Community Announcements - sPray
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pSoteVB_lE

It’s been another massive month, with several major successes. This month we tackled one of our big end game features : prisoner reform. You can now run prisoner reform programs which aim to train, educate and reform your inmates. Reform programs are expensive to run, take a long time to complete, and the success rates are often very low unless your prisoners are very well taken care of. Some bring substantial benefits to your prison and the inmates that take part, others are a longer term investment in your prisoners that may provide little short term benefit.



All prisoners must now complete a workshop safety induction, or a kitchen hygiene program, before they are permitted to work in the workshop and kitchen. We felt it was unrealistic that you could just dump 20 brand new prisoners into a dangerous workshop with heavy machinery and have them start stamping out number plates. Violent prisoners can be sent to the prison psychologist for some anger management. And the more academically minded of your inmates (maybe those convicted of fraud or computer crime ;) can work towards new education qualifications in the new classroom. The teachers are a new type of staff member that you do not hire directly - instead they come in from the outside every day to teach their course, then go home in the evenings.

Once prisoners are trained and working in the workshop, you can put the most skilled of them through a carpentry apprenticeship. Once completed these prisoners will be able to make high quality wooden furniture on the new carpenters table. This furniture can be sold for increased profits on the raw materials. In future alphas we’ll be making use of this furniture.

We have continued to expand the armoury originally introduced in alpha 17. You can now unlock tazers for your armed guards, and eventually issue them to all the guards and dog handlers in your prison. These are non lethal weapons that instantly incapacitate a prisoner without causing any damage, however they can only be fired once before needing a full hour to recharge. Perfect when a prisoner is smashing up his cell, not so great when outnumbered in a riot. We have also added new stab vests to the armoury, which give your guards extra protection in a fight, but slow down their movement as well.




There’s lots more in the full change list below. We hope you enjoy the new features, and we will see you all in a month with alpha 19. Thanks!

http://forums.introversion.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=47478
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

Truncheons during luncheon no more. Guns now.

It’s been a little while since I’ve seriously played Introversion’s incarceration sim Prison Architect, but I’ve come to enjoy reading and watching their monthly updates just as much as playing it myself. Alpha 17 is now live and the video below details the various additions. The big one: you can now build an armoury in your prison and deck it out like one of those rooms that used to come before a boss fight in first-person shooters. The kind of room full of shotguns, ammo and bulletproof vests.

The kind of room prisoners might want to break into in case of a riot.

The armoury introduces a new set of tools with which to deal with riots: mainly, guns. If your prisoners are misbehaving, fighting one another or the guards, you can send a group in with weapons to intimidate them into surrendering. You can tell your people not to fire or to fire on sight, but guards will make on-the-spot decisions themselves if they feel their life is in danger and depending on the types of prisoners they’re facing. This ends badly for lots of people – guards and prisoners – in the video above.

Of course, a few of your most violent prisoners, if they happen to be close by, will try to get inside the armoury themselves in the event of a riot. You’ll need to make sure it’s behind a lot of big doors to stop that from happening.

Other additions for alpha 17 include a forestry, in which trees will grow for you chop down and turn into money, and a new context-sensitive object menu designed to cope with the broadening scope (which is totally dope?) of the game. A full list of changes is over on the update’s forum thread.

Now that there’s more ways to deal with madness – and more importantly, many more ways for things to go wrong – perhaps we should send Brendan back in to try and build another nice prison.

Community Announcements - sPray
Alpha 17 has been released!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAcnIMWL4zA

The ultimate deterrent is here. Having trouble with your prisoners? Constant fights and destruction of property? Deploy armed guards and bring your prison under control with force.

Armed guards have so much authority that all prisoners nearby will begin to feel suppressed. This is a status effect previously accumulated during a stay in solitary confinement. It means the prisoner is so beaten down by the system that he no longer has the will to resist. He will be compliant to your regime, far less likely to cause trouble. Armed guards can project this effect all around your prison, however there is a downside - prisoners who are suppressed for most of their time in jail will eventually be far less amenable to any attempts at reform, skill teaching etc.



Armed guards will not use lethal force unless you give them permission. If they see trouble nearby they will shoulder their weapons and fight with their fists. You must give the ultimate order by clicking the “Weapons Free” emergency button in the bottom right of the screen. (You can’t 100% rely on this though - they are human after all. If they fear they are about to die, they will use their weapons to defend themselves if you’ve given them permission or not.)

Armed guards will always shout a warning to prisoners unless the prisoner is attacking them or another member of staff, and prisoners will often surrender immediately when faced with the prospect of being shot dead. But things can escalate very quickly if you don’t control the situation. Armed guards are perfectly capable of killing everyone in the area, so you must use this power with discretion unless having an empty jail is your thing.

