A video as surfaced of Barack Obama speaking in 2009 on the subject of immigration. Please share the truth.
In my previous post about American Truck Simulator I mentioned briefly the added benefit of using mods in your game. Not all mods are great but some mods can become an essential part of your game especially when you want to try to create the best (and most realistic) game experience possible.
I am constantly discovering new or better mods that really enhance American Truck Simulator but listed below is my current essentials list. Many can be found on the Steam workshop page for American Truck Simulator. Others I have found elsewhere. Some mod settings I even tweak to my own liking, which if your new to mods, I will explain a little about that at the end of the post.
My favorite Mods
- DP’s Realistic Traffic mod by Dumbfounded Polymath (creates a more realistic traffic flow to your game. (the mod also causes the ai traffic to be slightly more impatient which I have tweaked to my liking (more patient)
- Realistic Roads v3.2 by slavsan93
- Realistic Headlighting by KK4E38R
- Realistic Vehicle Lights by Frkn64
- Filmic Lighting by Pixelgrapher (Note about compatibility: There is no bloom effect when using Filmic Lighting mod, therefore HDR – No Bloom mod is not necessary when using this mod)
- HDR – No Bloom by ptr1ck (Note: Use without Filmic Lighting Mod)
- minimal adviser interface for ATS & ETS2 by ptr1ck
- Top Corner F2 Mirrors by ptr1ck
- Google Maps Navigation Night Version by Sinagrit Baba
- Real Company Logo 3D by P16
- Real Advertisements by Sinagrit Baba
- 50% Weighstations Chance by mazdarati2
- Icons! by DaStrobel
- Satellite Image Map for ATS by Keeper1st
- Sound Fixes Pack v19.0.2 – ATS by YouDriveSafely
- Owned Trailer Company Skins 1.32/1.33/1.34 by Lucasi_
Mods and links for adding more AI traffic, trucks and trailers
- AI Traffic Cars from ETS2 by grlk3512
- More cars from ETS for ATS by Lead toothpaste
Non Steam Workshop Traffic Mod Packs by Jazzycat
Trailer and Company Wizards
A little about tweaking Steam Workshop mods.
This information is specifically meant for those who are new to modding and in American Truck Simulator. I don’t know anything about creating a mod but perhaps I can help with tweaking a modders mod to your liking.
Some mods are easier to tweak than others. I have only tweaked one mod in particular but others have settings that can be changed in a similar fashion. (Important note: You cannot redistribute or upload tweaked or changed mods without first getting approval from the mod creator. )
Mod Location and Subscribing
Once you have subscribed to a mod on the Steam workshop perhaps you would like to find their location on your hard drive. First, it’s important to note that there are two places for mods on your computer. Steam workshop mods that you have subscribed to from the American Truck Simulator Steam workshop website will be located in a numbered folder (To help clarifying this post I will call this folder xxxxx). This numbered folder can be found in your steam workshop content folder. Follow this path on the drive Steam is installed on your computer. (Program files (x86)/Steam/steamapps/workshop/content/xxxxx (where xxxxx designates your steam numbered folder for ATS)
Within the correct numbered folder for American Truck Simulator there will be more numbered folders pertaining to each mod you have subscribed to. Finding the correct numbered mod folder can be tricky especially if you have subscribed to a lot of mods but here’s a tip. Sometimes within the numbered folders there will be a jpg image inside which can give you a hint as to which mod folder you have opened.
Mods you have download from other websites outside of Steam will need to be placed manually into a different mod folder that is located in your documents folder on you hard drive. (documents/American Truck Simulator/mods) Important note: Steam workshop mods will not be located here. As example Jazzycat mods go in this mod folder
DP Traffic Mod tweak example
Once you have your favorite Steam mods for American Truck Simulator in game enabled, you can sometimes tweak the mod if you don’t like the exact settings used by the modder. For example I have tweaked DP’s Traffic mod slightly. This mod contains a file called traffic_data.sii. If you want a more safe and patient reacting ai traffic response (like default) change ai_safety_modifier to 0.3 and ai_patience_modifier to 0.0. You will still see lots of ai traffic with this mod in use but their likelihood of crashing into you will drop significantly. Tweak those numbers and see what you get but do it at your own risk!
