Yet more on gangs

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Raaaahman
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Re: Yet more on gangs

Postby Raaaahman » Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:35 pm

Scorpy_CFS wrote:Anywho, I see gang systems as a valuable end game interest as I think we all can get to a point where our prisons are running flawlessly and everything becomes quite routine. At that point I know I manufacture discontent by going into lockdown. Doing unnecessary shakedowns or just leaving my front door open until someone does something stupid. I see a well done gang system as always keeping your prison teetering on the edge of something interesting happening but not unmanageably. Ie, one doesn't need a high discontent level for sudden breakout attempts or attacks on other prisoners, etc. But when it does happen it is unlikely to end in a riot unless you've really neglected that aspect of managing your prison.


I agree, gangs seems to be a good routine breaker. But I'm not too much fond of the link between gangs and an hypothetic city. Be cause it will needs a system that simulate (even broadly) a city that would be totally out of the reach of the player. Moreover, I think gangs could bring some events in your prison by logical connections, e.g. some members of a gangs are released, giving a rival gang ideas to jump on the occasion to 'take over', then they starts accumulating weapons, generating safety preoccupation between your inmates, maybe leading some of them to form a new gang to protect themselves, etc.

So you'll have to be careful to who does what in your prison, by overlooking contraband reports and inmates mass deplacements. It could add a whole management part in the game that needs to be handled while you already have a large prison and you don't want to extend anymore.
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Re: Yet more on gangs

Postby Scorpy_CFS » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:24 pm

Raaaahman wrote:
Scorpy_CFS wrote:Anywho, I see gang systems as a valuable end game interest as I think we all can get to a point where our prisons are running flawlessly and everything becomes quite routine. At that point I know I manufacture discontent by going into lockdown. Doing unnecessary shakedowns or just leaving my front door open until someone does something stupid. I see a well done gang system as always keeping your prison teetering on the edge of something interesting happening but not unmanageably. Ie, one doesn't need a high discontent level for sudden breakout attempts or attacks on other prisoners, etc. But when it does happen it is unlikely to end in a riot unless you've really neglected that aspect of managing your prison.


I agree, gangs seems to be a good routine breaker. But I'm not too much fond of the link between gangs and an hypothetic city. Be cause it will needs a system that simulate (even broadly) a city that would be totally out of the reach of the player. Moreover, I think gangs could bring some events in your prison by logical connections, e.g. some members of a gangs are released, giving a rival gang ideas to jump on the occasion to 'take over', then they starts accumulating weapons, generating safety preoccupation between your inmates, maybe leading some of them to form a new gang to protect themselves, etc.

So you'll have to be careful to who does what in your prison, by overlooking contraband reports and inmates mass deplacements. It could add a whole management part in the game that needs to be handled while you already have a large prison and you don't want to extend anymore.


It's not strictly true that a hypothetical city needs to be simulated. The devs have already stated that there will be simulation of rehabilitation vs re-offense rates after release based on institutionalisation, education and encouragement programs for inmates, for end game content. What I'm suggesting is just an addition to such a system where random chance events are created that modify the gang relationship within the prison. This could be completely number based but for interest the 'intel' could simply represent a 'chance card' if you will, based on the severity of the event. eg, a low level negative event could be a drug dealer moving in on another gang's turf. A high level event might be a drive by shooting at a gang party or an assassination of a rival gang lieutenant. The 'chance card' or actual data for the event is technically irrelevant but simply signifies the fact that a negative event has occurred. A positive event could be a love affair between two rival gang members or an agreed temporary cease fire or even an alliance, etc. This will keep the goal posts moving for your in prison management of affiliate gang members. Well managed prisons have an effect of reducing negative random event frequency.
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Re: Yet more on gangs

Postby Raaaahman » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:48 pm

Okay. Random events is what i'd like to see someday in this game too. It does not to have be just related to gang though, but yes why not.
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Re: Yet more on gangs

Postby LennyLeak » Sun Feb 09, 2014 2:26 am

I think the idea of inmates bonding and starting their own "gangs" could create an interesting dynamic in the prison, but I do not think it works as the gang mechanic. First off it would be way harder to code, than having pre-set gangs. It also seems prone to dysfunction. It is not much fun to have 25 gangs with 2-3 members IMO. What we (or at least I) want, is big gangs that can assert influence over an entire prison wing. A few preset gangs would be much better for that, than relying on gangs developing dynamically. Also preset gangs seems a lot more realistic IMO. AFAIK real life prisons are not controlled by small gangs of friends. Instead most prisons have a few dominant gangs that run the joint. Prisoners will often join one of these gangs for protection, and a big gang grows bigger. A few people does not offer much protection from larger gangs, so it makes sense for inmates to join larger gangs. If gangs are preset it also seems a lot easier to code some interesting changes in gang relations. IMO the dynamic aspect of gangs should be the relations of existing gangs, rather than the creation of new gangs.

