beta test feedback

Discussion of the newest version of the game
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Corylea
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Postby Corylea » Sat Nov 24, 2007 1:07 am

cliffski wrote:corylea are you running the newer version? i think you are, because I think the hint dialog bug is new. do you have vista? and i presume you can start games ok? does the game exit ok and launch the survey?

I'm so glad i'm doing a proper beta to fix all this stuff this time...


No, I was running the old version. I didn't read what everybody else was writing in this thread because I wanted my opinion of the game to be independent; I thought it would be more useful to you that way. I hadn't realized that we had to read this thread to find out about new versions; I thought there'd be some sort of general announcement.

So I downloaded and installed the new version, and boy is it broken! I tried to start the tutorial, but nothing happened when I clicked "learn to play." So I shrugged and clicked "new game," which made the green boxes from the tutorial start to run, but since they ran over the country-selection screen from the regular game, they weren't very helpful. I exited and restarted the game and tried to start a new game without clicking on the tutorial first. It let me choose a country and let me alter the currency and party names, but it wouldn't advance from there.

I'm running XP. (I think it's the professional version, because my husband gets multiple copies of same showered upon him at work, and he's the one who installed Boot Camp and Windows on this MacBook.)
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Postby procyonone » Sat Nov 24, 2007 8:39 am

When i redownloaded the installer last night, i had already uninstalled the previous version and manually deleted the remaining folders after the uninstall. I am running Vista. The survey works everytime now but i did not fill it in as i had already informed you through this forum of the problems. Also, the hint bug already existed in the first version. The 'start' button lights up on the new game screen and when you click the screen fades but the screen just comes back on within a second.

I just found something, not sure how significant but after clicking on the 'how to play' button and the screen fades and comes back, when you highlight any of the buttons on the menu screen, none of them light up although you can click them.
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Postby cliffski » Sat Nov 24, 2007 8:58 am

hey everyone this is all my stupidity. If you installed the new version, you need to click the online button and re-enter the code. The new version blapped your old code, and it wont start a game if the code is wrong. It should work just fine then. This won't be the case in the final version.

I know about the hints bug, I'll get that fixed asap.
BTW I added a new thing where the graph toggles between happiness and membership on the voter details screen.
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Postby JuuL » Sat Nov 24, 2007 9:45 am

Democracy 2 Beta Test II
(first version of the game)


Second Game: Commented game report

We’ll, I’m back for another game of Democracy 2. My goal here is to tell (shortly) about my second try at ruling the land of Malaganga. Just to give an impression of the rhythm of the game and provide a background for some of the ideas that I’m sure I’ll get while playing.
The first thing I notice is that the game shows all the hints again. Maybe this should be made optional – or maybe the game just didn’t register that I’ve played before because it crashed when I tried to quit.
For some reason the music reminds of Caesar III… I’m not sure if that’s a good thing.

Malaganga (silly name, even for someone like me who speaks a little Spanish): ‘A debt-ridden state where voting is compulsory’ – but Compulsory Voting doesn’t seem to be a policy, so I guess it’s hard-coded into this country. But it would be a great policy: makes conservatives happy, but annoys liberals (I guess?). I choose the Justice Party (will be wonderfully ironical when I arm the police) and continue to the actual game.

I start by cutting down on military expenses. To win back the conservatives (and gain popularity with the wealthy) I encourage Gated Communities, which seems to be a good trade-off considering the relatively low negative effect and the fact that this policy doesn’t cost anything at all. I then increase Police and Community Policing expenses to reduce by law and order problems. Binge Drinking is now under control, but the message about it in the quarterly report seems rather alarming at first (maybe it should say something like: ‘Problem Solved: Binge Drinking’). The UN now asks me to sign a treaty banning nuclear tests, but I wasn’t even aware that I was testing such weapons – maybe it should be a policy? Strangely, Inner City Riots are not affected at all by the size of my Police Force, so I guess I’ll have to arm them.
Having done that, law and order was quickly restored. I then turned to the problems of disease and poverty, using a newly created 10 billion surplus to maximize spending on health services and schools. I replace a minister, suffer the consequences of a legal scandal (should probably have jury trials) and say no to a minimum wage law (shouldn’t that be a policy?). Jury Trial is a strange policy… it gives only positive effect and costs the same no matter what I do with the slider. Legal Aid is also rather cheap and exclusively good. Trying to bribe the liberals, I legalised prostitution which was even weirder. Most of the effects are locked, but by making it ‘higher’ (whatever that means) I decreased direct income but increased GDP. I understand nothing. Suddenly I realise that I’ve spent more than I thought and that government income has decreased drastically. I try to make it right again, but it’s too late – the election is here. I make some utopian promises. I know the manifesto is optional, but a more moderate version of it would be nice. Mid-election I earn the Crime Free Utopia award. Creating a utopia is obviously easier with armed police. I almost won this time, getting what looks like 40% of the vote (though it can’t clearly be seen on the election screen). Well, maybe next time – or maybe now? Using ‘escape’ I was able to return to the game for another four years of government, only to be kicked out next turn because of my massive debt. But I guess I wasn’t supposed to be able to continue anyway.
I went back to test it, choosing to have an election every year. I used the ‘escape’ trick three times and it continued working. Another thing worth considering is adjusting manifesto promises to the number of years before the next election – reducing poverty by 20% may be possible in ten years, but not in one.



