You may want to check out the more recent versions of the game, they already offer to download the graphics if they are not found on startup. And with that you can go into the Online Content to choose from the rest.
You're right, I forgot about that.
Still, it isn't obvious which one is for most users. The general public doesn't know the difference between source, binary, zip and installer. I feel there should be one big yellow button on the front page that says "Download latest version" with a bunch of nice screenshots around it that links directly to the latest stable.
This is an amazing product and I love it. I just feel you guys are missing out on a lot of audience. The general public isn't as tech-savvy as you guys are and are scared of things they don't understand.
But you can tell them, then the do know about it.
I did, and they love it.
But my reach doesn't extend my friends group and colleagues.
With what money? The money from the donations? I rather have that going to the servers and stuff needed to develop this game. Transport Tycoon already gives OpenTTD as first hit in Google, so advertisements don't really have an added value here. Also, to have ad revenue, wouldn't that mean that there should be advertisements somewhere on the OpenTTD webpage? Last time I checked there weren't any, so no add revenue. Or do you count that OVH flash thing as an ad? That is because they sponsor OpenTTD by hosting the site, I don't know the specifics of that, but I guess that they don't give their hosting away for free, so the increased traffic might very well give increased costs (and the money has to come from somewhere).
Short: I don't think advertisement campaign is needed, only in-game to get your station ratings up
Even without the paid ads it would surely help to have a decent Facebook page. That's free. If it brings more people to the website, more people will donate. It's also easy to throw some Google ads on the main page. It works and it doesn't bother people. If you get a ton of visitors that would require expensive hosting, you can make money off them by placing some ads on your page which will pay for hosting.