My suggestions for a possible Democracy 2

Well, I’m a really big fan of political games and simulators, and Democracy is certainly one of my favourites. Obviously a game can only be made according to it’s creator’s wishes, but I’d like to offer some suggestions of what my ideal political simulation would be like:

  1. Political groups. You would need to create or join a political party, with it’s own name, logo, and manifesto. Perhaps we could see multiple opposition parties, and splits within your own if you are not consistent enough in policies, or you don’t keep a tight control on your members.

  2. A campaign of some sort. I own Republic: The Revolution, and for all it’s flaws it acually contains some good ideas. I’d like to see a system where you have to get yourself elected, American style for example, as the governor of a state, and then from there campaign to become president. As governor you would only have access to the powers that real world governors have. After becoming president you will keep control of the state you became governor of, but the AI governors remain in the other states, either supporting you or opposing you in accordance with your popularity in that state.

  3. Ministers. Political personalities would feature heavily, performing all sorts of jobs including newspaper editors and so on. These key figures would be modreately randomised in terms of names, skills and opinions in order to provide variety and choice. When you form a government you will be required to select ministers who will advise you (mostly correctly but according to their own biases and sometimes making major mistakes) and will also carry out the government’s plans in their personal areas (helthcare, defence and so on). Perhaps this could be achived by simply selecting an opinion before undertaking an action, with them providing a statement of possible results.

These people will also have their own popularity values and this will affect the public’s opinion of the government as a whole. This means that often when your popularity is low you will find yourself having to form a coalition government as a safeguard against impeachment or worse.

  1. Parliament. Major decisions will have to be voted on by representatives of each constituency (or state or whatever), which will also prevent you from drastic reforms unless you have a majority.

  2. Backbenchers. Sometimes you will face opposition even from your own party, with different solutions depending on your style of presidency. You can kick out troublemakers. enforce discipline with party whips or change policies to satisfy your supporters. This could further be expanded upon, much like in black and white, so your ministers and the public learn from your actions and attempt to emulate you or decide whether they like you or not respecively.

  3. A basic economic model. Just to put a little more realism into the economic side. I’ve explained this in another post but just something so that your decisions will have true real-world outcomes.

  4. Corruption. To further imitate real life, presidents will be tempted to do underhanded deals in order to support a lavish lifestyle, for example a palace-building minigame similar to the one in several civilisation games.

  5. Pressure groups. When several groups within the population are strongly opposed to a policy, they will form a pressure group which will attempt to do whatever it takes for that law to be changed, including bribes, blackmail and anything else that can be coded.

These are my main ideas, which are no means comprehensive but hopefully you might be able to find something in here worth using, that is if you do decide to create a sequel.

I am leaning towards a sequle next, although I am currently faviouring beefing up the simulation side of it (economy etc) than the political side. I have this vision in my head of how it might work, but I think next time around I will design a mroe flexible GUI for it as my first step. Democracy was a good first pass at this new way of doing it.

I find both sides interesting so I don’t mind either way. Although if you are leaning towards the economic sides I have some more suggestions, which I will collect and post in this thread after I’ve thought about it some more.

I’m not quite sure what you mean by a more flexible GUI, I’m not too versed in technological terms :confused:

Aren’t the two really interrelated? By which I mean, if for example I spend a fortune on alternative transit systems and raise the gas tax, while motorists will protest, over time we should a shrinkage of the motorist political bloc–simply because there are fewer motorists around. At the same time, the alternative energy folks will not only be pleased, they should see a gradual increase in their numbers with the availability of good, relatively inexpensive alternative means of transportation. It’s not as though you can raise the tax high enough to kill the automobile, or fund alternative fuels to such an extent that the bloc of voters convinced by the results swells to enormous proportions, but it should conceivably make a difference in their respective sizes and political clout.

another of democracies many initial limitations was the frequency (size) of every political group could not be easily targeted by a policy. If I do a sequel, and do it the way I currently am tempted to, all that will change. You will have each person not only be a member of a group, but their membership will be fractional. So you will have die-hard motorists, and then people who hate cars but see no alternative, and policies will be able to tip those on the edge out of that group.
I just need to code it :smiley:

BTW I just changed the forum ranks to sound like rock legend things :smiley:

That’s brilliant! I hope you make sure that the groups can’t change to ridiculous proportions, or if they do the economy goes bust. On one game I had 99% of my population retired farmers…

Hoho. thats a good point. It’s very fiddly.

