Page 1 of 1

Compilation of Notes and Suggestions on Alpha 22(steam)

Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:25 am
Forgive me if these issues and suggestions have been reported already; if not feel free to take the credit for them in mantis or elsewhere. My internet access is extremely limited to what I can sneak in while at work for the time being, so I’m compiling this into a document I can copy and paste into the forums when I have the opportunity.

Issues that are causing issues

1) Prisoners seem to be placing comfort higher on their to-do list than stuffing their faces at feeding time. This seems to be resulting in a lot of aberrant behavior, as they spend all their time being comfortable at the table. After several days of this, they then proceed get pissed off that they haven’t eaten anything and begin causing trouble. This seems to be an effect of an insufficient amount of serving tables – increasing the number from four to six (with 588 prisoners) resulted in the amount of fed prisoners per meal going from approximately 10% to around 85%.(Less the ones that were in solitary, which accounts for that other 15%)

Suggested resolution; I am personally capable of being comfortable and eating at the same time. Mayhap prisoners could obtain this ability as well?

2) Pathing has been greatly improved, however the “getting stuck on corners” demon seems to have now possessed guards (especially armed guards) that are trying to respond to emergencies, resulting in them being stuck around a corner whilst my prisoners are murdering each other.

3) Upon loading a saved game, workers promptly start moving all of the logs stored in my workshops for immediate export. Possibly because the AI hasn’t read far enough down into the save file to register that a workshop is, indeed, present?

4) I noticed that if you construct a block of solitary cells, build a fence around them and designate the fenced off area staff only, guards will stop placing prisoners in solitary confinement.

Suggested resolution: Allow prisoners that are under escort to violate the staff only designation.

5) My janitors are getting tired of mopping piss up off the floor.

Suggested resolution: Add a “restroom” room, and allow prisoners to visit it at will, even during working hours, or at least to divert to the nearest one when the need arises.

6) I noticed that when laying pipe, I have to always buy exactly one extra section of small pipe and then cancel it to get the workers to finish the job. Very occasionally it does this with walls, electrical cable, and large pipe as well.

7) Poison is a weapon, not a drug. It needs to be reclassified as such.

8) Cigs should be classified as a luxury.

9) Alcohol should be classified as a luxury, unless the prisoner it was confiscated from is an alcoholic.

10) Cooks are really bad at doing dishes unless you keep a rough ratio of 60 trays to a sink. They tend to ignore them and keep buying new trays, allowing the dirty ones to pile up. While I often used this strategy myself in my bachelor days

11) If a dog handler is killed and his doggy is knocked unconscious but lives, the moment our loveable puppy wakes up he will go on a killing spree, and not stop until you sack him. While I found this initially hilarious (and somewhat useful as my prison was overpopulated – I forgot to turn off new prisoners while I was cooking dinner) it became tiresome rather quickly.

12) Firefighters cannot open staff doors. I learned this the hard way while the remaining half of my prison burnt down because they were stuck behind one. (Couldn’t find them – smoke occlusion) Incidentally, half my prison started on fire between saving and loading a game.

13) Drains are apparently flammable and extremely difficult to put out, because they, you know, drain.

14) Windows do not burn, and thus proudly defy gravity once the wall around them crumbles to rubble.

15) Buildings that are on fire continue to operate normally; guards continue their patrols, prisoners merrily put flaming logs on flaming saws and turn them into flaming boards which workers deliver to the trucks for export, whilst others watch smoldering tvs, talk on melting phones, sit and eat at toasty tables and sleep in blazing beds.

16) Workers do not reconstruct fire damaged buildings, and don’t remove rubble.

17) Fire damages objects, but I seriously doubt a worker can repair anything that’s been burning for an hour with a screwdriver. If they keep their magical screwdriver abilities, would you please rename them to “MacGyver” and make them all look like Richard Dean Anderson? I hear mullets are making a comeback.

18) Workers attempt to repair objects with screwdrivers while they are still aflame.

19) Fire apparently doesn’t harm the living – only objects and buildings.

20) The living seem to realize that they are fireproof – see 15 also – and make no attempt to avoid it.

21) If you design luxury cells for prisoners with a private shower, the prisoners will not use them and will muddle about confused when the regime hits shower time. Immediately upon reaching free time, however, they will then use them, but free time does not wake a prisoner up.

22) You cannot place a one square shower room inside each cell to work around 21 as it will cause the cell to fail.

23) Workers will not remove finished wood for export until it has been moved onto a table. It often cannot be moved to a table because the workers have filled them with logs.

