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Prisonscape is an adventure/RPG game that is taking place in prison. The player needs to survive in this harsh and violent environment. Inside you have to deal with such things as constant assaults, creating and using weapons, interacting with other prisoners and learning the trade inside the jail. The player can develop his character to be, for example, a strong, tough fighter or an intelligent, charismatic manipulator.
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It's been a little over two years since we started making Prisonscape. Even though some of the main elements have remained, a lot has changed, too. Let's go through some of those changes! First of all, in our early blog posts we wanted to make a game very similar to Chrono Trigger in gameplay. A lot of people argued that the open world mechanics of CT wouldn't go very well with closed prison space and they were right. Me and Tuomas are both big fans of Chris Avellone's games and especially the Fallout series.

Eventually we started getting a lot of inspiration from them, including the tactical combat (more about it here, here, Prisonscape.com and here). Second thing we did pretty early in the development was simplifying the gaming mechanics - we reduced the amount of basic statistics to Strength, Agility and Intelligence (Fitness, Mental Health and Charisma were removed) because including all of these would've been too much work.

In the beginning, we also hadn't hired an artist. That's right, I was doing the art, and it really shows in this screenshot:

After that we hired David and the game looked immediately much better (and got tons of more attention from people, too!). With graphics, we learned the hard way when we used mismatching pixels for the UI - David drew these AMAZING UI's but we ended up scrapping them because they just looked... wrong because of the mismatching pixel size.


Previous UI with mismatching pixel size. It looks fantastic.


New UI. It looks fantastic, too.

Initially we also shunned the idea of experience and levels. But after thorough playtesting of the first area we noticed one very important thing about Prisonscape - it was boring as fuck. It had no sense of progression and it was basically a walk'n'talk simulation. Reputation and items didn't give enough sense of accomplishment while playing, so we decided to add the leveling system. There's a reason why it's used in almost all RPG's. I also changed the storyline a LOT. The first idea was that the game would consist of episodes or levels, so you would start in a minimum security, escape from there (easy) and eventually end up in max and try to do the same thing there. There was a LOT of branching, which would've been way too much work in the end.

Oh, and in the first design document we planned so that the player wouldn't see any of their stats, but just an indication of it ("you are in good shape"). We also reduced the number of gangs from 9 to 6. We also planned several minigames (rewiring the alarm system, playing domino's, etc.).

What have I learned during these short two years:
- Don't use mismatching pixel sizes!
- Even smaller tasks can take a lot of your time
- Working fulltime drains a lot from you and hinders the game development
- Don't be afraid to show your game to people, even the spoiler-y parts
- Start building your audience early on
- Also write some technical blog posts/reports, people are really interested in them
- You can't force writing dialogue. Sometimes you can't get shit done, even if you have all the time in the world

Happy new year, hopefully it is the year when you can finally play Prisonscape! ;-)

The Working Man - getting (and keeping) a job in Prisonscape

The Working Man - getting (and keeping) a job in Prisonscape

News 1 comment

In this blog post we go into more detail about how to get and keep a job in Prisonscape.

Progress, achievement and experience in Prisonscape

Progress, achievement and experience in Prisonscape

News 3 comments

This blog post tells all you need to know about the NEW experience system in Prisonscape.

Rendering in Prisonscape

Rendering in Prisonscape

News 3 comments

In this blog post we tell about the rendering engine of Prisonscape. We also tell about state of the alpha and other things.

Writing for Prisonscape

Writing for Prisonscape

News 2 comments

In this post we go through the writing process and story of Prisonscape.

Comments  (0 - 10 of 69)
LittleHelper
LittleHelper

So when is this coming out?

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TheRenegadist
TheRenegadist

Will the steam release include workshop support for custom maps, items, and quests? Also any chance of a full ingame editor for making jails, characters, and custom quests? Would be fun to make entire scenarios ingame!

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KPL
KPL

This is going to be a great game. Keep up the good work! :)

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Tharky
Tharky

I've been watching this game since the reddit post you guys have made. It was amazing and mind blowing. I always liked these kind of pixel art in games. I hope to see this game being a hit in the future and buy it when possible. You guys did an amazing job!

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Prisonscape Creator
Prisonscape

Thank you for the nice words! Stay tuned for future updates.

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CanofSodaGames
CanofSodaGames

Any chance of a release soon?

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Prisonscape Creator
Prisonscape

Q1 of 2015 is our current release goal.

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kai229
kai229

Hey friends! how are you guys doing? i hope you're still continuing with this, pretty great i gotta say :D

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kai229
kai229

Proud of your work guys, very great, hopefully i'll make a donation for you, good luck guys!

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Prisonscape
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Prisonscape
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Prisonscape.com
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Role Playing
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Latest tweets from @prisonscape

New Prisonscape blog post: Back to work, you lazy piece of shit Prisonscape.com

Apr 12 2016

We are looking for a talented artist who could work on finalizing the graphics for Prisonscape! We pay well for quality work. RT at will.

Apr 11 2016

No one cared who I was until I put on the mass.

Apr 11 2016

RT @RileyReidx3: How ironic is it that an anti-bully profile is shaming me for doing porn. #goodjob

Oct 14 2015

Could this be the best South Park season so far?

Oct 2 2015

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