Prisonscape - a prison RPG, inspired by Chronos Trigger, Oz, The Wire; on Kickstarter


IndieDB Page

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.

  • Craft makeshift weapons and other useful items out of the stuff lying around the prison
  • Control the main character and his henchmen in grid and turn-based combat
  • Use special attacks and defenses from the "book of dirty tricks". These attacks and defenses are based on your character statistics and skills
  • Deal and/or use drugs which give you various bonuses and disadvantages (including addiction) in the game
  • Join a prison gang and start riots
  • Gain (and lose) reputation by doing jobs for other inmates and 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, literacy 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 better jobs, cigarettes and rec time (but don't get caught!)

On combat and weapons/drug use
On mission choices and options
On fighting and consequences

One possible mission:
In this job the Aryan Brotherhood leader wants you to help them take the kitchen back from the black inmates. For this, you have to do a series of miniquests and once you have completed enough of these, the kitchen administration will be handed to the whites. Some examples of doing this include:

- Create a rat problem by putting dead fish in the air ventilation of the kitchen. For this, you’ll need Intelligence & Agility stats, and Intimidation and Pick pocketing skills will also help with the task
- Spread rumours about the foul quality of the food. Uses Intelligence stat, and Intimidation skill might help a bit
- Bribe one the guards to let you in the kitchen and do some re-work on the refridgerator so that the food will we spoilt over night. You need some trade goods for bribing and Intelligence stat & Electronics skill for the sabotage. Haggling skill will give you a small bribery boost
- Beat up some of the sous-chefs so that the kitchen will be understaffed. Requires good fighting skills and Strength
- Bribe other inmates to complain about the food. Requires a LOT of trade goods


Official GAF Bottom Feeder
The chibi character sprites combined with the more realistic character screen portraits clash something fierce.


Lead Community Manager, Outpost Games
Portraits/UI look really nice and then the game looks like total ass. Oh well
Hahahaha. It's so funny. I thought the complete opposite way. Why are the portraits and UI so garishly modern looking while the gameplay is total pixel art awesomeness? I don't get the juxtaposition there.
I read an interview a while back with Chris Avellone where he talked about converting The Wire to an RPG.,39091/

AVC: You once said that a property you’d love to turn into a game is The Wire. And that’s a very pragmatic show. The decisions people make are rarely about doing the right thing. It’s more about risk, and cowardice.
CA: Do you put your ass on the line? And if you put your ass on the line, they show you the consequences of what happens, and they’re horrible. You understand exactly why the system is the way it is, and it just makes you sad.

AVC: It would be an interesting premise for a game.
CA: Well, you’d have a certain level of influence points, to trade for favors … I guess what fascinated me about The Wire was the slow, steady accumulation of police work to achieve a desired goal. And even once you achieve the goal, the amount of effort it takes to make that goal stick, if you can make that happen. But the way they did it was paced so well that I think you could actually do a game, just doing that slow, steady process of evidence accumulation, whether through the social-networking aspect, putting the leads out, having the surveillance teams positioned in certain areas. You only have x number of resources, and what will you do to get more resources to cover other areas?

AVC: Yeah. You lost the camera. What do you do now?
CA: Yeah, that’s some serious shit! And then the psychology of the guys comes into play. You don’t want McNulty anywhere near a bar during certain surveillance scenes, because you know what’s going to happen. They each have their own specific game mechanic disadvantages. You don’t want the druggie guy constantly picking up drugs or having loose cash available, because if he has that stuff, he’s bailing after the mission to buy more drugs. Juggling stuff like that seemed really interesting.
I would be much more interested in this concept if they weren't using boring pixel art for it. That style just screams "video game" which is the exact opposite of what I think this game is trying to convey.
Like half of all Kickstarter games are "inspired by" either Chrono Trigger or Dark Souls. It's really starting to get pretty tiresome.
Maybe cause they noticed that those two games get love on the GAF? I also find it irritating when Kickstarter devs namedrop other games, especially when their product does not appear to have any similarities to the referenced title.In the case of the alpha build of this game, it looks like inspiration was taken from SNES Final Fantasy games rather than Chrono Trigger (watch the battle portion).
Maybe I'm missing something but where is the Kickstarter link that people are referring to here? I don't think they are asking for money.. yet.

It looks like an interesting concept and prison stuff is definitely big now (especially since Orange is the New Black is really good). I'd wonder if they'd be able to fully realize what I imagine would be the complexity of a prison situation with the limitations of their budget and engine.
This is something that begs to be running on the ffxiv engine, not "I don't know how to draw and am too cheap to hire an artist" pixel art
To be fair, the character sheet screen and the title screen gif are actually really good which is why it's so jarring that the actual gameplay sprites and backgrounds look really...homebrew I guess is the word I'd use. It looks like it's using the RPG Maker engine.
OK what stat do we stack to avoid the butt humps?
Not a stat. an item. Sharpened toothbrush shank. If you get caught by a guard in a random encounter though, you get thrown in the hole for 10 turns. when you return to your cell, your item chest might have been raided by your cell mate, what and how much he steals will be dependent on your charisma and relationship with said cell mate.
I've been talking with my brother and we both agrred that it would be interesting if we got an rpg company that developed a big budget prison game.
I like the pixel art a lot. Yeah, it doesn't mesh exceptionally well with the character portraits, but overall I'm a fan of how it looks in the game. There's always gonna be room for pixel art in my eyes. And in regards to indies, I don't think it's fair to call it cheap or copping out. It's making the best of the resources and abilities you have. Not everyone has the bankroll to hire a professional artist for high resolution art.
They're the gold standard of past and present era console RPGs.
Well, that's part of the problem. Saying that you're inspired by two of the most influential games in your genre is kind of a given, like the director of a gangster movie saying he was influenced by The Godfather.

On the other hand, if you said you were influenced by something obscure or only moderately well received like Twinsen's Adventure or Koudelka, that would tell me a lot more about the creator.
Well, that's part of the problem. Saying that you're inspired by two of the most influential games in your genre is kind of a given, like the director of a gangster movie saying he was influenced by The Godfather.

On the other hand, if you said you were influenced by something obscure or only moderately well received like Twinsen's Adventure or Koudelka, that would tell me a lot more about the creator.
Yes maybe to you. But the general population or even someone like me who stumbled on their site? That's not going to mean anything. By citing certain games as influence, you instantly paint a picture in a person's mind.

For example, when I read a game is influenced by Dark Souls, I don't think "Oh, it's going to be a Gothic fantasy action RPG." I think that the game in question will be challenging, will have a focus on exploration and atmosphere, will have combat and gameplay where caution and playing defensively is important.

So by invoking the name of a popular game, a developer can easily and quickly give a player ideas of potential concepts and gameplay mechanics.