Naming and selection of ministers in USA

One of the ways to improve the game feel for the USA is the Cabinet Ministers screen.
The US uses the term ‘Secretary’ for most cabinet positions rather than the term ministers, and they have different names. See They don’t all map precisely, but for example:

  • Law and Order Minister could be Secretary of Homeland Security; and
  • Chancellor could be Secretary of the Treasury.

The USA executive does not have to come from parliament either, the President gets to pick who ever he likes and the senate confirms them. So the ‘potential ministers’ list could be a lot longer and not just the same old names, see


It would be quite easy to write code to change the names… BUT! I wonder if people might find it confusing. For example in the UK the chancellor is basically in charge of tax, and t some extent the economy, whereas in Germany Chancellor is effectively President. Some countries have presidents AND prime ministers.
Its chaos!

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I would find it far more confusing if things are labeled wrong.

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I think it would be a bit strange to have USA cabinet positions not sort of match reality, since the simulations aims for some semblance of reality (albeit extrapolated and streamlined) overall in the mechanics.

If multiple labels are confusing for various countries, perhaps the background behind the minister portrait needs a symbol to associate them visually with something (a soft symbol, kind of like a watermark, neutral in color and only noticeable if you sort of pay attention maybe). e.g. Think economy minister and treasurer secretary having $ or coins or something. Transportation having some vehicle or combo of vehicles or a wavy road, etc.

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true, but then its also very western thinking to assume the rest of the world will understand that the Chancellor is in charge of tax, because that’s what it is in the UK. If you took a poll, I’m sure you’d find treasurer is a more acceptable global term. I know it’s just naming, but it adds to the experience IMHO. Understand it may have implications for you on the back end for how country modules are defined, especially if these names are hard-coded, but you’ll make players playing their own countries very happy.
See my example below:



yes, sexier graphics would be more appealing. the background colour at the moment shows loyalty, which is an important game metric you need to track when playing. I’m not sure how background graphics would play with that. maybe if they were monochromatic and could have traffic light colouring as well?

also Foreign Affairs Minister in USA = Secretary of State.
The marketing almost writes itself. What American wouldn’t want to fire the Secretary of State!


I was actually stopping by the forums specifically to request this. I finding it difficult sometimes to get into the feeling that I’m running a particular country. Minor tweaks like this could really help: Secretary of the Treasury (or Treasury Secretary) vs. Minister.
In addition, I actually think it would be fun to learn the differences in the titles, to the extent that I might not even mind if for Spain it became, Ministra de Hacienda although that might be too far for some.
It would seem that an icon or background representing what they do might be enough to avoid confusion.
Also, it could be an option or toggle.
I adore Democracy 4! But, personally, I’d really like MORE realism with regards to minor stuff like that. It’s fun to learn little things like that from the game, as well.

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I think this one comes down to a question of how far in depth do you want each aspect of the game to go? I’d say that a game which attempts to simulate contemporary democracy is a potentially bottomless rabbit hole, and decisions have to be made about what gets cut off where. Certainly representing the different structures that each country’s democracy has would be a way to add variety and therefore replayability to the game, but then the resources to develop that would have to come out of something else.

I play a different game where the developers seem to get bored of something they’ve added before they have it fully iron out, and are on to the next big brain addition which they will never actually finish. I would much prefer a priority of bug fixes, then balance fixes, then adding new content.

It does seem that there are two different suggestions here:
One involves having all the ‘positions’ unchanging, but the titles and body names be a variable, so in essence they could be modded. There’s always a [head of state] that gets elected, there’s always seven members of the [body], one of which always is in charge of economy [economy title].
I’d be plenty satisfied with something like that.
The other that Cliff broached is far more involved and while I think it would be undeniably interesting, it’s also undeniably complex to have that sort of flexibility.
Fwiw, that wasn’t what I was thinking about.
I just think it would feel more thematic to see that the Secretary of State was going to quit when I’m playing as the US than the Foreign Minister.
Not minimizing the effort that would be required, ‘little’ things like that help me feel it a bit more.

I do intend to give this a proper look at some point, as its not really too tricky to do. The only complexity is that when I do it, we need to also translate it. So we don’t just add a line of text somewhere that changes the name to be something else for this country or that, it needs to be new names for potentially say 10 countries and 6 languages and for each cabinet position. I’ll make sure its on trello.
I agree bug fixes are definitely a priority though.


I noticed this one is moving forward on Trello. Sweeeeeeeeeeet! :smiley:

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Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice :smiley:
Love your projects, sir!

I really hate to have to nitpick, but Law and Order should be the Attorney General, not the Secretary of Homeland Security. They’re head of the justice department, which includes the FBI, prisons, drug enforcement, etc. Homeland security actually handles some of what’s considered foreign policy in D4, immigration, border security and anti-terrorism.

I really wasn’t sure which to pick out of those two. On the one hand attorney general ‘sounds’ like it right, but then homeland security deals with counter terrorist stuff which is also the same kind of area… I will canvas multiple opinions

I assume it’s State-Foreign Policy, Economy-Commerce, Tax-Treasury, Public Services-Health & Human services, Transport-Transportation. I suppose Welfare should probably be Labor, as they distribute unemployment insurance and we don’t have a great fit anyway.

One factor for DHS vs DoJ (Attorney General) is that the latter is a much more important and senior position, politically speaking than secretary of homeland security.

Yup I’ve made it Attorney General
Really couldn’t decide easily on welfare or public services, I think I avoided labor, because that really sounded like it should be economy…
Its one of those things where trying to make the game feel more accurate…can actually make it feel less accurate. (hopefully not!).

For example, we don’t have a sec of state for veterans affairs, nor a department for veterans affairs, because AFAIK EVERY other major country just includes that within the defence department or welfare. It seems weird to me that the US makes a whole separate cabinet position for it tbh.

I mean, giving us an amalgamated Public Services or Welfare secretary wouldn’t be the end of the world. You put education and healthcare in the same category and those are split for basically everyone, after all. And as I said, Labor administrates unemployment insurance, so they might fit.

I… don’t actually know why we have that. I think it might have been the Reagan administration trying to pander to the veteran vote.