New Voter Group Instructions

Okay, so I’ve got the game, I’ve got my wishlist of policies I want to add, I’ve got my list of gripes about the game, and I’ve even got a few ideas for Total Conversion mods which retain the basic interface and engine but change the theme of the game to something barely related to what it currently is.

But I don’t know how to do it. The text files are daunting and I’m afraid to mess something up.

My worst gripes are about the voter groups. I dislike many of the current ones. I don’t think they interact appropriately with each other and with policies. Ergo, changing the voter groups is the first thing on my list of things that I want to learn to modify about the game. Can anyone help?

How do I add new voter groups?

How do I change current ones?

to edit existing ones you can just edit the text in the VoterTypes.csv file (it’s just a text file) if you want to create new ones, you basically add a line to that file, or put a new file in the mydocuments\democracy2\mods\data\simulation\votertypes directory. The new file is basically a single line of text as you would normally get from the votertypes.csv.

So what do the different values mean? Its easiest to open VoterTypes.csv in Excel, so you can see the values in columns (each comma is a new column).
In order from left to right they are:

‘#’ just means use this row, it contains valid data

‘name’ This is the name of the group used internally, not translated or shown anywhere. It is used in policies and scripts to target this group.
‘guiname’ This is what the game publicly calls this group and is used in the GUI to refer to it.
‘plural’ The plural version of guiname, used in some text
‘image’ this is the big image used on the voter details screen. it can be blank
‘overriden_joins’ always set this to 0
‘default’ This is the default level of happiness of the group, regardless of policies
‘percentage’ the percentage of the population who are in this group by default, regardless of policies (which may change that)
‘opposite’ The name of any opposite group. Voters cannot be in a group and its opposite at the same time.
‘#’ marks start of influences

Then comes the influences. Basically this is a list of modifiers to prevent membership of certain groups being too common, or making them more common. Basically there is the name of the other group, a comma then a number indicating how to change the likelihood of being in that group (given that you are in this one). So if you look at farmers you can see they are prevented generally from being commuters. Liberals are encouraged not to be patriots etc etc.

My first foray into editting a voter group resulted in a crash on attempting to load any of the scenarios. I shall try again.

It took me many attempts, but I finally managed to change a single letter on the word “capitalists”. I got the game to call them “captalists”. It isn’t that I have any desire to do this, but that I was testing to see if small changes like that could crash the game. They don’t, but I had a strange problem of the change not “taking”. That is to say when the game was reloaded it would mysteriously fail to include my typo.

Now that I’ve got it, I’ll move on to a more complex edit. (I will also return the spelling of capitalists within the game to its proper way.)

Incidentally, the simple action of opening the VoterTypes.cvs file with Open Office and then resaving them seems to immediately cause the file to become unusable. The game will crash as soon as it next needs the file. That is to say it will crash as soon as you try to load any scenario.

I’m having as much trouble making captalists back into capitalists as I had making capitalists into captalists. I keep closing and re-opening the game to try to make it realize that the file has changed, but it doesn’t seem to be cooperating. The capitalists persist in being captalists in spite of my efforts to fix them.

Incidentally, I turned smokers into drug users and then back into smokers without problem. The “captalists” (as they insist on being called) are much more troublesome.

Edit/Added: I restarted my computer. This did not fix the problem. However, when I checked the VoterTypes.csv file after restarting, I discovered that it still had the incorrect spelling, in spite of my repeatedly altering and saving it. I fixed the typo in VoterTypes.csv, told Windows to save it, then loaded up Democracy. It thereupon ran with proper capitalists instead of the captalists I so foolishly imposed on it. This bug is baffling, but it may be something Microsoft will want to know about, instead of something relevant to Democracy. I’ll explore more and see if it’s reproducible.

The csv files are just text, BUT if you open them in spreadsheet programs, they can get very insistent that they be saved in another format, which wrecks them. I use a 1997 copy of excel, save as ‘csv’ and even then have to tell the stupid program that yes I am sure…
If compatibility is causing you grief, you can always use a simple text editor like notepad or textpad to do the editing, although graphically it’s a bit trickier because it’s not all in columns then.

Compatibility is a problem, yeah. I don’t have any program which can open them as .csv without breaking them when I resave, even when I resave them into the same format. That’s okay though. I can just use a text editor.

I finally figured out what was going wrong with my attempts to alter the title of a group. I can now make it change reliably. I’d been changing the wrong column.