And another thing…

I’d really like to see spin/news management in the game! In politics major problems can be overcome with a healthy dose of news manipulation. It could be anything from funding a government news monitoring service or creating a nationalised news service (like the BBC) you can ‘influence’ to give a good spin on a government story.

I have figured out one way (the way?) to win.

*** Spoiler Alert ***


In the beginning, I raise taxes, create an import tarriff, cut a lot of spending, and start new programs with long-term positive effects on GDP and productivity. Once the deficit/debt is under control, I lower taxes and create a lot of new programs to make almost everyone (except capitalists and the wealthy) happy.

This way of winning seems to fit left/socialist ideas (which fits my personal taste, hehe). But I think that there should be more than one way to win. Has anyone been able to win consistently with right-wing strategies – i.e., pleasing capitalists, wealthy, conservatives, patriots, and religious? Success in the long run seems to consist of more government programs, but in the real world, parties that advocate less government win elections at least some of the time.

That’s the way I do it, but I’m pretty sure it can be done with the support of whatever groups you like…

It’s a matter of the inherent difficulty of the scenario (nation), and the level of difficulty you’ve chosen to play.

Here’s another thought, to keep it in the same thread - after playing the demo of Rock Legend, why not use the same (or similar) system as the band member thing to give you a randomised choice of ministers for your government?

I’ve mentioned something like this, except that in order for ministers to be more than window dressing, they would have to possess pre-existing levels of competence, as well as some position on the political spectrum. The “game” part might revolve around trying to push policies they favored, since having your administration push policies they disliked would lead to them jumping ship and denouncing your government. Some reward would have to be created for keeping them happy–perhaps a positive modifier to the effectiveness of a policy in a minister’s balliwick? Just an idea.

My ideal for this is Hidden Agenda, a wonderful game that came out in the late 1980s. You had to fill 3 posts, drawing on 12 politicians from 3 different (far left, centrist, far right) parties in a very rocky Central American democracy. If you pushed a policy your chosen minister liked (according to their dossier you read before hiring them), you could be assued they would put it into action. Give them something they didn’t like, and it simply wouldn’t get done well, assuming it got done, at all. Do the latter often enough, and they’d leave you.

I love the idea of ministers pushing an agenda. and who knows, this stuff may even get coded one day. For the first time in years I have actually been working on new Democracy code (for a sequel one day). Hurrah!

I’ve played Hidden Agenda - it was quite fun, but I didn’t like the fact that your choices were so limited in terms of who you could choose as a minister. Also I think that if you have to pander to your ministers then the skill should be choosing ministers which are most like you, not in letting other people (apart from voters) dictate your policies.

As a political scale and an indicator of opinions, I think the scale in Particracy, the online game, is the best I’ve seen so far.

But that’s the point of the game, isn’t it? Achieving something concrete while making compromises. In a pretty accurate representation of a polarized Central American “republic,” you have very angry and armed factions on the left and right. In Hidden Agenda, if you give it all to either side, the other stages a revolt and you are out of office: you lose. One way to build street cred with opposing factions (whichever side you may take) is to include its representatives in government. You don’t have to do this, but then winning the game–completing your term in office–becomes much, much harder. And if you do put a member of some group you don’t belong to in power, of course they’re going to expect the implementation of some policies they favor. That’s very realworld, and adds a nice element of strategic balancing.

