• Register

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.
Image RSS Feed Latest Screens
Job journal Intro The warden's office
Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Oh, how things change!

6 comments by Prisonscape on Dec 27th, 2014

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! ;-)

Media RSS Feed Latest Video
Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 69)
KPL Jan 30 2015, 2:08am says:

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

+1 vote     reply to comment
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!

+3 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 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 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 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 Apr 11 2014, 8:17pm says:

This comment is currently awaiting admin approval, join now to view.

mackchelsea Apr 9 2014, 4:21am says:

this just looks amazing!!!

+3 votes     reply to comment
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
Post a Comment
click to sign in

You are not logged in, your comment will be anonymous unless you join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) which we encourage all contributors to do.

2000 characters limit; HTML formatting and smileys are not supported - text only

Windows, Mac, Linux
Developed By
Custom Built
Send Message
Official Page
Release Date
Game Watch
Track this game
Role Playing
Single Player

Latest tweets from @prisonscape

@Sparrowsjourney oh sorry about that, we try to reply everyone but sometimes we forget... I'll make sure you'll get the demo once we release

Mar 28 2015, 1:04pm

@Sparrowsjourney No ETA's yet, sorry. We want to the game as good as possible before giving it out to anyone.

Mar 28 2015, 12:44pm

COMBO. T.co #screenshotsaturday T.co

Mar 28 2015, 12:27pm

Can't wait to start playing Pillars of Eternity on Saturday!

Mar 26 2015, 2:57am

Had a blast at #Rezzed in London, thanks @tccoxon, @NerdOfGamers and bunch of other people! Now it's time to develop Prisonscape again.

Mar 18 2015, 3:57am

@ColinMcComb">.@ColinMcComb Haha who got the next finger, then? I was happy to hear you guys still pen&paper, is @ChrisAvellone">.@ChrisAvellone also playing with you?

Mar 15 2015, 7:30am

Great talk by @ColinMcComb on narration and storytelling in games at #Rezzed! Even got a chance to talk for a while. T.co

Mar 14 2015, 10:50am

This guy is a criminal mastermind. T.co

Mar 7 2015, 12:28pm

How the mighty fall. #screenshotsaturday T.co T.co

Mar 7 2015, 12:05pm

@KainYusanagi "Tower57 is the love child of Alien Breed and The Chaos Engine" and @cyangmou as artist... HYPED.

Mar 7 2015, 11:31am

Embed Buttons

Promote Prisonscape on your homepage or blog by selecting a button and using the embed code provided (more).

Last Update
3 months ago
379 members