Why would I use Yard time rather than Free time?

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GC13
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Why would I use Yard time rather than Free time?

Postby GC13 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:22 pm

Right now people seem to think Free time is the best time there is. I've seen people say they use it almost exclusively (except for Work and Eat time, of course), but I've found that at least coming out of their cells in the morning they need to be told to go to the showers, otherwise they'll just sleep in (switching it to None doesn't wake them up to use the toilet before the showers, unfortunately). So that's Shower time that's been quite useful for me, one hour a day.

Yard time, though, I never end up using. I just give my prisoners blocks of Free time, and those who need to exercise will head to the yard (which is pretty much just for exercise: I don't put phone booths or pool tables in it) and the others will head to the common rooms or their cells. All I can think of is that it corrals them all into one place for easy guard assignment, but for more prisons that's a pretty niche use.

Bonus question: what do you use None for in your regimes? I figure it would be handy for forcing them to use their toilets if you set it when they're already awake, but other than that I have plenty of time for knocking down and expanding the fence when they're all asleep.
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Postby MAdMaN » Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:25 pm

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Postby GC13 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:52 pm

I don't understand. If this forum isn't for talking about gameplay, then what is it for?
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Postby Pogo » Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:59 pm

I think the advantage of Yard Time over Free Time (or Sleep, or anything versus Free Time) is that you're forcing the population into particular areas.

During Free Time, prisoners CAN go to the yard... but they can also go to their cells, common rooms, etc. They can go anywhere they have access too.
During yard time, a prisoner is either in the yard, or up to no good.

It's like Eat time. Not every prisoner eats during every Eat time. But they all go to the Canteen.

Same with Sleep time. Not every prisoner sleeps during the entire Sleep time (particularly if you offer a lot of free time during the day in which they can return to their cell and sleep). But they all return to their cell if they have one, and if not, a holding cell.



So... these times in comparison to free time offer you a way to force your population into very specific areas of the prison. This is already useful, as you can force your entire population through metal detectors at regular intervals if you set up your prison and regime properly. But as the game continues to grow through future alpha releases, this can only become more useful. I believe they're currently working on Cell Searches, so that may arrive in Alpha 12. And forcing your population into the yard, even if only for an hour or two a day, I imagine, would be a great time to give your guards the opportunity to efficiently search every cell.



And just in general... with Fog of War considerations... you can watch more prisoners with fewer guards if they are confined to one area rather than spread throughout the prison. A single guard can easily watch over 10 prisoners if they're all in the yard, or all in the canteen... and if they're scheduled to sleep, then they're all in their individual cells, so it's fine... but during free time, you may have 4 prisoners in the yard, 4 in the common room, and 2 in their cells. Even if you ignore the 2 just lounging in their cells... you either need an extra guard (versus 1 guard for 10 in the yard), or you're resigning to leave one group or the other completely unguarded. Even if you have a single guard watching both rooms via CCTV... there's still not a guard in each location to perform an immediate search to remove contraband, or to break up a fight, etc.
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Postby GC13 » Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:24 am

Yeah, the corralling them all into one place was all I could think of, and even that has a second edge: you can keep better watch over them, and your guards are closer if there's a fight, but doesn't proximity make a fight more likely? Everybody knows about the Morning Shower Brawl, after all.

The cell searches intrigue me. I wish the developers would designate the most enthusiastic of them as the PR point guy who tweets or posts about what new feature they're adding and why they're so excited to work on it. We superfans eat that sort of stuff up—it tastes great.
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Postby Bamwich » Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:44 am

Using the Regime correctly will maximize efficiency.

For example, would it be easier to get prisoners into the canteen and eating if you let them go wherever with FreeTime or had them hanging around in the Yard just outside the canteen?

You can also use room-specific regimes to jolt prisoners into doing things:
FreeTime->Work: prisoners sit around until their needs are fulfilled before starting to work
Yard->Work: Prisoners go right to work

FreeTime is also good for rollover. I use FT right after Eat to let prisoners who start eating late to finish, keeping their hunger down.

