Improving the long-term challenge of the game

I think that depends a lot on how it’ll get used, but it’s certainly a big possiblity/danger.

I think there are multiple levels to that. But if AIs truly become that generally important, I’m certain school curricula will change to eventually reflect this. If not due to governmental thinking-ahead, it’ll happen because the industry demands more people proficient in that sort of thing. But even governments themselves will likely directly at least look into it.

Perhaps also look into noise generation rather than sines. Economy is fundamentally unpredictable. (That being said, make sure to expose the seed to the player and/or make randomness strength adjustable. It’d really suck if you lost the game because of a giant random spike that you have literally no control over. Unless you’re playing a challenge run where this level of unpredictability is the whole point.)
(Oh and some of that randomness could be modified by policies too, maybe. Like, perhaps some policies shift the mean around but don’t affect the variance, and others might reduce or boost variance but have nest to no effect on the mean…)

Hell yeah. There’s also something to be said of the “human touch” across creative or social fields. If the machines really do outpace our cognition in employment, there’s a whole other side of the brain to use which can generate value. This is what I meant when I spoke of the redefinition of what defines paid work.

I don’t think a peasant would’ve understood why working on an assembly line for luxury goods constituted a job, just like how that assembly line worker would find it hard to believe people are paid to write reports and have meetings in the myoptic world of today.

People continued to be employed after revolutions in industrial technology partly because of a need for higher skilled labour, but mainly because new realities of what constituted a job became normal. The Star Trek scenario would involve paying people to learn, create and champion high ethics until the concept of scarcity was eradicated and money became irrelevant. The first steps of that in this game would be quaternary education programs, subsidies for arts communes, and forging an even more egalitarian world. Now that’s what I want a MFing game about.

Highly Automated, Prosperous, Socially Progressive Space Democratic Socialism? :wink:

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That will surely be the future if it is to be a good one, yes. AI will never fully replace human artists. - It may make inroads, making it no longer a human-only show, and in fact it already has done so in some ways, but it won’t fully replace them. Because some people will always like that actual humans made a thing.

Also, I predict that in a lot of businesses, it’s gonna be a combination of humans and AIs, directly collaborating, that will yield the best results.
In fact there’s history to this: Apparently while computers easily have beaten humans in chess for AGES now, being utterly dominant, it’s actually been possible for humans to compete against pure computer play if they were allowed to rely on computers for help. (I am, to be fair, not at all sure how Alpha Star changed that equation. Maybe that already plays so human-like that it alone is just as strong as a team of one human and it? No clue.)

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As someone who reads a lot of this AI/robotics/future predictions stuff, I think that we will have AI that writes novels (maybe not high art, but genre trope stuff), songs and even creates video games long before we will have a truly flexible robot gardener or massage therapist.
Its notable how the cognitive capabilities of AI have raced ahead whereas robotics, especially soft-touch robotics in a super-complex environment like someone’s house or garden, have been relatively slow.

In more game-relevant terms this means that lawyers and accountants will be made unemployed way before hairdressers and gardeners, which will make for some veyr interesting economics.

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I am not disagreeing at all that those AIs will exist. Importantly though, there will be plenty of demand by people for art by people for people (this sentence was not generated by AI I swear! :smiley:) and so that those will exist isn’t actually gonna be as detrimental to those jobs as with others where an AI’s performance can be assessed more objectively.

Gardening may be an excellent situation for AI collab tho. If we actually get a robotic gardener capable of shaping arbitrary gardens with similar precision and speed as a regular gardener (this is an extremely complex task though, and I think we’re a long way away from that happening, because it’s so crazy varied and dependent on how the world is shaped with little to no assumptions you can make beforehand), it might become a great too where, basically, you have a concept artist / planner (which is part of the gardening job) who is human, and then the AI works day and night to make it real.

On the other hand, it’s actually far more likely (and perhaps has even already happened - similar things sure have), that an AI might give a weird and quirky design, possibly flawed in a number of ways, and an actual gardener acts as interpreter, translating from the wild dreams of an AI into the real world.
But as said, while this AI creativity is already, in some sense, possible, it usually has a very particular style to it (or it copies some artist’s style as the case may be), and there will be people who like that style and there will be people who do not.

So I think, art will mostly be made more diverse, extended by an extra tool. It will not ever become the sole domain of robots. Humans will always find new and creative ways to make more art.


I was more thinking the job printers do know.

Absolutely. Some fascinating points, Cliff. I’ve actually been quite fascinated with Though there’s no feeling behind the works, that sort of adds to their haunting composition. This would perhaps give way to a culture of artisans praised for the injection of true human feeling in the creation of things.

While I’m sure chatbot therapists will be a thing of the future, I feel like true emotive understanding is also something only a human can give another. Again, the human touch, which has long been lacking in our cold, darwinian reality.

I agree. A hybridisation of means seems the most fitting thing. All classic Trek philosophy.

