Authenticity Issues

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Disda
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Authenticity Issues

Postby Disda » Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:54 pm

Hey guys,

Just wanted to quickly touch base with you and bring up a couple of things. First and foremost the game is amazing and every time I check in on the progress it's becoming more and more in depth and accurate. That's obviously first - and honestly we could end the topic there. A bit about myself - I actually worked for one of the largest private prison industry in the US it was decidedly less fun than playing prison architect. I worked there for several years, where my primary job was to travel to the various prisons and document the processes that went on in each facility. We would do an in-depth analysis and offer any advice or guidance and also try to bring the facility specific policies more in line with the corporate policies where possible.

So, while I'm by no means an expert on the inner details of a prison - I'm probably not a novice either. So I thought it would be beneficial to offer insights on what I thought were the biggest differences between your awesome game and a real life not so awesome prison.

Starting with the largest most significant differences to the smallest (and I'm not going to mention stuff like the national guards being brought in or the CCTV, there's a lot of stuff implemented that's probably creative licensing, but it's really fun... so it should definitely stay). My main goal is to give a list of different ways to improve the authenticity (not necessarily the fun) of the game.

1) Mailroom.
Inmates would receive mail daily, and it was a significant source of contraband. Different prisons would have a variety of allowed packages, even boxes of socks and shoes were permitted. Some prisons would allow inmates to walk up to the mailroom and collect any mail during their free time, other prisons would distribute mail throughout the day similar to mailmen. Often revoking mail privileges was a mild form of punishment. Inmates would absolutely send coded messages outside and there was usually a dedicated officer handling searching for contraband.

2) Clinic use.
This is another daily routine that was absolutely a staple in the inmates day. I'm actually surprised this wasn't in your game already. Most of the inmates are on medication when they come in... and if they're not on anything during arrival, they definitely try to take advantage of the healthcare. Having doctors sit in the infirmary waiting around for an incident is _way_ off. There is a full blown clinic and pharmacy within the prison grounds. And it is _slammed_ constantly, and granted if someone came in with a stab wound - it was prioritized to the top like any other clinic would. (The inmate would actually probably be transferred out to a hospital in that situation via an ambulance). (Oh! Also there's a difference between isolation units and medical isolation units... guards would absolutely move the detoxing inmates to a medical isolation for round the clock supervision by nurses)

3) Pill call.
Related to the above topic, there has to be a controlled and safe way to distribute the medications. Usually this was done via a pill call and it was implemented in two different ways. Method A) was announcing pill call times, morning, noon, evening, and night. 4 times a day inmates were allowed to go to the clinic window and receive medications. Method B) was for inmates in solitary and medications had to be delivered... so generally a nurse would hand walk down the medications to them. For larger prisons a tray or cart would be used. It's important to note, that in _both_ scenarios the nurse is required to view the inmate swallowing the pills as hoarding of medication was a serious issues. (Inmates would save up all their Tylenol and take them right before starting a fight.) Also if this got to be too crowded or implemented poorly, medications were missed and the inmates didn't like that. A lot of these medications helped the inmate.... "adjust" or "cope".

4) Intake and prisons versus jails.

So... for people who may not know, the difference between a prison and a jail is mainly how long you stay. Prison you go to for murder, jail is where you're taken to for a DUI. The authenticity issue is that for probably about 50% of the prisons I went to... the local jail was attached. Primarily because while it's "totally different" it's actually "totally the same thing". You still have to have a guard watching a guy you don't trust. The reason this stood out for me is that the intake process is actually one of the more complicated processes and the video game glosses over that to a very large degree. Basically in real life a prison will intake someone that's not secure and after exiting the intake process they'll be considered secure. In the game, you're given a secure inmate and he's walked to the cell. This may have been cut out for simplicity sake, but during an actual intake - a complete inventory of the inmate is performed, a complete medical history is performed, a thorough search (yes including cavity) is performed, and only then is the inmate allowed to be assigned a cell. This is usually a lengthy process and demanded multiple officers and nurses to handle. Also - unsecured inmates would have to spend a significant amount of time in the holding cell - where they were around the other inmates waiting to go in. To put that another way, you have a bunch of non secure people hanging around a bunch of other non secure people for hours at a time and they aren't known for their patience. It was a very problematic area for most prisons/jails.

