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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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Job journal Intro The warden's office
Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Progress, achievement and experience in Prisonscape

1 comment by Prisonscape on Aug 29th, 2014

I've been doing a lot of game testing on the current build of Prisonscape, and to be honest it feels kind of ... boring. For the longest time I thought this was just bad writing and uninteresting characters, but a while back I was reading Jesse Schell's wonderful "The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses" and particularly about achievement and progression in games. Then I realized it - Prisonscape has no sense of progression.

We recently started a pen and paper RPG sessions via IRC after a long, long pause. It brought back a lot of memories and also made me remember what made the gaming sessions so special (in addition to gathering with your friends and having fun): sense of achievement and progression. It was a great feeling once you finally achieved enough experience for a new level and could browse through all those books to see how your character changes. New powers! More hitpoints! New skills!

I tried to avoid doing the traditional experience/leveling system for Prisonscape before just for being original, but then it hit me: all these great games before use the same system over and over again because it's a pretty good system. Even when the player is stuck with the main story, they can do some side quests and get the sense of progression and achievement.

What I don't like with most experience-based systems is that they are mostly revolving around fighting. Fight monsters, get exp, find more monsters to fight, get more exp, repeat this until you are tough enough to fight bigger monsters. Especially JRPG games are guilty of this and in my opinion it reduces the actual roleplaying element of the game to a minimum.

Planescape: Torment had a nice system where most of the experience came actually from completing quests, but even this can be taken to another level - in Prisonscape you get experience from interacting, socializing, getting information, etc. Every time you learn something new about the place or it's inhabitants, you gain experience. Hear a juicy gossip? Get exp. Get someone to train you in a new skill? Exp. Make a successful skill throw? More exp. Not in big numbers, but doing enough will eventually amount you a level. Of course the main source of experience is completing jobs for other inmates/guards and fights will also give you fair amount of points. So, in short you get exp from:

* Fighting
* Socializing
* Completing jobs
* Gaining new information

So, what can you do with experience? Gaining enough experience grants you a level, and every time you gain a level, you can divide points to the main stats (Strength, Agility & Intelligence). Leveling up also increases your skill levels. See the image below for more detailed explanation.


Skills from top to bottom: Pickpocketing, Fighting, Literacy and Haggling. If the player gained a level, his Fighting skill would go up to the next skill level. So, what do you think?

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Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 68)
Tharky
Tharky Jun 24 2014, 2:10pm says:

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!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Prisonscape Creator
Prisonscape Jun 24 2014, 2:20pm replied:

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

+1 vote   reply to comment
CanofSodaGames
CanofSodaGames Jun 24 2014, 12:02am says:

Any chance of a release soon?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Prisonscape Creator
Prisonscape Jun 24 2014, 2:21pm replied:

Q1 of 2015 is our current release goal.

+2 votes   reply to comment
kai229
kai229 Jun 19 2014, 1:02am says:

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

+1 vote     reply to comment
kai229
kai229 Apr 11 2014, 8:50pm says:

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

+2 votes     reply to comment
Guest
Guest Apr 11 2014, 8:17pm says:

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mackchelsea
mackchelsea Apr 9 2014, 4:21am says:

this just looks amazing!!!

+3 votes     reply to comment
Spidercooce
Spidercooce Apr 6 2014, 11:13am says:

This game is gonna be great :D Can't wait for it to come out

+3 votes     reply to comment
kai229
kai229 Jan 20 2014, 11:39am says:

Yeah! The game is getting extremely excelent but you should be able to craft some stuff like for example an plastic toothbrush and you pick a a razor and you define an time like for example, this will take one hour, this will take 2 hours and such, and you could build your own shanks, also the game is looking very good and i love seeing your progress in the game

+3 votes     reply to comment
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Prisonscape
Platforms
Windows, Mac, Linux
Developed By
Prisonscape
Engine
Custom Built
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Official Page
Prisonscape.com
Release Date
TBD
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Style
Genre
Role Playing
Theme
Realism
Players
Single Player
Project
Indie
Twitter

Latest tweets from @prisonscape

@TinyPixelBlock @Monk_0 @PwnParrot Buy Prisonscape when it's ready! You can support us at the moment by kicking our ass back to work ;)

16hours 22mins ago

RT @Emberheartgames: Help me finish the game and get yourself a granted Steam Key. T.co #indiegame #crowdfunding http:…

17hours 17mins ago

For our new followers: if you're interested in prison culture, check out this Q&A with ex-con on our forums: T.co

20hours 21mins ago

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED T.co T.co

23hours 50mins ago

@fortunatelyacat @superguitarbros Can't go wrong if you start with Bloody Tears! Awesome, thanks.

23hours 52mins ago

This is still one of the coolest things on the Internet: T.co Castlevania music by @superguitarbros

23hours 56mins ago

@TrustinPlay I haven't seen any threats lately, after the Sarkeesian incident at the uni. I've seen some from the opposition, though.

Nov 28 2014, 3:54am

@TrustinPlay Can you give me some examples of this 'fogging'?

Nov 28 2014, 3:49am

@TrustinPlay But what do you think, has mainstream media reported on #GamerGate in a neutral way like investigative journalists should?

Nov 28 2014, 3:46am

@TrustinPlay I agree, it's good that Baldwin has stepped away from the limelight and is no longer with the movement.

Nov 28 2014, 3:45am

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Prisonscape
Prisonscape
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