10 things you (probably) never knew about Chris Sawyer's Tycoon games...


The PC version of "Frontier: Elite 2" contained a reference to the upcoming Transport Tycoon back in 1993.
Some of the advertising hoardings in space ports announced "Coming soon... Chris Sawyer's Transport Game" !
Why the connection? Well, Chris Sawyer did the PC conversion of Frontier: Elite 2 back in 1992/3.


What's special about this little house in Transport Tycoon?

It's where Chris Sawyer lived and worked at the time when Transport Tycoon was being created !


The movie "Mission Impossible 2" contains exactly the same crowd sound effect as was used in RollerCoaster Tycoon !
It's well hidden, but if you watch the film carefully, you'll notice the same "Come on, come on, come on" chant in amongst the crowd background sound as exists in RollerCoaster Tycoon. There's no connection between Mission Impossible 2 and RollerCoaster Tycoon though, only that the film makers happened to licence exactly the same 30-second sound recording as we licensed for the game.


RollerCoaster Tycoon originally started as a sequel to Transport Tycoon back in 1996, but the sequel was abandoned and the code modified to handle roller coasters instead of transport vehicles.


Ever wondered whether buildings in Transport Tycoon are based on real buildings ?

Well most of them are, and this particular one is the "Livingstone Tower" in Glasgow. It's part of Strathclyde University, and the top floors were part of the computer science department where Chris Sawyer spent 4 years studying for his degree back in the 1980's.
Click here to see more Transport Tycoon building graphics and the original photos...


Transport Tycoon was originally named "I.T.S.", which is short for "Interactive Transport Simulation".
It was only because the game went to Microprose that it became a "Tycoon" game, to tie in with their own "Railroad Tycoon".


RollerCoaster Tycoon's pre-rendered graphics mean that for some objects there are literally thousands of different graphical frames to cater for different angles.

The object with the most graphical frames is the flying coaster car, which has no less than 2,832 individual graphical frames.


RollerCoaster Tycoon was named "White Knuckle" throughout development. Even when Hasbro Interactive became involved, the game was still going to be called White Knuckle, but then Hasbro bought Microprose, and the "Tycoon" connection was just too good an opportunity to miss, so the game became "RollerCoaster Tycoon".


Alton Towers (the UK's largest theme park) wanted to use some of the music from RollerCoaster Tycoon in their park!
A suite of music for the Swan Boats ride was going to be created from several of the 'theme' pieces in the game, but unfortunately the project was cancelled.


The photo on the back of the RollerCoaster Tycoon (US) box shows Chris Sawyer riding a real roller coaster.
No, it's not a studio mock-up!

Oakwood Leisure Park in Wales (UK) ran their wonderful wooden roller coaster, Megafobia, just for us when the park was still closed for the winter. The weather was so cold we had to wait for the ice to melt on the track before the engineer would let the train run! Hundreds of photos were taken over the course of dozens of circuits of the coaster, and some photos were used for publicity for the game. This particular photograph was taken half way down the first drop.
The European box doesn't have this photo on it, but if you look very carefully behind the text on the box back, you'll see the silhouette of Megafobia, photographed on the same day. 

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