Transport Tycoon was developed by Chris Sawyer in the early 1990's published in 1994 by MicroProse. Transport Tycoon is a 2D isometric business simulation game.
The game places the player in the shoes of a budding entrepreneur. With a modest budget, you are put in charge of building a company from the ground up by transporting passengers or different types of goods (wood, grain, iron ore, coal, etc.) via road, rail, air or sea. This in turn contribute's to your companies funds, allowing you to expand your transport network. Rival companies are set up throughout the course of the game in order to provide competition to your business by trying to out-do your every move by: improving routes, building faster means of transportation etc, and overall subtract from the profit to be made.
The game starts in year 1930, and over the course of the 120 year game span, the player can potentially link every town and industry to another via the various types of transport. The ultimate aim of Transport Tycoon is to reach the year 2050 and achieve the title of "Tycoon of the Century", where upon the player will be inducted into the hall of fame and an overall score will be tallied up, depending on the success of their company.
When you start a new game, you will have an entire new world inhabited with numerous towns and industries, the whole premise of the game is then to make as much money as possible by exploiting these towns and industries, since people will pay you money if you transport their goods to their respective destination.
One of the simplest examples of making money is transporting passengers from city to city or across one city (if it's large enough). This can be done by either making a bus terminal in both cities and the purchasing a bus to travel between the two new stations, making a train station in both cities and connecting them with rails and then buy a locomotive and attach some passenger cars, or if the cities are close to water you can make two docks and purchase ferries, or just make two airports and purchase a plane.
However, many different industries can be found in the game that has to be linked i specific ways in order for you to make profit from them and create a trading network. As an examples, an iron ore mine produces iron ore which has to be transported to a steel factory, which then takes the iron ore and make it into steel. The steel then has to be transported to a factory, which takes the steel and make it into goods. Goods can be distributed to cities, when they reach a certain size, which helps cities grow even more, making the city able to produce even more passengers, and so on, and so on.
As described above, many industries can be linked together in order to create a massive trading network and many of the other industries share similar patterns like the 'iron ore to goods process', the factory also accepts corn and cattle as an example. You can transport oil from oil wells or oil rigs to oil refineries which uses oil produces goods, coal to power plants, water to water towers, wood to sawmills and so on.
The profit from each resource also change quite differently from each other. The profit will change depending on travel distance, travel time, quantity, and what kind of resource it is. As an example, the profit gained from mail will decrease rapidly once it's departed from the station, meaning that you will gain the biggest profit if it is delivered in short distances, or fast over longer distances.
Initially there are only only a few steam trains, some old trucks, ferries and planes available. However, as years pass in the game more and better vehicles arrive, and even new types of vehicles, such as electric trains, monorail trains, Maglev trains, futuristic looking airplanes and much more.
Transport Tycoon Deluxe
In 1995, one year after Transport Tycoon was released, Transport Tycoon Deluxe was released as an expanded and improved version of the game. It also included a world editor.
Transport Tycoon Deluxe also introduced three new environments in addition to the regular temperate environment. The player could now choose between the standard temperate environment or one of the new environments, the arctic landscape, the desert or the toy-land environment. The main difference between these environments was the different industries and vehicles available. As an example, the desert world have fruit and rubber plantations, while the arctic have paper mills. The candy world is probably the most significant of the three new, since every industry, vehicle and 2D art is exclusive to this environment.
Gameplay wise, the biggest change is how railroad signals function. The original game only had 'bi-directional signals', which allow trains to pass in either direction, but the Deluxe edition introduced the 'uni-directional signals', which allow chains to pass in a single direction.
Having 'bi-directional signals' can be compared to having a single lane street which would allow traffic to enter from both sides. This is obviously problematic when this allowed two trains to travel towards each other on the same railway. It was, however, impossible for these two trains to crash together on the railway, though it needed additional tracks and signals in order to prevent this.
The introduction of 'uni-directional signals' proved to have a huge impact on the gameplay since it allowed players to have more control over their railway. It was now possible to create even bigger and crazier trade networks by combining 'uni-' and 'bi-directional signals' in order to create effective switching yards, junctions, stations and long one-way lanes where you could couple other rails to the main one (basically the same as a highway for trains).
OpenTTD is a open source remake of Transport Tycoon Deluxe. OpenTTD duplicates many of Transports Tycoon Deluxe's features but also adds a bunch of new ones.
OpenTTD features new map sizes and customization, supports many new languages and ports to several operating systems, as well as downloadable user-made AI, graphics, sounds effects, mods and various other online content. It also supports LAN and Internet multiplayer (co-op and competitive) for up to 255 players.
Because OpenTTD used many of the graphics, sounds and music from the original game. OpenTTD required component of the original game in order to be played due to copyright. However, as of 2009, OpenTTD has become completely independent of Transport Tycoon Deluxe, because of the effort made be the community to redo all the 7000 2D sprites as well as the sounds and music that the game consists of. This was celebrated in early 2010 when OpenTTD reach version 1.0.0, now a stand-alone game.
It is completely free, get it here.