Scorpy_CFS wrote:Anywho, I see gang systems as a valuable end game interest as I think we all can get to a point where our prisons are running flawlessly and everything becomes quite routine.
I totally agree. I think the strength of gangs is having to stay on your toes even when your prison is functioning rather well. I'm not overly excited about gangs factoring into recidivism, but I would not be against it. I really like the idea of random gang events though. That would be very interesting IMO, and keep you on your toes because they could happen out of nowhere. I also really like the idea of being able to forsee those events by intercepting 'kites' or having informants.

One thing that I think would also be interesting and realistic at the same time is cell extractions. IRL prisoners often refuse to leave their cell, because that is one of the only ways to assert their autonomy. Cell extraction teams then have to extract them, at risk of damage to both inmate and officers. I think this is more common in countries such as the US that are very restrictive. You could use the new armed officers for such a thing (just keep them on no-fire), giving them another function in the game and making their high cost more worth while. This does not have to be restricted to gangs of course, but I think that gang members would be more prone to this, and being isolated a lot more than other prisoners, they would have more reason to assert their autonomy. I think this could be an interesting little concept that would also break up the monotony of a well functioning prison.
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Re: Yet more on gangs

Postby Scorpy_CFS » Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:48 pm

I agree with you Lenny and I like the extraction idea. Nothing in life runs routinely day to day and a prison is no exception to this rule. There should be regular minor emergencies that are unlikely to escalate if your prison is well prepared but is likely to escalate if it is ignored or poorly prepared for.
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Re: Yet more on gangs

Postby SpaceVelociraptor » Sat Feb 15, 2014 6:34 am

This is a pretty big thread with lots of good ideas, but I think that a very important point was hit on pretty early.

blacksythe wrote:safety need


Prisoners need a reason to join gangs. Just like in real life, these gangs would need to benefit their members in some way. Whether it be through mutual protection or sharing of contraband, there has to be something that drives prisoners to join gangs. They can't just be thrown in to the game because real prisons have gangs, they need to be important.
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Re: Yet more on gangs

Postby Steve10 » Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:35 pm

SpaceVelociraptor wrote:This is a pretty big thread with lots of good ideas, but I think that a very important point was hit on pretty early.

blacksythe wrote:safety need


Prisoners need a reason to join gangs. Just like in real life, these gangs would need to benefit their members in some way. Whether it be through mutual protection or sharing of contraband, there has to be something that drives prisoners to join gangs. They can't just be thrown in to the game because real prisons have gangs, they need to be important.


Yeah I was thinking that as I read this thread, a well run prison with satisfied prisoners should have less gang incidents (although I wouldn't mind it if incoming prisoners could have gang affiliations that could start to destabilise a prison) and make gang membership much lower, in effect meaning non-gang members are less likely to join or fear a gang.
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Re: Yet more on gangs

Postby laser50 » Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:18 am

Totally +1ing this, I'm all in for more complex systems.
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Re: Yet more on gangs

Postby Raaaahman » Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:29 pm

Steve10 wrote:Yeah I was thinking that as I read this thread, a well run prison with satisfied prisoners should have less gang incidents (although I wouldn't mind it if incoming prisoners could have gang affiliations that could start to destabilise a prison) and make gang membership much lower, in effect meaning non-gang members are less likely to join or fear a gang.


No, it will just accentuate the actual lack of incident in a well oiled prison. It needs to be the opposite, so the player have something to do even when everything seems to be running good. I think it should be tied with the size of the prison, so you would not be forced to expand indefinetely to keep entertained.

Also, gangs can be use for balancing difficulty if gang incidents frequency is inversely proportional to the prisoners general satisfaction. If they're fully satisfied with the prison's treatment, they will search for trouble to their inmates, if they're not, they will search for trouble with the staff. It would be up to the player to find an equilibrium between prisoners satisfaction, gangs prevention and overall security.


For example, prisoners could conspire and form gangs during their freetime, but if you don't give them freetime, they will get mad and more prone to violence against the staff.
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Re: Yet more on gangs

Postby keepcool » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:55 pm

I'm still more partial to the "personal connections" system.

IMO, the devs could maybe implement a system in which every inmate would have their opinion of another prisoner measured by a hidden -100 to 100 value. This value could then be used to determine the likelyhood of them cooperating or becoming agressive to each other.

