Prison Architect's latest alpha update adds a feature I'm a little surprised wasn't around in the beginning. New arrivals to your correctional facility of
kindness and rehabilitation punishment and more punishment will now come with reputations that promise to shake up your prison in interesting ways. This is all part of an effort to stop jails from becoming things that can be run automatically, as noted in the accompanying patch notes. Introversion describe this update as "big shit" in the following video, and I'm inclined to agree.
Until now, Prison Architect has seemed fairly predictable in its systems, but Alpha 25 promises to add an element of, er, unpredictability to the prison sim. I'll let Introversion explain: "Alpha 25 was motivated by seeing prisons that just run themselves—and can even be left running overnight, without anything bad happening. This doesn't sit right with us, and running a prison shouldn't ever be something that can be done fully automatically".
To that end, prisoners now come with reps. Reps like Tough, Stoical, Ex Law and Fearless, and you can probably guess what effect these guys are going to have on your previously peaceful jail. Interestingly, only around half of these reputations will be known when prisoners arrive—to ascertain the behaviours of the other criminals, you'll need to rely on your informants. Here's the absolute best thing about reps, however: there's a chance you'll receive a "legendary" prisoner as one of your new inmates, someone with a "potent mix" of reputations that will make them especially dangerous and interesting.
There are a bunch of other, less exciting changes in the update notes—you can read the full list of changes here. You can also stick around for the following video, in which Introversion's Mark Morris and Chris Delay talk about the update for half-an-hour.