difficulty of game


#1


The game struck me as a little easy (bear in mind this is maybe my fifth game). Then I realised the USA scenario must be the tough one.


Or maybe not.

The same strategy works all the time.

  1. Increase community policing to max (nearly free in terms of points and money)
  2. Give out school dinners and free eye tests to cheaply reduce poverty and its nasty effects.
  3. Crank the state health service through the roof, ignoring the cost completely
  4. Fix the economy by throwing education and tax breaks at it
  5. Make sure the threats under “everyone” are taken care of, eg air pollution
  6. Pick a special interest group to pander to/destroy. Farmers (agri/rural incentives), state employees (fits in with state health/education/defence) and religious(faith schools, evolution) are the best, in that order. You can control the size of these groups as well as how much they like you. *Edit: Smokers and drinkers are easy targets too, especially as you should kill tobacco tax in step 2. Always encourage smoking and drinking! *
  7. Fiddle with income/sales/corporate taxes and crap that makes no difference between clicking “next turn” (you might want to turn on phone tapping if you have an organised crime problem).
  8. Win

Am I missing something? Does the game need to be modded? Is it just meant to be an expression of the authors longing for school dinners and friendly policemen? I kind of like it, I’m just shocked at how simple it is to beat.


#2

Two reasons for the success, and I should stress that both of these are assumptions. I don’t know you personally nor am I a programmer for Positech. I leave it to Cliffski to make any corrections here should he feel the need, but here goes anyway:

  1. Its simple to beat because you “get it” i.e. the overall mechanics of both the game and a society in general. Many Many Many people don’t. Generally, these are people who are fanatics on one side of the fence or the other on any particular issue you care to name. Seeing the grass on both sides of the fence at the same time is sadly a very rare skill to have. Alot of people think they have it, but very few actually do.

  2. The only random elements are the ones caused by yourself. for example, technology backwater will always appear when circumstances are x and y. The GDP will always rise by z amount when you lower import tariffs by a. So ultimately this game is more of a puzzle than a simulator. Its you against the algorithm with different starting points, and once you get it you’ve beaten it. This doesn’t take away from the value of the game, especially its educational bent. Try limiting yourself instead. Take on the attitude of an environmentalist and see if you can still pull off a win.

Cheers


#3

Hey SheepRock, thanks for the reply. I figured someone would say “set yourself goals”, I usually end up doing that in most games I play anyway, so I will from now on. I was pleased to see, for example, that I could successfully support the religious at the expense of liberals.

As you said, there is very little randomness, and the algorithm isn’t too difficult to deconstruct, but I agree that some people would just see trigger words that would send them off down the wrong track. If I didn’t know the result of a response to an issue, I would always have a conscience vote first, then check to see what that choice actually did. :slight_smile: Btw, I’ve already done the environmentalist win :wink: Are there any paths to victory that are known to be more difficult? Liberals seem a little more difficult to deal with, as a lot of their preferences increase crime.

I don’t know how extensive the modding support is, but I’ll have a scan through the mods people have made and see what is out there.


#4

Speaking of randomness, there are the events. Relying on income tax can make you quite vulnerable to market fluctuations. The terrorist stuff is little more than a temporary irritation, I only used the army to get more state employees.

Does income tax evasion actually do anything? I’m going to assume that crass manipulation of taxes immediately before an election is considered lame? It is way too easy to get capitalists and the middle incomers to love you for the five minutes it takes them to cast their votes.


#5

I don’t think the events are random… the superhero does not appear until crime hits certain circumstances from what I gather, and the terrorists only seem to appear when the situation gets too drastic too quickly… same with every other event. Although a good way to test for sure would be to play the exact same game twice and monitor the results.

Look at your GDP when you have a tax evasion problem, and you should notice a drag on your economy because of it.

as for a challenge? Id love to see what someone can do with http://positech.co.uk/forums/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=2300 playing of course, as a staunch “conservative”.

The single biggest improvement to this game imo would be to introduce a drag on success. For example:

  1. too much extra money in the budget and your cabinet goes corrupt on you - money gets siphoned and the public gets pissed because it appears in the local news.
  2. too high of an approval rating and the opposing party begins slamming you in the news on one single subject, making that subject (i.e. roads, tech spending, community police, anything that has a guage on it) become way more expensive to maintain.

Even without this, democracy 2 still rocks.

Cheers!


#6

I can agree with all of that.

Overall, the largest issue with the game (in every aspect) is how self-sustaining everything becomes. Both positive and negative, everything tends to feed on itself. By the end of the game the situation is normally either very positive or very negative.
One thing that I’ve considered doing is to massively increase voter apathy. That doesn’t really address the underlying issue, but it seems like it should be a good work-around. Has anyone tried it, yet?


#7

I won the first election 35.9 vs 12.6. The hardest question to answer was “what would a converservative do?”. Strictly speaking, they only really care about crime in the game. I decided patriotism, religion, small business and the middle and wealthy classes were probably the areas they were most likely to also care about, but they would probably like some degree of social safety net as well. My next goal will be to make the wealthy class the dominant voting force >:D

Is it just me or is fox hunting broken? It seems to apply a drag on conservatives when I allow the hunts.

Has anyone found a good way to reduce the number of liberals? I haven’t spotted one yet. Can’t remember what it is now, but I saw a socialist->capitalist converter and a reverse one as well.


#8

Ahh, I just thought of a better challenge… trap the population in poverty, and MAKE THEM ENJOY IT.

So evil.


#9

I love it! See how much you can drop the “everyone” bar in game and still win an election!

The problem with playing as a “conservative” is that there are very few tools for the “conservative” in this game. almost everything is a gov’t policy. Theres no such thing as tax breaks for private schools or anything of that nature. Still, it makes for good gaming.

I think Ill try out your challenge this weekend… see what I can do with it.

Cheers!


#10

I don’t like how the country becomes 50% state employee and therefore fanatical about you(all the policies to make them happy also make more of them). Perhaps another policy for public service pay should influence their happiness. It would have to increase in cost with all the major welfare policies.