Being realworld, yet fun to play, was what the game designer tried to achieve. He really wanted to make Hidden Agenda reflective of the extreme cultural tensions present in an unstable Central American government. He’s told me that he then went to several companies with the idea of doing a Middle Eastern version of the title, but was fobbed off ironically enough with the answer that nobody was interested in the Middle East. :unamused: Of course, that was back in the late 1980s, but still.

I understand that’s was the style of the game, and it was enjoyable, I just felt that it was impossible to do things the way you wanted to. There seemed to be only one way to win. Maybe I didn’t play it long enough, but that’s the impression I got.

I did manage to win the game with a mixed cabinet, but never without. However, I usually marginalized the opposition (typically the far right–I’m such a socialist) by giving them the foreign ministry, and allowing them to regularly vote as they wished on those issues.

Hi there.

First off, let me start by saying: cliffski, you do an amazing job. I’m a big fan of your work. And the recent announcement of a sequel has ofcourse gotten me excited.
So, I would like to add some suggestions that you can use if you find them worthy.

First, it has already been suggested that you make the political system more complex, such as adding govenors (if one is playing as the US), and even getting to play a such yourself. This is generally a good idea, which I believe could be carried out very well if you were to introduce a geographical aspect to the game. This could include features such as being able to see a map of the country in question, as well as being able to select specific administrative divisions of the country (such as individual states in the US). It would be swell if one was able to see how big a political grouping is on a nation-wide scale, as well as in specific regions or states. Perhaps there would be more conservatives in the southern states of the US, and more liberals in the north? And if one was able to introduce laws and ruling specific to one region, that’d make things really interesting.

Secondly, if you are going to introduce specific people, such as ministers and what not, it may be a good idea to have a way of measuring their political position more accurately than just “far left”, “center” or “far right”. A good option here, is to use something along the lines of the political compass in order to measure them. Maybe the player could click on an individual minister, and then being shown a graph of his political position, such as left/right: +3, libertarian/authoritarian: -7.
Here’s the link to the site of the political compass, if you’re not already familiar with it:

In any case, these are just suggestions, and may be hard to implement. Or they may not be desirable, or fit your visions for Democracy II. That’s up to you. Whatever you decide, I’m sure it’ll be an excelent game! :slight_smile:

Spoilers here, too.

I always slash taxes at the beginning. In a lot of the countries, the corporate tax is insanely high. Maybe I cut the personal income tax a little. I usually lower fuel tax too. If they aren’t there, I introduce tobacco and alcohol taxes, but to reasonable levels. I use the car taxes sometimes too.

I also cut a lot of spending. Maybe a little bit from the military. I usually cut roads to “maintenance only”. But I put in the tax shelters (moderate level), technology grants, rural development grants, etc. I usually put the car emissions tax on to a lower level too. That usually raises the air quality by, like, 80% and its not too expensive. I put tariffs on too, put to a moderate-low level. I lower maternity leave, too and introduce labor laws that lean pro-employer.

The first quarter revenue plummets and costs usually go up a little bit, too. After that, income soars, unemployment falls and your spending goes down. I always wind up with a surplus and can barely find ways to spend the money.

Poor people always love me because poverty falls. I usually have the state pensions way up, so the retirees are loyal. Farmers like me because of the rural development grants. Wealthy people are at least satisfied because of the lower income tax and the tax shelters. Middle class is satisfied too. Environmentalists are usually pretty happy because I put on the car emissions testing and pollution controls. My air quality usually goes up about 130% in my first term. The religious, for some reason, tend to have problems with me. I usually put on faith school subsidies to help that out. Patriots like the border controls, so I put that on too. I have a lot of problems with motorists, though. They’re always against me. Capitalists appreciate the lower taxes and the toll roads (I use them, too).

So far, I think my record is 92% voting to reelect me. I run into problems after a while because I sometimes wind up failing on my campaign promises after three or four elections. Its hard to make air quality better after its been improved 150%.

I’ve tried going more restrictive on the economy, but I’ve never had any luck with it at all. My strategy does have some problems when you run a country with short terms and poorer countries, though. It works very well in Australia and especially the United States.