[Feedback] Make game more interesting when not building

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guiltyspark
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[Feedback] Make game more interesting when not building

Postby guiltyspark » Wed Jan 07, 2015 4:31 pm

Right now i love this game very much and you guys definately have a smash hit. Its lots of fun designing the layouts of the prison and watching all the stuff come together and solving problems.

But after that , i find myself just staring at my prison and doing nothing while on "Super fast forward" (that isnt actually that fast btw) hoping my -500k debt will disappear (it never does) . The game is not very interactive beyond the building and micromanagement. Which is a shame because if this was fixed I would dump alot more hours into this game.

Are there plans to make the actual "watching" part of the game more interactive , and more importantly entertaining?

Maybe a way to control prisoners and the gangs/gang warfare or something?
grimmy72
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Re: [Feedback] Make game more interesting when not building

Postby grimmy72 » Wed Jan 07, 2015 6:19 pm

If you keep a -500k debt your prison is to expensive for the amount/type of prisoners you have. The challenge would then be to reduce costs (e.g. guards) so the daily run cost goes down and debt goes away. Balancing money is one of the gameplay components :) Try to run with a 1:5 guard:prisoner ratio as a challenge.

If you're bored with day-to-day, let in max security prisoners in and see the problems legendary prisoners can pose :) Without killing them or putting them in non-stop solitary.
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Drakexz
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Re: [Feedback] Make game more interesting when not building

Postby Drakexz » Wed Jan 07, 2015 6:49 pm

I'd say you can't even finish a prison.

When ever i start my current map, i find something i want to change or tweak.
May it be just something decorative or making the guards more effective. There is so much you can improve in your prison. Just keep an eye open and you'll see all the "problems".

Right now im around 26 real hours of playtime in the prison and im sure, next time ingame i'll find something else to change.
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will309
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Re: [Feedback] Make game more interesting when not building

Postby will309 » Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:02 pm

i finding backing up the game save and letting the game run max speed and jsut letting it go then seeing what causes issue THEN reload the old save and fix it before it happens :D
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Re: [Feedback] Make game more interesting when not building

Postby Hamnils5 » Thu Jan 08, 2015 2:12 am

will309 wrote:i finding backing up the game save and letting the game run max speed and jsut letting it go then seeing what causes issue THEN reload the old save and fix it before it happens :D


Thats Kind of cheating though isn't it? I don't like loading old saves then fixing future mistakes, just live with the consequences of your actions ^^

I would also like to see a kind of cinematic mode implemented. I sometimes just watch prison life go by in triple speed, but a cinematic mode where The camera automatically moves around would just let me lean back and relax for a few minutes between projects :3
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Re: [Feedback] Make game more interesting when not building

Postby Helmic » Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:38 am

I'd like some more stuff to do when not building. Right now a lot of time is spent waiting to earn your money back so that you can continue expanding your prison, until you reach a point where you can't expand anymore. It'd be fun if we had more warden-y things to do, more interactions with individual prisoners so as to further endear them to the player. Not just random fuck yous a la Spacebase DF-9, but opportunities as well. Stuff like assigning an informant to extract a confession from a fellow inmate, completing requests from courts. Stuff that won't hurt you if you ignore it to do building stuff, but that you can do when you aren't building.
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Re: [Feedback] Make game more interesting when not building

Postby guiltyspark » Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:40 pm

Helmic wrote:I'd like some more stuff to do when not building. Right now a lot of time is spent waiting to earn your money back so that you can continue expanding your prison, until you reach a point where you can't expand anymore. It'd be fun if we had more warden-y things to do, more interactions with individual prisoners so as to further endear them to the player. Not just random fuck yous a la Spacebase DF-9, but opportunities as well. Stuff like assigning an informant to extract a confession from a fellow inmate, completing requests from courts. Stuff that won't hurt you if you ignore it to do building stuff, but that you can do when you aren't building.
this.

maybe grants could be more interactive?
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Re: [Feedback] Make game more interesting when not building

Postby Helmic » Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:23 pm

guiltyspark wrote:maybe grants could be more interactive?


Yeah, I like that idea. A lot of the bigger grants are just stuff that would happen naturally while you expanded your prison, the only one that you actually have to do (and requires some creativity to pull off) is the nutritional research grant. That's a fun grant to pull off if you've got a large enough prison population because you risk riots. Having grants for lacing your prisoners' food with hallucinogens (to test CIA interrogation techniques, of course), forcing all your prisoners in one room and then provoked by loud music, having a guard intentionally start a fire somewhere in your prison "to test fire safety protocols", shutting down all but one toilet in the entire prison to collect stool samples. What fun is a hornet's nest if you don't poke it?

