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The Beginner's Guide: Setting up the Game

So, you've heard about this awesome Transport Tycoon game? You want to get the game and play it for yourself? You're confused about patches and different versions and getting the game to run on your PC - or indeed, on your Mac? Read on, for this article aims to help!

A brief history of Transport Tycoon's development

What? History? I didn't come here for a history lesson! Fear not, this is just a very brief section to help you understand the somewhat confusing situation where there appear to be two competing open source Transport Tycoon games around!

The original version of Chris Sawyer's Transport Tycoon was released back in 1994. It went on to become relatively successful, and was followed up by a sequel in 1995, Transport Tycoon Deluxe. Both of these games were only available for DOS. A Windows version of Transport Tycoon Deluxe followed in 1996, although I believe it was not widely (if at all?) available until 1999.

In 1999, a Transport Tycoon enthusiast called Josef Drexler released to the world a small project of his called TTDPatch. TTDPatch was a collection of small updates to Transport Tycoon Deluxe, which added some nice little features and fixed some of TTD's annoying bugs. In 2001, TTDPatch included a patch that allowed the Windows version of TTD to be played on Windows 2000 and its derivatives (primarily Windows XP and Windows Vista).

Development of TTDPatch pottered on until, in 2004, a new project appeared on the horizon - OpenTTD. OpenTTD was originally written just for fun by a programmer called Ludvig Strigeus, who had previously been responsible for creating the LucasArts game interpreter ScummVM, and is more recently famous for the torrent client µTorrent. OpenTTD was a pretty fully-functioning replica of Transport Tycoon Deluxe, and was written in the portable language C, as opposed to the assembly language the original Transport Tycoon Deluxe was written in.

Still with me? Don't worry about not understanding any of the language stuff, you don't need that to play the game! Anyway, OpenTTD's advantage is that it has now been released for many systems, and has built up quite a considerable base of new and unique features, such as larger game maps, online multiplayer and lots of little features that make playing the game much more fun. It must be noted too that TTDPatch has its fair share of innovations, such as new gameplay graphics, the ability to add fully-featured new vehicle sets, new industries and lots more.

Both projects continue their development separately, although many features have now been implemented in both games. For instance, OpenTTD has pretty full support for the TTDPatch new graphics format.

So how does this affect me? I just want to play the game!

Well, it affects you, because this means you have a choice of which game to play. Both TTDPatch and OpenTTD have various new and exciting features! It should be noted though that TTDPatch requires the original TTD game files to play - OpenTTD, however, does not, as it now features a complete reconstruction of the TTD graphics and sound!

One thing you do need to consider is what system you want to play the game on. TTDPatch only runs on Windows (and DOS, if you still happen to run a DOS machine). It can be persuaded to run on systems such as Linux with Wine, but it's tricky sometimes. OpenTTD, on the other hand, is available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, MorphOS, OS/2, and a whole host of other systems - somebody's even ported it to the PlayStation Portable!

This guide currently concentrates only on setting up OpenTTD. OpenTTD is probably the easiest game to set up out of itself and TTDPatch, and is available on a wider range of platforms. If you would prefer to play TTDPatch, take a look at the TTDPatch web site. I hope to have a guide for TTDPatch up in the near future.

Great! So let's get started!

Click here to get started setting up OpenTTD!

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Copyright © Owen Rudge 1999-2014. All Rights Reserved. Portions copyright © Adam Trevorrow 2001-2002.
Transport Tycoon is a trademark of 31x Ltd. Transport Tycoon graphics: copyright © 31x Ltd. 1994-2013.