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

Prison Architect [official site] technically left early access ten months ago but developers Introversion Software have kept updating their build-o-management game as before. Now they’re finally almost done. After the upcoming release of version 2.0, Introversion plan to call it a day and – aside from fixing bugs which pop up – focus on new things like their pretty cave-scanning game. V2.0 will properly launch next month but you can try a preview version today if you fancy playing with tricky events like food poisoning and mass tunnelling.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer

After years spent making Prison Architect, then updating it pretty much every month after release, Introversion is ready to move on. The icing on the cake (the cake has a file in it, because prison) is a huge new update that revamps the UI, while making changes to the way modding works and adding more, well, just more. Prison Architect will continue to be supported after version 2.0, but the team is finally moving onto pastures new. Specifically, onto one or both of the prototypes the developer recently put to a public vote.

But before that, there's the little matter of version 2.0, which the team discuss in great length in a new update video.

2.0 hasn't officially launched yet, but you can opt in to the beta on Steam by following the instructions in the YouTube video description. Here's a big list of what's included in the update.

What about that next game, then? Well, have a watch of this footage of first-person cave-explore-'em-up Scanner Sombre, and of bomb defusal title Wrong Wire, two prototypes Introversion showed off recently (skip to 26:05).

Introversion's next game will build on one of those prototypes, BUT WHICH ONE. I got the impression that Scanner Sombre was next up, from the previous video, but I'd be happy with either.

Community Announcements - sPray
Prison Architect Update 8 has been released!

This update is on a steam branch, meaning it will not automatically download. You must manually switch to that branch to see this new version.
- Right click on Prison Architect in your games list
- Click 'Properties'
- Click 'Betas'
- Select 'v2preview' from the list. (Restart steam if it doesn't show up)
- The update will then download.

This is a preview build of the v2.0 features that we are properly launching next month. There may be a couple of bugs and glitches in this bad boy so only dl if you are proper brave.....


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2e1zciptdI


New improved User Interface
Many user interfaces have been redesigned to be clearer, more consistent, and better looking.

- Improved Build toolbar
New look build toolbar for with much cleaner icons and graphics
Toolbar now filters out locked items by default, leading to simpler menus in early game (Click + to reveal all)
The Room toolbar now highlights room types when you mouse over them
Help tooltips have been added to many of the toolbar menus

- Tooltip sizes made more consistent and screen friendly across the board

- New Context Menu
Click on any object or entity to bring up the context menu
Allows for quick context sensitive actions
Prisoner Rap sheet now auto-follows prisoners

- UNDO
All construction work is now covered by a global UNDO button at the bottom right of the screen
Click UNDO to gradually reverse any decisions you have made, and receive a full refund
Nb. UNDO button is only shown when using the toolbar for foundations, materials, objects, utilities etc.

- Research/bureaucracy screen improved to look better
- Patrols interface improved for clarity
- Pipe and water rendering improved for clarity
- Informants window improved by moving the list to the right of the screen and making it smaller
- Logistics views now more consistent, showing only objects and entities relevant to each view.
Eg Food logistics now shows everything relevent to food: Ingredients, meals, chefs, prisoners working in the kitchen

- Nb. All of the new GUI features can be disabled through Main Menu -> Options -> Game -> Version 2.0 GUI tickbox

- Zoom to mouse
Nb. Can be disabled through Main Menu -> Options -> Game -> Zoom to mouse.


Modding System (continued)

- 'Infinite' mod loading
The game now supports many more simultanious graphical mods than before
It achieves this by gradually increasing the size of the graphics tileset, until your graphics card itself hits its limit
In general users should find they can now activate a great deal more mods before any problems occur
In addition, when the limit is reached you will now receive a warning/error message. (Previously it just started misbehaving)

- Mods with spritesheets larger than 1024x1024 are now supported

- Lua World Scripts
Each mod can now have a data/world.lua script file, which should contain both Init() and Update( timePassed ) functions.
This script is initialised on World initialisation (for both new maps and loaded save games) and Updated on each World update.
Variables set in the "this" or "World" tables will be cast to strings and persist in the save game.
Variables are loaded after Init and before the first call to Update.

- Mods can now have their own sounds.txt file, containing only new/modified sounds.
These will override base data in the same way as other mod files.

- Added Update button to Prison Sharing menu.
Allows any published prison to be updated with the prison that you are currently playing.

- Fixed a bug in the lua scripting system that would try to cast boolean strings (in lua) to a bool (in c++).


New game content
- New events
Contraband surge
Tree fire
Food poisoning
Agitating radio
CI list leak
Mass tunnelling
Preacher

- TVs now broadcast over an area (3x3, shown as a green box).
Prisoners sitting within the viewing area can watch TV and thereby have their recreation needs taken care of.
Nb. Prisoners can be doing other things at the same time, eg eating in the canteen.

