What annoys you about Theme Hospital?

I’ve just been playing some Theme Hospital. Obviously just for research purposes, not for fun😉 Here are a couple of things which annoyed me about it:

  1. For some reason I don’t understand, you can’t put a window or door at the end of a room. This is so annoying!
  2. The minimum size of a toilet is too big. Sometimes you just want a few small ones about rather than big ones.
  3. Some objects can’t be rotated. Grr!
  4. You can’t tell a member of staff “Stay in your room for a while. Stop trying to go to the staff room!”. This would help a lot during emergences.
  5. Lack of staff zoning. Really need this!
  6. Handymen seem particularly stupid.
  7. You cannot add external windows, despite them being the only sort of window which really makes sense.
  8. Staff seem to want a pay rise for absolutely no reason sometimes.
  9. I don’t always think advisor is so helpful. Why don’t patients like my hospital? How comes I’m always half way to winning? How the heck can somebody be stuck in my hospital?
  10. When in slow mode, the flashing blue lights on top of the person indicating they are emergency patients flash slower (when looking at them in a queue of a room). It’s very annoying as you can’t tell who are the emergency patients.
  11. It is annoying when you make an (e.g.) X-Ray room of minimum size and are trying to squeeze everything in there. I wish there was a sort of ‘standard layouts’ button. So you make the outline, place the door and then just click “Standard layout” and it makes one.
  12. Why can I only put litter bins inside rooms? I want them in the corridors!
  13. Why can’t a train consultants to learn a skill? It is so annoying to train a doctor to get a skill and then they become a consultant just before gaining the skill, so they can’t train anymore.
  14. Epidemics.
  15. The levels don’t have enough variety. I think you often get too much space, too.
  16. When you drop a doctor on the room, he’ll often just leave immediately to go to another room. On the other hand, a consultant goes to a room and then stays there for ages and gets unhappy. Can’t I tell them to go to the staff room when idle or something?

Can anyone add their own pet hates to this list?

(For your information: We can’t really fix 3 without having new graphics.)

Explore posts in the same categories: General, OpenTH

57 Comments on “What annoys you about Theme Hospital?”

  1. Sassy Says:

    1. Seats behind walls can often have people sitting on them that you can’t see, transparency options would help a lot on this problem.

    2. Lack of being able to add wallpapers to rooms, corridors etc.

    3. Earthquakes happen too often, my poor inflator rooms T.T

    I’m sure I have more but thats all for now.

    4,5,6,7,8,9,10. EPIDEMICS

    • zimmah Says:

      1) Losing without knowing why you lost (happened a lot of times to me on level 5), I keep losing after the first year even while I have no deaths at all, have the best reputation, nothing broke (yet somehow I get the dishonor for having bad maintenance crew), etc. The only thing I can imagine is because I had a huge loan, but how else am I supposed to get a hospital going? I always have a huge loan at first and pay it back after a few years once I finally educated some juniors and get my hospital running smoothly. If there are losing conditions, at least tell me what they are, or at LEAST tell me WHY I LOST, so I can do it better next time.

      2) Not being able to rotate the camera

      3) Not being able to rotate some objects

      4) Not being able to delete rooms after a machine exploded

      5) Not being able to assign area’s to staff

      6) If you only have 2 surgeons, and one or both surgeons are either researching or studying, you will need to manually drag them to the operating theater and back.

  2. openth Says:

    1 is there right now. Some changes soon will break it but hopefully it will come back.

    2 is there in code although there is no user interface for it yet.

    3 onwards I agree are so annoying. They haven’t been coded yet and won’t be until we agree on what needs to be done.

  3. Tim Says:

    2,3,4,6,8,9,11,12,16
    1. It would be nice when Handymen could autofill rat holes (when the transparency option is there it will not be such a big problem to fill them alone). This would also make epidemics less likely so they may stay in the game (I think they are quite fun but when you have them, they come to often…)
    2. The research center could be a pool of unused doctors (with research skill). So they could research unless they are called to another room and go back reenter the research center when they leave a staff room without having a job the next time.

  4. Tom Says:

    Bugs! People getting stuck, but not being able to find them, doctors getting stuck in doors, and not being able to remove them. Trying to stick two surgeons in an operating theatre, but as you put one in, the other leaves. Also, exploding equipment stopping you from re-using the space – if I’ve filled the map and I lose a room to an explosion, I might lose the only piece of a type of equipment I have! I want to be able to pay to clear the space and then buy a new machine. Also, queueing doesn’t seem to work well with wards – sometimes people will go to a further away, smaller ward with max queue set to zero rather than the nice big new empty nearby one.

