Tunnels are still OP

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zbyrne
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Tunnels are still OP

Postby zbyrne » Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:16 am

I know quite a few people are moaning about how gangs aren't quite right just yet, but I want to bring up another issue - tunnels. So I haven't actually played in a while, and when gangs came out, I decided to fire up the game, and started building a new prison from scratch. So far I have 3 gang members, so my prison hasn't been nearly as fucked up by them - but it has been fucked up by the tunnels. It's probably one of the reasons why I left PA alone for a while, the tunnels always did my head in. they are relentless.

Seriously, must be every second day now that I find a major tunnel, with like three guys digging in it. So far I've only had three get away, but I've foiled at least 30 or so by now. And I've taken every step to limit it - every source of tools is behind a metal detector, as are all the canteens, and despite this, they keep digging, presumably with their bare hands. It's madness really. At this stage I'm just doing nightly cell block searches and shakedowns.

It's really just so annoying, because the tunnels are a cool feature - but rather than it being a really rare occurrence, and you have to play detective a little, and the feelings of paranoia grow, it's simply a case of I know that there's probably at least three or four going somewhere.

Like IRL, a handful of prisons have a single tunnel story. It's not even close to the main means of escape attempts - Alcatraz famously has what it maybe the best example, where your man tunneled out of his cell, but that's it, that's the single time it happened there, And if we were to use films as reference, where obviously it's not as real, well it still took tim 20 years to do it in Shawshank.

They really need to tone this back, because atm the inmates are still more productive than the Brits in a Nazi POW camp, tunnels everywhere, all the time! It's also senseless - have of my min. sec prisoners have escape attempt to their name now, even tho many of them are only serving tiny sentences (a failed attempt should add time as IRL), a year or two, and yet they tunnel away. If the AI must attempt endless escape attempts, then at vary them, I'd rather have inmates try and sneak out other ways! If tunneling is done, a single tunnel should take like 100 in game days or something, I'm only on day 25, and I've had like 20 or 30 tunnels. And why does every tunnel have to be a conspiracy of like 4 guys? that two should be rarer!

Sorry I'm rambling a bit now. But it is maddening that a gang leader is a complete rarity, but tunnels dug with bare hands and kitchen spoons are a dime a dozen - the game needs to sort out it's priorities!!

EDIT: I've just noticed that the above is riddled with spelling and grammatic errors, and for that I apologise. But no I won't be changing it haha.
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Re: Tunnels are still OP

Postby xander » Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:38 am

A couple of thoughts:

First, you say that you've "taken every step" to limit tunnels, but it sounds to me like you have only taken steps to detect tunnels and keep prisoners from having the tools to dig tunnels. Have you tried addressing the root issue, which is likely a lack of freedom? Freedom is a need like food or sleep, and prisoners that don't get their need for freedom met are more likely to attempt to tunnel out. Rather than trying to treat the symptom (tunnels), you might try treating the disease.

Second, comparisons to "real life" are interesting, but note that Prison Architect seems to be fairly explicitly *not* about simulating a real life prison. In addition to drawing inspiration from actual prisons and prisoners, it is also influenced by depictions of prisons in popular culture. The notion of prisoners digging out of prison with spoons nicked from the cafeteria is a common trope---it seems appropriate to include it in Prison Architect.

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Re: Tunnels are still OP

Postby Pogmothoin » Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:40 am

Tunnels aren't OP at all, tunnels aren't an issue if;

Your prisoners are happy,
They have no freedom need,
They aren't allowed to carry tools back to the cell block.
You search each cell block roughly once a week.

If you can build and design your prison so that all these criteria are met you just don't get tunnels. In fact whenever a dog finds a tunnel spot you ignore it because you know 99% of the time it's a false positive. It is possible to do, I haven't had an actual escape from a tunnel in months. If tunnels bug you that much, try solving the problems that allow them to happen, once you've figured that out you'll never worry about them again. If you fail to meet the one of the criteria then tunnels will start to appear, two or more failed criteria then they do start to be a problem.

