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Developer(s) OpenTTD Team
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Business simulation game
Mode(s) Single-player
Multiplayer (online and LAN)
A screenshot of OpenTTD 1.1.0, with the OpenGFX graphics set
A screenshot of OpenTTD 1.3.3, with the OpenGFX graphics set
A screenshot of OpenTTD 1.5.0

OpenTTD is a business simulation game in which players try to earn money via transporting passengers and freight by road, rail, water and air. It is an open source[1] remake and expansion of the 1995 Chris Sawyer video game Transport Tycoon Deluxe.

OpenTTD duplicates most features of Transport Tycoon Deluxe and has many additions, including a range of map sizes, support for many languages, custom (user-made) artificial intelligence (AI), downloadable customisations, ports for several widely used operating systems, and a more user-friendly interface.[2][3] OpenTTD also supports local area network (LAN) and Internet multiplayer, co-operative and competitive, for up to 255 players.

OpenTTD is free and open-source software licensed under the GNU General Public License version 2.0[4] and is under ongoing development. According to a study of the 61,154 open source projects on SourceForge in the period between 1999–2005, OpenTTD ranked 8th most active open source project to receive patches and contributions. After 2005, development moved to their own server.[5]


The development of OpenTTD was driven by the desire to extend the abilities of Transport Tycoon Deluxe to support user-made additions to the graphics and gameplay. Also, users wanted to play the game on more modern operating systems and alternative computer architectures which Transport Tycoon Deluxe did not support, being released in 1994 for DOS and programmed in assembly language.

Prior modifications to Transport Tycoon Deluxe[edit]

There was a prior attempt to modify Transport Tycoon Deluxe to run on more modern operating systems. OpenTTD was preceded by a commercial conversion of Transport Tycoon Deluxe to run on Windows 95. It was created in 1996 by the FISH technology group, but Nola released in 1999 as part of a compilation of older Tycoon games. This release was still greatly restricted in operating systems and computer architectures it could run on. Similarly, there was an earlier success aiming to open Transport Tycoon Deluxe to modification by users. TTDPatch, initially created by Josef Drexler in 1996-97 and still being developed in 2010, changes the behaviour of Transport Tycoon Deluxe as it is running, to introduce many new features to the game, such as new graphics, vehicles, industries, etc. TTDPatch is restricted by the same operating system and computer architecture limits as Transport Tycoon Deluxe and has limited control over what features of the game can be altered.

Initial development of OpenTTD[edit]

In 2003, Ludvig Strigeus announced that he intended to reverse engineer Transport Tycoon Deluxe and convert the game to C. In 2004, this re-engineered Transport Tycoon Deluxe was released and named OpenTTD.[6][7] This release was popular. As of 2015, OpenTTD is still under active development.

The early development of OpenTTD focused on restructuring the code to improve readability and extensibility. This allowed restoring features like sound and music, improving the user interface and introducing new languages for the GUI. Many new gameplay features and possibilities for user modification were also added around this time, aiming to replicate the abilities of TTDPatch. A major improvement was reprogramming multiplayer (network games) to use the internet protocol, allowing multiplayer gaming online and over modern LANs.

By the late 2000s, OpenTTD was a stable and popular game and development moved toward more substantial changes. 2007 saw the development of support for custom, user-made AIs, which can provide players with more of a challenge than the original AI.[8][9][10] Other more major changes included introducing support for IPv6,[11][12] an integrated download system for user-made customisations, and support for alternative base graphics, sound and music sets in 2009. Since 2007, OpenTTD is gradually being rewritten in C++.[13]

Version 1.0.0[edit]

Up until 2010, OpenTTD relied on the graphics, sound and music files from Transport Tycoon Deluxe. While OpenTTD was free software, it needed copyrighted components of a commercial game to work. Starting at the end of 2007, a large community effort worked to generate replacements for the 7000 2D sprites which make up the graphics of the game. Similar community efforts to create free sound effects and music soon followed. When the graphics and sound effect replacement projects (OpenGFX and OpenSFX, respectively) reached completion at the end of 2009, it was possible, for the first time, to play OpenTTD completely independently of Transport Tycoon Deluxe.[14][15][16] A music replacement set OpenMSX is also available.[17] This was celebrated in early 2010 with the release of OpenTTD 1.0.0, named to reflect its new status as a fully stand-alone game.

Version 1.1.0[edit]

Released on April 1, 2011, OpenTTD 1.1.0 saw the re-introduction of Mac OS platform support. The 1.1.x series also saw extensions of the NewGRF and NewObject specifications, improvement of GUI loading times and pathfinding, and the introduction of a new command-line administrative interface that can be accessed over a network for remote servers. [18]

Version 1.2.0[edit]

Released on April 15, 2012, OpenTTD 1.2.0 formally integrated graphics support for 32 bpp, and 2x and 4x zoom levels. These two features allow graphics developers to include graphics that feature higher resolutions and more details. For the first time the game can randomly create rivers automatically on map generation. The introduction of the Game Script feature allows developers to create scripted scenarios, new interactive goals, and achievements within games. Two new features alter the way the game can be played. Infrastructure Maintenance adds a new ongoing costs to owning infrastructure such as roads, rails, and signals. Airport Range implements a limit on how far aircraft can travel before needing to land at another airport facility. In-game documentation for NewGRFs was introduced, allowing developers to provide more information about NewGRF add-ons, including Internet links to external Web sites or other documentation. [19]

