Frequently Asked Questions

We get a lot of repeated questions about features and story of Prisonscape, and because of that I decided to do this writeup and a small FAQ about this stuff.¬†From now on, we can just link to this post when people ask about these things, and it’s also a good reminder for us about all the features we have promised. ūüėČ

Who are working on the game (alphabetical order):

Core team

Pekka Kallioniemi (pekka.kallioniemi@uta.fi & Twitter), game design & mechanics
Tuomas Hynninen (tuomas.hynninen@gmail.com & Twitter), programming

Other members

Case Portman (Twitter), music
David Hammond (Twitter), graphics
Magnus Nygaard, SFX

Q: What is Prisonscape?

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A: 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.

Q: Why should I be interested?

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A: Here are some key features of Prisonscape that WE would find interesting in a game:

– Craft makeshift weapons out of the stuff lying around the prison
– Deal and/or use drugs
– Join a gang and start riots
– Gain (and lose) reputation by doing jobs for other inmates/guards
– Solve problems by using your intelligence and/or your muscles
– Study and train inside the prison to become proficient in many of the skills in Prisonscape, including fighting, reading and writing and pickpocketing
– Lose all your stuff in shakedowns or gain benefits and hindrances from various random events in the game
– Snitch to the guards about other inmates to get some nice bonuses such as cigarettes and phone tokens (but don’t get caught!)

Q: How far are you in the development? When can I play alpha/beta/final game?

A: We are currently working on a playable demo version of the first of the three chapters in the game. We are doing things in parallel so that Tuomas is coding the engine and the basic features of the game, I (Pekka) am writing the story, jobs (quests), characters, creating battle mechanics and roleplaying elements, David is working on the graphics and Case is doing the soundtrack. Our goal is to have the demo out this year and the final game will be released some time in the next year. We did our first early alpha gameplay video, check it out here.

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If you are interested in doing some alpha testing (for free, as we unfortunately can’t pay you), send us e-mail.

Q: It’s just Chrono Trigger in prison environment! (<- that’s not a question)

A: No, it’s not. Even though Chrono Trigger has inspired us a lot, PS differs from traditional JRPG’s in a way that there are a lot of more elements from old LucasArts/Sierra point’n’click adventure games. Items are not just used as weapons and boosts, and you actually have to make your weapons from the stuff that you collect around the prison. There are puzzles to be solved and there’s also a lot of emphasize on dialog and social relations between the player and other inmates and guards. The main story line is quite linear but there are often several ways of achieving things and completing jobs and we also have side stories that the player can complete if he wills.

Q: Is there harsh language and are there politically incorrect words used in the game?

A: Yes. In our opinion it is stupid to make a Disney version of prison game so the language will be pretty close to the stuff you hear on prison documentaries, Oz, etc. So, there will be genuine Paula Deen category foul mouthed buttery shit talk.

Q: Are the graphics/animations final?

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A: No. We will of course do a final polish on the graphics by adding light and shadow, small animations, etc. We will also polish animations by adding more keyframes and timing them better.

Q: Will there be Kickstarter/IndieGogo?

A: Maybe. It all depends on much we are able to fund the project by ourselves. The thing about doing a (succesful) campaign is that then we would be able to add a lot of additional material into¬†the game. This would mostly be more graphics in form of cutscenes and animations. We are not very eager to bring in any new features as they would just delay the release of the actual game. Our original intention was to make three different player character with different ethnicities, jobs and story lines but this would’ve just been too much work. With succesfully funded campaign we could make these as a free DLC that would be released (long) after the final game. So the additional funding we would get from the campaign would be used for graphics and maybe writing. We¬†both have full time jobs so we don’t really need any money for living costs, etc.

Q: Is there rape? Can I play as a trap? Can I sell myself to other inmates? Can you make it female prison?

 

A: There’s rape as part of the story, but the player character is not really involved. No, no and no.

Q: I make ‘Let’s play’ videos in Youtube. Can I make one about Prisonscape?

A: Sure. Send us e-mail or on Twitter and we’ll add you to our promo list. We’ll send the “press version” as soon we have something concrete on our hands.

Q: Have you had any press coverage?

A: Yes! We did an interview for Independent Gaming blog in March, you can find it here.
Also, we were mentioned in Indie Statik’s article “25 Indie Games Still to Come In 2013 That We’re Excited About”, you can find it here.

We should probably tell them that the game will be released in 2014, though…

The State of Play, part 2

After a short summer vacation, our whole team is back in business and we’ll be seeing a lot of progress in all aspects of the game in near future.¬†We finally finished our intro graphics, which I think turned out incredible. Don’t believe me? Check it out:

We also have some incredible songs for the game, and we’re currently doing theme songs for different gangs we have in the game. Case Portman has created a nice mixture of chiptunes and instruments and has perfectly captured the prison mood in his songs. We’ll provide some samples in our next post,¬†but you can already find some of his masterpieces in the first gameplay video found in the previous blog post!

In the coding department Tuomas will be concentrating on item handling and inventory. We’ve also started making first quests which turned out pretty interesting.Next we’ll start making a nicer looking user interface and finally get rid of the Final Fantasy ripoffs.

The story is also coming together nicely. We have a good variety of interesting inmates including gang members from Aryan Brotherhood, Black Guerrilla Family, Mexican Mafia and Nuestra Familia. We also have few inmates from Triad, a guy who was sentenced for pyramid scheme, a hacker who got sentenced for breaking into MIT network, a sadistic homosexual serial killer, famous rapper accused of sleeping with young girls, Italian-American escape artist and a Polish-Jewish  mercenary/contract killer.

Gameplay video

So, it has been a while since our last update. We’ve been enjoying the summer but also been working a bit. Here is the first official early alpha gameplay video for Prisonscape:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fx4jZVaTGw

Some notes:

– UI elements are ripped off straight from Final Fantasy games, but they are of course temporary. We’ll replace those with fancy ones once we get them done
– There are still a lot of missing animations and the other inmates are not really doing anything inside the prison. We want to put up some animations where the inmates walk around, talk to each other, etc. We’ll also polish some of the walking/fighting animations by adding frames
– The “job” done in the video is one of the most basic ones. In many cases jobs can be done in different ways, using different statistics and skills. We’ll show those in the upcoming gameplay videos