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Prison Architect hits Alpha 16, adds Steam mod support and sends Santa to jail

27 Dec 2013  by   Peter Parrish
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Prison Architect - Santa Warden

Spot the Santa.

The latest Alpha version (Alpha 16) of Prison Architect is now ready, willing and able to be downloaded by those who have alpha access to the game. This edition adds mod support through Steam, which means it’ll now be easier to apply reskins like the “Festive Mod” which turns the prison warden into Father Christmas and his guards into sinister elves. Oh yes, and makes the workshop churn out presents with forced labour.

That’s not all this edition adds, though. You can now generate maps with forests and “experimental” lakes on them (experimental, because sometimes they’ll span the road and screw everything up.)

As well as that, you can stick some “road gates” on your road. These make it possible to make the road crossing a ‘secure area’ for the first time, making it a lot more appealing to build sections of your prison on either side of the road.

The Prison Architect developers explain all in this 22 minute video. Scroll below that to see the full change-list. If prison design is your calling, you can grab the game on Steam Early Access for $15.00 USD.

= Procedural landscape generation
There are new options when generating a new prison:

  • Forests adds random collections of trees, including new types of tree (Oak, Pine, Orange, Cypress, Palm)
  • Buildings are usually derilict and can be used or demolished as you wish
  • Lakes provide additional construction challenges by forcing you to work around them.
    Warning: Including lakes can make your map totally unplayable. Experimental!

= Wood industry

  • You can now cut down trees using “Dismantle” from the objects menu, and each tree will produce wooden Logs
  • You can sell the logs for an immediate cash boost (“Sell” from the objects menu)
    Or if you have a workshop, your prisoners will cut the logs into stacks of wood planks, which sell for more
  • Gardeners are now required to plant trees, and trees take time to grow from saplings
  • Stacks of finished wood planks will auto-sell at 1am

= Steam Workshop for mods (Steam versions only)

  • Mods can now be shared via the Steam Workshop, just like prisons
  • The mods menu now lets you publish mods, highlights mods you have published, and shows newly downloaded mods
  • Mods will automatically download when an update is available
  • Adding FileID “-1″ to your mod’s manifest.txt will stop the game asking users to publish the mod. Useful for mods shared outside of the Steam Workshop.

= Full segregation support

  • Extensive AI work means you can now fully segregate your prison by prisoner category
  • You can create self contained wings (eg for Max Sec only) containing their own cells, yard, canteen, laundry, workshop etc
  • New zone type : Med Sec, for medium security prisoner ONLY (orange)
  • Note: The default zone colour (White) is SHARED, meaning all prisoners are permitted to enter
  • Work/Employment/Industry AI improvements
    • Kitchens are now significantly more efficient (Chefs waste much less time)
    • You can now build any combination of kitchens and canteens, and your chefs will figure it out
      (Eg one kitchen serving multiple canteens, or each canteen having its own kitchen etc)
    • Fixed: Multiple chefs would sometimes go to collect a box of ingredients from the deliveries zone, wasting time
    • Fixed: Chefs often stood around doing nothing in the kitchen when they should be cooking
    • Laundries and Workshop jobs are now performed more efficiently and intelligently
    • Laundries will only service zones of the prison that prisoners working in that laundry would be permitted to reach
    • Janitors will now help out with the prison Laundry service
  • Prisoner cell re-assignments now happen without requiring shackled guard escort (if possible)
    • They will be shackled and escorted by a guard if they are not permitted to make the journey themselves
  • New object : Road Gate
    • Can be built spanning the entire road
    • Acts as a secure door, requiring a guard to unlock it whenever a vehicle or person wants to pass through
    • You can use this to span your prison across the road, or build a totally contained drop off zone
  • Doors now open at different speeds. A normal wood door is the fastest. The large road gate is the slowest.
    • The Large jail door opens slower than the normal jail door.
  • Prisoners will now “make a run for it” if they are near the exit and you leave too many doors unlocked
    • Be careful when setting zones to “Unlocked” (green), or setting doors to “Locked open”
    • Note: More dangerous prisoners are more likely to take advantage of lapses in security
  • New red marker icon for escaping prisoners
  • Electrical items no longer short out when wet
    • It is now safe to use Firemen in the kitchen, or to repair laundry machines without having to worry about electrocution
    • EXCEPT the power station which now explodes most spectacularly when wet
  • Workshop balance nerf
    • The workshop has been judged far too ridiculously profitable
    • Cutting sheet metal and stamping license plates now takes twice as long as before
    • Sheet metal now costs $10 per sheet, and produces 2 license plates which sell for $10 each, giving $10 profit
      (Previously $3 per sheet, producing 3 license plates selling at $10 each, giving $27 profit)
    • Workshop saws and presses now cost 50% more to build
  • Prisoners will now make better use of their stolen contraband when misbehaving:
    • Lighters if they are feeling destructive
    • Weapons if they get into a fight
    • Tools if they are escaping
  • All staff now have a base toughness of 5 (previously 1) so they no longer die from a single punch
  • Offices must now be indoor
  • Vehicles will no longer be blocked by entities, objects, trees etc
  • Fixed : Purchasing neighbour plots of land sometimes caused the game to get the road location wrong.
      Vehicles spawned in the wrong place and construction was blocked in a stripe down the middle of the prison
  • Fixed : Purchasing land west or north of your prison broke all in-progress escape tunnels
  • Fixed : Prisoners who are digging escape tunnels will now be rumbled if a guard comes to escort them somewhere
      (Previously they were able to keep digging despite being taken to a different place!)
  • Fixed : Some long running prisons had active escape tunnels that were being dug by prisoners who were no longer on site – either dead, escaped or released.
  • Fixed : Sometimes workmen took a very long time to finish foundations, leaving them unfinished for hours
  • Fixed : Trees will no longer be generated on the road
  • Fixed : Workers will no longer get stuck in the first delivery truck trying to do a job
  • Fixed : Guards no longer need to use their keys to open wood doors
  • Fixed : Mod system now correctly loads replacement font graphics every time
  • Fixed : Mods can now override the base grants with their own if the grants share the same name
  • Fixed : Dead visitors will no longer float home
  • Fixed : Historical contraband moved when you purchased a neighbour plot of land
  • Fixed : Released prisoners will no longer get stuck on the toilet or in bed
  • Fixed (Alpha15b) : Right click to cancel stopped working
  • Fixed (Alpha15c) : All existing contraband was being lost after level load
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