Transport Tycoon


Transport Tycoon

Infobox VG
title = Transport Tycoon


caption=
developer = Chris Sawyer
publisher = MicroProse
distributor = MicroProse
designer =
engine =
version =
released = "Transport Tycoon" 1994 (UK)
"Transport Tycoon Deluxe" 1995 (UK)
genre = Business simulation game
modes =
ratings =
platforms = MS-DOS, PlayStation
media = CD-ROM
requirements =
input =

"Transport Tycoon" ("TT") and "Transport Tycoon Deluxe" ("TTD") are computer games developed by Chris Sawyer and published by MicroProse in 1994 (TT), and 1995 (TTD). They are business simulation games, presented in an isometric view in 2D with 8-bit graphic by Simon Foster, in which the player is in control of a transport company, and can compete against rival companies to make as much profit as possible by transporting passengers and various goods by road, rail, sea or by air. The Deluxe version is an expanded and improved version of the original game.

Gameplay

To start building a transport empire, the player must construct transport routes, consisting of stations near industries or towns, and in the case of trains or road vehicles, physical routes. One transport route can utilize several different forms of transport, e.g. truck→ship→train. The player's company and the individual stations each have ratings that depend largely on the efficiency of moving goods from one stations to the other. Higher ratings then attract more goods to a station.

The game begins in the year 1930 (1950 in TTD). The user must start out by borrowing money to finance construction of his or her transport facilities, and is charged interest until the loan is repaid. As the user plays the game and earns revenues, they will have the capacity to expand service or to build even more grandiose transport systems. In any particular year of the game, generally only the type of technology that would be present at that time is available. For example, railroad signals which allow more than one train to use a section of track, are initially semaphores, and then later in the game, red and green traffic-light style signals become available. Initially, only steam engines are available, then diesel engines become available, then electric locomotives. By the game year 1999, monorails become available (which operate on an entirely different track system than railroads). If the user is able to stay in business until 2050, the game announces that they have won, allows them to post their name on the "hall of fame" and then continues. At this point, the year stays 2050 and never goes any higher although the user can continue to play the game. To play the entire 120 years of the game from 1930 to 2050 takes about 40 hours of wall-clock time. The game allows saving at any time, and multiple saves of a particular game at any point are possible.

The other necessary components of a transport network are the vehicles themselves, built at appropriate depots, which must be connected to the road or rail networks. Towns and cities have their own road networks, but extra roads may be needed to connect them to other towns, or to various resources.

Once a resource or passenger is picked up at one station, then delivered to another station, near to where there is demand (a town, for example, demands passengers) a profit is awarded to the player. The amount awarded depends on the delivery time, distance, and amount delivered. How important each factor is depends on the type of goods being delivered. For example, mail in transit rapidly loses value, meaning that it can only be delivered short distances, or over long distances very fast. Coal loses value very slowly, so can be transported in bulk over long distances whilst remaining profitable.

At times, subsidies are offered for delivery of one resource between two particular places, and the first company to do so is awarded a subsidy for a certain period for that route, giving them extra profits on that route. This encourages the player to create a larger more complex transport network, rather than simply improving on previously profitable routes.

One concept which is designed to stop players from mutilating the landscape or the towns is that of the Local Authority. Each city has a rating for each transport company, and if this is too low, it will prevent the player from blowing up houses, or constructing stations. This value is affected by the level of service, the destruction of trees, etc.

Over time, cities develop and expand according to economic factors and new industries or other resource sites appear. Some natural resources are eventually exhausted and industries without transport service may shut down. Also, new, improved vehicles are introduced and eventually replace older models. Within time new models are shown to the whole world or offered as "experimental" models to the player. Usually, newer vehicles are generally improved over older models, but suffer from hideous reliability issues.

One major weakness of the game is the poor artificial intelligence of competitors, often causing them to build bizarre, overcomplicated infrastructure, or destroy the landscape of a game by leveling mountains (which costs AI players nothing, nor lowers their local authority rating) in attempts to connect two railheads, where a tunnel or detour would be far more effective. This results from the method the AI uses to build routes- instead of planning a complete route between two points in advance, the AI builds the two ends of the route and then builds road or rail between them section by section. The programme only considers how the terrain is suited to building the section of road/rail that it is currently building, rather than the route as a whole. This means that the AI can frequently become stuck or confused by running against steep hills, lakes or buildings. This form of AI was chosen due to the needs to keep the game's demands on computer hardware of the time down. The recent successor (Chris Sawyer's Locomotion) uses a modified AI which plans the entire route before building.