Suggestions for improving the game

1) Workers need chainsaws. This should probably be a research item like tasers. Likewise gardeners could really benefit from leaf blowers or lawn mowers. Or maybe roundup for getting the vines off my walls.

2) Inventory control. Give us the ability to specify an amount of wood to be reserved for carpentry tables and send the rest for export, and a way to designate what function a saw will serve so my whole shop doesn’t change over to wood and waste my investment on the required plate presses.

3) Add meal carts as a kitchen appliance for feeding the miscreants in solitary. Have the cooks load them up with slop and push them door to door and slide their bowl of gruel through the slot. It kind of defeats the purpose of solitary if they get out starving and start throwing a tantrum and get tossed back in again.

4) I like to torment my alcoholics and drug addicts with withdrawal. Its rather tedious holding the mouse button down until the solitary punishment for drugs reaches 336 hours (two weeks). If you could make the numbers in the penalty time directly editable that would be great.

5) Make the dismantle object tool a drag box, like the clear room tool. That would be especially handy for early game tree clearing, as I always mow them all down for an easy boost to starting funds.

6) Allow cooks to take items directly off the truck to the kitchen. Having to drop it in deliveries, run back to the kitchen empty handed, then go to deliveries and carry it to the kitchen is kind of... inefficient.

7) Allow gardeners to take trees directly off trucks for planting for the same reason.

8) Put food delivery trucks in the right lane so my prisoners don’t starve while other stuff is being unloaded. (Usually trees)

9) Allow workers to move bodies. The guards take too long.

10) I don’t know about England, but here in the US if you’re vising a maximum security prison, you go through both a metal detector and your bags go through an x-ray machine if you’re going to meet someone face to face. Otherwise you talk to them through a piece of glass that’s about three inches thick. (If they don’t have an x-ray machine you get frisked and they dig through your bags.)

I know this because I have delivered truckloads of various things to prisons and this was the procedure they made me go through as the driver, amongst other things, like arbitrary searches of my truck’s interior.

11) Add a fire alarm button next to lockdown, bangup, etc. that causes all doors to unlock except ones in perimeter wall and all staff and prisoners to immediately move to the nearest yard(s). May also want to consider adding fire alarm buttons that staff/prisoners can push for the same effect, and allowing prisoners to pull them when there isn’t a fire for various mischievous purposes.

12) Allow prisoners to vacate the shower room once they have showered. (policy option?)

13) Allow prisoners to vacate the canteen after eating. (policy option?)

14) Allow prisoners to seek their own medical attention immediately when injured.

15) Take injured prisoners to the infirmary before placing them in lockdown or solitary.

16) Allow prisoners to eat during free time, if food is available on the serving tables. (policy option?)

17) Snack vending machines for prisoners to use to service hunger between meals.

19) Bag lunches for eating during work hours.(lunch break, minimum 6 hour work block)

20) Minimum security prisoners may leave the prison during work hours to perform tasks and earn the prison money. (small chance of runaways) (They actually do allow work release like that here in Wisconsin.)

21) Dirty tray return slot/appliance for the kitchen/canteen so they staff doesn’t have to scurry about collecting as many dirty drays.

22) Expand the planning overlay to allow you to lay out entire structures and their contents before buying/building anything. Create a finalize option, after which point construction begins according to the plan you have laid out. Ever play the game evil genius? (the real version on pc not the flash based crap on facebook) See how construction works there for an idea of what I mean.

23) Maintenance tunnels/catwalks to allow staff unfettered access about the prison while keeping the miscreants locked away.

24) Make clone clone utility lines.

25) Allow unqualified prisoners to assist in the workshop by moving stuff to/from the equipment.

26) Allow prisoners to re-enter reform programs if they fail. (I’m not sure if they do or not)

27) Policy option to have non-working prisoners be in lockup, rather than free time. (separate options for security levels)

28) Prisoners should take into consideration what activity is about to begin before they decide to misbehave. Starting a riot because you’re hungry while on the way to dinner doesn’t make much sense.

29) Prisoners should be aware when free-fire is enabled and it should have a prison wide suppression effect. (Mine is always enabled)

Ideas for research upgrades

1) Stall-type toilets for public restroom areas.

2) Prison dentist.

3) Prison optometrist.

4) Prisoners leave (and return) for specialized medical needs.

5) Prison prescription medication line/window.

6) Prison library (aids educational programs, internet degrees, etc.)

7) Prison football/soccer/basketball/baseball leagues or courts/fields. (Possible prison sports leagues where visiting teams from other prisons come to compete – special prisoner entertainment event)

8) Prison movie night. (Projector/screen upgrade for canteen)

9) Prison chapel/chaplain.

10) Prison cemetery.

