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Two Point Hospital - About Building a Game with Personality

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One of my most anticipated releases for this year is Two Point Hospital, I was a big fan of Theme Hospital, and from what we've seen so far, its spiritual successor is everything a fan could want. We last talked about Two Point Hospital in February with the release of the first gameplay trailer. Much of it reminds of the first game, just more polished, and with tweaks here and there that would make the overall experience more enjoyable.

The latest video also shows new gameplay, but the focus is on how the developer, Two Point Studios, is "building a game with character." Lead Game Designer, Ben Huskins, and Lead Animator, Chris Knott take us for a stroll through the corridors of Two Point Hospital.

I played Theme Hospital almost 20 years ago, so my recollection of the game might be a bit hazy, but I don't recall the individuality of hospital staff and patients. It wasn't something that stood out for me (not like the humour, which is a trademark of the game). According to Huskins, it will be very noticeable in Two Point Hospital.

"Every little person in Two Point Hospital has their own set of character traits which form unique personalities and the end result is a near unlimited amount of emergent gameplay possibilities."

These quirky characters will stop to talk to each other, have different reactions to conversations, and it could even result in someone having a mood swing.

The main mechanic to bring these characters and their reactions to life is through animations, and like its predecessor, Two Point Hospital's overall mood depends on how well the developer pulls that off. Facial expressions are not the only animation that's important; there's a lot going on in the hospital; from peculiar medical procedures to crazy patients on the loose, or the arrival of the emergency helicopter.

Successfully pulling off the signature "Theme Hospital" personality means crafting the animations of the game to perfection. It was one of the main things that made the first game so successful as it had this unique charm that flowed from the animations.

One of the most interesting things in the new video is about hiring staff. In Two Point Hospital, you'll need to think twice when hiring personnel, as you can have some serious problems if you end up with personality clashes. So, pay close attention to their facial expression as you don't want to have two argumentative people working in the same room.

Theme Hospital also had facial expressions which emphasized the signature humour in the game, but in Two Point Hospital, it will play a much bigger role as we'll see that quality extends to all aspects of the game.

Two Point Hospital releases later this year on Steam.

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