Prison Architect's latest alpha adds a feature the Introversion's wanted to include since day one: executions.
The update adds the ability to build an execution chamber, a death row cellblock to house the condemned, and a new legal system to determine when a prisoner is legally allowed to be killed.
The team’s wanted to include executions since day one but, until now, the game wasn’t ready. “It was very important to both of us that death row wasn’t frivolous,” producer Mark Morris says in the update’s video:
“We didn’t want to see a factory execution system where every prisoner was on death row,” adds lead developer Chris Delay. “It’s not realistic […] death row inmates are on death row for decades before the execution goes ahead. It would be extremely bad taste to make the mechanics open to do such a thing.”
Introversion’s made execution a complex and involved process, as you can see in the patch notes. You need to hire a lawyer, build specialist cells, and the execution chamber itself. There’s also an entire appeals process.
Each condemned prisoner has a chance of the state reducing their sentence or finding them innocent. That chance of clemency decreases every time the prisoner fails an appeal, eventually falling to zero.
When a prisoner’s clemency percentage falls below 5%, the state approved limit, you can execute a prison without being held accountable if he’s later found innocent.
The execution schedule focuses all your attention on this virtual man’s last moments: you must put your prison into lockdown, test the chamber, and assemble the witnesses before throwing the switch.
If you do everything right you’re paid $10,000. However, if the prisoner’s lawyers find he would have received clemency you’re fined $50,000. Three infractions and it’s game over.
Clearly this is a feature which will court controversy but it looks like Introversion's done a lot of work to imply the weight of the action. Your prison essentially shuts down when you're performing an execution, focussing all your attention on the process.
Alpha 31's already live so you can try out the update on your prison right now.