Developer(s) OpenTTD Team
Platform(s) Template:Plain list
Release date(s) Template:Collapsible list
Genre(s) Business simulation game
Mode(s) Single-player
Multiplayer (Online and LAN)
Distribution Online distribution

A screenshot of OpenTTD 1.3.3, with the OpenGFX graphics set

A screenshot of OpenTTD 1.1.0, with the OpenGFX graphics set

OpenTTD is a free and open source business simulation game in which the player aims to earn money through transportation of 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 of Transport Tycoon Deluxe‍ '​s features but also has many additions, including a range of map sizes, support for many languages, custom (user-made) AI, downloadable customisations, ports for several widely used operating systems, and a more user friendly interface.[2][3] OpenTTD also supports LAN and Internet multiplayer, both co-operative and competitive, for up to 255 players.

OpenTTD is 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 capabilities of Transport Tycoon Deluxe to support user made additions to the graphics and gameplay. Furthermore users wanted to play the game on more modern operating systems and alternative computer architectures which Transport Tycoon Deluxe, released in 1994 for MS-DOS and programmed in assembly language, did not support.

Previous modifications to Transport Tycoon Deluxe

There was a previous 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, which 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 terms of operating systems and computer architectures it could run on. Similarly, there was an earlier success aiming to open Transport Tycoon Deluxe up to modification by users. TTDPatch, initially created by Josef Drexler in 1996-7 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 limitations as Transport Tycoon Deluxe and has limited control over what features of the game can be altered.

Development of OpenTTD

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

The early development of OpenTTD focused on restructuring of the code to improve its readability and extensibility. This allowed restoration of features like sound and music, improvement of the user interface and introduction of 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. One major improvement was the reprogramming of multiplayer (network games) to use the internet protocol allowing multiplayer gaming both online and over modern local networks.

By the late 2000s, OpenTTD was a stable and popular game and development moved towards 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 include introduction of support for IPv6,[11][12] integration of an integrated download system for user-made customisations and support for alternative base graphics, sound and music sets in 2009. Since 2007, OpenTTD has been gradually evolving into a game written in C++.[13]

OpenTTD 1.0.0

Up until 2010, OpenTTD was reliant on the graphics, sound and music files from Transport Tycoon Deluxe. While OpenTTD itself was free software, it required copyrighted components of a commercial game in order to be played. 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.

OpenTTD 1.1.0

Released on April 1, 2011, OpenTTD 1.1.0 saw the re-introduction of MacOS 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]

OpenTTD 1.2.0

Released on April 15, 2012, OpenTTD 1.2.0 formally integrated 32bpp graphics support, along with 2x and 4x zoom level graphics support. These two features allow for 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 were introduced, allowing developers to provide more information about NewGRF add-ons, including Internet links to external Web sites or other documentation. [19]

OpenTTD 1.3.0

Released on April 1, 2013, OpenTTD 1.3.0 focused on improving the user interface, including GUI and texboxes. Previously undocumented features which were not supported were removed in later releases of the 1.3.x series, and support for new currencies and translations were introduced. [20]

OpenTTD 1.4.0

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 previous versions of OpenTTD, passengers, mail and other cargo could be sent to any destination that a player desired. With the introduction of CargoDist, the game regularly checks which destinations the player has created, and allows industry to shift demand for cargo delivery to those specific 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, as well as 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]


See also: Transport_Tycoon#Gameplay

OpenTTD‍ '​s 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][22] The 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 the player receives an income, allowing them to build more infrastructure (rails, stations, etc.), vehicles, modify the terrain and interact with towns (via their local authority). 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 requirements (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 transportation the player is providing to transport its goods. Payment for delivering cargo depends on the quantity of cargo delivered, how quickly it was delivered and how perishable it is. Some cargoes, e.g. passengers, have to be delivered more quickly than others, e.g. coal, in order to receive a good income.

File:OpenTTD difference block path signals.svg

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, the player has to 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—have to be built by the player. The tools for building a rail network are particularly powerful and the player has access to many different signal types in order to build a complex and interconnected rail network.

During the course of the game, technological improvements give the player access to newer, faster and more powerful vehicles. In the case of 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 purchase and to run, and the player has to have earned enough money in the earlier stages of the game in order to be able to afford to upgrade their vehicles. The full course of the default game, from 1950 to 2050, takes around 24 hours.[23] The player can optionally start at earlier dates and play on past 2050, although no new technology becomes available.

OpenTTD can be played as a single player, against a computer controlled AI, or multiplayer both over a LAN or the Internet.


