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Video Game / American Truck Simulator

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Sequel to the popular Euro Truck Simulator series, In America! In addition to the change in scenery, several new mechanics are introduced, such as patrolling police cars, weigh stations, and more.

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Tropes present in the game include:

  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality:
    • Like Euro, the map is scaled at 1:20 to avoid a situation a la Desert Bus. A 1,500 mile haul can generally be done in under three real life hours.
    • Cities are also much bigger on the map than their actual counterparts (San Diego actually bleeds a little bit into Mexico) — a design cue taken from Euro, where base game cities are accurate-to-scale but feel quite bland and repetitive whereas DLC cities are much wider but look more realistic.
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    • The 1.31 update adds California State Route 120, which passes through Yosemite National Park. In real life, commercial trucking is restricted within national parks, but the developers admitted that the Scenery Porn was too good to pass up.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Euro's menu music is mostly smooth guitar solos and keyboards. American's menu music, to the contrary, is mostly blues and hard rock, and the atmosphere in general is more aligned with the Badass Driver with a Big Badass Rig trope.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Even if you elect to attempt a more difficult parking space, you can still skip the sequence at any time to get it over with, while forfeiting the bonus.
  • Artistic License – Geography: At the original 1:35 scale (compare the 1:20 scale in Euro Truck Simulator), many prominent highways were entirely absent. Many Interstate Highways had at-grade intersections, many even without traffic lights. For example, it was not possible to use Interstate 80 to drive directly to San Francisco; one had to drive either south to Stockton, or north to San Rafael. This was fixed in the map rescale update to the same as Euro Truck Simulator. The results are much more accurate freeway and road networks, and the inclusion of the Grapevine and Cajon Pass where previously there was a tunnel and nothing at all, respectively. The Devs continue to add new roads and tweak existing ones with new updates/DLC.
  • Big Badass Rig: If the European cab-overs weren't doing it for you, rejoice! Even Europe wants to get in on it with the Volvo VNL series which is practically what an FH16 would look like with an American design style.
    • Many accessories for the trucks include big, chrome bumpers, bullbars, sun visors, and hood deflectors to make your truck look even more badass.
  • Bland-Name Product: As with Euro, the game features cars that are the same as their actual counterparts except for the brand (of particular note is the "Frog" F-150 truck), and shops like "CarZone" that are suspiciously similar to actual American shops. Instead of Tesla Motors, the game has Voltison Motors — a shout out to Thomas Alva Edison being Nikola Tesla's life-long rival.
    • Thankfully, mods exist that replace these fake names with their real life counterparts. Though some of the fake names are so clever that they take on a bit of a clever charm to them.
  • Diegetic Interface: As with Euro, all of the dashboard instruments inside each truck are completely functional.
  • Driving Stick: Much like in Euro, trucks have at least 12 gears (and a few have 18 which is necessary in order to haul really heavy cargo), so conventional shifter controllers will require a switch to go up to the higher gears. Alternatively, you can opt to use a splitter setup where 1st can be 1-3, 2nd can be 4-6, etc., or you can use a hybrid range-splitter, or you can use the 6 gear transmission as long as your engine has enough torque to make up for the huge gear ratio jumps.
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  • Easy-Mode Mockery: A subtle version in the form of the gearbox selection. Simple Automatic depicts a wooden toy pickup truck, Real Automatic shows a wood model of a semi, Sequential is represented by a diecast metal truck toy, while H-shifter shows a proper semi-truck.
  • Everybody Owns a Ford: For the first two years of the game's life, the PACCAR brands Peterbilt and Kenworth were the only trucks represented in the game, owing to the rights for other companies being much harder to obtain than first anticipated. A free piece of DLC released on November 5th, 2018 introduced the Volvo VNL series for purchase and there's plans for both the International Lonestar and Freightliner Cascadia in the future once SCS gets the rights to do so from those respective brands.
  • First-Person Ghost: Like the transatlantic equivalent, your character is completely invisible in the first-person view to leave the dashboard unobstructed.
  • Gimmick Level:
    • California has an unusually low maximum speed limit for trucks at just 55 MPH. For comparison, the neighbouring states of Arizona and Nevada are 75 and 80 MPH respectively.
    • The Special Transport DLC requires you to carry oversized and heavy cargo under the direction of escort vehicles. And compared to Euro Truck Simulator 2, these missions are much longer.
    • External Contracts via World of Trucks tracks the remaining time in real-time, even when the game isn't running. The truck speed limiter is forced on and has a limit of 65 mph/105 km/h even before picking up the load.
  • Hard Mode Perks: When you arrive at a delivery, you can now choose whether to do an automated drop-off, a forward park, or a reverse park. These are progressively more difficult (even compared to the previous games, some of the reverse parks are brutally cramped) but offer experience bonuses if done successfully.
