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Chris Sawyer is most famous for creating the RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise.  He was born in Scotland and is a computer game developer who has a Degree in Computer Science and Microprocessor Systems.


In 1983 he began his career in software development by writing games in Z80 machine code for the Memotech MTX and later moved onto Amstrad CPC. Starting in 1988 until 1993 he converted popular Amiga games from arcade games machine format into PC format.

 

In 1993, taking Sid Meier’s Railroad Tycoon game further, he began working on his own project: Transport Tycoon for PC. The original game was published by Microprose in 1994 and helped introduce game players to mouse interaction on the PC. It became a smash hit when it was released, turning out to be one of the most fun business strategy games ever made and became a classic in the Tycoon series of games.


This success was followed up in 1995 by Transport Tycoon Deluxe, an improved and extended version of Transport Tycoon, after which Chris immediately sought to create a sequel. While working on the basic game engine for that he developed an interest in roller coasters to the extent that he postponed the Transport Tycoon sequel: his interest in roller coasters took its game engine in a new direction. The code was modified to handle roller coasters instead of transport vehicles and thus was created RollerCoaster Tycoon. The game was originally called White Knuckle but Hasbro thought the "Tycoon" connection was just too good an opportunity to miss. RollerCoaster Tycoon was an even bigger hit and prompted by this, Chris released two RollerCoaster Tycoon expansion packs, one in November 1999 and the other in September of 2000.


By now he had resumed work on the sequel for Transport Tycoon but again postponed it to work on RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 which was released through Infogrames in 2002. Although based on the same game engine this was a massively upgraded, much expanded re-tread of RCT1. RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 was then followed by two expansion packs of its own in May 2003 and August 2003.


Finally, in 2004 he returned to his Transport Tycoon sequel, and released it under the name Chris Sawyer's Locomotion.


RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 was released by Atari in October 2004. Whereas RCT1 and RCT2 were viewed and played in isometric view, RCT3, the third installment in the RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise, was the first in the series to be truly 3-D. Two expansion packs for RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 were later released - Soaked! in June 2005 and Wild! in October 2005. Although the core features of RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 are based on the previous games, Chris Sawyer, the developer of the first two games, acted only as a consultant for RCT3. The game was developed by Frontier Developments instead, and published & advertised by Atari.


Sawyer wrote most of his games in x86 assembly language which he slightly augmented by language he had written for himself. Games in the RollerCoaster Tycoon series were the largest selling PC simulators before the Sims games.


In November 2005, Chris Sawyer sued Atari for breach of license and withholding of payments. Many RollerCoaster Tycoon fans were concerned at the time that the lawsuit signalled an end for any further development of RollerCoaster Tycoon. Just as it seemed the case would go to the High Court, in February 2008 Sawyer and Atari settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. As a condition of the settlement neither party is able to release public statements.


31X Limited is a company that was formed by Chris Sawyer in 2010 to develop Transport Tycoon for the new generation of mobile platforms.



In 2011 and 2012, he was credited to have worked on RollerCoaster Tycoon 3D.


On 15 July 2013, Sawyer announced his new Transport Tycoon game for mobile operating systems to be released through his 31X label. It was released in October of the same year. Tycoon devotees were pleased that Transport Tycoon had been digitally re-mastered for mobile platforms, a development that has moved this renowned franchise from mouse touch on PC to finger touch on mobile platforms.   

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