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Prison Architect alpha 11 adds morgues, land expansion, and time lapse


Prison Architect has broken free onto Early Access; here’s our Prison Architect review.

Vast prisons housing giant morgues can be yours in the newly updated Prison Architect alpha. Introversion have been doing a good deal more than just bug fixes since the release of alpha 10, though alpha 11 does deal with many a faulty line of code. As well as a place to lay the dead and the ability to extend your prison out onto untilled land you can now record a timelapse video of your prison’s growth.

One that you can then share on the Youtube.

The developer video opens with a look at some of the prisons players have been building. They’re inventive things players; building circular prisons in a grid-based game, or making convict communities rather than cell blocks. With this creativity going on it’s ace that Introversion have released the timelapse feature. It takes a regular snapshot of your prison from a bird’s eye perspective and then chains all those images together to form a short video.

You can see something of how it works in Prison Architects trailer:

The new land expansion feature is a bit of a game-changer. Till now you’ve been locked into a rigid plot of land that limited the size of your prison complex. With freedom to expand your prison – the only limit, now, on the size of your prison is the performance of your computer – there’s nothing stopping players building truly mega prisons, a sprawling metropolis of interlinking annexes, housing thousands of convicts – from maximum security murderers down to white collar criminals. On the one hand, the feature is a rudimentary addition; on the other it hints at the scope of what Prison Architect could become.

Here’s the full change list for your perusal:

= Performance improvements & memory leaks

– Fixed numerous large memory leaks

– Water simulation significantly optimised

– Fixed performance bug in object rendering (calling profiler from within inner loop)

– Rendering soft material edges has been improved and optimised (eg grass growing onto pathway)

– Rendering garbage bags was sometimes very slow, is now quicker. Weight caption removed

– Nameplates now fade out as you zoom out (less clutter + quicker to render)

– Fixed performance bug when ordering large areas of construction

= Land expansion

– You can now purchase neighbouring plots of land, and thereby expand the area of your prison

– Must be unlocked by the accountant in the beauracracy screen

– Expanding to the right of the road is experimental, and is likely to break everything

= TimeLapse recording

You can now record a timelapse video of your prison during construction

Use the Options -> Timelapse menu to set the frame interval and the playback rate of the video

Start and Stop recording from the main menu

Whilst recording you will see a red circle icon in the top right of your screen

NOTE: Timelapse videos will be saved to your PA saves folder, subfolder ‘Videos’

NOTE: We export the videos as OGV (ogg video) format

– Intelligent toolbar highlights

Icons in the main build toolbar will now highlight when appropriate, based on the rooms visible on screen

Eg if you are looking at a Workshop, the Saw/Press/Table will all highlight.

Eg if you are looking at a row of jail cells, the Bed/Toilet/JailDoor icons will all highlight

– Prisoners now count down their remaining sentence whilst in your jail.

Once they have served their full jail term they are automatically released.

They will walk to the exit and be allowed to leave by your guards.

Their nameplate will flash “RELEASED”

NOTE: We count down sentences at an accelerated rate – otherwise nobody would ever be released

NOTE: We do not yet support early release due to Parole

– Guards assigned to a sector will no longer group together at the very centre of the sector.

Instead they will walk randomly around the sector.

Similarly, prisoners assigned to work within a room will now wander around the room if there is

nothing to do, instead of grouping together at the centre like chumps

– Hearses will now come to your prison to take away your dead bodies (four at a time)

– Dirty clothes will no longer lead to riots

Not all needs will push prisoners to physical violence

Currently Exempt: Clothing, Comfort

These needs still prevent those prisoners from feeling “well treated”, but will not push them to anger

– Doctors/Paramedics will now prioritise Guards and Riot Police, and will not heal fighting/rioting prisoners

– Running the game in SAFE MODE now automatically scales the game spritebank down to 2048×2048

This should fix the missing/corrupted sprites bugs on some graphics chips (eg Intel HD 3000, Macbook Air etc)

– Prisoners now walk a bit faster when pushing laundry baskets

– Fixed: The clone tool was broken in alpha 10

– Fixed: The doctor/paramedic healing sound was looping forever

– Fixed: The Lockdown claxon would loop forever, annoying everyone who heard it

– Fixed: Prisoners will no longer attempt cleaning jobs in staff only areas (they became stuck when trying)

– Fixed: Prisoners will immediately stop doing a job if their room is set to Staff Only

– Fixed: Prisoners will no longer drop their dirty uniforms in the wall where they can’t be retrieved

– Fixed: You no longer need to hire a Doctor before you can create an Infirmary