Prison Architect Alpha 24

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SGrayWolf
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Re: Prison Architect Alpha 24

Postby SGrayWolf » Sun Aug 31, 2014 5:41 pm

Citizen wrote:Please Do Not Add tablet support. The last thing we need is time being taken away from the PC version of prison architect. Not to sound mean, but I didn't pay $29 beans to have a new project started mid-stream.

Also, please stop adding mod support until the bulk of the game is complete since it's likely that each new Alpha Will break existing mods. Just focus on completing A high-quality PC version of prison architect. Then Do mod support then consider a tablet version, but definitely not before! I'd like to see prisoner AI bulked up, we still haven't seen gang activity, guard towers or countless other cool features that should be the core of a prison simulator.

Thank you


I completely agree with Citizen here, when I saw the mention and voting for tablets I sighed very hard. While I have nothing against creating apps and games for tablets, I supported and bought Prison Architect with the understanding that the PC was the main focus and that should remain true. Please do not divide up work time on new hardware when PA isn't finished, get an awesome core and game for the PC first and then add support for the new hardware.

As far as the spoons/forks in the canteen go, I do hope that a better fix is implemented in place of just removing the canteen as a source.
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Re: Prison Architect Alpha 24

Postby RGeezy911 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 6:04 pm

I believe the intent for the survey was to decide if Prison Architect would be developed for a mobile device after the PC version is completed, not before. Of course, this is my belief and not actual fact.
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Re: Prison Architect Alpha 24

Postby Rafe » Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:17 pm

SGrayWolf wrote: I supported and bought Prison Architect with the understanding that the PC was the main focus and that should remain true. Please do not divide up work time on new hardware when PA isn't finished, get an awesome core and game for the PC first and then add support for the new hardware.

As far as the spoons/forks in the canteen go, I do hope that a better fix is implemented in place of just removing the canteen as a source.



This is my fear as well. Development teams have finite resources to work with and if they are dividing up their time among a project to integrate PA onto inferior architecture, a portable device, then the actual game could likely see reduced effort placed on it's development. I would personally hate to play a game like PA on a portable device, in fact i haven't touched portable gaming since the initial release of the first Gameboy. It is simply an inferior experience to gaming on a PC
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Re: Prison Architect Alpha 24

Postby knoest26 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:20 pm

Does anybody know where to find the changelog for Alpha 24c?
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Re: Prison Architect Alpha 24

Postby Serithi » Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:23 pm

Citizen wrote:Also, please stop adding mod support until the bulk of the game is complete since it's likely that each new Alpha Will break existing mods.


It's actually a distinctly bad idea to hold off on mod support until late in the game, because that means for the longest time they've been hardcoding stuff that they then gotta crack open later on. It's a helluva lot better to actually implement it early, because then the game's built with that framework in mind. And mods aren't guaranteed to break with each Alpha, because it depends on what they're actually modifying. If it's standalone like Gary's veggie garden, it can last for a while assuming there's no major overhauls, and even something that specifically modifies the base game could still work if the stuff it changes isn't touched by an update.
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Re: Prison Architect Alpha 24

Postby RGeezy911 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:25 pm

Notice: Alpha 24c - Fixes the manual saving glitch. Please go to its report if it's fixed for you too!
http://bugs.introversion.co.uk/view.php?id=5724
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Re: Prison Architect Alpha 24

Postby knoest26 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:28 pm

RGeezy911 wrote:Notice: Alpha24c - Fixes the manual saving glitch. Please go to its report if it's fixed for you too!
http://bugs.introversion.co.uk/view.php?id=5724

Thanks, did not see that one
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Re: Prison Architect Alpha 24

Postby Selis » Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:49 am

The update definitely feels underwhelming, but on the other side I do feel that mod support is very important.
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Re: Prison Architect Alpha 24

Postby Citizen » Mon Sep 01, 2014 5:54 pm

They don't need to build mod support. The game just needs to be mod friendly, which it already is.

The modding community will always be active in any good game. Grand Theft Auto, Homeworld, Close Combat, Half Life, Mount and Blade and on and on - None of those games had mod support, but continue on with mods because the modding community is creative and persistent. The foundation of mod support for PA has already been established. It's now time to focus on the core game and let modders fend for themselves for a time - true modders will be just fine.

