Montana pre-research tips

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Kraake
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Montana pre-research tips

#1 Post by Kraake » 12 Nov 2018 18:24

Hello everybody!

As we're doing some pre-research for ATS, we'd like to know your opinion on some of the things which we shouldn't miss in the game in our future planned DLCs - in this case for the MONTANA state.

Unfortunately it can be very easy to miss some key spots when planning a future road network. We can judge only from what we read or see, while those who live there, have driven there or visited there, can point us towards some famous truck stops, interesting landmark, points of interest etc.

So we'd appreciate any tips which could be helpful for us and that could easily work with in-game mechanics. Try to keep in mind that we're interested in places connected with trucks and roads. So if you have some tips, we'd be grateful. Don't be shy to add photos / videos of said locations (in better quality, so our graphics can use them as pattern).

:arrow: For example THIS was a really great job.

In case you would like to also help us with other states check the list bellow:

COLORADO | IDAHO |OKLAHOMA | TEXAS | UTAH | WASHINGTON | WYOMING

Please be aware, that states listed here mean absolutely no promise of what's the next DLC or what states will come first. Also we can't guarantee that we'll use the research you give us - it depends on many aspects (which can't be all written here).

:arrow: General discussion about pre-researches is HERE.

Cheers!
Last edited by Kraake on 14 Nov 2018 09:52, edited 2 times in total.
 
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rbsanford
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Re: Montana pre-research tips

#2 Post by rbsanford » 12 Nov 2018 19:37

I've been to Montana twice, so I have some firsthand experience here I'd like to share.

The first time I went there was to Bozeman and Big Sky, the former a sizable town that I'd recommend be a marked location, the latter off the main road (US 191) but could be represented with a gas station or some roadside buildings. Both of these towns are surrounded by mountains, which I think should be a main focus of this aptly-named state. Bozeman also features a giant letter carved in the hillside above the town, like the A in Tucson, although I can't seem to confirm its existence on Google Maps, but I certainly remember it being there. Glasgow, on US 2 to the north, is similar in that it has a big G carved into its hillside.

I've also passed through Montana on the Amtrak Empire Builder, which mostly follows US 2. Montana, in the east, is pretty sparse and wild, at least there in the valleys of the Missouri and Milk Rivers. Havre is one of the more prominent towns on the 2 east of the mountains, and is a railroad town with a main street the 2 runs down. A landmark in the town is a Great Northen steam locomotive, a Northern if I recall correctly, on display at the train station, which is a block from the 2, but some liberties could be taken.

North of the 2, east of Shelby, is the East Butte Range, a range of three mountains that rise above the steppe like an island on a sea of grass. It's really an amazing sight, and although it may be beyond the game's draw distance, maybe some trickery could be done to make the near-modeled mountains appear farther away.

US 2 also serves as the main street in Cut Bank, which could just be a scenery town west of Shelby. Cut Bank notably features a giant penguin statue in the eastern part of town, commemorating the town as "the coldest spot in the nation." Also interesting about Cut Bank is that this is the only town in the contiguous US in which the antipode is on land. At Cut Bank, heading west, the Rockies appear.

Somewhere on this stretch of the 2, off the highway and overlooking the railroad, is a massive obelisk commemorating Lewis and Clark. Another obelisk can be seen on Marias Pass at the Great Continental Divide.

US 2 crosses the Rockies at Marias Pass, along the southern boundary of Glacier National Park, a breathtakingly scenic route between East Glacier Village and Columbia Falls. The town of Whitefish, east of the pass, has a historic train station and railroad artifacts on display like in Havre, but is accessible by US 93 instead of US 2, the two highways meeting in Kalispell to the south.

I have plenty of photos of the latter trip, which I could share later since now I'm on mobile and it would be sort of tricky. Although trucking isn't the main focus, I hope they could serve to illustrate the landscape of this beautiful state. I also drew up a concept map of Montana and Idaho that o could share, which includes roads, marked locations, and scenery towns.
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jeremyj621
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Location: Montana, USA

Re: Montana pre-research tips

#3 Post by jeremyj621 » 13 Nov 2018 04:19

I live in Montana and can tell you that agriculture and the petroleum industry are big here. In my hometown of Billings, both Conoco and Exxon have refineries, so both should be represented in the game even if both are under the generic "Gallon Oil" name (or perhaps introduce a rival company to Gallon Oil?). Moving livestock by truck is common and done every day here, so I would recommend adding livestock in livestock trailers as a freight going to and from farms. Speaking of farms, there are plenty throughout the state near just about every city including the largest cities. My hometown of Billings is the largest city in the state and there are several farms around it.

