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Main »» Reviews

Open Transport Tycoon for OS4  Popular
(Read 6515 times)
Always wanted to own your own little train set but didn't have the space? Fear not, because Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe (from now referred to as OTTD) allows you to do just that!
Plus you can also run a Bus, lorry/truck Aeroplane/Helicopters Airport and ships/hovercraft too!

As the name suggests, Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe source code is now open for people to port to multiple platforms around the world. Having had a little sniff around the Internet I have found links to additional maps, manuals and many multi-platform versions.
Click on Images to Enlarge

But what is OTTD?
If you are a fan of top down, isometric, God like games, and like to spend hours, if not days, playing games, then OTTD fits the bill perfectly.
Those of you who like only mindless shoot 'em up games where you don't have to think, may find this a bit too slow for your liking.

OTTD has more than a passing resemblance to Sim City; only, it's not quite as complex as it deals with transportation only. If you have played Sid Meyer's classic Railroad Tycoon, you should be able to pick up the idea pretty quickly.

The Game starts with a large map. These can vary from hilly/mountainous to flat/dessert or even mostly just water and some landmasses. The game includes it's own map designer so there is plenty of mileage in it still.

Released in 1993 and written by Chris Sawyer, (recently released an updated version called Locomotion), Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe still has many similarities to the newer version although less features. For example in Locomotion you can place bus stops, whilst in OTTD you only have Bus Stations. Aside from that, there is plenty of mileage in this game

The Aim of the Game
Is to become the most successful player with the most profits and services by the time the end year is reached. (You start in the 1930's).
You can set the number of opponents (computer or human - in multiplayer mode). Basically this can vary from easy peasy to very hard. The game itself has a ratings system, where you can see how well you are performing against the other players.

To start, you have four options, random, where the computer generates a random map; On this setting you can select the percentage of water, land mass, number of players and starting cash etc.
There are also three set scenarios that accompany this game where things are predefined for you.

What do I do now?
At the start of the game, are presented with an isometric, top down map, with loads of tiny towns, as well as lumber mills, coal and steel mines, factories, power stations, oil wells, refineries and lord knows what else. Your job is to get the goods or people from one end to another how you choose to do that is entirely down to you.
For example if you have coal from a mine which has a low production rate and you have a nearby power station, then you may wish to consider building a depot for trucks at the mine, and one at the power station. Once done, you may want to consider building the roads/bridges/tunnels too to link them together.

However you may decide that it's too much hassle to build that many trucks etc to run the coal to the power station so you may wish to consider alternative transport, such as trains, boats or even aeroplanes if you so desire.

Constructing a road, note airport, goods depot & bus stations lumped together. Also note vehicle creation building along middle left edge by broken down vehicle

Watch your funds!
If you run low on funds you can go to the bank and ask for a loan, but as you will discover, borrowing is limited to how much you earn. your earning is tied down to how quick you deliver to the mine and the quantity you transport. So be careful you don't run out of cash!

You will notice when you start that your company name and colour scheme is set to something you may not like, nor may you be happy with the default currency (USD $). All this can be changed by clicking on the appropriate icon on the toolbar along the top of the screen.
(See Screen Shot)

What Else?
Other aspects of OTTD are it's vehicle upgrade, as in real life as the years roll by, newer, better versions come out. Although this isn't always the case, so check the particular vehicle specs!
Also your vehicles will need maintenance repair and eventually replacing as they grow old and wear out.

We're only passengers!
These are very important to towns. If you don't expand towns the population does not grow, therefore demands for services and revenue will not grow. At first concentrate running vehicles to and from nearby towns. Ensure that you run the service to the heart of the town, this may necessitate the need to demolish a building or raise, lower land (be careful as this can get really expensive). If the town is large enough, consider putting down one or two bus stations within it and running a bus service. If you can link a bus station immediately next door to an airport or railway station, your chances of revenue are greatly increased.

Occasionally you may be offered a subsidy at x times rate for x number of years to create a passenger/goods service to and from certain town or industries. Sometimes these are economically viable and others it's best to leave the computer opponent to take it if one is present. You may find that you may run a service to and from certain points and a rival will run a rival service this is like real life and you have to live with competition.

Goods - How to make a lot of cash

If you have never played this type of game before you will find this helpful, if you have played Railroad Tycoon, you will understand this bit.
Say you find a Farm. it offers livestock or grain. you need to take the grain to the factory. You will get paid everytime you deliver to the factory. However the factory will turn the livestock, grain (or steel if you run from a steel mine) into Goods. Providing you have built a nearby town up sufficently in terms of population, for example, a truck/lorry Goods Depot next to a bus or train station or simply by running a goods Train to the station will see the goods converted to
cash. (providing the town is big enough and supplies goods)
Screenshot, an Oil Tanker awaits to be filled up (set to "wait for full load") before departing.

Computer Players
Have three level of Artificial intelligence, dumb, medium and high, even on dumb they can give you a run for your money, so be wary of them. At the start of the free scenario you can set how late the computer players start, giving you a valuable period to get acquainted with the lay of the land

I could go on for hours about how to play this game, and maybe I will tackle this in future elsewhere. For now, download it and give it a whirl. If you get stuck, post on the Amigaworld forums and either I or someone else will get back to you.

In the meantime here is a doctored screenshot to get you up and running

Graphics: 7/10 (Nice and functional consider the game was released back in 1993)
Sound: 5/10 (Nothing special, good spot effects of trains, aeroplanes etc.)
Playability: 8/10 (Will keep you hooked for hours)

Multiplayer Mode: Untested but bound to be a laugh!
- Mikey_C
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