Prison Architect: How to turn off staff needs

Help! The new Staff Needs feature in update-11 has completely broken by prison – and I’ve played for days trying to overcome the problems!

Does that sound like you? Yep, you’re not alone. Sometimes there’s nothing wrong with just giving up, especially when the bugs are outside of your control. Here’s a simple trick to backtrack the butt hurt and disable staff needs in your Prison Architect prison.

Firstly, make a backup of your .prison file. On Windows, game files should be stored in:

C:\Users\<Username>\AppData\Local\Introversion\Prison Architect\saves

If you’re using Mac, no idea, get a real computer.

Open your prison file in a text editor like Notepad or Notepad++. Towards the top of the file, find “StaffNeeds”.

Change the “true” to “false”. Save the file and load the prison again in Prison Architect.

If you want to enable it again later, follow the normal process of going through the Main Menu, Extras, Map Settings and click Enabled Staff Needs.

Start rant. I just want to add I’ve very disappointed in the efforts of Introvision on this new feature. Considering this feature was a Christmas present from the developers to players, Prison Architect simply has become a broken toy. Hope was in the air when a bug release appeared in Jan 2017, however, only one or two issues were fixed, leaving the magnitude of other issues (related to the staff needs feature) unresolved. Fair call, it was a beta build, but even their alpha builds have been less broken than this and the final update was still broken. End rant.


Prison Architect: Prisoners stuck “complaining”

Prisoners stand still, starve, cannot be interacted with while “complaining”.

I’m sure someone could make a joke about their wives here… but we won’t. I’m currently running the PC update-11f steam version of Prison Architect. I’ve noted a few prisoners standing still and starving. They also refuse to fulfil their needs.

I decided to take a look under the hood by opening the game prison save file. I found what appears to be a bug. See screenshot below:

I noticed that there were 10 instances of prisoners with a Needs Action of “Complain” where the others were “Complaining”. The pattern aligned with those prisoners that were stuck.

Firstly, please remember to take a backup before messing with your prison file. Using Notepad++ (though any text editor will do), I did a find and replace of “Complain ” with “Complaining ” which resolved it. Note: Yes, pay attention, that wasn’t an error. There is a space ( ) after “Complain ” and “Complaining “. If you don’t put the space in, every “Complaining” will become “Complaininging”.

I have logged a bug with the developer, though I doubt they’ll resolve it anytime soon, if at all. I hope this helps anyone else “stuck.”


Prison Architect: Top Tip to Relieve Congestion

Did you know: The speed at which your prison architect prisoners move around the map depends on the surface they’re walking on?

To relieve congestion on main thoroughfares (high traffic areas) ensure you take advantage of the 1.5 multiplier speed bonus on particular types of flooring. And areas where prisoners shouldn’t be could be slowed down with the 0.5 multiplier, giving your snipers extra time to shoot before escaping.

Below is an example of my prison architect prison. I was using the road surface on many critical paths around the jail. Now, prisoners arrive faster to patrol meetings, to meals, to the doctor, classes – meaning their needs are being fulfilled for seconds longer. Also, consider kitchens should use high-speed flooring so cooks can “fly” around the kitchen faster. Check out GamePressure’s comprehensive guide on surface speeds (towards the bottom).


Punkbuster 89335 Error Code Hell

ERROR Game disconnected: you were kicked by PunkBuster. Stated reason: PunkBuster kicked player 'Lostagent2' (for 0 minutes) ... RESTRICTION: Disallowed Program/Driver [89335]I’ve recently had some trouble with PunkBuster kicking me from Battlefield 4 after about 1.5 continuous rounds. Below is my error:

Game disconnected: you were kicked by PunkBuster. Stated reason: PunkBuster kicked player ‘Lostagent2’ (for 0 minutes) … RESTRICTION: Disallowed Program/Driver [89335]

In utter frustration I had tried all of the following:

