Prison Architect
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GD Recreation Yard

Theme hospital with execution chambers would well describe Introversion’s next game, but thats not all. I want to draw your attention to the fact that Introversion are renowned Indie developers who can compete with any of the industry heavyweights when it comes to make an enjoyable game, due to their consistent attention to gameplay and gamer fun.

What would probably best describe this approach is that the game Subversion was the original project and one that had been shelved a number of times by Chris Delay, a founder and developer of Introversion Software, for not actually being fun. Subversion was a bank heist game and the clever mechanics Introversion had developed were not lending themselves to anything more than a formulaic routine of bypassing guards and cameras. While on a trip to Alcatraz, Chris realised that what would be fun is to approach the concept from the other direction. Instead of trying to get in to something the player would actually be on the side of keeping people from getting out, like in a prison. And so despite years of development on Subversion the game was switched to Prison Architect.

As we talked to Introversion we watched as the prison was being built by the player. New sleeping, eating and recreational areas were being selected and placed around a prison yard to accommodate the growing prison populace as they went about their daily routine. The game feels like it has a very manageable pace to it, giving players a chance to understand the implications of each piece of the prison puzzle. Inmate population, guard routes, crowd control and all the management principles of daily prison life look likely to find their way into this simulation.

There will be a story mode as well as an open sandbox mode. Story mode will follow a series of scenarios where the main man in charge of the prison system, known only as the CEO, will set the player with a task, something like – We have a newly convicted criminal that is on Death’s Row and you, the Warden, must build areas and an execution chamber in your prison to accommodate this inmate. Apparently not all the challenges are quite as, disturbing.

Prison Architect System Requirements - Predicted                                                                             

This game is not going to challenge modern computers. We were advised that it is likely to run on all computers released in the past few years and we felt that although the game has not been optimised yet you could get this to play on something as long in the tooth as the mighty Nvidia 8800 Series, a low end Dual Core Duo and a couple of gigs of ram without any problems. Of course we will update with more info closer to the time.

Although the game we got our hands on looked to have a lot of the background logic in place we were still advised that there is no release period given for Prison Architect yet. They are looking to reach an Alpha phase by the end of the year and we would suspect sometime in late 2013.

Placing Prison Cells