Introversion’s #PrisonArchitect does building and managing a prison; Team 17’s The Escapists does escaping from prison; now small project Prisonscape is doing a role-playing adventure based on life inside a prison.
It’s retro-styled with SNES games #ChronoTrigger and #FinalFantasy6 in mind, and has a turn-based combat system, character progression, dialogue trees and factions. The aim is to recreate gritty prison life, extreme violence and all, although the cartoon graphics make it all seem rather absurd. There’s a twist of magic judging by the trailer, too.
- Craft makeshift weapons and other useful items out of the objects lying around the prison.
- Explore the prison and interact with over 80 NPCs each with their unique dialogue, background and personality.
- Grid-based, tactical combat: Control the main character and his henchmen in turn-based, tactical combat.
- Gain reputation and join a prison gang: Gain (or lose) reputation by doing jobs for other inmates and/or guards and join a gang and help take out their rivals.
- Special Abilities: Use unique attacks and defenses from the Book of Dirty Tricks, which are based on your character’s stats and skills or resort to drugs for various bonuses and disadvantages.
- Solve Problems: Find your way through obstacles with your intelligence, agility or strength. Jobs can also be solved in different ways
- Train: Study and train inside the prison to become proficient in many different skills, including fighting, literacy and pick-pocketing
- Be a Snitch: Snitch to the guards about other inmates to receive favors such as better jobs, cigarettes or more rec time (but don’t get caught!)
- Painful Defeat, Rewarding Victories: Lose all your precious contraband in cell shakedowns and steal valuable items from other inmates
Prisonscape is a PC, Mac and Linux game aiming for a December 2014 release, and wants your money on Kickstarter – $49,500 in total, which sounds like a lot. It’s raised $4558 at the time of writing and has 28 days to go. You can also vote on Greenlight!
One of those backers, incidentally, is Obsidian’s creative director Chris Avellone.
Prisonscape is made by a team of four, none with standout video gaming pasts, but with experience nonetheless.