Current Feedback

I would like to make a thread to provide feedback for the game.

Tutorial should be able to proceed to the next step and keep the factory, if you do them all in order from first to last tutorial. If you go back to the main menu, maybe an option to continue your tutorial factory or restart the tutorial from the selected point should be an option. This is of course only possible unless you want to introduce a whole new mechanic with a pre-built factory setup already in place.

Rotating factory parts should be done with Q and E instead of A and D, allowing a person to freely continue to move around with the keyboard, rather than having to rely on drag/drop with the mouse right click. I haven’t come to a point yet where Q and E are used, maybe that changes later.

Transitions between screens should have the animation skipped, where the background transitions from one to another without showing any useful information. It is just a very short brief moment of downtime, but somehow I get annoyed by that little thing. The background transition could be implemented into the first step where the current information fades away, so the second step would be the new information fading in.

Good things I have noted are the screenshots in the tutorial. Would it be possible to make them zoom-able for people that have trouble seeing them? I personally can see them easily, but maybe people have trouble with them as they cannot clearly see what parts are being used in the construction line. Also the indicator for current concentration is great, but I missed it as first. A solid half transparent bar from top to bottom with the number at the top might make it slightly more clear at the beginning, that there is a tooltip showing you the current concentration. Maybe it was just me not reading the tutorial and missing it. :smiley: That might have totally be an issue, watching too many developer updates.

I would keep adding to this as time goes on if that is okay. Either new replies or editing the main post, depending on if it gets replies or not.

I only played the first four tutorials during lunch, but I’m already enjoying the concept of the game. e.g. by the second tutorial I was already itching to make that nausea go away – I suspect you can do it by decreasing the concentration a few times after you’ve upgraded, right? So I don’t have much feedback about the gameplay itself, but I have a few bugbears about the interface and accessibility!

These were entirely my own thoughts, and yet I come here to post them and find some match exactly to the poster above! Hopefully this mountain of negative appearing feedback won’t dissuade you from feeling good about the excellent game you’ve made – the feedback is here to try and improve it and make it even better :slight_smile:

In general the game is a very exciting concept, with a really nice nice look and feel about it. I like the music, though I don’t know if I will in 45 hours of playing :stuck_out_tongue:

ps: I like the auto-generated drug names (“tutorialis name bane” etc) :slight_smile:

Level select screen

Running in a 1280x720 window I had to scroll left to get to “tutorial”. So if I hadn’t moved my mouse towards beginner, I wouldn’t have known it existed. I was thinking of going for “Quick Start” but then thought there might be an order, so went left. Good job I did :slight_smile:

There’s also no visual indication that this selection thingy is a scrolling menu. Little left/right arrows would be appreciated.

Tutorial Text

The tutorial about research (mission 3?) fails to mention “process time”, which is clearly the important number that makes the pill printer so slow :slight_smile:

But apart from that the game mechanics are well explained by experimenting with the UI itself, and the tutorial text does a great job of explaining it anyway.

GUI stuff

Tutorial pop-ups: I assume they can re-size for different resolutions? Assuming they can, could they be made user resizeable, like a proper “window”? I like to read text in a different way than the box wants.

Concentration bar should run down the effects list lining them all up?

Is there a way to see what ingredient something will upgrade to before doing it, so you can plan thing out before just buying a bunch of machines to produce it?

I’m not colour blind, but have you done any UI tests with colour blind filters? Relying on identical brightness red/green to distinguish good/bad looks like it might be a problem. I haven’t played enough of the game to know if there’s another way for players to know if an effect is good or bad, but from what I saw of the let’s play videos, these effects can move/rotate around, so the player clearly needs to be keeping track of which is which and the only way to do so is via colour?

EDIT: … simulator/
I cropped one of my images below to just be the effects box, uploaded it, and yep, they look identical to most colour blind users.


When I select the ingredient import station in the first tutorial, the text is really small. Switching to a 1280x960 window – it’s still really small. Infact it doesn’t appear to have changed, unlike the rest of the UI? Amusingly, the little images inside the tutorial box are BIGGER and more readable than the one in the top right that they’re meant to show! :slight_smile:

Here’s an image to illustrate. (Click to embiggen)

Compare the tutorial text + image there to the top right box.