  5. Edvin Says:

    3: Right now you can rotate the map in OpenTH, how will that work with missing “back” graphics for some objects?

  6. openth Says:

    Yes this is a problem.

  7. PatrickV Says:

    “3: Right now you can rotate the map in OpenTH, how will that work with missing “back” graphics for some objects?”

    What Edvin said above is that the objects don’t have backs to them when rotated. The reason of this becasue the items are sprite that is created by Bullfrog. There was example of moving pictures is Visual Basic 4.0 book of this. You just have to draw the backs of the object. Theme Hospital didn’t design the game to rotate the map so there was no neeed for the backs of graphics

  8. Paul Stewart Says:

    The pool tables are too obnoxious for most rooms and fire extinguishers and bins seem to be placed in only odd places in certain rooms.

  9. JasonZe Says:

    I agree with all the above, but I also used to get annoyed when my rooms were destroyed by earthquakes, etc, and they became forever useable. Maybe its because I didn’t know how to clear the room and use the space again, but it used to annoy me how that area became unuseable for the rest of the game – especially when space was limited on certain levels! Maybe the new game could get rid of this problem, or the room has to wait a certain amount of time before it can be cleared…


  10. Your list sums it all up, but what I hated the most is the one dimensional viewpoint and that you couldn’t rotate the world. That made it very hard sometimes to pick up, move, place several objects.

  11. openth Says:

    Also you should be able to choose the diagnosis order. I want it to go: Scanner, Blood Machine, Ultrascan. Obviously some will need ward, psychologist, etc. but in general…

  12. Luke Says:

    Two things really annoy me.

    The first is heating. I hate that i have to heat unused areas of the hospital. Even when everywhere seems to be covered with heaters, it still normally tells me my hospital is too cold. I would like to be able to purchase an out of the way plot of land and just stick a research department in the corner, and not have to heat the whole path to the research department.

    Secondly I want the ability to tell specialists to stay in their rooms, or perhaps to default back to their rooms after they’re done doing something else. I hate having to go on a psychiatrist or surgeon hunt every time I get an emergency. I hate that I seem to have to train over half my staff as either surgeons or psychiatrists just to keep the small number of rooms which need them staffed.

    As a side note, I also agree that you should be able to buy back “exploded” rooms, and “zoning” staff… especially handymen.

    Also, i think there needs to be a way to plug mouse holes. I don’t know if they cause epidemics, but i suspect they do. I don’t know how easy it would be to code, but i think if you’ve cleaned an area, you should be able to task a handyman with blocking the mouse hole.

  13. Jack Says:

    Hey Luke;

    1) Yes that is very annoying. We’ll only have complants like that if actual people are making the complaints.

    2) Hopefully staff zoning should be able to do this?

    3) I wasn’t actually sure if we were going to add mice. If we do, then maybe just clicking on a mouse hole could close it?

  14. Tim Says:

    Luke’s 1) This could be solved via a “floor heating” which must maybe be researched, bought and is more expensive on the monthly bill.
    Luke’s 2) Maybe there should be the possibility to assign a doctor to a room with the possibilities (drop-down list):
    A) Reenter the room, if it is still empty after the doctor’s break ended
    B) Reenter the room, if it is empty while the doctor is out of work
    C) Reenter the room, if the break ends and the room is empty or the doctor inside has a lower qualification (for example GP). Let the previous doctor leave.
    D) Always reenter the room and let the doctor leave after breaks.

  15. Alan Says:

    A couple to begin with:

    1. Nurses during epidemics.

    You have an epidemic of [pharmacy-treatable disease], so vaccinate your patients and send those who can be cured straight away there. The nurses in the meantime have all wandered off to vaccinate people, and on dropping them back to their pharmacies they immediately leave the room again.

    2. Handymen in general. Particularly the way it always seems to call the one furtherst away to fix a machine during an emergency.

    3. Epidemics again. The way you can’t let patients travel from one building to another without it triggering the health inspector is ridiculous.

  16. Silva Says:

    1) Receptionists: Never get tired, never ask for raises, never noticed any particular effect based on their skill;

    2) Quakes: too frequent, add too much micromanagement in the game when there’s too many rooms that can blow up (see 4);

    3) Windows in toilets;

    4) No room overview;

    The following would need some new graphics, some easy, some hard.

