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Prison Architect alpha-3 released

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:55 pm
by Chris
Today we have released Alpha-3 of Prison Architect for Pc and Mac, and Alpha customers can download and play it immediately. Go to our PA wiki and download the file in the usual way. Not signed up yet? Join us now at www.prison-architect.com

We’ve made a video demonstrating the key new features - take a look:


For this update we’ve focussed on a new system called Fog Of War, which changes the game in a number of ways. Internally we refer to this as the Visibility system, because you now lose visibility of the indoor areas of your jail gradually over time. Your guards are the only staff members who can “unveil” the hidden areas, and if you lose visibility of an area you have no idea what sort of things are going on there. This ties in very closely to the Alpha2 update, because you now have to use Deployment and Patrols to create pathways for your guards to walk along to ensure your entire jail remains fully visible at all times.

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Note: Because fog of war is a brand new untested feature, it can be enabled or disabled when creating a new sandbox.

The second major feature in this update is CCTV cameras, and these are obviously related. Sometimes you have areas of your jail which are never visited by prisoners (you’d hope), such as store rooms, admin offices, power facilities etc. You might not want to waste a guards time by patrolling a zone which never has any prisoners in it. So instead you can construct cctv cameras which will give you a permanent “cone of visibility” which slowly sweeps from side to side.

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Cctv cameras don’t just work magically (as they do in most videogames for some reason) - they need to actually be watched by a Guard to give you any visibility. You can now construct cctv monitors and assign a guard to watch them, and each monitor effectively powers up to three cctv cameras. A single guard can watch several monitor stations at once if you are clever with your layout.

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Those are the two major features for this update, and we have a bunch of bug fixes and small changes as well - see the full list below. It’s worth mentioning that although this wasn’t the most requested item in the vote we are running, it was the closest to completion, so we thought we’d go ahead and release this now rather than sitting on it. The current highest voted item - zoning to allow for different self-containted “wings” within your prison - is our next objective, and should be in either the next Alpha or the one after that. There’s still lots of big changes to come - exciting times for us all.

Join the Prison Architect alpha now at www.prison-architect.com


Full change list

Code: Select all

= Fog-of-war / Visibility system
    - You now lose visibility of the indoor areas of your Jail over time (Roof covers up the area)
    - Guards reveal the area around them - spread them out to keep your jail fully visible at all times
    - Fog of War is optional and can be toggled when creating a new sandbox
   
= CCtv system
    - Unlocked by the Security Chief after Deployment
    - CCtv cameras can be used to uncover fog-of-war instead of Guards
    - Cctv cameras require monitors - each monitor station allows 3 cameras
    - Monitor stations require Guards nearby watching them (One guard can watch a lot of monitors)
       
- Researching "Deployment" now unlocks Guard Patrols immediately, rather than requiring a seperate research project

- Guards who are deployed within a sector will now stay within that sector unless ordered away by the player

- You can now press R to rotate objects during placement

- You can now press Q and E to zoom in and out
   
- Metal Detectors improved

- Low powered electrical items no longer take damage from water, nor electrocute people in water

- High powered electrical items should never be allowed to touch water ;)

- Holding Cells no longer count towards your prison's capacity. (And no longer affect intake of prisoners)

- You can now disable the checkerboard room pattern if you wish, to provide a cleaner look
    (Controlled by preferences option "RenderRooms")

- The PC executable now has an icon
   
- Fixed: You can no longer use the "Dismantle Object" tool to dismantle fire, polaroids, vehicles etc

- Fixed: Lights can now be dismantled

- Fixed: You can no longer search dead prisoners

- Fixed: The "Incident Reports" objective was sometimes remaining hidden when it should be displayed

- Fixed: You can no longer rotate the following objects: Light, Tree, Electric chair

- Fixed: Saving a prison with a '#' symbol in the filename would cause the game to fail to start on next run
    (Preferences.txt would remember the map filename and the game fails to autoload the prison on startup)
   


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Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:00 pm
by Mas Tnega
Three minutes to download. Can I beat the flood this time? I sure hope I do!

Edit: SUCCESS!

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:07 pm
by Ace Rimmer
So, now I can schedule a mandatory guard meeting somewhere other than with the prisoners, and then rush back in after it's over. Meetings usually last an hour or more, right? They love surprises . :P

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:12 pm
by ronanc
I love being able to peek through the fog! And the fact that fog can be toggled on or off.. unreal! Also having to man the cctv monitors is a great touch.

Wicked release.. feeling spoiled here! :lol:

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:21 pm
by SliZm
I think that fog needs to be revealed by all (or most) staff, for example you should be able to see in the Warden's office when he is in there and suchlike.

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:50 pm
by madcow
I'll have to play with it, but based on the screenshots, I kind of wish fog of war still allowed you to see interior walls of the prison. I like the idea of fog of war, but I still want to see all my architecture even if I can't see the prisoners!

Maybe it'll grow on me when I get the chance to actually test it out though.

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:57 pm
by Causeless
I find it a bit funny that guards and cctv can see through walls :P

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:59 pm
by Ace Rimmer
madcow wrote:I'll have to play with it, but based on the screenshots, I kind of wish fog of war still allowed you to see interior walls of the prison. I like the idea of fog of war, but I still want to see all my architecture even if I can't see the prisoners!

Maybe it'll grow on me when I get the chance to actually test it out though.

[SUGGESTION]Perhaps they'll implement the blueprint mode and you will be able to see a hybrid of sorts; blueprints showing existing/planned walls for fog, actual walls for non-fog? [/SUGGESTION]

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:01 pm
by Ace Rimmer
Edit: Whoops, my mistake, ignore this post.

In other news. Whee!

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:09 pm
by Guvnor
Can't wait to try this out! Looks awesome!!!

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:17 pm
by ronanc
Dear god those metal detector blips are satisfying! Good work Al once again :D

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:20 pm
by Lance_Lake
1) Fog of war should take into account walls.

2) When the mouse cursor is hovering over the blocked line of sight, overlay some things. I.e. the fake heads when tunneling happens. This requires a guard to find it and you can't "Cheat" by scanning it yourself.

3) Guards should reveal like they were walking cameras. A cone effect depending on their facing. I don't see why a guard can reveal an area he just left.

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:57 pm
by ronanc
I just experienced the sound of making a new patrol route when your prisoners are angry.. dear god that's painful (in a good way)! :lol:

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:03 pm
by Warbird
They added in a rotate key! I can finally play on my laptop!

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:06 pm
by ronanc
Warbird wrote:They added in a rotate key! I can finally play on my laptop!


Alt-Click on a Mac or use AutoHotKey on a PC. It's always been possible to play on a laptop.


edit: spelling