I’ve just bought the game, and after a few tries, I’m rather disappointed. I can understand that there are limits to what can be simulated easily, but some policy effects are plain confusing, without a reason:
Poverty/Unemployment: I have 0 unemployment for years, max GDP, but no movement whatsoever in poverty. This seems highly unrealistic. Lack of employment is the main cause for poverty, and in an economy with a shortage in the workforce, poverty should disappear; not quickly, but it should disappear.
Impact of marginal policies: There are many cases when policies have totally ridiculous results:
Increased tax of alcohol/smoking when drinker/smoker groups are at 0 drives up poverty and inequality dramatically.
Increasing unemployment benefits to max reduces poverty dramatically, even though unemployment is at 0
Bio-fuel and related tech improve air quality even though car use it at 0
In these cases it would be more appropriate if the effect is multiplied by the percentage of people affected.
Policy preview: Before I implement a new policy it would be nice to see what groups are affected by it. Perhaps replace the implement button with a preview button? It’d still open the same window, except that there’d be an implement button on that screen. A preview of the general groups affected in the main ‘new policy’ window would also be nice.
We can see what implemented policies affect a group/issue by simply hovering above it for a short time. Could the none implemented policies that can affect it be displayed in the information window (or however you call the screen that appears when you click on it)? It’d greatly ease searching for means to influence a group/issue.
Can we have a couple more screens?
- History: A list of all dilemmas that happened and still influence politics (with details of how they influence politics).
- Situations: Like new policy screen, except that the categories would be ‘current’, ‘benefits’, ‘disadvantages’, and ‘potential’. Potential would show the situations that will happen within a year unless steps are taken to change it (essentially calculating four end of turns and checking what situations are active).
Does population have any impact on the game? As I said, I’m new to the game, but it appears that the numbers are completely unimportant, except maybe for multiplying the money values by a certain value for display. At least I didn’t notice a difference between a billion and a million people. For policies such as SateliteRoadPricing population should be very important - the cost is partially a fixed cost and partially relative to the population, so the return on investment should be far higher in large nations. Likewise space projects should be almost exclusively fixed cost, making it almost unaffordable to small countries and cheap (compared to military, health care, schools, and other completely population dependent projects at least) to gigantic countries.
Military: Could this be split in two? Or better two policies that decide the military level.
- Force strength: Represents investment in numbers or training. Which of the two is irrelevant for anything but casualty figures in war. Investment would be relative to population.
- Military technology: Development of new weapon systems. Large fixed cost (system development) with additional relative cost based on Force strength (fielding the numbers requires; either lots moderate tech or few high tech. Again, on the level needed for the game it makes no difference.).
2a. Weapon imports: If you can’t afford developing your own weapons, you need to import them. Higher relative cost (based on international relations if possible) but no fixed cost. Also less popular, since most of the money disappears abroad.
Gun control: Why does it increase violent crime? Most rapes and assaults are done without guns, while most gun crimes are related to organized crime (drugs, …). The availability of guns increases the severity of violence, when it happens (sometimes against the victim, sometimes against the wannabe criminal), but not the number of incidents. In addition it tends to discourage crime, since the criminal must expect to face armed resistance. Strict gun control on the other hand tends to give criminals a severe advantage and as Britain has shown massively increases the number of guns used in crime.