Something close to that idea should be possible with current game mechanics...
You will need a custom industry-GRF and custom scenarios (and maybe also a custom houses-GRF) and it depends on if it is possible on online Multi-player games to finance industries (that I dont know for sure, I dont play online Multi-player, only with AI's
Ill try to explain:
- Start out with a scenario that has no industries at all. Industries must only be able to be financed by players. Towns should only produce workers and only accept for example goods (or other or more products, depending on how difficult you want to make the economy, main thing is that towns should not accept workers/passengers, so that the money-model is focussed on industries and not on transporting workers/passengers from town to town).
- At the start, a player should get enough cash (or a loan) to finance one industry that accepts workers (that is your first way of getting money to expand your empire
) and produces something like construction-materials. Also you should ofcourse get enough cash (or expand your loan) to build the transportation network and first vehicles.
- Now, here is the trick to "own" your industry... You must surround your industry with for example station-tiles.
So many, that a competitor cant get close enough with the catchment-area of their stationtiles to the industry. That way the industry is yours.
- Now, how to expand your empire... When you have earned enough cash you should be able to finance other industries, starting out with basic things like mines and industries that accept the mined items. Eventually getting to industries that produce stuff that is accepted by the towns (and that is where the real cash must eventually be earned).
- All off those industries should accept construction-materials to boost their output.
I think this way you should be able to get scenarios that are focussed on industries. Yes, the money is earned by transporting the items, but without setting up a good chain of industries you wont earn enough to win...
All of this is I think possible to do with GRF's...
But, again, the trick is on surrounding your industries with enough tiles that the catchment-area of competitors cant get close enough. That you can already do, without new GRF's or scenarios, it will make that industry yours, so to say...
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