11) Prison incinerator. (On-site disposal of garbage/bodies)

12) Motivational speaker program. (Schedule speakers to come in to tell the prisoners why being bad is bad.)

13) Demotivational speaker program. (Have juvenile criminals visit to see what’s in store for them if they continue being bad.)

14) Prison mail/post office. (Upgrade to allow guards to read prisoners mail) (Various correspondence learning programs)

15) Prisoners should be able to move garbage and clean up rubble. Perhaps get them to help with construction jobs, as well. They can certainly use a rake for grounds keeping.

16) The security office has no purpose. Give it one by allowing the guards to remotely operate doors in combination with security cameras.

17) Give all prison staff radios to be used in concert with remote door operation from the security office.

18) Separate regimes by prisoner security level were an awesome addition. Can we have the ability to edit it by day of the week as well? I really want to put my prisoners on a rotating swing shift to see how long it will take them to riot and burn my creation down. E.g. Monday they work first shift, Tuesday second, Wednesday, third, and so on. (Also ties in with prison movie night, and other events)

19) Prison band (just don’t make us listen to them). Can effect morale/behavior based on performance quality.

20) Prison quarry for turning big rocks into little rocks, with hammers.

21) Let prisoners chop wood. (policy option – I would be sure to keep armed guards near prisoners with axes though..)

22) Guard towers

23) Searchlights

24) Prison SWAT team. They all have one, why can’t we?

25) Bunk beds. Double prison capacity without building anything new. Except beds. Causes occasional fights between prisoners in cells, causes faster tunneling. My uncle stated that in the military people used to fight over who got the bottom bunk because at the end of a long hard day they were too lazy to climb up into the top one. I would imagine prisoners would do the same.

26) Prison HR manager. Automatically hires/fires staff based on prison needs. More workers during construction, for example. (Possible upgrade function of warden?)

27) Safety training videos for workshop. A ten minute video hosted by a guy with two hooks for hands and signing a piece of paper saying that I watched the video on why placing my hands in the cutting path of a hydraulic shear is a bad is all the training I ever got. (Install TV in workshop, relieves need of foreman instruction for basic shop operation).

Re: Compilation of Notes and Suggestions on Alpha 22(steam)

Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:36 am
by Kernook
I love most of these ideas, and think they're really awesome to consider...some I think would be hard to implement, and I don't think all of them are entirely possible...but I would love to see most of this stuff actually happen, because it would be great.

Re: Compilation of Notes and Suggestions on Alpha 22(steam)

Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:13 am
by spectacularnono18
Great ideas! I agree with mostly everything in there...

I'd also love to see Xander's reply to this.

Re: Compilation of Notes and Suggestions on Alpha 22(steam)

Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:15 am
by xander
spectacularnono18 wrote:I'd also love to see Xander's reply to this.

It is clear that the OP put a lot of time and effort into their post, which makes it a really unfortunate fact of life that almost everything in it will be largely ignored. The developers seem to have switched to checking Mantis reports for insight into the features that the community wants, and laundry lists like the original post do little to foster discussion of features nor refinement of ideas that could be put into the tracker. I spent about half an hour starting a point-by-point discussion of the list, but got sick of it when the numbering started over again. Most of the issues are either open bugs, are being addressed (check the tracker), or really need to be fleshed out by the OP in order to be intelligible.

Though I am not sure why you think my opinion matters.


Re: Compilation of Notes and Suggestions on Alpha 22(steam)

Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:05 am
Apparently my disclaimer at the top of the post was ignored.

Do what thou wilt with this list. It by no means needs to be addressed in its entirety. If someone feels that specific items need particular attention, that's what this thread is for. Knock yourselves out.

Re: Compilation of Notes and Suggestions on Alpha 22(steam)

Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:55 pm
by Firefitter
What a list!

Thank you for taking the time to put this together..

The Dev team needs to see this...


dont let this thread die

Re: Compilation of Notes and Suggestions on Alpha 22(steam)

Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 6:24 pm
by xander
Firefitter wrote:What a list!

Thank you for taking the time to put this together..

The Dev team needs to see this...


dont let this thread die

If you really think that there are issues in this thread that need the attention of the developers, there are several steps to ensure that they will get seen.

First, search the forums for similar ideas and contribute to those threads---I can assure you that several of the suggestions and issues brought up above have been discussed at great length and fleshed out to a degree not seen in the the original post of this thread. Some of them are even on IV's radar, as evidenced by past alpha release videos and the strong degree of support for those issues on the tracker. Duplicating those suggestions is a waste of your time.