    • Driving Stick with an H-Shifter can be incredibly tricky at first but offers much better control over your gears.
  • Just Train Wrong: Train consists encountered at level crossings will have a single locomotive and about 9 cars behind it. Real freight trains tend to be much longer in the U.S. In this case, this is likely helpful due to the way time compression works, as waiting for a realistic train to pass would cause one to wait for in-game hours.
    • On single-track crossings, only a single road locomotive will pass through the crossing.
  • Landmark of Lore: In-game, you can drive over the Golden Gate and San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridges, and under the Bakersfield Sign.
    • With the New Mexico DLC installed, head east out of Albuquerque and follow the signs for Historic Route 66. You'll soon be on a highway with an unusual rumble strip. Instead of rumbling, you'll hear "America the Beautiful", but only if you drive at the right speed.
  • Multi-Track Drifting: Surprisingly so. You won't be able to actually turn at high speeds, but these ten-ton semis can certainly change lanes like a hot rod without slowing down by more than a couple MPH, even when barreling down the interstate at just under twice the speed limitnote  while towing a pair of fully-loaded twin-axle box trailers (or one fully-loaded Lowboy 55L).
  • No OSHA Compliance: Mostly averted; for example, the Gallon refineries have fire monitors (water cannons) around the property. Bridges and overpasses have railings. Some treacherous sections of highway do lack warning signs or safety features. Truck drivers have to follow DOT requirements such as required rest periods.
  • Production Foreshadowing:
    • Many highway exits around the edge of the map feature signs pointing to future cities. For some reason, the sign in the highway exit that leads from San Diego to Tijuana is not covered.
    • Just north of Portland's shipyard, you can spot the Western Star factory, and going into the game files reveals that it is rigged to function as a depot.
  • Production Throwback: Two of the companies you can deliver to, Eddy's and Bushnell Farms, are taken from SCS Software's 18 Wheels of Steel series.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: There are female truck drivers, but there's no real difference from the male ones. Aside from the picture of the driver, there's no real indication the game even recognizes driver genders at all.
  • Rare Vehicles: While not quite 'rare', generic '57 Bel Air clones found driving around in traffic are absurdly common. In reality a person will probably only see similarly vintage cars at car clubs, yet here they are as common as any other car.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Several players complained that the GPS on trucks gave the speed limit as 55 MPH, when the posted speed limit was different. However, in some U.S. states (such as California, included in the game), there are laws that require truckers to drive at 55 MPH on the highways, even if the speed limit that is posted on roadside signs are higher. (This is also a holdover from Euro Truck Simulator, where the road shows you the car speed limit but the GPS shows you the truck speed limit).
    • Many of the aforementioned vintage cars also are able to travel at speeds far higher than their gearing would allow.
    • There is an option to have your GPS show the car speed limit. It is not advisable to use this though, since you risk running into lots of speeding tickets.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • In response to the May 2017 Big Sur Landslide, which blocked part of California's Coastal Highway, the same stretch of road was closed in-game, requiring players to take a detour. A June 2018 community event required players to deliver cargo to and from the landslide in anticipation of the road's real life reopening, and it reopened proper in mid-July just like its real world counterpart.
    • The 1.32 update extends the Nevadan I-580 so that it bypasses Carson City, reflecting its real-life extension that opened in August earlier that year.
  • Removable Steering Wheel: A growing trend in simulation games for those using a steering wheel peripheral to avoid double vision with the added benefit of removing clutter from the dashboard. This option is rather hidden and requires editing the config file of the profile.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: Fines are much more punishing, and the replacement of static, well-flagged speed cameras with roaming cops makes it much harder to get away with speeding, especially in cities. American trucks are also more difficult to drive than their European counterparts, due to their long nose, their increased overall length and greater number of gears (while most European trucks have 12 gears, an American truck will usually have 18 or more).
  • Shout-Out:
  • Songs in the Key of Panic - Hurry Music: When the delivery time left drops below two in-game hours (about 10-15 minutes of IRL time), the fast-paced country music begins.
  • Timed Mission: All of the deliveries in the game have a time limit. Freight Market/Quick Job time limits are based on the internal game clock, whilst External Contracts (World of Trucks) are based on real time. For a financial and experience bonus, you can take urgent loads that will leave you with very little time to spare.
  • When It Rains, It Pours: Downplayed when it does rain, it typically starts as a light drizzle with the sun still visible that only requires the wipers to wipe intermittently whereas the heavy downpours and thunderstorms require the wipers to wipe constantly, taking advantage of the two speed settings.
  • Work Info Title: The game has its genre in its title.

Example of: