How violent and dark should Prison Architect be?

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How dark should Prison Architect feel?

Tongue-in-cheek is fun and hilarious; keep it the way it is.
76
42%
More dark and intense would be interesting...
77
42%
Don't care, its a fun game all on its own.
29
16%
 
Total votes: 182
The Joker
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How violent and dark should Prison Architect be?

Postby The Joker » Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:16 am

Interesting idea occurred to me: Prison Architect from the get go seems like a very funny, silly, tongue-in-cheek game about prisons and the incarceration system. But a real fundamental question is: how surreal, dark, and intense should Prison Architect really be? Some more mature aspects of the game are riots, the blood and cursing, and the fact that prisoners and staff can die from fighting and non-stop violence and retaliation.

But that does pose a very real question: how intense and dark can Prison Architect go? The sprites, structure, and design of the game has a very Team Fortress 2-feel to it: funny, enjoyable, addicting, but violent, gory, yet tongue-in-cheek and light-hearted.

Do you guys think that Prison Architect's tone and mood should be different? Maybe more dark? Or should it remain the way it is? While it is a game, which is an art, there is nothing wrong with the game been light-hearted. But the prison system is a violent and dark place, and Prison Architect can be a different game with a different tone and mood to it. Not to mention that the sprites, details, musical score, and graphical appearance of the game are unfinished because PA is in alpha. It could go in so many ways this early in development.
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Postby paktsardines » Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:32 am

I think the current contrast between cartoon graphics and serious gameplay (a la introduction) is very effective as it is. Wouldn't change a thing.
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Postby VoiD88 » Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:55 am

paktsardines wrote:I think the current contrast between cartoon graphics and serious gameplay (a la introduction) is very effective as it is. Wouldn't change a thing.

Agreed. It creates a really unique gaming experience, which is what Introversion has achieved with every one of their games so far.
Life is NOT like a box of chocolates, it's more like a jar of jalapeños: What you do today might burn your a** tomorrow.
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Postby Oranda » Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:51 pm

I think it would be really cool if the prison starts to change over time in the way you play it. Lots of guards, small cells, concrete and tight schedules will change the "theme" to a grim dark prison. And lots of cleaners, large cell rooms, plenty of free time and diverse food will give you a "happy" prison.

And just an idea, have that reflect on the prisoners as well.
Some kind of trade off, "happy" prisoners will have a lower productivity, brood on grand escape plans (would love to have a helicopter land in the courtyard to pick up a prisoner, if security is to low), protest more and longer. And "grim prisoners" are easily provoked, develop stupid escape plans (could be really funny when toilets no longer work and you go to utility mode and you see some dead prisoners float in a tunnel the dug while hitting a water pipe) and tend to complain less and riot more.
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Postby laser50 » Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:58 pm

Your poll isn't very informative as "Darker and intenser" can mean for the stupid people, beatings, executions at random, painful deaths etc etc.
If that's the case, then fuuck, I want to withdraw my vote.
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Postby fidelio » Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:27 pm

why do these two ideas have to be mutually exclusive? all the best comedy has a sting in the tail, and even the darkest tale needs comedic release.

one of the funniest damn things i've seen in the game, you have to be watching closely to observe. you will occasionally see a prisoner with a great need to use the bathroom, and all of a sudden the need will disappear. at the same time however, their need for hygiene shoots up. in other words, they peed or crapped their pants. now this isn't funny because i like seeing people pee their pants, but it's amzing the level of detail in the balance of needs and behaviors. what's astonishingly funny to me is the discussions/thoughts which must have taken place for this to be in the game. but to the point, this is comedy born of small tragedy.
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Postby The Joker » Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:00 pm

laser50 wrote:Your poll isn't very informative as "Darker and intenser" can mean for the stupid people, beatings, executions at random, painful deaths etc etc.
If that's the case, then fuuck, I want to withdraw my vote.


