Yeah - you held up a mirror to pirates with your clever release strategy, don’t be surprised when the mirror gets held up to you as an indie developer!
IMO the game does need a little bit of work.
The biggest thing is clarification of the slider process IMO. PLEASE make it clearer what we are ACTUALLY changing about the game creation process.
I think that 100% on a slider should mean “The best it can be given the talent working on it” and 0% should mean “Barely functional”. If you have 3 sliders at 100%, are you increasing the development time? Does medium game take the same length of time to complete no matter where you set the sliders?
This is a strategy game. The player has to be able to make informed choices. If they try and put out a AAA title before they have the talent and money to do it, they should go bankrupt but the rub is you should make it apparent in the planning phase that that will happen, so they only have themselves to blame.
Personally, I think that if the bottom bar had an “ETA to completion” that would go a long way (or if all games take the same time, then a development time indicator on the “game size selection”. This lets players select a game that they can complete with their funds and time available. Then, make the sliders mean more through linking them as suggested above.
Finally, better flexibility in how you use your people would be great, but I suspect that that is a big deal to rework. The division of labor doesn’t really work as it is.
Seriously, with more work this game could be theme hospital. As it is, it’s fun but I can’t see myself playing it next week. It’s too random, and the balance switches from too hard to too easy way too quickly. It needs a bit more nuance in the relationship between player input and game quality output.