[MOD] Department for Education and Families


#1

Department for Education and Families
A Democracy 3 Mod
By Elinor and Xietanu
V 1.1

You can download it from Steam: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=212349971

Or as a zip, with installation instructions in the readme included: DepartmentForEducationAndFamilies.zip (62.7 KB)

The Department for Education and Families is a massive overhaul of the public, and to a lesser extent private, education system in Democracy 3. It introduces 7 new policies, 5 new simulation values and 2 new situations, as well as substantially changing how existing systems work and interact. The mod covers the major areas of education inequality, teacher supply and teaching quality. No longer is the majority of public education dictated by one policy and one slider.

Additionally, there are many more links to other parts of Democracy 3, as well as new situations and new triggers for old situations! You can suffer teacher unemployment, a tail of pupils without even basic qualifications and, of course, teacher strikes.

Xietanu and I hope you enjoy this mod, and look forward to hearing any feedback!

-El


#2

Thanks Elinor!

I just want to re-itterate El’s point that I would be very happy to read any feedback people might like to offer.

In terms of potential future additions, we’re thinking about more family stuff like social services and adoptions, as well as potential new dilemmas and events, so if you have any ideas, please let us know.


#3

Downloading and testing tonight! I’m so happy to see a mod that improves education beyond just throwing money at students.

Edit: well… The steam upload seems problematic. I couldn’t find the mod through the democracy workshop (I had to go through your account to get to it). It didn’t download anything and made the game crash at launch. Weird.


#4

Oh, that’s unfortunate. Thank you for letting me know. I have been having problems with the Steam workshop, I think it may be a little overloaded at the moment. I will try re-uploading. For now, you should be able to use the zip file attached here.

-El


#5

It doesn’t work either. My game just get stuck at “please wait”. I think it’s uncompatible with another mod. Economic realism, More policies and policies pack seem to be the most logical incompatibilities. I’ll look into it further later.


#6

Possibly, I don’t think we tested it with all of those, it was mostly balanced for playing with it alone. I’ll test it some more later.


#7

Well. I tried deleting everything and unsubscribe to everything. I reinstalled D3 and now it gets stuck to “please wait” anyway. Really weird. oO


#8

Okay, so I had some of the same problems with the ‘please wait’, and I think it has something to do with the weird Steam problems yesterday (as I believe checking with Steam is one of the things that it does during that stage). To be on the safe side, I’ve re-uploaded the mod to the Workshop and can confirm it works if you subscribe to it and download it that way.

Unfortunately, it still doesn’t seem to want to show up in the main Steam Workshop, so you’ll have to find it through the link above. I’ll e-mail Cliffski and see if he has any ideas on that one. All my others just worked.

Also, rather embarrassingly (thanks to Xietanu for spotting this one thankfully quickly), the version I packaged and uploaded here and the initial one I put on the Steam Workshop both had one of the hidden variables unhidden from some final testing and balancing. As such, I have updated the uploaded version in my first post and fixed the Steam version. In short, if you downloaded it before this post was posted, please re-download. Sorry about that!

Xietanu is also currently looking into mod compatibility issues (in case some of your problems weren’t just Steam Workshop related), and will report back probably a bit later today.

Thanks for your patience and sorry for the slightly bumpy start!

-El


#9

EDIT: Following further testing, this turns out to have been mostly wrong. The only compatibility issue is with the Economic Realism Pack.

If you want to run both, you need to find your Democracy 3 folder, then go into realismpack > data > overrides, and find a file called ‘pschools_equal.ini’. Move this file somewhere else (but keep it safe) and they should work together. If you want to run the Economic Realism Pack on its own again, you’ll need to put that file back.


#10

Hi, I’d love to include this in the list of mods on the mods page for the democracy 3 website, is it ok to do that now?
Cheers!


#11

Cliffski, that’s absolutely fine. Thanks!


#12

Cliffski, actually can you pause on that very slightly? I have just noticed this includes the _freq/_perc mix-up with pupil numbers. Once that’s fixed, I’ll update this page and then I think it should be fine to go on the mod page.

Sorry about that!

-El


#13

Mod updated with some small bug-fixes. Please re-download and update if you’ve got the zip file, otherwise hopefully Steam will do it’s thing and update it for you!

Cliffski, this is now ready for putting on the mod list. Thanks!

-El


#14

Superbly done, the pair of you.

I’ve not looked at these forums for a long while, and it was this mod that tempted me to fire Democracy 3 up again.

Firstly, before I even got to the game, the infographics you’ve got showing how everything links up are very appealing, and drew me in straight away.

On my first playthrough, I didn’t really touch the new policies… until the pupil tail of those who didn’t get into my new technology colleges, and hence couldn’t keep up in high-tech Britain, started becoming an economy crippling deadweight! Once I thought this through, I was chuckling with glee about how accurate and realistic a simulation it was. Really drew me in.

One slight bug I’ve noted; State Schools appears to be double influencing PTR.

For future development, I have only one request. Please make Michael Gove’s present Blackadder farce into a dilemma!

Well done again; I look forward to your total rewrite of the healthcare sector (no pressure!)


#15

Thank you for the feedback, Rick, that’s very kind.

I’m glad the infographics were useful, I thought they might help given the scale of the changes. Plus, who doesn’t like rainbows? They’re basically just a prettier version of some of the documents used to design the thing in the first place, so hopefully they make it clear. Trying to get it all figured out turned out be quite complicated!

