#Game: Prison Tycoon 4 #
#Author: Logan Pendragon #
#Systems Covered: PC #
Note: The newest version of this walkthrough can always be found at my
personal writing website: http://www.realmofwriting.com. That site is
always updated first, followed by Gamefaqs. You can find a variety of
other writing material from me as well. Occassionally there are even
walkthroughs there that have not yet been submitted to Gamefaqs.
=Table of Contents=
1) Table of Contents
2) Version History
3) General Information
4) Gameplay Information
B) Basic Advice
C) Hot Keys/Keyboard Shortcuts/Controls
6) Frequently Asked Questions
Version 3.0 – 03-04-12
– Minor cleanup through guide.
– Added a great deal of additional information, and some new sections as
– Added beginnings of an in-depth walkthrough section.
Version 2.6 – 06-06-10
– Updated contact information/submission information
Version 2.5 – 03-27-10
– Minor adjustments to contact information again.
– Reformatting slightly throughout the entire guide.
– Some general mispelling fixes.
Version 2.4 – 01-28-10
– Updated contact and site information throughout the entire walkthrough.
Version 2.0 – 07-14-09
– Reformatted walkthrough.
– Put new line markers in between each section to give the walkthrough
– Added a new sub-section under “Gameplay Information” called
“Hot Keys/Keyboard Shortcuts”.
Version 1.8 – 07-12-09
– Fixed up the header some (typos, and other problems)
– Added some stuff to the header
– Rewrote multiple sections.
Version 1.6 – 02-01-09
– New + Revised sections
– Spelling, Grammar, Rerformatting.
Version 1.3 – 01-24-09
– Added contribution section.
– Minor changes/fixes.
Version 1.3 – 12-31-08
– First major release.
I have a variety of hobbies. I play video games, read comics, program,
do IT related stuff, read fantasy/fiction/sci-fi stuff, write, and a few
other things. One of my hobbies involves writing walkthroughs, and
contributing various things online (like on Gamefaqs).
I generally play video games between 15-40 hours per week (atleast).
I also have an obsessive “Scholar” personality. I seek knowledge in all
forms with everything I do. I also get heavily involved in games and seek
to get a perfect game in every single game I play, no matter what the type
The typical population of gamers consider any game with “Tycoon” in the
title to instantly be a bad game. The reason behind this is based off
the fact that there are many (hundreds) of games with the name tycoon
in the title. Generally these games are put together very quickly and
in great number.
Very few of them are worth playing. However don’t assume that every game
that has “Tycoon” in the title means it’s a bad game. Most of them are
thrown together very quickly. However some of them are truly good. For
example Prison tycoon 1-4. The first one wasn’t great but it progressively
-has gotten better with each game and here we are with the 4th one. It is by
far a great game. However it is a good game, it is worth playing, and it’ll
keep you busy an average of 8+ hours. Maybe even as many as 20-25 if you
really do find something good to do with it. The free play is very open
and really let’s you feel some of what it’s like in a prison.
So it won’t win any game of the year awards and it probably won’t keep you
busy for an extended period of time…but however it will be a fun experience
and it is definitely worth playing.
There really isn’t a story. It’s considered a “Simulation” game and they
very rarely have much of a story if any. This one has really no story.
Basically you are simply the owner of a freestanding prison. It does not
officially say it but basically it’s like you are the owner of a private
prison. The government grants you a grant for a certain amount of money
which you use to buy whatever lot your prison will be built on as well as
some startup money (however much money you have). Basically your prison is
either empty at first (free play) or already partially built (Challenge
mode.) That is it. You start at “Low” security and you just have fun
building and running the prison.
Gameplay is handled via a tactical interface and a gameplay screen. The
tactical interface is used at the bottom of the screen which has all of
the commands, build options, map, and everything else. The purpose of the
game differs based off which situation you are playing in. There is free
play and challenge mode.
Free play mode is going to be pretty basic. The idea is to play how you want
to for fun. Basically the idea is going to be to get your security level to
max. It goes from “Low”, to “Med” to “High”, and finally “Max”. Each
different level of security unlocks new buildings, internal construction
options, and various other features.
Challenge mode works the same way as free play. Except you start off with
certain things already prepared in your prison as well as a certain set of
situations. Then you are given an objective (challenge) which you can
complete in order to continue on.
Those are the basics of the two modes of play.
