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The Introversion Blog
The only place you'll ever hear the truth

Prison Architect Alpha 22
Posted by Chris on 27th June 2014
 
Alpha 22 has been released! Steam users will be automatically updated. Non-steam users can download the latest version from the builds page here:
http://www.prison-architect.com/builds.html

You need an active forum account to access the builds from our website. If you haven’t already done so, please register your game here to gain access to the builds, the private forums, the bug database and the wiki.
http://www.prison-architect.com/register

Here is our video demonstrating the new features:


No more shall all your laundry baskets gradually migrate to a single laundry room, leaving all the others empty!

No more will you be able to install Garbage!

No more will your dead prisoners slide off morgue slabs and hearses, and lay there in the road forever!

No more will your entities get stuck (FOREVER) on walls, corners, doors, and just about everything else in their way!

We decided to do things differently this month. This month was a Bug Bash.

Generally speaking the monthly release schedule is an incredibly healthy process for us - it motivates us to work hard and finish things to deadline, and gives us a monthly routine to work to. However the process is not without its faults. We’ve become increasingly aware of the number of bugs that have been creeping into the game with each new release, and with just four weeks between alpha launches there is almost no time to address them. The result is a bug tracker filled up with literally thousands of bug reports. We had to do something about this.

So for the month of June, all the programmers on the team worked exclusively on fixing bugs. (That’s Chris, Johnny, Leander, Gary and Andrew, for those who keep track). Five programmers working for an entire month, just clearing bugs. For those who didn’t notice our messages in the main menu, we also released regular test builds via steam so that the community could test out our fixes and report back to us. Many thousands of PA fans got new builds every few days rather than once a month.

It’s been a fantastic experience, and many serious bugs have been tackled. We could have ticked off hundreds of trivial fixes, but we instead attacked the list starting with the biggest and most terrifying AI fixes. In total, 73 major bugs were fixed. This may not sound like many - it represents about one bug resolved per man-day, which in the Software Engineering world is a fairly respectable rate. But it puts it into perspective just how long bug fixing can take, and makes it clear to us that we shouldn’t be ‘saving up’ the bug fixing for some mythical end date just before the v1.0 launch.

Our community really rose to the challenge this month and gave us invaluable assistance. Our bug database is full of duplicate bug reports (most people don’t search first when reporting their bugs), and we’ve just never tackled that. Several community members organised into a group and closed well over 1,000 bugs during June, all duplicates. They also helped us to confirm our fixes worked and to test against regressions. Thanks guys! We wanted to give special shout outs to these community members who went above and beyond:

Reef : Thanks so much! You were a huge help to us this month. We are gifting you a free ‘Face in the Game’ upgrade as a token of our thanks.

mazetar, RGeezy911, _alphaBeta_, koshensky, Phydaux, Guvnor, Mhoram : You guys were incredibly helpful, thank you. We are gifting each of you a free ‘Name in the Game’ upgrade.

Normal service will resume next month, and we’ll have a set of lovely new features for alpha 23. But in the mean time, enjoy the new version.

Full change list

- New construction material : "Clear Indoor Area"
This removes any walls and floor materials and returns them to concrete floor.
It only works indoors, and does not remove the external walls of the building.
It also removes any objects in the area.

- Added more informative failure messages to the Reform screen, for when scheduling fails.
These are common failures that were wrongly reported as "NO ROOMS FOUND", leading to many bug reports

ALL ROOMS STAFF ONLY : The room must be available to the prisoners, Staff Only therefore doesn't count
NO REGIME TIMESLOT : There must be a slot in the regime of X hours of Work time, sufficient to fit the full session in
NO TEACHERS : You don't have any of the required teacher type

- Guards no longer hang out in the Holding Cell when they have nothing to do

- You can now clear a regime for Max or Min sec prisoners and return to the default Normal sec regime,
with a new X button in the regime window

