Driving with no navigation

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Nic Kowalski
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Driving with no navigation

#1 Post by Nic Kowalski » 07 Apr 2020 12:44

Hi all!

TL;DR: doing deliveries without the navigation tools and only by relying on in-game traffic signs and game map is fun! Maybe it's not for everyone, but if you've never done it, I guess you should give it a try!

Long story:
this quarantine time gave me some time to play and to enjoy ATS like I never did before. I set up my Xbox pad (had to sell my wheel sadly...) in a comfortable and optimized way (thanks again @jdkelley93 for suggesting Joy2Key!) and bought my beloved W900 (it is probably the less manoeuvrable and practical truck, but I love it that way!). After a few weeks of play, the idea of driving without the navigation tool came to my mind, and I recall reading something about it on this forum. I guess the easiest way is to disable the nav tools (GPS and voice navigation) and rely just on the map and the road signs. But I didn't want to stop the game and open the map too often, so I had the crazy idea of doing a copy and paste of the whole map (on the second zoom level), so I can show it on a tablet next to me and check the turns and road numbers I need to follow. It took me a few days (I have also family duties...), but yesterday the work was over and I tested it with a delivery on a long but already well known route: from Gallup (NM) to Burns (OR), via Salt Lake City.

The "copy and paste" of the map aside (again, you can use only the in-game map, no need for this crazy map copying!), driving with no nav was really great! I drove more carefully, I was more connected to the road and more aware of the surroundings. And I just enjoyed finding the road numbers I was looking for and taking the right route! It may sound silly, but it was actually just that!

Since I play with a "no boundaries" shown mode, I still left the GPS on on maximum zoom, just to be sure I wasn't taking the wrong turn in a blocked road.
Ok, just wanting to share my experience, this was only my first test but the feeling was great!
If you play without navigation, I'd love to hear your experiences or your advices.

My cockpit last night:
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Mic_2
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Re: Driving with no navigation

#2 Post by Mic_2 » 07 Apr 2020 13:59

Hi,

I personally don't use any navigation either. Before I go I check the route I want on the map, and try to memorize the road numbers and cities I need to follow. I do however have the navigation in the truck turned on, on the first top-down view. I mainy do this to get an idea where I need to go in cities, but also to find the roads that are not marked, and to prepare for sharp turns etc. A also periodically open the big map to see what was next, which I sometimes want to check again on a long trip, as well as when looking for a place to sleep or refuel.

I really like driving that way, because, as you said as well, I am more aware of the road and I look at the road instead of at the navigation. It also helps to get to know the road network and where everything is. When I still used navigation I could drive the same route 10 times but I still would't have A clue how it went, where the turns and crossing are etc. I find that by driving on the signs I aslo have to remember how things are, which makes it even more interesting.

I like your idea of having something external, like the map you have. I haven't tried anything yet, but I am thinking of writing down the route so I don't need to look at the navigation or map anymore during the delivery. I might also use it to add resting and refuel places that I come across, as well as taking notes of other trip info.

Any advice would be vary simple, watch the signs carefully and remember the cities as well as the road numbers. It might also be worth remembering some of the roads and road numbers you use often, as well as trying not to use too many different road numbers. Also the interstates are a lot easier than the highways, because they have much better signs to show you where you are going, and when an exit or junction comes.

I wish you good luck and puch fun with any further journeys, and hope you don't take too many wrong turns, suddenly making the route a few hundred miles longer than needed ;)

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Nic Kowalski
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Re: Driving with no navigation

#3 Post by Nic Kowalski » 07 Apr 2020 20:10

Thank you for your reply, it is really like you said, in this way you look at the road more carefully, you really have to! And those road signs are so meticulously crafted that demand to be used! :D You share also good advices, I did the route mentioned in my post already at least six times, but I wouldn't be able to tell you any of the numbers of the road used: after my only trip without navigation, I remember well the 191 or the highway 50! That's cool, I guess in time I will remember where the 50 starts and ends, or what route the 191 does. And that can only grow with new map releases!

Good luck to you also, may this self navigation bring us even more fun and let us enjoy more our truck driving!
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nautofon
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Re: Driving with no navigation

#4 Post by nautofon » 07 Apr 2020 21:06

I sometimes use GPS navigation, but almost always drive without. I know the layout of highways in ATS reasonably well, so I don't usually need to consult my physical map atlas (AKA Rand McNally) very often. The exception is when driving in Utah, of which I haven't seen much yet.

I've taken the time to mark the highways available in the ATS world in my Rand McNally atlas using a highlighter. The result is basically like Rand McNally's "Motor Carrier's Atlas", but it shows the ATS truck routes instead of the the real-world truck routes. (See this post for an example of the real-world "Motor Carrier's Atlas" if you don't know what I'm talking about.)

This picture shows my "Compact Road Atlas", which I just happened to have laying around. But if anyone else wanted to try this, I think the Rand McNally "EasyFinder Midsize Road Atlas" would actually be better for use with ATS due to its slightly larger scale and the spiral binding. The "Compact" version is a paperback book.

Image

For long-distance route planning (say, Oregon to New Mexico), I also like to use this picture: A1oaKZPdhkL.jpg (1.5 MB)
It's from a larger scale Rand McNally atlas and shows most of the highways that also are in ATS.

So the highways are well covered.


My problem starts once I'm getting close to my destination. The in-game "Route Advisor" gives me the name of the destination company in the F6 "loading sheet" view, but the route to that company within the destination city may be difficult to find without using navigation or the in-game map.

I've written about this problem earlier as an aside in the "parking lots" thread and outlined two possible solutions. As stated, there's no way I'll be able to implement either by myself for the whole ATS world. But I suppose at least in theory, crowd-sourcing driving directions to every last company in ATS shouldn't be too hard.


