From small businesses to transport empire

Climate Model

The four climate models from which to choose are temperate (e.g., Central Europe), subarctic (e.g., French-Swiss Jura or the Pyrenees), subtropical (e.g., South America), and Toyland, the brainchild of the developers.

Each landscape type has its peculiarities. Water reservoirs and treatment plants only exist in the subtropics. Toyland has candy and air bubbles and lemonade factories, as well as caramel quarries and battery plantations (Figure 1). If you do not like the maps you generated, you can resort to one of the prefabricated scenarios and relief maps or design your own world with the integrated editor.

Figure 1: Adventures in Toyland.

Transport Routes

To begin your transportation empire, you create several elements: transport routes, stops and logistics hubs, vehicle depots, and vehicles with corresponding routes.

Transport is handled by road, rail, water, or air, using buses, trucks, trains, ships, or airplanes. The basis for this process is provided by the transport routes you create. OpenTTD gives you the tools you will need to extend your domain – including roads, railways, canals and locks, and tunnels and bridges – to suit various budgets and travelling speeds.

Along and on the transport routes you can build stops or logistics centers. The best place to create them is directly in the cities (for passengers, mail, and goods) or in the immediate vicinity of sources of raw materials or industrial facilities (freight stations). Depending on the location, a logistics hub accepts and offers only those goods that are mined, needed, or manufactured locally.

Transport routes are multipurpose and enable the development of complete, complex supply chains. For example, you can transport people and mail within a city or between several settlements, but iron ore only from an ore mine to the steel plant if you want to make a profit. The steel produced then travels to the factory, which in turn produces goods that you take to a larger city and sell.

The financial return on a route depends on the transport medium and its properties, the distance traveled, the cost of the transportation itself, the duration of transport, the type of cargo, and the quantity transported. The higher the value of the goods and the less time the transport takes, the more income you notch up in your company's books. Costs, but no profits, are incurred on empty runs.

Vehicles

For your transport media, you need to create vehicle depots (buses and trucks), yards (ships), and hangars (aircraft). These buildings are used as workshops and repair shops for your fleets. A transport vehicle is not tied to a particular depot but travels at regular intervals to the nearest depot for maintenance (the interval is customizable in the vehicle configuration). When a vehicle reaches end of life, you have to replace it; otherwise, repair costs and downtime are excessive. OpenTTD notifies you in good time and also quite insistently of the required change (Figure 2).

Figure 2: An insistent note that the vehicle needs to be replaced.

For each of your vehicles, you can set up waypoints on a corresponding route. The vehicles then start from a depot and commute between the destinations to fulfill the delivery needs of the cargo.

From time to time, you will see advertising by the vehicle manufacturer flashed up on your screen. It informs you of new vehicles available shortly and offers to let you try out the vehicle at special rates (Figure 3). You will want to accept this offer to remain competitive.

Figure 3: A new model is ready for you to test drive.

Depending on the time period, different modes of transportation are available with accompanying increases in capacity. In the first half of the 20th century, for example, only steam engines are available; various diesel and electric locomotives become available from 1950. By about 2000, a monorail and maglev are added (Figure 4). The same applies to other means of transport.

Figure 4: A desert city with a maglev railway.

Before you purchase a new vehicle, you will receive additional information about it, such as speed and the degree of reliability. The corresponding thumbnail shows the current location on the playing field, the route, and the utilization rate.

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