Have you played American Truck Simulator? Let me know what you think of this game.
Note: All images are from my modded version of American Truck Simulator
Warning on mods and altering mod files and settings: Tweaking settings of your mod files can not only mess up the local version of the mod that you have downloaded or subscribed to, it can corrupt your saved game. If you are unsure what you are doing exactly I would leave the mod files alone. I will not be responsible for undesirable results!
American Truck Simulator was released in 2016 and is a game about truck driving in American western states. Before ATS (American Truck Simulator) there was the highly popular Euro Truck Simulator which I have not played….yet.
SPOILERS: Yes, this post contains spoilers and not the kind that you can add to your car.
Having been blessed with the opportunity to actually drive a big truck (Werner Enterprises) you might wonder why it has taken me until 2019 to get my hands on this game. I remember playing or trying to play a game called 18 wheels of steel sometime between 2000 and 2011. Perhaps it was the weak visuals or keyboard controls that caused me to lose interest but whatever it was when American Truck Sim game around I didn’t give it much of a look. Around it’s release I tried the demo and didn’t care much for it either, until now. What has changed? I don’t really know since I haven’t followed the game’s development up until lately.
Today the game features California, Nevada, Arizona with Oregon and New Mexico as DLC (Downloadable Content Expansions to the base game). Washington State is next in line to be released sometime this year!
Real trucking vs ATS Trucking
What I enjoy about American Truck Sim is how this game gives the player the ability to pretend one is actually driving a 18-wheeler. As you complete jobs (deliveries) you earn in game money allowing you to buy new trucks, upgrades, trailers and do it again. ATS also features a bit of business management. While you drive and complete deliveries, you have the option to buy garages, higher and fire drivers and then let them begin to bring in the bacon (aka dough…..aka money) for you!
So how are the graphics? First, my standards are pretty high. I like photo-realism in games but who doesn’t? So how does ATS measure up? To me the graphics in ATS are like a mixed bag of nuts. There are some good parts but not others. First, the UI (User Interface) has a slightly dated feel to it with large mouse cursor and big menus as if it’s still from early 2000. This does not detract from the game though because it’s still highly functional.
Outside the skies can look visually stunning when driving through the desert in Arizona for example but this game (similar to other games I have looked at—yes you Cities Skylines) is also plagued with virtually no anti aliasing. The truck and vehicle models are top notch as are many of the landscapes but it’s those jagged edges I keep see on bridges, fences and distant objects which really hinder the graphics in this game from becoming completely stunning.
Gameplay, realism and accuracy
You pick up a load at one location and deliver it to the business that is expecting it lets say….12 hours later. And once you arrive, you get to decide if you want to back it up to the dock or easy park or move on to the next job. (By the way, twelve hours of in game time can be equal to about 1-3 minutes of real time driving…er….game play driving….you get the idea.) Along the road there are weigh stations and as you pass the sign……you will hear the pre-pass beep signal to either pull in to the weigh station or continue on by. That’s what I call the real thing!….the best part is you don’t really have to deal with the law or overweight loads but you had better not miss it or run a red light or you will pay….$150-$700…the violation tickets seem to increase as you progress in the game. And hitting another vehicle can be $900. At first this hurts when you’re trying to save up money to buy your first pretend truck if you didn’t use a bank loan but later in the game….well….that’s why you hired those drivers!
Controllers and Performance
I can safely say, using a keyboard to steer your truck isn’t going to be much fun. And backing? Forget it. It’s much easier in real life. Perhaps thats why I didn’t like this game when I first discovered it because I only had a keyboard and mouse. Now I use a controller which isn’t much better but it has improved the experience. The wheel, so I am told, is the best way to experience ATS and I do imagine it is.
