Early Thoughts about Prison Architect & Diablo Season Mode

//Early Thoughts about Prison Architect & Diablo Season Mode

Early Thoughts about Prison Architect & Diablo Season Mode

I recently got arguably the best humble bundle in years. One of the games in the list is Prison Architect. I’ve been interested in PA for sometime now but the asking price was far too high for an early release game. The story behind extortion level early release games is that it is to make sure that all the players are people with passion. Supposedly this gets you better feedback rather than 10 million posts of “Don’t work fix KTHNX!” I don’t know if any studies have supported this but I’ll admit as a customer it generally feels like a cash grab to me.

That said I got it for 10 dollars and it most certainly is worth that. I’d argue at this point that its probably worth between 15 and 20 dollars. Which means I strongly feel like I got more bang for my buck. I wonder though if I feel that way partially because I got it for 10 dollars. It’s a weird paradox. Similar to how I’m genuinely enjoying Destiny but many other people appear to be not liking it. I came into Destiny because I wanted a White PS4 and it was bundled with the White PS4. So for me it was just a nice bonus (admittedly you pay for it). That lack of visible financial attachment seems to paint my views on the experience in a much more positive light.

Prison Architect is one of the best simulations I’ve seen in possibly as much as a decade. It is up there with Dwarf Fortress (though a handful of notches beneath DF) in terms of quality and execution. My prisoners act in ways that I find believable and watching them live their little dopey lives is deeply satisfying. The art style in the game is just wonderful. I find it funny how often I am turning to games that visually would have been cutting edge 15 to 20 years ago.

Look at the wittle K9!

Look at the wittle K9!

Prisoners come in varying sizes, temperaments, and backgrounds. If you find yourself a bit bored, which is unlikely in this game, you can focus on a single character and watch their life unfold. Trying to get by day to day without being beaten by the guards, knifed by another inmate, or caught stealing booze into their prison cell. I run a tight ship and put everyone in solitary for any offense. If you are caught with contraband I have the guards search all your belongings which keeps the prison fairly clean and I’ve yet to have a single fatality on my present playthrough.

I say “present” because I left it running this weekend when we went to get groceries and I forgot to turn off incoming inmates. I came back to about 120 inmates butchering the entire prison. Corpses strewn everywhere, the prisoners that weren’t strong enough to defend themselves were left dead in the workshop. Nobody could escape because my door defenses were impenetrable. A zombie like horde of prisoners pushed against one another to get through the front door but none of them could. I ended up having a few hundred thousand dollars in extra cash so I spent it on a massive army of guards who came in and waged bloody battle against the inmates. It was incredible and strangely hilarious for such a brutal event.

That kind of silly moment. Finding humor in something so dark. It’s the power of Prison Architect. By the end of it you will find yourself attached to the inmates and I’ve done my best to reduce their chances of becoming repeat offenders to the maximum I can. I’ll discuss it more in a full review in the future but I’m quite happy I own this game. It’s a delightful time sink.


Liz and I completed the Season Mode of Diablo. Got our Level 70’s and unlocked the transmogs related. I’ve also gotten some absolutely awesome pieces of gear like my own personal treasure goblin that converts regular items into legendary items. He appears to have a respectable proc rate because I ended the day with quite a few oranges and a few greens that I’m not entirely certain were regular drops.

It was a lot of fun to run through Diablo 3 and the expansion again with her. She noted today that it feels a bit like playing Ragnarok which was one of the games that we connected in many years ago. I think Season Mode is a good idea. Giving people enjoyable and reasonable goals and rewarding them for reaching those goals. The game is certainly not for everyone just like many games but if it is your cup of tea this is certainly a good update.

I could be wrong but the drop rates feel much more generous in season mode. I was getting a fair amount of loot that made me pretty happy. It’s a nice mindless thing to do after a long hard day at work thinking. I look at Diablo 3 like I do slot machines. I get Diablo 3 but I can appreciate anyone who doesn’t. Just like I don’t get slot machines but millions of people really really get them. I appreciate that difference and accept it.

This sounds a bit like an apology for the game but it isn’t. What I’m trying to emphasize is that if you enjoy loot fests you’ll certainly enjoy season mode. Its structured nicely and gives you a good incentive to experience the game and relax. A bit like Destiny I would put Diablo into the category of “relaxation games”. Though at higher difficulties it can be an incredible face punch. There have been a few elites we’ve fought on expert mode that have been combinations of all the worst possible enemy buffs. Lasers, mortars, exploding mobs, walls and ice bombs. You get about two seconds to act before you are blown away like so much flotsam.

I don’t know if I’ll reciew Season Mode or just let it do its thing. As a preliminary I’d say its pretty fun. It’s alright or good. Somewhere in that butter zone. The game overall I’d still say is good or great for what it is. It does what it set out to do and does it, I think, quite well.

I…might have some more Disgaea 4 guides coming soon? Maybe. I’ve noticed a few more non-intuitive things that need covering but we’ll see. Thanks for visiting and have a nice day.

By | 2014-09-15T23:24:27+00:00 September 15th, 2014|Journal|Comments Off on Early Thoughts about Prison Architect & Diablo Season Mode