I’m glad you appreciate the inclusion of the tail. The attainment gap is a really important issue in the UK and in other countries, and in some ways is more important right now politically than the overall results, so I’m really happy to have it in the game.

State Schools influencing PTR twice is deliberate. The two equations used to influence are different, and allow for a more complex interaction. Essentially, there’s a linear and cubic effect on PTR from state schools, with equation being -0.4*(x - 0.8 + (x - 0.8)^3), where x is the percentage of that State Schools is set to. But, because of the way that equations work in Democracy 3, you have to implement them separately as -0.4*(x - 0.8) and -0.4 * (x - 0.8) ^ 3, giving you two effects.

Thanks again for the response, it really is appreciated.


#16

Thanks Rick!

I really like your description of your experience playing with the mod, as that’s pretty much exactly what we were going for! One of the things that took a bit of maths and experimentation was setting it up so with the existing State Education and default Teacher Training, countries would start in roughly the same position as before the mod was in place. However, as time goes on and if you try to do the sort of things you did before to maximize education, the more complicated modelling kicks in and hopefully makes things a little more interesting and realistic! For instance, while the UK starts with basically the same education value as before, it’s on the cusp of having a problem with the Pupil Tail, like you experienced, and doing the sorts of things you would usually do, like Technology Colleges, pushes it over. Essentially, you don’t have to focus on Education right away, but you do also have to put more long-term thought into it than before.

Stuff like there being a situation for having not enough teachers and too many teachers also aims to tackle that sort of problem, so just maximising your expenditure on teacher training isn’t the best answer!

I like the suggestion for the dilemma! Though that is a bizarre argument that I don’t really understand and where both sides seem a bit weird. More seriously as well I think it taps into something that might be worth exploring more which is the curriculum. This isn’t in the mod at all at the moment though was something discussed in planning. Maybe some policies or dilemmas that don’t come with much of a cost, but are more ideological and might help shape your country in the long term? Kind of like the creationism vs. evolution in the game at the moment, or the sex ed mod? Labour’s and the Coalition’s approaches to qualifications and the curriculum have been very different, so I think that definitely has room for exploration.

Also, I don’t know if I know enough about healthcare for a proper mod on healthcare! That one would take some reading!

-El


#17

Apparently the Free Society of Independence is also incompatible with this mod!

Here’s how to fix it (shamelessly adapted from Xietanu’s explanation for the ERP):

Navigate to your Democracy 3 folder, the find fsi > data > missions > fsi > overides. Inside there is a file called ‘pschools_equal.ini’. Move this file somewhere else (but keep it safe) and they should work together. If you want to run the FSI on its own again, you’ll need to put that file back.


#18

I’ve uploaded a copy of this mod here:
positech.co.uk/democracy3/mods.html
And told everyone about it, so it should be getting a lot of downloads and subscribers :smiley:


#19

[size=150]Version 1.1 Development Preview[/size]

We’re currently working on three major areas for a big update to version 1.1. Here’s some snapshots from the development documents along with a description of what is being worked on:


[size=150]Bringing real-world government modelling into Democracy 3[/size]

A couple of weeks ago the UK Department for Education released the Teacher Supply Model - A Technical Description.This document sets out the Department’s analytical model for teacher training that is used to determine the number of teachers to train each year. The model looks at how teachers move around the system and enter and leave state funded schools.

This update will be bringing that real-life government analytical model into Democracy 3. Or, at least, a simplified version of it.

From the player’s perspective, the main difference will be a new simulation value called ‘Teacher Stocks’, which will have a lot of the things that fed into PTR feeding into it, and will in turn feed into PTR. This additional step allows for a lot of the more complex modelling, and will result in a more realistic teacher labour market.

Expected changes to gameplay will be that teachers no longer evapourate so quickly when training is reduced (changes come in over a much longer period) and there is a background supply of ‘inactive’ teachers that are trained but not currently teaching which will sometimes re-enter teaching after a period of absense. There are additionally some further factors being added and refined for the teacher stocks, such as the effect of the GDP on teacher wastage indicated in the Teacher Supply Model documentation.



[size=150]Social Workers and Children in Care[/size]

The primary addition in this section will be a system of children moving in and out of government care. A hidden pool of ‘at risk’ children will exist, with its size dependent on things like crime and poverty. Social workers will then work, at various effectiveness, to identify these children and take them into care as necessary. Children in government care can then be fostered or adopted, with fostered children potentially re-entering care at a later date.

‘At risk’ children, children in care and fostered children all have worse outcomes, and so will contribute to crime, health problems and the education gap, though ‘at risk’ children will contribute far more than those that are successfully cared for.

In addition to this, social workers will have other effects based on their other roles, such as providing care for the elderly.



[size=150]More Flavour[/size]

In addition to the big new systems outlined above, there will be some smaller additions to add a little more flavour.

These will include:

  • some new events related to the education situation in your country, from social work scandals to favourable international rankings,
  • some new dilemmas to test your ability to navigate the murky political waters, such as whether to side with teachers or school inspectors after a controversial report, or whether or not to mandate teachers have to have teaching qualifications to teach in state funded schools,
  • a new national curriculum policy that allows you to set the academic/vocational balance for your education system,
  • and a new policy to set the mandatory school leaving age - will you require young people remain in school until 16? Or 18, or even 21?

This list is not necessarily final or complete, so if you have any further suggestions or thoughts about the coming update, please let us know!


#20

Sounds good to me.