Category Archives: democracy3

Lets say I wanted to introduce the concept of spin, and media campaigning into a political strategy game (hypothetically).

I put to you the following conjectures:

  1. There is an extent to which everybody is influenced in making their political decisions by their perceptions of the candidate as produced by ‘spun’ media stunts and the extent to which they are exposed to political campaign literature and advertising.
  2. The extent to which that influence takes hold of an individual is higher if that individual is of low education than if they are of high education
  3. There is a correlation between income and education, with regards to the individual.

Now I am talking about the greater STATISTICAL model here. I am not saying that all rich people are well educated, that ll poor people are badly educated, or that all well-educated people are like spock and can see through the spin, whereas all poorly educated people are gullible fools who swallow party-propaganda without question. There are MANY MANY exceptions, of course. What I am asking you is this… is there a correlation (maybe a weak one, affecting maybe 10% of the vote) in these values?

This would seem to suggest that its not nonsense to correlate the level of socio-economic status of an individual with their political awareness…

spso_0006_0167_1

So is it not fair to suggest therefore a link between an individuals income and their level of political awareness? And as income affects education, should overall education not be a factor?

To put things in more crude terms, here are some yes/no questions:

A) If we spent a lot more on education in any given country, would that increase the extent to which people made informed decisions on political policies rather than voted for trivial/superficial reasons?

B) Is it easier to get votes from poor people using political ads and spin than it is to get votes from rich people using the same methods?

Be VERY careful. Almost everyone thinks ads don’t affect them, and they are all wrong, but I suggest that if the ONLY information you have about the policies of (for example) Clinton or Trump is from political ads, then you are more swayed by such techniques, whereas if you read 3 different serious newspapers, watch different TV news stations and are well-educated on the topics of politics and economics, are you not better placed to overcome the effects of those ads with your own internal thoughts?

Basically if I add a correlation between the susceptibility of voters to electioneering and their income, and skew all of this by the countries state of education, is that a fair link to make? or is it elitist bollocks? :D  I need your opinions. Supporting studies and charts are vastly interesting too!

 

 

Yikes. the last few weeks and months have been INSANE. I have been doing too much stuff, to the extend that I put back one project (a big one) to next YEAR, and put the thing I was coding on hold, just to take care of Shadowhand, Democracy 3:Africa and the Big Pharma:Marketing & Malpractice DLC. Plus I have another TOP SECRET thing that I’m publishing in the works (announcing that soon actually…).

But now things are not QUITE so totally insane. Democracy 3:Africa has shipped!. Its selling quite well, technically slightly better than I had projected. It has not broken even yet, but you shouldn’t really expect that within a month, or even 3 months really. If this was a new car or a wind farm, I’d expect to break even in a matter of years, not weeks, so I’m not going to worry about that for now.

We also shipped the Big Pharma:Marketing & Malpractice DLC, which is just totally AWESOME and you should give it a try. Thats also selling well, very well in fact, so that’s good news. As a result of shipping those two games, I am back to a normal, rather than insane, level of intense overwork.

So right now my focus is on a patch for Democracy 3:Africa (balance tweaks mostly), and the website for Shadowhand, which is nearly there. I hate over-complex CSS so I’m doing it myself to keep it simple, its nearly done and the code is really clean and simple, which means easy to edit. We aren’t making a song and dance about the website yet, but we will be promoting Shadowhand a lot more closer to its release in a few months time. Starting Monday, I’ll be returning to the thing I was working on before all this madness, which involves me coding again (yay!) and designing again (yay!) and I’ll be announcing what that is in a few weeks. I’m determined to really take my time with that project…

shadow

So in this slight lull in the insanity I have found time to do a few much needed things. I bought a new PC. I am on windows 10 now which I hate, but I bought stardocks app to return sanity to the start menu. Apparently Object Dock no longer works with Windows 10, so I’m hilariously using an app that runs the windows vista sidebar widgets on windows 10. How can Microsoft suck so much? In other news, I bought a cool gaming headset with built in mic, which will make skype & video blog recording easier, although so far the mic seems kinda noisy. I also bought Ashes of the Singularity, which is a fairly conventional RTS, but holy crap it looks nice, and I’m already a bit addicted. I bought a clamp/bracket for my exercise bike so I can play mindless casual games on my ipad whilst getting fit… and I bought ‘The Blu‘ for my Vive, which has the most STUNNING visuals you can imagine. If you have £2,500 spare (yeah I know…) BUY a new PC with a 980TI (nothing less), BUY a VIVE, and get it. It will blow your mind.

blu

Right, I have gardens to strim and website CSS to wrestle with.

Yes it’s true. Positech has some polish news. Oh yes. We have teamed up with CDP.PL to distribute polish copies of both Big Pharma and Democracy 3. Evidence can be found below (Actually boxed copies are AMAZEBALLS).

box1

box2
Coool huh? Plus CDP have done some amazing thing with democracy 3 that includes polish scenarios and other cool stuff. They have really gone the extra mile. Plus they have put up with my dumb ineptitude of having not coded the engine in unicode and all the HELL that has resulted from this mayhem… Here is a box with some stuff…

box3

So yeah…I don’t normally work with retail publishers because some total bastards really screwed me over once and I am still annoyed about it, but CDP seem really cool. Also, as a result Democracy 3 on steam is now also available in polish. I know the way it all works is a mess, we will eventually fix this to be like Democracy 3 Africa with a simple drop-down box to select language but thats all in the future. And if you aren’t excited enough already, here is a youtube video with Tim talking about the incredibly cool new Big Pharma expansion pack thats coming VERY soon:

So…I’m a white guy from England. You can see a picture of me on the right there. I grew up in London in the 1970s and early 1980s. Racism was a thing, for sure. We had TV programmes that i remember watching such as ‘the black and white minstrel show‘. That was on prime time TV. We also had ‘love thy neighbour‘ a ‘hilarious comedy’ about what happens when a non-white neighbor moves in next door. To quote from wikipedia:

He is even more annoyed when Bill gets a job at the same factory as he has, and refers to him as a “nig-nog”, “Sambo”, “choc-ice” or “King Kong”. He also has a tendency to call Chinese, Pakistanis or Indians names like “Fu Manchu“, “Gunga Din” and “Ali Baba“.

love

Thats the world I grew up in.