The more dangerous grants should give you a much larger reward (perhaps scaling with your prison population or whatever is relevant so that they're still worth doing with massive prisons), obviously. There's got to be an actual incentive for the player to risk the entire prison. But if the player pulls it off, they can get a large lump sum of cash with which to start building in earnest rather than waiting around for cash to flow in slowly.
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Re: [Feedback] Make game more interesting when not building

Postby RlyDontKnow » Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:10 pm

Helmic wrote:
guiltyspark wrote:maybe grants could be more interactive?

The more dangerous grants should give you a much larger reward (perhaps scaling with your prison population or whatever is relevant so that they're still worth doing with massive prisons), obviously. There's got to be an actual incentive for the player to risk the entire prison. But if the player pulls it off, they can get a large lump sum of cash with which to start building in earnest rather than waiting around for cash to flow in slowly.


I'd rather see grants giving something more interesting than just money. I think everyone who's been playing the game for a while does need a bunch of things, but money's certainly not among them. With forestry+workshop as money-printing-machine there's really no need for more money. Why not let dangerous grants actually yield something useful? E.g. your "testing interrogation techniques" could give you a bonus to the chance of getting a CI -some sort of "practical research" as opposed to the bureaucracy one.
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Re: [Feedback] Make game more interesting when not building

Postby LordBowler » Thu Jan 15, 2015 5:33 pm

Hamnils5 wrote:
will309 wrote:i finding backing up the game save and letting the game run max speed and jsut letting it go then seeing what causes issue THEN reload the old save and fix it before it happens :D


Thats Kind of cheating though isn't it? I don't like loading old saves then fixing future mistakes, just live with the consequences of your actions ^^

I would also like to see a kind of cinematic mode implemented. I sometimes just watch prison life go by in triple speed, but a cinematic mode where The camera automatically moves around would just let me lean back and relax for a few minutes between projects :3


I think there's plenty to learn about your prison's operation when not building without savescumming, but it has it's uses. Some problems can't be uncovered by watching for a day. Your patrol schedule change may coincide with the end of meal time, for example, cloggin up the entryway and preventing your guards from getting to the showers in time to stop the brawl from breaking out. But this requires prisoners to be upset, and for the timing to work out. I only found this exact problem in my last prison because I let it run while I was out to dinner, and came back to a bloody shower.

Had I been playing, I'd have just worked actively to meet the prisoners' needs and it wouldn't have become an issue. But I diagnosed another underlying issue with my prison by letting it go long term.

Mostly, after 100 prisoners or so, it's almost overwhelming to keep track of whose needs are being met, or more importantly, not met, and why. At about 250 it's impossible, and I'm reduced to pausing the game a few times a day just to check my Intelligence tab. Efficiency of traffic flow through your prison, timing and location of activities, literally watching prisoners to see if you can catch them stealing scissors or tweaking out on drugs...

I'm quite busy when I'm not building... is what I'm saying. That Dorf Fort story-telling bug has me thirsty for more details with which to build an emergent narrative, but I'm definitely not *bored* in the off time.
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spectacularnono18
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Re: [Feedback] Make game more interesting when not building

Postby spectacularnono18 » Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:40 pm

I agree with the title and a FEW things you guys mentioned. But I definetly agree with the title of the post.
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Re: [Feedback] Make game more interesting when not building

Postby Helmic » Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:42 pm

LordBowler wrote:I think there's plenty to learn about your prison's operation when not building without savescumming, but it has it's uses. Some problems can't be uncovered by watching for a day. Your patrol schedule change may coincide with the end of meal time, for example, cloggin up the entryway and preventing your guards from getting to the showers in time to stop the brawl from breaking out. But this requires prisoners to be upset, and for the timing to work out. I only found this exact problem in my last prison because I let it run while I was out to dinner, and came back to a bloody shower.

Had I been playing, I'd have just worked actively to meet the prisoners' needs and it wouldn't have become an issue. But I diagnosed another underlying issue with my prison by letting it go long term.

Mostly, after 100 prisoners or so, it's almost overwhelming to keep track of whose needs are being met, or more importantly, not met, and why. At about 250 it's impossible, and I'm reduced to pausing the game a few times a day just to check my Intelligence tab. Efficiency of traffic flow through your prison, timing and location of activities, literally watching prisoners to see if you can catch them stealing scissors or tweaking out on drugs...

I'm quite busy when I'm not building... is what I'm saying. That Dorf Fort story-telling bug has me thirsty for more details with which to build an emergent narrative, but I'm definitely not *bored* in the off time.


Eeeeeeeh...

What your'e describing is pretty damn dull. Dwarf Fortress gives you ALL SORTS of things to do when not digging, and in fact you spend very little time actually designating. There's lots of industries to juggle, there's military defenses, dorfs are making artifacts and you're scrambling to make sure they can get what they need and don't end up making a legendary paper breastplate, there's all sorts of engravings you can view, there's clear announcements that inform you of important or interesting things happening (doubly so with Soundsense because it'll play some entertaining voiceovers to inform you of even small things). There is a lot more going on with Dwarf Fortress than just constructing facilities, and so it's a lot more entertaining when you're doing things other than constructing facilities.