5) Commissary

You guys probably know this, but all inmates have a balance associated to them, commissary is called very similar to pill call. They're allowed to order stuff and actually have microwaves they can cook things for if they wanted to pass on the chow hall that day.

6) Gangs
Whites hung out with the whites, black hung out with the blacks... it's just the way it is. Not saying it's politically correct or that you should implement it. And actually it probably helped keep order more than anything else. You didn't have a lot of white on white violence, and white on black violence may not be "approved" by the gang hierarchy. It is what it is, you had leaders in the black section and leaders in the white section - most of the time they got along - but when they didn't... that's when you had to lock the prison down to try and prevent a race riot. We had prisons where the Latino's got along great with the whites but had serious issues with the blacks, and other prisons where it was the exact opposite. During the intake process they would do everything possible to not place a gang member in proximity to another warring gang member. Be it bloods and crips for that prison or white and blacks at another.

7) Gender Related issues and Guard corruption
It's cute how all of your guards and prisoners are all males. The guards are all well behaved and do exactly as their told. That's nice. I mean, it's fair to have an all male prison. But almost every single all male prison had female staff - if not the guards definitely the nurses. Inmates wouldn't necessarily treat a female guard differently, but EVERY prison I went to had a nurse that 20 inmates crushed on. Everyone of them. On top of that, guard corruption was/is a very serious issue and while it's probably difficult to implement the lack of any nod to this is definitely noticeable.

I'm trying to think of any others... a couple of other things that are just tiny but notable to some degree.
1) work release programs,
2) sex scandals, (mainly through guard corruption or homosexual inmates)
3) non contact visitations for max seg inmates
4) Wire fence is a ready source of contraband, inmates would make shanks from that non-stop, more expensive fences wouldn't be.


Anyways, yea that's all I can think of now. Hopefully you guys browse through it and maybe pick a couple of ideas to implement. Again, it's a really phenomenal game and I'm having a blast playing it. Let me know if you have any questions or if there's anything I can do....
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Re: Authenticity Issues

Postby xander » Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:56 pm

Discussion of bugs, feature requests, predictions for future versions, and other topics related to the alpha belong in the Prison Architect Developer Forum. I notice that you do not have access to that forum yet, which means that you need to register your Prison Architect key. If you bought Prison Architect directly from Introversion, then instructions should be in the email that you received. If you got the game via Steam, please read these instructions.

Once you have access to the Developer Forum, please read this topic on how to post a suggestion or question. In particular, please try to post only one idea or bug per topic, and please search the forum before you post. It is likely that someone else has already had your idea, and it would be better to respond to an older post than to create a new topic.

Thank you.

xander
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Re: Authenticity Issues

Postby Millie » Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:58 pm

I realise you need to moderate the forums to maintain control, but I think such an amazing detailed and constructive post requires a little round of applause. :D

Post it in the developer forums so we can discuss it in full!
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Re: Authenticity Issues

Postby xander » Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:33 pm

Millie wrote:...I think such an amazing detailed and constructive post requires a little round of applause. :D

Not to be a dick, but why?

There have been many topics posted by ex-inmates and guards with suggestions about how to increase realism (or authenticity, in this case). There have been many well thought out posts that followed the general guidelines outlined in the topic to which I linked above. If the time taken to type up all of these well thought out ideas had instead been spent searching the forums, it might have become readily apparent that everything (yes, everything) in the laundry list originally posted has been brought up before, and the original poster could have contributed to one or more of the threads where the ideas were being tossed around. It is even possible that the OP could have contributed something new to the discussion, rather than rehashing old ideas again.

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Re: Authenticity Issues

Postby Disda » Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:11 am

You know not for nothing - but this forum is the default forum given to all new users, as yourself stated I didn't have access to the appropriate place. Also the description for this particular forum is (and I quote) "Anything and Everything about Prison Architect "

At the very least you can understand why I (and most rational people) would be confused. I wasn't aware there was a secret and exclusive sub forum that I had to go through an additional registration process for, in order to access the correct forum that the previous forum was advertised as... Yea, cause that's totally a logical and intuitive setup. My fault for missing it.