    5) Puke-a-lympics (and useful for other things): we should be able to put barriers (like those “wet floor” thingies with chains) that block non-staff from entering an area;

    6) all hospitals look the same – some should look like run-down hospitals, others like fancy clinics with carpets and glass walls like House;

    7) other than being black or white, all doctors look the same… It would be great if the appearance of a doctor was influenced by their status, which would make tracking staff more easily. A junior would be youthful in his mid 20s, a doctor should have a few white hairs or starting going bald, while consultants would advance to either a head full of white hair or bald as a handyman. Lady doctors (and male nurses, now that we’re at it) would also be interesting – but require more work at the graphics department.

  17. Crimson Hikari Says:

    I would have liked a rotation feature. I got annoyed when I accidently put down something in a corner and couldn’t pick it up because I couldn’t see it.

    Wouldn’t have minded a zoom function as well, but that’s just me being an awkward B@£$%.

  18. Edvin Says:

    Both rotation and zoom are actually in the game right now.🙂 Some graphical work will be needed though if we want to keep it in my opinion.

  19. DeathLove Crymo Says:

    This is awesome, and I love the fact that you guys are working on this, but I just want to remind everyone that fixing/removing some of the things in that list will take away from the game. Some of those things add challenge to the game itself – especially in the form of frustration, which can make a game very worth-while playing.

  20. massl Says:

    many doctors leave the room after putting them manually into it…. they just go back to the relaxingroom

    then the disease, which occures every minute if u got it once. u call it epidemic?
    thats real shitty!!!!!

  21. Mark Says:

    Here are some of my pet hates with TH (some have already been mentioned)
    Not being able to zone handymen

    Contagions or epdemics – very annoying when the time runs out because someone has left your hospital even though they have not left, but are just taking a shortcut from one part to another. Would be better if leaving the campus counts as failure.

    Some levels you get doors that disappear and patients getting stuck, although i think i have found out why that happens (in busy hospitals you do tend to automatically flick through your messages quickly and i have found that when
    send patients to the research room too quickly and when they are still in the doctors room that this is
    when the doors go and patient gets stuck)

    Earth quakes that are that severe nearly all the equipment blows up. Even when it is new. Tone down the quakes and having a quick overview of the status of all equipment and how worn it is would be useful.

  22. Luke Says:

    Often, patients get stuck in doorways.

  23. wagner Says:

    What I dislike is that you cannot say to a particular member of the staff to stay in a room or allow him to help somewhere else. Unfortunately you can only change the hospital policy, which affects all the staff, not particular doctors. I think this might be extremely useful, because I often need a certain doctor to deal with clinics, while I don’t want to see a surgeon in GP’s office. It would be cool to be able to customize that for every single doctor.

    I really can’t wait anymore for OpenTH!

  24. Magnus Says:

    First of all, I want to say I just love your work!😀

    I’ve played TH for some days now, just to get som ideas, but almost all i’ve thought about is mentioned.

    But, when a patient dies – is it possble to make it so we can click on a icon or something to zoom into him/her?

    Keep up the good work!:D

  25. bob Says:

    You want to be careful ‘fixing’ some of these annoyances. A lot of them are part of the gameplay and if too much gets done automatically then it would be a very boring game.

  26. Michiel Says:

    Great work guys, I hope you will finish a working version of your project soon! There are a lot of ideas here and most of them are great. However, I would like to ask for it all to be optional. Stay true to the original game and allow for nostalgical players (like me) to play the game exactly like it was. The only thing I’m really looking forward to is the game using some more screen real estate🙂 And also for it to be available under Mac OSX. Like I said: good luck!

  27. Michiel Says:

    And one other thing, when people come with a broken arm (with cast around it), they always knock the door with the broken arm!! Can’t the sprite be made in a way that the non-knocking arm is the broken one? I just can’t seem to stop seeing it happen😛 Thx!

  28. Jack Says:

    I’d never noticed the Michiel, and from now on I blatantly won’t be able to ignore it!

  29. Marko Jansen Says:

    I agree with your points except for;

    “11. [..] I wish there was a sort of ’standard layouts’ button. So you make the outline, place the door and then just click “Standard layout” and it makes one.”

    This would take out the fun of the game completely. It’s the player’s job to figure out what the best configuration is. A default layout would ruin that. Would would be handy though is this; being able to copy existing rooms (GP-offices, toilets, staff rooms, for instance).

