Saw Scant Redemption: Prison Architect’s Fixed Fog

By Alec Meer on November 20th, 2012 at 9:00 pm.

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Pretty much the type of comment I hate most here is “shame on you RPS for not posting about game/event x”. No, shame on you for being a plonker. But this time and this time only you are allowed to say “shame on you” to me. Why? Because I still haven’t played Introversion’s Prison Architect, even though I have a copy of the alpha.

Shame on me.

I do intend to correct this very soon though, and fortunately I’ll be going into a newly-updated build which corrects the notorious fog of war issue.

Clearly I’m having to summarise rather than speak from experience here, but sounds as though a full-on fog of war system that entailed not being able to see what was going on in much of your prison half the time was somewhat interfering with the whole being in charge of a prison thing, as well as, more practically speaking, preventing players from easily building stuff. In developers Introversion’s own words, ” Somehow we managed to introduce a element that wrecked the core game play.”

They’ve now gone for a new tack, wherein you lose some rather than all visibility in areas of the prison that aren’t directly monitored by your guards. You can now see layout and furniture, but not prisoner activity. Unwatched areas are also now rendered in greyscale, which I imagine would add to the ‘oh God what on Earth is going on in there’ tension.

Far more details are on the Introversion blog, and here’s a video of the new fog system in action, together with the other new bits and bobs in alpha build 4 of the game.

You can preorder Prison Architect for immediate access to an alpha build now. I am finally going to play it myself tomorrow, at which point your right to say “shame on you” to me will be rescinded.

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20 Comments »

  1. sub-program 32 says:

    But not, however, our right to say “shame on you” for spelling right as “write”.

    • Runty McTall says:

      Heh, just logged in to say this :)

      Sorry Alec.

      • gloriaalbert6 says:

        Im making over $6k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do..http://cutt.us/YtHX

    • Salt says:

      Now you’ve pointed it out he’ll perform ancient writing rites to right his “right”-”write” error.

      • InternetBatman says:

        Everyone knows that writewrights write write right. Right?

    • NailBombed says:

      SHAMEFACE.

  2. MadJax says:

    Not…Played…..Got…Alpha?!

    BAD ALEC! BAD, BAD ALEC! *Sprays with water bottle* (Yes, in this hilarious representation, Alec is a Meer-Cat *GROAN*)

    Seriously though, been playing this since they first put Alpha up for purchase (As well as too many sessions during Rezzed) and been having a blast with it consistently, even though it’s an alpha…

    Worth every penny I paid in my opinion, the community is generally great and helpful too :)

  3. Fatrat says:

    I’ve had a lot of fun with the alpha, but i find that once the grants are gone and the funds run low, you don’t really take in enough income to progress your prison that fast. I mean 24 hours (on fast speed) for 1 tick of funds, which is usually about 1k or so when you first start with a group of inmates. That just about builds you a short wall.

    Hopefully they do a bit of tuning with the income stuff. I would suggest a faster speed so you can get your funds quicker, but then you’d miss the main part of the game, which is obviously fights in the canteen and showers.

    • MadJax says:

      Thats part of the reason Chris put the money cheat up in the forums, as they know income isn’t working properly and needs work at the moment ;)

      • Fatrat says:

        Well the cheat doesn’t matter since you can edit the “Balance” value in your savegame file. But at least it’s on his list of things to fix.

        That said, i still should bother to check the forums for anything other than the new alpha release build. I didn’t bother reading anything the other week and ended up wondering why i had no prisoners arriving. T’was due to the changes made to Holding Cells, d’oh.

    • Stromko says:

      I’m sure the game needs balancing all over the place, but right now I just chalk it up to being a challenge. Fences are free so you can set up an easy yard, then it’s just a matter of efficiently and quickly building cells, while having sufficient capacity in all your other services, as more and more inmates flood in.

      My current prison, the inmates outnumber the guards 5-to-1 and the chefs by the same amount. I’ve surrounded the prison with the free fencing, and have been building pre-fab style cell blocks of 10 – 20 cells as separate buildings with one guard patrolling per building. My cash flow is quite good with this set up. I have a bunch of small TVs and phone booths in the dining room so that when the inmates come to eat, when they’re done eating they take care of their other needs.

      I am sort of cheating though. The regime is 24-hour free time, aside from the 3 meals a day (the chefs never make enough food, but the extra meal means prisoners who miss one meal generally get taken care of by the next). Prisoners do still get unhappy and complain sometimes, and it’s a challenge affording enough cells to fit the inmates as they come in. With so few guards I’m going to have big problems if there’s ever a riot.

      It’s a really, really hard game if you try to have a proper prison regime right now, because when inmates are told to shower, go to the yard, or sleep, there’s always a few that want to do something else RIGHT NOW and will go berserk. As it is I have near-rioters when they’re told to come to the cafeteria, even with it full of TVs and phone booths there’s always inmates that want to shower or exercise or sleep RIGHT NOW.

  4. Premium User Badge

    AmateurScience says:

    Down with this sort of thing!

  5. sabasNL says:

    So ermm, Shame On You.

    Really, everyone should try Prison Architect, it still has ALOT of game-breaking bugs, but it’s already becoming a great game.

    • Stromko says:

      The worst thing is the memory leak, but there’s a workaround. Just monitor how much memory the game is taking up, and if you notice it’s taking up somewhere 800 – 1,200 megs you should save, quit and reload. Depending on your set up you may be able to get away with more, but according to what I’ve read it can’t handle filling up more than 2048 megs no matter how much memory you have.

      I can understand them putting this off though, they don’t have all the features in place and tracking down memory leaks is something of a waste of time until they do.

  6. CrazedIvan says:

    Sweet, now they just need to add video cameras and a surveillance room. Prisoners can destroy the cameras now and then.

    • MadJax says:

      Added in Alpha 3 (Along with the original fog of war system) :)