Prison Architect – Alpha 18 and The Reformation

PrisonArchitect_03

Introversion have released their latest build of Prison Architect, and it is a reformation. Seriously – puns aside this update is pretty massive.

Up until now, Prison Architect has been available as a playable Alpha, but there hasn’t been much by way of an end game yet. Alpha Build 18 changes that, bringing you prison reforms and education programs to help you help your prisoners reintegrate into society.

At the moment, there is only one reform program available to your inmates: the creepily named “Behavioural Therapy”. More programs will be released with future Alpha Builds, but for the time being this anger management course is your only option. For the meager cost of $200 per session, you can get your prison psychologist to work through your most dangerous prisoners’ anger problems. Not all inmates can or will be allowed to do this therapy; inmates are referred to the psychologist after violent clashes in the prison, for example after they have attacked a guard or destroyed their cell.

Not all prisoners are amenable to this program either; they have to be ready and willing. This ties into what was said in the Alpha 17 update, where suppressing your prisoners with armed guards will put them in a bad mood. After 5 sessions of therapy, your course is complete and “there is a chance that your prisoner will be reformed”. There are, however, no guarantees. If successful, your inmate will be less aggressive and get into less fights. More specifically, they can take a lot more negativity before they explode into a violent fit of rage. If unsuccessful, well… Unlucky, I guess?

The second major update in this areas is with regards to prison labor. From now on, your inmates must pass a basic safety induction to work in either your kitchen or your workshop. Originally, your new inmates could walk straight into the workshop and start pressing out license plates on their first day, so this patch serves to make life in your prison that much more realistic. There is also a new ‘Experience‘ tab added to your prisoner’s file, which not only shows what programs your inmate has completed, but it shows you general stats about your inmate. It shows you mood; whether they are being suppressed or not; how much time has been spent in lockdown, or in class, etc. Personally, this little summary is a nice touch, allowing you the realism to feel like a real prison warden, where you actually have files and data on each of your inmates.

The final addition in this area is prison education. You can now add a classroom to your prison to offer your prisoners a basic foundation education program – your basic reading and writing skills that would help them on the outside. True to form, Introversion has actually made class interesting. If you highlight a prisoner in class you can see how well your students are doing by checking their concentration, understanding, attendance and overall chance of passing. Once again, not all inmates will be willing to take part in all courses. Some prisoners prefer courses on skilled work like carpentry, and others prefer your more academic classes – it all depends on your inmate. Those who pass their voluntary carpentry course will be able to perform more difficult tasks in your workshop. These tasks include things like making a bed, which you can currently only sell $400. Future updates will have more uses for these objects, but for the time being it’s just a cash-grab.

While you cannot employ teachers directly, you can hire freelance teachers to come in from the outside world at $300 per session. This may seem a little steep considering that there are 10 sessions to this course, but just think of all the good you will do the 20 inmates in that class, and all the good it will do you when the inmates start churning out beds at $400 per item.

Finally, we have an update to the Armoury. You can now unlock body amour and tazers for your guards. At $100 per item, you can kit your regular guards out in body armor, which offer 50% protection in exchange for a 30% speed penalty. The tazers are available to your armed guards, and serve to provide a one-shot, non-lethal takedowns of your rioting prisoners. Previously, the armed guards could only play fisticuffs until you gave permission to use shotguns to the face. For now, you can even extend the tazer privildges to your normal guards and even your dog handlers to give your guards that little bit of an edge in a fight. This feature may be taken out at a later date, as “it may be game-breaking”, but for now, they’re there for you to play with.

As always, the full change log can be found here.

Nic Bunce

Nic Bunce

Editor
A South African born, London raised Brit living in London. Studied Microbiology at the University of Leicester, and taught English in Japan. Jack of all trades and Master of the Universe...
Nic Bunce

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Writer of some things, editor of all the things. MTG enthusiast and videogame journalist. My views are both highly amusing and often correct.
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