To hire armed guards you must research the Armoury and then construct a room to hold the weapons racks and lockers. Each armed guard needs a locker of his own. The armoury is however a massive security hazard, and prisoners will deliberately target it during a riot or a mass escape. Your most dangerous prisoners will try to break in and arm themselves, which can be very difficult to deal with.



Other changes include a new Forestry zone, which continues our work with the wood cutting industry from alpha 16. Gardeners will automatically plant saplings in the forestry where there is space, and once those saplings have grown into full size trees they will be cut down automatically. Logs will be stacked and hauled back to your workshop. This is a great way to use the empty space of your prison for the purposes of industry and profit, and eventually prisoners will be able to work alongside the gardeners).

Finally we have a much needed improvement to the Objects toolbar. The list of objects had become so large that it no longer fitted on a single screen without a scrollbar, so something had to be done. We now filter the objects list based on what you are looking at, hiding any objects that simply aren’t relevant. For example, we will only show the cooker, fridge, and sink if you are currently constructing a Kitchen. This brings the size of the objects menu right down, and you can still click on the + icon to see the full list if something is missing.

That’s all from alpha 17. We hope you enjoy messing with your new found powers, and we can comfortably predict many violent youtube videos as a result of this month. We will see you again next month when the sound of gunfire and the smell of cordite has left the air.
Dec 27, 2013
Community Announcements - sPray
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cKEBYIjdMs

Happy new year everyone, and welcome to alpha 16. It’s a big one.

For starters, all ‘Name in the Game’ customers can now customize the size, face type and colour of their prisoners by using our new Name in the game system which you can find here. For two weeks only, we're offering all alpha customers the chance to upgrade to our Name in the Game tier for only $10. This will enable you to name a prisoner, write a short bio about why he's inside and customize his look. This is your opportunity to permanently stamp your personality on the game and prove that you were one of the generous few that helped Prison Architect to become a reality.

We’ve made extensive improvements to the AI across the entire range of the game. For the first time ever it is now possible to fully segregate your prison based on prisoner category. You can (for example) create an entirely self contained ‘wing’ within your prison for maximum security prisoners, with its own cells, its own canteen, its own yard, even its own laundry service (staffed by maximum security prisoners of course). These AI improvements also cover the ‘industry’ side of the game, meaning kitchens/canteens/workshops/laundries are all much more efficient, and prisoners staffing them work much more intelligently. Fundamentally the game previously supported only one of these room types. This change is difficult to see in the video, and perhaps hard to fully appreciate, but it touches every area of the game.

With such an extensive change, we’d expect to have introduced quite a few bugs as well as fixing many more.

A side benefit of this change is that prisoners are now able to tell when their route to freedom has not been locked. We see a lot of prisons on Steam Workshop that keep the front doors permanently unlocked, and even sometimes unlock entire sectors (For efficiency - it means you don’t need to wait for guards to unlock doors all the time). What kind of prisoner wouldn’t want to take advantage of this if they could? So prisoners who are near the front of your prison and notice the doors unlocked *might* decide to make a run for it. The more dangerous the prisoner, and the closer he is to the exit, the more likely it is to happen.

We’ve added new options to procedurally generate your starting landscape so it looks a bit less empty. Lakes, forests, sand and even derelict buildings can now be found within your zone. Lakes block all construction and movement, forcing you to be creative in your layouts. The forests have to be cleared but the lumber is itself a resource that can now be harvested - order your workmen to cut the trees down and then sell the logs for a quick cash injection.

Later on when you have a functioning Workshop you can process logs into planks of wood on a bench Saw, and sell the resulting stacks for greater profit. If you find you have some spare space within your land you could even consider planting your own forests, to be harvested entirely for profit later. Trees are now planted by gardeners, begin life as saplings, and take a long time to grow to full size, so this is a long term but highly profitable industry if you have the space. We will be expanding this new wood industry in future alphas, letting you use your prisoners to do the tree planting and felling, and training your prisoners in carpentry to produce high quality furniture from the refined planks of wood.



We’ve extended the mod system so you can now use Steam Workshop to share your mods, or download existing mods. This works in a similar way to prison sharing - just ‘subscribe’ to a mod from within Steam, and it will show up within your mods window auto-magically.

Anybody who has tried to build a prison that spans the road will have found it pretty much impossible, because you cannot build on the road and therefore cannot create a secure zone between the east and west sides of your prison. We’ve introduced a new Road Gate which can be built to span the road, allowing you to run a secure deliveries zone. These road gates act just as all other door types, requiring a guard to unlock them when vehicles want to pass through.



All of that plus a vast collection of bug fixes detailed below - alpha 16 has been a huge update to the core of the game, and has brought us a lot closer to our final vision of how the AI should function. We hope you have fun playing the new version and hope you have a great Christmas, and a happy new year.

http://forums.introversion.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=46615
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

Just like the RPS staffroom.