Once the game is complete they can polish modding tools.
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Re: Prison Architect Alpha 24

Postby knoest26 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:06 pm

Citizen wrote:They don't need to build mod support. The game just needs to be mod friendly, which it already is.

The modding community will always be active in any good game. Grand Theft Auto, Homeworld, Close Combat, Half Life, Mount and Blade and on and on - None of those games had mod support, but continue on with mods because the modding community is creative and persistent. The foundation of mod support for PA has already been established. It's now time to focus on the core game and let modders fend for themselves for a time - true modders will be just fine.

Once the game is complete they can polish modding tools.

Couldn't agree more, there is enough to mess with for a year or so
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Re: Prison Architect Alpha 24

Postby Kodiak97 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:50 am

I am not a game dev, and I will not pretend I am. That being said, I feel like we're losing focus with some alpha updates.

The whole modding thing is great, it's good to see that the devs are actually trying to support the community in many ways. Mods are a great way to get 'band-aids' for the game, fixing graphical bugs or adding new ways for objects to be used that haven't been officially supported.

However, pushing aside the content to support modding to me is not an alpha update, that's a 'tweener' update, or even a Beta update. The game is not finished, and making mods for a game that changes every month isn't the best place to have them. I can understand people wanting mods to fix certain irritating issues, but still, only getting some confidential informants (more on that later) to find the contraband in your prison, when having a proper setup (at least to me) prevents all contraband from being smuggled in, and strong enforcement of the 'no contraband' laws, prevents the inmates from even getting their hands on it in the first place. Some things slip through the cracks, but in general, the only things that make it through are relatively harmless, maybe some cigarettes.

The big problem I still have is that some alpha changes are never mentioned, or seem to be forgotten. How long have the drug rehab and alcoholics anonymous meetings been broken? I used to have 20+ prisoners in drug programs after it was introduced, and the health score skyrocketed, as I was rehabilitating the prisoners to get off their addictions. Now, all I hear are tazers being fired at inmates that are trying to fight because they have no drugs (I catch 95%+ of all drugs entering the prison), and constantly having to send inmates to solitary or to medical because two addicts start fighting. Same with the alcoholics. Nobody is going to the meetings, yet I keep both open just in case some minor patch hits and fixes them. It's a waste of my staff's wages and the extra costs of the programs, as nobody enters them. Apparently guards are supposed to take them to drug rehab if they're drunk or high on narcotics, but none of them are, since they have no drugs or alcohol in the first place. I'm in a very awkward situation. You'd think that the lack of drugs and booze would cause them to quit cold turkey, but in the 'years' that they spend in prison, they're just as bad as when they walk in, if not worse.

These alpha updates are great to get new content in the game, and I look forward to them each month, but the lack of fixing current issues is worrying. Alpha 22 was great to get a lot of the bugs out of the way that impeded smooth operation of the prison, and I don't mind having no new content, but there seems to be a greater need for additional content for a skipped month with bug fixes. Perhaps a combination of both would be the best plan. One or two new pieces of content, and some larger fixes for bigger issues would be good. Hotfixes like that 24C to fix the save issue was great. I was going to stop playing for the month until it was fixed, but thankfully you guys fixed it quickly.

Tl;Dr: Combination of content/fixes in each alpha would be fantastic, less focus on 'end game' additions like modding, and more time focused on treating the prisons like how they would be run IRL. (More security, less 'free roam' for prisoners, etc)
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Re: Prison Architect Alpha 24

Postby xander » Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:34 am

Kodiak97 wrote:However, pushing aside the content to support modding to me is not an alpha update, that's a 'tweener' update, or even a Beta update.

I don't really see why. The point of the alpha stage of development is to implement features. Generally speaking, when the alpha phase is done, the feature set is frozen and the bugfixing beings in earnest. The early access development model disrupts this some, and no developer shop adheres to such definitions rigidly in any case, but I see the modding system as being a set of features that IV had on their roadmap and got to in the last month.

It should also be noted that the modding system fundamentally changed the way in which the game understands its data files, which makes future development for IV that much easier. For instance, new features don't necessarily have to be hard coded---they can mod their own data files! It will also likely make it easier to implement a campaign later on.