- Narcotics continued
- The Methadone program is no longer 'graded' in the same way as the other academic/practical programs
Success chance is now based simply on attendance. Concentration and Understanding no longer play a part

- Doubled the penalty to 'Health' grading for drug and alcohol addictions (now -4 points per addiction)
- Doubled the effect on re-offending chance of drug and alcohol addictions
- The Methadone program has been renamed to 'Pharmacological Treatment of Drug Addiction'
- The Alcoholics Anonymous program has been renamed to 'Alcoholics Group Therapy'

- Food ingredients will only be delivered if you have a Kitchen
- Food trays will only be delivered if you have a canteen


= FIXED
- 0002217: [AI & Behaviour] 2 kitchens cause cooks to run between the two unproductively. (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0001684: [Gameplay] Jobs: Operate *X (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0000590: [Gameplay] Cancelling foundation doesn't refund money (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0003279: [Gameplay] CCTV not revealing prisoners in Common Room and showers (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0003304: [Gameplay] CCTV Cameras get stuck (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0003448: [AI & Behaviour] Max Security Prisoners are put into Med Security Holding Cells. (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0004900: [AI & Behaviour] Delivered maxsec prisoners not taken to shared holding cell (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0004905: [AI & Behaviour] When Constant Intake is on, guards do not escort prisoners to holding cell (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0002282: [Control & User Interface] Store *X in *Y (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0004380: [Gameplay] Programs not working (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0004496: [Control & User Interface] Pressing space in menu resumes game time (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0000151: [Graphics] Non-utility-related objects visible in utilities view (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0004808: [Graphics] Two-layer objects appear incorrectly on deployment/utilites screen (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0004701: [Graphics] Guard Tazers appear in Utilities view (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0003590: [AI & Behaviour] can't run education programs because "all rooms booked" (Chris) - resolved.
- 0002866: [Gameplay] Expanding land drops ALL patrols (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0004172: [AI & Behaviour] When you have 2 laudries all the baskets end up in one of them eventually (it gets crowded with laudry baskets) (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0000379: [Save & Load] Failed to save any prison or load second scene in introduction [Cyrillic symbols] (John) - resolved.
- 0004417: [AI & Behaviour] Isn't the doctor supposed to treat overdose? (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0000028: [Other] Bureaucracy for free (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0000808: [AI & Behaviour] Install Garbage (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0004823: [Gameplay] [motherbug] Crash in generating PNG *after* writing save on 64bit linux/windows/mac (John) - resolved.
- 0002205: [Save & Load] Game hangs when / after saving (John) - resolved.
- 0000864: [Gameplay] Unfinished foundations won't complete after loading (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0002226: [Gameplay] I would like to see the foundation tool have an option for concrete walls instead of brick. (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0003237: [AI & Behaviour] Existing Prisoners will not be reassigned "shared" security cells. (Chris) - resolved.
- 0003996: [Performance] Prisoner release, leaves map, On bio tab select crash (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0001469: [AI & Behaviour] Solitary door won't close (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0000081: [AI & Behaviour] Injured Guards don't seek medical treatment on their own (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0003649: [AI & Behaviour] Utility placed as object and interrupts further utility placement (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0000100: [Graphics] Shadows not visible for off screen objects (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0000039: [Control & User Interface] Camera controls active when focus is in menus (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0000278: [Gameplay] Regime is changed on load (Chris) - resolved.
- 0004264: [Gameplay] Speed up games with hotkeys (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0000037: [Control & User Interface] "Read the CEO's letter" in the Todo list comes back (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0003204: [AI & Behaviour] Dead prisoners moved to Infirmary not Morgue (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0001529: [AI & Behaviour] Dead visitors slide off morgue slabs. (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0002487: [AI & Behaviour] Dead visitor's not taken away by hearse. (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0002457: [AI & Behaviour] Corners pathfinding flawed (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0003275: [AI & Behaviour] If job inside inaccessible room, build doors/demolish wall/buldoze ignored (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0002850: [Platform Specific Issues] Assertion failed, mutex_win32.cpp, line 43 (John) - resolved.
