I think Democracy 4 should have accumulators. Which is to say, nodes that use their value last turn as their primary determinant, and rise or fall over time based on other nodes rather than having their value determined by the current values of other nodes.
There’s quite a few simulations that would benefit from the engine supporting this:
- Development: Should rise based on GDP, health, and education, and have broad effects across the board.
- Inflation: Accumulates fast with money printing polices, drops slowly
- Corruption: Easier to get than root out (like a situation) but should be more gradual going up and down to represent its nature as an entrenched problem
- Natural Habitat/Forests: Easy to reduce, but can recover naturally over time.
- Global temperature: For obvious reasons.
- Minority Population: If you have high immigration that then stops, most the people that moved in are still going to stick around.
- Citizen savings: Affected by the economy and especially inflation. Contributes directly to citizen wealth and probably to government interest rates. Also useful for setting up countries like Japan that are in really rough economic shape from earlier mismanagement.
It would also make it easier to differentiate countries, as with accumulators different scenarios can be made with similar policies.
Now, Cliff your primary objection to engine changes has been not wanting to make the game more inaccessible to new players. But this is already how deficit/debt works, and most strategy games have mechanics that work like this. Still, accumulators should be clearly distinguished from normal simulation values. I had first thought about color, but the only primary color left is yellow, and that might be confusing with negative situations. So, I think accumulators should be distinguished by shape, being diamonds rather than circles. This also allows simulation and situation accumulators to exist.