My list of things that could be fixed/improved by Paradox devs.

My list of things that could be fixed/improved by Paradox devs.

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Jan 9, 2019
  • Prison Architect
  • Prison Architect: Psych Ward
I am writing this as someone experienced who spent some time in the game and followed the development since early alpha builds.
This isn't going to be a post where I request some huge, cool features - Okay, there will be one or two but the main thing I want to focus on are bugs, small annoying issues, modding help and quality of life tweaks that could be done by Paradox.

Let's start with bugs first.

  • Staff taking breaks everywhere. With staff needs enabled guards and other staff must eat and use a toilet - and they do, but everywhere. They will pick random chair to sit that is in shared or staff-only zone and go there eat. They pee and take a dump in solitaries as well (if there's a toilet and zone marked as staff-only).
    • They also pick random rooms/chairs/toilets where they should use the closest one instead of wasting time.
  • Injured prisoners and staff should be taken to the closest infirmary that has free beds.
    • Doctors should do these tasks more often than they do them right now. You will see other guards taking injured people rather than docs that just idle.
    • Example: Prisoner overdosed. He will be taken by a guard that's not the closest one. Nurses and doctors will be chilling in the infirmary and waiting instead (in some cases).
  • Evict button disappears and remain ON after evicting is successful. It should be turned off and up to player when to turn it on again:
  • K-9 unit has "K-9" on their uniform mirrored even tho there's a correct sprite in the files (but not used). I remember Chris talking about it in one of their vids and I think it was (about to be) fixed?? - but is not.
    I think there's just wrong rotateType but not sure.
  • It happens sometimes that Parole Officer and lawyer go to the room that's already being used for parole and do the parole hearing from there when prisoner is in the other room.
  • Guards trying to open shut down/locked doors. It happens sometimes that they will queue that task and keep failing on it. And no, there's no any other job to do in the locked room/area on the other side.
  • Not really a bug but.. Snow could be more optimized somehow. No idea if possible but there is a small FPS drop when snow particles start appearing on the ground.
Tweaks and quality of life changes
  • Search cell ability after selecting light placed in the cell. Make it so light is not being searched but has "search cell" option? The reason for this is that you very often click on light trying to select something else that might be or might not be under the lamp, on the same tile.
  • Search all toilets button. Console version has it if I well remember, PC does not. We can search all toilets in the cell block. Sometimes you would want to have more than 3-4 cell blocks and selecting the toilets in all the 20 blocks for example and clicking search toilet every time is just pain in the ass.
  • Make it so we can clone utilities. It was requested many times. I remember Chris talking about it as well but yea.. If you build a symmetrical prison or where huge parts of it are the same, cloning would be awesome.
  • Selecting guards and staff is.. retarded. You can select them all by selecting an area with your mouse but.. After telling them to go somewhere they unselect. Make it so we have to left click to unselect them and add hold shift for multiple move orders as well.
    • Selecting multiple doctors does not work at all. Prolly the same with janitors etc. Make it so double clicking on one selects all of them in visible area and add the same thing as suggested for guards up there ^
  • You can prioritize jobs, build orders etc with Left Ctrl + LMB. If you do that on objects that you want to be searched faster, all the guards will move there even those operating CCTVs and door control systems. This leads to workers, cooks etc. being stuck on door and not being able to see the areas of your prison where you have cams only. (Now, I know you could get more guards etc. but there's a huge chance that they would go search prioritized objects as well, leaving the whole block not being watched.
    • Solution? Make it so operating door control systems and CCTV monitors job is always more important.
  • Selecting one of the multiple objects placed on the same tile. Door should be selected first, over the objects like drain, light, door servo etc.
    • If you have all of these placed on the same tile, you can hold tab and left click to switch between them but it takes time and in most cases we just want to open the door. I am pretty sure it selects drain first over the jail door because it's based on alphabetical order. All door types should have the priority.
  • Shadows... Shadows on door, gates. How ugly? Plz rate. These should be removed or maybe re-done - with proper size and maybe higher opacity?
  • Add a property for objects with shadows, simple "properties: hasShadow"? Would help with modding stuff as well.
  • More emergency as your prison grow. Talking about riot police squads (3), medics (2) and fire brigades(2).
    • If you have a prison like I do where gangs have 50+, 80+ members - 3 squads of riot police are not enough sometimes. We should have an option to expand how many squads we can call in. Maybe through bureaucracy and research programs, available after you hit X prisoners?
      It's easy to change how many you can call in through modding but still..
  • Windows position - talking about UI windows such as clock, status bar on top with balance, guards, prisoners etc. You can move them anywhere you want but it does not save it's position which makes this feature kinda useless.
  • A big one - MUTATORS aka troll options.
    • There's so many people on reddit, discord server, steam forums having problems with them. Basically, they enable extra traits which sounds cool and all right? But they do not know that these features were created for fun rather than being balanced additions to the game. Enabling extra traits for example adds pickpockets and escape artists that are super overpowered and most of the players have no idea that they will ruin their prisons with that crap.
      People want prisoners to do a little bit more and these traits just sounds perfect but as I said, it leads to this:
    • Solution: Well. Mutators are supposed to be like this but escape artists and pickpockets sound cool and could be balanced and added as a part of the game that could be enabled the same way as escape plans, gangs etc.
    • If not that ^, then add a warning pop up when enabling these so people know.
  • Gang members should chill together more often, especially in the canteen and on the yard. They should sit next to each other and walk around in packs (they do that when planning some action, should be more than just that).
  • Door servos should be place-able on perimeter walls.
  • Sometimes people avoid door servos and CCTVs. Basically, there's a property DontAvoid which makes people to ignore and walk through objects. It sometimes does not work with CCTVs and door servos.
    • CCTV has DontAvoid property but is still avoided in some cases and door servo does not have it, so easy to fix.
  • Informants not always being taken to the closest security room. Would be great to take a look into that.
  • Searching block could have the same UI as Shakedown, but smaller where we can see all the items that have been found.
  • Add a possibility to deselect/exclude items/objects that should be searched when shakedown is on. If you do Search Block, all the objects in the block are marked to be searched but you can right click on them to cancel searching. Shakedown should have the same option as there are some parts in the prison such as storage room that you might not want to be searched.
  • I don't want to start any huge debate about this but in my opinion tree farming should be nerfed, slightly but it should. I know that forestry require a lot of space, time, saplings costs, workers waste their time etc. etc. - still, it should be nerfed just a little bit. Make trees grow 1 day longer, wood sell cost lower by a little bit, have not checked but by 50$ or something? I am pretty sure there could be something done with this.
  • Canceling construction/installing objects with right click when you just want to right click on door to open them. Another annoying thing that happened to many of us I guess.
    • It happens very often when building a new section/building. You want them to build a jail door, door servo and some cables. Everything on the same tile and then... Your workers placed the door but are stuck now as there's no one to open the door. You want to be quick so you rightclick to open.. And boom, door servo and cable canceled.No idea if this would be easy to fix. Maybe changing canceling with just RMB to Left Ctrl + RMB?
Small additions
  • Air conditioner (there's a mod for that I think but anyways..). We have winters and we have radiators. We have summers with super hot days and... windows which are not always enough. Air conditioners would be a nice addition overall.
  • Serving table with alternative version where it can be placed in the wall, similarly to shop front.
    • For now we could place the serving tables instead of the wall between the canteen and kitchen but that gives prisoners an easy way in and out so they can steal whatever they want from the kitchen.
  • Add a damn effect for electric chair. If we execute prisoners, they just die. There could be some sparks or something, I don't know... Anything.
  • IMPORTANT ONE: Warn players when enabling old/outdated mods. This is another big thing that should be added. Make it so the game checks when was the last update for the mod and warn a player if it's more than 60 days (?). Manifest.txt file has Date "--/--/----" so it should be easy. The thing worth to mention is that this field is not required so people should be warned if no date is specified as well.
  • Player's custom zones - deployment update and feature that would fix a lot of issues and problems.
    • What if we could mark a zone, paint over some tiles, select a few rooms, an area whatever we want with some tool and name it as "Block1". Then we could have extra options in context menus such as "Search Block1 toilets", "Search Block1", "Lockdown Block1"?
      I think it would be a great feature.
Modding improvements
  • Properties: Door
    • Expand this to NormalDoor, StaffDoor, JailDoor. If you want to mod a door using only that property, they can be opened by all staff but no prisoners if I remember correctly and modding some advanced door, that would work like jail doors for example (opened by guards only) is impossible without using scripts.
  • hasShadows property mentioned somewhere above please.

