Sooo… it REALLY helps to talk over your game design with other people, especially as a lone indie. I sit here
shivering in the small dark basement I program in sipping tea in my luxurious gilded office, and realize that I am alone in a bubble of game design where other peoples input goes unheard. So after a brief chat about the design with someone else, I’ve realized I need to make two changes to the simulation stuff:
Firstly, there is the topic of dilemmas. Dilemmas are a good mechanic because they are issues you cannot kick down the road. For example, there is an application to build a toxic waste dump. Do you say yay or nay? Saying yay obviously annoys environmentalists, but for how long? Right now… the answer is FOREVER. I now think this is wrong. I think it should decay over a long timescale, and also that dilemma should possibly be re-usable. if the player *wants* to play an endless game of D3, surely they shouldn’t ‘run out’ of dilemmas? This is a change that needs making.
Secondly, the current system has a negative effect on your popularity after an assassination attempt. This was because I wanted it to reflect how bad and unpopular your government was, implying that people who were on-the-fence about you, would see someone trying to kill you and go ‘oh Obama must be a fruitcake, look at those guys shooting at him’. I now think this is just WRONG. Surely the opposite is true? I might not like the UK prime minister, but would I like him less if someone tried to shoot him? Especially if I was a ‘floating voter’. I suspect the spirit of ‘rallying round the government’ would kick in, and maybe have a positive effect on your support.
That also has the positive effect that it is a nice self-balancing game mechanism, rather than the current spiral of failure. I’m pretty certain I’ll replace the impact with a slight, short-term popularity jump.