Suggestions for Democracy 3

Suggestions for Democracy 3

Postby Peter34 on Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:23 pm

1. Instead of the hyper-analog scales in D2, where I can (if I have enough fine motor control of my mouse hand) make chances of 0.1% or less, e.g. to income taxation, divide all sliders into a large yet distinctly digital number of points, and allow only these to be chosen. For maximum smoothness, divide each slider that is currently an analog one into 19 value points, from nothing to everything. Or 21 points, from 0% to 100%. This solves a lot of problems, and nobody has any interest in making 0.1% changes anyway. It's the opposite, rather. One goes onto the page, to see what the change would effect, and eventually concludes that one does not want to change. In that case, restoring the scale slider to its original value is non-trivial.

2. Add an "implement" button to each such slider-control page. It is counter-intuitive that I have to close the page (click on X" and then select "yes" to actually implement the change.

3. Add one more button, "implement when affordable", to each such slider-conrol page. This means that the game queues up this change, and reserves all remaining political capital, and keeps reserving all political capital, until there is enough capital to implement the first change in the queue. Only then is it implemented (duh). After that, the game checks if there are other changes queued up, and if so implements them. Once the queue is empty, remaining capital becomes available for the player to use. Often I find myself wanting to implement a really expensive change, but can't afford it, and the next turn I still can't afford it, and not the next turn either, but only on the turn after that. Obviously players can engage in self-harming actitivy by queueing up several changes in this way, but it should still be available.

4. As an extension of #1 above, alter the capital cost of making changes, so that a small change costs little capital, and a very small change costs very little capital. Keep the current values as base values, e.g. (IIRC) to raise Income Tax in the USA scenario is 34 capital. Fine, keep that, but if the income tax change is only raised by two scale steps (i.e. 10%) the cost is halved, to 17 capital, and if the income tax change is only one scale step (5%) then the cost is quartered (to 8.5 capital, rounds up to 9).

The current system, where the capital cost of making small changes to one thing is as large as making huge changes to the vary same things, is not at all realistic.

5. Implement fractional political capital, at least in terms of how much each minister gives, even if the total amount from all seven is then rounded down to the nearest whole number. As it is now, the transitions are often very abrupt, e.g. a minister going from 2 capital per quarter to 1 capital per quarter. Adding an intemediate stage of 1.5 capital helps a lot.

6. I can't be sure if the game does this already, not having played much yet, but what about taking the physical ressources of the country into account? I hinted in my other post, at an old strategy game idea I worked a bit at in the mid 1990s, an Africa political/economic simulation strategy game. Part of the idea is that African countries could be much richer than they are, due to (often underground) ressources that aren't exploited to the benefit of the nation, or sometimes haven't been discovered yet (one element I wanted for this "Afrika" game design was the president being able to search for additional ressources, e.g. oil and minerals). At the same time, some countries may be very poor in underground ressources. Denmark, where I happen to live, famously didn't have anything except farmland, until some limited offshore oil ressources were discovered a few decades ago. That should also be a possible scenario factor in D3, causing some industries to have a hard time, often to the point where they aren't present in the country at all, forcing it to rely on other types of industries instead (and/or import the necessary raw materials).

7. Same with infrastructure. Some of what the player could do in this (partly designed, but never programmed) Afrika game, was to build roads, and improve existing roads. Yet at least in the USA scenario, road construction doesn't affect GDP at all. The game seems to assume that there already are the roads there need to be, and the only reason to build any more is to please certain voter segments. Yet in many third-world countries, much more road needs to be built, in order that the economy can thrive and grow.

8. Also as I hinted at in my previous thread, I'd love to have the option, in scenarios, of starting as a dictator and then being given the choice of switching to democracy when I feel ready for it. That may seem as going contrary to the title of the game, but the end goal is still supposed to be to implement democracy, even if one does not start out that way. I think it could result in a richer game, with more possibilities for scenarios.

9. It is often suggested in Danish politics, that if the very high taxes on salaries were lowered, some people would choose to work somewhat more, as measured in hours per week (or seeking a higher level of education in order to earn more per hour worked). I don't know how true that is, but it almost certainly isn't 100% wrong, and the Democracy series of games seems well equipped to be able to simulate scuh "delayed effect" phenomena, such as a country's population that has been "thoroughly trained", by many decades of very high taxes on salaries, to believe that working more isn't worthwhile, and therefore will need a long time, perhaps a decade or a bit more, to "unlearn" it after salary taxes have been lowered.

