[Brainstorming] Ideas to improve this awesome game.

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gsuberland
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Postby gsuberland » Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:26 pm

Molano wrote:This might not be the kind of suggestion your looking for but :

Some kind of key validation in the game. Maybe an online patcher where you have to login (with your key) to update the game from within the game. I've been reading some of the response to the alpha video on youtube and a lot of people are complaining about the price. And i read a lot of comments of people saying they would wait for the torrent. Just out of curiosity i tried looking for PA on a torrent site and found it on the first try. There should be something that gives people who buy the game a slight advantage over the pirates. I mean it wont be bullet proof and will be hacked regardless (look at minecraft), but at least make an incentive for people to buy it.


NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.

I cannot disagree with this any more strongly.

Piracy is impossible to prevent. DRM / anti-copy is equivalent to giving someone a locked safe with the key glued to the front - there's little to no effort involved in breaking it. Any time spent attempting to thwart the pirates is time not only wasted, but also time not spent on making the gameplay better. Quality content gets you customers, not quality license validation. The pirates are not, never were, and never will be your customers. Focus on real content for your real customers instead.
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Postby Fiohnel » Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:53 pm

Regarding punishment / rehabilitation spectrum where third world prison is at the extreme end of punishment scale, here's example of extreme end of rehabilitation scale: Norwegian prison. That's where Anders Behring Breivik will spend his time (maximum 31 years with possible extension).

The core game is already designed with barred metal doors, implicit treatment of prisoners as "enemy army" that you can't trust and always want to break your system, and dwarf fortress style pressure cooker model, so it's unlikely we'll be able to make such utopian prison in this game.

EDIT: I guess such model isn't fun to play as well. It's like doing pacifism run in Paradox games.
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Molano
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Postby Molano » Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:25 pm

gsuberland wrote:
Molano wrote:This might not be the kind of suggestion your looking for but :

Some kind of key validation in the game. Maybe an online patcher where you have to login (with your key) to update the game from within the game. I've been reading some of the response to the alpha video on youtube and a lot of people are complaining about the price. And i read a lot of comments of people saying they would wait for the torrent. Just out of curiosity i tried looking for PA on a torrent site and found it on the first try. There should be something that gives people who buy the game a slight advantage over the pirates. I mean it wont be bullet proof and will be hacked regardless (look at minecraft), but at least make an incentive for people to buy it.


NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.

I cannot disagree with this any more strongly.

Piracy is impossible to prevent. DRM / anti-copy is equivalent to giving someone a locked safe with the key glued to the front - there's little to no effort involved in breaking it. Any time spent attempting to thwart the pirates is time not only wasted, but also time not spent on making the gameplay better. Quality content gets you customers, not quality license validation. The pirates are not, never were, and never will be your customers. Focus on real content for your real customers instead.


I used to be a pirate. When i was younger and low on cash i pirated a lot of games i played. However when cheaper steam, gog and indie games came around the corner i started paying more and now have over 4000 dollar worth of games on various services. The thing is, pirates are a very large group of players who are potential customers and will get on board when the product offers some kind of advantage of owning a game legal vs illegal.

I already said in my post that any game can and will be hacked. However if you offer incentives to owning a game legal people who value that incentive enough will buy your game. Look at games with good multiplayer or something like minecraft who has integrated the game with it's online system. It offers small benefits but i have quite a few collegues who started out pirating it and then buying it for the multiplayer aspect of it.

In prison architect the wiki is for customers only, so as long as there is not some other source of info and we the gamers make that wiki pretty involved we will add that incentive ourselfs. I'm afraid that like most other games like this there will be community wiki's that will negate that effect. Besides i dont think you've really understood what i was saying, since i already said that for paying customers there should be an advantge. This means that if they spend time implementing this we will get that advantage and it wont be time lost like you are saying.


Look at this for a read: http://notch.tumblr.com/post/1121596044 ... racy-works .

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/vi ... ce-Problem Is an interesting view point as well. Thing is though, right now it's easier to get PA via a torrent than buying it, so in my opinion you need to up the amount of services in a legal purchase compared to a pirated version.

I think we largely agree although you probably dont see that. I too think piracy is unstopable and dont think it's worth it to implement some complicated DRM. I do think it would be time wisely spend to for example make an auto patcher, maybe game integration with the wiki a lot more and an online account keeping track of achievements (for example) to have some incentives for buying it once someone pirated it.

Last example is Paradox Interactive. Also a small developer who for example make it so that you can get a little icon next to your name on the forums if you purchased the game. Even something as small as that has made players buy old games that they had pirated from paradox simply to show of the icon in their posts.
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Postby RMJ1984 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:33 pm

Very good ideas, yeah i agree there needs to be staff rooms, so they can relax, eat, have fun, sleep, that kind of stuff.
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Postby Hessen » Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:52 pm

A christmas themed map.
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Postby lighthaze » Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:02 pm

To be honest, what we really need is a scheduled feature list by the developers. I understand that they're busy right now, being at Eurogamer, but I'm pretty sure that most of the suggestions here are already planned. A scheduled feature list would help us understand in which direction Introversion wants to take the game to and help us therefore understand and improve their plans.
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Postby askiba » Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:33 pm

* Slightly more prisoner info. Perhaps crime convicted of?

* Allow assignment of cells.
* Make prison a little less... madcap. Prisoners just run around to do their thing, it's like guards don't exist. I have to expand on this one

* Gangs. Goes a little further than the idea of "friendship" mentioned early not to mention more realistic. Allow allegiances among closely-celled prisoners, those of similar race (maybe this is a bit much, but hey... brainstorming), those convicted of similar crimes.
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Postby jelco » Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:47 pm

gsuberland wrote:However, there's a time and a place for political discussion, and this is not it.

