Prison Architect Alpha 16 lets you cut down trees, eat your lunch, and segregate your prison

Prison Architect Introversion

The closer a game gets to a Monty Python sketch the better it is as a game; which is a good thing if you take a peek at our Prison Architect review. That’s been proven by the folk in white coats with clipboards. The news that your inmates in Prison architect can now cut down trees a la lumberjacks is only a good thing. Though, they do fall short of wearing high heels and womens’ clothing and hanging around in bars.

Randomly generated maps are what make it all possible. Prison landscapes can now spawn with forests, lakes, and derelict buildings. You’ll need to cut down the trees, work around the lakes, and repurpose or demolish the buildings before you can make full use of the map.

Enough of all that. Things are starting to get silly.

Prison Architect’s latest alpha release brings more than just procedural landscapes. There’s also Steam Workshop support for mod sharing. Full support for segregation and new AI subroutines to go with it.

Plus, those trees aren’t just for show: there’s now a lumber industry, too.

Cutting down trees provides you with logs to sell for some instant cash. Though, if you’re efficient about it, you can take those logs to your workshop and have your prisoners turn them into planks, which have a higher selling price.

The added support for mods is a good step in creating a productive community. You could install mods for Prison Architect before, and players have been sharing a fair few on the forums already, but Steam makes the whole process easier; clicking a single button sees a mod added to your game.

= Procedural landscape generation

There are new options when generating a new prison:

  • Forests adds random collections of trees, including new types of tree (Oak, Pine, Orange, Cypress, Palm)

  • Buildings are usually derelict and can be used or demolished as you wish

  • Lakes provide additional construction challenges by forcing you to work around them.

  • Warning: Including lakes can make your map totally unplayable. Experimental!

= Wood industry

  • You can now cut down trees using “Dismantle” from the objects menu, and each tree will produce wooden Logs

  • You can sell the logs for an immediate cash boost (“Sell” from the objects menu)

  • Or if you have a workshop, your prisoners will cut the logs into stacks of wood planks, which sell for more

  • Gardeners are now required to plant trees, and trees take time to grow from saplings

  • Stacks of finished wood planks will auto-sell at 1am

= Steam Workshop for mods (Steam versions only)

  • Mods can now be shared via the Steam Workshop, just like prisons

  • The mods menu now lets you publish mods, highlights mods you have published, and shows newly downloaded mods

  • Mods will automatically download when an update is available

  • Adding FileID “-1” to your mod’s manifest.txt will stop the game asking users to publish the mod. Useful for mods shared outside of the Steam Workshop.

= Full segregation support

  • Extensive AI work means you can now fully segregate your prison by prisoner category

  • You can create self contained wings (eg for Max Sec only) containing their own cells, yard, canteen, laundry, workshop etc

  • New zone type : Med Sec, for medium security prisoner ONLY (orange)

  • Note: The default zone colour (White) is SHARED, meaning all prisoners are permitted to enter

Work/Employment/Industry AI improvements

  • Kitchens are now significantly more efficient (Chefs waste much less time)

  • You can now build any combination of kitchens and canteens, and your chefs will figure it out

  • (Eg one kitchen serving multiple canteens, or each canteen having its own kitchen etc)

  • Fixed: Multiple chefs would sometimes go to collect a box of ingredients from the deliveries zone, wasting time

  • Fixed: Chefs often stood around doing nothing in the kitchen when they should be cooking

  • Laundries and Workshop jobs are now performed more efficiently and intelligently

  • Laundries will only service zones of the prison that prisoners working in that laundry would be permitted to reach

  • Janitors will now help out with the prison Laundry service

Prisoner cell re-assignments now happen without requiring shackled guard escort (if possible)

  • They will be shackled and escorted by a guard if they are not permitted to make the journey themselves

New object : Road Gate

  • Can be built spanning the entire road

  • Acts as a secure door, requiring a guard to unlock it whenever a vehicle or person wants to pass through

  • You can use this to span your prison across the road, or build a totally contained drop off zone

Doors now open at different speeds. A normal wood door is the fastest. The large road gate is the slowest.

  • The Large jail door opens slower than the normal jail door.

Prisoners will now “make a run for it” if they are near the exit and you leave too many doors unlocked

  • Be careful when setting zones to “Unlocked” (green), or setting doors to “Locked open”

  • Note: More dangerous prisoners are more likely to take advantage of lapses in security

New red marker icon for escaping prisoners

Electrical items no longer short out when wet

  • It is now safe to use Firemen in the kitchen, or to repair laundry machines without having to worry about electrocution

  • EXCEPT the power station which now explodes most spectacularly when wet

Workshop balance nerf

  • The workshop has been judged far too ridiculously profitable

  • Cutting sheet metal and stamping license plates now takes twice as long as before

  • Sheet metal now costs $10 per sheet, and produces 2 license plates which sell for $10 each, giving $10 profit

  • (Previously $3 per sheet, producing 3 license plates selling at $10 each, giving $27 profit)

  • Workshop saws and presses now cost 50% more to build

Prisoners will now make better use of their stolen contraband when misbehaving:

  • Lighters if they are feeling destructive

  • Weapons if they get into a fight

  • Tools if they are escaping

All staff now have a base toughness of 5 (previously 1) so they no longer die from a single punch

Offices must now be indoor

Vehicles will no longer be blocked by entities, objects, trees etc

Fixed : Purchasing neighbour plots of land sometimes caused the game to get the road location wrong.

Vehicles spawned in the wrong place and construction was blocked in a stripe down the middle of the prison

Fixed : Purchasing land west or north of your prison broke all in-progress escape tunnels

Fixed : Prisoners who are digging escape tunnels will now be rumbled if a guard comes to escort them somewhere

(Previously they were able to keep digging despite being taken to a different place!)

Fixed : Some long running prisons had active escape tunnels that were being dug by prisoners who were no longer on site – either dead, escaped or released.

Fixed : Sometimes workmen took a very long time to finish foundations, leaving them unfinished for hours

Fixed : Trees will no longer be generated on the road

Fixed : Workers will no longer get stuck in the first delivery truck trying to do a job

Fixed : Guards no longer need to use their keys to open wood doors

Fixed : Mod system now correctly loads replacement font graphics every time

Fixed : Mods can now override the base grants with their own if the grants share the same name

Fixed : Dead visitors will no longer float home

Fixed : Historical contraband moved when you purchased a neighbour plot of land

Fixed : Released prisoners will no longer get stuck on the toilet or in bed

Fixed (Alpha15b) : Right click to cancel stopped working

Fixed (Alpha15c) : All existing contraband was being lost after level load