Democracy 2 Dev Log


#1

I’ve started work on Democracy 2. I thought I’d try to keep a diary on here, so people could see how the game will differ from the original, and suggest stuff as I go along. The game is a long way off, so don’t hold off buying the original :D.

So far, I’ve stripped out a lot of the text and sound stuff, which is being rewritten so it’s more stable, and faster.

Simulation wise, I’m making a fundamental change, in that rather than voters being ‘members’ of a certain group, they will have variable membership of all groups.
So previously you had 3000 motorists. Now you will have 3,000 motorists, but maybe 500 are hard-core drivers who will drive regardless of taxes and other costs (but will still be annoyed by them), and maybe 500 are borderline motorists who don’t use their cars much. When you impose negative effects on a group (like raising fuel tax) it will annoy the hardcore more than the casual drivers, and if you implement policies to cut back on the number of drivers, obviously the casual ones will be the first to give it up.

Sounds simple, but that will mean a lot of recoding and testing, although I think it will make for a more interesting and lifelike simulation


#2

Most of yesterday was taken up with lots of pulling the basic simulation code apart and tidying it up. I’m now in a position where the code is far simpler and more generic than it used to be, and a few major changes have taken place in code terms. I’m also happy now with the Icon fading stuff. You know in the original game the way you could hover over something and other stuff would half-fade out? well that’s WAY better now, with everything smoothly fading to black when you mouseover stuff. It looks way better :smiley:


#3

Sounds great! Are you going to make it possible to add/remove and edit groups?


#4

Well you can mod what you like, it just may make for a messy interface. Not sure yet.
Ok, so I’ve been spending some time on a new GUI bit for the voter group details stuff. This is now a multi-tabbed fullscreen thing that shows you all kinds of stuff, which will make the game a lot more geeky :smiley:
You get a ‘focus group’ of about 20-30 people from each voter group, and you can now click on them, and see what groups they are in, how strongly they associate with each group, and how that is being calculated to get you their final voting intention.

Until now, it’s not been possible to get a direct view of what other groups a voter is in. For example, there are very few people who are liberals, and patriots, and there are lots of environmental liberals, and conservative patriots. This is important, because if you pick ‘patriots’ as your power base, you need to ensure you don’t upset conservatives, because many of them are the same group. This will make it more obvious than before, that every simulated voter in the game, is in multiple groups.


#5

Fantastic idea! Good thinking there…

Edit: Also, I’d like to request an option to turn assasinations off. It’s a nice feature but sometimes I’d like to be able to have a break from bomb threats…


#6

Lobyists would be nice too. Some groups would have more lobyists than others (think Capitilists) and if you please those groups you would get some money.

Oh yeah and try to keep the game look simple and easy to pick up but still complex in that there are thousands of combinations in policies. I think that´s where you hit jack-pot on the first game.


#7

Indeed, lobbyists are an interesting one, because some groups have less lobbying ‘muscle’ than others. In Democracy 1, you could basically tell retired people to stuff it, because however upset they got, they didn’t try and shoot you. In Democracy 2, they still won’t shoot you, but they may well join the opposition party and hand out leaflets for them, which could be just as devastating :smiley:


#8

Since your more interested in making the game more like a economic model rather than a political one are you putting in currency? Just thinking here but doesn´t mean you have to put a sorta foreign thing even if it is very abstract :question:


#9

I’m not sure yet, it depends how things go…


#10

Today I started the work of adding ‘ministers’ to the game as a test. Basically each department (transport , economy, welfare etc) will have a minister that you appoint, who may be talented, or useless, as you will discover over time. their competence will have some effect on how effectively your policies operate in each department. Ministers will gain competence over time, and will occasionally retire or resign, so you will need to handle reshuffles etc.
That’s the plan anyway, just started coding it today. should take a while…


#11

do you think you could add faces to the ministers? I really don´t care if it´s cartonish or something like kudos. It´s just sometimes when I play the game and I actually do something good I´m always expecting something, like a video of CNN (or the BBC for the Brits) praising me or something like that. I little throwback into reality would just be nice.


#12

Yes they will have kudos style faces, at the very least.


#13

Here’s an interesting thought - would it be possible to have the faces randomised? By that I mean random features, so that the faces would always be different?

Even better, you could match up the facial features to the personality and skills of the ministers themselves, so that you’d get an impression of what they’re like just by looking at them. They could also look older according to how much experience they have, and you could have their faces grow older the longer they’re in your government…


#14

Will they look angry at you if you have policies they don´t like?


#15

trouble is, all that sort of stuff means tons and tons more artwork which means more time and money. That doesn’t rule it out, but given a choice, I’d rather put the same effort into deeper gameplay than features that are purely visual. It would be nice though…


#16

Hmm, you’re right. How about giving voters memories? By that I mean, if they change groups, they don’t forget how you treated them before?


#17

Interesting. Voters do build up cynicism in Democracy 1, but not on an individual basis. I may expand on this for democracy 2.


#18

It just seemed to me to be a little waste that if you helped people out of poverty, once they stopped being poor they forgot all about your help.

Also, maybe you could introduce population growth/shrinkage?


#19

That’s what happens though. Not with everyone, admittedly, but I would have thought most people would put “an improvement in their circumstances” down to their own hard work. It was the same with giving different groups of people the vote for the first time. The government of the time might have expected more support from the newly enfranchised voters but it didn’t happen. (details a bit sketchy here… A-Level history was a long time ago).

As for population growth/shrinkage, you could get some interesting policies and dilemmas out of that… Single Child Policy, Aging Population, Pensions Crisis (a more destructive one), Free Care For The Elderly, Bonuses For Births (or Cash For Children :stuck_out_tongue: ) etc.

My own questions:

You seem to be implementing and opposition of sorts. Any chance a third party? (May be slightly biased here, having worked for them)

What about having to choose a party or found a new one before you start? That way you would have to try to appeal to certain groups (your traditional supporters) in order to prevent your government being destroyed from the inside over time while trying to maintain your appeal to the general populace in order to stay in power.


#20

undecided on population growth for now. its a possibility.
here’s the first press release:

[size=150]DEMOCRACY 2[/size]

Positech Games, makers of Democracy (http://www.democracygame.com) Kudos
(http://www.kudosgame.com) and The recently released Kudos:Rock Legend
(http://www.rocklegendgame.com) have today officially announced their next game,
Democracy 2.
Democracy 2 is a direct sequel to their popular and award-winning political
strategy game ‘Democracy’. Like it’s predecessor, Democracy 2 puts you in
the position of the leader of a new government, tasked with running the
country, and keeping the electorate happy in the run up to each election.
Democracy 2 will retain the emphasis on complexity, depth and gameplay of
the original, with a more sophisticated AI model under the hood, but a
similar visual approach to managing all the myriad laws, policies and
decisions of your government.
Unlike the original game, Democracy 2 will not model real world countries,
but give the player a ‘virtual country’ sandbox to tweak and adjust as they
see fit.
No release date is currently set, although it will certainly be 2007 / Q1
2008.
The very first development screens can be found here:
positech.co.uk/democracy2/ma … creen1.jpg
positech.co.uk/democracy2/ma … creen2.jpg
positech.co.uk/democracy2/ma … creen3.jpg

For more information visit the positech games website at
positech.co.uk