Basically you always start off as a “low” security prison. Based off of
the amount of security related services the security level will rise. It
goes in the following order: “Low”, “Med”, “High”, “Max” and with each new
level you are given access to more and more buildings, functions, and
construction related concepts.
The first step to running a prison is to setup all of your basic compound
faciliites. I have listed out a basic structure to help you get started,
within the “Walkthrough” section of this guide.
When you have all the basic prison up and running start the timer. When you
get up to where you have some money build some stuff to get your security
level up to the next level. From that moment forward it is just about
raising your security level, upgrading the facilities, and building new
things that become available…all the while dealing with the prison issues
at hand (that are explained by your advisor’s during gameplay).
Hot Keys/Keyboard Shortcuts/Controls
Below are a list of currently know hotkeys and what they do:
| Hotkey | Description |
| B | Build Menu |
| 1 | Speed Change |
| 2 | Speed Change |
| 3 | Speed Change |
| f | Finance Menu |
| m | Map |
| n | Demolish |
Misc keyboard commands are listed below.
Right Click – Rotate currently selected item.
I have had some requests for additioanl feedback regarding how to get a
good start on this game. I have listed out a standard walkthrough to help
anyone get their prison off the ground to start with. You don’t have to
follow this guide exactly, and you’ll reach a certain point in the guide
where you have to start figuring out the next steps yourself. I am simply
listing out my steps on how to get a good prison up and running and how to
start building it eventually into a max security prison.
The first step, is to get the game started. Select New Game from the main
menu. It’s the menu option all the way to the left (Free Play). Once that is
selected, you are given a choice between 3 different prisons. The first one,
and second one are not as large as the big one. I generally like being able
to have a lot of room to mess around in, so I always start in the 3rd one,
although as I mentioned before one issue with the game is the lack of space.
Once your done selecting the third prison, your taken into the game at that
point. You start with nothing. No buildings, no furniture, no guards or
prisoners. Alright…so let’s get started.
I start doing the following: I pause the game. Go into build mode, and
setup the following buildings to start with:
1. Dormitory 1
2. Staff 1
3. Security 1
4. Low Security Tower (near Dormitory)
5. Factory 1
6. Yard 1
I generally use my own creativity to lay them out like I want. I normally
use the same pattern though, since it’s proven affective in the past. I
place my dormitory 1 near the entrance to the prison, a little bit to the
right. Beside that goes the guard tower, for some security. Then the
staff 1 forming around a circle, followed by the security 1 right beside it.
Then I continue into a circle where I place the factory, and finally the
yard directly in the middle of all of them. At the start of the game
the prisoners tend to hover around the yard, so I try to keep the buildings
in a circular pattern so it’s easier to keep all the prisoners in check, and
keep tabs on what they are doing.
That is generally all I setup at the beginning of the game in regards to
main external buildings. The next step is to work on the interior of these
buildings now, and get them all ready for action. Before I start doing that,
I generally setup a preliminary gate around all of my structures, surrounding
them and leave the area leading towards the main prison gate open. As I
continue to build stuff into the game over time, I will expand the game, and
eventually just leave it into a circular area around the entire main prison
area to serve as just a gate around the gate for added security to help
prevent people from getting out.
Let’s start adding interiors. First I click on the main prison entrance,
and add a visitor center. This is pretty important from the beginning as it
helps to keep the prisoners happy.
Afterwards I move onto the dormitory. I install a series of 5 “bed 2”
facilities within it. I always use the “bed 2” to save space (at least
most of the time). Once that’s setup I move from there to the staff 1
facility and install 1 of each thing that is available. Then I head over
to the security 1. Again, here I install one of each of the currently
available interior options. Afterwards head over to the factory and install
either one of them (at this point, which one does not matter).
Then finally, let’s visit the middle play yard area. Here just place down
some seating arrangements, a basketball court, and the workout area. The
main thing is to just fill the area up, and make sure there are some seating
arrangements, as a lot of prisoners will sometimes just sit around.
The final thing to do, is add one additional external facility, adn that is
the medical center. Technically this can be avoided for awhile, but I try
to place it down immediately so your not scrambling to add it in the event
that someone gets hurt. After that, the final facility we need right now
is the mess hall (these people have to eat). At this point your going to
start getting warning messages about funding and everything. It’s at all
possible to peace meal these additions but I find it a lot easier to get the
place started by just placing the things you need down to start with
and then continuing to expand as the need arises.
