Merry Christmas everyone! It's been a short month due to the holidays, but that means we've been able to launch early, and we've managed to cram a lot into the time.
User Interface improvements We have begun to move various interface elements around, and improve other elements,
in an effort to bring the user interface up to Version 1.0 quality.
- New toolbar top left of screen, incorporating Todo/Research/Grading/Main Menu
- Objectives/todo window improved, incorporated into new toolbar
- Topbar "Bank Balance" tooltip now shows recent transactions
- Search box added to Rooms toolbar, and Objects toolbar. Use this to filter the list of icons.
- Greyed out items in the main toolbar now have a greyed out caption as well
- In the main toolbar, "Contraband" has been renamed to "Intelligence"
- Contraband "supply & demand" report has been moved to the "Intelligence" toolbar
- Informants list interface tweaked, should fill less of the screen
Sector targetting continued - New toolbar button : Logistics.
Allows the user to control Food distribution and Laundry distribution.
"Jobs" button moved from Deployment to Logistics.
- Laundrettes will target all nearby cell blocks automatically.
Every cell block has at least one Laundry servicing it, and every Laundry services at least one cell block.
The system will do its best to make laundries target other sectors of the same security zone, so that prisoners can do the work.
Can manually override the targetting from the Laundry Distribution screen.
Deployment Scheduling tool You can now change the schedule of guard deployment, and guard patrols, at any hour of the day.
Use this to place more guards in the canteen at lunch time, for example.
- Requires new unlock : Micromanagement
- Click on the timeline at any hour to cycle the current schedule. White is the base schedule.
- You can drag the current time left and right, and change the schedule at any time of the day.
- Patrol icons for guards/dogs/armed guards now enlarge when selected
Truck drivers Many large prisons suffer from a blocked delivery lane, with materials/prisoners/food etc trapped and unusable.
To combat this, all delivery trucks now come with a driver, who will helpfully spawn when the truck stops.
He will help unload the deliveries and load garbage and exports.
The truck can't leave until he returns.
However if he dies or falls unconcious whilst doing his job, or takes too long to return (>1 hour),
the truck will leave without him and he will be forced to walk home.
Mod changes Direct mapping of WorldObject variables to Lua variables via Lua metatables.
Allows access and assignment of object properties without the need of complicated function calls (GetProperty/SetProperty)
All variables can now be access via object tables in Lua, such as the "this" table for the scripted object.
Eg: this.pos.x = 10
this.damage = 0
- The Needs system of a prisoner can now be accessed in lua: "this.Needs.Bowels = 1" etc
- The Status Effect systems of a prisoner can also be scripted: "this.StatusEffects.suppressed = 1"
Game Balance - Escape tunnels now quite a bit less frequent
- Prisoners now more likely to change into a clean uniform, if one is available
- Ironing now takes twice as long
- New research : MicroManagement
Unlocks many of these newly added advanced features:
- Deployment scheduling
- Reform program manual scheduling
- Canteen logistics
- Laundry logistics
Bug fixes - Fixed : Require at least one informant active to see throw ins determined by phone tap
- Fixed : If there is no infirmary, doctors will now hang out in the delivery area rather than wandering
the prison. This probably isn't the fix many of you were hoping for, but this is a prison,
not a hospital. Doctors don't randomly wander the halls searching for people to heal in prison.
- 0000140: [Control & User Interface] Some objects can be built multiple times in the same location (square) (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0007023: [Gameplay] Fridge error (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0006752: [AI & Behaviour] Multiple hearse waiting for bugged prisoner (Chris) - resolved.
- 0001311: [Other] When all laundry baskets leave the laundry, room requirements are no longer met. (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0000251: [AI & Behaviour] Guard set on a patrol route ignore people attempt to escape (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0006964: [Gameplay] All dirty laundry disappears when put into laundry basket. (lim_ak) - resolved.
New food Supply & Demand system All cell blocks are now assigned a specific canteen to eat in, permitting accurate demand calculation per canteen
All kitchens are assigned specific canteens, such that every kitchen serves at least one canteen, and all canteens are served by at least one kitchen
A new button in Deployment/Logistics can be used to manually override these assignments
This new system permits accurate calculations of supply and demand in all canteens.
Hover the mouse over the Canteen supply/demand icon, to see a breakdown of the calculated demand per hour.
All prisoners will now eat at meal times, not just the very hungry ones.
Some prisoners will leave wasted food behind if they are not that hungry.