Version 1.3.0[edit]

Released on April 1, 2013, OpenTTD 1.3.0 focused on improving the user interface, including GUI and textboxes. Formerly undocumented features which were unsupported were removed in later releases of the 1.3.x series, and support for new currencies and translations was introduced. [20]

Version 1.4.0[edit]

Released on April 1, 2014, OpenTTD 1.4.0 saw a significant change in how the game can be played with the formal inclusion of the Cargo Distribution (CargoDist) patch. In the original Transport Tycoon Deluxe and prior versions of OpenTTD, passengers, mail and other cargo could be sent to any destination desired by players. With the introduction of CargoDist, the game regularly checks which destinations players have created, and allows industry to shift demand for cargo delivery to those destinations. Further improvements to the NoGo and NewObject specifications were included. Users can now create map sizes of up to 4096x4096. Players are now also able to load more NewGRF and NewObject sets, with an increase of up to 255 NewGRF or NewObject sets, and 64,000 different objects with nearly 16 million instances of objects. Later improvements of the 1.4.x series include optimization for building on more obscure operating systems. [21]

Version 1.5.0[edit]

Released on April 1, 2015, OpenTTD 1.5.0 focused on improving the user interface and introduced more height levels. New features for NewGRF and NoGoal were also implemented. [22]


OpenTTD gameplay is very similar to Transport Tycoon Deluxe, on which it is based, although there are many improvements in both options within the game and ease of use.[3][23] A player's aim is to build a transportation network using trucks, busses, trains, airplanes and boats to link together industries and towns on the map and transport the cargo they produce. Every time a vehicle makes a delivery of some cargo, players receive an income, allowing them to build more infrastructure (rails, stations, etc.), build more vehicles, modify the terrain, and interact with towns, via their local authorities. The default game runs from 1950 to 2050, during which a player aims to get as high a performance rating (based on number of vehicles, income, amount of cargo delivered, etc.) as possible.

The world map is dotted with both industries and towns. Cargo for transportation is supplied by both industries (e.g. the coal mine which produces coal) and towns (which produce passengers and mail) and accepted by other industries and/or towns according to their needs (e.g., the power station accepts coal). Placing a station near a source and a receiver of a certain cargo allows transportation between the two. The amount of cargo supplied by a town or industry depends on the quality of transport players provide to move its goods. Payment for delivering cargo depends on the quantity of cargo delivered, how fast it was delivered and how perishable it is. Some cargoes (e.g., passengers) must be delivered faster than others (e.g., coal) to earn a good income.

The introduction of Path Signal to OpenTTD, in addition to the traditional Block Signal from the original Transport Tycoon increases throughput of railway junction-crossing.

During the course of the game, players must build and expand their transport infrastructure. The only infrastructure present on the map at the start of the game are roads within towns. All other infrastructure—ports, stations, airports, rail, and depots—must be built by players. The tools for building a rail network are particularly powerful, and players have access to many different signal types to build a complex and interconnected rail network.

During the course of the game, technology improvements give players access to newer, faster and more powerful vehicles. For rail transport, new track technology also becomes available over time, first electrified rail, then monorail and maglev track. In general, newer vehicles cost more money to buy and run, and players must have earned enough money in earlier stages of the game to be able to afford to upgrade their vehicles. The full course of the default game, from 1950 to 2050, takes around 24 hours.[24] Players can optionally start at earlier dates and play on past 2050, although no new technology becomes available.

OpenTTD can be played by one player, against a computer controlled AI, or by many players against each other, over a LAN or the Internet.


OpenTTD supports multiplayer games for up to 255 players between 15 different transport companies, and can be played both over a LAN or over the Internet. Each transport company is in competition with each other transport company, and each transport company can be controlled by more than one player at any time. This allows both co-operative and competitive multiplayer games. Competitive team games (e.g. two transport companies, both controlled by three players) are also possible.

Mods and online content[edit]

OpenTTD supports extensive modification for both single player and multiplayer games. Modifications come in the form of a "NewGRF" (New Graphics Resource File). NewGRFs package both new graphics (2D sprites) and the computer code which describes how the new graphics should be used. Many aspects of the game can be altered by NewGRFs; a NewGRF can introduce a complete new set of vehicles, new industries and the cargoes they produce, new town buildings, new rail graphics and behaviour, etc. NewGRFs, along with heightmaps, scenarios and custom AIs, can be downloaded and installed using the "BaNaNaS" in-game online content system.[25]


Due to its use of Simple DirectMedia Layer cross-platform graphics and sound layers, OpenTTD can be compiled and run on many different operating systems. The officially supported operating systems are:[26][27]

Unofficially supported devices include: Android phones, the Nintendo DS, Wii, and PlayStation Portable.[27][28] The game can even be played on virtual desktops, like[29]


