Monday, 22 July 2013

Steam Summer Sale: Prison Architect

Unfortunately the Steam summer sale of 2013 has come to an end. As always, I bought too much but I regret nothing. This will be my last post on the sale until Christmas, when the Steam Winter sale will begin. I will binge on games I won't have time to play and get all excited all over again.

If you're tired about me talking about my gaming purchases, you can scroll to the bottom and leave a comment about pancakes or something.

I went to Ihop for the first time the other day, they were pretty good.

Today we'll be talking about another indie game. I'm certain that most people have played or heard of Simcity, the game where you're tasked with designing and caring for a sprawling metropolis. You control everything from taxes, to where residential areas are built, or getting more police to deal with crime.

Prison Architect is in the same vein of gameplay, except you are now in charge or building and maintaining a maximum security prison. You decide their daily regime, how many cells are in maximum security, what kind of staff to hire, and even providing power and water to your entire facility.

Things get hectic very fast.

It's such a simple concept, but it really makes you think about the kind of decisions you make. Should a man on deathrow have a window in his cell? A fenced off area outside technically counts as a yard, but should you put the effort of adding trees or weights for your prisoners to use? You're low on money, is it ethical to lower the quality and quantity of the food provided?

The decision is yours. If you wanted, you could even take in more prisoners than your prison can handle. Just keep the excess in a holding cell forever. Who cares right? You're still getting money from the government. Which is actually what some prisons do so it's not completely unrealistic.

But to keep things interesting, each prisoner has an individual psychological profile. And you have no way of knowing what they're actually like. Is Prisoner A just quiet and boring, or is he actually quietly waiting for a chance to start a riot and murder everyone in his cellblock? Is Prisoner B spending a lot of time in visitation, or is actually getting contraband from his family?

Or I can just search Prisoner B all the time for no reason.

But your prisoners will care and will complain if they aren't treated right. For example, I thought that simply serving food in a canteen was enough. Nope, turns out prisoners don't like standing and eating. In fact, they hated it so much that after a week they started rioting, and murdered all my staff. I can only imagine what would happen if I revoked visitation rights.

The game however is still in its alpha stages. So things are still very buggy and features are continually being added. For example, there's a glitch where a fire can start but prisoners will continue to eat and burn to death. I have personally experienced workmen refusing to construct things for me.

I'm personally excited for features such as parole. 50% of your prisoners will claim that they're innocent, but only a fraction of them actually are. And now you're in charge of deciding who gets to be released early.

Riot police would also be nice if they actually did anything.

Prison Architect is still available for purchase and because it's in the alpha stages, you can pay a bit more to get addition benefits. For example, I paid just enough to name a prisoner and provide his personal information.

Regular posting will resume later this week.


  1. The only time I eat pancakes is when I'm in the States. I've been to Ihop a couple of times and thought there's were okay, certainly not the best, but not the worst either.

    Can you tell I know nothing about computer games?

  2. Prison architect looks like it'd be good fun for a while but truth be told I was terrible with Sim City so I don't have much of an opinion on my skills with the game. I haven't got tired of you discussing independent video games because I'm always on the lookout for new and worthwhile things to play and I love hearing about new games so talk about them all you want. Pancakes are good too though, in the right situation.

  3. Also sucks to hear about your chest too buddy. Would never enjoy anybody else being in pain, with me I don't know how mine will be fixed but yours could be anything which is scary.

  4. That sounds hilarious, just my sort of thing. Do the prisoners create shivs? If so, I can't wait to hire some fresh, unstabbed guards and watch the chaos ensue.

    1. Yes. Yes they do. Despite my metal detectors they're still finding ways to sneak anything from alcohol to shotguns into my prison.

  5. Interested. That's kind of depressing though, right? Running a prison? I'd rather run disney world :)

  6. I love your blog..I really some of your previous posts..

    But I dont know what to comment here..Im clueless about computer games and I dont eat pancake either..

    urghh.Im such a fail

    Take care..

  7. haha nope, no window for the death row guy, I'd be a mean designer.

  8. I haven't played Simcity in ages

  9. I HOP is one of my favorite places but because of my sugar problems my kids look at me like I am crazy for going to that place. LOL
    Pretty prized gadgets ate not in my budget as yet.

  10. Wow... this sounds awesome. And i don't even play games that much.

  11. That sounds like fun. I'm sure I'd lose a lot, but I'd lose on purpose.

  12. I love pancakes! And also know nothing about computer games.

  13. I love pancakes ! how are you DWei?

  14. There is a game called prison architect? Hell yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

  15. Very interesting game ! Hope this will become popular soon.

  16. Well, I love pancakes. lol

    I only play townsmen on my phone.

  17. I hate you for posting that pancake! It's not even breakfast here and now I'm soo craving for pancake! Gotta go and make myself a stack as thick as that! or probably thicker :P

  18. As a cruel person with a sick sense of humor, I feel this is the perfect game to explore those cruel, twisted feelings. Let the chaos begin!

  19. Glad you found some deals! I bet you could make pancakes as good as IHOP!