Some initial impressions

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Some initial impressions

Postby Dybing » Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:20 am

Played around with alpha5 for the better part of the last three days or so. Gotta love the holidays :D Put more hours into this game than my last purchase - Far Cry 3 - which is in quite another league. I won't go into all of the bugs, freezes and crashes. For one thing, it's an alpha build so it's quite expected and browsing through the forum i see most if not all of said issues I've stumbled upon is already commented on and the devs aware of.

What I will say though, is that I am quite impressed with how it looks and behaves already, and am really looking forward to the next iteration with more features and game mechanics. I'd say the devs are on the right track for a really good game.

During my play-time there was four things in particular that I'd like to see sooner rather than later - apart from obvious stability issues.

1: Prisoner tiering. Ability to have the more violent and troublesome ones in a separate cellblock with extra guards and simpler cells. Wheras the good natured ones in another cellblock with plush cells and laxer security. Eventually also some sort of death-row and maximum security wings.

2: Less micromanagement. Manually scheduling guard deployment and not least having my doctors chase injured people around gets really tired really fast. Look at how the cooks work, it's a pleasure to behold - and totally hands off :)

3: More utilities. The current system is pretty basic. Electricity for instance should come off the grid and into a transformer station that one build. Generators must be a backup-system in case of a black-out, with limited capability. So You'd also have to choose what rooms (or rather circuits) to give juice to, and which to be left in the dark until power off the grid comes back online, perhaps by marking some circuits as high priority, and others as low or medium. A three tiered system to make it simplish. High Voltage in to the transformer room. From here you can extend the HV line to other similar transformer rooms dotted around your prison where necessary. From the transformer room you get a fixed number of Medium Voltage lines, each with a max capacity that is metered more or less as your current system with that power bar. So bringing up the Transformer would present a circuit-breaker panel where you can turn on or off certain circuits. At the end of a MV line (that can be split much as the current power-lines) there is a power-panel on a wall. From there the game stretches cables to various equiptment like lights, TVs and so on. Much as in the current build.

Water management should also have three components. Cold water, hot water (through a boiler and new pipe that carries both hot and cold to a fixture like say a shower head or sink) and waste water pipes that leads to a sewage system one need to build (and may be used as a possible escape-route, so should be able to put iron-bars at critical junctions. Perhaps as an automatic feature when it goes under a wall or something).

Temperature/climate control. Electrical heaters, AC units, hot-water based radiators, air-ducts. With various maps (tropic, temperate, arctic) demanding different solutions.

Comm-lines. To telephones, offices, TVs, CCTVs, monitors, electronic-doors etc. Two tiered system. High Capacity (call it optical data cable or whatever) in and to a switch (similar to the power-panel). From a switch, more HC lines can be drawn (though only two or three) to another switch, and several "normal" capacity (call it CAT5 or similar) lines to whatever equiptment needs it - though at a certain maximum length. Possibly managed automatically by the game.

4: Architect/blueprint view. A view where you can rough-sketch your plan for the prison. Just like drawing rooms, only should also include ability to plan out pathways, outer fences/walls, door placement and such. This should be able to be layered over your current actual prison (or the empty lot of anew game). Helps in planning out a prison and expand on a more or less set design rather than the current very improvised building process... Would make the building of the prison much cheaper as you expand it, as it would reduce the number of "re-modelling" work that would be needed as one invariably change ones mind on size and shape of a certain part of the prison.

I'm sure most of this is already planned or in the works. Especially looking forward to the new doors system with better control of who gets access and so on.

Anyhow, happy holidays and don't take too many days off! :)
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Postby christopher1006 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:22 pm

1. Already going to happen

2. You're gaurd deployment will problably stay manual but you won't be able to direct control them.

3. Technically speaking the thing we have isn't really a generator, in the campaign it mentioned it took power from the grid but I've seen no confirmaton of a more in depth power sytem being worked on yet possibly due to worry it might overly complicate the game and/or it's something to be done later on down the road. For your temp. control idea I noticed some kind of air duct thing in the PA files so assuming it's not for the campaign or some kind of aesthetic detail that might happen.

4. This has been asked for by many and hopefully will be implemented

Personally I would like to see these ideas implemented all except for the comms line and if so it needs to be simplified due phones, internet etc. not being the main focus. Perhaps using server rooms for internet required objects and some form of phone operator office for (you guessed it) connecting phone calls. Could make it quite interesting during a riot if you lost access to phones and couldn't call the for help.
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Postby paktsardines » Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:12 pm

All of these are excellent ideas, and they've all been discussed at length and are listed in the stickied suggestion compilation post.
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Postby furrot » Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:31 pm

The idea of running some of the water through a boiler is cool (hehe) but it also seems like a mandatory cost rather then something you would have fun designing. From what I've read the only other "utility" we might see is whatever the door system will use to connect jail doors to switches and timers.

The dev already stated that less control over the staff is the long term goal, with things like deployment being the norm. As paktsardines mentioned most of these ideas are already in the suggestion compilation thread but it good to see that everyone is still thinking the same things. :)

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