Prison Architect Alpha6

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Prison Architect Alpha6

Postby Chris » Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:48 pm

Today we have released Alpha6 of Prison Architect for Pc and Mac, and Alpha customers can download and play it immediately. Go to our Alpha Download page to get the latest version now!

Download :
(You can also get the latest version from the download url in your purchase receipt)

We’ve made a video demonstrating the key new features of Alpha:

It’s been a long while since Alpha5. To be absolutely honest, we needed a break. Mark and myself in particular - we started working crazy hard about four months prior to the Alpha launch just trying to get everything ready - not only the first version of the game but also our Prison Architect website and the whole kickstarter style sale system. Even once the game was launched we never had any time to recover between alphas. So once alpha5 was released we decided to take it a bit easy and even took some time off over Christmas, which is pretty unheard of for us. We regrouped and did some thinking in early January and came up with a solid plan to actually get this game finished. Thanks for being patient with us!

We’ve made some big changes to the prisoners. All prisoners now have an estimated risk category - minimum, normal, or maximum security, reflected by different coloured uniforms so you can determine the category from a distance. This has been a long term aim for us and better reflects the reality of modern jails where the most dangerous inmates are separated from the gen-pop. There are, however, some subtleties to be aware of.

As in life, prisoners are sometimes mis-classified and we thought it would be cool to have some doubt about whether a prisoner really is as dangerous as he first seems, or perhaps worse: actually has been housed within the general population, but is a grade A bat-shit lunatic. To achieve this we have implemented an internal "traits" system of which you have no visibility. These traits determine if a prisoner is violent, or murderous, or destructive, or all of the above and more. They determine how the prisoner behaves when he is angry or when a fight breaks out nearby. This system is totally internal and you never get to access it, so the only way to really see whether you have a pussy-cat or a Bane is to watch how they behave.

So given that we didn't want a perfect match between the automatic classification of prisoners and their actual behaviour traits, we needed to implement something else on which to base the initial risk level. We've done this by giving every prisoner a criminal history. You can read every prisoners "rap sheet", by clicking on them and this will show you the offences for which they are currently incarcerated as well as any previous convictions for which they have served sentences in the past. It is this criminal history that forms the basis of the automatic classification: A conviction of murder will get a prisoner categorised as maximum security, whereas a conviction for fraud may result in minimum security. You can't believe everything you read and we also show a plea, so a Prisoner who has been convicted of Murder may have pleaded Not-guilty and may, in fact, by innocent of the crime. This poor soul would pose no threat, and a miscarriage of justice has caused him to be surrounded by thugs and murderers - he would rapidly become a target and if you don't notice, may up slumped in the corner of a shower with a shank sticking out of his liver.

In summary, prisoners are now automatically assigned a risk category based on the offences of which they’ve been convicted, however this is an estimate and may not reflect their true danger. Internally, new traits determine how prisoners will react when bad things are happening and you need to keep a close eye on things to make sure your prisoners are kept safe.


This is such a sweeping change that I suspect the whole game will be deeply unbalanced for a while. It’s the biggest change to Prisoners since their “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs” system that drives their daily behaviour. And it’s not yet finished - you can’t yet re-classify prisoners you suspect are in the wrong category (unless you are one of those guys who loves hacking the save game files), nor can you track the traits of prisoners (eg a Prisoner who fights regularly clearly has a predilection for Violence). Eventually there will be a Prisoner Pipeline, with new prisoners arriving and being searched / medical examination etc, then categorised and taken to their cells. As time goes by their sentence will tick down and you will have the option to reclassify them if they have behaved well or badly. Eventually they will come up for parole and be released or continue their sentence. Prisoners with short sentences will come and go quickly, while longer term prisoners get stuck within your facility, giving you longer term headaches to deal with.

This change has also prompted me to update the Intake and Deployment systems with new options - you can now control when you want to receive prisoners, and what category of prisoner you are happy to receive (even closing your jail to new inmates for a while if you wish). You can now segregate the prisoners by tagging sectors as being Max security or Min security from the Deployment screen. This only affects cell assignments right now - all other room types are still shared, meaning you can’t yet truly segregate your prison except during lockup.

There’s still so much to do! We are tackling some of the big changes now, and prisoner categories was one of the biggest. We hope you enjoy experimenting with the new options!