Other useful tips include;

Have a proper perimeter wall,
Have approx 22 tiles (or more) from any cell toilet to the exterior wall,
Have your highest grade cells closest to the wall (so that those cells are least likely to even try),
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Re: Tunnels are still OP

Postby xPyr0x » Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:00 am

Stop placing cells within the nearest 10 squares by a wall. Use that space for showers, yard. cleaning/laundry, solitary, or other rooms they can't dig out.
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Re: Tunnels are still OP

Postby dooferorg » Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:12 am

Saying how to counter them does not address the fact that they SHOULD be rare. Why are we supposed to believe too that the cell floors are made of concrete and yet someone with a spoon (why on earth can plasticware not be a feature?) be able to tunnel out within a day. These threads with the apologists for the bad AI make me want to round up the commenters and put them in a cell with a spoon and see how realistic it is to them.
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Re: Tunnels are still OP

Postby Pogmothoin » Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:39 am

Saying how to counter them does not address the fact that they SHOULD be rare.


They are rare if you take the proper approach to the game. Designing a prison badly, completely mismanaging it and then whining about how it isn't your fault isn't gonna get you any sympathy. The dev's have constantly made tunnels less a less of a problem to the point that they just aren't even an issue any more. If someone escapes it's due to your incompetence, not bad AI. It makes perfect sense that in a prison of unhappy inmates, with the tools that they need to dig, that they will attempt to do so. There's nothing unrealistic about that, you gave them the means, the motive, and they are criminals after all.

Are spoons even still in the game? Can't remember the last time I saw one.
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Re: Tunnels are still OP

Postby zbyrne » Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:59 am

Pogmothoin wrote:
Saying how to counter them does not address the fact that they SHOULD be rare.


They are rare if you take the proper approach to the game. Designing a prison badly, completely mismanaging it and then whining about how it isn't your fault isn't gonna get you any sympathy. The dev's have constantly made tunnels less a less of a problem to the point that they just aren't even an issue any more. If someone escapes it's due to your incompetence, not bad AI. It makes perfect sense that in a prison of unhappy inmates, with the tools that they need to dig, that they will attempt to do so. There's nothing unrealistic about that, you gave them the means, the motive, and they are criminals after all.

Are spoons even still in the game? Can't remember the last time I saw one.

well i have afforded my min sec (who have been solely responsible for all tunneling to date) a huge amount of freedom, seven hours a day free time. My prison temp has been on the floor since i started the game, and all needs are well provided for, as is plentiful employment - because i actually know how to play the game, so no, this is not my incompetence. Yet, despite my lack of incompetence, tunnels are hugely problematic for me.

Based on some of the comments in the thread, the only thing it might be is my cell quality is pretty atrocious. I'm a traditionalist - I'm sticking with the 3x2, bed and toilet.(I've actually thrown radios in too tho). Now if you're telling me that this is the reason the prisoners are tunneling out on masse, because i haven't provided penthouse cells with everything in it, and ensuite showers and, bearing in mind they're only in those shitty cells at night when they are asleep, and effectively have complete freedom the whole day (and plenty of amenities around the complex which provides all other needs, then that is, in my mind, bad AI. As I said in the post, I haven't played the game in a long old while - I saw the alpha video for the cell ratings, but never played with it, so i'm not fully familiar with it - but as i said, if this is the culprit, well, I think that's pretty moronic.
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Re: Tunnels are still OP

Postby 5hifty » Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:43 am

Wow. I haven't found a proper tunnel in alphas! If I hadn't found a single tunnel yesterday, I would have sworn that prisoners didn't tunnel anymore. Just put up a wide out side fence - it makes tunneling not worth it and prisoners stop.
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Re: Tunnels are still OP

Postby blackdwarf » Wed Aug 05, 2015 4:10 pm

My two-cents:

You have the right to complain if the game doesn't suit your tastes. But don't expect everyone to agree with you.

Maybe you should give the cell rating system more attention. If a prisoner deserves an above-average cell and is assigned an average or below-average cell, there is a greater chance the prisoner will misbehave. Very likely one form of misbehavior is tunneling.

In addition to free time, other things can reduce the need for Freedom, including visitation, phone calls, and working. A phone booth in the cell may sound wacko, but does a phone in the cell? Maybe it does to you. Consider it a privilege you give to "good prisoners".

I know some put dogs at the outmost wall. I have a dog circling each cell block every night. You can also consider dogs patrolling the cell block halls, and even going into each cell on their route.