10. Often I'm at a loss as to what to do with the amount of politicl capital I have, because it's a medium-sized amount, and I'd like to do something, but I have to click into every single option there is, to see if I can afford to implement it. Some kind of switchable "overlay" would be nice, where I could turn on options to "highlight all scales which I can afford to increase", "highlight all scale options which I can afford to lower" and "highlight all scale options which I can afford to cancel". This gets even more useful if political capital costs for the same changes differ from scenario to scenario.

11. Implement earmarked political capital, capital that can only be used for certain kinds of changes. In this way the capital gain can be slightly higher, but restricted in terms of what it can be used for. In British politics, the government will sometimes hire a particular person as a "tsar" with a special resort, a special task, such as improving social mobility. The government could have an eight slot, open for one such "tsar", of the player's choosing, which accumulates political capital at a faster rate than normal ministers, but with this capital being "locked" in to certain uses, such as one of the seven "areas" of the game screen (taxes, welfare, foreign stuff"). A variant on this is that instead of appointing a "tsar" person as a sort of government position, the government can simply make a public pledge to do something, and so as a result of this pledge gets bonus capital per quarter but locked in for a fairly specific usage. Maybe 15% of extra capital, ear-marked this way.

12. Why do I HAVE to make two election promises? What if I only want to make one, or none at all? I can see why it should be limited to two, making three or four would probably be abusive, but why force the player to make promises? Making only one proise, or none at all, could simply be penalized at the polls, by a few percent for only one promise, and a few further percent for no promise at all.

13. Steal from Tropico 3. I'm serious. Unlike in Tropico 1, the player can make election promises before each election (can - doesn't HAVE to), each time able to do up to three things: (a) Talk down one issue, so that the voters will worry less about it and their voting won't be as influenced by it (e.g. a lack of housing, or a lack of churches). (b) Make one promise (which is remembered, and will make the population unhappy if it isn't kept. E.g. a promise that before the next election, Tropico WILL have a church). (c) And praise one political faction (e.g. a voter segment, of which Tropico has 7, with each voter being able to be a member of more than one segment although some are opposed to each other), so that this faction becomes slightly more likely to vote for a re-election.

14. Allow the player to adjust the mouse cursor speed. D2 ignores the Windows setting, and has the mouse move very slowly, which is a bad idea in a game that is 100% mouse-controlled. Really. It, and dozens of other usability issues, makes D2 look like what it is: a one-man effort.
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Re: Suggestions for Democracy 3

Postby turkish_democrat on Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:29 am

Why in the game exists only USA as the real country but the rest are fictional? Would not be nice to include the countries with real names and with their characteristic and specific properties?

Here is a good source of info for real countries:

https://www.cia.gov/library/publication ... /2010.html

Sincerely

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Re: Suggestions for Democracy 3

Postby Wits on Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:50 pm

The feature I would most like to see in Democracy 3 is variables that affect the effects, as opposed to only values, of other variables. That is, it would be great if an integration&minority policies would mean the difference between immigrants-as-social-problems and immigrants-as-assets. Or, to give another obvious example, programs to promote senior participation could make the membership count of the retiree demographic increase literacy or reduce crime. This should also extend to the dilemmas system, so that dilemmas could have different meanings in different social situations (an epidemic becoming impossible to eradicate given a large pool of drug users, for instance).

Although I realize the above change would denote greater complexity, I think the current essentialist and simplistically causal implementation is Democracy 2:s main structural flaw from contemporary social theory's point of view. I think the new complexity could be alleviated by extending the game's ingenious UI: have right-clicking on variables show their new secondary "effect-changing effects" as arrows spanning the entire causal complex. So if you right-clicked on a well-funded integration policy, you would get one green arrow from integration to immigration and another from immigration to, say, productivity. The left-click menu could have a new column called "secondary effects" or something similar.

A more casual gamer could, of course, still play Democracy in the old-fashioned way without caring about causal complexity, but this change would open a world of possibility for the true strategist, not to mention the modder. It would also enhance the significant emancipatory potential of the Democracy series - the Democracies are among the most important games I have ever played, as they truly show that games can contribute to people's understanding of their surroundings.
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Re: Suggestions for Democracy 3

Postby AdrianTrumbly on Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:49 am

I definitely agree with suggestion 4. A drastic change of a policy shouldn't cost the same political capital as a small tweak.

I also agree with 12. Too often have I been forced to promise to improve something that I can't improve. Also, the manifesto screen locks you in, so you can't check which promises are realistic to keep. I think manifestos should be an optional "gamble", where if you choose to make a promise, you stand to gain popularity, but if you break it, voter cynicism increases.

