I’m aware a future update will be making maxing out GDP much harder. I’m all in favour of this, but I think a few things need to added/altered with it to maintain game balance.
The first is for the max and min GDP values to be influenced by population. As it stands, they are fixed in the file for each nation. This isn’t really realistic, as the maximum output of a country will be higher as the population grows, and vice versa. This would also allow 1980s UK/USA style tax models of a large number of employed people providing the opportunity of lower taxes, but maintaining a high total income.
I’d also be tempted to cut the link between Income Tax and GDP, instead tying it to wages and unemployment directly.
I also think that Income Tax especially, and other population based taxes generally need to also be effected by population. If the cost of State services increase with population, it only makes sense that the returns from taxes should do too. As it stands, high population only really increases costs and is a bad thing.
Thanks for the feedback.
I am sympathetic to the opinion that not having stuff affected by population seems s bit wrong and confusing. However I am hesitant to go down the route of scaling things by population, simply because it would involve adding a HUGE number of arguments to the equations which may well make the game seem unnecessarily complex.
When you think about it, pretty much every number in the game should in some way be scaled by population. Traffic Congestion is affected by population, homelessness is affected by population (if the population drops, we have lots of empty houses), Racial Tension is probably also affected by population density (easier to get along with neighbors who are further from you).
I’m not saying I am dead against doing it, but wary of opening up a can of worms that bloats the complexity of the game a lot, but probably not introducing any more meaningful choices or dilemmas to the game.
There may be some anomalies in the game that are currently affexted by population but should not be.
On the broader topic of making GDP maximization harder. This is my current thinking:
These are the ‘negative feedback effects’ which should make it much more of a challenge to achieve 100% GDP:
High GDP => Higher wages => less productivity = less GDP (effects exist, needs adjusting)
High GDP => Higher currency => lower international trade = less GDP (effects exist, needs adjusting)
High GDP => Higher Car Usage => More Traffic congestion = less GDP (effects exist, needs adjusting)
High GDP => Low unemployment = Skills Shortage → less GDP (needs adding)
I’m going to tweak these equations today to try and get a situation which is similar to current gameplay, but provides more of a challenge when GDP is really high.
There are also some other negative impacts of GDP, such as increasing pollution, but I think these are already strong enough.
I suppose Cliff is worried about not coding efforts of development but cognitive load of players. It’s very likely to be more of game design issues than implementation. If the game gets to include detailed population simulations, it will be presented as a hugely important value for players thanks to a big icon & web-like influence arrows. However, in my opinion, since it’s hard to imagine population-related policies which are effective in a short term, there’s a high chance that it will draw lots of attentions but gives little choices. In that case, I find it hard to conclude that complexities added by population sim have any visible benefits.
+just to add, bureaucracy sim is rather simple to understand for players. you just need to count the total nb of policies in your screen. No red-big-button or arrow-mess.
Those changes seem promising. While I do have some ideas on this matter (here), more negative feedback loops will definitely alleviate the problem. Might be worth revisiting environment & climate factors too. Gradually increasing economic demands of the mass could also act as a loop. (it might not be possible to appease middle class citizens with a block of flats :P)
You know I think that this is a real opportunity, there could be new events, or dilemmas, or situations (overpopulation v population decline), etc. It would also make the tax system better, I think people will notice. I think that population is one of those important variables that should be present and fleshed out in game. It can remain hidden like Bureaucracy, till some related situation (like the ones I mentioned above) triggers.
The thing about bureaucracy is that its a well known phenomena in some countries instead of others. Italy is very bureaucratic, the UK much less so. The US even less. This means that introducing it to the game makes the game feel more real for differing countries.
The effects of population are more global, it would not differ on a per country basis, and I think this might lead to overwhelming complexity for new players., The game already looks intimidatingly complex on first play
Just due to the sheer number of extra effects, meaning dozens and dozens of items in the game now have 5 effects instead of 4,m or 11 instead of 10.
It might not seem like a big deal when you play the game a lot, and are used to the effects, but for new players, they will feel like ‘everything affects everything’ and ‘its all chaos’ which is probably quite close to the real world situation, but it doesn’t make for a fun or relaxing game