In general a lot of the text is too small and blurry to be read properly.

Look at the highlighted pink bits in these images:

The HIRE/FIRE are literally 1 pixel wide, on a 1280x960 window!
The description for Basic Exploration is similiar, but it’s really blurry.

If you’re going to have text that small, experiment with not doing a linear filter/anti-aliasing on it.


So a right click drag moves. But a static right click deselects. Ok. But I kept deselecting whilst idly panning. Turns out I can right click to drag, and visiblly move about 3 pixels and still deselect :confused: Perhaps middle button solely devoted to drag?

It seems quite easy to delete things with stationary RMB when trying to deselect stuff. Perhaps have a seperate ‘delete’ mode?

Personally I’m using the mouse to move. But it seems really, really weird for WASD/arrows to stop functioning when I select something to build. People will be baffled by this. Use QE to rotate, perhaps?

Can’t double click to move belts?

No band box selection/moving?

Keyboard shortcuts plz! ‘b’ or ‘1’ for belt or something :slight_smile:


Sound normalisation is a bit off. Or at least ‘music’ and ‘sound’ set to the same level don’t match in terms of loudness. The music is a lot quieter than the machinery sounds.

I notice all the scenarios have time limits.

Will there be an option for a “Sandbox” scenario where you grow your company from humble beginnings?

I have another small feedback. In the basic construction menu, the Evaporator and Agglomorator are on the left and they increase concentration, however the autoclave is on the left as well in the third row, halving concentration. I think stuff that increases concentration should be on the right and stuff that decreases it should be on the left.
So it should be
Dissolver - Evaporator
Ioniser - Agglomorator
Autoclave - Cryogenic Condenser

Just a minor thing that bugged me. :slight_smile:

Thanks for all your feedback everyone, some great points here, many of which I definitely agree with, but Tim is the designer & coder not me :D.
Tim is currently live streaming the game on twitch for launch day, but we will get stuck into prioritizing a list of tweaks and improvements after today. Obviously its still in beta, so there are a bunch of GUI things as you have pointed out.
Keep the excellent feedback coming, it is much appreciated!

I agree, a sandbox option would be great, but I’d call it custom game, I think sandbox implies no challenge? A custom game, where you could set your own opponents, time limits and goals, if you even want any and play how you like. Maybe super difficult opponents, but no time limit and goals.

So, I thought belt placement was a bit weird. But didn’t comment on it before – I thought it was just my personal problem that would go away as I played more. I’d typed this up, but deleted it:

Belt drag is weird. I placed, it’s N/S. I then click+drag to left, so now it’s a tribelt. If I remove the extension it stays a tri-belt?? And now I can’t make it go the other way, as quad-belts obviously aren’t a think in this game. So I have to nuke the entire belt and remake it to go the other way. I also waste the pill that’s on it – the optimising part of my brain is screaming in pain at this point.

I did this a lot during the tutorial. Maybe I’ll grow into doing it properly.

I also placed a belt, then put down the production facility, and it’s didn’t re-route?!

I would expect belts to automatically hook up any nearby belts/machines that don’t have both ends connected?

But then I saw those let’s plays and gave them a quick watch to see what problems they had, as watching people new to the game can really help you understand usability issues with it. Guess what came up? :slight_smile:

  1. notice how he kept keep right clicking to rotate. I did this as well. Hopefully I’ll grow out of it…

  2. Notice how he deleted the belt when trying to de-select :slight_smile:

  3. Notice how he struggled with the belt placement.

All of those could just be design issues, or they could simply go away with playtime. I’ll keep you updated :stuck_out_tongue:

I point it out thought as some people might be put off by things like weird belt placement, especially if you ever had a demo. If you can remove this friction and make it intuitive, then you’re allowing for potentially higher game adoption.

(Other things from that video:

The x1 for explorer doesn’t show on the research bit unless you highilght. I thought this was odd, so did the person in the video.