More ideas

Democracy 2 generally confronts us with most of the problem of a modern government. There are, however, two that are not included:

The first is the problem of population ageing. In virtually every post-industrial nation, the number of retired citizens is increasing drastically while the birth rate is decreasing (even below the 2.1 children per woman that is necessary to maintain a constant number of citizens). The causes and effects are many and complicated, but here is what I could think of:
Causes: Increased life expectancy (caused by improved health and welfare), low birth rate (caused by wealth, contraception and abortion).
Effects: Decreasing population, percentage of citizens that are members of the Retired group increasing (and therefore also a lot of welfare and health costs increasing).
Possible ways of solving the problem: Immigration (having some negative effects), adopting from foreign nations (if your nation has problems with infertility, that is if it’s included in the game… caused by bad health, chemicals used in the industry and bad environment), regulating birth rate (banning contraception and or/abortion, paying people to have more children) and making people retire later (only possible with a healthy population, you have to give people an economic incentive to do so, maybe lower taxes for old people).

The second is obesity. This has already been a problem in the US for decades and the problem is spreading to Europe. Possible causes, effects and policies:
Causes: Cheap and unhealthy food, lack of exercise, desk jobs.
Effects: Lower life expectancy, even lower health, increased health service costs, decreasing productivity.
Policies: diversified VAT on healthy and unhealthy food, increased number of physical education lessons, giving children a healthy meal at school.
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Postby procyonone » Sat Nov 24, 2007 10:11 am

Tested new version of game. Thought i would try the tutorial again. Using escape key to leave tutorial is still causing the same problem as before, either a crash if you try the tutorial again or none of the button work in the new game country selection screen. Quit button in menu also crashes the game after using the escape key.

During tutorial when you get to the part, 'click the gun icon on the left of the strip of icons at the top right of the screen', you can still click on the situation icons even though they are invisible. Then you can't continue the tutorial because the cross doesn't allow you to exit the situation status screen, thus you need to use the escape key, which then causes the earlier stated problem.

On completion of tutorial, game crashes if you enter it again.
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Postby procyonone » Sat Nov 24, 2007 10:47 am

Started a new game as Zambeezia and kept all the default options including the three year term. After ending the turn, some of the info hints still cannot be closed without closing the window the hint relates to. Completed my term and failed to get re-elected. Clicked 'new game' to try again and none of the buttons worked on the country selection screen so i had to use the dreaded escape key, same problem as before.

During a game, i used the options to start a new game. I picked a country and clicked 'start' and i got the Vista window 'game stopped working'. Not sure if its related to earlier crashes.

I have played Zambeezia numerous times and cannot get re-elected with the default settings. I have tried various methods, but none have been sucessful. Is it possible to get re-elected in this scenario without lowering the difficulty level from the default setting? Also, i think the country description has an error. "and our levels of literacy and an embarrassment". Should that be are?
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Postby Corylea » Sun Nov 25, 2007 3:45 am

The quotations from famous people that are supposed to be displayed at the beginning of every turn flash by without stopping long enough to be read.

Like others, I'm finding Zambeezia impossible. The poll before the election the most recent time said I had 54% of the voters on my side, but I still lost (not enough turnout of my folks).

I listed other problems on the web form that displays at the end of the game.
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Postby frost_maze » Sun Nov 25, 2007 9:54 am

I've managed to get elected in Zambeezia with a 4 year term. I'm still working on managing to win in 3 years...

