Tag Archives: chris saywer

Chris Sawyer’s Locomotion: OpenLoco

If you’re here for my save files then be sure to scroll down!

“Chris Sawyers Locomotion” has been developed by Chris Sawyer and published by Atari. It’s the only game that carries the name of Sawyer in the title since the publishers didn’t want any legal complications due to the name “Locomotion”. The game is all about transporting goods, people and trying to run a profitable company, just like it’s predecessor “Transport Tycoon (Deluxe)”.

I have played a fair share of Transport Tycoon Deluxe on my 486 back in 2003-2004 (long story). The game I remember the most was one where I had the game generate a random sandbox scenario for me, which I have played for hours. There was no fast forward button, that was featured in OpenTTD only. After replacing my old rusty trains a few times for new ones and I even changed most of the track for electric tracks and MagLev tracks later on. I think I have made it about 120 years into the scenario, running a multi-million dollar company with more then 150 trains. Too bad that I lost this save game quite soon after. I’ve got sunken into one single scenario like this ever again. I did invest some time in how to build a single train network but that was later with OpenTTD. I always enjoyed sitting down for Transport Tycoon and just build and manage trains, and I still do.

Back in the late 90’s Chris Sawyer has created one of the best simulation Tycoon games that still holds up today: RollerCoaster Tycoon. After two expansions he even worked on a sequal which both has received two expansion packs too. The whole series of RollerCoaster Tycoon came to it’s excistance after the succes of Transport Tycoon (Deluxe) in the mid 90’s, though during the early stages of development of Transport Tycoon 2, Saywer became inspired by theme park rides and decided to focus his next title on rollercoasters and rides. A few years later, he decided that Transport Tycoon 2 should still make a comeback, and therefore Locomotion found it’s way in 2014.

RCT always had a special place in my heart. I remember that I played this at dad’s place over the weekend whenever I could, even with friends (and teammates) after a soccer match, while it was still morning. The game had a fantastic replayability with it’s wide selection of scenarios and rides. Imagine that feeling of excitement when you would unlock a ‘new’ scenario (since not all of them are available at the start) and research a new ride that you haven’t seen before. I remember my first time playing the “Mel’s World” scenario and seeing the Top Spin ride (named Highjack) for the first time. That was instantly my favorite thrill-ride of the game. Also because at that point in my life, I always wanted to ride one, but never did have the nerve to do so – probably because I was about 10 years old.

As you might know, RollerCoaster Tycoon has gotten a really interesting story to it. The game has aged very well because of the graphics from Simon Foster, and the strong engine that Chris Sawyer wrote for the games. After years of silence “RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic” was announced that combined all of the RollerCoaster Tycoon 1 & 2 games with all parks, rides and it’s expansion packs with even an overhaul of the graphics, because it launched on regular touch screen devices too, and it would be easier to use and control with larger buttons. For a short while after I heard this being announced I got the feeling this project was canned due to a lack of interest, but a few months, or even years later in 2016 it finally saw the daylight.

The original Transport Tycoon source code has been shared way back in the mid 2000’s, which created a new community of fans and players that has been working on OpenTTD, to improve features of the original Transport Tycoon – which is still being updated on a regular base and you can download for free (even on Steam since last year). I was always hoping for RollerCoaster Tycoon to get the same treatment which would make implementations of custom rides, tracks, scenery, scenarios and parks easier and the game more responsive to run on modern devices… and it did. The source code got released and just like Transport Tycoon, OpenRCT(2) found it’s way with even more features anyone could ever ask for – one of my favorites being able to play online or locally together in one park.

But this story isn’t really about RollerCoaster Tycoon or Transport Tycoon. I wanted to tell you about a game you probably haven’t heard off; Locomotion. It’s running on the same engine as RollerCoaster Tycoon (though with certain changes, upgrades etc.), and you can clearly see the resemblance. This is the real successor to Transport Tycoon. Though it never really got the attention that Transport Tycoon and RollerCoaster Tycoon got.

When it came out I played with it for a short while. When you’ve been playing a lot of RCT2, you clearly see the difference in saturation in this game compared to the other games. Everything in RollerCoaster Tycoon can be so colourfull, while the graphics are darker on Locomotion. Another reason I didn’t play it a lot is because I wasn’t really seeing how this should be an improvement over Transport Tycoon, especially while OpenTTD was out there and was still being developped and updated on a regular base. OpenTTD looked brighter and seemed easier to use. Locomotion just never absorbed me as much as Transport Tycoon or RollerCoaster Tycoon did. What I did like about Locomotion is that it uses the same trackbuilder as RollerCoaster Tycoon has, though intersections and trying to build a certain network of trains is still easier in Transport Tycoon, since Locomotion only offers you way wider bents, making it tougher to combine, create and make it fit. With all due respect, they added great features to the game like trams and scenarios, while Transport Tycoon/OpenTTD would give you a more constant sandbox-gameplay kinda feeling.

Somehow recently Locomotion came on my mind, and I decided to give it another chance. Since Locomotion wasn’t a really well known game I didn’t expect it… Wait, there is a OpenLoco version of Locomotion? I need to check this out – But since I’m all into collecting all kinds of DVD-cover format PC games lately I had to obtain a physical copy – so I had someone ship me a international version from Portugal to Amsterdam.

I installed the game so OpenLoco could make use of the original assets. I was instantly hooked on playing! Yes, I still feel the same about this game compared to Transport Tycoon. Yet, I do love to play this. Building rollercoasters with the track editor in RCT has never been a real challenge to me, I love working with the tools the game provides. Because of the same feel, style and way things work – it’s just easy and fun to start playing Locomotion like it’s RCT combined with the original TTD. I already noticed that I get carried away in the beginner scenarios – playing for three hours while I met the goal within half an hour. It’s just fun to keep expanding your network of trains, especially if you like to build the way I do, with more complexity then necessary. If you’re a fan of Sawyer’s work I advise you to check out this title too. You can get the original game on Steam too.

Slim chance that you’ve seen any of my gameplay videos on Youtube and you would like to download my save games from where I stopped playing during my playthrough on Youtube. You can download these here:

Dosgamert’s Savegames – Beginner Scenarios:
Boulder Breakers
Sandbox Settler
Weatherworld

Later scenario savegames will be added on a later moment in time. Please be patient.

Extra instructions:
I’m not sure of the original game of Chris Sawyer’s Locomotion can make use of these files, so I would advise you to use OpenLoco in combination with the original game assets. Assuming you run on a Windows machine you can put my savegames in this folder:

C:\Users\[USER]\AppData\Roaming\OpenLoco\save

Bart // Dosgamert