He also tried to press “GAME COMPLETED” or whatever. I actually read the tutorial text, unlike this guy, so I knew that you had to quit (and make drugs :P). But I’d quite like to be able to press a big satisfying “MISSION COMPLETE” button. …

Notice how the comments even point out he didn’t connect one of his outputs :stuck_out_tongue:
(He commits the crime at 11:21m). Whilst he finished playing shortly after, how long would it take him to notice this? I also noticed Tim doing this a lot in his Let’s play he posted, leaving belts unconnected. Especially those tri-belts, which had a bug and didn’t move if one side was unconnected. (No integration tests for this sort of thing? ;)).

I know Cliff and Tim have both played a lot of Cities:Skyline. In that game highways that aren’t connected have a giant red (-|) symbol above them — I think you could benefit greatly here with a similar idea?

Finished the tutorials and managed to do first beginner mission on Master. I was having a lot of fun playing until the game hit some massive problem that turned into into lag fest.

I was playing normally, and slowly over time the game started to get really unperfomant. It was so laggy that it would hardly register mouse clicks by the end. Double clicking to pick up a building was impossible. Yet strangely if I was in “place building” mode (but not place belts or ‘delete’ mode) it would be fine and snappy… Or at least the animations of everything became fine and snappy – I can’t move when placing a building so who knows how that was? :slight_smile: But it would register my placement click just fine. I checked process monitor quickly and it wasnt’ using much CPU, but had about 1.6GB of memory. Normal?

Some other notes I made:

Can’t rename drugs?

Technically there is a non-colour indicator: positive things have a monetary value next to them. I guess I didn’t spot that at first – perhaps point it out in the tutorial?

Perhaps the research screen should tell you how many of each machine you have?

I also encountered a few belt oddities where things would stop, but couldn’t recreate them. After deleting and fixing everything would be ok?

If you connect up belts to output ports whilst paused then then they don’t “open”?

It seems like the analyser always dominates a conveyor belt and stops output? I guess I shouldn’t have been using it on the output of my creamer – thinking back to the tutorial we did it on (much cheaper!) raw ingredients. Either way I was hoping it would split 50% of the cream into the analyser, 50% into sales.

Finally: Just to re-iterate how much I’m missing keyboard shortcuts. Especially something like space for pause etc.

ps: On the main menu, the production line on the left switches ingredients straight away, so the conveyor belt has half and half. And then is just stops. Intentional?

Again: Just because this feedback is critical and negative in nature, it’s coming from a positive place. I’m really happy with the game, even in it’s laggy Beta state :slight_smile:

I just finished playing all 6 tutorials and the first of the beginner missions. I must say that for a beta this game is remarkably stable and polished! Performance on my (high end) machine is super. It’s also enjoyable… once you understand what’s going on. So, before I start my (constructive) criticism, I’d like to congratulate Tim on doing a good job so far! :smiley:

I enjoy the Tetris aspect of connecting the differently shaped machines, with outputs pointing in different directions.

I’ve recorded my initial impressions as a short series of videos. I was planning to do a proper Let’s Play, but it ended up somewhere between an entusiastic Let’s Play and a (slightly confused) Beta test report. I hope it helps as feedback to help improve the game. It has potential!

Tutorial text

A few posts earlier, Pod indicated problems on smaller screen sizes. I’ve got some comments from the other side of the screen size spectrum. I played this on a 2560x1440 screen and found the tutorial text window too small for my taste. This is not about readability and font sizes, but about using the space available. There is a lot of text, in a small window. The window can be moved, but it can not be resized to see more of the text at once.

While the text was thorough and reasonably complete, it felt a bit wordy. I found myself scrolling through the text and skimming it, rather than reading every word. This caused me some problems as I skimmed over important things. The pictures definitely helped keep me on track, but I feel the text can benefit from a second editing pass to make it more focused. Make important things stand out, like actions the player has to take or goals they have to achieve. Maybe keep a small window with a checklist of things to do on the side, to show the steps to take and progress so far.


I’m happy that there is support for WASD, holding the right mouse button and screen edge scrolling. This flexibility is definitely useful and should make navigation feel natural to most players. Using A and D to rotate blocks feels a lot less natural. As suggested before, Q and E are more natural choices for this functionality because other games do this is well.

The right mouse button feels a little bit overloaded, functionality-wise. Hold it to scroll around the map. When you are placing items, you can right click an empty square to exit placement mode. You can also right click on a belt or machine to remove it (for 50% of the value, if I saw that correctly). I’ve accidentally removed belts when I wanted to exit placement mode by right-clicking on the wrong spot.

