A reader speaks to the dedicated fans who ensure that Euro Truck Simulator 2 and its sister title have their own live radio station. Since the beginning of video game history, music and sound have always played an incredibly important role in transporting players into an immersive world that surrounds their character. From the tense battle music that plays in Pokémon Blue when you meet a challenger to the legendary, orchestral themes of Halo, these soundtracks bring video games to life and fill them with emotion. Most game studios will have their own music written and composed to be played throughout their storyline, but one gaming community has taken it upon themselves to bring their own soundtrack to their favourite game. Featured by the developers of popular truck driving simulators Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator, and available to listen to in-game, is Truckers.FM, a radio station created by the community of the game, for the community. Just like what you would find in the likes of Grand Theft Auto, Truckers.FM brings truck sim players a radio station tailored to the best driving experience possible. The only difference is that all the presenters you’ll hear on Truckers.FM are real people, live and broadcasting music, news, and updates for the vast truck sim community to tune into. Since being created in 2015, the Truckers.FM team – which currently consists of over 35 volunteer presenters – has been providing a radio service that players can’t seem to go without.
‘For some drivers, tuning into our station brings their game immersion to a new level’, says Mark, a manager at the station. ‘As well as providing music, we even go as far as providing realistic traffic reports for drivers on the road every hour on our station.’ These traffic reports are based upon the truck simulator’s popular multiplayer community modification TruckersMP, where drivers can connect to an online multiplayer server and drive alongside friends and strangers alike. So where did this all begin? Community-run projects like this were nothing new before Truckers.FM showed up. Players had already seen the creation of virtual trucking companies for players to join, and online events such as truck festivals and large convoys with other players were both numerous and very popular.
‘One thing that is essential to drivers, that I’m sure most people who drive can relate to, is listening to the radio’, explains Josh, one of the earliest members of the station. ‘Everyone at some point in their lives have taken a long car or bus journey with the radio on.’ It was an idea that quickly took hold in the community but was a huge undertaking to start up. Large-scale Internet radio stations like Truckers.FM require a lot of work and labour to set up and keep running. The technical and operational knowledge to make sure everything works is one thing, but it’s a strong team of dedicated individuals who truly bring the station to life. ‘It’s our volunteer team who really make this station what it is today. Without their dedication of time and their talents, TruckersFM wouldn’t exist.’ says Alex, one of the station’s founding members. ‘Everyday our team work hard to contribute to creating an immersive driving experience for all to enjoy. Driving a big rig down an American highway into the sunset without John Denver’s Country Roads on the radio just wouldn’t be same’. Since their humble beginnings, Truckers.FM has grown to become the largest and most popular radio station in the truck sim community, and have gone on to work with leading companies in the gaming and trucking industries such as Scania and SCS Software. It doesn’t just stop at the music, either. From hosting competitions and interviews on-air, to creating online gaming events and even attending real life trucking and gaming events such as EGX and Truckfest Peterborough, the passionate community around Truckers.FM does it all. At first glance, you could be forgiven for seeing a niche gaming community, who enjoy driving trucks across the beautiful landscape of a virtual Europe and America. But a closer look reveals a passionate and rich community experience, which even the average gamer can enjoy.