OpenTTD has been praised for the amount of improvements it has made to the original Transport Tycoon Deluxe, such as the AI, graphics, sounds, and ability to play multiplayer.[30] OpenTTD received the most votes for Game of the Year for the 2004 Amiga Games Award.[31] Lewis Denby from PC Gamer ranked OpenTTD 20th in its May 2011 list of best free PC games.[32] Hungarian Unix Portal users chose OpenTTD as favourite (free) game in 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2010.[33][34][35][36]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About OpenTTD". Official OpenTTD website. Retrieved 2009-12-11. 
  2. ^ "OpenTTD 0.7.4". Heise Software Verzeichnis. Retrieved 2009-12-11. 
  3. ^ a b Dmitri Popov (June 2006). "OpenTTD - Open source hauls the classic Transport Tycoon Delux game into the future." (PDF). TUX Magazine: 44–46. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Belenzon, Sharon and Schankerman, Mark A. (October 2008). "Motivation and Sorting in Open Source Software Innovation" (PDF). EDS Innovation Research Programme, London School of Economics and Political Science. 
  6. ^ "OpenTTD 0.1.1". SourceForge page about OpenTTD. Retrieved 2009-12-11. 
  7. ^ "TTDPatch origin". Transport Tycoon Forums. Retrieved 2009-12-11. 
  8. ^ Luis Henrique Oliveira Rios, Luiz Chaimowicz (October 2009). "trAIns: An Artificial Intelligence for OpenTTD" (PDF). VIII Brazilian Symposium on Games and Digital Entertainment (Special Commission of Games and Digital Entertainment of the Computing Brazilian Society). Retrieved 2009-12-11. 
  9. ^ "NoAI Merge". Official OpenTTD News. Retrieved 2008-01-18. 
  10. ^ Carsten Schnober (June 2009). "Projects on the move" (PDF). Linux Pro Magazine (Linux New Media USA, LLC). Retrieved 2009-12-11. 
  11. ^ "IPv6 support news article". Official OpenTTD news. Retrieved 2010-03-07. 
  12. ^ "Changelog for version 1.0". Changelog in the svn branch 1.0. Retrieved 2010-03-07. 
  13. ^ "Merge the cpp (C++) branch". Revision log of OpenTTD's version control system. Retrieved 2009-12-11. [dead link]
  14. ^ "OpenGFX 0.2.0". Official OpenGFX news. Retrieved 2009-12-11. 
  15. ^ "OpenSFX 0.2.0". Official OpenSFX news. Retrieved 2009-12-11. 
  16. ^ "Graphics and sound replacement complete". Official OpenTTD news. Retrieved 2009-12-11. 
  17. ^ "Music Replacement Project forum thread". OpenMSX. Retrieved 2009-12-27. 
  18. ^ "OpenTTD 1.1.0". OpenTTD Wiki. Retrieved 2011-04-01. 
  19. ^ "OpenTTD 1.2.0". OpenTTD Wiki. Retrieved 2012-04-15. 
  20. ^ "OpenTTD 1.3.0". OpenTTD Wiki. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  21. ^ "OpenTTD 1.4.0". OpenTTD Wiki. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  22. ^ "OpenTTD 1.5.0". OpenTTD Wiki. Retrieved 2015-04-21. 
  23. ^ McCullagh, Jonny (January 2008). "Install Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe (OpenTTD)" (PDF). Ubuntu Full Circle Magazine: 20–21. 
  24. ^ "Game speed is too fast". Transport Tycoon Forums. Retrieved 2009-12-11.  Note: 2.22 seconds a game day -> 2.22 * 365 (days in year) * 100 (years) / 3,600 (seconds in hour) results in about 22.5 hours
  25. ^ "OpenTTD - BaNaNaS". OpenTTD Team. 2011. Retrieved December 2, 2011. 
  26. ^ "About OpenTTD". Official OpenTTD website. Retrieved 2010-04-01. 
  27. ^ a b "Operating System". Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  28. ^ "Portable device version". Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  29. ^ "OpenTTD on Spoon". Retrieved February 12, 2012. 
  30. ^ Blake, Michael. "PC Gaming: Doomed? or zDoomed?". IGN. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  31. ^ "Amiga Games Award 2004". Amiga Games Hit Parade. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  32. ^ Denby, Lewis. "20 free PC games you must play". PC Gamer. Retrieved 28 February 2012. 
  33. ^ "HUP Olvasók Választása Díj 2005 - eredményhirdetés". Hungarian Unix Portal (HUP) (in Hungarian). Retrieved 2009-12-11. 
  34. ^ "HUP Olvasók Választása Díj 2007 - eredményhirdetés". Hungarian Unix Portal (HUP) (in Hungarian). Retrieved 2009-12-11. 
  35. ^ "HUP Olvasók Választása Díj 2009 - eredményhirdetés". Hungarian Unix Portal (HUP) (in Hungarian). Retrieved 2010-01-14. 
  36. ^ "HUP Olvasók Választása Díj 2010 - eredményhirdetés". Hungarian Unix Portal (HUP) (in Hungarian). Retrieved 2011-05-03. 

External links[edit]