Diseases and Diagnosis
One thing we didn’t like about Theme Hospital is that all diagnosis rooms were very general. In real life, going to the X-Ray machine is going to help you find out about a broken leg but isn’t going to really help against psychological diseases. So we decided to change things for OpenTH.
We did this by adding disease classes. Each disease has a ‘disease class’ and each diagnosis room can diagnose (with varying efficiency) a number of disease classes. Since what type of illness somebody has will be clear to the doctor, you will not be sent to the wrong type of diagnosis room.
Examples of classes are as simple as physical problems, general problems, psychological, and so forth. They are all completely customizable outside the game and they require no hard-coding.
Also, diseases can now be ‘multi-part’. That is, they can have more than one stage in their treatment. For instance, a disease might require you go first go to the Slack Tongue Clinic and then to the Bloaty Head Clinic, or whatever. This opens the scope for rooms to be used to different manors and for difference diseases to make use of the same rooms without them being essentially the same disease. It also allows us to make much greater use of the ward. For instance, perhaps after being treated for Bloaty Head patients will require to spend time in the Ward recovering. Certainally more empthasis on the ward is something I’d like to see, and using this method we don’t have to elevate the status of the Ward in the internal game at all.
I’m not quite sure what sort of diseases we can expect to see taking advantage of this, but for example Broken Heart could require psychologist treatment as well as surgery.
The ideas with what to do with these features are vague, but the code is already there. OpenTH is designed to be flexible and this is an example of it.