@Nic Kowalski: To get a base for creating the maps (e. g. Tucson in the "parking lots" thread), I've used the same method as you did: I made my private copy of the in-game map at zoom level 2. I suppose we should pool our efforts once Idaho comes out. No need to duplicate that work. ;)

Using the truck's map display on maximum zoom together with a "no boundaries" mod sounds like a fantastic idea, thanks! I tried playing without boundaries before, but soon disabled that mod after I drove off the edge of the world a couple of times. :lol:

@Mic_2, I usually write down highway numbers before taking a route with which I'm unfamiliar. Works well for me. YMMV, but I encourage you to give it a try! :)
To drive in ATS without navigation, it's helpful to use a physical map (for highways) and driving directions (for inside cities).

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Nic Kowalski
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Re: Driving with no navigation

#5 Post by Nic Kowalski » 07 Apr 2020 22:40

Hi nautofon,
I remember reading recently about somebody using a real atlas for navigating in ATS, but I couldn't remember who that was, now I have the answer! :) I then thought, but how does he know whether a road is in game or not? Well, I've got that answered too. That's actually faster than copying the whole map, but that didn't stop you either! At first I thought it was too crazy and that it would took too much, but it turns out you can actually "map" a state like New Mexico or Washington in a couple of hours. Did you have any..."inconsistencies" while mapping? Like, I mapped from East to West, but also California from the South too, and when I had to connect the two maps, some roads were 2 or 3 centimeters on screen too far! Not sure how the map in game works, like if it changes a little on every session, or on any zoom change... It can be that's only my fault, but it happened in a few different spots taken in different sessions... Anyway, I kinda corrected where needed and the map works fine for its purpose. The project for an actual game atlas is really great, but the idea of the work needed also daunting! Maybe because I've just finished my "whole map project"... :D

I've encountered the same problems you mention, it's hard to navigate in cities, or to clearly understand where to collect a trailer or cargo (for my first job last night, I had two Plaster and Sons next to each other...). I still use the in-game map if I need the maximum zoom. I hope SCS will come up with something helpful, but I understand that only a limited number of players try to play with less navigation help as possible, so that's not a priority for them.

Anyway, I'm so glad to share this experience with you guys, it has really deepened my gameplay and I hope this can at least interest and intrigue other players too.
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joschac2
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Re: Driving with no navigation

#6 Post by joschac2 » 08 Apr 2020 04:32

I mostly drive with game signs/just knowing the map, But I Do have the GPS in the background just in case. But I mostly know where I,m going before I even start the trip

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Nic Kowalski
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Re: Driving with no navigation

#7 Post by Nic Kowalski » 08 Apr 2020 09:26

Hi joschac2,
I guess the more you play, the more you know the map by memory, and use the road signs just a remainder. I'm fairly new and travelled only less than 50% of the map; still a lot to discover!
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supersobes
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Re: Driving with no navigation

#8 Post by supersobes » 08 Apr 2020 15:28

I spend way too much time playing ATS, so I sort of remembered where everything is. I just look at the name of the city and the name of the company where the load delivers, and I usually already know where it is. The only time this can be a problem is when there are two of the same company in a city. I remember one time I had a delivery to the Kenworth Trucks dealer in Seattle, but I drove to the Kenworth Trucks manufacturing plant instead, which also has a Seattle address in-game. When I drive on roads that I haven't been on or when a new map DLC release, I rely on the road signage to help guide me. SCS is doing a good job with more accurate road signage, and it is really useful for this sort of thing. They also usually post the little signs with the names of the companies in cities that point you towards the delivery points.
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Scania trucks are the best, but the Peterbilts are good too.
Road signs are just as important as the road itself.

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nautofon
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Re: Driving with no navigation

#9 Post by nautofon » 08 Apr 2020 16:12

@supersobes: Where those company signs exists, they certainly are a big help! The area around the port of Seattle is a good example for that.

But as you pointed out, these signs really can't solve the problem for larger cities. You would need to know at least which exit you need to take from the interstate. For example, take the Tidbit in Portland. I'm sure that as many others, you and I both know from memory exactly where it is and how to get there from any direction. But finding it without any help might take people hours of simulated time. Having driving directions available (e. g. "take exit 24 from I-205, turn West, then left at the first signal") would be interesting I think.


@Nic Kowalski: ATS game settings offer three options for the map alignment:
  • "Always north" rotates the map such that North is exactly towards the top of the screen at the center of the current view. This implies that the map rotates slightly as you pan it horizontally with your right mouse button (or ctrl-click). I think this is the default option.
  • "North lock" rotates the map such that North is exactly towards the top of the screen at the current position of your truck. The map won't rotate no matter how far you pan, but it will rotate if you drive your truck further East or West.
  • "Flat" rotates the map such that North is exactly towards the top of the screen at the map projection's central meridian, which likely is somewhere in Texas at 96° West of Greenwich. The map won't rotate further no matter how far you pan or drive.
The change in rotation angle is simple to calculate, but the easiest way is to just use "Flat" and not deal with it at all. My guess would be that you used one of the other options, which may cause the issues you described.
To drive in ATS without navigation, it's helpful to use a physical map (for highways) and driving directions (for inside cities).

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Nic Kowalski
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Re: Driving with no navigation

#10 Post by Nic Kowalski » 08 Apr 2020 16:32

:shock: You're right, now I remember that there's that option, that I actually never changed from the default (I think is "always north")! Damn, such a stupid mistake... Anyway, my map works for now, I guess I'll redo it flat without any hurry... Your idea of directions for companies is great, I wish it were implemented.

@supersobes: beign relatively new to ATS, I only remember a few places, I guess the more I play without navigation tools, the more I will remember the road numbers and where companies are located. I like your signature, that I read only now "Road signs are just as important as the road itself." So true!
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