Democracy 4 Developer Blog #32: Popular Fundraising

Enjoy!

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These changes look good, I was particularly happy to see a comment I left on this forum mentioned in the video, regarding UWOs. I would like to suggest something regarding the popularity mode. Average opinion is not always going to be useful, or even truly accurate. What this mode does not display is a policy’s divisiveness. Take secularity of education for example, if I have this slider all the way over to “atheist”, nobody has a neutral opinion about that. What would be better would be a bubble with split colours, red on one side and green on the other, with the proportion reflecting how common each view point is. This would inform the player that their policy stance is divisive, which may be a good or bad thing depending on how they are playing.

There was a lot of emphasis on cosmetic changes in this video however, and we really do need more changes to the function of the game. The changes to tourism and tax evasion are good, we need more of this. Many of the conditions of the country are either too easy to push to maximum or minimum extent, while others are completely unsolvable. All 6 conditions covered in the quarterly report fall into one of these two categories.

We really do need time spent in the nitty gritty of the web of influences. What links are missing, what links are too weak or too strong, which links have too much or too little inertia etc. To seed a few examples, I’d say parents’ opinion of spending on schools (whether through the state program or vouchers) is a missing link, most of the inputs to corruption are too strong, the GDP link to unemployment is too weak, and most of the inputs to health need more inertia.

I don’t want to sound ungrateful, so I will finish by saying that this game is an ambitious one of a kind production, and I’m glad to have it. I have mentioned to friends that I play a game that attempts to model democracy, and after they laugh they congratulate you for your ambition. I’m glad you’re making something that none of the major studios would touch.

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My thoughts exactly.

I’m hoping that when South Korea and Italy are done, that you will do a little “tour” of all countries and of many of the systems of the game to polish them a little.
I would add that it would be a good opportunity to actually make use of some of the systems that were introduced but that has no impact on an average game. I’m thinking mostly about the Overton Window and the Disposable Income. Both should be very important information and yet I forget their existence most of the time.
Getting some inspiration from the mods would also be a good indication of what the people finds most lacking in the game (Crime, Energy and Foreign relation just to name a few).

We can always get some more flavorful addition before going out of early access, but for now I think it would be good to answer a question that most of the negative reviews of the game are asking: “What makes this game really different from Democracy 3?”. We need a system that provides an experience unique to the game, whatever that means (coalitions seemed to be what you had in mind @cliffski?).

Yup, i talk about UI stuff a lot because you can see it in a video, but it i tweak a value up or down, apart from me mentioning it, its not very ‘social media’ friendly.
I actually agree with you that I need to spend more time on core simulation balancing. This stuff is SUPER hard because the interconnections of all things make any change potentially catastrophic!

South Korea is coming very soon (I have the final data now, just waiting for artwork, and then me to put it all in the game). That might take a while because the country marks a departure from the liberal consensus of the existing countries.

I definitely want to revisit every country in the game and make them feel more different. I also have a lot of playthrough stats (Gigabytes of em!) that can help me tweak things, when I have time to analyze them. For example achievements got a heavy re-balancing recently, but I suspect not many people noticed unless they suddenly had some trigger.

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You know that disposable incomes determines if a person is classified as rich, middle income or poor? Thats one of the most important things and actually one of the games biggest problems - in all of my games i end up having 100% rich people, because cost/ratio is completly out of the place

Cost is out of place, because most of income is percentage booster, while cost is fixed.

One way to fix it would be calculating income boost from policy, and part of total boost would be additional cost of policy.
Base cost is 1000, total income increase is 100, then policy costs 1090 for example.

Those policies count as social/economic investment - you spend dollar on policy, and then year later you have 1.1 dollar more in taxes.
Or you spend less on other stuff like crime, as it falls.

No the problem is that both values are fixed/linear. For example if i implement a policy that gives a certain group income then the costs of that policy does scale with the effects of the policy, but not with the membership of that group. A policy that is effecting the income of enviromentalists gives the same income for all enviromentalists at the same fixed cost, no matter if i have 0% or 100%