Having None is also useful to force prisoners to do things and fulfill their needs. I do Shower->None->Eat in the mornings, which make my prisoners wake up, shower, then spend an hour either sleeping more or watching TV fulfilling their Rec need or using the toilets. I put a None after an 8 hour Work shift to make sure their toilet needs are fulfilled and they don't rage coming out of the workshop.
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Postby MAdMaN » Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:53 am

GC13 wrote:I don't understand. If this forum isn't for talking about gameplay, then what is it for?

Any questions, suggestions, bugs, etc. regarding the Alpha should be made in the Developer forum.
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Postby Pogo » Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:58 pm

Madman, this seems more like a gameplay discussion and doesn't really have anything to do with game development... so it seems completely appropriate for this thread to be here.

And if it's not appropriate for this thread to be here, then the question remains, what kind of threads go here? There's a section for general discussion that has nothing to do with PA... and there's the developer section for PA threads that relate to the development of the game. If non-development gameplay discussion isn't appropriate for this section, then why does Introversion even have this section here?





Anyway...

GC13, yes... large populations all in one location can contribute to riots. This is because the complaining prisoners have a larger audience to complain too. But the presence of guards also deters the likelihood of a riot happening. Plus, if a riot does happen in the presence of guards, your guards can stop it more quickly. In fact, as soon as the riot starts, you can issue "Bang Up" or whatever it is that sends all (willing) prisoners back to their cells.

When you've got free time, any riot that does happen may be smaller and more contained... but you may not be able to get to it quickly enough to do anything about it, so while it may be smaller, it may be completely out of hand before you can get to it... and then as soon as they come into contact with other prisoners they might add to their size.


When you schedule Sleep as opposed to free time, you send the prisoners to their own cells, so the only real problem areas would be holding cells that you have multiple prisoners sleeping in. But you can post a guard in here or at least nearby.

For Eat time, you can help prevent riots by being sure you have plenty of food and plenty of places for the eating prisoners to sit for starters... but it also helps to have a plenty big enough canteen so your prisoners aren't all packed in like sardines.

And for Yard time, again, if the yard is big enough, you can spread the prisoners out.



And again, it's not just about putting all of your prisoners in one big place. I'm actually currently experimenting with a prison that has multiple smaller yards rather than one big yard that everyone goes into. But even if you throw all your prisoners into one big yard or one big canteen...

It's also about forcing your prisoners through certain corridors.



For example.... let's say you've got a cell block... and to the north of the cell block is the yard, to the west are the showers, to the east is the canteen, and to the south, this prison block connects to the rest of the prison and the work areas, visitation area, etc. With this set up, you can buy just two metal detectors, and with a proper regime, send every prisoner housed in this block through a metal detector SEVERAL times per day. By setting your regime properly, you can force the prisoners through a metal detector in the morning on the way to the shower then again on the way back in, because they're then crossing through their cell block area to go to work or the yard, where they cross through a metal detector on their way to work/yard, and on their way back in... and then they go to eat, and they're passing through a metal detector going each way... and then they come back to work/yard and they're passing through the metal detector again, and then they pass back through the metal detector on their way back in from work/yard to eat again, where they pass through another one... then they pass through it again on their way back in to eat.


With a smart prison layout and regime, you can buy a small number of metal detectors but force your prisoners through these detectors several times per day. And if you're regularly passing them through metal detectors, any riot that does happen will be significantly less dangerous because you've greatly reduced the amount of contraband that the prisoners are walking around with.
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Re: Why would I use Yard time rather than Free time?

Postby Ric666 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:25 am

GC13 wrote:Right now people seem to think Free time is the best time there is.


Which people? Lies all lies! ;)


Yardtime is great. I use it too solve a lot of needs at the same time in one place. My yards are usually quite large & full of all the objects that are supported in this area.

I also always make sure to have shower & toilet blocks aswell. Really helps imo :)

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