[Suggestion] Additional intake options

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direvus
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[Suggestion] Additional intake options

Postby direvus » Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:29 pm

Currently the only options for prisoner intake are
  • Continuous (some per day forever) or
  • Non-continuous (only when cells are ready)

I feel like neither of these options really hits the sweet spot. I like the idea of having some pressure to keep on expanding, but the issue with Continuous Intake is the "forever" part. The game is played on a finite grid, eventually you're going to just plain run out of places to put more prisoners. But they aren't going to stop coming in, not ever. This mode would make more sense if there was a way to "win" the prison, but in an infinite sandbox this mode ends up being a time bomb. No matter how good your prison is, you always know that eventually it's going to be intaked to death.

On the other hand, non-continuous mode has the issue that it takes a crazy long time for prisoners to actually show up once the cells are available. It takes such a long time that multiple people have mistakenly reported a bug, thinking that the prisoners just weren't ever going to arrive.

It would be nice to have some additional options to control here, to strike a balance between the two options and also provide for some different play styles. For example:

  • A mode that incentivises rapid intake but doesn't force it -- so let's say every now and then a number of prisoners are sentenced and require accomodation, and you can choose to accept or reject them. The state awards you a bonus based on the number of them you accept, or perhaps go the other way and make it a penalty for rejecting prisoners. There could also be a cumulative bonus/penalty system where rejecting prisoners more often gives a progressively more severe penalty. This would be somewhat like the emergency events in Theme Hospital.
  • A mode where the number of prisoners coming in is related to how well the prison is doing. The state is going to want to send you more prisoners if you're doing a really great job of taking care of the ones you already have -- if your prison is on fire and the inmates have gone all Lord of the Flies in there, they probably aren't going to be super keen to send people your way. This would be somewhat like hospital reputation in Theme Hospital, and also like immigration waves in Dwarf Fortress.
  • A fixed continuous intake mode that you can tune -- so you could set up a game with a continuous intake of say 5 per day, or 10 per day, or whatever number gives you the right level of tension.
  • A continuous mode where the intake starts out high but tapers off as your prison population gets larger, perhaps approaching some target maximum total population. So for example you could set up a game where you'll not receive any more prisoners once you are holding 150 of them. I believe Dwarf Fortress also has an option along these lines.


Thanks for reading.
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Postby christopher1006 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:05 pm

I wouldn't mind some kind of rush gameplay where you want to have a max of 150 prisoners and the will roll in like continous intake does forcing fast expansion but it won't break your prison.
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Postby TsungUK » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:47 pm

Why not have prisoners released? After they severed their time..
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Postby christopher1006 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:14 am

It's not the release part that's being talked about, it's options so that intake would come at a certain rate or stop at a certain ammount of prisoners.
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Postby direvus » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:18 am

TsungUK wrote:Why not have prisoners released? After they severed their time..


Yeah, I'm all for that as well, but I still think the intake options need some work. The idea of limited sentences actually complements the idea of having a population cap quite well. If you were at population cap, and then 5 prisoners were released (for completing their sentence, or on parole or whatever) then such a system would automatically fill the 5 new vacancies.
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Postby LennyLeak » Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:15 pm

I like it :D
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Postby furrot » Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:37 pm

I think the issue with continuos intake is that nothing manages the number of prisoners coming in. I agree completely that the current continuos intake and the non-continous intake are to far on each end of the spectrum. The ideal intake would be something more like:

Day 1: 8 Prisoners
Day 2-8: 2-3 Prisoners
Day 10+: 4-8 Prisoners

The challenge that continuos intake provides is that you are forced to expand and grow your facility. TsungUK is right in saying that prisoner release will be important as well. What we need is something in between that factors in the players ability to control their income. I think I average about $1200-2000 per individual cell in my prison and I think the most profit I've ever gotten to is $3000-4000. It not fun to be helpless. A lot of other things have been written in other threads about legal systems that let you spend to influence prisoner intake as well. Have extra cash, pay more to get some mandatory minimum sentence garbage passed in your area and the next bus has one more prisoner.
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Postby direvus » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:24 pm

I've been playing a bit more on non-continuous intake, and it really is completely bonkers how long it takes to get your prisoners after making the cells available.

Not sure the best way to resolve this, but how about a non-continuous mode where you can choose when to request a new batch of prisoners? So say you have some cash handy and you're about to start building a new cell block. You request a delivery of prisoners, the 24 hour countdown starts, and you get building. By the time construction is complete, you'll only have to wait a few hours for your new occupants.

Of course if you wanted to play it really safe, you could always wait until you'd finished construction before requesting the prisoners, but at least it would be a choice.

Another option would be to run it like the existing non-continuous mode, but have the system check for available cells every hour, instead of every 24 hours. That would still leave an annoying 24-25 hour wait time after construction is complete, but it would be a huge step up from the 24-48 hour wait.
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Postby christopher1006 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:11 pm

I agree more with selecting the ammount of prisoners you want then have them brought in, this could give a use to holding cells. The checking every hour would make for sporadic shipments of prisoners instead of a group to get inside at once.
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