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Thread: Prison Architect

  1. #1
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Prison Architect

    I didnt see a thread on this and I felt it deserved its own post.

    Ive been really engrossed in this game. I bought it a couple days ago during the Steam sale and I already have over 20 hours in the game, which is saying something because to rack up that many hours in only 2 days is quite something for me.

    Anyways, as the name suggests, the goal is to build your own prison and manage it. And for a game still in alpha, its actually very well done. The artwork/style of the game is really unique to me, and the sound design is just great. Ive never been to prison (thankfully) but going off of movies and TV, the game sounds just like I would imagine prison to be. Its one of those games which is easy to learn but very hard to master. I tried my hand at a small prison which went well and I decided to go big, hosting 200+ prisoners and soon found myself waaaaay over my head. Apparently putting maximum security prisoners with the rest of the prison population is a really bad idea. Riots tend to happen. Now I gotta start over and separate the two populations.

    As for the stability, they have ironed out most of the glaring bugs so far, though some little ones persist. Not too bad so far though, the game is more than enjoyable even with those bugs.

    Highly recommended!
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  2. #2
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prison Architect

    Can I make a really inapropiate joke

  3. #3
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prison Architect

    Probably shouldnt...



    Anyways, Im over 40 hours in and the game just sucks you in so much. Im working on this super prison with capacity for almost 500 prisoners, with minimum security, medium sec, maximum sec, and supermax areas. So far, no riots which is nice but I only have about 50 prisoners as I only get prisoner transports of anywhere between 8-20 prisoners at a time so it will be a while before I have to deal with a huge number of inmates. One downside of the game is that it can go kinda slowly. Time ticks by and waiting 24 hours for new prisoners can feel like ages, even at the 3x speed considering that 3x isnt that much faster than 1x, which is a real problem. You also have problems with how fast inmates and other staff move because if it takes prisoners two hours to get from their cell to the canteen area, that causes real problems especially since you dont want to just unlock every jail door just for lunch. Kinda annoying as I have to give my supermax prisoners 3 hours for lunch because otherwise they would starve.

    AI can be kinda stupid sometimes but overall its decent. The huge maps can run kinda sluggishly which isnt so great but its not so bad that its game breaking. A minor annoyance at best.
    Last edited by Hooahguy; 01-05-2015 at 17:58.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Prison Architect

    If prisoners riot, can a subset of the prisoners ever counter-riot, or just sit it out?
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  5. #5
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prison Architect

    Some do sit it out but Ive never seen a counter-riot. I also dont look too closely, as Im too busy frantically bringing more guards to the scene before it spirals out of control.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Prison Architect

    Now I know after it's no longer on sale :(

  7. #7
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prison Architect

    Quote Originally Posted by AntiDamascus View Post
    Now I know after it's no longer on sale :(
    Dont worry, the Steam summer sale is only like six months away!

    So I decided to start a third prison, using the lessons I learned from my previous two. In the second one I had one big mess hall for everyone which was a mistake because it took time for people to get there which was bad. Also I had to stagger the eating times to prevent riots. Now Im tossing the low security section because lets face it, low sec inmates are boring, but now the medium, high, and supermax wings of the prison will be self contained with their own mess halls.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Prison Architect

    Can the warden personally intervene during a riot to give a moving and heartfelt speech that quells the anger in the rioters' hearts and heroically ends the violence for the day?
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  9. #9
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prison Architect



    Nah he just stays in his office the whole time. You can also call in riot police if your own guards cant handle a riot. And if they still cant contain the riot the national guard comes in, kills/incapacitates all the prisoners, and then you lose because the government takes over the prison.
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  10. #10
    Member Member Greyblades's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prison Architect

    Is there an option to lobby for increased severity of sentances for petty crimes among black communities?


    Wait, sorry, forgot this isnt the backroom, sounds like an interesting game though.
    Being better than the worst does not inherently make you good. But being better than the rest lets you brag.


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  11. #11
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prison Architect

    No, but you can personally edit the punishment level for various crimes and hand out random punishments like a random 24 hours in solitary.
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  12. #12
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prison Architect

    I just wanted to share three of the prisons I've worked on so far after almost 60 hours of playing over the last week. I'm playing with unlimited funds so don't worry if I'm millions in the red.

    Here is my first one:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	prison architect 2015-01-07 22-08-43-272.png 
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    As you can see, there is just one large confinement area where all prisoners, regardless of security status, lived and slept in. Caused many riots to occur. Also the solitary cells are waaaay too large.