As fine as it is though, every industrial revolution took blood. It could be as painful as carbon neutrality has been to force onto industry, maybe it’ll be even worse.

Ok, I’m glad to see my point about technology sparked some discussion, but I think I’ll be the one to pull it back a bit here. This thread was supposed to be about the long term difficulty of the game. It was not my intention to monopolize the thread.

I find that the average voter (IRL) is more likely to remember one thing they don’t like about a politician than 5 or 6 things they did like. I find in the game that I can pick some voter groups to have one foot in their circle, and one foot out of it, and that seems to be good enough. There’s a reason so many politicians play such a divisive angle, and it’s that there really is no point in half pleasing anyone, they’ll vote against you if you do that. If you’re not “on their side”, they will see you as uncommitted, and opportunistically playing for their vote without actually being concerned for their values.

I suggested one idea, that the dilemma negative opinions are permanent, while the positive ones decay, but this didn’t get a good reaction. My intention there is that as the game progresses, and the player has addressed more dilemmas, the “piss offs” will slowly accumulate, increasing the difficulty over time.

More generally however, if you want to increase difficulty in a way that doesn’t feel “gamey”, but actually reflects the challenges of real politics, you need to find a way to make the piss offs stick.

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I’ve spent all day testing yesterdays changes, but encountered a few things that needed tweaking, especially the way the new dual-system for immigration works, so I am back to needing more testing on a newly balanced build. I made skills shortage trigger more easily, and also ramped up the speed at which industrial automation happens. Its worth noting that by default the US game ends after two terms, so some of the super-long term stuff is probably too long term :D.

I suspect the gains in terms of long term challenge for the next build I release will not be that good, because the immigration changes have thrown a curve-ball into the whole simulation, but hopefully the release after that can be more of a ‘pure’ late game balance update.


Did you test France and implement all socialist policies to see, if you made debt crisis to be actual threat, not something that you can completely ignore, if you max out enough policies?

How easy are cyclones to trigger, if you max out CO2 emissions?

I haven’t tried France yet. I’ll do playthroughs all day tomorrow of various countries.


What may be possible, coming back to the collaboration, is that AIs might be able to extract key elements in a short conversation, streamlining and making it more quick to get people a therapist, who really need one badly.
Or they might help summarize outcomes or pre-search past occurrences as topics come up or stuff like that, making it easier to keep in mind all the details therapy has already gone through so far and keeping better track of progress / change.

But yeah, all in all, I doubt robots will ever fully replace emotional work. Not even close.

Unfortunately that particular battle isn’t even won yet. Although it’s finally making some strides at least. Better late than never I guess. Hopefully it wasn’t already too late…

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Would it be possible to implement some sort of succession mechanic so you can keep playing the game as another character?

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As said, that’s no good. Not if it’s literally no decay what so ever.
A far longer decay time is fine, but not zero decay. It’d theoretically make it so, in the long run, the game may become literally unwinnable, as more and more of those negative modifiers pile up and you can no longer win any elections at all, no matter what you do. That would be an extremely unsatisfying end to a campaign that long.

Assuming your goal is to get as much passed as possible before your campaign naturally ends, this is actually a good thing tho. It’s very true to politics. If you are term-limited, you do not have to care that much about what happens after your term limits. (Of course that doesn’t mean you can’t ramp up some effects far more early as well)

Yes, I agree with what you are saying would happen, but that’s just politics. No president or prime minister is infinitely re-electable. Eventually they will have accumulated so many piss offs that so many people can think of some great offense worth voting for the opposition over and that’s GG for a political career. I can’t speak for any other country, but it has even happened in Canadian politics that parties have seen the writing on the wall and tossed the leader in the middle of a term. Kim Campbell became PM of Canada this way and Christy Clark became Premier of British Columbia by this route as well.

Take environmentalists for example. If I push pretty much every environmental policy to full, but then approve a pipeline and fracking, do you think the green vote is still in play for me? (In game, yes it would be, IRL would be a different story)

Untrue. Plenty of very long politician careers exist. In particular when The Other Side fails to produce any promising candidate. Some people are somehow capable of outstaying their welcome by large margins.

That’s actually different. I’d argue going that much against your usual policies should give you an absolutely massive negative reaction that’s slow (but not literally impossible) to get out of. Feelings of Betrayal like that won’t last forever. They will, however, cut very, very deep. To the point where, initially, a near 100% supportive voter group may briefly be at 100% hating you.

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GlobalCO2 definitely zig-zags all over the place, and should definitely be looked at again, because in some countries, brings down the avg temp really well, in others it’s a herculean task. Perhaps signing the climate deal, should gradually shut the positive effect of the “year” modifier for GCO2 overtime so that Climate Change doesn’t become impossible to solve, especially for some countries.

Certainly we should model voters valuing stability as well, if a government has worked well in the past and done good things and is doing good things, even if you’re complacent/cynical, you’d still prefer the known bore to the unknown excitement (usually).