Luckily, that world isn’t here any more. I think Britain has come a long long way in this regard. I remember the guy who everyone knew as ‘the black newsreader’ because that was such a big deal. Recently BBC Radio 4 got a Jamaican continuity announcer and hardly anyone even noticed. If you watch ‘Life on mars’ and ‘Ashes to Ashes’, you see the world I grew up in, and its striking how different it seems to the world today regarding both sexism and racism.

So I thought here we all were in a wonderful modern non racist society and I could make a game about African Politics and the worst thing that could happen would be people not being interested.

But no! In fact the worst thing that can happen is spending a lot of time deleting, blocking, banning and reporting racist abuse on twitter, facebook and the steam forums (to name just 3). I’m not exactly a cosseted middle class liberal who has never seen online (or real world) harassment. I used to be a boat-builder and bridge builder. I was just surprised at home many people could, in the year 2016, go out of their way to tell me that the solution to all Africas problems would be ‘rule of the white man’ or that ‘they are all savages and rapists anyway’ and so on, and so on. I guess so far, so normal stupid internet abuse, albeit with a particularly offensive nature. The other thing that shocked me, and was arguable more interesting was the skewed world view…

It seemed to me (mostly from the time of day when such comments appeared) that a lot of North Americans have a complete warped idea of what Africa is like. The assumption from a large swathe of the comments I’ve seen is that no African states have Democracy, that there are no functioning economies there, that basically the whole continent is kept afloat by foreign aid, and that at least half the continent is constantly at war, or raping or beheading their neighbors. The most popular comment was ‘Democracy, Africa, pick one! LOL’.

Now of course, I’m not the one to point out that the USA is currently pitting a guy who inherited millions of dollars and is best known as a reality TV star against the wife of a previous president in a two-party race which they call ‘Democracy’ and possibly is in too glass a house to throw stones. I do have some understanding of why people have this point of view, and here it is.

This is Russia:

russia

This is Iran:

iran

This is Japan:

japanExcept obviously thats all bollocks isn’t it? This is the media ‘image’ that we get fed, and used as the ‘shorthand’ for those countries. I have not visited any of them, and in my mind, Japan really is full of Samurai soldiers guarding cherry blossom while geisha girls sing karaoke. Thats laughable, about as laughable as assuming because I’m English, I live here:

downton

Ok, TBH I do live there, but that isn’t the point. To turn it on its head and show the American ‘shorthand’ its probably this:

usa

Which again, we can all laugh about. The thing to remember is that ALL of these are simplifications, exaggerations and caricatures. And that means SO IS THIS:

aidBut in some parts of the world we forget that.

The population of Africa is 1.1 Billion people. It contains 54 sovereign states. I can’t even name them all, and we just made a game about 10 of them. The idea that all 54 states can be summed up in the same image, or the same way is laughable. If I said people in Chicago probably all wear sombreros and eat quesadillas, you’d say ‘hold on thats Mexico’, but thats about as daft as lumping South Africa in with Egypt, or Mauritius.

Its similarly dumb to discount African democracy. take a look at the ratio of Female to male politicians for one thing. You will find Senegal, South Africa and Rwanda all rank above both the UK and the USA. To look closer at South Africa, it has higher voter turnout that both the UK and USA. In terms of economics South Africa has a lower budget deficit that the USA, the USA’s total debt is 65% higher as a proportion as GDP than South Africa. Total crime rate in the USA is 4 times higher than South Africa. SA has 34% more cellphones per 1,000 people than the USA…etc etc. Obviously I’m cherry picking, but the idea that everyone in Africa sits in a tent waiting for an aid package to arrive is bullshit, and yet it persists.

So TL;DR: USA, your media gives you a very, very skewed opinion of the one billion people living in Africa. Do some research. Do not accept stereotypes as facts, just as you don’t expect us to see you all as obese, flag waving, hummer driving, gun-toting cliches. I would write more on this topic, but Carson informs me that tea is served in the drawing room, and I do enjoy those cucumber sandwiches.

Holy crap I am so tired…and the stressful bit has only just started. Now we get all the tech support queries, and the stress about whether or not people like it, and the ARGHHHHH. And that comes after me and Jeff were both up scarily late panicking about the weirdest bug imaginable before we finally found it and uploaded the final builds at about 1AM, only for me to discover installer issues and other silliness that meant re-uploading it all again in a panic this morning. ARGHHHH.

But now…Democracy 3 africa is on sale. YAY!

apple_image

You can get it from the humble store, by humble widget or from steam. GoG will come tomorrow. Its PC/OSX, and its in English French and German. If you have Democracy 3 already, and any of the DLC, that DLC will magically (crosses fingers) work with Democracy 3:Africa. You don’t need to buy it again. D3:Africa is an EXPANDALONE! Meaning you do not need D3 to play it, or buy it.

Sheesh. I leave you with quill18s first lets play of the game. There are many many more out there, and there are people streaming it on twitch and arghhh… must keep an eye on all the unbelievably immature and racist posts on the steam forums… ho hum.

To everyone who buys the game, thanks we really appreciate it. I’d love other developers to realize you can set a game in Africa and people WILL buy it.