By darker and intense, I obviously mean the design, graphical style, mood, and tone of the game, graphical appearance probably being the most prominent. When Guards and Prisoners fight, blood stains on their sprites. Darker, more creepy-like lighting and music, instead of every light being yellow, perhaps lights could have different colors (blue for industrial spotlights and cellblocks, grey for outside areas, yellowish for inside areas, red for lockdowns, riots, emergencies). The way prisoners try and escape, fight with eachother, and fight with the staff could be much more gruesome and disturbing(assassinations, makeshift bombs, razors used to slit people's throats).

By intense, just ramping up the mood of the game a little bit. A musical score is very important, and during certain events, the music could be a dark mix of cellos, violins, pianos, organs, etc. or other things, while right now, a score is non-existent anyways(besides riots). When prisoners fight with others or guards, a more distressing and urgent mood could be created, and this could also be applied to lockdowns, bangups, or high levels of danger etc.
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Postby notsatan » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:03 am

I think that as a prison game it should be fairly dark and grim, although I like the colorful cartoony art style.
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Re: How violent and dark should Prison Architect be?

Postby 111none » Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:10 am

The Joker wrote:Interesting idea occurred to me: Prison Architect from the get go seems like a very funny, silly, tongue-in-cheek game about prisons and the incarceration system. But a real fundamental question is: how surreal, dark, and intense should Prison Architect really be? Some more mature aspects of the game are riots, the blood and cursing, and the fact that prisoners and staff can die from fighting and non-stop violence and retaliation.

But that does pose a very real question: how intense and dark can Prison Architect go? The sprites, structure, and design of the game has a very Team Fortress 2-feel to it: funny, enjoyable, addicting, but violent, gory, yet tongue-in-cheek and light-hearted.

Do you guys think that Prison Architect's tone and mood should be different? Maybe more dark? Or should it remain the way it is? While it is a game, which is an art, there is nothing wrong with the game been light-hearted. But the prison system is a violent and dark place, and Prison Architect can be a different game with a different tone and mood to it. Not to mention that the sprites, details, musical score, and graphical appearance of the game are unfinished because PA is in alpha. It could go in so many ways this early in development.

Somewhere close to the Gulag?
Well i guess we could set the "Brutality" of our prison
With the sincerest regards,
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Postby Navarro » Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:55 am

A game is something people play for entertainment. People have different likes, dislikes, philosophies and opinions on all things, so I'd think the best way to go about this issue, is flexibility. Prison Architect doesn't necessarily need to be dark nor happy. Instead, make it adapative to the individual player. If the player wants to run an institution which is rife with murder, rape, brutality, executions, suicides and so forth, then enable the player to do that. On the other hand, if the player would rather run a prison which is more cheerful, enable the player to do that too. You can't go wrong when everyone's happy. It's just a matter of allowing for choices.

This can be accomplished two ways, primarily.
Via Game Settings, by toggle -
Rape: On/Off
Murder: On/Off
Suicide: On/Off

Via Prison Disciplinary Policy, by toggle -
Progressive Discipline: On/Off
Contraband: 1st/2nd/3rd - Warning/Loss of Visitation + Commissary/Denial of Food/Lockdown/Solitary/Additional Work Detail/Beating/Beating + Solitary/Beating + Death/Execution - X Hours/Days
Fighting: 1st/2nd/3rd - Warning/Loss of Visitation + Commissary/Denial of Food/Lockdown/Solitary/Additional Work Detail/Beating/Beating + Solitary/Beating + Death/Execution - X Hours/Days

So, if the player didn't want rape to ever occur, he/she could disable it in Settings. If the player wants their guards to beat an inmate who was found with contraband for a second time followed by locking that inmate in solitary for five game days, the player could arrange for that in Disciplinary Policy. Using these, the players experience can be customized to their liking. The player can have anything from a cheerful institution governed by friendly and sympathetic guards, to a brutal and merciless prison where stepping out of line means being carried into the infirmary. Let the player decide what he/she wants, and everyone's happy. Besides, the extra layer of customization will make things more interesting, especially if the player's choices has consequences, be they positive or negative.
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Postby hugeknight » Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:00 pm

o yes beating cause some prisoners really piss me off and i would like to smack them around a bit

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