The city-builder game mode has first been officially launched by Rasco and Speedy. On their speedy servers, players had to make sure to get their town to a staggering 10K population to win the game, and therefore be rewarded with points. This idea has been further developed by Ex, who was the first to get it properly working, without crashes and strange desyncs. During primetime the city-builder was fully filled with lots of players. Currently the city-builder mode has been coded into a new level, with even more statistics worth of checking, believing to give the game (OpenTTD) a new perspective. A single player version of city builder is now available for download on the Citymania homepage.
The Goal of a city-builder game is to get your town to be the first to reach a certain population. This can be accomplished by using the basic OpenTTD systems. Each town requires certain goods to grow, and providing them means the town will expand. Of course the competition will do the same. When cities become bigger, also their demands for goods increase. This means, even more goods are required to support a growing population. When there are not enough goods, the city will demolish buildings, making it smaller. If the city is provided sufficiently, it might grow over the goal limit, giving you the victory and the points and honor for your achievement.
Claiming a Village
When joining a city-builder game, it is required to claim a village before actually making it possible to grow. In general all villages under 250 population can be claimed. Cities are off-limits, due to their size, they can’t be claimed. Claiming a village is easy, building the company headquarters is sufficient enough to make a village yours. Taking the strategically best village can be essential in a game, more on that subject can be found in the hints and tips section.
Growing your village
Each village requires a certain species of goods, and amount of goods to be able to grow. This is different in each climate. Also with increasing city size the requirements of a village will expand. At certain population levels, the village needs more “difficult-to-get” goods. Building roads is also quite important since the town can’t build them on their own. It is your town so you need to show in which areas the town can expand!
The Headquarters has besides the claiming ability and acceptance of passengers and mail also another purpose in the city-builder mode. It can store a certain amount of goods. The bigger your town, the bigger the storage. Certain species of cargoes can’t be stored in the HQ. These cargoes are: Power, Tourists and Business Mail. Meeting the demand for these cargoes is essential, since no “reserve” exists. Other species of cargoes must be delivered at least once every month. These cargoes are: food and water. Without 1 tonnes of these cargoes, the town will complain “we want fresh-water/fresh-food”. If delivering more than 1 tonnes, but less than the amount required for growth (see requirement table), the town will get food and water out of the storage. All other cargoes don’t need to be delivered every month. Just make sure the bottom of the storage doesn’t get reached. Getting a big storage can be a big help here. Just like in real life, some cargoes can get rotten or stolen out of the storage. Therefore even delivering just enough goods to a village, to make it grow, can make the storage go empty.
The winner is the one who is able to get their town to be the biggest when the time limit gets reached. The population goal is different in each climate, but the 12 game year time limit is generally plenty to get your town up to 5K population. Some experienced players can even reach 60K population.
Highscores for various game modes and climates can be found here