I just wanted to say a huge thank you for put this out there - This is EXACTLY what I was looking in Openttd. I hadn't played in nearly 7 or 8 years, and have been messing around with GRFs and other game scripts all week, but yours has had me hooked and staying up all night playing two days in a row, something I haven't done since college. Two huge things that I think really made it excellent for me - the extreme FIRS economy makes the RCG town management mechanics more fun to use because i feel like I'm using them towards the major town growth goals a lot of fun. I just finished a play through to 2050, and the ability to add new major goals via signs was fantastic, and kept it lively right up to the end. I'm very excited to try the Mars version next!
Three thoughts, one on difficulty and two suggestions, one of which I think is possible, and the other, I'm less sure of. For all I know both might be impossible to implement:
The mad rush of the beginning for me was compounded by it being my first FIRS extreme economy. I spent a lot of time paused and panning around the map trying to link in my head what I was learning about the industry chains with how the hell I was going to get it where it needed to go. I don't know if it was implemented as per someone else's suggestion, or possible to implement if it wasn't just luck but it seemed to me like my first few years had very little of the tertiary economic products, and that helped me a lot getting into it - by the time they showed up I was comfortable adding them to my network. Getting those first couple major goals done is tough, but by the time you can complete the growth goal, you can probably complete nearly any other goal fairly rapidly. If I do another run I might try and be a real sadist and bump the town growth up to 50k or so - getting a city to that level requires planning out the industry/transport intakes and infrastructure, as much as anything else, and was something I did somewhat poorly this time, though because I only had a 30k goal, it didn't hamper me too badly.
The simpler one is "intermediate goals" - minor goals that are region focused near your major town growth goal, to help force you to build the network out near your growth goal city, as time moves on perhaps expanding the radius of how far away it will look. Especially on a big map I think this would help focus the game play and help you to interact more with a specific region that grew instead of forcing you to build two tiny point to point networks on opposite sides of the map.
City to City Passenger Goals
The harder one would be some sort of city to city transit goals - ie, a minor goal like transport x number of people/mail from City A to City B, with the average distance between the cities growing over time, forcing you to really add the cities to your network instead of just permitting point to point shuttling like the current minor growth or mail dump goals do. To an extent, airports make that an easy goal later on, but if the volume increased depending on the year, it would make other forms of transit appealing. The volume would also probably need to be tied to the city size, but another cool major goal would be to add something like transport 10k/20k passengers between two cities in a 12 month period. Like the vertical integration goals, getting 20k passengers between two cities requires you to first build up the two cities to have the pop to generate enough people, which itself requires you to put work into industries around them and focus on the whole network.
Again, huge thank you for this, and for maintaining the RCG mechanics - I discovered this after failing to get the most recent RCG version to play nice with FIRS but I really do love RCG's mechanics, and how much you've added to them with this. Any idea if it would be possible to get it to work with ECS? I know the last version of RCG had ECS compatibility, but I have no idea if that makes your life any easier or harder.