God’s perfect standard is the moral law, the Ten Commandments
Have you ever lied?
Do you always put God first in your life?
Ever used God’s name as a cuss word to express disgust?
Hitler and Mohammad are not hated this much.
Lusted? Jesus said lust is the same as adultery of the heart. (Matthew 5:27-28)
3. We deserve God’s Judgment for breaking His Law
because of God’s perfection and
holiness we deserve judgment in Hell. (remember due to God’s holiness
and perfection He cannot have sin in his presence)
4. Good Works Are Not Good Enough
Trying to keep God’s commands or doing good things won’t work with God (God is the Judge – He cannot be bribed)
Only God can provide the way of escape because He is the Judge.
5. Because we violated God’s law, we are in desperate need of Savior–a way of escape from God’s judgment for sin. (James 2:10)
God the Father sent His Son Jesus
Christ—God manifest in the flesh—to die on a cross paying the penalty
for our breaking His Law (Sin). (Ro. 5:8)
Jesus rose from the dead after three days defeating sin and death. (1 Cor. 15:3-4)
When you repent from your sin (turn
from it as in changing your mind about committing sin) and trust in
Jesus Christ alone to save you from the wrath to come (judgment against
sin), you will have eternal life! (John 3:36, Titus 3:4-7, Ro 6:23)
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)
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.
It was nighttime and I found a spider on the ceiling at one end of a room at my house. It was slowing making it’s way to the other side of the room when I wondered what might be of interest on the opposite side of the room. Instead going across the floor or along the edge where the ceiling and wall meet, it was venturing out across the middle of the ceiling. Then I noticed a lamp was on in the corner while the rest of the room remained dark. Now it’s true I don’t know for sure what the spider had in mind but could it have been that the spider thought the lamp was a sun or a heat source and it was headed for that light?
Of course, you and I know the lamp wasn’t the sun because it was a lamp. Today there are many lights in the world but only one real Light. There is One who calls Himself the Light of the world. Have you ever considered if you are following a false light or the true Light? Jesus Christ claims to be the only Light that anyone should be following but with so many voices telling us to follow them it can be difficult and confusing to know which is the right one. In fact it is something each person much examine for them-self. I can point you in a direction I believe to be true but ultimately you and I must make up our own minds about who God is. (Did I say this was easy?)
The Good Teacher
Many people believe Jesus was a good person and a good teacher. But could this really be true if He was lying about who He is? If He was deceiving the people with His Words about claiming to be God of the Universe, why should He be trusted at all? In addition, the writers of the Gospels and of other Scriptures of the Bible claim Jesus was God and the Creator of everything. In fact, scripture says He holds everything together! (See Colossians 1:17)
Unfortunately for many, as is with the tail of the spider, their ending isn’t very pleasant.
Now the spider did not know the trouble it was about to encounter as it crawled toward the light in the corner of the room. On the way, the spider passed directly over a cat perch with a very curious cat inches below! Now it’s true cats tend to sleep a lot but being that it was night this cat was wide awake and ready for adventure (or at least playtime). Little did the spider know that this cat had been tracking him the entire time until just the right moment when the giant beast could reach up with his two front furry paws and take a swat! The cat didn’t miss and the spider fell from the ceiling and then it was on! Except it really wasn’t on for very long because the spider, being so little and the cat being so large, didn’t have the greatest of chances for survival from the get-go (unless there was someone to save it from the cats mouth or it had somewhere to hide of course!)
Right now, if you are seeking a light (or haven’t even thought about if you are or are not ) but the light it isn’t the real light there will be eternal consequences after you die.
The spider may or may not have sought the lamp thinking it was the sun but it died nevertheless. Humanly speaking however the very unpleasant truth is that Jesus speaks about the reality of a hell that many will find themselves in if they are not seeking the right light.