The game was originally published by MicroProse. The game is still available as a budget title in some places, but a version compatible with modern computer systems is rarer (though the game will run under Windows 95, and emulation programs such as DOSBox). Many people resort to illegally downloading the game as it is abandonware and playing it with the game engine recreation "OpenTTD" on modern systems.

"Transport Tycoon Deluxe"

Two "Transport Tycoon" games were released, dubbed "Transport Tycoon" and "Transport Tycoon Deluxe". The deluxe version, as its name implies, is an expanded and improved version of the original game. (A "World Editor" expansion pack was also released for the original "Transport Tycoon", but was overshadowed by the Deluxe version released shortly afterward; interestingly, it featured an alternate, Martian set of graphics, which did "not" appear in TTD).

The primary, but important, difference between the games is how signals operate. The original "Transport Tycoon" allows only "bi-directional signals", which allow trains to pass in either direction. The deluxe version introduced "uni-directional signals", that only allow a train to pass in a single direction.

The change in gameplay from this relatively minor alteration to signals is significant, as the old bi-directional signals would allow a train to travel in both directions. This is similar in concept to having a single lane street that would allow traffic from either end. Unsurprisingly, it was possible for two trains to try to travel in opposing directions towards each other on the same run of track. While this would not result in crashes on a properly signaled route, it required either the building of extra track to allow the trains to pass each other, or the building of a great many tracks in parallel to avoid the problem in the first place.

The new uni-directional signals allowed one-way tracks to be built, which gave the player much greater control over how the transport network could be run. This allowed for efficient routes to be built, and prevented trains from trying to travel the "wrong way" down a section of track. By incorporating both uni-directional and bi-directional signals, effective switching yards, junctions, and other useful designs could be built.

The deluxe version also expanded the game to provide tropical, Arctic, and toy-town environments, as well as the classic temperate environment. The new environments came with different industries, and some extra challenges. For example, towns in the Arctic environment would not grow without regular deliveries of food, and those in the tropical environment also need access to fresh water.

Due to copyright issues with using names of real vehicles in the original "Transport Tycoon", they were replaced with fictional ones in "Transport Tycoon Deluxe". A [http://www.transporttycoon.net/vehicles third-party fix] was released later for players wishing to revert to the original names. Players can also rename their vehicles and stations (useful for identifying individual services in a network) and can rename whole towns which provided a better game play for users.

Locomotion

After the success of "Transport Tycoon Deluxe", Chris Sawyer turned his attention towards a sequel, but during development he changed his mind and produced "RollerCoaster Tycoon", which turned out to be a runaway hit. After "RollerCoaster Tycoon 2" was done, work on the third version was left to another development team, and Sawyer returned to work on his "Transport Tycoon" sequel, "Chris Sawyer's Locomotion". It was released in September 2004 and was described by Sawyer as the "spiritual successor to "Transport Tycoon", but received poor reviews and was not a commercial success. Despite this there is an active Chris Sawyer's Locomotion community who continue to produce modifications.

Third party updates

Several development teams are currently working to improve "Transport Tycoon". TTDPatch provides gameplay enhancements and numerous bugfixes to "TTD" by patching the original binary. "OpenTTD" is an open source rebuild of the disassembled original "TTD" code with many bugfixes and general enhancements and makes it possible to run "TTD" on many more operating systems. However, at present both "OpenTTD" and "TTDPatch" still require the original "TTD" files to run.

Music

The music in "Transport Tycoon" was originally composed by John Broomhall, from 1994 to 1995. It features old-style blues and jazz tunes, all in MIDI format but with a ".gm" file extension (as such, the user is only required to rename the extension of the music files from ".gm" to ".mid" or ".midi" in order to render them playable in a MIDI player).

Transport Tycoon music is also available to [http://www.transporttycoon.net/music download on internet fansites] . There are also versions recorded on an FM synthesis sound card and versions recorded with top-end MIDI equipment, creating a high-quality sound.

ee also

* "OpenTTD", an open source port of "Transport Tycoon"
* TTDPatch the patch for "Transport Tycoon", improves add-on graphics and better gameplay
* "Chris Sawyer's Locomotion
* "Railroad Tycoon
* "RollerCoaster Tycoon
* "Simutrans
* "

External links

* [http://www.ttdpatch.net/ TTDPatch]
*moby game|id=/transport-tycoon|name=Transport Tycoon
* [http://www.wimb.net/index.php?s=tycoon&page=21/ A long description of 100 Game Years]


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