I'm a pharmacist and I love this game, here's some feedback

Thanks so much for creating this game, it’s something I’ve always wanted to play!

I’ve clocked a few hours in it so far and hope to complete everything. I was wondering whether possible things could be implemented to add to the complexity!

- Displaying the date and season in a corner and having a seasonal calender popup
This way we can see the current season and upcoming seasons. The popup could possibly list which type of medical conditions are prevalent in certain seasons.

- Turn off machines and hire staff to run each one
Whilst making alterations, it would be cool to turn off machines in order to save money. Adding to the complexity, hiring staff to operate each one could be cool.

- Additional Research: Drug Chirality
All ingredients should have a chirality feature which can be changed to swap active effects

- Adding a Wholesale Distribution Option
We should have a separate menu to select which wholesalers we would like to send our drugs to. Prices and demand can vary according to community pharmacy and hospital pharmacy distributions.

- Adding a Marketing Option
We should have a choice to hire different types of staff for marketing. Those who have higher skill/experience would convince prescribers to prescribe more of a particular drug contributing to Demand.

- Drug Discovery to be more in depth
There should be a variety of options of how we choose to do drug discovery. Depending on techniques used, efficacy/side effect profiles/drug cost could be influenced

- Clinical Trials option
There should be a simplified process of doing clinical trials. This will prove the safety and efficacy of drugs and contribute to pricing and demand. Also it will help ‘hired drugs reps’ to promote our drugs.

I think there is a huge potential to make this game more fun with further micromanagement whilst maintaining its accessibility to newcomers.

staff? what do you think this is, the 21st century? barbarian.
I like all the suggestions here however, especially clinical trials and more power over selling the drugs.

Clinical trials are in work aren’t they?

There is text (in strings-en.data file) about Clinical Trials, it just doesn’t appear to be implemented yet. Trial Cost, Good Results, Bad Results, “CRO overstated results”, Gag Results, Publish Results, etc.

Looks like a choice for running the trial: ‘Contract Research Organisations’ or ‘University Trials’.
presumably CRO above refers to Contract Research Organisations

Also TimTC’s tweet on 24 July:
“I’m trying to make up fictional universities but every name I type in already exist. Admittedly I’ve only tried 3 so far, but come on!”

I took to mean he is working on University names for Clinical Trials.

note to TimTC: “trailitemname” and “trailiteminfo”??? maybe “trIAlitemname” and “trIAliteminfo”

Most of these are economics based, which is another disappointing aspect of this game.

Let’s say that we had a nice seasonal flu going on. Now, as a drug manufacturer you would design a factory that operates at high cost/unit efficiency so that you have a stockpile that you can sell once flu season reaches its peak. While you can use up half the factory creating long chains of conveyor belts to store the medication, it becomes very space inefficient (especially in a game that has intentionally overdone the puzzle aspect and pushing space efficiency down.)

Wholesale gives us things like contracts, which require us to supply a particular quantity by a certain deadline. Breaking a contract would be bad for us, so it would act like a loan that ties up a portion of the factory until it is paid in full.

Marketing opens up the possibility that not every drug we put on the market will be bought which makes caring about what your competition is doing more important… even unlocking some of my favorite tactics of flooding the market with ultracheap items to cause major disruption in the market (i.e. bankrupting your competitors.)

Drug “discovery” is rather moot here as well, the closest thing to researching drugs you have is the analyzer; you don’t even have a first stage research where you have to determine what the ingredient actually does (if anything!) Having the ability to mix this with “clinical trials” can yield some really nasty BigPharma tactics. i.e. testing a drug that has been mixed with another to determine what the side effects in humans are.

Just a note on the clinical trials thing. I actually had a full working prototype in the game during beta but I had to pull it out again in the end. It just felt overcomplicated and not fun.

Of course this comes down partly to the specific design, but it also comes down to the incumbent design of the game. For example, at an early stage I decided I wanted it to be possible to sell a product without having to do any trials. This was to streamline the process of releasing new products and keep the early game simple. I wanted creating the simplest of production lines/products to be a 2-minute process.

Due to this you have this entire system designed around the idea that drugs don’t need to be tested before selling them. The most specific example of this is the cure ratings system which essentially does the testing bit of your product in reverse. You just start selling it, but if it’s no good then the market tells you by reducing its value.

I tried to overlay a clinical trials system over the top which would allow you to manipulate the cure ratings of your products and it just didn’t work. I can’t say exactly what I didn’t like about it except that I didn’t enjoy using it in the games that I played.

Having said all that, I would love to hear your very specific suggestions about how a system could work within the confines of the existing game design.