Prison Architect paid alpha released for good behaviour, new trailer and interview within

PC Gamer at

Introversion's gorgeous-looking sim Prison Architect is out now! Sort of. A range of Kickstarter-style rewards has been made available, with $30 getting you access to a current alpha of the game itself. The real question, of course, is whether this game is fit for a place among the law-abiding citizens of polite society. The answer to which is a lackadaisical “Probably not?” Not only is the alpha feature incomplete, it's also a bit buggy. The good news is, you'll be able to shape its development.

But why now? And what's their end goal with the game? A big ol' interview with Mark Morris and Chris Delay awaits you after the jump.

Introversion on why they're done with Darwinia

Tom Senior at

We had the chance to catch up with Introversion at Bit of Alright recently, to talk about their new project, Prison Architect, the fate of Subversion and their plans for the future. One thing's for sure, Darwinia won't be part of it. Creative director, Chris Delay and managing director Mark Morris told us how the company ended up working on one game for so long when, in the beginning, they set out determined to keep making new games every one or two years.

"We’d started it in 2002 and it didn’t ship until 2005" said creative director Chris Delay. "Then we had Multiwinia, which was 2008. And we had Darwinia+, which was 2010. So we’ve kind of been working on Darwinia for 10 years and it was never meant to be that big a project. To say that we were sick of it is an understatement."

One of the strengths of a small team of indie developers is their ability to throw up new ideas and change direction faster than large, publisher-funded studios. In Introversion's case, Darwinia's runaway success only slowed them down.

Introversion's Chris Delay on shifting from Subversion to Prison Architect: "I wanted to build Alcatraz"

Tom Senior at

One week ago, Introversion dramatically announced that they have shifted development away from their procedural bank-heist sim, Subversion to work a completely new game for submission to the Independent Games Festival. Their new game is called Prison Architect. It lets players construct and maintain high security prisons. We got in touch with Introversion's Chris Delay to find out why the team decided to put Subversion on hold, how they made the decision to drop a game that they've been working on for years, and what inspired them to make Prison Architect instead.

Introversion's new game is Prison Architect

Tom Senior at

Recently Introversion's Chris Delay announced that their emergent bank heist sim, Subversion was on hold, and that an entirely new project was in development for submission to this year's Independent Games Festival. They've just sent word that their next game will be called Prison Architect. As the title suggests, it's a game in which you “build and manage a maximum security prison.” The first screenshot, of sorts, is above. There's no more information just yet, but from the first image alone, it looks as though it has a different vibe to Introversion's traditional neon blue universes.

When Chris wrote about Introversion's new game in the IV blog, he said "I could see most of the core game design straight away. I could see how much of the tech that we’d designed for Subversion was directly applicable, if properly turned on its head." So instead of breaking into a high security building, we're stopping others from breaking out. Intriguing. We can't wait to see more.

Introversion submitting new game to IGF, Subversion on hold

Tom Senior at

Chris Delay of Introversion has just posted a surprising blog entry on the Introversion site. "A few hours ago I submitted Introversion’s latest game to the IGF 2012," he writes. "This game was NOT Subversion."

Subversion is the game that the creators of Uplink, Defcon and Darwinia have been working on for the last few years. They've shown tech demos here and there, revealing an incredibly ambitious project in which players must rob bank vaults in procedurally generated cities. It's gorgeous, exciting, and now on hold for the foreseeable future.

The future of indie

Craig Pearson at

Just look at Hawken. If ever there was a game that undermined the notion of what an independently developed project can achieve, it’s Adhesive Games’ mech shooter. Every bone in my body tells me a small studio should not be able to pull off such a gorgeous, robot-stomping shooter, but there it is, megabots hanging in the air, spitting rockets at each other across maps that look like they’ve come out of Epic or Valve.

But I’m getting used to indie games surprising me: freedom to create without interference from the men in suits is the reason their developers go into this murky, unfunded realm, trading security for the chance to follow their own path. Every developer in this list has taken the opportunity to make exactly what they want to make, using that freedom to create some startlingly original games that simply wouldn’t be made if they had a deadline to hit and had to justify every decision.

These games only exist because someone passionately wanted to bring them into the world, and it really, really shows.

Subversion's dramatic new audio

Graham Smith at

Subversion looks incredible. The Mission Impossible simulator from British indies Introversion has been in development for a long time, but it's now rapidly taking shape. Chris Delay has just updated his development blog with the twentieth report of the game's progress, highlighting the game's cool-looking dynamic audio system. Check below the fold for the latest video.