    Anyway, just my 2 cents. Im curious to see where this remake is going🙂

    • OpenTH Says:

      Maybe but it isn’t massively fun trying to fit everything into the X-Ray room when you build it at the minimum size…

      • Marko Says:

        I agree that is not much fun, but what does minimum room size have to do with default layouts? It’s your choice what size rooms to make.

        The point i was making was: being able to select ready-made rooms would spoil the game. It’s up to the player to discover the most efficient set up for objects. Don’t take away that challenge please.

        A way to get around that, and still have a ‘default room setup’ for players who already know what works best: allow players to create their own default room layouts (kinda similar to the ‘copy/paste existing rooms’ idea)

        That way the game doesn’t give anything away to new players, while it still achieves what you’re after: more convenient gameplay for experienced players.

  30. DuelmasterP Says:

    Ugh, earthquakes always wiped out my diagnosis equipment…

    how about having multiple doors on some rooms such as staff rooms or the research dept? I found it a little annoying that people would have to walk around a labyrinth of rooms just to get to a room that stretched along one of the back walls.

  31. vicky Says:

    why dont u all stop moaning about the best game ever and stop playing it?

  32. Keith Says:

    My mouse is slow when i play theme hospital😦 please help!!!!

  33. gerald Says:

    What annoys me are the machines which need maintenance:

    If a machine explodes you cant use the whole space anymore. Of course there has to be some penalty if you let your machines explode, but NEVER beeing able to use that space again is ridiculous. I think having to pay some money and having to wait some time until the repair work is done (perhaps both depending on the difficulty-setting?) before I can use the space again should do it.

    Then I´d like to have an overview (like the page showing my employees) of all my machines, where I can arrange for their repair or replacement to be done, as well as being able to jump to them directly.

    BUT I also agree with “bob”:
    You want to be careful ‘fixing’ some of these annoyances. A lot of them are part of the gameplay and if too much gets done automatically then it would be a very boring game.

    (!)

  34. Linds Says:

    Despite how hard I try to maintain my machines, from level five I always get told at the end of the year that I have a loser award because my handymen aren’t maintaining my machines properly. Why???

  35. Mark Hobley Says:

    In some versions of theme hospital by Bullfrog, consultants would gain skills by leaving them in the training room on their own.

  36. Jay Says:

    wards only requiring one nurse and being excluded from training and upgrades. nurses should be able to climb the career ladder as well. there could bemore detail in wards like a seperate ward for post op etc. plu sit would make more sense to have patients stay in beds for slightly longer stays. far more births worldwideare handled by midwives than doctors. at the very least nurses could train asmidwives to manage deliveries in a seperate ward. could have paeds patients. nothing too gruesome. just the adorable stuff like tonsilitis, gripe water addiction, gromets, croup. lol. wouldbe awesome without being too complex.plus kiddies ward would need very few beds. still i love this game soooooooooooo much. few extras would be easy to implement (not that i’m a programmer) just shrik the avatars.

  37. Harry Says:

    I think that you’re all rediculous. The game is challenging you, and you see these challenges as problems needing to be fixed?!

    Also when objects are placed and you can’t move them again, you can! Click just obove the square like a cube and you’ll be able to move it.

    Pretty much everything you all said is pointless and completely against the idea of the game! several years after this game was out and the only problem I have is the fact that the colours are messed up on my newer laptop =/ other than that its fine.

    If you don’t like the game stop playing it >=( If you do get over your petty issues and enjoy the game for what it is.

    I’m aware this comment is 3 years late but I think it’s still valid.

  38. Morten Says:

    FIrst ( I just fell in here on pure accident (wanted to find out what awards you can possible win after each year). Played my old game TH again on DOSbox (works perfectly – no colour error)) I also know it is years since last reply)

    Epidemic and EQ is easy to counter, but they do tend to cost a lot in later games. Paying for full alert (if you have a lot of customers) and fixing everything to over 8 in strength costs, but is worth it. Dont have money problems in later games anyway.

    I would like something that could let my surgeons stay in one room all the time, like the researcher. They never ever leave except for tireness (and tireness can be countered easily in emergencies btw with adjusting the resto-o-meter for all.) (policy)

    Puke olympics is also a pain in the ass. I have like 30 cleaners and microadjust them all the time in small areas since they are vomiting all over the place. And still they cant contain the problem. Just refusing to clean it, get mad and want pay rise or wandering off to distant non important areas.

    Training is by far the most powerfull tool you can have to get a good cheap squad, and it’s normally hard to get good doctors anyway since in later levels they tend to just come in small waves, and the cheap juniors is all over the place. I swear, I played the second last level with only 2 surgeons. Did not have time to get them trained to consultans and then train others.

