Prison Architect is a game that has had a very long and public development phase that is about to come to an end thanks to the announcement of Prison Architect version 1.0 and its launch this October.
The two main people behind this simple yet extremely fascinating game are Mark Morris as Producer and Chris Delay as Designer. Every month like clockwork they’ve released a new alpha version for the ones that bought one of the early access packs. The game has been on sale quite a few times already and this has been going on for a little over 35 months now. There have been exceptions due to “family addition”, where the fans had to wait an extra month for the next version as well as a new video each time.
And while the game is great, I have to admit that I’ve almost enjoyed the 50 minute long videos even more. Mark and Chris do a voice over the video where they show the new features and what else they’ve done, or as they describe it themselves: “Our audience expect a and ready, badly edited, long rambling discussions and bulls##t – and the occasional new feature.”
For now Alpha 35 is the newest version and this game has already come a long way from the very basic sandbox building game without many features and lots of bugs. It has become a very challenging game that can keep you occupied for hours and hours on end and I personally can highly recommend it, that is if you like building games.
Design and build your own prison, manage the finances and rehabilitation as well as all the prisoners needs, such as food, sleep, and hygiene. Deal with riots and catch escaping prisoners as well as gangs. Hire personal and create a beautiful place, or not. The choice is really yours, but you’re also the one that has to deal with what the prisoners do as a result of their treatment.
Prison Architect is truly a prime example on how early access should be handled. Create an almost working base and then continuously and regularly update with bug fixes and new features while you listen to your early backers and try to create the game that they really want. Well done guys, I for one can’t wait to get the “final” version to play.