Christopher Sawyer

aka: C. W. Sawyer, Chris Sawyer
Moby ID: 788

Biography edit · view history

Chris Sawyer is an independent game developer based in Scotland, specializing in constructional / strategic / simulation style PC games.

Chris entered the games industry in 1983, writing games in Z80 machine code on the Memotech MTX home computer, and then the Amstrad CPC series home computer.

From 1988 to 1993, Chris specialized in PC conversions of Amiga games, and was involved in many well-known projects, including Virus (1989), Campaign (1992), Birds of Prey (1992), Dino Dini's Goal (1993), and Frontier: Elite II (1993).

Since 1993, Chris has been developing original games on the PC, the first of which was Transport Tycoon, released through MicroProse in 1994. A World Editor for Transport Tycoon followed in mid-1995, followed by Transport Tycoon Deluxe at the end of that year.

Chris's second big project was RollerCoaster Tycoon, released through Hasbro Interactive in March 1999, followed by two add-on packs: Corkscrew Follies in October 1999 and Loopy Landscapes in September 2000. The game is notable for Sawyer's insistence on programming the game in x86 assembly language rather than a higher-level programming language like C, as his vision for the game required memory efficiency.

Following the success of the original, 2002 saw the release of RollerCoaster Tycoon 2, followed by its expansions, Wacky Worlds and Time Twister, both released in 2003 and without Sawyer's input, as they were made by Frontier Developments. While RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 brought mostly technical improvements, many fans still consider it a peak of the series. Frontier continued working on the franchise with Sawyer as an executive producer instead of lead developer with RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 and its expansion packs, Soaked! and Wild!. From then on, Atari would renew the license for the franchise multiple times after that, but Sawyer would not be involved in the games' development. Chris Sawyer still holds the rights to the franchise via representation from Marjacq Limited, and is credited in every title in the series.

In 2004, Chris Sawyer released Chris Sawyer's Locomotion, using the modified engine of RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 in an attempt to make a spritual sequel to Transport Tycoon, a wish he long wanted to fulfill, but the game was met with lukewarm response. After this, he would stop developing new games to focus on his personal life, and move away from the gaming industry which moved to trends which increasingly misaligned with his affinities.

In 2013, Sawyer would briefly return to game development, when his newly founded independent company 31X Ltd. released the mobile version of Locomotion (retitled as Transport Tycoon) for the iOS and Android. In 2016, he oversaw the RollerCoaster Tycoon: Classic mobile port.

Credited on 33 games

Displaying most recent · View all

RollerCoaster Tycoon: Classic (2017, Windows) Executive Producer
RollerCoaster Tycoon: Classic (2016, Android) RollerCoaster Tycoon: Classic
RollerCoaster Tycoon: World (2016, Windows) Original Concept by
Chris Sawyer's Locomotion (2013, iPad) Created by
Cities in Motion (2011, Windows) Special Thanks
Worldwide Soccer Manager 2009 (2008, Windows) England (Non-League)
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Wild! (2005, Windows) Executive Producers
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Soaked! (2005, Windows) Executive Producers
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 (2004, Windows) Special Thanks
OpenTTD (2004, Windows) For an amazing game!
RollerCoaster Tycoon 2: Triple Thrill Pack (2004, Windows) Design and Programming
RollerCoaster Tycoon: Gold Edition (2003, Xbox) Design
RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 (2002, Windows) Design and Programming
RollerCoaster Tycoon: Loopy Landscapes (2000, Windows) Lead Programming
RollerCoaster Tycoon: Corkscrew Follies (1999, Windows) Design and Programming
RollerCoaster Tycoon (1999, Windows) Design
Transport Tycoon Deluxe (1996, Windows) Designed & Programmed by
Frontier: First Encounters (1995, DOS) Programming
Transport Tycoon: World Editor (1995, DOS) Designed by
Dino Dini's Soccer (1994, SNES) Special Thanks To

[ full credits ]

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