- 0004406: [AI & Behaviour] Teacher never goes home (and classroom seems bugged) (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0004090: [Gameplay] Make it Capacitors don't need to turn on (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0001425: [Control & User Interface] Several menus do not halt game (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0000003: [AI & Behaviour] AI fails to properly path-find around non-everyone doors (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0001984: [Gameplay] Laundry Baskets can not be dismanteled or removed once placed. (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0000046: [Control & User Interface] Can click on some menus "behind" Bureaucracy screen (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0001383: [Graphics] Workshop saw and press deployed incorrectly if rotated. (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0000045: [Graphics] Shower drains not aligning to grid properly (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0004368: [Other] Startup crash in __GLeeGetExtensions (John) - resolved.
- 0004237: [AI & Behaviour] Injured Guards don't seek medical treatment on their own - closed.
- 0004398: [AI & Behaviour] Workmen do not demolish wall to no-access areas. (Chris) - closed.
- 0004234: [Gameplay] Cancelling foundation doesn't refund money - closed.
- 0004236: [AI & Behaviour] 2 kitchens cause cooks to run between the two unproductively. (John) - closed.
- 0002217: [AI & Behaviour] 2 kitchens cause cooks to run between the two unproductively. (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0001684: [Gameplay] Jobs: Operate *X (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0004900: [AI & Behaviour] Delivered maxsec prisoners not taken to shared holding cell (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0004905: [AI & Behaviour] When Constant Intake is on, guards do not escort prisoners to holding cell (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0003448: [AI & Behaviour] Max Security Prisoners are put into Med Security Holding Cells. (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0002282: [Control & User Interface] Store *X in *Y (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0001859: [Graphics] CCTV can not see the bleach in cleaning cupboard (Reef) - resolved.
- 0004380: [Gameplay] Programs not working (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0004938: [Gameplay] Cloning of Laundry Baskets (Reef) - resolved.
- 0000151: [Graphics] Non-utility-related objects visible in utilities view (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0004808: [Graphics] Two-layer objects appear incorrectly on deployment/utilites screen (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0004687: [AI & Behaviour] No route to install small pipe (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0001006: [AI & Behaviour] CCTV cameras are being blocked by doors in the walls. (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0005000: [Other] persona name resolution (John) - resolved.
- 0003590: [AI & Behaviour] can't run education programs because "all rooms booked" (Chris) - resolved.
- 0000478: [Other] suddenly crashed (Reef) - resolved.
- 0004439: [AI & Behaviour] Guards cannot be healed while escorting a prisoner (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0004417: [AI & Behaviour] Isn't the doctor supposed to treat overdose? (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0003286: [Graphics] CCTV not working in showers & visitor rooms (Reef) - resolved.
- 0000914: [AI & Behaviour] Guards not opening nearest doors (_alphaBeta_) - resolved.
- 0002260: [AI & Behaviour] Prisoners are not shown by CCTV (Reef) - resolved.
- 0004823: [Gameplay] [motherbug] Crash in generating PNG *after* writing save on 64bit linux/windows/mac (John) - resolved.
- 0003649: [AI & Behaviour] Utility placed as object and interrupts further utility placement (elDiablo) - resolved.

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Prison Architect Alpha 21
Posted by Chris on 30th May 2014
 
Alpha 21 has been released! Steam users will be automatically updated. Non-steam users can download the latest version from the builds page here:
http://www.prison-architect.com/builds.html

You need an active forum account to access the builds from our website. If you haven’t already done so, please register your game here to gain access to the builds, the private forums, the bug database and the wiki.
http://www.prison-architect.com/register

Here is our video demonstrating the new features:


Narcotics
Prisoners can now take drugs (typically smuggled in through visitation), and develop addictions. Addiction gets stronger with each use of a drug, and prisoners go into withdrawal if they do not get their drugs fix quick enough. Some prisoners arrive with existing addictions, other prisoners try drugs when bored or dissatisfied. All drugs have a chance to cause an overdose, which is lethal unless immediately treated by a Doctor.