I don’t know for sure, but I have heard ATS runs good even on older game systems. In my system (gtx 1070ti, I7-8700k) The game runs smooth at 1080p with most graphics settings on high but can hesitate slightly in cities with AI traffic mods and reflections on high. (Tip: Lowering mirror distance to medium seems to help.)
The MapNow ATS isn’t for everybody. If you like exploring open roads you might enjoy ATS. Only specific roads are driveable within ATS and they are mostly interstates and state highways in California, Nevada, Arizona and the add-on expansions (OR, NM). But what you do get to travel on is fun especially if want to taste what it’s like to drive a big rig. Many of the cities are not really too exciting but they do offer load pick-up and drop-off locations for freight and cargo. The expansion States Oregon and New Mexico DLC are highly recommended for adding more locations to travel, buy garages and get jobs.
Simply put, mods make ATS better (and more realistic). And the right mods can made ATS a truly great experience. The default AI traffic in ATS is sometimes scarce (which makes driver around easier) but with the right mods you can have loads of trucks and cars and some can actually hinder you from making that delivery on time! (I am constantly discovering new mods, but I do have some favorite ones that I have listed here.
While many places look familiar, some of the locations, landscapes and roads within ATS are not very accurate or familiar looking. For example 299 in Northern CA (Redding to Eureka) in real life is a mountainous two lane and four lane highway with a river on one side much of the way. Within ATS this section of 299 looks dated and there are no mountains or hills in sight. The in-game road is two lanes the entire way. (Interesting to note: That stretch of 299 use to be only a slow two lanes but it is much improved today)
Driving through Los Angeles in real life can be a nightmare of waiting in traffic and busyness everywhere but in ATS there isn’t much of Los Angeles to actually experience. In fact, even with a traffic mod, there isn’t much traffic to speak of. And when traveling on Interstate 10 or I-5 in ATS there are no mass tract housing projects, malls, more housing, more malls and grids of streets lining both sides of the roadway as there is in real life. In addition, the freeways of ATS in Los Angeles (and California in general) could use an upgrade to remove a dated 1994 gaming look. (It’s probably worth noting that with California being part of the base game release it’s interesting to see the massive improvements to development in the latest expansion DLC.)
Larger entrances and exits
Many job locations and even rest stops feature extremely small entrances and exits and areas to turn a trailer in general especially if your trailer is 53 feet long. There is no way of knowing this until after you have arrived at your job recipient only to find out you won’t be able to enter their parking lot without getting stuck.
Repetitive Spawning Aircraft
Some location based activity, such birds or airplanes landing at an airport might be okay but at times the other repetitive animations you will encounter make the game feel stale. A little more randomness would help this game a lot. For example instead of the same four hot air balloons spawning in a particular location all the time, they should sometimes simply not appear. Likewise, the same bi-planes we see throughout the game world which appear at precise locations, should either not appear at times or be a different randomly spawned plane.
There are some prominent but missing truck manufactures and truck types in ATS (ie, missing logging trucks, doubles tankers etc.) Freightliner, Mack, International are just some of the missing truck manufacturers which need to be in this game. (To be fair, these manufacturers must first give approval for addition to the game)
Before I make it seem that ATS is a terrible excuse for a game, it is quite the opposite. While ATS isn’t for everybody, there are the little things in this game, such as the myriad of random animations, visuals and sites (although many repeated) throughout your travels that make it great for us who enjoy it. But now speaking as a former trucker, there is one thing I wish would or could be implemented within ATS that might just give the game that edge it so desperately wants to have. In real life when a truck passes another truck sometimes the driver will signal with their headlights by quickly turning them off and then back on to signal the driver ahead that it’s clear and safe to move over. I hope this little touch of realism gets added one day into ATS.
American Truck Simulator has exceeded my expectations in many ways. Will you like it? I don’t know but there is a demo on Steam and I highly recommend giving it a test drive if you aren’t sure. Get the game and expansions on a steam sale and it’s a great deal.