- New item: Large TV.
Has a larger viewing area and can easily provide Recreation to an entire room.
Be sure to provide lots of seating spaces.

- Radios now passively broadcast to the entire room.
Any prisoners in a room with a radio are slightly less bored, so get a small reduction to their Recreation needs.

- New item: Arcade Cabinet
Two inmates can play games on an arcade cabinet at the same time


- New Contraband menu option: 'Stolen From'
Shows the location each item of contraband was stolen from, rather than where it was ultimately recovered
Shows 7 days of contraband history.
This is very handy for finding which of your rooms is lacking security
Also easily reveals where contraband is being thrown into your prison.


- New Regime options
Added a 'Work/Lockup' regime type. Treats prisoners who aren't working as being on a Lockup regime instead of free time.
The standard Work regime has been renamed to 'Work/Freetime'


- Dead entities now have their cause of death displayed in their tooltip

- Prisoners without jail cells now show the reason why in their tooltip

- Family cells that are in their own block, separate from other prisoner housing, will form a single sector

- The 'Names in the Game' database can now be manually updated from the Extras | Name in Game menu.

- Updates to all translations to bring all languages up to v2.0.

BUG FIXES
- Fixed: A gang would never receive a new leader, if its previous leader was killed and left the map.
- Fix for Intake System to ensure that the correct number of prisoners are taken
- 0010443: [AI & Behaviour] Family cells do not form a continuous cell block
- 0010559: [Mod System] Changing WorldCell "Ind" property always sets to false
- 0009556: [Mod System] Lua: Triggered property sometimes a string, sometimes a number, sometimes boolean
- 0003033: [Save & Load] Steam Workshop Update not possible
- 0009729: [Mod System] Sprites.png: 1024x1024 size not working
- 0010882: [Mod System] Sprite.png size limitations cause compatibility issues with mods
- 0010290: [Mod System] Sprite Limits
- 0009618: [Mod System] sprites.png: current approach necessary but not sufficient


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Community Announcements - sPray
Prison Architect Update 6 has been released! And we have brand new game prototypes to show you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZL4NCrgMhYA

TWO BRAND NEW GAME PROTOTYPES
Introducing 'Scanner Sombre' and 'Wrong Wire'

Skip forward to 22 minutes into the video, to see us demonstrate two of our (potentially) upcoming games. These are prototypes we have been developing in secret until now, and will form the basis of whatever comes next after Prison Architect. Please keep in mind that whilst we intend to continue supporting Prison Architect with updates for a very long time, we also intend to make new games, just as we have always done.

We are interested in your thoughts on the new games. Please go here to vote on your favourite:
http://www.introversion.co.uk/vote


PRISON ARCHITECT

= Seasons and Weather
- The game will now move through the seasons, with the outdoor temperature varying based on the time of year.
- Various weather patterns can occur during the game, varying based on the current season.
- Overcast
- Rain
- Torrential rain (Special event, rare)
- Snow and frost
- Heatwave (special event, rare)

- Prisoners needs will be affected by the weather when they are outdoors. Getting rained on will spike their
comfort, clothing and warmth needs.

- Prisoners left outside in extremely cold conditions (for example in an outdoor solitary confinement cage)
can now die of exposure.

- Weather is DISABLED by default in all prisons, and can be enabled when creating a new map.
Alternatively, use the new "Map Settings" screen in the Extras menu.


= Map Settings
You can now adjust the settings of your prison from a new screen called "Map Settings", found in the Extras menu.
This screen lets you enable certain options that may not have been enabled (or even available) when you first created the map.
Nb. You can enable these options, but you cannot disable them once enabled.

Available options:
- Enable Gangs
- Enable Events
- Enable Weather


= Job Prioritisation
- You can now mark any job as a high priority. Simple hold control and either
left click or left drag a selection to mark jobs. Available workers (who aren't
already on a high priority job) will stop what they are doing and be assigned
to the high priority job.

- If no workers are available, high priority jobs will take precedence when the
workers become available. A small icon in the lower right of a visible job shows
if it is marked as a high priority job.

- You can remove the high priority marking on jobs by holding control and either
right clicking or dragging a selection.

- Hovering over an in progress job will now highlight the entity working on it,
showing a red line leading to the worker responsible for the job.

- Pressing F while highlighting an in progress job will cause the camera to follow
the working entity and keep the highlight active.


= Performance Work (continued)
Further performance gains were made this month through several different approaches to optimisation.

- More systems moved to overlap with Render().
- Optimisations to the visible object list builder.
- Singly linked lists mostly replaced with arrays (FastList).
- Avoid copying of containers where possible.
- NeedSystem optimised.