"Ingredient Teleporting" from alpha 26 has been removed
Chefs will now cook whatever ingredients are available in their kitchen, rather than requiring specific ingredient types
If cooked food is available in a canteen but there are no serving trays, a stack of serving trays will be instant-purchased
Reform program scheduler Advanced players can now click the "Edit Schedule" button to manually set the times and locations of all Reform Programs
Programs set manually will be 'pinned' in place, and will not be moved by the auto-scheduler
New programs can be created by clicking in the schedule
Right click on programs to cancel them
Existing reform programs screen now moves camera to current assigned room when mousing over
Reverted back to old style colour scheme : Yellow = prisoner on way, Green = attending class
Phone Tap object Built in a security room and connected via wires to phone booths
Manned by a Guard
Allows you to listen in to prisoner phone calls, revealing their Reputation, and arranged contraband throw-ins.
Cctv research renamed to Surveillance, and includes cctv equipment and phone monitoring
Names In The Game : Report offensive entry button All entries in the Names in the game list now have a "Report" button
Click on this button if you feel the bio is offensive and should be removed from the game.
The number of clicks on any entry is recorded in our database, and we will review all reported entries and remove them as appropriate.
Game balance Reputations rebalanced : Legendary, Volatile, Deadly are all less likely
Contraband smuggling via deliveries has been halved
Prisoners needs now start at zero
Other changes and fixes Deployment/Jobs screen now shows staff-only work rooms as grey instead of green.
Assigning prisoners to work in those rooms will produce a flashing red warning message saying "STAFF ONLY"
Render change : Different wall types no longer blend wierdly, eg fences, perimeter walls
New Reputation : Skilled Fighter. Can sometimes disarm an opponent during a fight.
Expert Fighter. Can sometimes take a weapon from his opponent during a fight.
BUG FIXES Fixed : Markers continuously popping up over Guards during fights
Many language typos and fixes. Thanks to RGeezy911 for doing this work.
Fixed : Blackscreen bug with certain Intel GMA cards
0004332: [AI & Behaviour] Issues with Chef AI (Chris) - resolved.
0004274: [Control & User Interface] AA Program - 'Removes' spelling mistake. (RGeezy911) - resolved.
0002272: [Gameplay] Inconsistent naming - Cook or Chef (RGeezy911) - resolved.
0004139: [Control & User Interface] Failure Condition: Bankrupt - Disastrous spelled wrong (RGeezy911) - resolved.
0002305: [Other] CEO phonecall (RGeezy911) - resolved.
0001647: [Other] Shears item name misspelled as "Sheers" (RGeezy911) - resolved.
0000783: [Other] spelling mistakes in Language File (RGeezy911) - resolved.
0000476: [Control & User Interface] Maintenance is misspelled in Bureaucracy screen, elsewhere (RGeezy911) - resolved.
0000073: [Other] Missing apostrophe in CEO dialogue (RGeezy911) - resolved.
0002681: [Control & User Interface] Typos: In descriptions of CCTV cameras and Holding Cell (RGeezy911) - resolved.
0005187: [Control & User Interface] Possible misspelling in Grant description (RGeezy911) - resolved.
0006688: [Graphics] Black Screen with game running the the background (works fine in Alpha 25) (John) - resolved.
0005835: [AI & Behaviour] Piles of dirty clothing not being dealt with (lim_ak) - resolved.
0006824: [Gameplay] rubble needs to be repaired (lim_ak) - resolved.
0006823: [Gameplay] Water pump continues to supply water after being dismantled (lim_ak) - resolved.
0003579: [AI & Behaviour] Guard Dogs get stuck at the entrance of Kennels (John) - resolved.
0006033: [Graphics] Flashing power symbols after foundations are bulldozed with lights installed. (John) - resolved.
0004767: [Graphics] Single Electric Cable Invisible (lim_ak) - resolved
This month was dedicated to our second Bug Bash - which means all the programmers at Introversion focussed exclusively on bug fixes for an entire month. We've spent the month slogging our way through the bug database and fixing the highest priority issues to bring you a slicker, faster, better, less buggy Prison Architect. But that's not all - NOT ONLY have we fixed 39 issues and resolved 550 duplicates, we also present a brand new feature! Tell your mates, put it on facebook, set twitter on fire, let the world know that Prison Architect now comes with a digital clock.
