They say a soldier's spirit breaks before his body, but what happens when you shatter his mind?
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Release Date:
Mar 15, 2018

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August 15

Devblog for the week of August 13

This past month has included great changes for the game, and things are progressing rapidly. We have almost completed the art for the monsters, the level design has been entirely reworked and is re-entering construction phase, the crafting system is already completed and the stealth system is mid-way through development. These changes are breathing new life into the game, and we are very excited to tell you more.

Our first topic is audio. We happen to have a musician, composer, and audio designer/engineer as one of the founding members of our team. Audio is, often times, one of those difficult-to-fill roles in an indie team and, as such, we feel very fortunate to have Alex on board. We plan to heavily revamp the audio in the game and make full use of our in-house composer. Along with the map expansion comes several new original compositions, music-driven side stories, and a whole new set of foley and SFX. This should feature one of my favorite topics, proceduralism, as a centerpiece for the music in the forest. To achieve this, we are using a new (to our studio) middleware, Wwise, to greatly improve the quality of the audio in the game. While Unreal 4 has its own audio engine (If you have played the existing version of the game, you have probably heard a lot of it) and it works well, Wwise will allow us to go on and model realistic sound such as audio occlusion, spatialization, and much more. It will be a huge difference to the game, making the entire level feel more realistic and lively, and further build horror when you do things like walk into a room or worse, have something walk into a room behind you. On top of the middleware, we are also moving to live-recording some of the music for specific portions of the game. While this does not apply to ambient music right now, there are a lot of instances of music in the game that benefited heavily from the natural feel of live-recorded instruments so we’ve been bringing in some very skilled musicians and recording music, which has been a ton of fun.

Next, we can speak a little about the changes to stealth and how stealth will play out in the game. For those of you who have kept up with Prisoner since its early days, you will know that stealth has become more and more present in the game as it continues to evolve as a fun and intriguing gameplay experience. As we begin to introduce traps to the game and expand the game’s map, navigation has become a bigger gameplay element, so we are continuing to focus on stealth design and stealth gameplay. We have been building and designing buildings that are specifically geared toward stealth and creating interesting situations as players attempt to fulfill some requirements for crafting. This means, primarily, making levels that force players to think through their actions and plan accordingly. These buildings will have multiple pathways through them, each with their own caveats. Coupled with the traps, this should allow multiple different solutions for each “stealth puzzle” that will keep players interested throughout the game. Couple that with a few key changes to the level as the game goes on and players should find the new buildings consistently interesting over the duration of the game. Naturally, this means yet another big update to the guard AI, which will cover more cases, flow between game states more fluidly, and drive players to greater extremes than was previously required. More to come on this topic later.

Finally, we want to cover some of our community outreach efforts. We want to cover all of our bases as much as possible and social media is no exception. We have become more active on our social media lately, efforts are continuing in this department always, but we feel that we have progressed well. We are doing regular polls on our twitter to involve our audience as much as possible (many of them are questions about these devblogs), started a discord server, and are posting development pictures on our instagram regularly! All of these can be found on our newly rebuilt website. We are going to have a significant amount of content being published in the near future including trailers and, very tentatively, a small playable demo for the game. We are hopeful to coordinate with other content creators from the community to help a smooth and exciting release for all of this content. If you have any questions or want to get involved with the relaunch of Prisoner, please reach out to us on social media or via the contact page of our website,, for more information.

Many thanks,
Tugboat, Lead Designer, High Five Studios
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July 5

Devblog for the week of July 2

The past few weeks have been fairly calm. After the rapid-fire moment-to-moment craziness of expanding rapidly, we finally had a period of quiet production. Don’t mistake me, things are moving very quickly, but they are moving slowly. This devblog will mainly focus on our changing philosophies as the game moves toward a new life, especially as we rewrite the narrative. This devblog will contain some spoilers for the game.
One of the things that will be in the game in the near future is a fully functional crafting system. We are trying to put our own spin on this and really enforce a player experience that is scary and immersive, so we are doing a few things for this. First and foremost: the only things that are craftable will be traps. Traps can be used exactly as you think; placing them down and running away from them. There will still be no direct combat in the game, no base building, no pioneer-style running out into the world and building a new city of your own; everything that you do will be entirely defensive and as the monsters and the camp escalate around you, you will need to build higher-order traps to actually make it through the game. As far as the traps are concerned, our production team is moving along quickly and we have finished the inventory system (the front end of this will be changed drastically, however) and we are soon to put the first version of traps in the game and begin playtesting.
The next large change going into the game is a new narrative. We have re-imagined this from the ground up, even completely scrapping the old ways of delivering the narrative. New player models, more custom animations, better audio, and more time to deliberately polish and refine the narrative will all greatly support the coming story. Make no mistake, this will not be a standard linear narrative, but it will be harder to accidentally miss (one of the first problems we had with a narrative that has been thoroughly solved) and there will be more going on in the camp in general.
The prisoners have also been redone in the game, with all of the prisoners getting new models and skeletons to fully build out their animation suite without making them boring. We have done animation instancing several different ways in the past and had to solve dozens of problems with it, but we are now in a new place with them that will be a large improvement. One of the things we are going to be looking at heavily in the upcoming round of playtesting is how the prisoners move around the camp. We want to reduce their quick direction-changing, and also provide the prisoners with enough animations so they do not look awkward while still having enough of a variety among the prisoners so that they do not look outwardly bad. Managing a crowd in a game is a very challenging thing, from the AI down to the texture sets used. We feel like we are finally approaching our final solution, but only time will tell.
While there is much more going on at the studio (wait until you see and hear the monsters in future updates) that is all we will cover right now. The game is coming along at a good rate, and we are hoping to have a starting the initial work on a trailer, so be on the lookout for future announcements of trailers and playtesting. Also, very soon we will start putting polls on our social media. These polls will gauge the interest in topics for future devblogs and vlogs. Make sure to follow our twitter, facebook, and youtube to see and vote in these polls.

Thanks! -- Tugboat, Lead Designer, High Five Studios
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About This Game

As Kurt Davis, a prisoner in a Japanese P.O.W. camp, finding the means of survival can prove challenging. This task only becomes more difficult as the days pass on. Your body and mind become strained drawing in horrors believed to only exist in legend. Are these manifestations of your growing insanity or something entirely more sinister?

In Prisoner, the player will struggle to secure the basic means of survival, get to know the plight of their fellow prisoners, and attempt to escape the terrors that haunt them.


Dynamic Horror: Every time the sun rises and sets, the player will be faced with new challenges. No two days will be alike, and no two scares the same.

Diverse Enemies: Enemies and monsters stemming from traditional Japanese horror will test the player's skill and nerve.

Immersive Environment: As the player progresses their environment will follow suit by offering them new challenges to face, brief respite from fear, and many terrifying experiences.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows™ 7 SP1, Windows™ 8.1 or later or Windows™ 10
    • Processor: Intel™ Core™ i5-4590 or AMD FX™ 8350, equivalent or better
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce™ GTX 760, equivalent or better
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Storage: 6 GB available space
    • Sound Card: recommended
    • OS: Windows™ 10
    • Processor: Intel™ Core™ i5-4690
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce™ GTX 960
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Storage: 6 GB available space
    • Sound Card: recommended
    • OS: OSX 10.8
    • Processor: Intel™ Core™ i5 equivalent or better
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel™ HD Graphics 3000, equivalent or better
    • Storage: 6 GB available space
    • Sound Card: recommended
    • OS: OSX 10.10
    • Processor: Intel™ Core™ i7, equivalent or better
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel™ Iris™ 6100
    • Storage: 6 GB available space
    • Sound Card: recommended

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