= Bug Fixes
Temperature and lightmap system corruption bug fixed.

- 0010618: [Gameplay] Temperature next to fire is in the negatives
- 0010625: [Gameplay] Temperature drops instantly even in areas that should be producing heat


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Community Announcements - John
Having read the feedback, we think that we made the hot water pipes too fiddly for many players by requiring every shower head to be wired up to warm water to avert a riot of frigid prisoners.

We've now changed the system so that a hot shower is an optional luxury and gives a benefit to prisoners' well-being if you feel generous enough to provide it.

Changes:
- If a shower head is connected to hot water, this will benefit prisoner's warmth and comfort needs. Cold showers no longer cause frigid effect.
- Hot water range increased.
- Hot water makes sinks work faster.
PC Gamer

Prison Architect's hidden 3D mode was discovered the other week, and with the cat firmly out of the bag, developer Introversion said there may be updates on the way to the experimental mode. Said updates are now here as part of the grandly titled Update 5, which also adds hot water boilers, hot water pipes and, yes, hot water to the prison management sim. No wonder your prisoners have been trying to flee this whole time: they've had to make do with tepid showers.

Of the 3D view, Introversion says that it's "improved 3d mode with new shapes, new shaders operating on all objects, and better wall geometry", but that it "remains very experimental", so use at your own risk.

You'll need a boiler, hot water pipes, and a direct electrical connection to funnel hot water to your inmates, but it does come with a few benefits.

"When supplied with hot water, showers will also reduce a prisoner's Warmth need. When supplied only with cold water will apply a Frigid effect, which acts as a kind of short-term suppression while also spiking their Warmth and comfort needs."

There are other additions and fixes included in the update, detailed here, or if you're not in the mood for reading, you could watch this video:

Community Announcements - sPray
Update 5 has been released!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3jNtSckFvk

Performance optimisations

We focussed on performance this month, and achieved a speed boost of at least 50%.
This work is ongoing.

- Now defaulting to the VS2015 build, with the old VS2008 build still
available for Safe mode (Prison Architect Safe Mode.exe). This gives
a good speed improvement over the VS2008 version.

- Asynchronous job search system. Instead of synchronously looking for a job,
workers, guards, prisoners, doctors now place a request for a new job in a
queue. This queue is processed during render phase of the game loop so
shouldn't take up any time during the main game loop.

- Speed up rendering of the Feed Prisoners Objective. This was particularly
slow when their were a lot of hungry prisoners.

- Rebuild the indoor/outdoor shadow mask only when a cell changes its material
or indoor/outdoor status.


Thermodynamics (continued)

- New pipe type in the utilities view: Hot water pipes
These operate on a seperate layer to the existing pipes, and can be overlaid without conflict.

- New utility: Hot water boiler
Requires a large pipe connection of cold water, and a direct electrical connection
You can run hot water pipes from this boiler in any direction.
Nb. Water will lose heat the further it gets from the boiler.

- All radiators now require a hot water connection to function

- Showers can take cold water or hot water.
When supplied with hot water, showers will also reduce a prisoner's Warmth need
When supplied only with cold water will apply a Frigid effect, which acts as a kind of short-term surpression
while also spiking their Warmth and comfort needs.


3d mode has been discovered

This update we have improved 3d mode with new shapes, new shaders operating on all objects, and better wall geometry.
3d mode remains very experimental.

Known bug: The mouse position is wrong when using graphics/Supersampling.
Known bug: Long pauses caused by geometry changing, eg wall construction/demolition


BUG FIXES

- Thermodynamic map to use 16 bit number type to represent the temperature
instead of 8 bit. This fixes a bug with fire showing negative temperatures.

- 0010610: [Graphics] entire screen is black and white boxes
PC Gamer

Prison Architect left Early Access back in October of last year, but that hasn't stopped Introversion Software from continuing to deliver monthly content updates to the game. And recently, a rather significant new feature has been discovered that was never in the patch notes; a hidden button that renders out your prison and all of its denizens in 3D, allowing you to zoom in and get a rather unique look at what's always been a flat, top-down game.

I reached out to Introversion's lead designer Chris Delay to see what he could tell me about this seemingly new addition to the game, and it turns out it's been in there longer than anyone realized. "We are astonished it took this long for the secret to be found!" Delay said. "3D Mode has been present in the public version of [Prison Architect] since v1.0, so that s October 2015—almost six months. We actually believed it would be discovered in days initially."