OpenTTD supports multiplayer games for up to 255 players between 15 different transport companies 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

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.[24]


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:[25][26]

  • BSDs, especially, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD
  • GNU/Linux
  • Microsoft Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP/Vista/7/8 (32-bit, 64-bit XP and later)
  • Solaris
  • Mac OS X

There are many unofficially supported devices, such as Android phones, the Nintendo DS, Wii, and PlayStation Portable.[26][27] The game can even be played on virtual desktops, like[28]


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.[29] OpenTTD received the most votes for Game of the Year for the 2004 Amiga Games Award.[30] Lewis Denby from PC Gamer ranked OpenTTD 20th in its May 2011 list of best free PC games.[31] OpenTTD has been chosen as the favourite (free) game in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010 by users of the Hungarian Unix Portal.[32][33][34][35]

See also


  • Simutrans
  • Transport Tycoon


  1. About OpenTTD. Official OpenTTD website. Retrieved on 2009-12-11.
  2. OpenTTD 0.7.4. Heise Software Verzeichnis. Retrieved on 2009-12-11.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dmitri Popov (June 2006). "OpenTTD - Open source hauls the classic Transport Tycoon Delux game into the future.". TUX Magazine: 44–46. 
  5. Belenzon, Sharon and Schankerman, Mark A. (October 2008). Motivation and Sorting in Open Source Software Innovation. EDS Innovation Research Programme, London School of Economics and Political Science. 
  6. OpenTTD 0.1.1. SourceForge page about OpenTTD. Retrieved on 2009-12-11.
  7. TTDPatch origin. Transport Tycoon Forums. Retrieved on 2009-12-11.
  8. Luis Henrique Oliveira Rios, Luiz Chaimowicz (October 2009). "trAIns: An Artificial Intelligence for OpenTTD". 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 on 2008-01-18.
  10. Carsten Schnober (June 2009). "Projects on the move". Linux Pro Magazine (Linux New Media USA, LLC). Retrieved 2009-12-11. 
  11. IPv6 support news article. Official OpenTTD news. Retrieved on 2010-03-07.
  12. Changelog for version 1.0. Changelog in the svn branch 1.0. Retrieved on 2010-03-07.
  13. Merge the cpp (C++) branch. Revision log of OpenTTD's version control system. Retrieved on 2009-12-11.Template:Fix
  14. OpenGFX 0.2.0. Official OpenGFX news. Retrieved on 2009-12-11.
  15. OpenSFX 0.2.0. Official OpenSFX news. Retrieved on 2009-12-11.
  16. Graphics and sound replacement complete. Official OpenTTD news. Retrieved on 2009-12-11.
  17. Music Replacement Project forum thread. OpenMSX. Retrieved on 2009-12-27.
  18. OpenTTD 1.1.0. OpenTTD Wiki. Retrieved on 2011-04-01.
  19. OpenTTD 1.2.0. OpenTTD Wiki. Retrieved on 2012-04-15.
  20. OpenTTD 1.3.0. OpenTTD Wiki. Retrieved on 2013-04-01.
  21. OpenTTD 1.4.0. OpenTTD Wiki. Retrieved on 2014-04-01.
  22. McCullagh, Jonny (January 2008). "Install Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe (OpenTTD)". Ubuntu Full Circle Magazine: 20–21. 
  23. Game speed is too fast. Transport Tycoon Forums. Retrieved on 2009-12-11.Note: 2.22 seconds a game day -> 2.22 * 365 (days in year) * 100 (years) / 3600 (seconds in hour) results in about 22.5 hours
  24. OpenTTD - BaNaNaS. OpenTTD Team (2011). Retrieved on December 2, 2011.
  25. About OpenTTD. Official OpenTTD website. Retrieved on 2010-04-01.
  26. 26.0 26.1 Operating System. Retrieved on March 23, 2011.
  27. Portable device version. Retrieved on March 23, 2011.
  28. OpenTTD on Spoon. Retrieved on February 12, 2012.
  29. Blake, Michael. PC Gaming: Doomed? or zDoomed?. IGN. Retrieved on 10 August 2011.
  30. Amiga Games Award 2004. Amiga Games Hit Parade. Retrieved on 25 November 2014.
  31. Denby, Lewis. 20 free PC games you must play. PC Gamer. Retrieved on 28 February 2012.
  32. HUP Olvasók Választása Díj 2005 - eredményhirdetés (Hungarian). Hungarian Unix Portal (HUP). Retrieved on 2009-12-11.
  33. HUP Olvasók Választása Díj 2007 - eredményhirdetés (Hungarian). Hungarian Unix Portal (HUP). Retrieved on 2009-12-11.
  34. HUP Olvasók Választása Díj 2009 - eredményhirdetés (Hungarian). Hungarian Unix Portal (HUP). Retrieved on 2010-01-14.
  35. HUP Olvasók Választása Díj 2010 - eredményhirdetés (Hungarian). Hungarian Unix Portal (HUP). Retrieved on 2011-05-03.

External links

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