Big Pharma Hits Preorder Beta

The game is out. Like right now.

Official site and link to buy

Big Pharma Beta Release 4th June 2015

Why are you still reading this? You can play the game right now!

Even the trailer hasn’t convinced you?! OK well if you’re sticking around I might as well tell you more about the preorder beta.

What is it?

The preorder beta is really like any other Early Access game. The reason I didn’t call it Early Access is twofold: 1. I wasn’t sure if Steam had the name trademarked and 2. I feel like Early Access is fast becoming a lazy term for “We’ve run out of money but the game’s not done”.

That’s not what’s happening with Big Pharma. We already have the Steam app id (we’re giving out Steam keys with the preorder beta!) and, based on the feedback from a few Youtubers, the game seems to be quite playable already.

It’s not perfect, that’s for sure, there are bugs and quality of life issues and balance issues… but it’s a great base to build future updates on. And I think those updates are more likely to be valuable if I have some people playing the game already telling me what they like and don’t like.

So what’s in the game right now?

There are 6 tutorials to teach you the basics of the game. Then there are 25 challenges spread across 5 scenarios, each of which challenges you to complete a set of objectives within a certain time limit.

For example, “A regulation business” asks you to simultaneously supply 6 different products with a minimum cure rating across the board of B. Sounds easy. It’s really not.

To make things more interesting, each challenge has Standard, Expert and Master times to beat them in. To complete every challenge on Master will be a very tricky feat indeed. Those looking for a challenge will not be disappointed.

A final word on challenges. It depends on the challenge but generally they are very open ended. For example, the first challenge in the game is called “Bottom Line” and you are asked to simply generate $1,000,000 in revenue. That’s it. About as open ended as you can get. This allows you to play the game at its best, as an open-ended simulation, but you still have something to be aiming for in the long term.

What’s left to come?

To save repeating myself I’ll just point you towards a link from the official page. For information on what’s left to come, check out the schedule.

What else?

Well nothing really. I just hope that if you choose to purchase the game at this point, that you enjoy it. Indeed, if you’re not ready to buy the game just now, then don’t worry. I don’t want anybody to play the game and be disappointed. Wait until a few more of the bugs are worked out or even for the full release (although you won’t get the 20% discount, just saying) and enjoy the game in its final polished state.

Mac and Linux users

I’m sorry there is no Mac or Linux version as of yet. But there will be. :)

23 Comments Added

Comments are now closed
  1. UsF 3 years ago |

    The only things I have to write right now is that during the tutorials, whenever I go to the next one, I wish the layout would be the same one that I had in the last mission, keeping my factory as it was (moving my lines back to 1 pill maker, so much rage :D). That should be an option from the tutorial menu inside the mission, moving straight to the next one while keeping the map as it is. More things are that turning a factory piece should be on mouse wheel only (or Q and E), while WASD should continue to be able to move me around (I guess I could just use mouse drag, but prefer keyboard controls for that). And a slight thing is that the animations between windows are a tick too long in my opinion. It is not much, but I sometimes wonder if there is some loading happening. Maybe not having the extra background transition animation where the whole screen is empty would be good for this.

    Other than that I am hooked for now. Free day seems to be well spent. Will write more if needed. Is there a forum for consolidation of suggestions and ideas or should it all be added here?

  2. Morberis 3 years ago |

    Love it!

    I do have one recommendation though, provide the ability to sell conveyor belts while another item is in hand. For an example check out Factorio. It really helps when making a change by decreasing the amount of buttons you need to click and the distance your mouse needs to travel.

  3. Didact04 3 years ago |

    Loving the game mate, only beef with it as is is that there’s a memory leak that drags the framerate way down after a while. Which is a real shame because I don’t want to have to stop to reset the leak again…lol. Great game, worth the price. This is gonna keep me busy for a while.

  4. simoni 3 years ago |

    Do you have a bug tracker?
    Edge scrolling doesn’t work at the top of the screen for some reason.

  5. Matt 3 years ago |

    Congrats Tim! Going to be long day at work as now I’ve paid I can’t wait to get home and play!

  6. Dzlockhead 3 years ago |

    I had the same problem. Got around it, but gave me trouble for a few moments.