At the very start of the month we decided we would aim to resolve the food/kitchen/chefs bugs as a priority. If you are a regular player you have no doubt experienced chefs being dumb, food going to the wrong canteen whilst inmates starve elsewhere, and various issues around kitchen resources. In many ways the food distribution system is the most complex of all of the AI within the game, and none of these problems are 100% solvable simply because everyone builds prisons differently, and there are many variables to take into account. Players can build one or many kitchens, one or many canteens, and can hire chefs or use prison labour. They may intend one kitchen to cook for everyone, or multiple kitchens to cook for one canteen, or multiple kitchens to cook for multiple canteens. If that wasn't bad enough, each kitchen may have a security designation limiting which prisoners can work in there when, and the canteens may be designated as well such that only certain prisoners can eat there, and each category of prisoner can potentially eat at a different time of day. Sometimes you may have a mixture of prisoner types in one canteen. Just figuring out how many prisoners will be eating in a single canteen at a certain time of day is a very complex AI problem. But thanks to the work done this month we think you'll find the whole system much more reliable from now on.
We also resolved lots of nasty bugs to do with zoning your prison into different categories of prisoners. Eg prisoners failing to go to reform programs, or visitations failing, all due to the AI not taking into account the security designation of different sectors.
Normal service will now resume, and we will be getting back to adding new features to the game. See you next month!
Here's the full list of all fixed bugs:
- 0005441: [Gameplay] object_FoodWaste is not being removed properly (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0002141: [Save & Load] Can overwrite save files without warning (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0006069: [Gameplay] Supermax security prisoners are downgraded back to Max security after a murder (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0006493: [AI & Behaviour] prisoners use the same seat/phone/shower etc (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0001589: [Control & User Interface] Request - digital clock (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0004535: [Control & User Interface] Enumerate cells by security level (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0003822: [Gameplay] Always Fog Of War (Chris) - resolved.
- 0004464: [Gameplay] Cooks and reform programs clash with the new regime system (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0004193: [AI & Behaviour] (Some) Prisoners won't attend Reform Programs (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0003542: [Graphics] Full-screen image flash when contraband discovered (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0004588: [AI & Behaviour] Multiple regimes not working with classroom scheduling (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0004515: [Sound] Riot Music Continues to Play After Loading a Different Prison (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0005846: [Save & Load] Special char in user account name result in the game failing to save (John) - resolved.
- 0001358: [AI & Behaviour] Dead inmate's family still come for visitation (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0004720: [AI & Behaviour] Teacher wanders into adjacent rooms while teaching (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0003948: [Control & User Interface] dragging sound may continue playing when it shouldn't (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0003162: [Sound] Construction sound would not stop (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0006001: [Other] Name in Game ages incorrect (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0004048: [Sound] carpenter table sound continues even when no one is working at it (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0002093: [Sound] Sirens do not turn off (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0006208: [Sound] Ringing sound when deploying guard for patrols (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0000450: [Other] Make the introduction video skippable (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0004419: [AI & Behaviour] Having Multiple Psychiatrists running Multiple Counseling Programs causes them to jump between. (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0004528: [Control & User Interface] non-click mouse input still possible when window is not in focus (John) - resolved.
- 0005164: [Control & User Interface] Introduction Objectives (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0002655: [Save & Load] Incident free timer resets on load (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0003969: [AI & Behaviour] visitors may go to the wrong visitation rooms (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0000027: [AI & Behaviour] Garbage is unloaded at Deliveries (elDiablo) - resolved.
- 0005611: [Control & User Interface] Clone toolbar not visible (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0001061: [Save & Load] Prisoner's sleep state not saved (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0004784: [Control & User Interface] Policy Tab - Setting punishments to "None" resets after save & load (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0006021: [Control & User Interface] too many informants cover the screen (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0002563: [AI & Behaviour] Prisoner released same time as family goes to meet him (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0002611: [Graphics] An Invisible Prisoner (Icepick) - resolved.
- 0005896: [Save & Load] Cannot save game. So I cannot load it neither. (John) - resolved.
- 0006020: [Gameplay] Bankruptcy when playing with unlimited funds (lim_ak) - resolved.
- 0004601: [Sound] [motherbug] Issues regarding Sound which does not stop when it should (Icepick) - closed.
- 0002461: [Sound] riots music does not stop after a riot (Icepick) - closed.
- 0004874: [Sound] Lockdown alarm continues to sound after loading a different *.prison (Icepick) - closed.
