Prison Architect

Prison Architect Alpha6 update lets you know who to watch

Phil Savage at

Introversion have released a new build of Prison Architect, implementing a categorisation system to let you know who's naughty and who's not quite as naughty. But still pretty naughty in the grand scheme of things. This is a prison, after all.

Coloured uniforms have been introduced to mark a prisoner's risk level, with grey signifying low, yellow for medium, and red for "grade A bat-shit lunatic". While this lets you house the most violence-prone inmates in a separate wing of your prison, Introversion's Chris Delay explains that there's some nuance to how the system works.

"As in life, prisoners are sometimes mis-classified and we thought it would be cool to have some doubt about whether a prisoner really is as dangerous as he first seems," Delay writes on the update's forum page.

"To achieve this we have implemented an internal "traits" system of which you have no visibility. These traits determine if a prisoner is violent, or murderous, or destructive, or all of the above and more. They determine how the prisoner behaves when he is angry or when a fight breaks out nearby. This system is totally internal and you never get to access it, so the only way to really see whether you have a pussy-cat or a Bane is to watch how they behave."

While traits are the determining factor of an inmate's behaviour, it's their rap sheet that decides their risk classification. Every prisoner now has a criminal history, but just because an inmate has been prosecuted doesn't mean they're actually guilty.

"A Prisoner who has been convicted of Murder may have pleaded Not-guilty and may, in fact, by innocent of the crime. This poor soul would pose no threat, and a miscarriage of justice has caused him to be surrounded by thugs and murderers - he would rapidly become a target and if you don't notice."

Currently there's no way to reclassify prisoners, but Delay notes that the feature is incoming as part of the inmates' journey from incarceration to parole.

You can read the full patch notes here, and buy the game from the Prison Architect website.