How To Make It Harder
One of the problems with Theme Hospital is it only had a few ways to make things harder. I think these were:
- Staff shortages (or shortages in particular skills)
- Vomit outbreaks
- Earthquakes (and machines exploding)
- Emergences (which can be rejected anyway)
I think 1 and 2 work quite well, although they were made such an awful problem in the original game because you just don’t have enough control over staff. With staff zoning (Rollercoaster Tycoon style) you’ll be able to a great deal more control over things. Still, they should still pose a problem.
Earthquakes were overused I think. Epidemics were really stupid I thought and I didn’t like how they worked at all. This will need to be looked at. Also, there should be epidemics in the surrounding area as what happens in real life.
Emergences are good but not really so much an obstacle as an opportunity. We really want to add ‘Accident and Emergency’ into OpenTH although we’re not entirely sure how we should do it yet.
I think it’d be good to have a couple more ways, and also to refine those we have. Some I were thinking of are media interaction. Perhaps some guests will end up being ‘undercover journalists’ and will condemn your hospital if they have any reason to. Furthermore, if you send a dying person home or whatever then perhaps you will get bad media reports from this. However, if you say excuse a very poor uninsured person from paying, you will get favourable stories. This would be sort of a merge between newspapers in OpenTTD and media interaction in Championship Manager. Personally I think it’d add a lot to the game, although it won’t be there in the first release for sure. If you can’t cure one of the more basic diseases in a high level (e.g. Bloaty Head) then you’d expect the media to complain.
I also want levels to be more interesting. If you’ve ever played Rollercoaster Tycoon you’ll know you start with three scenarios and completing any of the unlocked ones unlocks a further one. This is great because it means you don’t have to play boring levels. Their scenarios are always very varied, whilst in Theme Hospital all but one of the levels were pretty much the same except for the size of the buildings. Some level ideas we have are:
- Hospital in very limited space
- ‘Posh’ Hospital with massive budget
- NHS hospital
- Fix a failing hospital (i.e. already half built)
- Hospital with very limited staff
- Hospital with poorly trained staff
- Getting waiting lists down
- Stopping an epidemic in a particular area
More ideas would be good.
I also think you should be able to target your hospital more to a particular audience. The poor, the rich, or the middle ground. Obviously the rich would want short queues, nice surroundings and the best treatment, but would pay high costs for that. Hospitals for the poor would not need to be anything other than affordable. This would mean there is a little bit of business decisions in the game, which I think would be good. The demographics of the surrounding area could be taking into account when deciding. Perhaps this could mean reputation needs to be changed to reputation in a particular demographic. All this is not for the first release though and so we can think it out properly.
Any other ideas would be appreciated though, as would comments on these areas.