Is there a way to modify belts in-place, or do I have to delete them to replace them with differently shaped belts? I can turn a straight belt into a T-split, but did not discover a “natural” way to revert a T-split into a straight belt. Right-click to delete does not seem to apply to belt parts.

I can imagine it would feel natural if belts would split and un-split when you connect things to them. Say you place a machine next to a belt, with an input or output port of the machine facing the belt, then depending on where the belt is facing, it could either T-split or turn into a corner to connect to the machine. Removing the machine would remove that connection from the belt to smooth it out again.

Selecting machines / belts / ingredient import stations feels a bit “fiddly” sometimes. When multiple things are close together, the odds of selecting the thing you want go below 100%.


With machines costing full money and then refunding for 50%, it’s hard to sketch out a design in-game and iterating on it… without blowing through all of your cash. Some sort of planning mode / way to draw flows without having to buy the machines seems useful for more complicated flows. It’s something I looked for, but did not discover. Or is this an intentional part of the challenge of the game, having to plan the build in your head (if you’re a visual thinker) or on graph paper (if you’re not)?

Alternatively, maybe allow moving machines/belts around or deleting them into a “storage space” for re-use, rather than instantly selling them?

Drug downsides

During the first mission I made it a point to get “perfect” drugs. So no downsides and perfect effects. This takes a lot of processing to do, which is a fair trade-off. Getting access to better machines through research allows you to simplify the chain, which is good for your profits. Is there a further upside to this beyond having a high value and thus reasonable profits? Will people pick higher rated medicines over lower-rated ones? In my playthrough I never had a saturated market, so it makes sense for people to pick any medicine, despite side-effects, over no medicine. If the market were over-saturated, would repuation have an effect on who got to sell their drugs first?

Agreed. Much like how Invisible Inc has a custom mode where you can set the game to your taste, having a Custom mode here would be -excellent-

Thanks for all the feedback guys. Keep it coming. I have gone through each post on this thread and made notes. Over the coming weeks I will be tweaking/fixing things based on an ever-changing list of suggestions prioritised by frequency.

It might not feel like it, but quoting each other’s posts and saying “I agree with this” is really useful because it shows me which suggestions are in high demand and which are more subjective personal preferences.

Thanks all,


I have some more things that are outside the gameplay. I would like to skip the splash screens of the companies at the start. No need for me to see them all the time. I would also like to request either an option or per default that the game runs in the background when windowed and not the active window. I would enjoy it to be able to tab out knowing that the game is progressing. Would be nice if all the sound would also play, so I know that something has happened.

Something regarding gameplay, an auto save option that can be set to a player determined interval maybe? Every 3 months, half year, yearly or every 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes would work. :slight_smile: And being able to make a company as a profile rather than having to make one before each mission would also be neat. You could have multiple user profiles with multiple player states, so the same computer could support multiple players with their own progress. Not sure how hard that would be with savegame separation. Guess they could be put in the player profile folder that is created for each profile. :smiley:

I keep doing all of these - I think it would be better from my perspective if deleting things required a different tool or mode, maybe?

I don’t think anyone else has mentioned this, but I keep getting confused when trying to rotate with the mouse wheel because it rotates in the opposite direction to what I’m expecting. I think if there were an animation to the rotation it would be easier to train my brain to understand this, but personally I’d rather not have to re-train :). I surely can’t be the only one who expects ‘mouse wheel up’ to mean ‘rotate clockwise’?

Related to placement and deletion: it would be very nice to have the ability to move or rotate items without having to destroy them and build a new one. This could take the form of maybe a move option that costs only a nominal fee, or perhaps allowing any item that’s never been used to be deleted for a full refund rather than 50%. It does make sense that it would cost money to re-tool your production lines, but on the other hand it’s frustrating when you place an object one tile out of place and have to delete it immediately.

On a different note, I use multiple monitors, and every time the mouse leaves the game (typically because I’ve accidentally overshot when going to the build menu) the game minimises. It would be very nice to have a borderless window mode in addition to the current fullscreen and windowed options. Alternatively, an option to lock the mouse to the window would be a reasonable ‘second best’ solution to the problem.