But evidently, it took much longer than days. Delay mentioned that the first public post he saw about it was from Steam user Rico on the game's Steam forum late last week. But the post went largely unnoticed, and the feature remained rather hidden, until TheLogical Lowdown posted a video of the feature (embedded above) a couple days later, which then picked up steam on the /r/Games subreddit

However, a big question remained; what was the 3D mode for? Delay told me they started working on it during the Alpha as an experimental visualization. "It was basically a massive engine hack that gave a fascinating alternative view on your prison—literally looking at it from a new angle. We never managed to bring it up to a decent quality sufficient to actually say 'This is now an official feature.'" Despite not being happy with how 3D mode was turning out, Introversion decided to secretly put it into the 1.0 release of Prison Architect for players to stumble upon. "We did think it was very cool, hence hiding it as an easter egg for people to discover. Why let such an awesome, albeit completely unfinished feature, go to waste?" 

When we had Delay and Introversion producer Mark Morris on The PC Gamer Show last September, they both expressed their excitement for VR and mentioned that they were already playing around with it, so I thought maybe this 3D mode had roots in making Prison Architect more appealing (or at all usable) in VR—but Delay said that wasn't the case. "Yes we do have a Vive kit and yes we are totally in love with it and VR in general. I don t think the 3D in our secret mode quite stacks up to the quality required for VR, but it would definitely be cool to look down on a wargaming table that had a Prison built on it, all animated and alive." Whether or not that was their intention, it'd be great to see a modder make this new mode work in VR eventually.

Delay also made it clear that 3D mode was nothing to be alarmed by for those who prefer how Prison Architect looks now, saying "we don t see it replacing the main game view. That said, we will probably do some improvements to 3D mode now that it s been discovered." Five months is a long time to wait to update a new feature but, like Delay, I'm pretty amazed it's gone by unnoticed for this long in the first place. 

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

Prison Architect has been adding extra dimensions to its simulation of prisons for years now, but this is a big one: it now has a 3D mode. The option is semi-hidden but can be activated by a small ‘TT’ button in the bottom left of the game’s “Extras” menu. It doesn’t require any mods, but it will convert your existing 2D prison into a three-dimensional representation of same, complete with prisoners, furniture, vehicles and a camera that can swoop and dive among the corridors. You’ll find a video and more details below.

… [visit site to read more]

Community Announcements - sPray
Update 4 has been released!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOqQv4_piL0

New features for this month:

= Thermodynamics
The game now models the ambient temperature of the world, and it's effect on your prisoners.
The outdoor temperature will vary during the day, and turn cold at night
The temperature of your indoor areas will be affected by this. Indoor areas near doors and windows will lose heat fast.
Certain existing objects generate lots of heat : Cookers (when in use), power stations, water pumps

- New toolbar button under Logistics : Temperature. Visualises the temperature of all areas of your prison
- Prisoners now have a Warmth need. This need increases when they are cold.
- They will protest if cold for too long, and eventually cause trouble.

- If prisoners are too hot for too long (for example working in a hot kitchen) they will develop a status effect "Overheating"
This makes them more likely to cause trouble

- New item : Radiator. Build these around your prison to warm up the indoors when required.


= Quick Build menu
The old "Clone" toolbar item has been replaced with a new "Quick Build" menu, with more options.
You can now pick from a set of template rooms, and stamp them dowm in your prison.
All neccesary foundations will be built (if required), and the area will be cleared of walls and objects.
Then your workmen will build all the walls and objects required.
The room type will be automatically assigned.
You can rotate a quick build room using R or middle mouse click.

Available quick build rooms:
- Basic Cell
- Solitary Cell
- Luxury Cell
- Shared Cell
- Office

Nb. Clone is now available in the Quick Build menu and no longer needs to be researched.


= New prison sharing options

- A new option in the Extras menu 'Most Popular Prisons' lets you view the most popular Steam Workshop prisons
You can choose to view the most popular over the last week/month/year/all time
Play the prison instantly by clicking Play

- We are now bundling 10 of the best community made prisons with all versions of the game.
These are designed for times when you have no internet connection, or are not running the Steam build (so no workshop access)


- You can now attach a Phone Tap to the Secure vistation booths added in Update 3.
This will give you more intelligence on contraband, escapes etc.


- New Translations:
Ukranian, Bulgarian, Traditional Chinese


= BUG FIXES
- 0010454: [Gameplay] Escape mode: Revive prisoners
- 0010333: [Gameplay] Fill to capacity improvement
- 0010588: [AI & Behaviour] Prisoners can work and get paid even when job room is invalid
- 0009100: [AI & Behaviour] Mail delivered to solitary cell after inmate has left
- 0010566: [AI & Behaviour] Prisoners do not use weight-benches
- 0010500: [Performance] Snipers in Guard Towers cause major lag.
- 0010567: [AI & Behaviour] Doctors get stuck while attempting to heal
- 0010539: [Gameplay] Saved game, crashes at same spot
- 0010519: [AI & Behaviour] Wrong delivered mail.


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