Well … “Thank You” for a start.
I learnt about “Democracy” on a p2p network, intrigued by its name I downloaded it and began tinkering.
The interface is extremely clean thus no need to go through a tutorial. I wonder why the developer is using DirectDraw for the GUI but … hey … it gets the job done.
In the “not so legal” version I was given the option to choose among several countries: living in Italy at the moment and surviving the daily news, I decided on a career as the newly elected Italian prime minister.
Later on I tried the “official” demo playing as the UK and I must say that, in game terms, it’s a pussy country. Less than 100% GDP/pdebt ratio? Laughing matter. Public support over 50% … Decent economy … No immediate security issues … Tsk: Play Italy … toughen yourself up.
I was aware of the situation to start with: but on the one hand you are confronted with statistics on “The Economist” whereas on the other you need craft policies according to popular support.
In that perspective you could say that the game crashing so often adds to the feeling of insecurity. The game crashes. Often. But then again, perhaps it’s a feature.
Both versions crash: demo and “illegal”. I have read about crashes while the music loop changes: it happens. I saw there’s a debug output, but there’s nothing helpful inside.
In spite of that, I believe it’s healthy entertainment thus I will purchase the game. At the very least to encourage its development.
There are some inconsistencies in-game:
Why isn’t monetary policy implemented?
It’s one of the few macro-economic policies that governments can enforce quite easily. Even though You might have some arguments over who actually enforces it (Fed, ECB, …) It would also be easy to add, in a future release, it suffices to assume the traditional keneysian model correct … You can surely better shape macroeconomics with equations rather than politics.
Why is there only a bipartisan mode?
The US and the UK basically only sport such systems but in continental Europe it’s not the same: France has several parties yet less than Italy, so does Poland and to a lesser degree also Germany. A 30% in France is a very likely victory.
Playing as the UK I noticed the pop consisted of 40% middleclassed citizens, that same percentage didn’t change over time, even though the economy was blossoming (almost two points over three months basis). It’s a decent model in the short run, a lesser one in the medium run. You have some very long term policies ingame.
In much the same way should change the pop’s ideology … less socialists as riches spread … more capitalists and vice versa (I saw those categories always on “steady”) Actually that really depends on the country’s tradition … national virtues …
Scope of policies?
How come I am able to modify - say - the Italian’s pension budget. In real life such a manoeuvre would result in a political suicide besides the opposition would never allow me to do so … unless I had a huge popular base. There are two chambers where the laws have to be approved, my party could have the majority in the parliament but you often need more than that …
Every time I clicked on the “money” tab my budget decreased by a tiny bit … I played several business simulations: such research/polling costs may be very important some times. It’s a good habit to have to weight the benefit of information over the cost of acquiring it.
There are tons of other aspects I would love to discuss but my eyelids close and my elbows slide on the table …