  • A BIG ONE: Something that IV devs did wrong / never fixed / finished.
    Currently, we can mod any objects we want and put sprites into sprite.png file. It can be 1024x1024px if I well remember so it's basically a lot of space for everything we need. And even if we run out of the space, we can make another mod and add sprite.png there.
    Every mod reads it's own sprites.png so there's no any problems with compatibility between the mods etc.

    The problem starts when we want to mod a new floor or wall type. Sprites for that can be added only to the tileset.png which is the file used by the game and which contains all the ingame wall/floor types.
    The way to mod our own floor/wall is by spriting it in the empty spaces in tileset.png. There's not so much space left in there so at some point we run out of it and can't do anything anymore.
    You may think we could do the same as with objects and sprites.png but nope!
    In this case we can not make another mod with tileset.png because the game uses only one tileset.png from the mod that is prioritized (on the top of your acive mods list). This makes sprites for the other mods that use tileset.png broken/incompatible.
    The devs and modders will know what I am talking about and I am pretty sure it's possible to fix it. So please, do so.
Bigger features
  • Guard ranks - similar mechanics to gangs.
  • Escape mode multiplayer
    I am writing this as someone who does not like the current multiplayer (maybe not that but I just prefer to design everything my way (everything planned in my head) and don't like when someone else messes it up.
    Multiplayer support for escape mode would be just great. I think this is something that would bring more people to the game and would make people like me to try it out.
    There's a problem tho. It must be improved as the current state is far from perfect. The reputation system and skipping punishments is one of the main problems in my opinion. It's too easy and for multiplayer it should be re-worked completetly, not exactly know how.
    Most of the prisons is just bad or the mechanics in that mode are just stupid so it's too easy to do some huge damage.
    Once you start mass killing, the game, staff becomes so busy that everything stops working and takes ages to fix, return back to normal.
  • Road expanding feature
    I think this is another thing that does not require that much of work. When expanding the map, we could have an option where the game would ask us if we want another road to be generated on expanded area. Game would send trucks on new roads based on the distance the supplies have to travel once they are unloaded. So for example, if there's a kitchen closer to the road on the left, food supplies would arrive on the left side. Simple.
    The problem is with top and bottom. This would require new, rotated sprites for all the vehicles but it's pretty much just that.
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