Anyway, these are all fairly minor polish issues and not at all game breaking. I’ve not played all that much yet, but so far I’ve been enjoying the game. By the way, I believe 2560x1600 is not considered a supported resolution, but it seems to work well from what I can see.

Thanks to another thread I’ve now realised that you can do this by double clicking on an object. Was this mentioned in the tutorial? I was extremely tired when I went through some of it so I could have just missed it. I think this could be more obvious though, starting with having a ‘move’ button on the toolbar above the ‘delete’ one, maybe?

Yeah, double click to move was in the tutorial.

Update to those bits you quote: I did grow out of wanting RMB to rotate, but now I just spam the scroll wheel. I have no mental mapping between which direction does what. I just spam until it looks ok :smiley: (Though I always put pill makers down the wrong way, every time!).

Also, when moving, I often want to zoom out… but can’t, as now mousewheel is spin :frowning:


so I must say I’m kind of missing an actuall failure mechanism in here. I know that purely theoretically we have the possibility to fail because we didn’t managed to fit into the chellange time but I thikn it would be actually much more satisfaying if there were aditional possible failure conditions such as staying in a certain debt lvl for a too long time (this is smthg I’m actually making for myself trying to always stay below a debt of 10k). There reason I think this would be usefull is that I personally see it as a viable strategy to often go far below 0 cash because of research and exploration and than get back into game with a loan and geting money from highend cures. Also from balance point of view… god damn those dissolvers are always a pain in the ass to place

Also the way how the belts are placed is often problematic for me to often it happens to me that I’m placing actually a T cross instead of just a L shaped curve…

moving with the wsad while placing things would be more than awesome

An information about how the enemies companies newly released drug works would be great so that we don’t have to guess it from this message. Also when we go to the company tab from the message I think currently we go to the standard opening screen of the company tab and it would be better to automatically see the tab of the company that just produced the drug from the msg.


Just to hop in on the last post. You can zoom with Pg up/down at all times. Is this sufficient?

I like mouse wheel rotate personally, but I could add an option to disable it so that it reverted to zoom functionality even during machine placement.

Ingredients which are mandatory to complete a challenge should be at a fixed position and have fixed stats.

In the beginner challenge “Lost my appetite” the mandatory ingredient showed up as a starting ingredient, one needing 4 explorers to discover or even in the desert explorations in different starts. That has actually quiet an Impact on the difficulty.

I think alternatively being able to scroll with the middle mouse button would be nice. It seems like the common control in most games these days. In the meantime if anyone wants to use middle-mouse to drag around then you can use a simple AutoHotkey script along the lines of

#IfWinActive Big Pharma

Which simply maps rbutton to the middle mouse button as well.

AHK is highly recommended for these kind of tweaks.

It was mentioned but since there was no need in the tutorial to move anything I didn’t use it and forgot about it, which meant that I kept selling things because I didn’t think there was a way to do-over! This actually financially cripples you pretty quickly.

Only the second time playing the tutorial again with a friend did I see the text about moving things!

I definitely feel like the tutorial needs a sequence where it says the user to move a machine so you can add extra one, and again mentions how to move things.

I’d like to vote for a “sandbox” type (objective free) playmode as well. Having only objective based options severely limits the replayability of the game - once you’ve done and mastered the objectives there’s no game left.

I also feel the pacing in the current objective mode needs some serious work.

The beginner levels should be where you have plenty of time to explore the game features and learn how to optimize production and improve products with the more advanced machines, but the current time limit means you’re forced to rush through the game and research is mostly pointless, because it takes so long and costs so much that you just never get to use the fancy machines or really see how the game works before the objective is completed. The time limit simply don’t allow exploring much of the tech tree at all, which makes the tech tree pointless. Sure you can keep playing past the objective, but that makes having the objective itself pointless. The point of the beginner levels should be to introduce you to the more advanced parts of the game, not to teach you that they’re irrelevant because you never have time to use them anyway. People who don’t immediately “get” how the game works, and haven’t watched your videos, won’t know what all the machines are for, and since some of the levels can be beat with master medal almost by accident (I’ve done that unintentionally twice now), they don’t get a chance to really explore those machines they just spent half an hour researching.

