Simulation Video Games

OpenTTD, part three: Vehicles

I have been away from this site yet again, but this time I’ve been working a lot and also working on a personal project which I hope will be awesome! I’ll get around to posting about that soon, but for now, you know what I forgot to include in both OpenTTD, part one: A history and the basics and OpenTTD, part two: Economy and game mechanics? Details on the various vehicles that are available in the game! If the roads and tracks are the veins of the transportation system, then the vehicles are the blood, and I am insane for not having gone into this sooner. So here it is! An unexpected part three to the OpenTTD mini-series. I will be going into detail with trains a little more than the others, but either way, prepare for some serious study involving comparisons of speed, weight, power, and tractive effort!

Calculating vehicle speeds

Let’s start by diving into vehicle speeds, shall we? Now, to figure out the speed of the vehicles in OpenTTD, we should first start with some definitions. Internally, OpenTTD works with a unit called km-ish/h and the conversion factor from km-ish/h to km/h is 1.00584, whilst the conversion factor from km-ish/h to mph is 1.6. Also, a tile is, for vehicle speed purposes, 664.(216) km-ish, 668 km or 415 miles long. This is based on the following data gathered by those at the OpenTTD Wiki.

Simulation Video Games

OpenTTD, part two: Economy and game mechanics

It’s been a busy couple of days, but I’m back to continue this mini-series! So, last time, in OpenTTD, part one: A history and the basics, we had a look at the history of the Transport Tycoon series, went through some basic OpenTTD railway building techniques, and then had a brief look at the industries in the game. However, there’s a lot more to OpenTTD than just that, and so, this time we will look at the in-game economy, game mechanics in relation to cargo, and towns.



The existence of an economy in OpenTTD might seem foreboding, but there isn’t anything to be afraid of here at all. There five simple topics we need to cover for our bit on the OpenTTD economy and they are inflation, recession, loans, share trading, and property maintenance.

Simulation Video Games

OpenTTD, part one: A history and the basics

I think I need another short break from my Pathfinder series and since this one has already been requested months ago, I have taken this as an opportunity to finally get it done – today we will be talking about Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe. Yes, you did not read that wrong.

Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe

Transport Tycoon (TT)

Transport Tycoon cover art

Let us begin with a little history, starting with Transport Tycoon (TT) – a video game developed by Scottish games designer and programmer Chris Sawyer and published by MicroProse in 1994. It is a business simulation game, presented in an isometric view in 2D with graphics by Simon Foster.

Our job as the player is to take control of a transport company and compete against rival companies to make as much profit as possible by transporting passengers and various goods by road, rail, sea, and air. We can achieve these goals by constructing transport routes consisting of stations placed near industries or towns, and in the case of trains or road vehicles, near physical routes. One of these transport routes can utilise several different forms of transport, for example, truck → ship → train. Meanwhile, over the course of a game, cities will develop and expand according to various economic factors, and new industries or other resource sites may appear. On the other hand, some natural resources may eventually become exhausted, and industries without adequate transport services may shut down due to their resources going nowhere (they can’t operate as a business if that business does not function, can they?). Also, new models of vehicles are introduced as the years go by and eventually come to replace older models, however, at introduction such a new model will likely have improved characteristics such as speed and power, but may suffer from reliability issues.