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Prison Architect Done And Dusted, Scanner Sombre Next

Cell-building sim Prison Architect [official site] has received its last update and the creators are taking a break before they come back to work on their next game, cave explorer Scanner Sombre. They’ll still be doing the odd patch and providing bug support, they say, but this is the last batch of content to be added, resulting in version 2.0. And it’s a bit of an old-fashioned addition, because it adds the ability to use cheats.

Players will now be able to enable cheats when making a new map, offering things like a spawn button that instantly creates whatever you want. You can’t get achievements or sell stuff for profit on a cheat-enabled map, though, it’s just for kicks. These updates have always had a video attached, so here it is this month (if you want to see a montage of how much has been added over the 6 years of development, skip to about 32:10).

Prison Architect was first announced a million years ago in 2011 when Introversion told everyone they were putting another game, urban heist simulator Subversion, on the back burner. It was an unexpected move at the time but it has worked out well for them in the end, what with 2 million people having donned the cap of a warden in Prison Architect, according to their figures.

Their next game is going to be an expansion of their recent prototype, Scanner Sombre – an exploratory game about being stuck in a dank cave with nothing but LIDAR to guide you. It’s very different. This is how Pip described it.

You spawn in a cave with a fire burning in the middle. There’s a scanner gun which you pick up before heading off down a pitch black tunnel. The scanner is kind of reminiscent of one of those handheld barcode scanners and shoots a cone of laser beams off into the darkness. When these beams hit a surface they leave a pinprick of colour so the more you use the scanner, the more concentrated the speckles become on a surface, creating a more and more detailed outline of the environment.

But they do also have another prototype, bomb-defusal wotsit Wrong Wire. And John had a go at being an anti-bomb man and puzzled through the wires and circuitry.

The developers are “going dark” for now, they say. But say we’ll probably know more about Scanner Sombre in a few months time.

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Brendan Caldwell

Features Editor

Brendan likes all types of games. To him there is wisdom in Crusader Kings 2, valour in Dark Souls, and tragicomedy in Nidhogg.

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