What should the dialog for the room select look like? (Updated)

Posted July 16, 2009 by Jax
Categories: OpenTH

Hey everyone. I’ve spent all of today programming you’ll be pleased to know. There isn’t a massive amount to show for it, but I’ve gone about fixing some of the things that changed. The only other new features is that now there are error dialog boxes, which strangely wasn’t on anybodies request list.

However, one thing I was wondering is what should we do with the dialog box for selecting rooms. Currently it has the tabs down the left, like the original TH one, and then a list box just saying the names, which is rather boring. To remind you, here is what the original one was like:

The room selector from Theme Hospital

The room selector from Theme Hospital

I really like the little picture previews. It says cost, what other information could we give? (For instance, minimum size, doctors required, number existing, any technology upgrades?)

Suggestions welcome and mockups doubly welcome!

Update: And just because I know you guys are dying to see it, here is the new message dialog class used for errors. The interesting thing I suppose is that this new GUI is completely custom written so it isn’t rubbish.

You guys love error messages! Right?

You guys love error messages! Right?

and here is the current selector:

The room build dialog in OpenTH right now

The room build dialog in OpenTH right now


What has been happening

Posted July 15, 2009 by Jax
Categories: OpenTH

So the code has had the following changes applied to it by Paul. Most of these are internal things which you won’t care about.

  1. We don’t use GUIChan anymore, the poorly written user-interface library that was used. OpenLayer, Allgegro and SDL are gone too. Freetype (for fonts), libpng (for png loading) and Lua (for scripting) are all the dependencies we have now.
  2. UI and event system rewritten
  3. Fonts rendered more efficiently. Textures handled in a more programmer-friendly way.
  4. Unicode is supported nearly everywhere, so it will work in non-Latin languages too in future.
  5. Coding is more consistent now

So these are big, important changes. The bad side is it doesn’t work right now. However, just when I was going to repair these changes we noticed some code had been deleted by TSVN. This is annoying to say the least (especially for Paul). However, it will be rewritten and the repairs will come into effect and we will have a better core.

Then I’m not entirely sure what is next. Whatever we feel like I suppose. Drag and Drop can be improved, staff rooms & research can be better implemented and we want to change the way outside objects are rendered to name three things. I will also try and tidy up Lua sometime and make a guide but I don’t want to do it quite yet. Machine/Person interaction is high on the list too.

We’re back!

Posted June 11, 2009 by Jax
Categories: OpenTH

Hello everyone!

You will have noticed the project has been dead for a while. This is because we’ve all had exams. But now they are over! At least for Paul and I. Hopefully we will get to do some more programming soon on the project.

Other developers also have various commitments but hopefully will come back into the game this summer 🙂

– Jack

Adding new in-game graphics

Posted April 9, 2009 by lego3
Categories: Art, OpenTH

Tags: ,

At the current state the game uses the in-game graphics from the original game, and that is all well for those who own a copy of it – and still know where it is. For the rest of us, however, it will be quite hard to play the game without them. Therefore we’ve started a graphics replacement project similar to what OpenTTD has. The project is still in its very early stages – there are no finished objects – but here are some examples of what we’re currently working on.

Work by Bami:



Work by Kamo:


Litter Bin

Work by vommie:


Follow the development in the art section of the forum.

Other games that can be based upon our engine

Posted March 25, 2009 by Jax
Categories: OpenTH

I’ve stressed a few times that OpenTH is quite flexible and things are not hard coded as much as is possible. Someone mentioned at some point they’d like to see the engine used for other types of ‘Theme’ games.

Outside games are out of the question really, like Rollercoster Tycoon, Theme Park, Railroad Tycoon, Sim City or Sim Farm. However, there are some indoor games which could be in some way made. Managing:

  • Schools
  • Prisons
  • Hotels
  • Malls or department stores
  • Casinos
  • The office of a large company or government perhaps definitely sounds like the next hit game of the future!)

A lot of these already exist in some form, but often fall into the trap of being “too 3D”. The isometric viewpoint has proved to be the best for these sorts of games, I think. Proper 3D looks ugly and is harder to control.

Obviously for each one things would have to change (mostly the concept of a disease won’t make sense anymore) but it’d probably be possible. Imagine instead of diagnosis rooms having science labs and gym halls, setting the class sizes, and hiring teachers instead of doctors. It might almost be fun. Perhaps.

A screenshot from School Tycoon

'School Tycoon' exists, although it got awful reviews. Could OpenTH be used to make a decent version?

I’ve never played Dungeon keeper so I don’t know about that, but it sounds like a really good concept.

Well it is something for a long time in the future, but perhaps somebody will someday fork OpenTH to make it into one or all of these games. It is possible! For now we definitely will not be looking at extending the game in these directions though, as making a hospital game is enough work in itself!

Revision 300 and new Level Editor

Posted March 23, 2009 by Jax
Categories: OpenTH

Hello everyone! We’ve reached the 300th revision of OpenTH. Recently, Paul has been working on rendering and the user interface and Coops has been working on porting the code to SDL and cleaning it up. His work is still in the branch for now but if everything goes okay it will be merged into the trunk soon.

I’ve been working on a level editor, and changing the level loading code to reflect that. It is written in C# (and so is mostly for Windows unless somebody gets it working with Mono) and uses Ted’s tile control. Here is a screen shot:

The Level Editor

The Level Editor

I would give you a screen shot of what it looks like loaded into OpenTH, however paths and so forth are currently not functioning as the way they are rendered is going to be upgraded, so you’ll have to wait for that.

The bad news is that the level editor is a bit slow at the moment. If you are a C# programmer and you want to help, then perhaps you will consider improving the editor? Post in the forum or private message me or reply here or email me (jlnw3 (at) cam.ac.uk) or talk to me on MSN (jaxweb@f2s.com) if you are interested in that.

Sound Extractor Available

Posted March 19, 2009 by Jax
Categories: Music, OpenTH

I have written a sound extractor which can extract all the sounds used in Theme Hospital to wave files. These will be used in OpenTH. Some of the sounds and announcer’s lines are not used in the game but are quite funny and might be used in OpenTH.

Source Code available on the OpenTH SVN.

Sound Extractor Binary

Ted John, 19/03/09

Edit by Jack: For people who, for whatever reason, cannot use this program I have uploaded a selection of some of the sounds: Download (1MB)