  • Ignoring it and trying again
  • Complaining loudly
  • Google searching the error message (no results matching the error code)
  • Updated by graphics card drivers, rebooted
  • Upgraded the Origin client to the beta version in case it was out of date (somehow?), rebooted
  • Updated Punkbuster
  • Uninstalled Punkbuster
  • Installed Punkbuster
  • Uninstalled Punkbuster, rebooted
  • Installed Punkbuster, rebooted
  • Contacted EA support
    • Attempted to email EA support about a Punkbuster issue but their contact form for email doesn’t allow you to submit at the time of writing.
    • Contacted EA support via live chat
      • Waited 55 minutes to talk to someone
      • Connected to an agent. Emailed my problem and provided comprehensive logs. Was told I came to the wrong queue and was transferred.
      • Waited
      • Connected to an agent. Emailed my problem and provided comprehensive logs. Was told I came to the wrong queue AGAIN and was transferred.
      • Waited
      • Connected to an agent. Realised I had been transferred back to the first guy. Explained the problem to him again to which he replied “Oh that’s sad” – very helpful thank you…
      • He ran me through his usual troubleshooting script:
        • Checking the Windows firewall
        • Making an exception
        • Reinstalling Punkbuster (again, for the 4th time that night)
        • Updating Punkbuster (again)
        • We found that PnkBstrB was not installed, so we installed it. When I ran the test services in the wizard I saw the test process stop it and leave it stopped – so I assume it wasn’t necessary. Anyway.
      • I was told “Restart the game and origin and see if it works now”. I didn’t trust that it would be that simple though, so I asked him “can I stay on this chat?” to which he agreed.
      • I played 1.3 rounds of BF4 when he decided “I am sure the game is working now.” I insisted I had not yet proven that but he was keen to go.
      • Less than 5 minutes later, I was kicked from the game by Punkbuster. Problem not resolved.
      • Tried to join live chat again but queue time was > 1hr.
    • Contacted (Punkbuster) via a support request
    • Uninstalled Battlefield 4 from my computer, uninstalled Origin client
    • Kicked off a fresh install of BF4 and went to bed
    • Installed updates, played a game, 1.5 games later was kicked by Punkbuster.

As you can see, I went through a lot of time and frustration. Something miraculous finally happened though.

A whole 21 hours later I got this reply from EvenBalance support containing exactly the information I was after.

This kick is usually caused by one of the following programs running. Disabling them should stop the kick.

Auto Hot Key
Memory Cleaner
Ad Munch
Black Glass Enhanced

If you do not have any of these programs running, open this ticket back up and state what you do have running, especially anything that might be similar to the above.

Bingo! Weeks ago I had searched Google for a solution to quickly switch between my PC sound output (speakers and headset). In Windows 8.1, to change the playback output device, right mouse click on the sound icon, click Playback devices and change the default device and then the default communication device. Because I do this so often I looked to automate it. I found this solution recommend Auto Hot Key and a little script that mapped F6 and F7 to the switching function.

Anyone who knows me well can confirm that I hate people and the concepts of lying, cheating, deceiving and misleading. For this reason, it never crossed my mind at all that Auto Hot Key might be used to macro behaviour maliciously in Battlefield 4. I’ve since gone back to manually switching and uninstalled Auto Hot Key.


Battlefield 3 Error – PunkBuster kicked player. This PB Server Requred (A1386 C2.325) – Error loading pbcl

Are you getting this error when playing Battlefield 3 servers on PC?

PunkBuster kicked player Lostagent2. This PB Server Requred (A1386 C2.325) – Error loading pbcl

Annoying isn’t it? It seems to occur a few minutes into the game. It’s caused by an out of date Punkbuster client on the computer. Punkbuster is anti-cheating software bundled with games.

I was able to resolve this by following this article. I’ve summarised it below in case for some reason it gets removed.

  1. Download and install the PBSVC program from
  2. Run the program to remove punkbuster and clean it. It will remove any old version that might be problematic.
  3. Now download the latest version and run PBSetup.exe from
  4. Once installed and running, click Add a Game, select Battlefield 3 from the list.
  5. Now click Check for Updates until all updates have been applied. There may be a few updates to install.

Now you can restart BF3 and get pawning!

Worked beautifully for me.