Also, I would suggest implementing more realistic effects of policies, the most glaring examples to me being Narcotics and Gun Control. Why do marijuana and LSD reduce lifespan? Legitimate studies show that these are pretty much harmless (though I agree that heroin will **** you up badly). Also, stricter drug, alcohol, and possibly tobacco laws should increase crime, especially street gangs and organized crime. Reduced gun control should reduce crime, and the statistics back this up pretty well.

One last suggestion, and I've heard others say the same: There needs to be a way of dealing with Tax Evasion other than lowering taxes. Perhaps something similar to the near-useless Welfare Fraud Department. To make it balanced, though, maybe the hypothetical "Tax Fraud Department" should really tick off capitalists, the rich, and possibly liberals.

Other than those sorts of things, I think you've done a wonderful job with both games, and I look forward to more great games from you. : )
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Re: Suggestions for Democracy 3

Postby firepowerjohan on Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:01 pm

A great game!
I managed after many attempts to "win" the hardest level which for me was Zambeezia with maxed out setting on diffculty, interest rate, cynisicm and with political honeymoon toggled OFF. I did not touch the economic volatility since I was not sure it would actuallky make the game harder.

Suggestions for Democrazy 3

1) Have a "reset to default" for all options of the game! I do not wanna laborate with certain parameters such as oil prices and stuff if I need to backup scripts of reinstall the game

2) Add some extra challenge to each new term. Why not put in Wars, global pandemies or even Huge natural disaster or even aliens. Some of them need to be ongoing instead of just one turn events. For me, period 1 was all about getting popular with certain groups to win the election. Period 2 it was about halting the deficit before reaching the bancrupty level. If I have a decent enough economy after period 1 the challenge in the game stops for me. Period 3 was more of a sandbox mode and I was playing around with trying to eliminate all debts and eliminating all problems. I did not succeed with all of that.

3)
So , lets say
Period 1 : National focus, gain popularity is key
Period 2 : International focus. You probably have large debts after period 1 threatening bancrupty. Furthermore let each scenario have a Nemesis and have a trade war, war or similar. You need diplomacy, research weapons and stuff to Win this and get reelected. If you lose the war or feud you lose your popularity and lose the election.
Period 3 : Global Focus. Have amazing natural disasters like Meteorites or Comet and you need to get space technology and/or medicine techs in order to survive the events without going extinct. Perhaps also disasters with Pandemic viruses or other stuff
Period 4 : Crazy scientists or Aliens threaten the world. You need to research biology and weapons to manage

To the developer: All you need to do is to check out top-10 lists of threats to mankind and you get all the possible content needed for adding new content into this game. The gane system should be able to make parameters for all this and use the same mechanism as is used today with national politics.

Perhaps the game could also incorporate more real values so that you can say that there are 500.000 aliens invading, you have 20.000 air planes or you have x amount of plutonium and y amount of nuclear misslies etc.

4) Ministers should eventually end up in a negative spiral and scandals should happen increasingly often to them. That means you have to sack them eventually. You already have this system in Rock Legends and it would be good for this game. Since this game is about political capital and changes it could even fit nicer than in Rock Legend where I was just mostly annoyed by that feature ;D
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Re: Suggestions for Democracy 3

Postby coldfusion86 on Sat May 28, 2011 11:13 pm

I read some of the comments about adding communism to the game by adding communist voters and a wage voucher system. But i think rather then completely change the dynamics of the game their are ways to do the same thing and add to the gameplay. I think the complexities of economics are not well represented and i find it annoying that you can have a dynamic experience if you choose lets say democratic party as the primary party and say republican party as the rival or vise versa.
    One suggestion is to make parties have distinct advantages with different voters. For Example Democrats could get a free 5% of liberal vote.
    Another would be to add additional types of voters: Laborer (which would simply be everyone - wealthy and retired), Liberterian (Conservatives that are Capitalist), Populists (Liberals that are Socialist), and Investors (wealthy and middle class that like high GDP, Subisidies, High Average wage, and hate any debt). communist would likely be heavily infleunced by laborers and populists
    A third would be a larger role of money in elections and policies(low taxes, high gdp, low debt, high poverty, & high spending) their should be more policies concerning foreign trade and domestic trade.
    Possibly use gold, natural gas, and coal as commodities. (like how oil is used in the game)
    Have ministers impliment policies (like wage vouchers, state capitalism, free markets, and other policies like progressive/regressive taxes)
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Re: Suggestions for Democracy 3

Postby thomasjohnstud on Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:39 pm

Agreeing with Peter34 on some issues. I would definitely like to see more comprehensive policy decisions and a more complex fiscal and social situation. It would also be nice if we could just take maybe a 'dictatorship' role if you will, which would mean you never need any political capital to do anything. Also (and obviously) more options for Welfare, Public Services, Defense, etc as well as more control over taxation and (as I said before) POLICY.
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Re: Suggestions for Democracy 3