Honestly, you were the one who decided to take it up as a political discussion, not anyone else. No need to interpret things in the worst way possible, it's jut a friendly brainstorming discussion. ;)

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Postby Chad » Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:53 pm

- Different types of prisoners eg murderers, tax evaders, scammers. All with different behaviours.
- Slower gameplay, at the moment you need everything to satisfy the prisoners from the start, what makes it very hard. For example: I had 16 seriously injured prisoners before i was able to build a medical ward...
- So maybe you start with less agressive types of prisoners (something like security level 1)
- after a while you get an inspection and if the prison is good enough, you will be able to get a new security level with more rooms, possibilities, challenges, etc.

- "special events" like very "popular" prisoners with special demands
- also i like many of the other ideas posted before :)
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Postby RMJ1984 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:35 pm

Yeah prisoners should definitely not run around opening doors by themselves, walking out of cells, there should be guards that come and open and walk with them , it doesnt have to be 20 guards to escort all 20 prisoners.

But like in a prison say 4 guards will escort those 20 prisoners to the canteen and to shower and to yard that sort of thing is how i picture it.


It could be fun if there was different types of criminals, like say you could place computers in some rooms or the cells, maybe some of the prisoners was hackers now if they gain access to a computer in a workshop, common room, office or another cell, they could start to hack and mess about with your security system, opening doors what not. xD
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Receiving Grants

Postby Yajirobe » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:55 pm

Right now I feel I can just click grants and get spare cash whenever. I would love to see either penalties for taking the grants or maybe perquisites to acquire the grants.

Also, I feel you should have to have an accountant to receive grants. Right now you can get them any time. Lock that stuff down and make me work for it! :D
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Postby sixgunninja » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:36 pm

Honestly, it really bothers me that Deliveries, particularly incoming Prisoners are just left on the side walk. I'd like to have an Air-Lock like system where trucks drive in past a gate that closes behind them before being unloaded.

Also, having separate Delivery spaces for Prisoners and Supplies would be good, I want to keep my Prisoners and Workmen etc separate.
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Postby Meethique » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:18 pm

All these ideas look great.

I think more interactions between inmates and guards is a must.

I am gonna edit the topic soon to make it nicer.
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Postby Ada » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:44 pm

gsuberland wrote:
It's got nothing to do with my first-world sensibilities. I'm fully aware of the sorts of things certain governments do to prisoners, and the terrible conditions in certain prisons. However, there's a time and a place for political discussion, and this is not it.


Did I miss something? :shock: when did you become dictator of IV forums? Who are you to decide when to discuss politics?
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Postby Fiohnel » Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:14 am

It's a premature review of an alpha game, so don't take me seriously.

The state of the game right now is you can play it to learn about the core gameplay mechanism but without much depth. It's easy to break the game and find the winning formula, which eliminates the replay value of the game very quickly. If I can compare it with two other games, it's like FTL being much simpler version of Dwarf Fortress, but Prison Architect is still much simple compared to FTL.

Other than bug fixing, I believe Introversion should try to add much more depth to the gameplay, and here's some design direction that I think would be neat for Prison Architect.

1. Turn interval between each wave of prisoners as strategic movement

Disable the visibility of amount of prisoners you get in next wave or make the number visible only in last few hours. You can see the number normally after certain upgrades. That way between each waves in early game, you're forced to make a bet between investing your money, maximizing quantity of prisons or polishing quality of your prison, and try to adapt quickly if you're wrong. Or there are specific resources you can only get each wave where you must choose.

Right now you can just pick all the grant and turn the early game into rigorous blueprint build-everything game with all the fund available to you. I suggest more dynamic kind of game, just like Dorf you don't know how many dwarves that you'll get in next wave and you have to make all kinds of strategic decision.

2. Play with prisoner quality, not just quantity

You're hitting player with 4-12 prisoners per wave and rely on numbers as challenge. I recommend slower one; try low number but with troublesome prisoner involved; the types where having all their needs fulfilled isn't enough to dissuade them from causing trouble. For example rich prisoner or outsider that bribe you in order for certain prisoner to get exclusive positive treatment (luxurious room, not being searched for contrabands) or negative treatment (put pressure, torturous, be unfair, move him to solitary room without reason), and if you refuse, he'll either cause trouble or bribe your guards instead.

3. External evil army

Why just limit the problem of a prison from factor inside your base? External pressure can be quite hard as well, for example if you accept bribes in previous point and get your corruption level too high, it increase the chance for citizens to make public demonstration outside your compound, where they'll block deliveries of trucks or threaten to damage the property within their reach. Or you can have politician and media questioning your grant fund and so on. Treat them as the elves of dorf who continuously check for your abuse and evildoing.

4. Introduce human factor to your staffs

Right now PA staffs are just simple AI with set routines. Everyone seems to ask for feature on humanizing each prisoners, but what about the staffs? Don't they have life as well? Guards may have biases and discrimination, low tempers that can cause them to abuse their authority, propensity to accept bribe from prisoner (giving them contraband, not doing searches properly), being so lawful that he'll question your authority when you accept bribe and try to sabotage you.

Don't forget skill levels or ability to err on their job, players must make hard decision before hiring and firing; perhaps they must choose between multiple hires and make tradeoff; a staff with beneficial trait or high skill is more expensive to hire, for example.

5. Enable cloning / template creation at early game

If the most optimal cell design is 2x3 with the required 2 items and office is 4x4 with three items, don't force players to pull that routine of building the same room and clicking the items to put over and over again until they research clone late game. It's the most boring part of the game.

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