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Here is our alpha14 video demonstrating the new features:
Guard dogs have arrived! You can now hire dogs from the staff menu, and they come as a team with a dog handler. Dogs will sniff any nearby prisoners and hiding spots, and can smell drugs and other forms of smelly contraband from several squares away. Assign your dogs to patrols within busy parts of your prison to have them sniff everyone during the day.
Dogs can also sense escape tunnels, although it isn’t quite as easy as that. They will scratch at the floor and bark a bit, but you need to keep an eye on them to notice this and perform appropriate searches within your jail. If they happen to be scratching the floor when there is an actual prisoner digging directly under them, the prisoner is rumbled and the whole tunnel is revealed. We suggest you create long patrol routes around the perimeter of your jail and assign dogs to these, to keep a handle on your escape tunnels.
And if some prisoners do manage to get out of their cells and make a run for it, dogs are excellent at chasing them down. Much faster than the guards, for example.
Dogs do get tired after working for a few hours, and need a Kennel (we suggest an outdoor fenced off area for your dogs) with some dog crates to sleep in. The dog and handler will be out of action when they sleep, so you’ll need shifts of dogs and handlers to keep continuous coverage.
We have also started work on one of the end game features - you can now sell your prison from the Valuation screen. Any profits you have made in this prison will be automatically transferred to a brand new starting location, meaning you can plan much bigger layouts right from the start. You can only sell your prisons once, but nothing stops you going back and continuing to manage a prison you have already sold.
One of the most consistent requests from players is to deal with performance. The game has always lagged quite badly in large prisons or with large prisoner populations. Our resident technical expert John Knottenbelt has spent all month optimising the hell out of the game, and it’s running a great deal faster. The entire pathfinding system is now running on a separate processor, taking advantage of dual core and better setups that most gamers now have. This has lowered the cpu burden of the game, but also means there is much less “backlog” in the pathfinding system - often entities would be waiting around to have their route generated before they could move. Now it all happens virtually instantly. We hope this work will help you plan and build even more epic prisons.
Chris is expecting a baby (his second Son) in about a months time (well, his wife Jo is), so unfortunately our regular monthly alpha process will be disrupted while Real Life takes over for a bit. We are planning to skip the alpha that would have come at the end of October, and aim for alpha 15 at the end of November, ie two months from now. We hope you understand.
In the mean time, enjoy the new features (there’s a ton of additional stuff in the full change list below) and we will see you all soon.
Full change list
Code: Select all
= Guard Dogs
You can now hire guard dogs from the staff menu. Every dog has a dog handler.
Dogs will sniff any nearby prisoners or hiding places, and will detect drugs, cigs etc
Dogs can sense escape tunnels and will scratch at the ground when they find one, giving the player a strong hint
If a dog smells a prisoner digging under them, they will dig up the prisoner and reveal the entire tunnel
Dogs are fast runners and are very good at chasing down escaping prisoners
Note: Dogs smell drugs and detect tunnels incorrectly sometimes
Note: If either a dog or his handler is killed, the survivor will act unpredictably for a while, before leaving the prison
- Dogs can be assigned to patrols just like Guards : From the Deployment screen
Click on "Dog Patrols" then click on any existing patrol to assign a dog to it
New room type. Requires dog crates for each dog to sleep in
Can be outdoor, but must be surrounded by walls or fences or doors
Dogs have an energy level represented by a green bar under their body, which discharges as they work
When they become exhausted they will return to a Kennel and sleep in a dog crate to recover
They will also heal any injuries sustained in the line of duty
= Prison Sale
You can now sell your prison from the Valuation report screen, and use the profits to start a new prison with a large bank balance
You require an Accountant on site, a minimum positive valulation of $50,000, and at least 20 prisoners to be eligable for sale
You can always return to a prison you have previously sold and continue managing it, but you can only sell a prison once
Note: You cannot sell someone elses prison shared via the Steam Workshop, for obvious reasons
Note: We are aware this system is highly exploitable, and it will remain that way until we balance the financial side of the game
= Major performance optimisations
We have resolved numerous performance glitches and done a great deal of optimising for this alpha.
Areas optimised : Sector system, Work Queue, Rendering
The navigation / route planning system has been multithreaded and will now run on a second processor core
On large / heavily populated maps the average frame rate is now significantly higher
- Escape tunnels have been nerfed and are now much more rare.
- Only prisoners with the "Clever" trait will even consider escape tunnels (10-20% of your inmates)
- They need to have a stolen digging tool within their possession
- Motivations for digging: Fear for life, High freedom need, Misses family
- Prisoners caught digging will have the punishment for "Escape Attempt" automatically applied
- Deliveries and Garbage rooms can now be placed anywhere on your prison site, including behind locked doors
- Delivery trucks will stop and load/unload when aligned with delivery/garbage rooms
- Prisoners will get off the truck immediately if they can walk to deliveries easily
- However if your deliveries zone is within your prison they will be escorted in by a guard
- The Load / Save dialogs now have the option to sort by "Date modified" as well as by filename.
This is very useful for quickly finding your recent prisons.
Click on the column headings to toggle the different sorting methods
- There is now much more variety for many of the existing staff types:
Male and female versions of many staff types
Body shapes and sizes vary
Skin tone also varies
- Planning Mode continued
We have extended the planning mode to permit three different types of materials:
Walls : Plan where your walls will be
Objects : Drag out any size of object to show where you plan to place the furniture
Paths : Use this to mark your planned outdoor pathways
- Fixed: Workers will no longer load and unload garbage in an endless loop
(This happened when you had the Garbage zone above the Deliveries zone)
- Fixed: The tooltip regarding guard patrols was being displayed in all kinds of wrong places
- Fixed: All entities would drop whatever they were carrying after loading a saved game
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