Postby pavman on Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:25 pm

I've been trying to figure out what game this game reminds me of because its been bothering me since I started playing, and I think I've finally figure it out. The political and diplomatic component of either master of orion 2 and/or master of orion 3 are very similar to this game. It has similar components where there's social unrest, political turmoil, budget allocation and even type/style of governance (dictatorship vs. liberal/free society). The main difference is you're building an interstellar galactic empire and have a fighting component (although they toned that down and made it optional in the third one). Anyway, I think this game does need some more balance, but so far it looks like my policies are quite effective over the long run. :)

I do think the demo is too limited and should be equivalent to the full game in functionality and length. Restricting the scenarios is probably the most effective to get folks to want to buy the full game.
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Re: Suggestions for Democracy 3

Postby firepowerjohan on Sat Nov 19, 2011 7:45 am

I still think that the game could be made much better if it was not only about winning the election. You could basically see each term as a level, so term 1 is level 1 and you need to win the election else game over.

Next term the economy is put in a perspective in a larger sense where surviving as leader of natural disasters, wars etc determine if you manage to the next level. Increasing, varying and temporary random threats could enable much more unique scenario creations as well.
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Re: Suggestions for Democracy 3

Postby Gaiaretter on Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:46 am

For Demo 3 I'd suggest an option to grant more power to the private sector. Sure the same strong are policies should be available for the government to try and solve every issue, but for instance investing in "private sector health care" or removing or increasing regulations and/or taxes on such. The "Conservative" views vrs the "liberal" views aren't very consistent with reality currently, and I realize it's challenging. I've tried to mod the game accounting for the private sector and the extent that it increases revenues and is for the most part helpful to every part of the country (hated by socialist of course) ends up breaking the game, so for entertainment purposes using the reality of it and keeping the game balancing is a challenge, I do hope to see a greater effort towards that though.
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Re: Suggestions for Democracy 3

Postby Oxford on Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:46 pm

I agree with Peter34 on some/many points, particularly the point with something to do with Foreign Relation, whereas on the Manifesto Point, I just want to remind you that you can easily turn off Manifestos in the Options Menu.

Personally, I find the real missing piece of the game, something that shouldn't be excluded from Democracy 3, is other countries— neighbors, war threats, trade partners etc. etc. This can go two ways: to minimize the creativity in the process; (a) use the other selectable countries from the start as other nations or (b) make new ones up. Random names preferably.

Also, just so I don't need to worry about the length of te game I'm playing, I always maximize the length of my term(s) (10 terms of 10 years— unrealistic; totally!), but of course, at one point, I've no more policies to enact, and I've an overwhelming quarterly surplus. What is also missing, and has to be in D3, is many more policies, which you can plagiarise from SimCity (Ordinances: Pro-Reading Campaigns, Anti-Drug Campaigns, Rehabilitation Centres etc. etc.), and I also recommend Peter34's Point (4, I think) about the "overlay" addition.

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Re: Suggestions for Democracy 3

Postby Rhunidian on Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:48 am

This would be a bit of a job, but it would be really interesting to have time frames in which the game is set, each with different policies, situations, voter groups and so on. For instance, one could set the game to 1900 and have an trains as a critical part of public transport, have research in different areas that might provide breakthroughs and have voter groups such as Marxists, Anti - Monarchists for some countries and supporters of Manifest Destiny.
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Re: Suggestions for Democracy 3

Postby hamerhea2 on Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:06 am

thomasjohnstud wrote:Agreeing with Peter34 on some issues. I would definitely like to see more comprehensive policy decisions and a more complex fiscal and social situation. It would also be nice if we could just take maybe a 'dictatorship' role if you will, which would mean you never need any political capital to do anything. Also (and obviously) more options for Welfare, Public Services, Defense, etc as well as more control over taxation and (as I said before) POLICY.


You can have unlimited capital in Democracy 2. XD
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Re: Suggestions for Democracy 3

Postby Karsten on Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:50 pm

I'd like to see pops, like in Victoria II. Now you can see that patriots might consist of 64% of the population, but at the same time something completely unrelated, like parents, might be 43%. It really doesn't say anything now if you got full support of patriots, because they might also be parents and parents give you no support at all, for example. With pops you'd be able to pick a certain pop, say one was adult male atheist patriot parents. This exact pop might be 400,000 in numbers, while elder female conservatives might only be 80,000 people, showing you where to properly focus everything.
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Re: Suggestions for Democracy 3

Postby cliffski on Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:15 am

All very interesting comments that are being considered very carefully....
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