Notably, there's no currency in Dwarf Fortress. It takes no resources to "build" a fortress and you in fact gain resources while you carve out rooms. The game rarely "stops" because you ran out of something, at all times you can be expanding your fortress. It's partly why I hate building aboveground so much, it's too easy to run out of something you need and be forced to wait for your miners to mine out more materials for your workers to haul.

Prison Architect, by contrast, is almost exclusively construction. The main challenge is building a big enough prison to house more prisoners, and the main obstacle is money. You'll get some money, spend some of it to expand your prison a bit, maybe accept some more prisoners, and then wait until your money goes back up enough for you to repeat the process. During that wait, there's not a lot going on. There's not a lot of feedback in the game yet, there's no chatter between prisoners for you to catch up on, not enough special things that break the schedule (particularly positive stuff - right now the only thing that really qualifies is sometimes finding a new confidential informant in solitary).

In fact the game's almost painfully dull when you can't build more stuff, and the game encourages you to make your prison even more dull (the pitiful amounts of cash given by expansion grants exacerbate the problem since it's so easy to spend ages waiting for enough money to roll in to expand). Most of the exciting stuff is negative and so we all end up designing our prisons in such a way to completely avoid those features. We make sure our prison toilets are far away from the edges of maps and large pipes, we put a buffer zone so that prisoners aren't getting contraband from throw-overs, we have dogs patrolling passively looking for tunnels.

I think part of the problem is that the devs are a bit too worried about adding penalties for leaving your prison unattended (which if someone wants to do isn't a huge deal), but not doing enough to make us WANT chaos. I find myself wanting legendaries because they're interesting to collect. I want more stuff like that, more opportunities to directly intervene in the prison because an opportunity has popped up, not just stuff that merely makes it impossible to idle.
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Re: [Feedback] Make game more interesting when not building

Postby LordBowler » Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:44 am

I just took "not building" to mean "down time". Those moments in this game (and DF) where you pull your head out of the weeds for a bit and take stock of things.

I agree. There are about a billion features I'd like to see added. Some of the ones in here are good.
tgp1994
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Re: [Feedback] Make game more interesting when not building

Postby tgp1994 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:22 pm

Hamnils5 wrote:I would also like to see a kind of cinematic mode implemented. I sometimes just watch prison life go by in triple speed, but a cinematic mode where The camera automatically moves around would just let me lean back and relax for a few minutes between projects :3


I think you're on to something with this - there are several games that go into a sort of "sleep" mode if you don't provide any input. I think one that does this is Just Cause 2 - as far as I can recall, the UI will disappear after a set amount of minutes, and the camera will start to wobble about for reasons.

Have a sort of "watch" mode where the UI hides, and the camera focuses in on interesting events around the prison would be really nice for a lunch break or something of that nature.
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Re: [Feedback] Make game more interesting when not building

Postby smoothrolla » Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:28 am

What i find myself doing is forever selling my prisons and starting new ones (usually with 2 or 3 land expansions), each time planning out it all in one go
However sometimes its an anti climax, you spend all that time planning it out, getting every one in, learning, adjusting, and then when its all running perfectl... hmmm bored, next prison!
Thats all fine, i can try a different type of prison or challenge each time, but for longevity i would like to see something like this in the final game:

    more micromanagement to keep us busy making it more efficient,
    some novel escapes (anyone read about the helicopter prison break in Canada?)
    undercover prisoner we can control to get info somehow, maybe can listen in on conversations to find contraband, reputations, tunnels, solve unknown murder cases etc
    take more control of guards - got someone waiting solitary, or a fight is kicking off, got prisoners waiting outside - take over a guard and do it yourself!
    scoreboards - who can get the most prisoners in/most legendaries without killing them/most money/hours until first incident with max sec/most worked/best reformed/ -> :) highest framerate :) <-
    more prisoner types - female / young offenders / mentally ill etc so new interactions problems to deal with
    Natural disasters, like tornados or earth quakes forcing us to deal with more emergancies
    more things to spend money on - once your several prisons in and have millions in the bank, money becomes less important
    rapture mode - only the truly reformed can leave. you get a total of 400 prisoners and you have to rapture them all :)
    high entropy mode - the prison walls slowly break down due to a particle accelerator accident near by and you have to keep rebuilding, or something :)
    Zombi mode - a prisoner can be a carrier of a deadly virus which will turn them into brain eating zombis, can you kill them off before they take over your prison :)
    and ofcourse gangs

most of them are silly, and i have not thought any of them through, its actually quite hard to know what would keep me hooked and playing a prison beyond 40 hours or so, looking forward to what future alphas will bring.. i love this game :)

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