The western part of the state is dominated by the famous Rocky Mountains, while the eastern part of the state is mostly flat plains with rolling hills. Transitioning between the two is very noticeable when you're traveling. It's not a subtle or slow transition, it's very sudden and noticeable. Trying to recreate that feel in the game could be challenging, but I think necessary to preserve the true atmosphere of Montana.

rbsanford
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Re: Montana pre-research tips

#4 Post by rbsanford » 13 Nov 2018 06:30

Scenery of Montana along BNSF northern transcon line (roughly US 2):

https://i.imgur.com/xoqDHXN.jpg
Banded hills near Bainville or thereabouts, just west of the border with North Dakota.

https://i.imgur.com/6Vm9k36.jpg
A BFSN train at a Global Mills elevator at Wolf Point, on the Missouri River.

https://i.imgur.com/05LynFf.jpg
"The void," empty land along the Milk River, here likely near Dodson.

https://i.imgur.com/ilKy4iv.jpg
An orange hill, probably near Gildford.

https://i.imgur.com/Lx3kkyK.jpg
The East Butte Range from Galata or thereabouts, the island in the grass sea.

https://i.imgur.com/L0tsJUv.jpg
Cut Bank Coulee, leaving the like-named town. US 2 can be seen downriver.

https://i.imgur.com/YXwwmj0.jpg
On approach to the mountains, passing through the Blackfeet Nation, alongside the 2.

https://i.imgur.com/Vs2TsVK.jpg
Crossing the Two Medicine River into East Glacier, the highway bridge also visible here.

https://i.imgur.com/Dug7zzE.jpg
US 2 dwarfed by the Rockies, traversing Marias Pass.

https://i.imgur.com/VvFY8KF.jpg
An obelisk commemorating Teddy Roosevelt at the Great Continental Divide.

https://i.imgur.com/wYARtBH.jpg
The long and winding road.

https://i.imgur.com/HystX4Z.jpg
The pass near Blacktail. Down there are some ranches.

https://i.imgur.com/aFvZ03P.jpg
US 2 again sighted near Singleshot. From here the road follows the Flathead River north.

https://i.imgur.com/aDXefO2.jpg
Quite a ways later, in Coram, where there's a brief lull in the mountains.

https://i.imgur.com/buHDin7.jpg
At Conkelley, I believe. Here the wall of the Rockies tower over a sizable oblong valley that's rather agricultural and features the town of Kalispell. The railroad and the highway, on opposite sides of the Flathead River, pass through this wall at Badrock Canyon, a sort of giant gateway a short ways to the east.

https://i.imgur.com/C6EPVAv.jpg
Dusk over farmlands, marching on to Whitefish. This is west of Columbia Falls, where the railroad and highway part ways, only to rejoin at Libby.

I have more, in this album (https://imgur.com/a/ZpUMq), which includes some of North Dakota as well, and this albu
Last edited by Reef on 14 Nov 2018 20:45, edited 1 time in total.
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flight50
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Re: Montana pre-research tips

#5 Post by flight50 » 13 Nov 2018 18:34

BigRig Travels video. Eye view from a trucker.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Reul6-pmv1s&t=3691s

Bug Lyfe
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Re: Montana pre-research tips

#6 Post by Bug Lyfe » 16 Nov 2018 04:16

In great falls you will want one of your general mills plants, cant believe i cant recall the scs name with how much I played. But any truck driver who has been up there will appreciate seeing that place haha. I can maybe google earth the dock layout and mark it because its a bit unique, and its right next to a bit of the cool river/falls that give the town its namesake. that would probably blow some peoples minds to see it in the game. Like in oregon when i see a thing where its so familiar to real life it is such a cool feeling.

And with the addition of the home depot variant in oregon it would be cool to see those stores in missoula kalispell and great falls where they appear irl.

And the drive to kalispell along flathead lake is one of my favorite places on the planet, get that haha. Theres some great bits of road you can use, and a really great small passthrough town with a cool bridge you will find.

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Re: Montana pre-research tips

#7 Post by doktorpixel14 » 17 Nov 2018 17:04

flight50 wrote:
13 Nov 2018 18:34
BigRig Travels video. Eye view from a trucker.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Reul6-pmv1s&t=3691s
There is also a playlist with many dashcam videos of Montana by BigRig Travels

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFm6yez ... odPKynXs4d
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flight50
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Re: Montana pre-research tips

#8 Post by flight50 » 18 Nov 2018 04:46

Yes I saw BigRig had a nice little list. I only gave one link thinking that once on his page, people would explore more. I know there was some documentary I watched like a month ago about Montana and I loved the scenery. I wish I could locate it. It will be nice to get the NW states along with all the mountain states though. Some very nice backroad driving to do.

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Kraake
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Re: Montana pre-research tips

#9 Post by Kraake » 27 Nov 2018 20:37

flight50 wrote:
13 Nov 2018 18:34
BigRig Travels video. Eye view from a trucker.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Reul6-pmv1s&t=3691s
He's a legend! Some of his videos are really useful.

Thanks
 
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flight50
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Re: Montana pre-research tips

#10 Post by flight50 » 07 Dec 2018 00:06

@jeremy. Montana sounds a lot like Texas except for the mountains. If oil and gas along with live stock is huge there, that is awesome to hear. It sounds like all the Great Plains states will be likable for many different industries. Texas to Montana or Montana to Texas, either way is an awesome journey. When seasons come, that trip would be even better.

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