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Paradox Staff
Feb 20, 2024
CharliePryor will go through all you need to know about Career Mode in this tutorial.

⚠️ Please note: Gameplay in this video may be subject to change before the final release of the game

The Devs have some additional words to accompany this tutorial - read more about what the devs can tell us about Career Mode here below!

Hey, what’s up! It’s your friendly neighborhood Game Devs here, ready to talk (we love to talk) about a shiny new feature of Prison Architect 2. Buckle in, because we’re about to get down to business.

Feature Highlight #9 - Career Mode​

New Mode​

For all of the flexibility and freedom that the Sandbox Mode offers, for some people, it can bring out the dreaded ‘Blank Canvas’ problem: where do I start? What should I do next? Why is my prison full of dead bodies? Some people crave a gentle nudge, some structure, and multi-game progression. For these players, we have a shiny new Career Mode!


You can of course still play the sandbox mode you know and love (now with plenty of new control and customization), but with Career Mode, you can also take on the role of the corporate caretaker of your own prison company. Inspired by early Bullfrog management games our designers grew up with, Career Mode presents you with a world map and a series of Campaign scenarios to work your way through. It functions partly as a light-touch tutorial (no forced building, thank you very much!), but also sets out specific problems and challenges for you to work through.


Taking Care of Business​

On your world map, you’ll see the different Scenarios available for you to play. Mainline Scenarios will load you into an existing prison with a specific challenge to play. These scenarios will range from a brand-new prison in need of another cellblock to prisons dealing with staffing or misconduct issues, all the way up to stepping in to quell a full-scale riot. Either the CEO or a member of the facility’s staff will introduce each scenario to you, filling you in on what’s going wrong and giving you a target to aim for. Once you’ve completed a Campaign Scenario, you’ll receive a cash payout that goes straight to your Company Balance pot (which we’ll talk more about shortly).

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There are also option ‘bonus’ challenges to unlock. Much like Scenarios, you’ll be given an objective to reach and a cash payment for success, but this time you’re starting from scratch. You’ll load onto an empty plot, with a set of objectives to reach, and you’ll need to build your very own functioning prison to meet those requirements. Early challenge maps might be easy; simply build a cell block, and basic amenities, and intake a few inmates. Others may offer little gameplay twists, such as building a prison while receiving a constant daily intake of new inmates which you can’t cancel or delay.


Go Your Own Way​

And there’s plenty more to do in Career Mode! From the World Map you have access to your very own Headquarters building, from which you can spin up your own prison projects without the constriction of someone else’s rules. Simply jump into a blank plot and start building your dream lockup. Once you’re finished with it, you can sell that prison and receive a cut of the proceeds back to your Company Balance. It’s basically the free-building gameplay from standard Sandbox mode but offers you cross-prison progression through your Company Profile.


Oh and don’t worry; if you’ve sold your prison in Career Mode it’s not lost forever in Prison Architect 2. Prisons you sell will be moved over to your Sandbox mode saves, to continue to play, manage and expand as you wish.

Things Can Only Get Better​

So you’ve completed some Campaign Scenarios and sold your first prison- but what was it all for? This is where the ‘career’ part of the mode comes in. When you start off in Career Mode, you’re a simple Branch Manager. You only get a small percentage cut of your prison sales and you don’t have any employees outside of your prison staff. As your income grows, so will your job title. You’ll gain promotions based on your cumulative sales and Campaign payouts, which means a couple of things: the amount of money you receive from selling your own prisons increases, and you unlock additional corporate Departments to your prison company.


Departments provide a wide range of bonuses: anything from providing early Bureaucracy unlocks, gaining XP faster, to discounts on certain goods and services. These Department bonuses carry across all new prisons you build in Career Mode, meaning that by the time you’re a CEO, the team you have built can help you speed through the early stages of your prisons and quickly progress to larger lockups.

If I Had $1,000,000​

In Career Mode additional Departments cost money, and that’s taken from your company’s Balance pot, which you can see on the World Map. Once you’ve opened an Investments Department, you’ll also be able to spend your company balance on building new prisons. This means that you can throw an extra stack of cash straight into your next new prison (on top of the opening balance you’re given for free). This means you can build bigger and faster since you won’t need to slowly increase your funds with a small prison population or Contracts- you can just jump straight into constructing multi-floor prison blocks and go HAM employing as many Workers as you like!


Thanks as ever for listening. We’ve enjoyed reading your thoughts and ideas about the content we’ve shared so far, so keep them coming, and we can’t wait for you to be able to play yourselves (rather than just listening to us harp on about the game!). Please join us for our next article discussing more new additions to Prison Architect 2.

Prison Architect Dev Team

Next up: Second Live Stream and Riots
On Thursday 4th of April at 16:30 CEST /10:30am EST we host our second Prison Architect 2 Livestream! Join us as wecontinue with showing the game and answer some of your questions!

Hit the so you do not miss when we go live!

In next week's Prison Architect Academy CharliePryor will walk you through everything there is to know about Riots! Keep an eye on our platforms for the link to the premiere coming your way later this week.

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