In the mess hall add a food counter, and 3 sets of tables. In the medical
facility, just install one of each that are currently available.
Now that is it. Right at the start you have the basis for a fully functional
low security prison. Sure there are a lot of things we can do to add onto it,
reconstruct it, and heighten security. But with the budget you are presented
with at the beginning, you have everything to get your prison off to a very
good start, and almost at the point where this walkthrough is going to end.
Officially this walk through is over. If you just wanted a stepping stone
to help you get started, then now is the point where you can quit reading
and start playing. If you continue reading I am going to go into additional
detail as I play through the game, and start working my way up through the
security ranks, along with how some of hte more advanced gameplay mechanics
work as they are introduced.
When all of that is done, simply unpause the game (at whatever speed you
feel comfortable) and just wait. You don’t have to do anything else special.
It can seem like a long wait, but just give it awhile and the prisoners
will start pouring in. Generally it can take anywhere from 1-5 hours game
time for them to appear, but they will start pouring through the front gate.
I will continue this walkthrough from this point in the next update.
=Frequently Asked Questions=
1) How are prisoner’s assigned a security level?
A: The game assigns there security level to either “Low”, “Med”, “High”, or
“Max”. The security level identifies how much of a security threat they are
to other people and the compound as a whole. The following factor determines
what the game set’s them too:
* There prison sentence
* How violent they are
* How many fights they get into
* What they got put in prison for (This is not shown to you unfortunately)
* How many times they have attacked a guard
* How many times they have tried to escape
* Their general personality traits (if their more violent by nature)
* Most importantly how many times they have been in jail.
2) How do you utilize the maximum security compound that you get on security
As listed in question number one I explained how the computer automatically
assigns a security level. Well basically if a prisoner is assigned a
security level of “max” then the computer does a check to see if you have
purchased a max security compound. If not then they assigned bed areas in
the highest security place you have. If you do then the prisoner’s are
automatically sent to the max security compound. They cannot be assigned
there unless the computer has assigned them as max security. Now that is how
the computer decides who goes to the compound or not. As for the compound
itself all you have to do is click on a guard on the map screen (same way
you assign prisoner’s to sleeping quarters and work stations) and assign a
guard to that max security prison. Then he will go out there whenever he
is on active guard duty and he will open the doors to let them out in the
courtyard of the max compound as well as feed them there food for the day.
He will repeat this action everyday so affectively this compound takes care
of itself. If you do not assign the guard then after awhile the prisoner(s)
3) What is the death row compound for and how do you use it?
A) I have completed my own of research on this. I have found that some
max security inmates automatically end up being assigned to death row. At
first I thought this would mean there sentence of death would be carried
out. However they just sit there….and sit there…and when there sentence
runs out they just come up for parole again. I have all three types of
death penalty devices installed into the same compound plus enough cells to
hold 4-5 prisoners. I do not think the act of putting a prisoner to death
or them getting put to death is in the game…perhaps it’s just another
area for storage of prisoners who are..”High” threat. If anyone has ever
had any occurence of a prisoner being put to death in anyway using the
death row facility please let me know all the details.
4) Escape attempts…what are they and how do I deal with them?
A) Basically it happens randomly (generally the first prisoner to make
the escape route is one that was unhappy). So far the only way I saw for
them to escape was using a tunnel. In order to cover the tunnel use a guard
and have them walk over to it and click on it and they will cover it up.
If there are watch towers around the areas where the prisoners try to get
away then chances are they will be shot (and in most situations killed) if
not then once the first prisoner get’s away more of them swarm and try to get
out using the same methods…get a guard there as soon as possible. As far
as I know a tunnel is the only method they can use to escape..and as far as
I know they only create a tunnel if one of the prisoner’s get’s angry enough
or unhappy enough (and sometimes this’ll happen no matter what you do).
5) Facilities and things not working…why?