Second, if a suggestion has not been made before, flesh it out. Create a new topic which describes the suggestion with as many details as you can come up with. Create a topic title that clearly explains what the topic is all about, and try to limit the topic to a single idea. Topics that have a descriptive title and that remain narrowly focussed on a single idea are far more likely to catch the eye of others (including the developers) and are far more likely to engender discussion that will turn mediocre or okay ideas into good ideas and good ideas into great ideas. Have a look at the sticked topic on how to post a suggestion for guidance.

Third, find an appropriate Mantis report that describes your idea. If such a report doesn't exist, create a new one (though be sure to mark it as a feature request if it is not a bug). In recent months, the developers have been pushing the Mantis tracker more, and seem to be paying less attention to the forums, thus if you want your ideas implemented, the tracker is the place to put them.

Finally, have a look at this topic. IV will prioritize the bugs and features that the community thinks are most important, as indicated by the popularity of those ideas on the tracker. Hence if you think an issue is important, vote for that issue on the tracker and use your forum topic to convince other people to support that idea.

Yes, this is more work than simply saying "+1!" to a long list of ideas (though, to be honest, which ideas are you supporting in this thread?). But if you really think that something is important, you are going to have to work to flesh that idea out and you are going to have to work to convince others that the idea is important. If you are unwilling to put in that effort, then the idea probably wasn't that good in the first place.


Re: Compilation of Notes and Suggestions on Alpha 22(steam)

Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 6:47 pm
by spectacularnono18
xander wrote:Though I am not sure why you think my opinion matters.


I actually like your opinions, they are constructive and somehow make sense

Re: Compilation of Notes and Suggestions on Alpha 22(steam)

Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:15 pm
by Disda
xander wrote: If you are unwilling to put in that effort, then the idea probably wasn't that good in the first place.

You know, I think it's ok for people to show support to ideas in a manner that doesn't require a Herculean amount of effort. Also I don't think the level of effort I'm willing to put forth dictates the value of an idea.

I'm grateful for the op's list, and it doesn't appear I'm the only one.

Thanks OP/Firefitter + 1,

Re: Compilation of Notes and Suggestions on Alpha 22(steam)

Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:42 pm
by xander
Disda wrote:You know, I think it's ok for people to show support to ideas in a manner that doesn't require a Herculean amount of effort. Also I don't think the level of effort I'm willing to put forth dictates the value of an idea.

I'm grateful for the op's list, and it doesn't appear I'm the only one.

Thanks OP/Firefitter + 1,

Thank you for completely missing the point. If you want to "support" the ideas in this thread by adding a +1, great. No one is stopping you. However, in terms of actually getting features implemented or bugs fixed, it is about as effective as ending the conflict in the Middle East by "Liking" a Facebook post. If you actually care about Prison Architect, want to see it improve, and think you have good ideas for how to make that happen, then there is a relatively simple way of making that happen outlined above.


Re: Compilation of Notes and Suggestions on Alpha 22(steam)

Posted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 9:51 am
by Karrade
These suggestions are great, thanks for putting together a list :) I liked the majority, just a few thoughts.

Maintenance and Guard Catwalks - YES PLEASE :), areas the prisoners can't go without climbing/breaking through a cage, but the guards can keep watch with weapons or just on patrol, it also keeps the staff safer and unhindered. I know i talk about guard towers a lot, but this is almost as good and achieves the same sort of thing. In fact if you had squares like these in the game, we could make our own guard towers out of them anyway.

Prison labor like the quarry, chopping wood, I haven't seen discussed anywhere else, yet in some countries it's quite a big deal to have hard labor still, so it should be in. The min sec work release programs sound good too, perhaps after passing certain training in the game, and hand picking passive prisoners those with little time left as likely options. This would free up bed space and give you contracts perhaps with certain companies for revenue.

Meal carts i've talked about a bit, but this seems the sensible way to do max sec, and a good way to implement it require staff and labor to do so.

Fire alarms and such sound a good idea, I had the idea to add a designated safe zone to the list, like dwarf fortress where people fall back to in the case on an emergency.

De-motivational speaker for teenagers to tour the prison sounded great, I hope we get guests like this or politicians, or other inspectors coming around as visits in the final builds. This adds opportunities to have to escort them and keep them safe.

Searchlights and swat teams (or expensive semi automatic weapon teams) yes, i've already crossed my fingers for those, they would make my high security prison complete.

Bunkbeds :), this doubles the capacity of the prison so it's a great idea but needs some penalties to it as well, like overcrowding issues.

Obviously prison football, basketball, organised events. I hope these kinds of things are in the final build as well, Prison movie night, I liked this a lot :). We are lacking a bit of organisation in PA, between the prisoners.