I decided to create a video showing off my Prison Architect prison and toss people a few tips on how I maintain it. It is the first really sustainable prison I have created and have just kept adding to it over time. It can serve 100 inmates and I no longer have issues with riots or much in the way of inmate fighting.

Let me know what you think and if what things have helped you out.

JaBo wrote on 10/15/2013 at 07:29pm

That's a good video. Dang, I learned some nice tips for my prison. The shakedowns was a good lesson and also the time management. I was having everything planned out. Like Sleep from 10-6, shower, eat, work, eat, yard, freetime, eat, sleep...and I like the way you laid it out there.

I bought a TV for each of my cells (I only have like 20ish) but not sure if that helped me much. I'm barely making money in mine so can't expand. Had a weird bug where my workers wouldn't build the workshop equipment. Well, I made 1 enclosure and split it 50/50 by workshop and laundry. No one would work in the workshop though. I couldn't even assign it. So I made a new enclosure and dissembled the worktable and saw, but then it sat in que to be moved to storage and never got moved. Maybe I didn't have space I dunno. But I had it que'd to replace them next door and it never happened. SO finally I dumped the crates of the 2 items and it finally recharged me $2k to build new items. That was my last 2k lol.

But ya, great video and great game.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 10/15/2013 at 07:52pm

Yeah, I basically cheated after my second failed prison with giving myself tons of cash by editing the save. Once I realized how to make people happy then I started over with a normal prison and funding and built something they liked. Took a bit, because Workshop is a later thing after you get a semi-profitable prison. That or the last thing I build.

That said, I may do a starting from scratch video too, would be fun to start over again anyway :D

JaBo wrote on 10/16/2013 at 04:02pm

So I started my new one last night, took me from about 11 to 1:45 to get to a good point. Spent my initial $90k on the prison and upgrades, and now I've got 27/28 prisoners and 3 workshop tables and saws. Everyone stays happy...the nightly shakedowns are super awesome....(I loaded my older file first and did a shakedown on there....wow, I found SO much stuff lol including so many tunnels! I found a tunnel that ran 15 spaces long....crazy).

The free time slots work great - it keeps them all pretty happy during the day. For some reason in my old prison, no one would work as cleaners...was weird, but luckily they do here. I had the prison closed for 3 days while constructing it and it got SUPER dirty everywhere. I hired 4 maintenance crew with like 12 hours before inmates showed up and I didn't have the budget to keep that much staff around.

There's still stuff I'm not sure on...like when should each type of door be used? I was using cell doors and large cell doors on a lot of places, but realized that bogs things down waiting for the guard to come unlock the door all the time. Then I saw you use regular doors for many things so I've tried that on most doors except offices (staff doors).

I'm also curious as to the difference in each level of inmate. You get $100 for a minimum and normal security inmate a day, haven't had high risk yet. And it does seem like the sentences for normal risk are longer, which leads to less releases. But I bet they are also more inclined to create problems in the prison (steal, attempt to escape, attack, riot). Will be fun to at some point get a large prison (on the larger map) and have different cell blocks for min, normal, high risk and see there's a noticeable difference.

This game is developed really well and I'm excited to see what they keep doing with it. It would be neat if later they add "disasters" like other Sim games have had and other random events. Like there could be an organized breakout attempt or they try to overthrow the prison and take control. Maybe a mafia breakout where a bunch of "guests" come in armed with weapons. Or you get different factions of prisoners and you have to be careful or the prisoners will attack and kill the other factions. Or prisoner hatred and abuse of different inmates based on their crimes or just because.

So much potential for this game.

Also, have you used the bookshelf yet? I think that's one item I have never placed lol.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 10/16/2013 at 04:30pm

"I'm also curious as to the difference in each level of inmate."

From what I have seen they don't seem any more or less problematic if they are happy. The release this is the only thing i've really noticed.

"There's still stuff I'm not sure on...like when should each type of door be used? I was using cell doors and large cell doors on a lot of places, but realized that bogs things down waiting for the guard to come unlock the door all the time. Then I saw you use regular doors for many things so I've tried that on most doors except offices (staff doors). "

So I secure the prison entrance and put a fence around the edge of the prison and its a good idea because fences are free right now in the game. Basically one major problem of a prison is bottlenecks, so if you only have one door guards must unlock at the entrance that cuts down on times people have to wait to bring stuff inside. I also station a guard on patrol to the left of the door so someone is always very close. Then for the other doors, I make them normal doors because I don't want bottlenecks. If you station enough guards around and outside the entrance with dogs, escapes are not a huge deal.