Big changes this month! This is one of the biggest updates we've ever done. Alpha 25 was motivated by seeing prisons that just run themselves - and can even be left running overnight, without anything bad happening. This doesn't sit right with us, and running a prison shouldn't ever be something that can be done fully automatically. This month we've introduced a whole series of new systems and balance changes that bring unpredictability back to your prisoners.
New prisoners sometimes have a reputation, shown when highlighing them or in their rap sheet.
Nb. Existing prisoners (in alpha 24 save games) will not have any reputation - only new arrivals
The reputation specifies unusual abilities or traits they may possess, which affect their behaviour.
- 50% of reputations are known when the prisoner arrives. The other 50% can be revealed through your informants.
- All prisoners have a new "Character" tab in their rapsheet, which gives details on their reputation.
STRONG hits harder with each punch during fights
TOUGH can withstand a lot more punishment in a fight. He can also sometimes withstand being hit by a Tazer
VOLATILE liable to kick off without warning and for no reason
STOICAL will not become suppressed when locked in Solitary
SNITCH a known informant, and as such his life may be in danger. Don't leave him alone with other prisoners for too long
DEADLY a master in lethal combat moves, and can sometimes kill with a single hit
EX LAW was once a Police Officer, or some other law enforcement profession. His life may be in danger
COP KILLER guilty of murdering a Police Officer. Your prison guards may be unable to restrain themselves when subduing him
FEARLESS not intimidated by the sight of Armed Guards, and is less likely to surrender during a fight
QUICK an unusually fast runner
INSTIGATOR sows seeds of discontent in all those nearby. When he causes trouble, nearby prisoners will feel compelled to do the same
- In some cases, the prisoner will have a high degree of a reputation, eg "Extremely Strong" or "Extremely Volatile".
- In a very small number of cases, you will receive a LEGENDARY PRISONER.
These guys have a potent mix of the above list that makes them very dangerous.
= New Prisoner Categories
To help deal with the new troublesome prisoners, two new categories of prisoner have been created.
Prisoners must be manually assigned to these categories.
These new categories have a corrisponding new Zone in the Deployment screen, and a new Regime column.
- Protective Custody
Useful for hiding your snitches, ex law enforcement etc in a safe zone where they cannot be attacked
Nb. Informants sent to protective custody lose coverage quickly (out of the loop)
Nb. During riot conditions, some of your most dangerous prisoners may attempt to attack the protective custody wing
If you simply cannot control a particular prisoner, move him to supermax.
Allows you to segregate them away and instigate strong lockdown and security measures
= Escape Tunnels Overhall
Escape Tunnels have been rebalanced, and are now viable once again
Prisoners in neighbouring cells will team up to try to dig a combined escape tunnel.
They can share any tools they have during the operation
Many weapons can now also be used as digging tools, eg Knifes, Forks etc
Guard dogs are now more reliable at discovering tunnels, and will mark the suspected spot with a small flag.
Searching a cell now has only a low chance to discover an escape tunnel, UNLESS the prisoner is digging it when the guard enters!
To discover a tunnel for certain, dismantle the toilets in the cells you suspect.
= Confidential Informants (continued)
- Any single informant now has a maximum coverage of 50% at the time he is hired
- An informants coverage will slowly increase over time (beyond 50%), so long as his suspicion is low and he is not 'active'
- The Informants overlay now shows the highest level of suspicion ever reached by an informant, as a black line.
- You can now highlight and select prisoners and staff etc in the Informants window
- Informants now reveal Assassination Targets - ie prisoners who will be attacked if left alone for too long
This is shown as a red crosshair over the prisoner.
(Known informants / Snitches, ex law enforcement etc)
= Game Balance changes
- Prisoners responsible for a serious injury will have their category automatically increased (min-sec to medium, medium to max-sec)
- Prisoners responsible for a murder will be charged and given an additional 25 year sentence,
and will automatically reclassify as Maximum Security (if they weren't already)
- The 'temperature' of your prison must now be at least 33% before a riot can start
- 10 Prisoners must be rioting before a prison-wide RIOT status can occur.
To stop the riot, you must reduce the number of rioting prisoners to 3 or less.
- Tazer Training Program
All regular guards must now pass the Tazer Certification Program before they are permitted to use a tazer.
This takes place in the classroom and is led by the Chief.
The staff window now shows which guards have body armour and tazers.
Nb. When loading an alpha 24 save, all Tazers owned by regular Guards and Dog Handlers will be confiscated, and a refund given.
Nb. Dog Handlers can no longer carry Tazers.
