Chris Sawyer

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Chris Sawyer
Born Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom
Residence Dunblane, Scotland, United Kingdom
Education Computer science degree, Strathclyde University
Occupation Video game developer
Known for Transport Tycoon
RollerCoaster Tycoon

Chris Sawyer is a Scottish video game developer who is best known for designing and programming Transport Tycoon and the RollerCoaster Tycoon series. He is the founder of 31X, a mobile game development company.


Sawyer first entered the games industry in 1983, writing games in Z80 machine code on the Memotech MTX home computer, and then the Amstrad CPC series home computer. Some of these were published by Ariolasoft, Sepulcri Scelerati and Ziggurat. The former[which?] was a rare instance of a game being accepted by a publisher when it was already nearing completion.

From 1988 to 1993, Sawyer worked on DOS conversions of Amiga games and was involved in many projects, including Virus, Conqueror, Campaign, Birds of Prey, Dino Dini's Goal and Frontier: Elite II. He also contributed to the DOS version of Elite Plus.

Sawyer's first management simulation game, Transport Tycoon, was released by MicroProse in 1994 and became a classic of the tycoon series of games. A year later, he improved and extended the game, giving it the title Transport Tycoon Deluxe. Sawyer immediately sought to create a sequel. However, while still working on the basic game engine, Sawyer developed an interest in roller coasters, and changed the project into what would become RollerCoaster Tycoon, originally called White Knuckle before release.[1] After creating RollerCoaster Tycoon, he resumed work on the sequel for Transport Tycoon, but again postponed it to create RollerCoaster Tycoon 2. Upon completing that project, he resumed his work on the Transport Tycoon sequel, finally releasing it in 2004 as Chris Sawyer's Locomotion.[2]

Sawyer also served as a consultant for Atari in the development of RollerCoaster Tycoon 3. In November 2005, Sawyer sued Atari, claiming that they had failed to pay him certain royalties.[3] Sawyer and Atari settled out of court for an undisclosed amount in February 2008.[4]

Sawyer wrote most of his games in x86 assembly language,[5] using only the services of freelance artist Simon Foster and musician Allister Brimble as needed.

In 2010, Sawyer founded 31X, a video game developer focused on mobile games. He created the company specifically to develop Transport Tycoon for iOS and Android.[6] Jacqui Lyons serves as the company's executive producer.

On March 2016, Eurogamer interviewed Sawyer. He announced he is working to convert RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 to mobile platforms. He has also said that he has pursued a hobby in riding rollercoasters; in fact, he has ridden on over 650 rollercoasters.[7] In an interview with the German site "Talk About Games" on July 2016, Sawyer revealed that the game will be written entirely in C and that the game will contain several new elements such as a launch track for the giga coasters. The port will come out for iOS and Android.[8]


The following is a list of video games Chris Sawyer has been credited for over the course of his career.

Title Year Publisher Notes
Virus 1988 Firebird Software
Revenge of Defender 1989 Epyx
Xenomorph 1990 Pandora
Conqueror 1990 Rainbow Arts Software GmbH
Elite Plus 1991 Microplay Software
Campaign 1992 Empire Interactive
Birds of Prey 1992 Electronic Arts
Goal! 1993 Virgin Games
Frontier: Elite II 1993 GameTek, Konami
Transport Tycoon 1994 MicroProse
Dino Dini's Soccer 1994 Virgin Interactive
Transport Tycoon World Editor 1995 MicroProse
Transport Tycoon Deluxe 1995 MicroProse
Frontier: First Encounters 1995 GameTek
RollerCoaster Tycoon 1999 Hasbro Interactive
RollerCoaster Tycoon: Corkscrew Follies 1999 Hasbro Interactive
RollerCoaster Tycoon: Loopy Landscapes 2000 Hasbro Interactive
RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 2002 Infogrames
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 2004 Atari Consultant
Chris Sawyer's Locomotion 2004 Atari
Transport Tycoon 2013 31X For iOS and Android[6]
RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 TBA TBA For iOS and Android[7]

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