Exploring Missouri: A Research Journey

Last year, a few members of our American Truck Simulator map team traveled to the USA to explore the state of Missouri and its surroundings. Along the way, they were gathering references and insights for our upcoming Missouri DLC. In this blog post, we’ll offer you a peek into the team’s exciting adventures.

The team consisting of Patrik, Pavel, Ilona, El, and Annie visited not only Missouri but also the neighboring states. “Every time we go to a state we will work on, it gives us a new perspective on what is typical for that area, what the atmosphere and the character of the state is,” Patrik tells us.

What is the purpose of visiting the state in person when you can just find reference pictures or use street view? “One gets a quicker and more accurate view of what might be considered generic, so by visiting a state we shorten the research time and refine the results so that we can order from our asseters what best describes the area. Missouri is considerably hillier compared to Kansas, the landscape is more rolling and the whole state looks greener,” says Patrik.

Captivated by the city’s rich history and vibrant culture, Pavel found himself drawn to St. Louis’ unique charm. “I liked St. Louis the best. I was intrigued by the Gateway Arch, right in the heart of downtown. I had the privilege of looking up at the very top of the Gateway Arch, and the city’s view from 200 meters up was phenomenal. I will be creating this city for our players and the fact that I was there makes my job a lot easier, as it made me realize what the real landmark of the city is and what definitely needs to be in our game,” Pavel shares with us.

“Since I’ve seen American cities live, I’ve decided to build more of them in our game. Building cities in our engine is a challenge I like to take on. Besides the cities, I loved the local nature as well. America is absolutely amazing and hides a lot of beauty,” says Pavel.

St. Louis was probably the favorite city of the whole team, as it captivated Patrik as well. “My favorite city in Missouri is St. Louis, a city with an amazing atmosphere and a unique skyline due to the arch,” he says.

“I also liked Cape Girardeau where we mapped the bridge with a drone. We like to take a drone with us on trips to get to places inaccessible to humans with a camera and see things from angles not visible from the road, which helps us model them better in the 3D world. Most often these are bridges, dams, and road construction on hillsides. In Colorado, our team used the drone to map out the terrain outside the road and were able to better model the Million Dollar Highway, which is a success according to the reactions of the players, so we want to do the same thing here”, says Patrik.

The team has to get ready ahead of the trip to take as many insights as they can from their journey. “We already knew which towns and roads we would be doing before our trip, and this allowed us to better prepare for it. I focused on Jefferson City, the Ozark lakes area, a beautiful road from Springfield to Branson, and a little bit of Branson as well. Branson fascinated me with its atypical architecture and the beautiful surrounding nature. Ozark Lakes appealed to me with their natural beauty and the vast array of boats. In Jefferson City, I had a funny incident at a car wash, where the change machine took $20 and wouldn’t give it back,” Ilona tells us.

El shares the highlights of the journey, from the bustling streets of Kansas City to the scenic beauty of St. Louis and Joplin. “My favorite places we explored were Kansas City with its underground warehouses, St. Louis and its brewery, Branson, and Joplin. Joplin, the city I will be recreating in our game, was particularly exciting to see in person. I was especially impressed by the landmarks and wall paintings at the Route 66 mural park. Another aspect of Joplin that I am eager to recreate is the large truck stop along I-44, where we took a brief break,” says El.

The team also recorded some videos on their trip to the USA which we compiled into one short clip for you to enjoy!

We hope you’ve found this journal of our trip to Missouri interesting. Don’t forget to follow us on our , , , and  so you won’t miss out on news about the Missouri DLC and our other projects.