You could then set different security levels to different base opinion values, which would make fighting between lower security prisoners less likely.
(ie. min sec would get +10 base value with everyone, med sec would have 0 base value, and high sec would get -10)

Then you would apply modifiers over those base values. Things like:
Lives in same cellblock (+30)
Shares workplace (+10)
Different ethnicity (-30)
Has access to luxuries (+10)
Has fought before (-50)

This way you'd tend to unite prisoners that share common traits, forging consistent local alliances and friendships, while aggravating the differences between prisoners who have opposing traits.

To turn this into a rudimentary yet practical gang system, you'd just have to set modifiers that would make it more likely for prisoners who share friends to become friendly among themselves. So you can go ahead and set modifiers like:

Is friend of friend (+30)
Is foe of friend (-30)
Is foe of foe (+15)
Is friend of foe (-15)

This way, you'd get very well defined groups of friendship (gangs) which would get dynamically generated, yet stable enough not to turn into thousands of little factions.

Gangs generated like this would also make up for interesting events in situations where a "gang" greatly overwhelms the others:

Imagine a workshop with a max capacity of 10 prisoners, being that 8 of them belong to one gang, while the other 2 belong to another. The members of the majority gang would most certainly be willing to fight them even during work time, ensuring that anyone out of their circle who joins the workshop will have a hard time not "slipping" into those sharp sawblades.

Going into a crammed canteen would also be a thing you think twice about when you're almost sure that there might not be quite enough room for you to sit away from your rivals.


(OF COURSE this is only an idea, and I'm sure there are plenty of faults inherent to this initial draft, but it seems like a good way to implement a "gang" without hardcoding the inmates to the same 5 gangs every single time.)
(Also, I believe it would take quite a bit of code wizardry to make this a memory and processing power efficient system. But I have the right to dream, right?!)
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Re: Yet more on gangs

Postby nini » Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:46 pm

Raaaahman wrote:
Steve10 wrote:Yeah I was thinking that as I read this thread, a well run prison with satisfied prisoners should have less gang incidents (although I wouldn't mind it if incoming prisoners could have gang affiliations that could start to destabilise a prison) and make gang membership much lower, in effect meaning non-gang members are less likely to join or fear a gang.

No, it will just accentuate the actual lack of incident in a well oiled prison. It needs to be the opposite, so the player have something to do even when everything seems to be running good. I think it should be tied with the size of the prison, so you would not be forced to expand indefinetely to keep entertained.

How dare your prison run well, it should be a case of never ever getting anything right, constantly having to do or balance or fix something because if you're not doing anything then you're not playing and to play you need to have RIOTS! If these people aren't literally itching to kill and war even though all they got hauled in for was a five year stretch for tax fraud then of course the game is wrong.
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Re: Yet more on gangs

Postby Raaaahman » Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:08 pm

keepcool wrote:I'm still more partial to the "personal connections" system.


I'm too. But the frequency of gangs' formation/incidents should go up progressively as your prison grow. Otherwise it will be very difficult starts and then close to nothing to do when you reach the limit size of what your computer can manage. Like it is actually.

So yes:

nini wrote:it should be a case of never ever getting anything right, constantly having to do or balance or fix something because if you're not doing anything then you're not playing and to play you need to have RIOTS!
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Re: Yet more on gangs

Postby keepcool » Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:22 am

Raaaahman wrote:
I'm too. But the frequency of gangs' formation/incidents should go up progressively as your prison grow. Otherwise it will be very difficult starts and then close to nothing to do when you reach the limit size of what your computer can manage. Like it is actually.


Well, I don't really see how gang trouble would fade away. You just gotta make sure that everybody is not in the same circle. I guess you could make sure this happens if you tune your modifiers just the right way.
A probable step toward this would be setting modifiers for certain "personality traits" to really high values. This way you'd be sure that some people would NEVER get along, thus maintaining the threat level throughout the entire game.

As I said in my first post, this probably won't be enough to make for a full simulation of what prison gangs are all about, but it certainly would be a damn good stepping stone to build a few different systems on. (a guard corruption model could benefit from an opinion system, as could smuggling and gang forming).

My biggest hope in this system is that it would make the game waaaaay more personal in scope. Instead of just treating every inmate as a mouth to feed and keep from escaping, you could see each one of them as an agent capable of reshaping the entire prison ecosystem.

As far as computing power goes, I guess it could turn out to be a bit demanding, but I'm certain that the devs can find a neat way to optimize this. (especially since they can add layers of complexity one alpha version at a time when it comes to prisoner behavior and interaction)

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