Join the Prison Architect alpha now at

Full change list

Code: Select all

= Prisoner Categories
All prisoners are now classified based on their risk level - Min, Normal, or Max.
Prisoner uniforms are coloured to reflect this: Grey, Orange and Red respectively.
Note: The Category of a prisoner is an ESTIMATE of their risk level,
based on their convictions. However their true risk is determined by their TRAITS

= Prisoner Traits, 'Rap Sheet' & Criminal History
All prisoners now have Bios that detail their criminal history, length of time in jail etc
Click on any prisoner to review his Rap Sheet.
Prisoners have (internal) traits which determine if they are violent, destructive etc
These traits determine the Prisoner's likely response to their needs not being met

= New Sector Categories
You can now set sectors to be used for MinSec or MaxSec prisoners in the deployment screen.
Note: This only affects prisoners cell assignment. They currently share all other rooms.
MaxSec or MinSec prisoners without cell space will overflow into the shared (White) sectors.
A Holding Cell is required as temporary housing to facilitate cell changes

= Intake Control
You can now control the intake of new inmates from the 'Prisoners Report' screen.
You can choose which categories you are open to, or stop receiving any new prisoners.
Note: Unavailable if 'Continuous Intake' is enabled; You will receive a random mixture

= The hunt for Stuck Prisoners
Several subtle bugs have been fixed which resulted in prisoners becoming stuck, shackled,
pushed into the wall, forgotten, or trapped in hospital beds. (Guards sometimes as well)
Prisoners who are trapped will now be escorted back to their cells by a guard.
Note: All entities need to be healed before they will be let out the medical ward, and
Prisoners need to have a cell to be taken back to.

- There is now some variation in the physical size of prisoners. Higher Risk prisoners tend to be larger

- Doctors will now heal injured people around them more reliably (within range 10 sq)

- The tape measure dragging sounds will no longer play unless you are laying out construction orders

- Building frameworks now look more 3d and cast shadows when under construction

- Links have been added to the Main Menu to access the latest version, legal terms & conditions and buy page

- Fixed a bug which allowed prisoners to glitch through doors when they were trying to escape, making it quite a bit easier for them to succeed

- Fixed: The game would crash on loading or selecting a saved prison, if that prison had a thumbnail image of width or height > 2048 pixels. (Happens if you are running at higher res, eg Retina)

- Fixed: You can no longer callout unlimited numbers of firemen

- Fixed: A dead or unconscious firemen will no longer drop/spawn his firehose continuously

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Postby StandingCow » Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:50 pm

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Postby Zarkow » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:02 pm

Sounds great - looking forward to these changes!
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Postby Maklane » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:20 pm

Nice update boys! Keep the good work! thanks you :D!

Next.. The electric chair? Swat team? whatever you want :P
I don't want any Scofield in my Prison! (Just kidding, clever prisoners would be nice!)

My Spanish Translation ... .php?t=501
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Postby Gemberkoekje » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:25 pm

yay. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some max security prisoners to torture.
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Postby tantonsen » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:25 pm

Abit disapointet after waiting a month..and just two new features

does the infamery bug, where inmates are not escorted back still apply? :(

= The hunt for Stuck Prisoners
Several subtle bugs have been fixed which resulted in prisoners becoming stuck, shackled,
pushed into the wall, forgotten, or trapped in hospital beds. (Guards sometimes as well)
Prisoners who are trapped will now be escorted back to their cells by a guard.
Note: All entities need to be healed before they will be let out the medical ward, and
Prisoners need to have a cell to be taken back to.

Just saw it, Great
Last edited by tantonsen on Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby soul_rever38 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:27 pm

why did i have to read this whilst i was in work, now i have to wait till i get home at 8 to play the new alpha
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Postby phees » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:50 pm

Yay, can't wait.
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Postby ronanc » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:53 pm

Ahh so excited for this!!
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Postby Shaggy02 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:26 pm

I must fake illness and go home to play this!!
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Postby MurderWsDaCase » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:32 pm

Awesome work man! Loving every minute and every change to the game. Keep it up! :D
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Postby Collic001 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:35 pm

Great stuff, I can't wait to play this. On another note, was that a Nick Cave reference I heard there? :D

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Postby wills_b » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:02 pm

Cool stuff.

Have to say I am a fan of the long breaks in between updates. I tend to start a new prison for each update to try out the new features so I find the regular updates a tad exhausting. I would prefer to have a longer break followed by a larger update than several smaller updates.

Just my personal preference.

Keep up the good work!
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Postby Aznsteel » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:59 pm

Finally, now I'll have to wait atleast 12 hours before I can play. School is such a pain
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Postby RMJ1984 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:02 pm

This is awesome :D

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