Running a prison from the comfort of your couch looks surprisingly easy.
Introversion Software shared today a first look at the console version of its hit prison simulator, Prison Architect, which is heading to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Xbox 360 this Spring. Double Eleven — also responsible for porting Goat Simulator to consoles — has taken charge of making Prison Architect work neatly with a gamepad and look great on a TV screen, which is a very different challenge to developing for PC.
Prison Architect is a great example of the power of early access, as Introversion sold over 1.25 million copies of the game while it was in development. That brought in $19M for the indie studio by September 2015 — a month before Prison Architect’s official PC launch.
Designer Chris Delay explained that Introversion previously had a bad experience porting its real-time strategy title Darwinia to console. He and producer Mark Morris were much happier giving this project over to an external studio, and they sound thrilled with how it’s turning out.
“It’s been amazing,” says Delay in the first look video (embedded below). “This build is far above anything we could have done ourselves.”
Double Eleven has reconsidered the game’s control scheme and its user interfaces, redesigning everything so it works on a TV screen and with a joypad. The video shows some neat little touches like fading the easily accessed new build menu out during construction, which makes the whole process feel more user-friendly.
Prison Architect will also feature a Prison Warden mode on console, where you can take control of a ready-built prison and add to it. That’s unlike the PC version where you’re typically building from scratch.
And with no access to Valve’s community-centric Steam Workshop for sharing prison designs, Prison Architect on console has a new World of Wardens mode that’ll do essentially the same thing.
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