Maybe you should put the default for Zambeezia at 4 or 5 instead?
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Postby cliffski » Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:03 am

good idea, cheers. Is the game crashing on exit or anywhere else? or are people playing it without crashes?
Cheers.
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Postby frost_maze » Sun Nov 25, 2007 11:42 am

The game still crashes most times I press quit game. Other than that, and the several other issues other people noted (hint boxes, and... other stuff), it seems fine. And there are still some spelling and grammar issues. Should I write them here?

For instance, 'positive discrimination' should have a capital letter. And there isn't a description for carbon tax.

And if it helps, I'm using vista.
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Postby procyonone » Sun Nov 25, 2007 3:35 pm

I'm still getting the same crashes i mentioned earlier in the forum.
Tested some of the countries, all with default settings.

Malanganga - re-elected on first attempt.
Mexilando - re-elected on first attempt.
Bananistan - re-elected on first attempt.
Revelopia - did not get re-elected on first attempt.
Gaiatopia - lost by extremly slim margin.
Zambeezia - Cannot get re-elected within three year term. Tried numerous times.

Still have to test the other countries.
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Postby Corylea » Sun Nov 25, 2007 3:47 pm

cliffski wrote:good idea, cheers. Is the game crashing on exit or anywhere else? or are people playing it without crashes?
Cheers.


If I quit a game, go out to the main screen and click "new game," nothing happens. I have to exit the game and restart in order to get a new game.

The beta test form is now appearing quite reliably. Even when I have to Ctrl-Alt-Del out of a game, it still takes me to the form.

Another problem I noticed, unrelated to crashes: in the pop-up box about which minister to appoint to the UN, sometimes the names in the paragraphs are different from the names in the boxes. "Sam" and "Leon" are evidently the same person; you'd think this would have had an effect on his political career. :-)
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Postby Rissen » Sun Nov 25, 2007 5:08 pm

I'm going to outline some changes that I think would improve the game once I get it all figured out...

Edit:

Okay, what I think should be done is this:

Poor, Middle Income and Wealthy voter groups should be replaced with Working Class, Petit-Bourgeois and Bourgeois groups. This is not tied to income but to type of job: Working Class is factory workers and so on, Petit-Bourgeois is shopkeepers and Bourgeois is office jobs. Then the three statistics showing wealth of richest, wealth of poorest etc could be replaced by 'average income of Working class' 'Average income of Petit-Bourgeois' and so forth. This would mean that the 'poverty' and 'equality' statistics would be more useful and less contradicting with the voter groups.

Alongside farmers, this would give you a good idea of what kind of economy your country has. It would also mean that foreign trade becomes very important if you don't have the right balance of each. A country which is technologically advanced can survive with very few Farmers and a small Working Class, and with high international trade can survive without either. However, a backwards country will need lots of people in Farming just to prevent a major famine, and lots of people doing Manufacturing if it wants to become more successful.

The desired goal for economic growth is usually to have as many people in the top categories, Petit-Bourgeois and Bourgeois, because these are obviously more skilled jobs and so earn lots of money. However this depends on what the international situation is. With a global economic crash, both these groups lose some of their relevance.

Basically, a country with a low GDP will have a great deal of farmers, some workers and not much of anything else. In order to increase GDP, a country should first increase its secondary sector with the promotion of manufacturing, then increase its tertiary sector with the promotion of services or small businesses, and then increase its quaternary sector with the promotion of services to services or big businesses.

Edit 2: Argh, I forgot about your 'self-employed' group. That's a good name though. Maybe it should be farmers, workers, self employed and professionals? But then there's an empty group. How about a group representing all those people who live off their inheritance or birthright? In a monarchy this could never go down to zero.
Last edited by Rissen on Sun Nov 25, 2007 6:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Corylea
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Postby Corylea » Sun Nov 25, 2007 5:30 pm

When I get a warning about a minister in my quarterly report, his or her constituency is said to be different than what it says in the minister section. Let's see, is it religious people and poor people that I need to appease or capitalists and smokers?
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Postby Rissen » Sun Nov 25, 2007 5:34 pm

Yeah that would be handy to know. Post updated above, by the way.

Edit: I'd also like to see an 'infrastructure' statistic. Don't really need to explain it, I hope. However, in my opinion it should grow slowly over time with pro-business policies and GDP growth, but you can also make it grow fairly fast with investment in transport, schools, hospitals and so on.

Edit2: I'm glad to see you added in the graph of group size, I find it so useful! Thanks!

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