Currently included:
- Heroin
- Cocain
- Alchohol

Two new Reform programs have been added to help combat drug addiction:
- Methodone program, a chemical suppliment that helps remove the craving of addicted prisoners
- Alchoholics anonymous meeting, a group therapy session aimed at reducing the psychological dependence on booze

Prisoners who refrain (or are prevented) from taking drugs for long enough to make it through withdrawal have a chance to cure their addiction, Cold Turkey style.

Advanced regime control
You can now control the regime for each security group independantly - Min sec / Normal sec / Max sec prisoners
Use this to rotate the actions of your different prisoner categories throughout the day
Regime 'Nothing' has been renamed 'Lockup', to better reflect its meaning. Prisoners must return to their cells during Lockup.

Image

Language selector
There is now a Union Jack flag in the Main Menu (top left) which can be clicked on to change the game language. This opens the language selector screen, which shows all currently installed language packs (MODS). In the STEAM version this screen also lists ALL language packs currently available via the Steam Workshop. Selecting any language pack will automatically download it and apply it, and the Union Jack icon will change appropriately.

Image

Surrender
Prisoners now have a chance to surrender when faced with lethal force
Armed guards shout warnings before opening fire. Weaker prisoners will surrender immediately, raising their hands in the air.
More aggressive prisoners may surrender after being shot at or wounded by gunfire.
Surrendered prisoners are immediately 100% suppressed, and will return to their cells after the armed guards have passed.
NOTE : Soldiers still do not shout warnings, and will not accept surrender once they have engaged a target.

Image

Alpha 22 - Bug Bash
Next month for alpha 22 we will be doing things differently. The entire team will be focussing exclusively on bug fixes for one entire month. This does mean that there will be no new features in alpha 22, however the game should improve immeasurably as we tackle some of the biggest long standing issues in the game. And we need your help!

We have a massive database of over 4000 bugs recorded. We can’t possibly fix them all. We need your help to prioritise the bug database so we know what to fix - we will be focussing on the top 100 rated bugs, so your ratings are very important. Take a look at this video for information on how to help us with prioritising the bug database:


We plan to launch new versions more frequently during June, perhaps once or twice a week, so you can get the latest bug fixes quickly and give us feedback as we work. If everything goes according to plan the game will be much more solid within a month, and we’ll all get back to adding some lovely new features for alpha 23.


Full change list
Code: Select all
= Narcotics
    Prisoners can now take drugs (typically smuggled in through visitation), and develop addictions
    Addiction gets stronger with each use of a drug
    Prisoners go into withdrawal if they do not get their drugs fix quick enough
    Some prisoners arrive with existing addictions, other prisoners try drugs when bored or dissatisfied
    All drugs have a chance to cause an overdose, which is lethal unless immediately treated by a Doctor
    The chance of overdose increases with the strength of the addiction

    Currently included:
        - Heroin
        - Cocain
        - Alchohol
   
    Two new Reform programs to help combat drug addiction:
        - Methodone program, a chemical suppliment that helps remove the craving of addicted prisoners
        - Alchoholics anonymous meeting, a group therapy session aimed at reducing the psychological dependence on booze

    Prisoners who refrain (or are prevented) from taking drugs for long enough to make it through withdrawal have a chance
    to cure their addiction, Cold Turkey style.

= Advanced regime control
    You can now control the regime for each security group independantly - Min sec / Normal sec / Max sec prisoners
    Use this to rotate the actions of your different prisoner categories throughout the day
    Regime 'Nothing' has been renamed 'Lockup', to better reflect its meaning. Prisoners must return to their cells during Lockup.

