“Prison Architect” is a project that many fans are still awaiting completion. The game has recently released its 11th alpha build, with more well on the way. The game has earned nearly $4 million to date in per-order sales and tier-funded promotions, and yet the product is still well into development. It is because so many months have passed since a colleague of mine last reported on its progress, that I am here to report the changes since last November. (Roughly since build four).Besides the immeasurable amount of bugs fixes standard to every update, we the consumers see a delightfully larger and more varied amount of content added with each build. Here are some major updates to catch everyone up to speed, and perhaps entice others to jump into the upcoming game.
- Players can now record the construction their prisons without an extra program such as Fraps or Camtasia. These videos are saved as ogg format videos and will be compatible with YouTube and Steam.
- Inmates can now take on jobs around the prison compound to help bring in cash-flow and help the player save some money. Inmates can work in the kitchens and workshops
- Prisoners will also now have a time counter for the remaining period of their sentences, and that counter will update so with every day.
- Hospital Hearses now drive dead bodies away when the Morgue is full.
- A Linux compatible download is now available for users, and will continue as apart of all updates..
- Prisoners are now highly personalized and name-specific. Players can also use the prisoner risk charts to further tell guards of specific inmates.
- Neighboring plots of land are now available for purchase when the compound has exceed the original largest space.
- Players can now hire the administrative “Lawyer” unit, but his purpose is yet to be implemented into the game. The Lawyer will cut the amount of penalty points inflicted upon the player for infractions. Much of this is still unknown.
I must admit I have not been playing this game from the original launch, or any other alpha build for that matter, but I can honestly say that Introversion has an ambitious idea that they are taking all the way to the bank. An excellent documentation of alpha builds,and a mixed bag additions keeps the dedicated gamers an ever-changing game-world on its way to a unique experience. Something many gamers would love to be apart of. A word to the wise save often.
There still are no menu screens besides the esc menu in-game. No campaign mode(s) or multiplayer options are available at this time. Starting up the most recent alpha build will always generate a blank plot of land to build on and ten thousand dollars starting cash; although strangely enough every game starts off by spending ten dollars on a food tray, that is nowhere to be seen. It is a small bug still lingering within the system that can go unnoticed for now.
Any player that is willing to give this game a try should play the introduction level as soon as possible to quickly learn about supplying power, water and food to their prisons properly. This introductory progression is also unique because it begins to divulge the narrative aspects of the game in what appears to be the first level of a story mode.
Every alpha build is released at the end of each month, which gives players about two weeks from now to be brought up to speed before anything new is available Players connected to the Steam Workshop and download and share maps with others in the meantime to experience the game from another perspective. Usually a very ornate and meticulously crafted one that shows the true power of the game indeed.