JaBo wrote on 10/16/2013 at 09:22pm

Free fencing is really nice hah. Maybe they haven't implemented difficulty through inmates yet. Have you had high risk prisoners?

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 10/16/2013 at 10:01pm

No I haven't, it kind of scares me to do that but maybe I should just bite the bullet, I could handle it if they were rowdy.

JaBo wrote on 10/18/2013 at 04:59pm

My prison is doing great thanks to your video. I've really copied many of your ideas. I had my first bad behavior last night. A prisoner destroyed a door to the laundry room and injured a guard. It followed the first night where I didn't do a shakedown. I was expanding my prison and they decided to move prisoners into my new wing before it was really ready...no plumbing, half lights...was a mess. I should have zoned it uninhabitable but figured the cell wouldnt get occupied until it met all requirements of a cell....but I was wrong.

So, I need my guards to unlock cell doors for my workers and couldn't perform a shakedown that night. I thought it would be fine.... Also, it was probably a stressful day in the prison with all the construction noise all night long and non-working toilets. Plus it's getting a tad overcrowded in the mess hall...working on that issue now too.

Luckily though, I am profiting and that's my only incident to date.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 10/18/2013 at 07:43pm

Nice, thats great to hear.

Even if the toilet and electricity isnt hooked up its still technically habitable. I ensure the last thing I do to finish up a cell block is put on the cell doors. The makes sure no one lives there until its finished.

JaBo wrote on 10/18/2013 at 11:19pm

Well, I was doing the doors 1st, but that's because I construct walls all around and the workers can't get into a sealed room lol.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 10/19/2013 at 12:28am

Right, more reason to do doors last :D

JaBo wrote on 10/21/2013 at 10:36pm

Have you used the CCT cameras? In the description it says 1 monitor per 6 cameras...it's actually only 1 per 3...and they are a bit difficult to set up. You need a card within a 3x3 grid in front of each monitor. I made a small security room that holds 4 monitors, a desk/chair (right in the middle of the small room) and a file cabinet. The monitors are 1x3 but they don't block access to the tile they are on...so my idiot guard paces the room and steps out of the range of the monitors sometimes disabling some. I wish he'd sit in the chair and monitor!

Another bug I keep getting involves dismantle. Sometimes when I dismantle an object, it gets put in storage, sometimes it bugs out and is in the queue to be moved to storage but never does. And so if I try to re-place that item, it won't do it and it won't buy a new one to place. So I end up losing money because I have to "dump" the item and then it repurchases one for the rebuild. Been having issue with my electrical wiring too where it doesn't want to build the wires as I tell it and skips one, possibly due to same bug.

Another weird feature is when building foundations to add on to existing buildings. It demands a door (but has to be an outside door) and sometimes it tears down the existing wall to merge the rooms....I don't like that lol. I was adding on to my cells and it removed the back-walls of a whole row of cells and merged it with my add-on empty foundation.

Going to get dog handlers tonight I think. I'm making decent money, still only have 42 prisoners right now though.

JaBo wrote on 10/21/2013 at 10:37pm


I don't see an "edit" option.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 10/22/2013 at 04:48am

I haven't used the CCTV stuff yet. It's an interesting feature I haven't seen a direct need for yet. I have guards doing rounds at the areas I want visibility on and then I add a dog patrol if I want even more. So yeah, haven't really seen a need for it yet.

I might just put it in to try it out for fun though at some point.

I've had problems laying wire down over certain kinds of walls. I haven't seen a pattern to it, sometimes I just have to go another way. It's pretty odd.

One bug I have seen is that occasionally certain prisoners that have needs all in the red, sometimes they get stuck on a bed or toilet. I have to dismantle the bed so they can move to start doing stuff. That's an odd one and it happens from time to time.

I have ran into that wall bug you describe. I am not sure how to avoid that. I either just end up rebuilding the wall OR not lining up a new building with an old one. But, usually just lose the cash and rebuild the wall.

JaBo wrote on 10/22/2013 at 04:48pm

Ya same for the wall thing. And I had a bug last night with a prisoner getting searched endlessly. They were stuck at a door with a metal detector and it wasn't finding the metal object, but he kept setting off the alarm and then getting searched. Not sure if it happened more than a few times I guess, but it seemed stuck in a loop. I fired the guard and hired a new one. Then the prisoner got searched again and found the weapon/tool.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 10/22/2013 at 05:45pm

Some people just aren't cut out for guard duty. :D

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