Whatever though, thank you Millie for the kind words.
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Re: Authenticity Issues

Postby MAdMaN » Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:36 am

There's a sticky post in this forum titled "This is NOT the Alpha forum", which you should read before posting anything (the same goes for stickies on other forums).
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Re: Authenticity Issues

Postby Disda » Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:10 pm

1) There's only one version of Prison Architect correct?
2) This isn't the Prison Architect 2020 dirt bike edition forums correct?
3) What's the purpose of this forum if it's not to discuss Prison Architect?
4) Why is the description of this forum "Anything and Everything about Prison Architect"? It seems like you're allowed to post anything related to Prison Architect unless it's about the Alpha version, which is the only version.

5) There isn't anything denoting that as a sticky on my screen. In fact - there's a designated section in the very top that says "Announcements", where you would imagine the other stickies would be (Especially considering there's already one sticky up there).

Please remember this is my first time ever logging into the site, I wasn't aware you keep your light switches on the ceiling. Also, try to understand I actually came in here with an honest effort trying to contribute. It's alittle annoying to be met with elitism and condescension, especially considering how truly awful these forums are set up.

--Disda
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Re: Authenticity Issues

Postby xander » Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:57 pm

Disda wrote:--==<snip>==--

The points you raise are not without merit, which is why I have not directed any snark in your direction---only a handful of links that were meant to make it easier for you to post your ideas in the right place. My snark was directed at Millie, who seems to think that simply thinking about something and writing it up well is deserving of its own special award.

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Re: Authenticity Issues

Postby Disda » Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:32 pm

xander wrote:Not to be a dick, but why?
xander


That was Millie's first post, and you took it on yourself to be a dick to her. You may not have directed your snark at me, but if you're going to act like a little bitch, I'm happy to treat you like one. Millie more than likely doesn't think I deserve a gold star for the post, I think she just has more tact at handling the situation than you do. Your copy and pasted dismissal of my post came across as snide, whether you intended it to or not - I don't really care. Millie saw that, and tried to be alittle bit more pleasant, and THAT'S what you directed snark towards?

I think everyone understands that forums need moderated, but I really think you should find a way that's alittle more receptive to new people and navigating them towards the correct place. (Which still blows my mind that this forum isn't the correct place to talk about Prison Architect). Otherwise it just looks like you've set up a deliberately confusing system in order to belittle the people who get confused.

--Disda
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Re: Authenticity Issues

Postby xander » Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:56 pm

Disda wrote:Your copy and pasted dismissal of my post came across as snide, whether you intended it to or not - I don't really care.

I would be more than happy to hear your suggestions on how that particular copy and paste can be made more informative and sound less dismissive. I have done my best to make the tone as neutral as possible. If you can think of a way to edit it to make it more neutral, please let me know.

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Re: Authenticity Issues

Postby Disda » Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:18 pm

xander wrote:If you can think of a way to edit it to make it more neutral, please let me know.
xander



You're asking me the most polite way to stomp on a kid... Why don't you just not stomp on the kid?
Again, what's the purpose of this forum and why is it here?

Honestly, I'm looking through the first page of topics and most of them are either bug reports or enhancement requests....
Is the goal to have two user forums, one for people who have purchased the game and one for the people who haven't?

--Disda
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Re: Authenticity Issues

Postby xander » Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:46 pm

Disda wrote:You're asking me the most polite way to stomp on a kid... Why don't you just not stomp on the kid?

I didn't treat you like a child. I assumed that you wanted to contribute, and pointed you in the right direction. I'm sorry that felt like stomping. Again, I am more than happy to take suggestions on how to make the copy-paste less hostile (though again, I think it it pretty neutral and contains all of the information required). I am more than willing to take criticism. I wish that you could do the same (yet, oddly enough, *I'm* the little bitch).

Disda wrote:Again, what's the purpose of this forum and why is it here?

As stated in one of the stickied topics, this forum is mostly for sharing screenshots, funny anecdotes, and general chatter about the game.

Disda wrote:Honestly, I'm looking through the first page of topics and most of them are either bug reports or enhancement requests....

Most of which are duplicates of posts in the developer forum, and most of which contain replies similar to the first reply in this thread.

