- Pre-release versions now available!
- New Features
- Discontinued Features
- What Next?
In my recent blog post, I delved into the future of CorsixTH for Android (check it out here). Today, I’m thrilled to share with you an update on the progress made so far, as well as the next steps to full releases.
Pre-release versions now available!
I’m happy to announce that starting today you can download snapshot versions from Github and from the Google Play Store. These pre-release versions represent a snapshot of development, without any substantial testing. They are likely to include bugs and features that are still in development.
If you want to download the pre-release versions from Google Play directly on your device, you’ll need to join the testing program:
- Follow this link and press the BECOME A TESTER button
- On your Android device, follow this link to download from the Google Play Store
Portrait Orientation and Rotation Support
The game now supports both landscape and portrait modes. Simply rotate your device to switch between the two. This was a highly requested feature so I’m really pleased to now be able to support it.
Easier Install Process
It’s now far easier to get the Theme Hospital game files onto your device.
If you’ve bought the game from GOG.com, you can simple download the Theme Hospital installer to your device or cloud storage account, and it can be installed straight away. If you purchased Theme Hospital elsewhere, you can either upload your game files to a cloud storage provider, put it on an external USB drive, or copy it to your device, and it can be imported directly from there.
The first launch wizard has also been drastically simplified. Once you’ve installed the Theme Hospital files, you’re ready to play. The other settings can be changed later from the game menu. In-game videos are now enabled by default.
Keyboard and Mouse Support
Keyboard and Mouse has always had limited support but it has been a setting you need to change whenever you connect a mouse. It also resulted in some confusing results, like pressing the right mouse button when holding the left.
This implementation has been ripped up and now the mouse controls and touch controls are handled separately. That means you can combine and switch touchscreen and mouse inputs without having to change any settings. All the existing mouse interactions will work as it does on CorsixTH on a desktop. Most of the keyboard hotkey shortcuts should also work too.
Better Gestures and Controls
As part of rewriting the touch handling, the touch gestures have been greatly improved. The following control system has been implemented:
- Long press to pick up or rotate an object
- Press and drag to move an object or set blueprints
- Drag with two fingers to move the map
- Pinch with two fingers to zoom
For the Chromebook users out there, the game is now fully supported on all Chromebooks that support Android applications. You can use either your Chromebook’s touchscreen or keyboard and mouse/touchpad. Installing the Theme Hospital game files works exactly the same way as on an Android device.
Unfortunately, in order to resurrect the app, I’ve had to drop a number of features. They aren’t necessarily gone for good, but I don’t have the ability to maintain them alongside all the other features in development. The list of removed features are:
- Framerate control. This was necessary when devices weren’t really powerful enough to maintain a stable framerate, but today isn’t really required. The CorsixTH game engine uses a fixed timer of approximately 30Hz for animations anyway, so there isn’t much benefit to unlocking higher framerates either.
- Samsung S Pen Support. This feature was contributed by István Nagy but unfortunately I don’t have a compatible device to maintain it anymore. Stylus support is also part of the Android SDK these days, so a better approach can be implemented in the future that is compatible with non-S Pen styluses.
- Quick save/load. The ability to continue the previous game is available on the main menu in CorsixTH now, and Autosave per month is already provided. This, coupled with much better resume/pause handling means that this feature isn’t as critical as it used to be.
- Upgrade from v0.9. It is not possible to transfer save games from older versions of the app. Technical changes to the way that app storage is configured makes this difficult from the app side, and even if they could be transferred, the amount of changes in the CorsixTH game engine would introduce a lot of potential issues.
There’s a number of other features that are temporarily removed but will be readded at a later date, including music support, cheats and jukebox control.
I have created a GitHub project to track the features that I feel are necessary before I can make the app generally available on the stores. Until this list is completed, snapshot versions from GitHub or the testing channel on the Play Store will remain the only way to download the app.