= Language selector
    There is now a Union Jack flag in the Main Menu (top left) which can be clicked on to change the game langague
    This opens the language selector screen, which shows all currently installed language packs (MODS)
    In the STEAM version this screen also lists ALL language packs currently available via the Steam Workshop
    Selecting any language pack will automatically download it and apply it, and the Union Jack icon will change appropriately

    - Translation work : Many more hard-coded strings have been exported to the language file, ready for translation

= Surrender
    Prisoners now have a chance to surrender when faced with lethal force
    Armed guards shout warnings before opening fire. Weaker prisoners will surrender immediately, raising their hands in the air.
    More aggressive prisoners may surrender after being shot at or wounded by gunfire.
    Surrendered prisoners are immediately 100% suppressed, and will return to their cells after the armed guards have passed.
        NOTE : Soldiers still do not shout warnings, and will not accept surrender once they have engaged a target.

- You can now assign discretionary punishments from a Prisoners rap sheet - up to 24 hours Lockdown (in cell) or 24 hours in Solitary

- Bank loans no longer count against you in the consideration of bankruptcy. So you can use a bank loan to escape bankruptcy if it is available.

- Fixed : Army trucks no longer get stuck on locked Road Gates

- In the "Names in the Game" list you can now select your entry and tick the box labelled "This is me"
    This sets your prisoner avatar to this character. If you find yourself locked up within your prison,
    this is the prisoner who will embody you.

- Many main menu screens now use better font sizes for lists

- Nutritional policy moved to Policy window. Policy now unlocked by Warden

- The maximum copy size of the Clone tool has been doubled from 6 squares to 12 squares

- Dog sniff range (drug detection) has been reduced slightly

- Improved visual effect for tazer fire



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Alpha 20 released
Posted by Chris on 29th April 2014
 
Alpha 20 has been released! Steam users will be automatically updated. Non-steam users can download the latest version from the builds page here:
http://www.prison-architect.com/builds.html

You need an active forum account to access the builds from our website. If you haven’t already done so, please register your game here to gain access to the builds, the private forums, the bug database and the wiki.
http://www.prison-architect.com/register

Here is our video demonstrating the new features:


Prisoner Grading
All prisoners have a new 'Grading' tab in their rap sheet, in which they are scored on four key metrics:

- PUNISHMENT To what extent has this prisoner been punished? Long jail terms and solitary increase this.
- REFORM How successful have your reform attempts been? Passing reform programs and working increases this
- SECURITY Was the prisoner kept safely locked away? Fights and escapes detract from this, armed lockdown counts towards it
- HEALTH A measure of the welfare of your prisoner. Keeping them well fed and exercised will increase this.

These factors are combined, together with their age, number of prior convictions etc, to produce an estimate of their Re-offending chance.

Image

There is a new overall grading 'score' screen, available from the build toolbar
The gradings for all your released prisoners are combined together and shown
This screen shows what type of prison you have produced, and how successful you have been.

Image

Failure conditions
It is now possible to fail when building your prison, in certain circumstances. This constitutes a game over event. All failure conditions come with a verbal warning from the CEO, giving you chance to avert the failure.

Note : Failure conditions are turned off for existing prisons. This is to avoid any nasty bugs in the new failure system destroying peoples prisons immediately on load. Failure conditions default to ON for all new prisons.

There are currently four failure conditions:

RIOT
If you let a riot run for too long, the government will be forced to step in and take over your prison. In this event you will be sacked, and the National Guard will be deployed to retake your prison by force.

Image

BANKRUPTCY
If you have a negative bank balance and a negative cashflow, you are bankrupt. You will have 24 hours to put in place a financial rescue package before being sacked.

ESCAPES
Too many escapes in a single day is a PR disaster waiting to happen. If more escapes occur the next day you will be sacked.

DEATHS
Too many deaths in a single day will trigger a warning. If more deaths occur the next day you will be sacked. You will then be convicted of Criminal Negligence, and will spend time within your own jail as a prisoner.

