Introversion Software has released the Alpha 6 update for prison simulator Prison Architect.
"This update has taken quite a bit longer than usual and we've made some pretty fundamental changes to the internal workings of our prisoners,"designer Chris Delay and producer Mark Morris wrote in a note to press. "In fact we've probably totally broken the game."
Changes include the addition of a prisoner category that reflects their risk level. Maximum security prisoners are the most dangerous, and minimum security prisons the most in danger. Normal are, well, normal. Normal for Prison Architect anyway. Prisoners now have a past, including convictions and sentences.
"It's important to realise that their security category is just an estimate based on their conviction," Introversion said. "Some prisoners may well be innocent of their crimes (if they pleaded Not Guilty this is recorded in their rap sheet, but of course that can't always be relied on), whilst other prisoners may be much more dangerous than their conviction would suggest."
There's a new video explaining the new features below.
"This is such a sweeping change that I suspect the whole game will be deeply unbalanced for a while," Delay warned on the Introversion forum.
"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)."
Delay said that eventually there will be a Prisoner Pipeline, with new prisoners arriving, searched, medically examined then categorised before being 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."