the last couple of years, I've been working on a game, together with my wife. Yesterday, we finally submitted the game build for release. It's coming out on Steam on August 1st. For anyone interested, here's a little video:

So, with this project finished, I finally have time to make a new Mods Studio version. There are a lot of ideas flying around as what and how it should be made. One thing is for sure - it will be made in small steps. First step is to create a decent code base for the project. Second, we'll build the specific mod tools on that. 

As we all know, SCS is building a complete new trailer system (where you can own and modify your trailers). That's going to be a new challenge for us - figuring out the new system and finding a way to reproduce the trailers.

Another challenge is to make it work on all platforms: Windows, MacOS and Linux. The question here is, is the time and effort justifiable, since only 3% of players don't use Windows.

Going open source with the project will also be a challenge, sine I never coordinated such a project.

In any case, I'm hyped about the new Mods Studio project. I guess I needed some time off to get the spark back. :) See you soon with more news about the development.