If you’ve ever watched Orange is the New Black, Wentworth, or Bad Girls, you’ll know that women’s prisons can be every bit as cruel and brutal as their male counterparts. Both must be challenging in their own ways, and Prison Architect’s new update hopes to simulate those differences.
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Introversion have just released a developer commentary video outlining the update, explaining that they aimed to go deeper than a simple palette swap.
Designer Chris Delay and producer Mark Morris go into detail about how they didn’t want to portray the game’s women as “one dimensional”, or an idealised male view of what women should be like in this situation.
“Simply changing the sprite back does not make a woman’s prison. We’ve had many conversations over the years about how we might sensitively do this,” says Morris.
The aim is to simulate their needs, strengths and weaknesses slightly differently to how male prisoners function in the game.
When a fight breaks out, women prisoners will have a physical disadvantage against male prison guards. Their family and hygiene needs are also much more important than they are for the smelly, uncaring men.
There are even family rooms and family cells where women are allowed to care for their babies, as they are in some prisons, and nurseries where the parents will eat with their kids.
This also clearly has a knock-on effect to your prison layout – it’s probably best not to give the general population access to the child-friendly wings, for example.