A) Man..this was a tricky one. I had a pretty decent sized prison. It was
really big actually. I had gotten up to max security. I was in the first
freeplay map. I went ahead and built me a max security prison area as well
as death row since I had just got them unlocked. They worked fine for a long
time then I did some work and found out that it wasn’t working anymore. I was
getting super-mad at the game thinking it was a glitch. A few years went by
and I noticed NONE of my max security prisoners where using there max area
and also that the place was getting super dirty (the max-pen facility was
down to 0% clean). So…I got one of the cleaners and manually told them
to go and I watched them and they got near the area to go up and stopped..
they turned around and went to do something else. I noticed I had a security
office there and that’s where he stopped. I tore it down and built it
somewhere else and then suddenly tons of prisoner’s started heading toward
the max pen not to mention 6-7 janitor’s to finish up the jobs that I had
qued over there 4 years earlier. So the issue was if you build something
and don’t watch where you build it..it might prevent people from getting
into the building and it might potentially keep them from passing into an
entire section of the prison.
6) How do you rotate furniture?
A) You can rotate the currently selected item, furniture, or building by
clicking the right mouse button.
7) How do you place Laundry or Mail room into the factory. I keep trying but
it always shows it as red?
A) You have to first rotate it so the open part is facing northward. You can
learn to rotate by reviewing the controls section, or question #6. Once
rotated into the proper location, you have to move it down to the lower part
of the factory, and when you get it into the right position, it’ll turn
8. How can you get the prisoners to come, they never seem to come?
A) After your done setting up your prison, just give it some time. It can
be anywhere from 3-6 hours worth of game time for it to start sending
prisoners to you, so just be patient and give it time. Once you have
the basic buildings in place (mostly places for them to stay) then will start
appearing after a set period of time.
In this section I explain what I think are some of the negative aspects of
the game. Things that I think greatly detract from the games overall value.
Lack Of Space
The first is obviously lack of building space. Not only have I seen these
complaints all over the internet but I have also realized this myself.
When you get “really” addicted and you have a max security prison and are
ready to start expanding and getting new facilities you find you are severely
limited on space. If you get to where you might potentially want to continue
playing there will become a point (due to lack of room) where there is
nothing you can do (whatsoever) except for monitoring what is already there..
..Well this is a problem.
How to solve this problem do you ask. You can only solve it within certain
limitations. Basically…..2 words: Pre-Planning, and Reconstruction.
Before you start you need to survey all of the buildings…you need to build
in a cohesive manner and organize things very carefully. That will only get
you so far. Aside from that you are going to need to work towards
reconstructing things as needed. There will be a lot of times where you need
to tear down a few older buildings for newer buildings. Upgrade things. I
normally for standard buildings, switch Old Building for new each time. Until
a specific building I end up needing two of and I try to get the two upgraded
buildings of whatever type so they can hold more. I also try to centralize
them into there own areas (except me personally I try to keep the death row
and max pen seperate from the rest of the facility).
Here is another example to overcome this issue. You can do some things..like
sacrifice some comfort for more room. If you get “Dormitory 2” and use the
“2 bed set” item to setup about 8 different sets. So that is 2 prisoners
per set..16 prisoners for one “Dormitory 2”. If you do this over 2-3 times
you have tons of room. I basically have 2 “Dormitory 2” then one of the
cells so I can have some “2 person” rooms for medium security and high
security prisoners. If you don’t have those then the higher security
prisoner’s cause more problems…they need to be in housing that is the same
level or so as there current status or they get upset. If they are in high
then they get mad easier if they are only medium or less security threat. But
if your careful then just 3-4 standard buildings can get you to near 100
potential prisoners. Same thing with the Mess Hall 2. If you setup Mess Hall
2 you can have the food producer 3 system which will take over say the
left wall then have about 4 tables of the largest size…you’ll never have to
worry about eating size again and you can do it all in ONE mess hall without
having to make 2-3 different mess-halls. It all takes planning to be able
to get the space needed. Same with the part. If you have the lowest level
part and your on medium security destroy it and make the second “bigger”
part and load it down with stuff. Then when you get the third tear down the
second one and rebuild it with the larger model…this prevents you from
keeping 3-4 of the same building/structure that is not needed in most
There are some buildings that are going to need more than 1 complex. Like
security building..to have more stuff. Same thing with the admin complex
and especially having staffing quarters in there or if you get too many
staff members they will be pissed that they have no place to sleep.
Send all contributions to my video game email address located at
Contact me about any of the following:
5) Questions about any other game ever created, for any system.
abailey – Contributed questions #6 and 7, as well as gave me feedback on some
new additions to the walkthrough.
M0D3RNCH3MIST – Gave me a lot of feedback regarding the walkthrough, and
mentioned some requests for more information.
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