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.

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Because some people probably want to read the news stories on the IndieDB site, I will write short summaries of our blog posts from

Posted by Prisonscape on Apr 9th, 2013

Here are some technical details about the technology and platforms used in Prisonscape: The game engine is custom written in Java with a few dependency libraries. As of now, the engine supports (among other stuff): 2D tile maps, player movement, collision detection, camera controls, Lua script integration (LuaJ), MP3 playback (JLayer) and UI functionality.

The engine is still a work in progress with lots of stuff in the development pipeline. The level editor is also written in Java with Swing driving the UI functionality.Why Java? Here’s a few reasons:

  • No manual memory management -> eliminates a certain class of bugs completely
  • Excellent multi-platform support -> can easily target multiple platforms at launch
  • Ecosystem which is both large and mature -> no need to reinvent the wheel
  • Improved Java Virtual Machine performance -> reasonable execution speeds for 2D gaming
  • Static typing -> programming errors are caught at compile time
  • Familiary with the language and platform -> optimal programmer productivity right from the start
  • Based on C -> easy to bring other programmers onboard

The popularity of Minecraft has also spread Java to a wider gaming audience which means that many of our potential customers will already have Java installed and updated. As for users with no Java installed, we will wrap the game with Launch4j so that the process of launching the game is smooth.Overall, Java is a great platform with excellent tools all of which enables me, the programmer, to maximize my productivity.

Java isn’t “perfect” but it gets the job done really well. I also have to say that Lua is fantastic. It was easy to integrate the language into the engine and start getting stuff done. Pekka has really enjoyed scripting the dialogue and NPC behavior using Lua. With script integration, the players can also make their own NPCs, quests, dialogs etc. when they get their hands on the game.As it was discussed in the introduction blog post, we will release Prisonscape on Windows, Mac and Linux.

We’re already doing testing on all of these platforms, and so far the game’s performance has been excellent. So, what’s coming next in the pipeline? A lot:

  • Custom paths for NPCs (level editor) and pathfinding
  • Improved audio support
  • Support for scripting events
  • Improved quest scripting
  • Improved combat screen
  • Lots more!

Well, that’s it for now. Stay tuned for more tech updates!

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Austiyn Apr 9 2013 says:

Oooh. I program with Java. :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
dtg108 Apr 10 2013 says:

Looks beautiful!

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dtg108 Apr 10 2013 says:

You should try to let the player break out!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Prisonscape Author
Prisonscape Apr 11 2013 replied:

We probably will. ;-)

+1 vote   reply to comment
dtg108 Apr 11 2013 replied:

That would be great, but It should be hard.

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