Also, remember that the wooden pickaxe can't be detected by metal detectors or smelled by dogs.
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Re: Tunnels are still OP

Postby GC13 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 2:39 am

It really surprises me to see people saying that tunnels are in a good spot in Prison Architect right now. Mr. Delay said that he wanted there to be a paranoia about tunnels, where you didn't quite know whether you had prisoners tunneling or not, but I know that they're tunneling, constantly. Because prisoners can somehow make wooden pickaxes in the workshop even if it's a metal-only workshop, and because maybe a tenth of my prisoners have the Clever trait, I have to make a point of searching a cell block every night to catch tunnels (manually searching the toilet of any prisoner caught with a pickaxe). It's not challenging, it's just micromanaging. Things like Reception remove micromanagement from the game, but tunneling just adds to it.

Just about the only thing I can do to actually stop their ability to tunnel is bump up anyone caught digging a tunnel to maximum security, where they would have no access to the workshop, but that's an almost complete removal of the threat entirely since I can tightly control contraband in maximum security. For this particular prison though that wouldn't be thematically appropriate (I wanted to do minimum-security only for once).

When ~3% of your prisoners are tunneling at any given time, you've gone way beyond paranoia and well into drudgery. I don't see how tunneling can be done well; escapes should be all about finding a security flaw in your prison and exploiting it, but tunnels just require you to keep cells off of exterior walls and run your large pipes on the inside rather than the outside, which give you enough time to do cell block searches or pump informants for info about who has tools.
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Re: Tunnels are still OP

Postby 5hifty » Thu Aug 27, 2015 3:25 am

Huhy experience is the opposite. Whenever I see that little flag pop up I completely and 100% ignore it. I stopped looking for tunnels months ago, they toned them down a lot after they released then and I only experienced mass tunneling when that specific alpha. Now, I haven't had a real tunnel in forever. Occasionally during the day to day business of prison running my guards find someone who 'tunneled' but that find them so quickly they never even make it out of their cell. I don't do anything special. Shake downs every month or so, check my CI's once a day for new info (don't act on anything up less it's important), I haven't ordered a cell search in ages. I've made sure that it's at least 20 squares from my cells to the edge of the map, normally more (they also have to go under a perimeter wall) and that pretty much stop tunneling. Like I said occasionally a guard might turn up a tunnel Due to day to day buisness (digger starts a fight etc gets cell searched) but every tunnel I've found has been only 1-5 cells work of digging. It takes them so long to dig and you only need to search once to ruin it.
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Re: Tunnels are still OP

Postby Castaway » Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:18 pm

FYI I was like most and rarely ever saw a tunnel.

And then I started a minimum security prison, and only had min sec as intake.

WOW what a difference, tunnels everywhere, and like mentioned I have no heat and and a great variety of cells at every level.
I also have excellent security which is why I have had no escapes, but the number of tunnels is out of control, I even found a tunnel that ran past a tunnel I had just filled, yes the 2 tunnels must have run one under the other.

Maybe clever is just a much higher probability of occurring in Min Sec prisoners, which accounts for the crazy number of tunnels if you only take min sec.
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Re: Tunnels are still OP

Postby terminalinsanity » Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:54 pm

Agreed, the tunnels are a constant nightmare. I just run shakedowns every other day and I always find 1 or 2. And they tunnel right under my expensive $200-per-block perimeter wall as if it wasn't there. Even still I lose some now and then.

And the dogs have NEVER sniffed a real tunnel. They keep flagging spots I know there are no tunnels, and there never are any there. In fact, I would bet money each time the dogs flag a spot that there's no tunnel.
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Re: Tunnels are still OP

Postby 5hifty » Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:42 am

I generally make sure that there is at least 5 or so squares between any toilet and my perimeter wall. There is then another 10-15 square gap from the wall to the outer fence line. Prisoners never even try and dig through it. Nothing 'stops' tunnels, but you can make them progressivly leas and less likely to work, an the prisoners digging them drops of sharply.
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Re: Tunnels are still OP

Postby Trixi » Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:14 am

To prevent Tunneling you dont Need 7 hours of freetime. That doesnt help that much. Best is, if you have 2 hours of Yard time before sleeping, so your prisoners have no freedom Need at all. Freetime is Needed before worktime, so that your prisoners can satisfy their Needs and are concentrated for your Reform program. on freetime they're satisfy their urgent Need, but often there is much of the freedom Need left on sleep time.

sorry for the capital letters in some words, but this browser autocorrect it ....

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