Finally (and this isn't really directed at you specifically), I find it really interesting to note that every time a new alpha is released there is always some group of people whinging that the release was underwhelming and a bunch of bugs didn't get fixed and the wrong features were implemented and so on. Come on, guys! Get over it. IV are working on their game. They are implementing features in the manner that they deem most appropriate and generally not fixing existing bugs so that they can worry about new features. Be patient. I'm sure that it will all come together eventually.

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Re: Prison Architect Alpha 24

Postby thekillergreece » Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:23 pm

Mark considers to port game to tablet. Most likely downgraded version.

Because considering about console like PS4 is too "mainstream". Logic..
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Re: Prison Architect Alpha 24

Postby Kodiak97 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:09 am

xander wrote:
Kodiak97 wrote:However, pushing aside the content to support modding to me is not an alpha update, that's a 'tweener' update, or even a Beta update.

I don't really see why. The point of the alpha stage of development is to implement features. Generally speaking, when the alpha phase is done, the feature set is frozen and the bugfixing beings in earnest. The early access development model disrupts this some, and no developer shop adheres to such definitions rigidly in any case, but I see the modding system as being a set of features that IV had on their roadmap and got to in the last month.

It should also be noted that the modding system fundamentally changed the way in which the game understands its data files, which makes future development for IV that much easier. For instance, new features don't necessarily have to be hard coded---they can mod their own data files! It will also likely make it easier to implement a campaign later on.

Finally (and this isn't really directed at you specifically), I find it really interesting to note that every time a new alpha is released there is always some group of people whinging that the release was underwhelming and a bunch of bugs didn't get fixed and the wrong features were implemented and so on. Come on, guys! Get over it. IV are working on their game. They are implementing features in the manner that they deem most appropriate and generally not fixing existing bugs so that they can worry about new features. Be patient. I'm sure that it will all come together eventually.

xander


I know it sounded like I was complaining about content, text based communication is hard to convey what I really meant. I simply meant it to mean that modding support to me seems like a late development stage. If a game constantly changes its data, or adds new features, they may contradict many mods that currently exist, and could cause a lot of problems with the coding (again I don't know anything about game development or coding, so I can't speak with authority. I just feel it was a bit odd that they added such massive support so 'early' in development, before the true hard coding was finished for key features. I like the fact that new content is added regularly, I just think that content should take precedence, and fixing problems that seems to cause major issues for the game should be fixed as soon as possible. I know alpha stage is meant to add content as the game goes, but if something is broken, part of the development phase (regardless of alpha or beta or gamma or upsilon stage) should be to fix the problem if possible. (the drug rehab and alcoholics issues have been around for a while now, and I would have hoped it would be addressed by now. Again I'm not a game dev, and I don't know what they're working on, and I do trust them to do what they need to do.
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Re: Prison Architect Alpha 24

Postby xander » Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:16 am

Kodiak97 wrote:...but if something is broken, part of the development phase (regardless of alpha or beta or gamma or upsilon stage) should be to fix the problem if possible.

Knuth famously advised against premature optimization. Same thing here: premature bugfixing is generally counter-productive (since you don't know in advance how a bugfix now might cause other problems in the future). It is generally better to shoot for getting all of the features into play, then iron out the problems. Obviously, anything that makes the game completely unplayable should be addressed sooner rather than later (hence the hotfix to correct the problem with saving), but bugs that don't cause the game to go down in flames can happily wait.

Let me suggest the following: this update wasn't really about modding at all. Rather, the update was about addressing the way in which Prison Architect understands its data files (not the glee in Chris' voice when he exclaimed that the game is now DATA DRIVEN!). This means that adding items to the game no longer requires a hundred lines of C code that has to be compiled and tested and recompiled and retested and so on, but rather the addition of a few lines of code to a data file, which can be tested without recompiling the entire game. It is possible that this update was motivated by a desire to fix the drug treatment programs, and that the next update will include some tweaks to the data files that magically make everything work more betterer. I'm not saying that this is likely, but I can see how it might be possible to tweak the need for drugs and the providers of that need in order to get things working---this is something that I would not have seen how to do prior to this update.

Of course, releasing an update and saying "Hey, we changed a bunch of stuff under the hood, but you won't really notice the changes" isn't really very interesting, so Chris and Mark sexed it up a bit by talking about modding which is, quite frankly, a really nice feature for the game to have in the long run.

xander

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