  7. Dzlockhead 3 years ago |

    The chrome not liking the download I mean. Sorry, tried replying directly to a post. Thought it would quote it.

  8. David 3 years ago |

    I just want to write and say how much I am enjoying your game. It’s systems all work so well together and it’s so unique. I hope it has tons of success and I for one will be talking it up.

  9. Dante Broggi 3 years ago |

    Will people ordering the (windows) beta get free mac downloads on their steam (or off it) when there is a mac version?

    • Tim 3 years ago |

      Yes. The Steam key will give you access to all the versions available on Steam which includes the Mac version.

      I’m not 100% sure of the logistics of the non-steam mac release yet. Like how easy it will be to provide links to download the mac version to everybody who’s already purchased the beta for windows. I’ll need to check that with my publisher.

      But just to reiterate. The Steam version is easy. Once you own a game on Steam, you own it on all platforms that are supported.

  10. Joe 3 years ago |

    If I buy this game on my pc laptop will I also be able to access it on my mac desktop when it is released on that platform?

  11. Chris 3 years ago |

    I have a question for you regarding gameplay: from the (admittedly small) amount of time I’ve spent with the game thus far, I haven’t seen the ability to experiment and create new drugs through manipulating the production side. It seems that the “research” tree and the explorers are the only way to do “new” things with drugs; is this the case?

    I’d really love to be able to manipulate the production process to increase or reveal new and improved drugs to put to market. I guess I’m asking for more of a sandbox style mechanic?

    • Tim 3 years ago |

      There is something called the ‘strength’ mechanic which means that drugs with the same effects can be of different quality. IE A drug with weak side-effects and a strong cure will be worth more than one with a weak cure and strong side-effects.

      You can use the Analyzer to find the strength of drugs or you can choose to experiment “blind”, as it were. I believe this aspect of the game does satisfy a portion of what you’re looking for.

      There is also experimentation in the make-up of your drugs. Sure you can just make a cure, get it to the right concentration and sell it; or you can look at mixing cures together using the Multimixer and other neat tricks to create drugs with multiple cures and avoid side-effects.

      There is no “Alchemy” style gameplay in there where you mix things together without knowing what will come out but there is plenty of room for experimentation if you look beyond the basic mechanics. :D

      Hope that answers your question.

  12. Joe 3 years ago |

    My last question was unclear from where I was buying it from and I want to buy it from the current website and not wait for steam.

    • Tim 3 years ago |

      Hi Joe, here’s how it will work:
      1. You buy the game direct from the website now.
      2. You get access to the Windows installer and receive a Steam key that will become active as soon as the game comes out on Steam.
      3. When the Mac version comes out, you will need to request a resend of the email from us (cliff@positech.co.uk)
      4. This new email will have links to both the Windows and the Mac version.
      5. If you choose, you can also play the Mac version via Steam.

      So basically, yes, you will definitely get access to every version if you buy now. Hope that answers your question.

  13. Luke 3 years ago |

    This game looks amazing. I was wondering if you might know when the Mac version might be available to download, either from here or on steam? Also, will the beta (the stage it is in now) be available on Mac before the full release? Lastly, if not when is the final full releases expected to be? Thanks

    • Tim 3 years ago |

      Hi Luke. So the Mac version will not be released prior to the full release. This is because it’s much easier to update a game regularly and be flexible with stuff during beta if there is only one version you need to keep updated and bug-free. In terms of timescales – it’s difficult to say because it depends on the feedback from the beta. However my best estimate is early Autumn this year. Thanks for your kind word. :)

  14. Chris 3 years ago |

    Thanks, Tim!

  15. Spencer 3 years ago |

    Why do my conveyors just stop?

    • Tim 3 years ago |

      Hi Spencer, I’m really sorry but the latest update has introduced a bug that I’m finding hard to track down. I’m really sorry for any inconvenience caused and I’m working on getting the game bug-free as soon as possible.

  16. Jan 3 years ago |

    I saw this on Twitch and liked it immediately – I’m very glad you’re planning a Linux version! I’ll have to wait until that goes live, and I’m very much looking forward to it!