The same issue continues down the supposed higher difficulties. There are too many objectives that can be completed by just rushing out cheap drugs and ignoring research and optimization. Especially at higher difficulties it should be required to go through most the tech tree and use the most advanced and expensive machines, in order to complete the objectives. The time limits and prices of course need to be adjusted to reflect this.

We also really, really need challenges that don’t have time limits. Things like supply 3,000,000 migraine pills without sideffects or a certain amount of tier 4-5 drugs that take a long time and a lot of money to make would be far more acceptable at the higher difficulties. Properly balanced, the challenge shouldn’t be about pumping out a few hundred pills in a manner of minutes, but how you can afford to produce that fancy new cure for cancer.

I just bought the game today because I watched Sips play it, and I already feel like I’m going to have the whole thing beat before launch and it’s easy to see that there is no reason to play the game again after that.

Effects, especially sideeffects, needs a little rethinking or rewording, not sure what to call it.

For instance, the one antihistamine ingredient has sleepiness as a sideffect, and yes, RL antihistamines can cause drowsiness, BUT what if I want to make sleeping pills? In the current design it’s possible to activate the sleepiness without the antihistamine and then you have sleeping pills, in which case the sleepiness is the intended effect and the antihistamine is the passive sideeffect. Only currently the game doesn’t have a “cure” that involves sleeping pills as far as I can tell. There are a few other cases where what you put as a negative sideeffect may actually be the intended effect I want, like constipation for meds against diarhea, painkiller for cough meds, and so on. I simply don’t like that the game dictates what is a positive and negative effect of a drug. It should simply be an effect. Like maybe we intend for our anti-anxiety pills to cause headaches in order to sell more painkillers (mean, yes, but it’s a game. It’s the same as how we put extra salt in the burgers in Theme Park to sell more sodapop).

What is considered a positive and negative effect of the drugs we make should be reflected in the feedback from the sales and consumer testing and such. Maybe some people like that their painkillers make them drowsy and prefer that over the competitor’s pills which make them constipated instead.

Feedback on Company and Research tabs could use more overlap and more details.

It absolutely bothers me that nothing happens when I click on my drugs on the company screen, and that I have to go to the cures tab to get the info I should be getting on the company screen. The drugs on the company tab should tell you the stats about the sales, competition, market saturation and all that. The Cures tab should be where you get more detailed information about the drug effectiveness, how effective yours is compared to the competition, fatality rates, and stuff like that. Basically all the financial stuff should be on the company tab and all the drug specific stuff on the drug tab. You can’t have two different tabs and then only put all the information mashed together on the one tab.

Enable persistent player info, please. It is really annoying having to put in my company name and select a character every single time I start a new game. Especially since both are all but pointless in terms of the gameplay and when the challenges are so short.

Too easy to destroy belts and machines. You have so many clicks to get through the menus, and then made it take too few clicks to destroy your entire production. Just remove the instant-destroy from the right click and let us have to press B (for bulldozer) to break stuff. Maybe even make it an option to have the insta-kill. But having cancel and destroy as the same button is just bad design. And putting in a confirmation each time you delete stuff will become incredibly annoying really fast.

  1. Keyboard controls for speed, pause, etc. 1,2.3 for speed, space or 0 for pause. So used at those keys from The Sims and Cities: Skylines that it is frustrating having to move the mouse to change the pace of the game.

These are just my immediate impressions. I do like the game a lot, though it feels a bit like an ios game with its simplicity. Playing tetris with the machines seem to be the only real challenge there is. The “logistic” part isn’t really there and you have no control over the economy. It’s much more a matter of how to squeeze everything into as small an area as possible, than anything else, and that’s a pity. I find myself with a LOT of downtime where I can’t do anything but watch my production line chug along, while I wait for money to trickle in, objectives to complete, or research to be done. And while I sit there watching the drugs being made I wonder why I don’t have to bottle or box up my pills, why I don’t need to build a packaging line or hire a trucking company to distribute my drugs. You’ve made a game with a great potential, but I constantly feel like it needs more to do and more things to tweak and adjust.

Just looking at what Chris Sawyer managed to put into his games, I find that the little extra layer of complexity of having to adjust prices and manage staff made the games more enjoyable. Without that there simply isn’t much to do but plop down machines and belts.