Observations on the Alpha

Got some suggestions for changes. And then some things which I might be wrong, or unbalanced.

Suggestions first

  • It would be useful to be able to see the effects of a policy before implementing it, like you can with changes
  • Would be a nice feature to be able to call a snap election (in the UK and other places where this is possible) if your political capital is high enough
  • If a group goes on strike (like Doctors) they could issue a policy demand, (like cabinet members and donors now can).
  • Would be really useful to have a ‘back’ button, so when you have clicked through several policy screens, you can track your way back to where you started. Instead of having to close the current one down and start again.
  • Alternatively, when in a policy screen, show the current state of the things this policy impacts (either as an icon, or as a hover tooltip).
  • The list of possible policies to implement is quite long in some sections, would be nice to be able to ‘favourite’ a policy, so it appears at the top of the list, or was coloured differently.

Some things I think might be wrong or unbalanced.

  • After just 2 elections, the group ‘Ethnic Minorities’ had a 91% membership. I did have very pro immigration policies, but for the membership to grow that fast seems unlikely.
  • I got to a place where I was 100% capitalist on the political compass. But the Capitalist group where still ‘slightly unhappy’.
  • I implemented the Carbon Tax policy but it was generating no income. Again I was only 2 elections in, and activities like air travel and use of non-electric cars where still quite common.
  • Finally. I think the post election cabinet reshuffle screen might need a review. Both times I used it, I kept on the ministers I meant to fire. I think because how this screen currently works is a ‘reverse’ of how it normally works. As in here you currently need to select a minister to ‘keep’ them, but normally you select them to fire them.

I can go into more detail on these points if required.

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Thanks for the feedback, you make some excellent points and some of the suggestions are extremely interesting, some are already on my mental todo list, like a back button.

Its a deliberate decision to not make policy effects knowable before implementation, but maybe I should tie this to difficulty, or give estimated ranges…

Some of these sound like bugs or balance issues.

The capitalist thing is as intended. I suspect they were cynical. Does it say this in the polls screen under voter types? If you make a group too happy too quick, they will become cynical, caring only for what you did for them recently, and taking earlier policy changes for granted :smiley:

The cabinet thing was bugged. I updated the installer to be 1.02a which fixes it, but hold fire on grabbing that because I have another 5 fixes I’m planning on rolling into another update probably tonight…

I think some estimate on the effects. Or just a clear list of what a new policy will effect (without any amounts)

The capitalist happiness was from the groups summary in the sidebar in the main screen.

Hi there a few observations from a Democracy Newbie who has been playing 1.03 this weekend.

  1. Public opinion seem totally unrealistic. At one point I had public approval ratings of 95% and I can see from other posts that others have managed to achieve 100%. In reality in the UK, elections are typically won with roughly 40% of the popular votes - a couple of percentage points over this usually results in a large majority. In any case, whatever strategy you are following there should always be a significant minority who believe that everything you are doing is totally wrong.

  2. Party membership/ no of activists doesn’t seem to have impact election results as much as it should. At the end of my second term one of the opposition parties had 4 times as many members and activists and I won the election with 72% of the votes, despite my popularity having fallen to 48% in the final turn before the election - I expected to lose and lose big.

  3. I really hated that I had a pool of potential ministers who appealed to sections of the electorate that I had no interest in placating meaning that I continually had loyalty issues. I was following a broadly socialist-liberal approach (half way down the bottom of the radar (broadly in the bottom right quarter of the compass but more liberal the capitalist) but I clearly had ministers all over the spectrum. I think it would be great if when you set up your party, you had to select where you thought you were going to be on the Compass and then the opposition parties were automatically generated in other places on the compass and the pool of ministers were generated based on the selected position of your party. They could still be a broad range (I would expect a range of views in my party) but for example in a broadly socialist/liberal party I wouldn’t expect to have ministerial candidates who were Patriot/Religous leaning… such people would clearly be in opposition parties - and more to the point there really shouldn’t be much that a government following such a liberal program as mine can do to win support from more than a minority of such a group.

  4. Campaign Pledges - I avoided them because they looked unachievable. 25% cut in income tax - noway. With pledges it would be grate if you could choose what scale of pledge to make - I would love to have pledged to cut income tax by a lesser amount. Ideally you should be able to select the level of pledge, but get additional credit with voters for making big pledges and achieving them (so for example a pledge to cut income tax by 5% should be less influential with voters than pledging to cut by 25%, but on the other hand the credit with voters should be less for achieving 5% vs 25%.

  5. Income tax - I really wanted tax bands for income tax, so I could choose who to raise taxes on. A separate tax rate for low income, middle income and high income would suffice although, it would be even better to be able to set the income levels at which the different tax rates take effect.

I’ve really enjoyed playing this weekend (hadn’t come across the previous versions of the game).

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Some further points after playing a few games with the current version.

  • Not much seems to effect tobacco usage. At one point I had the tax on it up to full, and the campaign against up to full, and it was still at about 35-40% on the scale. May Education should have a slow effect on it?
  • Shouldn’t Education effect Racial Tension?
  • Whats the distinction between “Compulsory Foreign Language Classes” and “Compulsory Language Lessions”? They are listed as 2 separate policies.
  • co2 emissions don’t appear to effect the enviroment?
  • At 1 point I had “Organised Crime” listed twice under the things that Narcotics policy effected
  • Should the Family Planning policy effect the Population stat?

And then a small interface suggestion, on the Income screen with all the voters represented as dots, it would be nice once you’ve click on one, but to be able to navigate between them using the arrows keys or wasd keys.