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Prison Architect

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Logical.

Logic can be dangerous. Minecraft players have built everything from room-sized games of Pong to autocannons with its redstone logic circuits, and that’s a relatively peaceful game. If you combined logic circuits with, say, the prison-industrial complex, I dread to imagine what dehumanising mechanisms might be built around inmates. So let’s see what happens now Prison Architect has done just that.

It’s fine, though. Prison Architect isn’t quite so freeform, and Introversion imagine the new automation and logic tools will be used for things like remote door control systems and sharing clock signals. Which does almost sound like a challenge.

… [visit site to read more]

Community Announcements - sPray
Alpha 23 has been released!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rcwr91LOI3g

Remote Access systems
You can now build a number of interconnected systems and servos in your prison, to automate access through locked doors.
These new objects are unlocked via 'Remote Access' in the beauracracy screen, and available in the Utilities menu.
All of these systems can be connected together using the 'Connect' tool in the Utilities menu.

- Door Servo : Attaches to an existing door. Can be triggered electrically to open the door.



- Door Control System : Operated by a guard in a security room. Allows guards to open doors remotely.
The system is connected to servos via the new 'Connect' tool in the utilities menu.
Note: The operator can open a maximum of two doors per second, so don't overload a single system with too many servos.
Note: If a Door Control System becomes broken, ALL connected doors will spring open.

- Door Timer : Another way to control doors automatically, based on time of day. Click on the door timer to access its schedule.
All connected doors will be opened when the schedule says they should be.

- Remote Door : A strong metal door that cannot be opened with Jail Keys. You must connect this door up with a Door Servo
and control it remotely somehow.

Cctv overhall
The old cctv system has been replaced, using the new Connection mechanics developed for Remote Access Systems.
Cctv Monitors must now be connected to cameras using the 'Connect' tool.
A single Cctv Monitor must now be operated by one Guard, and a Guard can only operate one monitor at a time.
A Monitor can be connected to as many cameras as you wish, but has only eight screens.
If you connect it to more than eight cameras, the monitor will cycle through them, giving only partial coverage.




[ADVANCED FEATURE] Logic Circuits
Two new objects have been added purely as an experiment, and are not required for any normal prison.
These objects can be used to build advanced electrical circuits.

- Logic Circuit : A boolean logic gate with X inputs and 1 output.
Available operations : And / Or / Not / Nand / Nor / Xor
Right click on the circuit to cycle the operation.

- Logic Bridge : Can be used to send a signal via Electrical Cable (normally used to power your prison)
Place the Logic Bridge over a cell containing Electrical cable, and that entire cable will have the same signal value.
Any Logic Circuit sitting on the same Electrical Cable will receive the signal as one of its inputs.
This is specifically useful for transmitting a common signal around your circuit - eg a Clock signal,
without requiring thousands of seperate wires.



Contraband Smuggling continued

- Contraband can now be smuggled in via materials in a Delivery Truck. Anything brought in via Delivery Trucks can be used.
Eg Food ingredients, metal sheets for the workshop, prisoner uniforms, construction materials etc.
Dogs will detect narcotics in these items, and metal detectors will spot metal items.
Guards can now search these items on request.
Once brought into the prison, the contraband will remain in its material until a nearby prisoner picks it up.
Note: The types of contraband smuggled in this way will be determined by the Supply and Demand within the prison.

- Contraband can now be thrown in over the external walls.
Prisoners 'arrange' this when phoning home, or when talking to their visitors in Visitation.
They will arrange to go to a pre-determined place at a certain time, and collect a specific item.
The item chosen will be based on the needs of that prisoner.
If there are guards near the collection point, the contraband will not be thrown in.
The maximum throw range is 10 squares, and cannot happen in sectors marked as 'Staff Only' as prisoners cannot get there.

- Intoxication is now a type of Misconduct, and is 'detected' when a Guard searches a prisoner. He will notice they are high/drunk.
You can now set the punishment for Intoxication in the Policy table.
Being caught Intoxicated automatically refers the prisoner to the relevent 'Rehab' program, if it exists.

- Utilities mode now filters the display based on what you are building, to give a clearer view.
Only relevent objects and connections will be shown depending on the mode - Electrical, Pipes, Circuit wiring.

- Fences are no longer free (YOU try getting hundreds of metres of fences for free)

- You can now expand and contract the Todo list to free up screen space

- More info has been added to the tooltips in the Build Toolbar

- Kitchen Sinks now require a water pipe connection

- The 'Day X' timer in the top toolbar now shows the total 'Real Time' played on this prison

- Fixed a subtle bug in the audio system that caused audio corruption sometimes - buzzing, popping, clicking
Jun 27, 2014
Community Announcements - sPray
Alpha 22 has been released!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xer0X1zYbag

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.

Here's a full list of bug fixes:
http://forums.introversion.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=49215
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

I hope someone adds a mod where you can control a single character in a top-down shmup.

It’s possible that some of you have overdosed on Prison Architect update videos by now, but if you’re like me and still in the throes of a monthly addiction to the incarceration management sim’s new features, then this month’s hit is a good one. As explained on the official forum, the major new addition: your prison’s inhabitants can now smuggle in drugs, get hooked on them, and go into withdrawal or overdose. Inject the trailer below directly into your eyeballs to beat the blood-brain barrier.

… [visit site to read more]

Community Announcements - sPray
Alpha 21 has been released! Here is our video demonstrating the new features:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7nQODdpby4

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.



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.



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.



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:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9pzYbFEI-Q

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.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

How many posts have I written about Prison Architect alphas since joining RPS last October? Checking the tag page for the game suggests seven thousand. It’s not my fault, it’s just that each one adds a feature or set of features I find irresistible. The latest, alpha 20, introduces a set of failure states to the game, including the ability to be convicted of criminal negligence. You will then “spend time within your own jail as a prisoner.”

The regular developer video showing the new features is below.

… [visit site to read more]

Announcement - Valve
To celebrate Alpha 20 update, save 66% on Prison Architect during this week's Midweek Madness*!

Build and Manage A Maximum Security Prison.

Prison Architect is the world's latest Prison Management Sim. Starting with an empty plot of land you must construct a holding cell with basic water and electricity to house your first batch of prisoners, to buy you enough time to create a proper cell block. You'll need to hire some guards, get some showers built and unless the kitchen is up and running with chefs working away you're going to end up with a riot on your hands. From there you take your prison in which-ever direction you like. A monsterous super-max or comfortable center for rehabilitation, the choice is up to you.

*Offer ends Friday at 10AM Pacific Time
Community Announcements - sPray
Alpha 20 has been released! Here is our video demonstrating the new features:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-Lsf-j0bUQ

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
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.



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.



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.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

Sexy.

After recent updates added bulletproof vests and shotguns, it was probably inevitable that Prison Architect would continue it’s escalation towards more and more exciting additions with each alpha. The trend continues in alpha 19 with a broad revision to the game’s finance systems, which introduces new rules for borrowing, the need to pay corporation tax, and the ability to sell shares in your prison to investors.

Video update below while I try to explain why I’m not being sarcastic.

… [visit site to read more]

Community Announcements - sPray
Alpha 19 has been released!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLueDnpnTI0

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.



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.



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.
...

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