Have you played it? Let me know what you think of American Truck Simulator.
Note: All images are from modded trucks and trailers in American Truck Simulator
In a bold new painting, Jon McNaughton accurately portrays the current state of immigration in the United States. In it we see the stark contrasts of what is most important for both the Democrat party and President Trump.
What do you think of this painting? Comment below with your thoughts.
What is USA.Life?
USA.Life and 1776Free seek to be the solution to Google, Facebook and Twitter’s Christian/Conservative worldview suppression problem
Christians and Conservatives alike already know they are strongly disliked and in many cases it’s raw hatred. In fact, Jesus Himself said many would hate us because they hated Him first (John 15:18). And online the story is no different. Many of us have experienced first-hand, the suppression and/or censorship of our worldview by people who want nothing to do with the God of the Bible. Just ask Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Michelle Malkin, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Ray Comfort, Ken Ham, Donald Trump, Sarah Sanders, Dennis Prager, Ben Carson, Herman Cain and many hundreds of other prominent Christians and Conservatives how they are treated by those on the Left. In fact, Jesus Christ, who is the Savior of the world, was spit on, whipped and murdered because he spoke about something people didn’t want to hear but needed to. Today the name of Jesus is so hated, that not even Hitler or Muhammad’s names are hated as much to be used as cuss words to express disgust. (For more about this check out the Good Person Test)
Countering Google, Facebook and Twitter
Enter Google, Facebook and Twitter. The big three, as I call them of the social media world are no different how they treat those with a biblical and conservative worldview. Doing a typical search on Google, I personally have seen how the name Donald Trump will bring up a myriad of anti-Trump related links. In fact, links from liberal media outlets such as the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC and others generally get priority on Google over Christian or Conservative news outlets. In a similar way, a search using the name Ray Comfort will bring up a host of atheistic related sites, many of which bash him or his ministry. And many sites that generally paint Mr. Comfort in an unfavorable light also get priority in the Google hit list. See the Crazy Bible movie
And yet, in the world of social media there still might be hope for those of us who fear God. A new social media networking site called USA.Life will allow Christians, Conservatives and any person who loves Freedom the ability to share with others their like-minded love of God, Country and America. To support this effort please visit USA.Life where they are currently seeking donations through it’s crowd-funding campaign.
Counter Google with 1776Free
A safe alternative to Google, 1776free will be a family and America friendly search engine that will not suppress searches relating favorably to Jesus, God and Conservatives who share a Biblical worldview.
Now We Need Some High Profile Conservatives/Christians to Get the Word Out
I had not heard of 1776Free or USA.Life until I found it through an advertisement on WND.com. In order have the best chance at succeeding, especially while in the initial stages of development, I believe it will take high profile Conservatives and Christians to financially support and get the word out about this family friendly and Biblical faith friendly social media alternative.
Let me know your thoughts about having a site that is able to counter Google, Facebook and Twitter!
Disclaimer: TinkerXperience blog has not been endorsed nor is it currently affiliated with USA.Life or 1776Free
It’s no secret that Subnautica is a popular game but is there more to this game than alien creatures?
Could Subnautica share some allegorical tones with Christianity in our world today? Let’s take a closer look at the game that won PC game of the year for 2018.
Important note: This post contains spoilers
Subnautica is an underwater survival game in which you, the player, have crash landed on an alien planet. The planet is filled with alien sea creatures–some scary and some cute and friendly while others are downright deadly.
In a similar way, the earth we live on is filled with people, some of which are hostile to others, mean and outright murderous. And still many people are genuinely nice, friendly and trustworthy. For a Christian, we know the hostility many face is because of our simple belief and trust in the God of the Bible—namely Jesus Christ.
Within Subnautica a bacterium (known as the Kharaa bacterium) has infected the planet’s inhabitants, alien life, including you the player, and apparently has become part of the ecosystem of the make-believe planet known as Planet 4546B.
In Genesis from the Bible we learn that the day Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, sin entered our world and has infected all of mankind. (Sin in our world is the breaking of God’s law (the Ten Commandments)).
