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).