Posts Tagged ‘Theme Hospital’

A longer peek behind the curtain at Two Point Hospital

Two Point Hospital

Let’s not beat around the bush here: Two Point Hospital is Theme Hospital 2 in all but name, and that’s okay, because I miss Theme Hospital and having a polished spiritual successor developed by a team of ex-Lionhead folk who understand exactly what made the original so consistently endearing is an incredibly enticing proposition.

It’s still relatively early days for Two Point Hospital, but here’s a full eight minutes of developer-narrated gameplay footage, showing the very start of the game, opening up a small-town clinic and treating what ails the locals. Premature mummification seems worryingly common in rural England as of late.

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A closer look at that spiritual Theme Hospital sequel

The news that Bullfrog & Lionhead veterans Gary Carr and Mark Webley were leading the development of a spiritual sequel to beloved 90s manage’em-up Theme Hospital seemed to go down rather well last week. So much of PC gaming’s past has been revisited in recent years, but the design’n’build’n’simulate’n’giggle formula used so successfully in Theme Park, Theme Hospital and Dungeon Keeper hasn’t enjoyed anything like the degree of 21st century resurrection that, say, pre-2000 RPGs have. Two Point Hospital is planned to rekindle that flame whilst doing a few things of its own, as well as being the first part of a wider universe of Two Point sims.

But while I coaxed plenty of detail about the whys and wherefores out of Carr and Webley, we didn’t get to see all that much of the game itself. This new video shows off a fair bit more, along with chatter from the devs about their plans for it.
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“We want to build out a world of sim games”
How Two Point Hospital is a step toward bringing Bullfrog-era sim games back from the dead

two-point-hospital-1

As you may already have spotted, Theme Hospital joins the legions of 90s PC games being blessed with 21st century spiritual sequels. The Sega-published Two Point Hospital is the first game from Two Point Studios, the new endeavour from Bullfrog and Lionhead alumni Gary Carr and Mark Webley, Their plan, ultimately, is to follow-up Hospital with a clutch of other theme/sim/management games set in the same world – picking up, perhaps, where the Peter Molyneux-founded Bullfrog left off when EA closed them down.

I chatted to Carr, Webley and Two Point technical director Ben Hymers (himself an ex-Lionheader) about why they’re returning to Theme Hospital, why now, the importance of humour to it, what’s the same and what’s different, how the audience has changed since 1997, how they’ve been inspired by Prison Architect, Planet Coaster and Twin Peaks, and their plans for that world of sim games.
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Theme Hospital vets reveal spiritual sequel Two Point Hospital – & plans for a shared universe of sim games

theme-park-2

The Simpsons, Aardman Animations, Twin Peaks, Prison Architect and, quite naturally, Theme Hospital – these are the major inspirations behind Two Point Hospital, an upcoming sim/management game from some of the folk responsible for Bullfrog’s Theme glory years. Two Point Hospital, a combination of management and comedy in a fantasy healthcare centre, is due for release – via publishers Sega – later this year, and the first trailer is below. I also had a big chat with lead devs and Bullfrog/Lionhead veterans Gary Carr and Mark Webley about the game over here.
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Have You Played… Theme Hospital?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Historically, videogames have largely struggled to convey humour with any degree of success, however Bullfrog Productions’ dark sense of humour is part of what made the likes of Theme Park, Dungeon Keeper and Theme Hospital [official site] so enjoyable. On paper, the latter probably doesn’t sound like it should be funny, however its 21 weird and whacky diseases – and how you go about curing them – make sure it’s exactly that.

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Cure Me Good: Bullfrog’s Theme Hospital Free On Origin

haha you bloaty-headed fool!

Can we all knock off work early? If we stick together, surely The Man will be powerless to stop us as we march in unison out our offices, taxis, shops, warehouses, workshops, fields, pools, forests, and skies to go play Theme Hospital. Bullfrog’s fine comedy hospital management sim is currently free on Origin, see, but I can’t go pop the balloonoid noggins of people suffering Bloaty Head or mock people in blue suede shoes with King Complex because ugh I have to write a thing for the Internet about how Theme Hospital is a great game and free on Origin right now. Unbelievable.

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Patient Readmitted: Theme Hospital Now On GoG

I actually remembered the fax code 24328 without looking it up. You better believe I'm damn proud.

For some reason I was sure this was already in the venerable GoG library, but evidently not: Bullfrog’s timeless hospital management sim Theme Hospital is now available to be played on your modern machines. I can see how my evening is going to run now: Water those plants! Turn up the radiators! Hire more nurses! Buy more chairs! Oh, no, Earthquake! Fix the Slack Tongue machine! Build more windows! Shoot all the rats! Overprice the Kit Kat drinks machine! 24328 Shift+C! Completed level objectives, Shift-Y, Shift-Y!

Fair warning: if you click this link, you’ll have no choice but to buy it.

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Mucky Foot’s ER Tycoon: First Screen, Cancellation

Since Jim and Alec can’t post today due to ECM attack on RPS’ Bath headquarters (apparently), it strikes me as a good time to get this out of the world. When I was chatting to the Mucky Foot guys for the retrospective feature I wrote about them at the Escapist, Guy Simmons forwarded me a grab of their prototype of ER Tycoon (Mucky Gary Carr being an architect of Theme Hospital, of course). The story of why it didn’t happen is in the main article, but shots of games that never made it – in fact, were never even announced – are always sad things for me. Little snippets of alternative history…

Thanks to Guy for sharing. Of course, if there’s any Devs who’d like to drag something from the vault, our doors are always open. Metaphorically, obv. Burgulars, stay clear.