In Subnautica the primary goal’s are to find a cure for the Kharaa bacterium and ultimately leave the planet (since it’s not your real home).
Today, the world needs a cure for sin otherwise they will be facing God on Judgment when they die without their sin fixed and taken care of. To the Christian, earth is not a permanent home because heaven is our ultimate hope.
In Subnautica, the planet’s inhabitants need a savior–someone to rescue it from the doom it is facing. You the player, also need to be rescued.
In real life, we each find ourselves (whether we admit to it or not) in far worse predicament. Since God is holy and perfect He cannot have sin in his presence which means no sinful person can be in His presence without being consumed by His judgment. Sort of like a dry leaf being consumed by fire. And as a good judge must punish a lawbreaker God must deal with our breaking His laws. God being just and righteous means He must punish sin wherever it is found. Ever broke God’s law? Let’s see. Ever lied? Stolen something? Hated someone? God views human hatred as murder. Lusted? Jesus said to look with lust is the same as adultery (see Matthew 5:28). Ever used God’s name as a cuss word? Hitler and Muhammad names are not even hated as much to be used as a cuss word. To use God’s name to express disgust is blasphemy. The point is, we All have sinned by breaking God’s perfect holy law and need someone who hasn’t sinned to save us from judgment in hell.
In the game Subnautica, a rescue attempt is made by the spacecraft Sunbeam. As the Sunbeam descends onto the alien planet it is immediately destroyed, killing all the crew on board.
To me this valiant attempt at rescue by the Sunbeam could be looked as in similar terms as current world religions and people groups who try to persuade people to believe anything but what is true about God, the Bible and Jesus. They come with a message full of a different Jesus or no Jesus at all but the results are the same. Their effort is to deny, suppress or ignore who God really is and the reality of our sinful offense against God Himself.
As there should be in any great game, there is a hope in Subnautica but it has nothing to do with God, Jesus or the Bible. A large sea creature called the Sea Emperor and something known as Enzyme 42 is where you will find this hope. The Sea Emperor is the only source of Enzyme 42 and ends up dying while her young hatch and save the planet (and you). They hold the cure to saving the infected planet.
In real life, God is the only one who can save mankind from coming judgment against sin. God paid the penalty of our breaking His law through Jesus Christ. Jesus, God manifest in the flesh, took the punishment for sin by dying on a cross. While we cannot fully understand God’s sacrifice for our sin or what He went through and the love He has for us (since He’s God and we’re not) we do know he rose again after three days. Jesus’ in completing the payment for sin was raised from the grave which ultimately demonstrated His love for all who believe in Him. So Jesus defeated death (punishment in hell), sin and judgment for all who repent and trust in Him. Do you know where you are going after you die?
He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. (Isaiah 53:3-6)
What did Jesus say about how His own would be treated while on this earth?
Jesus made some very relevant statements concerning the hatred of His followers (also called Christians) a long time ago. In the book of John from the Bible Jesus stated these words to His disciples, “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (see John 15:19) In verse 18, we read that Jesus made it clear that He would be the object of this hatred before it would come to Christians. “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.”
The Bible also makes it clear that any hostility Christians face is actually aimed at God Himself. If you don’t believe that, all one needs to do is take a look at the Ten Commandments. Looking at just a few of the commandments, ask yourself if you have ever lied, used God’s name as a cuss word, lusted (Jesus said that is committing adultery in the heart – see Matthew 5:27,28). had hateful thoughts toward a brother, or failed to put God first? If so, then we are seen from God’s perspective as breaking His perfect, holy law. Take a moment to think about what this means. Perhaps you find or have found yourself getting enraged at God. Any anger or lack of humility we have toward God is the hostility we have by nature toward Him. But our mind and flesh filled desires are to naturally desire to do evil and break God’s law.
