Issues with Prison Architect - A little bit of a rant

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knoest26
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Issues with Prison Architect - A little bit of a rant

Postby knoest26 » Tue May 24, 2016 7:21 pm

Hi, some of you might still know me, I've been very active in the PA community some time back but I ran out of things to do so I stopped. I've spend about 700 hours in the game on Steam and had tons of fun with it. Although I love the game I'm having quite a few issues with it at the moment.

First of all, I'm having some technical issues where having multiple screens at higher resolutions cause the game to be offset and weird lines in between the tiles of the game. This issue first arrived just before Version 1 and was fixed but returned at the performance update. If I really wanted to I could probably fix this but I don't really care so I haven't looked into it that much.

One of my issues with Prison Architect is the way that it's heading. I found it very weird for Prison Architect to instantly go from Alpha to full release without having a proper Beta period. Although Prison Architect is a very good game, I feel like it isn't as polished as it should be for a full release. Certain things are obviously missing in Prison Architect and these are things that could have been fixed if the Prison Architect would have been given a decent Beta phase, a few examples:

The utility.
-You should be able to dismantle pipes or cable separately.
-There should be a tool tip in the game that explains how many capacitors can be placed at a power station and that only one power station can be connected to the same grid (and why is that actually?).
-I feel like there should be a penalty to using more power, right now the utility system is still the same as it was in Alpha 1. If you use more power you will only have to invest in it once but I feel like there should be a fee for fuel or the option to connect to the city's powernet at a higher fee.
-Water stations apparently can just magically pump water out of the air and supply infinite appliances. This would have been a perfect opportunity to give a usage to the in-game lakes that could supply infinite water or could be emptied to make the land suitable for building again.

Options.
-Why can't I turn the lights off in the cells of a prison at sleep time? The game already recognizes other objects in cells and could easily prevent the lights from burning during set time.
-Segregation in a prison is fun to do but absolutely useless as the game will auto-assign higher security levels to prisoners that commit crimes, ruining the balance I created. Why can't have the game have a tab that the chief prepare with prisoners that the game wants to 'upgrade' to higher security levels and ask me for permission or alternatively let me set a bar at which to increase the security level.
-Why can't a make a prison that can hold both male and female prisoners?
-Why are traits a mandatory thing? Traits (especially snitch and ex law enforcement) are a nightmare to deal with in the early game.

Gameplay.
-Why can't prisoners break out of windows, break walls/fences or jump fences/walls? The only way for a prisoner to escape is because the player was stupid and left an open route to the outside or to dig.
-Why is the 'research' screen so limited? Usually I do nearly all research before even getting prisoners. I feel like there should be more limitations to certain researches(eg. you need at least 250 prisoners, a daily income of 3000 and have paid 200,000 in taxes before the offshore tax haven research). Additional researches could include: more potential prisoner intake(could have multiple tiers), deals for your exports ( an x $$$ bonus if you manage to export 400 planks per day to a company outside), lower staff wages, the ability to let regular guards take riot shields during riots.
-Why can't I force my prisoners to go to the workshop class? Surely I'm the one in charge in my prisoners and I don't really care whether a prisoners wants to work.

Now let me just stress, !! This is NOT a list of features that have to be added !!. These are examples of things in Prison Architect that I think don't really make sense and would probably be filtered out during a beta phase. This thread is not about whether you agree with a certain feature on the list or not, this thread is about how I feel that Prison Architect is heading in the wrong direction. Feel free to insult me, call me stupid and tell me in a million ways how your opinion is better than mine down below but I sincerely hope some of you will actually discuss what I wrote with me and for the developers to see this and get some decent community response.

Sincerely,

[DegC]RubenGass
murgh
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Re: Issues with Prison Architect - A little bit of a rant

Postby murgh » Tue May 24, 2016 11:53 pm

You forgot an important thing. What happens when you launch the game? A nice menu perhaps? :roll:
Nice rant though, sounds fair as well.
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Re: Issues with Prison Architect - A little bit of a rant

Postby PrisonerJoe » Wed May 25, 2016 12:17 am

I definitely agree that, for the time being, it would be nice for the game to head in a direction of "tall" development as opposed to "wide" development. I feel like we have a good number of features already. The only thing I feel desperately needs added is prisoner aging and some more death row mechanics but i've already made a thread for that. The developers need to focus in on taking what already exists, and doing a heavy polish.

More customization in regards to zoning needs to happen, utilities could use a major cleanup (possibly a complete overhaul) for the reasons you mentioned, and I would personally like to see some more options when it comes to handling the Hannibal Lecters of the prison.

I saw in another thread someone suggesting that zoning should have the option of setting more than one group to one area or having an "everyone except X" option. Personally, I would love to have zones that progressively get more high security with a little overlap. For example, a canteen could be shared by Min/Normal, while another could be shared by Max/Supermax, etc.

Like you mentioned, I would love to have an option in the utilities screen where I could, for example, check which utilities I want to view and manipulate. For example, if I have everything unchecked but electrical, then I would only see electrical stuff and any demo would only affect electrical cables/equipment.

As far as the ultra baddies go, I tried early on to give them an ultra-nice environment to keep those psychopaths happy. I gave them a cell with everything they could possibly want in it, and in the back of the cell there was a door which led to an enclosed area so that they could walk about outside...unfortunately, this would not work since the game thought the cell was outside. I understand I could just not keep them on permanent lockdown but I really don't want them cutting through all of my prisoners like a hot knife through butter whenever they get an itch.

Saying all of this, I still think they've done an excellent job overall so far, but I do think they need to take a step back and re-evaluate. I'm not sure what the overall strategy is, but I get the feeling that they want to get to a point where they sit back and say, "OK, we've added everything that we want to, now we can start to polish/flesh things out."
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Re: Issues with Prison Architect - A little bit of a rant

Postby Alpatron » Wed May 25, 2016 4:10 pm

I agree, PA needs some serious polish.

You should be able to dismantle pipes or cable separately.

This. Oh for the love of God every time I add some new building the half of the prison loses access to water.

Why can't I turn the lights off in the cells of a prison at sleep time? The game already recognizes other objects in cells and could easily prevent the lights from burning during set time.

This man's asking the real questions.

Why can't a make a prison that can hold both male and female prisoners?

Y'know... ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Why are traits a mandatory thing? Traits (especially snitch and ex law enforcement) are a nightmare to deal with in the early game.

If I could turn the "targeting" traits off, it would make my prisons 200% more perfect, I hate dealing with PC prisoners.
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Re: Issues with Prison Architect - A little bit of a rant

Postby MFWIC » Thu May 26, 2016 5:32 am

knoest26 wrote:-Why can't I turn the lights off in the cells of a prison at sleep time? The game already recognizes other objects in cells and could easily prevent the lights from burning during set time.


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Re: Issues with Prison Architect - A little bit of a rant

Postby knoest26 » Thu May 26, 2016 5:03 pm

knoest26 wrote:Now let me just stress, !! This is NOT a list of features that have to be added !!


I know it's technically possible to do this, but this thread is not about this. This thread is about the polishing of the game
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Re: Issues with Prison Architect - A little bit of a rant

Postby Populicide » Fri May 27, 2016 12:36 pm

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