    Here is my second prison:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	prison architect 2015-01-07 22-11-33-216.png 
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    My largest prison so far, being able to containing almost 500 prisoners. Had three confinement buildings for the three main security levels and the max security level is split into a supermax wing as well. The mistake I made here was that the canteen was simply too far away from everyone and many prisoners went hungry, causing much unrest, which is why I abandoned it. Otherwise it was a pretty solid prison. Though it did not have a wing for prisoners who needed to be protected like snitches and ex-cops, who are frequently targets for stabbings.

    Now we reach my third and current prison: my best work so far I think:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	prison architect 2015-01-07 16-05-38-629.png 
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    So as you can see there are five buildings to hold inmates. Upper right building is my supermax area. Lower right building is for the normal security prisoners, bottom middle is for solitary confinement (just a toilet), to the left of that is the smaller building for snitches and ex-cops. And finally, upper left building is for the maximum security prisoners. So each building has its own kitchen, canteen, shower, infirmary, and yard to prevent the different populations from mixing too much. So far its been quite a success. No problems with the max or supermax populations, but strangely enough Ive been having some problems with the medium security inmates stirring up trouble after a shipment of food supplies got lost somehow and prisoners got hungry. One prisoner died because of the resulting unrest after he attacked an armed guard, who delivered to him a present of buckshot to the face. Another prisoner died of an overdose but that wasn't my fault I don't think. Now Im just slowly expanding my prison population until its full, and Im going to see how long I can sustain this before I have to pump my prison full of armed guards.
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  13. #13
    Annoyingly awesome Member Booger Flick Champion, Run Sam Run Champion, Speed Cards Champion rickinator9's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prison Architect

    I was dissapointed by Prison Architect. I think it was a waste of €20.

    I played 2 games with it. There were some bugs, but they were small. Gameplay is solid. However, the guard AI is horrible! My guards would move the prisoners to the dining hall(not sure on the exact name) and left them there to eat. On the way back, they would abandon a prisoner before they reached their cell, causing the prisoner to escape! Of course, Donut-diet Joe couldn't keep up with the prisoner.

    I restarted to see if this was just a bug with the save. Same thing happened after around an hour of playing, so I gave up on Prison Architect.
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  14. #14
    Annoyingly awesome Member Booger Flick Champion, Run Sam Run Champion, Speed Cards Champion rickinator9's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prison Architect

    I was dissapointed by Prison Architect. I think it was a waste of €20.

    I played 2 games with it. There were some bugs, but they were small. Gameplay is solid. However, the guard AI is horrible! My guards would move the prisoners to the dining hall(not sure on the exact name) and left them there to eat. On the way back, they would abandon a prisoner before they reached their cell, causing the prisoner to escape! Of course, Donut-diet Joe couldn't keep up with the prisoner.

    I restarted to see if this was just a bug with the save. Same thing happened after around an hour of playing, so I gave up on Prison Architect.
    rickinator9 is either a cleverly "hidden in plain sight by jumping on the random bandwagon" scum or the ever-increasing in popularity "What the is going on?" townie. Either way I want to lynch him. - White Eyes

  15. #15
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prison Architect

    How long ago was this? Ive been playing with the most recent version, and I have not had this problem. But the AI isnt so great, I will agree with you on that. Its more a result of conflicting orders and predetermined pathing issues from what I can tell. What will happen with the pathfinding issue is that when a character starts out towards an objective and then that route gets blocked, the character will get stuck there for about 5-10 seconds before finding a new path and correcting itself. Happens most to workers when they are building stuff. Other times prisoners wont be searched or otherwise dealt with and the order to do so just get stuck somewhere on the line, though a reboot of the game usually fixes this.

    Another problem I have is that when there is an emergency like a prisoner overdoses or something, the nearest guard isnt assigned the task to deal with it. My first death in my current prison was a result of the responding guard coming from across the facility to bring him to the infirmary, and by the time he was brought there he was dead. In the meantime, half a dozen guards passed by his cell and did nothing.
    Last edited by Hooahguy; 01-08-2015 at 14:57.
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Prison Architect

    Is this a very micromanaged game? Does the warden personally oversee the progress of every single inmate and guard?

    Or on the other hand, is it more like a certain space-fleet combat simulator (whose name I can't recall) that has the player giving more general directives, setting policies and so on?
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  17. #17
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prison Architect

    Are you thinking of Endless Space? Kinda has that feel to it I guess.

    Anyways its kind of like a hybrid. You can order your guards around and set up patrols and manually send in more guards or staff or whatever, but other than that you kinda just sit back and watch the wheels of your prison turn. Of course you can tinker with things, like building a new cell block, add another wall or fence, send prisoners to solitary or lockdown for infractions, set up classes like addiction and alcohol therapy, edit the daily regime for prisoners , set up a network of confidential informants, search cell blocks for contraband, manage the logistics of food and clothing, stuff like that. It keeps you engaged even after the prison is finished being built. Problems occur like troublesome inmates who start riots, or a food shortage, things like this you gotta watch out for to ensure you don't have big riots.