“…the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” see Romans 8:7,8
We all by nature deserve the judgment of God because we have broken God’s law. We have all committed crimes against God who cannot have sin in His presence. (Sin is the breaking of God’s perfect law and we are guilty of that as seen in the good person test. ) The question we all need to ask is what can be done, if anything, to remedy our relationship with God? If God judges us who are deserving of Hell because we have sinned against Him, is that the end of us or is there a way of escape?
“It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27
For anyone sensitive to finding out the answer to this they will find it. You may be surprised or not but the answer has nothing to do with good deeds we do or don’t do. It has nothing to do with what sacrifice we can or cannot make for God either. We cannot earn back a right relationship with God. In fact, the answer really has nothing to do with us at all but Him. And the answer will not be because one joined the right church, or became a better person or found Religion. There is no religion that has the answer for how to escape God’s judgment and restore a right relationship with Him because the answer is found only in God in the Bible. God Himself is the only one who can provide a way of escape from His judgment. Because His love is so great for us, He did that Himself 2000 years ago in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the perfect, holy sacrifice who paid the penalty for us breaking His own law.
“now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” Hebrews 9:26
“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
Jesus Christ is the answer for all humankind to be saved from coming judgment against sin. Satan (God’s arch-enemy) knows it and hates it. Therefore he hates true Christians (followers of Jesus) because he hated God first. More about this in a later post. But there is hope because Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice and payment, satisfying the great wrath that God has against sin.
“Therefore He [Jesus] is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” see Romans 8:9-10
1. God removed from party platform – It’s true, the Democrat party officially removed God from their party platform in 2012 (this decision alone governs everything else the party does, will do or can deem to be acceptable and at any cost)
2. Pro Abortion – The left generally supports the murder of babies otherwise they couldn’t have adopted a party platform without God. These two decisions are not mutually exclusive.
3. Pro Homosexual Marriage – The left supports homosexual marriage which is in direct opposition to God’s view on the matter (yet another reason they had to remove God from their party platform)
4. Will advocate and fight for illegal immigration – The left is outraged when one seeks to keep America safe by upholding the law supporting legal immigration rather than illegal immigration
5. Believe Christians are a greater threat than a religion which brutally murders and beheads people who don’t follow them–simply for believing in Jesus Christ
6. Will choose to lie, at any cost, in order to protect like minded candidates and government bureaucrats rather than doing what is right and seeking the actual truth of a matter (a perfect example was how Brett Kavanaugh was treated and because he is pro-life)
7. Believe Climate Change (global warming) is a greater threat than people who hate us, want to kill us or think it’s okay to murder babies
8. Hypocritical/False Care of and Protection of Women – Democrats actively support the abuse of women within Islam and refuse to stand up against it. Women in general and more specifically Conservative /Christian women (and men) who hold a Biblical worldview are ridiculed, and denigrated in a majority of popular Hollywood movies/TV shows. (The false claim Democrats care about women extends to the music world too. Profanity and vulgarities aimed toward women is commonly found in rap lyrics and is increasingly present within the pop music world)
9. Like with Christians, the hatred of Jews is growing – Generally speaking democrats do not advocate or speak up in support of the Jewish people. In fact, when Donald Trump moves the United States Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, he is mocked and ridiculed by the Left. When Donald Trump chooses to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Democrats mock and ridicule him. Democrats support countries such as Iran, who are hostile to Israel and have vowed to “wipe Israel off the map”. Antisemitism within the Democrat party with those such as Louis Farrakhan and Rahm Emanuel is not condemned.
10. Jesus Christ is hated so much by the Left – His name is commonly misused, blasphemed and used as a cuss word to express disgust in many popular left controlled strongholds—Movies, Games (such as GTA and Rockstar specific titles, Hitman, FarCry, Assassins Creed,) modern day popular TV sitcoms, Democratic Television Networks (MTV, E!, Bravo, Tru, FX, FXX, CNN, MSNBC, TBS, NBC, ABC, CBS, TVland, to name a few), and atheistic based YouTube content.
Remember it’s election day today! If you support life, safety, and protecting our freedom from government tyranny, please vote Republican