Prison Architect is an ever expanding incarceration management game, currently in alpha and on a monthly update schedule. If it’s not growing fast enough for you, the most recent update adds something that will help: proper modding support.

Also, staff rooms, for when your little guards get sleepy. Come watch the update video. (more…)

Nov 29, 2013
Community Announcements - sPray
Alpha 15 has been released! Here is our alpha15 video demonstrating the new features:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIx92W6Q3dk

It’s been two months since alpha 14, with Chris taking time out to have a baby. Whilst he’s been away the rest of the Introversion team have stepped up to provide a series of awesome updates to the game.

Johnny has continued his focus on performance, delivering a series of optimisations which virtually double the speed of the game in certain conditions. These optimisations are particularly effective on very large maps, and when running the Windows builds. We have now seen several (community made) prisons with 300+ prisoners and 100+ staff, running at a solid frame rate - this was pretty unthinkable even a couple of alphas ago.

Here’s a performance graph from our test map - an extremely large prison with 200 inmates, which used to bring Prison Architect to its knees. You can see how much difference Johnny’s work has made.



Gary has extended the staff simulation so that all staff now become tired as they work. After a while you’ll see their nameplate showing “tired” or “exhausted”, and they’ll be forced to stop work and rest. He’s added a Staff Room to the game, along with some sofas and drinks machines, which you should add to your prisons somewhere appropriate. Staff will recover faster and will feel more rested for longer if they have a staff room to go to.



And then there’s a bit of a wildcard in this version : Leander has added a Mod system, to better support community made mods. We don’t really know where this will go, but we’ll be watching the community closely to see what people do with it. Without any official support our community has already translated the game into Swedish, German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Norwegian, Italian, Polish and Turkish (Visit our wiki to download these translations), and they’ve produced mods which add tons of new Grants to the game. With this new official mod system it is now much easier to activate and deactivate those mods in game - and you can run any number of mods simultaneously. You’ll no longer need to hack the game files directly to make a mod work.



If you’re the creator of one of the existing mods, please take some time to update your mod so it works with the new official system. All this entails is creating a manifest.txt (which documents your mod title, version, your name, website etc) and a thumbnail.png, and instructing users to unzip your mod into their appsavefolder/PrisonArchitect/mods/ folder.

If you are interested in creating a mod, we have released some sample mods on the Wiki which you can download and try. They don’t do very much, but they show you how the folder structure works and how you can use lua scripts to drive a story chapter just like our Death Row introduction.

For a list of all existing mods:
http://devwiki.introversion.co.uk/pa/index.php/Mods

For technical details on how to create a mod : http://devwiki.introversion.co.uk/pa/index.php/Modding

NOTE: You need to register with Introversion Software to gain access to the PA wiki:
http://www.introversion.co.uk/prisonarchitect/register/

We’ve also added a bunch of small but much requested features to this build - screen edge scrolling, a faster time acceleration button, larger federal grants for max security inmates etc. See the full change list below for details.

That’s all for alpha 15 - we hope you enjoy the new features! We’ll be back with alpha 16 before the end of the year.
Nov 27, 2013
Announcement - Valve
The Steam Sale is here! For the next six days, take advantage of huge saving on thousands of PC, Mac and Linux titles. Check back often to take advantage of our eight-hour Flash Sales.

Today's Daily Deals include:


Add games to your Steam Wishlist and be notified when a game from your Wishlist goes on sale, or shop for games using the Steam Mobile App, available for iOS and Android.

Be sure to check Steam every day to see new featured deals.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brendan Caldwell)

Introversion’s deservedly popular Shawshank simulator is a lot of fun. It’s also incredibly difficult to manage. If a full-scale riot isn’t the problem (rarely), then a lack of funds is. And I don’t think building Cell Block B without any plumbing helps. I’ve run my fair share of ruinous hellholes but now that several updates have been added to give the player some more control over the disorder. In lieu of this, I wanted to see if it was possible to create a lovely, warm, sweet-smelling prison, just like ma used to make. CCTV, perimeter walls, sniffer dogs and guard patrols are sure to help make this a reality.

Welcome to Brendan’s Nice Prison For Agreeable People. (more…)

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia
Humble Bundle is best-known for its pay-what-you-want bundles, but has now launched something a little less fleeting: the Humble Store. The permanent storefront will sell games for Android as well as PC, Mac, and Linux. It all kicks off with a sale on nine games, including Don't Starve, Gunpoint, and Rogue Legacy.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

Starve no more, little indie devs.

I don’t normally like business news, but I can write all day about indie designers done good. Prison Architect – the alpha-funded, Early Access, prison management game from Introversion Software – has sold 250,000 copies and made $8 million. That’s a lot for a team that only recently risked bankruptcy. (more…)

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