    And here's a shot of my prison at night, when everything is (temporarily) peaceful.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  18. #18
    Member Member Greyblades's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prison Architect

    Ok I've tried it out and... hello dwarf fortress learning curve. I have restarted more times than I can remember because I had forgotten something, or gotten my power and water lines tangled up.
    Being better than the worst does not inherently make you good. But being better than the rest lets you brag.


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  19. #19
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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  20. #20

    Default Re: Prison Architect

    So the game looked interesting enough from these post that I picked it up this morning. Going to give it a shot when I get home tonight.
    Tho' I've belted you an' flayed you,
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  21. #21
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prison Architect

    Make sure you read the 10-part guide on Reddit that I posted. Its really helpful for beginners.
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  22. #22
    Member Member Greyblades's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prison Architect

    So, apparantly power lines and water pipes can be built in the same square, I spent an embarrassing amount of time working out the plumbing.
    Being better than the worst does not inherently make you good. But being better than the rest lets you brag.


    Quote Originally Posted by Strike For The South View Post
    Don't be scared that you don't freak out. Be scared when you don't care about freaking out
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

  23. #23

    Default Re: Prison Architect

    So I'm onto my third prison start. My first one ended hilariously when my inmates decided to riot while taking their shower. Over powered my 2 guards and sprinted off my property because I didn't fence it off. My second prison ended because of poor planning on my part. I got to where I was building my first cell block and I just didn't like how it looked. My third and so far longest running prison is screen shotted below.
    Spoiled for size:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    I haven't fenced off my administrative area, despite warnings from Hooah that prisoners can escape while awaiting transfer to holding. I was in the process of building my first cell block to house my low and min sec prisoners. I plan on expanded south next for higher sec prisoners but I still haven't figured out how to separate and move individuals.
    Tho' I've belted you an' flayed you,
    By the livin' Gawd that made you,
    You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!
    Quote Originally Posted by North Korea
    It is our military's traditional response to quell provocative actions with a merciless thunderbolt.

  24. #24
    Member Member Greyblades's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prison Architect

    I think the main problem I can see with that design is that you are using the road door as your main entrance, I can easily see a prisoner making a break for it through such a slow closing door when it's used so often. Personally I prefer an airlock in the main entrance, a short corridor with 2 jail doors at each end and a permanent guard posted in between.

    I would personally like to voice my hatred of the inmate nutrition research grant, I lost 10 inmates and 3 guards during the food shortage phase before I gave it up and I cant cancel it so it's stuck there on my list taunting me.
    Being better than the worst does not inherently make you good. But being better than the rest lets you brag.


    Quote Originally Posted by Strike For The South View Post
    Don't be scared that you don't freak out. Be scared when you don't care about freaking out
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

  25. #25
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prison Architect

    So the game has changed a lot since this topic was made and they are preparing to launch v1 on October 6th last I checked, and not only does it include a story mode but also an escape mode where you can become a prisoner in any prison you create or download from the workshop and you can try to escape or make a gang, stuff like that. Pretty psyched, the game has evolved nicely over the last nine months. Still has some minor bugs but Im hoping they will be resolved with v1.

    EDIT: current prison (click to enlarge)-

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	prison architect 2015-09-29 18-32-41-363.jpg 
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    All was peaceful until the gang leaders showed up. They have been causing havoc ever since. Riots, constant unrest, Ive had to almost double my guards because everyone would be fighting. Not a great situation really but Im managing.
    Last edited by Hooahguy; 09-29-2015 at 23:34.
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  26. #26

    Default Re: Prison Architect

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooahguy View Post

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    Negative 8 million!?! The United States judicial system would be proud.
    Tho' I've belted you an' flayed you,
    By the livin' Gawd that made you,
    You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!
    Quote Originally Posted by North Korea
    It is our military's traditional response to quell provocative actions with a merciless thunderbolt.

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  27. #27
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prison Architect

    Ive found that not caring about finances makes it much more enjoyable.

    Though this has been my most successful prison so far, fewest problems considering the type of prisoners Ive brought in. When v1 comes out in less than a week then I will start over.
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  28. #28
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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  29. #29
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prison Architect

    So for some reason, my Avast anti-virus software randomly flagged it as a virus. And then locked it in the virus vault, and I cant seem to be able to remove it and play the game again. Had just finished building a great prison, pretty bummed over this.
    Reunification: a Marcomanni AAR (on permanent hiatus)
    Zalmoxis's Lightning: a Getae AAR (finished)
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    A man who casts no shadow has no soul.
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