- Prisoners can now pick up weapons from their current room during fights, escapes, riots etc. (Based on what is available as contraband)
- The Morgue is now a source of Knifes and Scissors
- Prisoners can now improvise a Shank in the Workshop
- Prisoners can now improvise a Baton in the Cleaning Cupboard (by snapping mops)
- Prisoners can now improvise a wooden pickaxe in the Workshop (for digging tunnels)
= Mod System Continued
- Now supports multiple active mods at once, even if those mods all add their own new graphics
- New property to set material auto-consumed on job
- Can now auto-order raw materials
- NEW SCRIPT COMMANDS:
GetNearbyObjects - Get a list of all nearby objects of a certain type
NavigateTo - Instruct an entity to go somewhere
ClearRouting - Clear an entity's destination
- Panic Button mod
A new 'official' test mod that adds a Panic Button to the game, using the new script commands.
Injured staff members will run to it and press it, and guards will be summoned to the area.
- Fixed : You can no longer place Foundations that you cannot afford
- 'Unlimited Funds' option in 'New Prison' screen.
Spend as much money as you like while building your prison - a more pure sandbox mode.
- Prisoners will now be assigned to Rehab programs more reliably, when addicted/alcoholic/withdrawn
Mod System V2 The modding system has been substantially upgraded.
It is now possible to create new versions of just about everything in a mod:
Objects / Entities
Rooms / Zones
Equipment / tools / weapons
Research / Bureaucracy
Emergency Callouts (eg Riot Police)
Grants (The only area you could add new content previously)
Jobs (eg tend these vegetables)
Needs, and Need Providers (eg "Bladder" is a need, "Toilet" is a need provider)
Production/Work rules (eg Move sheet metal to the workshop, load it into the Saw, cut it into license plates)
Custom graphics can be provided by data/sprites.png. (Please keep your sprites.png as small/compact as possible - so we can load more mods at once). We currently only support a single graphics patch at a time, however we will upgrade this for next alpha
All objects can use an optional LUA script to drive their behaviour
We have created a sample Mod called "The amazing vegetable garden mod", which demonstrates many of the new features. It adds a new Vegetable Patch, in which seeds can be planted. These seeds are tended by prisoners, and eventually grow and can be harvested as vegetables. Those veg are then taken to a (new) Vegetable Preparation Table in the kitchen, where they are chopped into ingredients. Those ingredients are then used for cooking meals within your prison.
Confidential Informants Prisoners can sometimes be hired as Confidential Informants, and will provide insight into illicit activity within your prison. Prisoners *might* be willing to become CIs in exchange for being released from a long stint in Solitary. In addition, suffering Withdrawal symtoms from drug abuse, or suppressed from heavy handed treatment will help convince them. Once recruited, CIs must be "activated" and will be escorted in cuffs to the nearest security office.
They will then reveal their information in the new "Informants" view under "Contraband". They will reveal:
- All contraband owned by prisoners
- All contraband being smuggled in (eg by delivery trucks)
- All arranged throw-ins, ie near the outer walls
- All escape tunnels
Prisoners who have been in your prison for longer will have more information for you.
Each time you activate a CI, or act on their information, suspicion in that CI will increase.
If their suspicion rises too high, their life may be in danger.
Remote Access systems continued - Servos can now be set to 'Close on trigger', which means they will close their door when triggered instead of opening it.
- Power Switches can now be turned on and off by an incoming wire connection
- New object : Pressure pad. Activates when stepped on
- New object : Status light. Lights up when activated
- Rendering speed of all wires increased
- Performance of logic gates much increased (helps with large circuits)
- Wires are now rendered only when an object is selected, or "All Wires" is selected in the Utilities menu.
- Contraband thrown over walls is now less likely (minimum distance between throws now 15, previously 10)
- Historical Contraband now pruned to 7 days maximum.
This hugely reduces memory requirements and save game file size, and will also help performance in very long running maps.
- Theft of spoons and forks from the Canteen was becoming excessive. The canteen is no longer a source of spoons or forks.
- When multiple objects are in a single square, you can now cycle between them by pressing TAB
- Fixed : Broken materials will now be dumped, so they can no longer block things from working.
Eg 'Broken' uniforms are never used, but also never replaced
- Cleaning Cupboard rooms now require the Cleaning research to be completed
- Trees now arrive in packs of 10 (saplings in plant pots), ready for planting (instead of one tree in a single crate)
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
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.