So uh… Here’s something I didn’t know until it was too late. Out of curiosity about what the later game technology looks like, I started a custom game in the year 2000. As the achievements started rolling in for various ‘not going bankrupt milestones’ over the years, I realised the mistake.
Unfortunately, the achievement I had been planning on aiming for (Penny Pincher) also streamed by with an automatic completion. Honestly, I felt a wee bit cheated! No doubt, it was my mistake. But I had assumed (incorrectly) that part of the achievement requirements would be not to have started in, or after, the year you had to reach for it.
Not to worry though, I scanned through the achievements yet to be earned and found the following interesting one:
I did a bit of research and despite the name, in addition to Trucks you’re allowed to use boats, trams and even air if you get that far. Just not trains.
You’re also required to have 50 million in the bank all at one time, it’s not enough to have simply earnt 50 million over time without trains.
So this will be the first goal I strive for! :)
Setting Up and Surveying the Land
I set the map to use a USA base for its generation. World size is Huge, in a 1:2 ratio of width:length, terrain type is Hilly (there is another achievement I may want to go for after finishing up with Truck Fever). The year is 1850 and the difficulty is Hard.
I found a near perfect starting location. Long Beach — the centre town shown on the river bank, between the blue lines (my planned primary trucking line) — is, by 1850 standards, a monster. It has a population of almost 250 before I’ve even done anything.
First order of business will be to setup passenger services between Long Beach and the two neighbour cities. Gilbert on the left, and Green Bay on the right.
Following the purple lines I traced out, there are three more towns. Muuuch smaller than Long Beach. But could still be given the chance to grow with a passenger transit service if I can afford to set them up.
Then the green line. My plan when putting this together was to create a river shipping line from the crude oil source to the refinery, then returning with the fuel to then truck to the nearby cities with preference going to Long Beach’s development first.
I’m beginning to second guess this idea though. On the return ship with the processed fuel, the ship lines would not be directly paid. They are expensive to run and I’d still need cargo wagons to distribute. If I need them anyway, then I might just skip the ships entirely.
We’ll see. When (if) I get into a comfortable money position I might simply test it out and pull up stakes quickly if it isn’t looking like a profitable move.
The area presents other long term opportunities, even just with what’s in view of the screenshot! I can see Coal and Iron readily available for metal beams, I can use the refined oil product to create plastics and then bring these together for consumer goods.
Finding the Story’s Voice
I’ve been thinking a bit about how I want to tell this story, too.
The main idea I keep coming back to is a pair of fellows, fresh imports from Britain. One, a son of a successful Transport Tycoon. The other his manservant and advisor.
When I was going for Penny Pincher (and I still might pretend for the game’s sake I haven’t achieved it), I had thought the story to be that the father had loaned the initial ~$1.2m in capital and said no more. Failure was not an option.
Succeed or watch the inheritance go to his younger brother.
The son would be essentially a good fellow, but given to flights of fancy and ego projects if left unchecked. His name is… Calvin Carter. (Thank-you British Name Generator.)
Calvin and his manservant — Asher Morris is his name — have been together since Calvin was a young child. They are of a similar age, but have never been what you would call close. Until the journey over by ship. The seas were beyond rough. Passengers were lost.
Whether it is sheer survival of a shared experience, or that they each remind the other of a home now left far beyond, they bonded beyond class. Calvin respects Asher’s opinion and will generally at least listen.
The rest we’ll have to discover as we go. :)