    Normaly I have 3-4 rooms of trainers. One for surgeon, one for Psych and 1-2 for training cheap juniors to qualified doctors/consultans. Researchers is (nearly) always there for hire, so its not a loss if i dont find a consultant for their training.

    Money problem – early game
    Diag – Cure room problem (and some space problems) – mid game
    Distance problem – later game

    If i one day want a remake of TH the things i would like a update is.

    1. More staff controll options
    2. Easier to edit on rooms instead of removing walls and everything when im just about to move the room to another part of the hospital.
    3. Would really like 2 floors so i can have Diag/cure very splitted.
    4. Fixing error when patient is leaving the builing with epidemic virus and I get the blame (makes me pay the bill automaticly if I play a open hospital level. Closed one with few customers at current time is posible)
    5. More customer options. i really want most of my people to live or have a good life. So if they are close to dying i want a button who gives them a blue light like the ones in emergencies. this is for to get get them infront of everyone in the line and never ever leave on a long trip to the toilet when they are about to get healed🙂
    6. Update on the diagrams (eqonomic and statistics) Hard to understand anything from them since they are so bad made. makes me never use that option to check, (a good way to learn some basic macro/micro eqonomy if they where adjusted)
    7. Remove the tip dude. He never have vital to say other than, you are one quaters away from losing his level. Normal saying like:
    I think you have to many nurses, really pissing me off. (Yeah right. 4-5 nurses and i have 25-35 doctors and 20-40 cleaners)
    8. Higher dificulities on loan. You can loan alot of money and they are a life saver in many cases, but the cost of the loan is marginally. Should be way higher. Makes it a bit to easy to build the perfect hospital early on.
    9. Some minor adjustment to the game just for fun. Like changing the colours of the wall, carpet, personell outfit etc etc. This always makes the game different from player to players.
    10. A shut up button to the reception lady. When you have 2-3 room of everything and doctors need resting, and there is always one in a line for entering, then yes I KNOW THEY NEED A DOCTOR/NURSE,,. so just shut up allready.

    (again i know no one (high chance) will never read it, just better to write it here, than on my “open office”)

  39. HillFerrari Says:

    I read it and I agree. It wasn’t in vain!🙂

  40. Jack Says:

    The most annoying thing for me is that there aren’t any harder levels!!

  41. Charley Says:

    Started playing this game again for fun, and I agree with everything that has been mentioned, but one thing I found annoying was a glitch were there would be a massive queue of people waiting for a room, the doctor/ nurse would be in it, but the people never go in. The doorway isn’t blocked, tried picking up doc/nurse putting them back in, rearranged the room…. Nothing!

  42. Isaac Says:

    I think that it would be cool to be able to solve to damaged room problem by doing this:
    2 handymen clean room (takes 1 in-game day). They BOTH collect their salaries for the week? month? on that day, along with normal salary collected at end of week/month.
    AND
    Negotiate with doctors union (or nurses union) to get doctors to work in that room again.
    AND
    pay twice the amount it used to be to buy the room to get it removed.
    BUT ALSO
    any doctor in the hospital has his morale drop to 0, and immediately wants a raise, all patients and staff walking near the room when it explodes leaves.
    AND
    have to pay out insurance for the doctor killed (salary x10)
    AND
    if a explosion occurs when a VIP is looking in, rep drops to 0 OR instant fail
    If you lose a doctor or nurse to an explosion, they would refuse to work for 1 in game day, with the option to postpone and then they stay gone for 1 week, to attend services for the doctor/nurse killed.

    Also it would be cool if they had a bribe/ openness system.
    anytime there is an epidemic, death, or a failed emergency, you could bribe the Ministry and not take a rep hit. Effective bribes would be massive. More than any other single thing in the game. (no less than ten thousand) You could also elect ( in the policy menu) to be open, and then you cant be fined, don’t need to cover up epidemics, but your rep takes a really long time to grow, and doesn’t need much to drop. Also VIPS would automatically show up, and never ever ask first.

    It would also be cool if patients that die can contribute to research. Especially ones that die due to ineffective cures. Its a pain to wait for someone who is not treatable to walk in. The animations for this could have been hilarious. A doctor and a nurse load the body up on a cart, take it to research, and throw the body onto the table.

  43. Leeroy Says:

    Ha ha loved reading all of the aove at work in UK – loads to feed off and loads learned, despite laying this game for many years now. I am a Hospital Manager as well and I love this game


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