OpenTTD – An Open Source Love Letter to a Sim

Chris Sawyer is a Scottish video game designer and programmer who could be considered by many to have been one of the prime designers of old simulation games. Be it through cereals or buying the games themselves, a large variety of people have been exposed to Chris’ games. When talking of simulation games, especially those involving roller coasters, it’s hard not to talk about Roller Coaster Tycoon, what may be called Sawyer’s magnum opus. Though, Sawyer released other simulation games, one called Transport Tycoon Deluxe.

This game has achieved a cult following, so much so that an open source project, aiming to recreate and extend the functionality of the game that they loved so much, released their 0.3.4 release in September of 2004. And this open source simulation continues to receive updates and releases and continues to be worked on to this very day by a team of about 60 contributors.

This project has gone long beyond the original game, adding in online multiplayer, something that would have been a pipe dream when Sawyer released the original transport tycoon in 1994. While it may still have a few issues with desyncs, asking for some help in reporting desyncs on the GitHub page, the progress that they have made in extending what the game originally did has been tremendous.

The project itself is written primarily in C++, with some other forms of C, like plain C and objective C making their way into smaller compiler files, but with an overwhelming 88% of the project being written in C++, it is clear what the primary language of this project is.

This project has been going on for many years and shows no sign of slowing down and considering the appearance on the weekly interest statistics on Github, has some traction behind it. This is a fan revival of an old project, and is quite a joy to look at and potentially contribute to.

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