Image

Wandering around your own prison is a really interesting experience, and turns the game on its head. The fog-of-war changes to reflect the fact you can only see things directly within your line of sight.

Image


Full change list
Code: Select all
= Prisoner Grading
    All prisoners have a new 'Grading' tab in their rap sheet, in which they are scored on four key metrics:
   
        - PUNISHMENT    To what extent has this prisoner been punished? Long jail terms and solitary increase this.
        - REFORM        How successful have your reform attempts been? Passing reform programs and working increases this
        - SECURITY      Was the prisoner kept safely locked away? Fights and escapes detract from this, armed lockdown counts towards it
        - HEALTH        A measure of the welfare of your prisoner. Keeping them well fed and exercised will increase this.
       
    These factors are combined, together with their age, number of prior convictions etc, to produce an estimate of their
    Re-offending chance.

    There is a new overall grading 'score' screen, available from the build toolbar
    The gradings for all your released prisoners are combined together and shown
    This screen shows what type of prison you have produced, and how successful you have been

= Failure conditions            (!!! TURNED OFF FOR PRE-EXISTING PRISONS !!!)
    It is now possible to fail when building your prison, in certain circumstances. This constitutes a game over event.
    All failure conditions come with a verbal warning from the CEO, giving you chance to avert the failure.
    There are currently four failure conditions:

        - RIOT          If you let a riot run for too long, the government will be forced to step in and take over your prison.
                        In this event you will be sacked, and the National Guard will be deployed to retake your prison by force.
                       
        - BANKRUPTCY    If you have a negative bank balance and a negative cashflow, you are bankrupt.
                        You will have 24 hours to put in place a financial rescue package before being sacked.

        - DEATHS        Too many deaths in a single day will trigger a warning. If more deaths occur the next day you will be sacked.
                        You will then be convicted of Criminal Negligence, and will spend time within your own jail as a prisoner.
                       
        - ESCAPES       Too many escapes in a single day is a PR disaster waiting to happen.
                        If more escapes occur the next day you will be sacked.

    - NOTE : Failure conditions are OFF for all pre-existing prisons. They will apply when you create a new prison.
             You can manually turn them on by adding this line to your save file at the top:
                FailureConditions    true

    - On screen counters will popup to notify you of deaths and escapes that occurred today

- It is now much easier to find foreign language translations in the Steam Workshop.
    Go to the main menu / Extras / Mods / Find more translations
    Fixed: Many steam mods were incorrectly tagged as language translations

- Finance continued
    - The "Days without incident" bonus now scales based on how many prisoners you have.
      You now need 200 prisoners on site to achieve the maximum bonus increase of $1,000 per day.
      This scales up each day you achieve it, up to a maximum of $10,000 per day, requiring
      200 prisoners without incident for 10 or more days. Good luck!

    - You can no longer trade in shares, or sell your prison, if there have been any deaths or escapes
      in the past 24 hours. This should put a stop to unconsionable players who helped prisoners escape
      or commit murder in order to profit from share trading!
     
    - Yesterday's exports are now reflected in your cashflow as income

- New graphics added for body armour upgrades (guards, armed guards and dog handlers)

- Fixed : Exports zone would not work correctly if placed above the Deliveries zone,
          or placed vertically aligned with the Deliveries or garbage zones

- Fixed : Having negative cash reserves stopped hourly cashflow from happening

- Fixed : Prisoner sentences counted down faster on larger maps, due to the time warp factor used

- Fixed : In the "New prison" window, the "Fog of war" and "Continuous intake" tick boxes didn't work properly

- Fixed : Particles and sun shadows are now correctly obscured by fog of war




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Alpha 19 Released
Posted by Mark on 27th March 2014
 
Alpha 19 has been released! Steam users will be automatically updated. Non-steam users can download the latest version from the builds page here:
http://www.prison-architect.com/builds.html

