Having spoken last week about my old laptop that I reconditioned and is still running as good as the day I got it, thought what software am I still running that I ran back in the day.
I did not take long to come up with the answer but before I get to far into the story , lets just say it is not the same version as I first used but a completely re written version of the game and made to run on the hardware and Software Operating systems of today. But before I tell the name of the game, lets go back a few years prior to that purchase and I bought a game called ATrain, I bought on a an Easter Saturday, I played that day from the moment I got home till I went to bed and then the following day from the moment I woke till the moment I went to be again.
The premise being you are give so much money to build a railway that will help expand the town and as the town grows you make enough money to expand the railway empire and so the town becomes a city then a metropolis and your railway empire continues to grow and make money, it sounded so easy (which is probably why I failed and went bust most times. I bought the Dos based games around the end of the 80’s and play it relentlessly for several years till one day in London
In the early 90’s we had to make regularly trip to London for a medical drug trial the wife was undergoing, this normally entailed an early morning coach to London, for a hospital appointment near Belize Park and then shopping in the afternoon along Oxford Street and Tottenham Court road. Well as anybody who know the area there used to be a large Virgin mega store near the junction, browsing the computer gave by eye noticed a game I had seen a review for a couple of months earlier and as is the norm now in price drop territory. I can not remember what I paid for the game but I left the store the proud owner of a copy of Chris Sawyer Transport Tycoon, little did I know that I would still be playing the game some 37 years later.
I loved playing Transport Tycoon, Atrain was but forgotten, being a two PC family (the plus side of working in IT) the wife was also playing Transport Tycoon as well and loved it just as much. Sometime later on another one of those trips to London and I saw I could buy the upgrade disk to take my Transport tycoon to Transport Tycoon Deluxe, I had to have, opening the box on the coach home I felt ripped having paid around £25 for a single floppy disk, yes there were all the new bits, trains signals, different lands, map editor, yes it was a great improvement to the to the original version but was it worth the money.
The concept was the same as ATrain, build your railway and expand your town, but not only railways this time Buses, coaches and lorries, aircraft and boats. I loved playing this game, concentrated mainly on trains, some times play the scenario, sometime building my own little worlds. Soon Windows 95 and then 98 came along, it became difficult to run these Dos games in Windows and when they did they were slow and crashed. Soon my lust to be a Transport Tycoon was just a dusty memory until…
This version of the game now ran on windows, this was around the time of Windows XP so PC power had grown and his the deficiencies of running under windows, game play was the same there was nothing new there, by now I was on about my fourth childhood playing these transport games. But a large cloud was looming on the horizon, I was falling out of love with windows and wanted something else, Linux was starting its push for the mainstaream.
Having moved to linux where games of quality were in those days few and far between, I found Simutran, this was a quirky little game which had a similar concept as both ATrain and Transport Tycoon but the game play was completely different. It kept me going until one day I saw a reference to a just released new game (when I say games I mean the 0.3 version), the screen shots looked exactly like Transport Tycoon Deluxe so much so I thought they had taken the screen shot from TTDX to make their offering look better. I downloaded Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe then went in search of my original disk as you needed to copy three files from the original to make it work. And when I ran OTTD I was very surprised to find it looked exactly like TTDX. OTTD was first released in 2004 and is still being written and updated today. It has undergone a complete code rewrite apparently Chris Sawyer has seen and approves of this new version. Hundred of people are contributing with additional content, including contry specific train sets (carriages, engines, signals, track, train buildings), country specific motor vehicles sets, industrial building sets, housing sets, special features like bridges, forests, if it is in the games somebody will have made an alternative set for it. There are now various AI’s (artificial intelligence) for when you want to play against the computer.
I will add some links at the end of this article. The best thing about this game is that it is free and I don’t mean the program is free but you have to pay for the extras, no it is all free. Its available for Windows, Linux, Mac and operating system you have not even heard about. A few months ago OTTD was added to Steam Game store.
It probably shows that I love this game but I am not alone in that there a group of people who made that possible I still play it now, it is one of the first things I download when I setup up a laptop or PC (and yes there is a copy on the IBM laptop I wrote about last week). You can get Candyland and Martian landscapes to keep your little one quiet in the back of the car on long journeys, my wife plays, it, my son plays it and even my daughter plays it (she loves playing the Sims)
https://www.openttd.org/ Transport Tycoon Home page
https://www.tt-forums.net/viewforum.php?f=55 Transport Tycoon nforum
https://www.simutrans.com/en Simutran Home page
Wants some more information? then email: blog at windriders dot co dot uk (remove the at & dot dot and replace with @ . . )