God is Holy
God is perfect and holy and He must punish sin wherever it is found. Sin is the breaking of His law (such as the Ten Commandments). Who hasn’t lied, looked with lust (Jesus says looking at a woman to lust after her is the same as committing adultery of the heart)? Who has always put God first in their life or used God’s name as a cuss word? And God considers hatred of a brother the same as murder of the heart. Those are just few commandments but nobody (besides God) can honestly claim to have kept God’s law. We have All been condemned by God’s perfect standard and are headed for hell for breaking His commands….. unless there is real way of escape.
Way of Escape
And there is way to escape hell. Only One way. God is the Savior and the Light we need to be seeking. He paid the penalty for us breaking His Law. God Himself came to earth and paid the penalty for sin. In John 1 it says God was the Word and the Word became flesh. Jesus Christ is the Word who walked in a human body as the sinless perfect sacrifice for our sins.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. John 1:1-5
Jesus died on the cross taking the full judgment for sin we deserve and after three days in the grave rose from the dead defeating death and judgment in hell.
To enter heaven one must repent of our sins and put our trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation from judgment to come.
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. Romans 5:8,9
“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:17,18
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
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!
X-plane 11 is a beautiful looking flight simulator and is currently available for computers but there are two things I wish X-plane 11 would fix or implement to make it even better.
The ATC voices found in Microsoft Flight Simulator from many years ago (2006) are the kind of audio I wish X-plane 11 would use. Having realistic voices would greatly enhance this simulator without the need to use and pay for third party software or ATC systems. There are many users of X-plane 11 including myself who simply use the sim for fun and only wish for some better sounding voices without needing to speak to a real person pretending to be in a tower.
Give Users More Rendering Options in the UI
Another way to improve X-plane 11 would be to add more user interface options for controlling the level of rendering details of autogen. In X-plane 10 there are many options for controlling autogen and visuals (perhaps too many) but X-plane 11 has appeared to dumb down the UI too much and has unwisely (from a customers standpoint) removed most settings altogether or linked everything together.
The main reason X-plane 11 needs to add more options for autogen settings is because it would allow the player to have better control over the visuals when flying over rural vs urban areas. This is not a frame-rate issue (I know X-plane developers have claimed that is the reason they removed it) but in fact for some of us, its purely for realism in visuals. For example, where I live there are no trains and generally minimal traffic. There are not many buildings either but there are lots and lots of trees. In this situation it would be great to be able to lower the traffic, building and train numbers without lowering the tree density. And what if I never want deer or birds in my sim? Currently I cannot remove them. What if I want to have more buildings but less traffic and trees or vice versa? Currently in X-plane 11 all these settings are connected and it’s frustrating! Either you get lots of trees, traffic, buildings and trains or, little to nothing at all. By the way, X-plane 10 handled these decisions much better giving the user better control over these settings and it was awesome. It’s clear that that having more visual options in the UI would greatly improve X-plane 11 realism.
Disclaimer: The opinions and information expressed in this review are my own and are based on my own experience. These views or opinions are not intended to reflect the views or opinions of Laminar Research nor any of the developers of X-plane 11 in any way.
If you enjoy Bob Ross like I do or are the least bit interested in getting started in painting using the wet on wet technique, check out this special 1 hour episode of the Joy of Painting with Bob Ross.
Below are links and recommendations to some of the painting products I use which can help you get started using the Wet-on-Wet oil painting technique that Bob Ross used on his show.
Bob Ross Master Kit – I highly recommend beginning with this kit as it will really help you get your painting going and you will save some money on basic paints, palette knife and brushes.
Bob Ross 2-in 1 Easel (as seen on the Joy of Painting after Season 27) – This easel is a good deal especially when it’s on sale. (Note: any easel will probably work to get started but I have found not many easels allow edge to edge painting on the canvas as this one does well. The Bob Ross 2-in-1 Easel also can be used as a table top easel if you want to paint while sitting at a table.)
Canvases 16″ x 20″ – also a good deal at Michaels when they are on sale or using a 50% off coupon (Note: Bob used 18″ x 24″ canvases on the Joy of Painting but you can use any size you prefer just make sure they come at least double primed which most are.