Puppies & Performance: Prison Architect Updates

Look at those ears.
If you’ve been playing Introversion’s Prison Architect, you might have noticed that it was a tough game. Like, unfairly tough. And being overall nice peeps, you’d have shrugged and thought “Hey, I’m sure it’ll all work out”. You’re nice. I like you. PA is tough because it’s still in development, and a lot of the mechanics that have been dropped into the prison sketching sim have been a bit skewed towards prisoner activities. That’s been somewhat fixed in the latest update: to give the player more power to detect criminals being criminals, Introversion has added dogs to aid the detection of contraband and escape tunnels. They are SUPER CUTE!

If I didn’t already own Prison Architect, the digging animation would have convinced me to buy it. If dogs detect tunnels, they’ll hunker down and give the ground a bit of a scratch. It’s up to the player to recognise the behavior and act on it. They also need lots and lots of rest, so you’ll need to give a portion of your prison over to kennels if you’re going to have K9 units.

Can you let us name the dogs, Introversion? Pleasssssssssse?!

The video touches on dual-core optimisations as well, which appears to have hugely improved the performance of larger prisons, but all I care about is taking a bite out of crime.


  1. Discopanda says:

    There are nice doggies in prisons too :(

    • Rollin says:

      I ended up watching this video instead of the game one, tbf it was much better.

  2. Smashbox says:

    My prison always becomes an ugly, violent, literally blood-soaked hell, no matter what I do.

    Maybe the game is some sort of disapproving commentary on the prison industrial complex?

  3. Synesthesia says:

    I regret a bit preordering this while on alpha. Its been an agonizing exercise in discipline to not open the game constantly, and burn out on it before it is ready.

    • Leb says:

      I don’t regret my purchase but I agree on the point that I’m avoiding playing it until release

  4. Dominus_Anulorum says:

    I want to buy this so badly! I just cannot afford to spend $30 on a game right now. College is kind of expensive, after all. Does it ever go on sale, or have they talked about lowering the price at some point?

    • LTK says:

      You could, you know, wait until it’s done.

      • Dominus_Anulorum says:

        Well, yes I could, but I enjoy watching a game grow. It is fun to see a game slowly get more complex over time and I would love to help with that. I think its due to all the dwarf fortress I play. That game will be feature complete in a few decades, at the rate it is going at.

    • Stochastic says:

      I’m really intrigued by Prison Architect, but $30 does seem awful steep for the game. Are they planning on reducing the price at release a la Planetary Annihilation?

      • buzzmong says:

        Yes, they are. I seem to recall the final price is going to be around £12-£15.

        High Alpha/Beta price is because they’ve had problems with previous titles and seen it happen to other games where people buy into it purely because it’s cheap, ignoring the alpha/beta state, and then rubbishing it because it’s unfinished and buggy.

        The assumption is also that being more invested by buying in high even when you know it’ll drop in price, means you’ll give better feedback as well.

    • Poklamez says:

      It goes on sale quite often. The price will be lower when it’s released.

  5. golem09 says:

    Dogs? So next gen.

  6. Beelzebud says:

    I’m tired of seeing an endless stream of unfinished games. It was cool in the beginning, but now it seems like there are more unfinished games coming out, than finished. Personally I’m only buying completed games from now on. To each his/her own, but that’s where I’m at.

    • The Random One says:

      I’ve never been interested in playing unfinished games, but since some people are so keen to do so I don’t mind. Their money and playtesting turns unfinished games into finished games I can then buy.

    • Leb says:

      Well it’s not like the unfinished games will remain unfinished… they will hit release. things are no different for you now than they were before really – except you are probably hearing about games earlier than you would have pre-early access era

  7. GunnerMcCaffrey says:

    This is as good a place to ask as any: is this game… satirical, at all? Is it making a point by making prisons hard to run, or something? Or is the concept just “Hey wouldn’t it be neat to run a prison?” Because, no… prisons are horrific places, and they seriously scar most people who stay inside them for any significant amount of time, guards and prisoners alike.

    • Myrdinn says:

      from the short time I have played the game; no, the game isn’t satirical at all.

      while I agree that prisons are nasty places, you should probably agree that they are meant for people who’ve done nasty things as well. Now warzones are an entirely different matter, as it’s inhabitants are often powerless to influence the situation either way. and there are pleeenty of games about war. Not often do they mention its toll on local populations.

      not disagreeing with you, just trying to put it into perspective

      • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

        Well, I can’t speak with any knowledge about the rest of the world, but I’m in North America, and I feel secure in saying that many of the people, probably most of the people, in North American prisons actually shouldn’t be there. A huge number are there for crimes related to prohibition or poverty. And even for those who really probably be should taken out of society for a while, the prison system often makes things worse in all but a small minority of cases.

        It’s complicated, obviously, but a game making light of it all just feels wrong to me, regardless of how one feels about prisons.

        Anyway, thanks for the reply. I can ignore this game now, knowing it would probably just make me kind of ill. Not that it’s in the budget anyway, so that’s good!

        • Hallr says:

          Though maybe not satirical, the game definitely has a political consciousness. The developers talk about it quite a lot in the development diaries, and it will probably be a lot more apparent in the final game than in it’s current alpha-state. Take a look at this update-video for instance (fast forward to the part about policies at 10:06): link to youtube.com

          (more here: link to introversion.co.uk)