KO! aka the second part of fighting mechanics in Prisonscape

In the last part we started going through some of the fighting mechanics in Prisonscape. This time we’ll talk about weapons, items and drugs and how they can be used in fights.

Sitting in your cell for 23 hours a day and only working with limited resources, it is a well-known fact that inmates have an endless capacity for invention. Every little item can
become an ingredient for a deadly weapon, and there is a constant cat and mouse game between inmates and guards in finding this illegal contraband. These weapons can give you the needed edge in important fights in the game. There are three different type of weapons in Prisonscape: piercing, slashing and bludgeoning weapons and their durability and effectiveness is based on your crafting skill, agility and intelligence. Once you get better at making weapons, they’ll become sharper, more durable and easier to hide.

Of course there is always a risk in carrying a weapon. Shakedowns are constant and if the guards find you carrying one, to the hole you go. Sometimes it might even affect your reputation, as shivving enemies without weapons might make you an aggressive lunatic in the eyes of other inmates, which causes them to attack you with more often wielding deadly weapons.

To make weapons you’ll have to find the materials inside the prison. This can be anything from a sharpened bed spring, razor blade melt into a toothbrush to metal bar unscrewed from the wall. Telephone books can become a handy body armour and once you get a hold of some chemicals you can even make explosives! The process of creating these items borrows heavily from old classic adventure games where you have to find and combine items from your surroundings. If you don’t feel like looking for these items and trying to come up with the right item combinations, you can always buy some weapons from your gang mates with a high price.

Other items you can use in fights are drugs. Just like makeshift weapons replace the swords and axes of traditional JRPG genre, drugs replace potions, ethers and phoenix down’s (well, not really the last one) of these games. For example, taking amphetamine increases your motor performance and energy (affects your hit-% and HP), but if taken in large doses may cause aggressiveness (-defense) and even heart failure (-strength permanently and a trip to the infirmary). Taking fentanyl makes almost all of the pain go away (+HP, +sanity), but also makes the player confused and drowsy (-hit, -defense).

Using drugs can also cause addiction. Every time you take another dose your chance of getting hooked increases. The more you take, the harder the withdrawal. In withdrawal, all of your statistics and skills are drastically lowered and training becomes impossible. If the guards test you for drugs (random event) they might send you to the hole and after that to the NA meetings which take away your training time altogether.

2 thoughts on “KO! aka the second part of fighting mechanics in Prisonscape

  1. I’ve been following the development of your game through Screenshot Saturday for a couple of months. When I first heard about it, I was totally not interested. I thought “an RPG in prison, that sounds so limiting”. Then one time you posted the amazing artwork for your intro scene (http://www.prisonscape.com/?p=356) and I thought “wow, this looks incredible, I’m going to follow this more carefully just so I can see more of this beautiful artwork”.

    Now I’m always looking so much forward to your updates because I’ve fallen in love with the rest of the game (not only artwork!). It’s amazing how you take a simple idea that sounds pretty limiting (to me at least) and build around it in a way that makes so much sense and sounds so exciting. I can’t wait to explore this game when you finally release it.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Hey man, thanks for the feedback! As you noted, the limitations of the prison environment have been pretty challenging to work around. Originally we tried to go for a more simulation or realistic type of a game, but even on paper we thought it was pretty boring. So we scrapped most of the realistic (boring) stuff and started working in entertaining and fun gameplay elements. In the end, I think a solid combination of story, adventure and RPG elements should make Prisonscape an excellent game.

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