You need an active forum account to access the builds from our website. If you haven’t already done so, please register your game here to gain access to the builds, the private forums, the bug database and the wiki.
http://www.prison-architect.com/register

Here is our video demonstrating the new features:


After a long playthrough of the game, we concluded that the Finance system was most in need of some development love this month. It has become common practice to cheat your way to $1,000,000 in the bank because there is simply no other way to raise that kind of capital, and the game becomes boring when you have to wait for it to roll in. There are many mods that filled the gap by adding more grants to the game. Furthermore, if you use all the official grants up (all four of them) and still have a negative cashflow, you have literally no way to recover other than cheating, because your bank balance will be decreasing every day and you won’t be able to afford to build new facilities. It was clear that Finance needed looking at. Urgently.

We’ve added a ton of new official grants, and added new requirements to them as well. You can now only have two grants running at once, although your accountant to expand that to three - so be careful which ones you choose. Grants can have “Pre-requisites” before they become available to you - eg you must have completed a previous grant, or have a certain number of prisoners on site. Some grants are hidden and will only reveal themselves when the conditions are right. There is a new special “Government Bailout” grant that acts as a second life - if you run out of money and have a negative cashflow, the government will put together a rescue package and bail you out of trouble. But only once.

Image

You can now borrow money from the bank, and repay interest every hour. Every successful repayment increases your credit rating, and allows you to borrow more.

Once you have a high value prison, you can sell shares in the facility - effectively selling a share of your prison to investors in exchange for money. They will pay you 10% of the total prison value, in exchange for 10% ownership of the prison. This can be an excellent way to raise money, but those investors are not acting out of the goodness of their hearts - they expect a profitable return, and will take their share of the prison sale price when you do come to sell up.

All prison establishments are now expected to pay Corporation Taxes, at 30% of all profit. We advise you keep declared profits as low as possible in the early stages - by re-investing your profits into wages and expanding your prison. Once you start making big profits you can ask your accountant to work on reducing your tax burden.

We have updated the industry system so that your produced goods are exported properly now. (Previously they were magically sold at midnight, vanishing out of existence). There is now a new Exports zone which should be placed near the road, and all your trade goods will be hauled there to be loaded up onto delivery trucks and taken away for sale. This is far more realistic, but also has the added benefit that you will receive income throughout the day as your goods are sold, rather than in a lump sum at midnight. We’ve extended this hourly model to all areas of the cashflow as well - your daily income is now paid in 24 hourly payments, spreading out the income over the day. It was felt that waiting for midnight every day was deeply unsatisfying.

Image

On top of that there are tons of balance changes and bug fixes, many related to finance. The whole game should be significantly more playable now without resorting to grants mods or cheats. We hope you have fun playing alpha 19, and we will see you again for alpha 20 in one month.


Full change list
Code: Select all
= Financial system improvements

    - Cashflow is now visible from the very start, without needing an Accountant to unlock it
    - Cashflow is now paid hourly, instead of at midnight as before
    - The starting bank balance has been increased from $10,000 to $30,000
    - The daily federal grant has been increased from $1,500 to $2,000
    - You now receive more daily money for the max security prisoners

    = Cash Bonus : Days without Incident
      You now receive a bonus to your cashflow based on the number of days without incident.
      The bonus accumulates at a rate of $1,000 per day without incident
      So after 1 day you get a $1,000 bonus, but after 2 days you get a $2,000 bonus
      The maximum daily bonus is $10,000 for 10 days straight without incident
      The amount received resets immediately to zero after a death, serious injury, or escape
     
    = Corporation Taxes
      You must now pay tax - 30% of all profits, directly out of your daily cashflow.
      Once you have a profitable prison you can use your accountant to reduce this to 15%
      You can also unlock an offshore tax haven for a whopping $50,000, that reduces your Corporation Taxes to 1%.
        (This is only recommended for prisons with massive daily profits)
       