Disda wrote:Is the goal to have two user forums, one for people who have purchased the game and one for the people who haven't?

In part, yes. Everyone with access to the developer forum has proved that they own a legitimate copy of the game. That means that it can be assumed that they have the most recent version, that they didn't get a borked up copy off of some torrent, and that they have a genuine, vested interest in improving the game. This goes a long way towards making troubleshooting easier, and helps to ensure that everyone is talking about the same thing.

xander
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Re: Authenticity Issues

Postby Kenhotep » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:30 pm

xander wrote: If you can think of a way to edit it to make it more neutral, please let me know.


You might start with "Thank you for your interest in our little game. It's nice to have you and we appreciate your input."

You did the same thing to me and I DID post in the correct forum. Xander is coming across as an official spokesperson for the company, whether you are or not, and quite frankly, I also found your copy-pasted reply to me rude as well. So what. Maybe everything has already been suggested and discussed ad nauseum. If you don't want any more posts, just close the forums, saying you have all the info you need.

OTOH, if you want new users to feel welcome, even if they've said the same thing 1000 other people are saying, they cared enough to post their thoughts. I have a general rule about early access games... I don't buy them. This is why. And given it all over again, I would not have purchased PA during the most recent steam sale. And at this point, I'm NOT recommending PA to my steam community. The game isn't playable because it has no AI, and according to you, that's just not a priority. So congratulations, you've managed to alienate potential customers, for a genre that has a somewhat limited audience to begin with.
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Re: Authenticity Issues

Postby Disda » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:41 pm

xander wrote:I didn't treat you like a child.

That statement was meant metaphorically. I didn't meant to imply you treated me as a child - only that you're struggling with a problem similar to finding a polite way to stomp on a child, or a polite way to kick a puppy. There's no right answer, the only right answer is to not kick the puppy. Any copy and paste dismissal for a genuine post that had time and effort put into will be taken as snide, sorry - it's just the way it is. I saw it that way, as did Millie. The problem isn't HOW you're kicking the puppy it's THAT you're kicking the puppy.

xander wrote:I am more than willing to take criticism. I wish that you could do the same (yet, oddly enough, *I'm* the little bitch).

I want to make sure I'm clear, I didn't call you a little bitch because you treated me like a child (you didn't) nor did I call you a little bitch because you can't take criticism (you probably can). I called you a little bitch for being snarky towards a new member who was honestly trying to be pleasant and welcoming to me. Because honestly, that's a little bitch thing to do. _ESPECIALLY_ from someone representing the community/company.


xander wrote:this forum is mostly for sharing screenshots, funny anecdotes, and general chatter about the game.\
*--snip--*
Most of which are duplicates of posts in the developer forum, and most of which contain replies similar to the first reply in this thread.


If the predominant amount of threads have replies similar to the one found in this thread, perhaps this is a systemic issue with the setup and not user error. You say this is a forum for the general chatter about the game, but claim it's not the Prison Architect Alpha forum... that's inherently confusing. Especially when it's the only PA forum given to new members.

xander wrote:In part, yes. Everyone with access to the developer forum has proved that they own a legitimate copy of the game. That means that it can be assumed that they have the most recent version, that they didn't get a borked up copy off of some torrent, and that they have a genuine, vested interest in improving the game. This goes a long way towards making troubleshooting easier, and helps to ensure that everyone is talking about the same thing.


I disagree with this approach, but obviously you guys can do what you want. In the ideal world, you're taking all of your potential customers and making sure they stay away from your best advertisement (the community). In a more realistic world you're exposing some of your actual customers (and the potential customers) to confusion and dismissal. Honestly from what I can take away from the developer forum the community seems pretty awesome - not sure why that isn't front and center in any and all strategies you guys have. (Especially in a community funded game)

--Disda
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Re: Authenticity Issues

Postby Kenhotep » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:54 pm

Disda, that's the thing! I can see the potential in this game. And I'm blown away by the planning tool, something I can't remember even the huge titles ever offering. But I'm so put off right now by the heavy-handedness in the moderation of the forums, that I'm conflicted whether I care any more or not. I also bought FTL and I haven't played it yet cuz I've been playing this.

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