    = Bank Loans
      You can now borrow lump sums of money from the bank, and pay interest on the amount borrowed.
      Interest payments are made hourly, and each successful payment increases your credit rating.
      As your credit rating increases, so does the amount you can borrow, up to a max of $100,000
           
    = Prison Share Scheme
      You can choose to sell shares in your prison to private investors and venture capitalists.
      They will pay you 10% of the current prison value, in exchange for 10% ownership of your prison.
      You can sell up to 50% of your prison this way, and you can buy back at any time (although the price may have gone up)
      However if you've sold 30% of your prison to investors, you will only receive 70% of the price when you come to sell the entire prison
   
= Game rebalancing
    - The prison 'temperature' now increases quite a bit slower, taking much longer to reach dangerous levels
    - The temperature falls much quicker once the causes of frustration have been resolved
   
    - A prisoner's "time served" now counts up much more slowly, meaning they will spend longer in your jail before release
        Previously one year sentence = 36 game hours (1.5 days)
        Now one year sentence = 120 game hours (5 days)

    - The Workshop Safety Induction can now be taught to 10 prisoners at once (up from 5 previously),
        and prisoners can use a workshop saw OR a workshop press whilst learning

- New room/zone : Exports
    Finished items are taken from the workshop to the new exports zone. Workmen will do the hauling.
    If the exports zone is 'secure' then your prisoners will also do the hauling.
    Items in the Exports zone will be loaded onto passing delivery trucks and taken away.
    You will be paid as they leave the prison site
        NOTE: Logs will be auto-sold if there are no workshop Saws on site
        NOTE: Wood will be auto-sold if there are no carpenters tables, or no qualified carpenters on site

- SDL 2.0
    The game is now using SDL 2.0 for windowing, mouse/keyboard input, and sound. (Previously SDL 1.2)
    This should help with hardware compatibility and reliability
    Also provides better support for high dpi displays, joypads, tablets etc
   
- High DPI mode is now supported on certain displays - eg the Macbook Pro Retina display.
    Enable it from the Graphics menu. This will make the game look significantly sharper on high DPI displays.
    (Eg Retina Mac previously ran the game at 1280x800 - now runs at 2560x1600 on a 13" screen!)

- Greatly improved the display of Jobs in the deployment screen

- You must now keep your Administrators employed if you wish to continue using the facilities they have unlocked

- Prisoners with 'Qualifications' gained from reform programs will now strongly prefer to work in jobs that use those qualifications
    This fixes a problem where all your qualified workshop prisoners went off to do the cleaning

- Tazers are no longer flagged as 'Metal', so wont set off metal detectors

- Trees will no longer leave a stump if they are felled indoors, eg after building new foundations over forest

- The Emergency Services toolbar now shows tooltips for each service type, including the cost of callout

- The Rooms toolbar now highlights rooms you are likely to want to build, due to grants/objectives

- The Bureaucracy screen has been laid out in a new arrangement to make room for all the new unlocks

- The Lawyer has been removed from the game, as he currently serves no purpose. He may return at a later date.

- New graphics for the Teacher

- Fixed : The reform program 'Scheduler' now ensures there will be a teacher available when picking a time slot.
          This fixes a bug with the foreman being expected to teach multiple workshop induction classes at once.
          NOTE: You may need to manually click "Reschedule" if your prison has this problem after loading

- Fixed : Prisoners working as janitors would stand around in the cleaning cupboard doing nothing,
          unless you had at least one janitor hired (or if you had very few janitors in a large jail)

- Fixed : Cutting down a tree near a wall square will no longer demolish that wall square

- Fixed : Experience will no longer tick up on dead prisoners

- Fixed : You can no longer place rooms over lakes

- Fixed : Stolen contraband would still be counted if the prisoner responsible had left the jail.
          This counted towards the overall 'Supply' level, but could never be found by searching.



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