As I have stated I like the interface for the two Democracy games very much. Very elegant and intuitive interface.
Now, I’ve played for a bit both Dem1 & Dem2. I’ve stuck to the USA scenario, I’ve played with difficulties settings as follows:
From what I have seen, they mainly have the impact on lowering my starting popularity and how much rapidly I can rally people to me, but in the end, I have managed to achieve victory. I have been following the same formula from game to game more or less. I simply sketch out here.
Start with lowering the defense budget.
Add protectionist trade tariffs.
Add technology grants and small business grants.
All of the above is going to help get the economy in order down the road.
Pick up some easy (close to the threshold large demographics). Get rid of the tobacco tax. Favor creationism taught in schools.
Further balance the budget by adding lots more taxes, but keep them all very low. (This works well in the game is to spread political strain across a large area when you are doing something negative. The tendency is not to cause much movement. On the other hand, when you want movement, then do something extremely with a slider for one particular policy.) So, I add a lot more taxes and pick up revenues.
This will later allow you to cut the big one, income tax, which will help increase popularity after the easiest things were already done.
Finally, target measures are called for to move specific demographics to vote for you. Gun control for parents. Car tax reduction for motorists.
Throughout the game, you need to be careful of the environmentalists, since they are easily radicalized and dangerous. Thus, when you have dilemmas. Do not antagonize the green demographic or they make decide to take you out.
This basic approach has won me numerous elections for the USA in both games. The hardest is the first election. It seems that once you get the majority for you, it is much easier to win follow on terms. In terms of manifesto, you want to pick something easy to deal with and two things that will behave as one like improving air quality and life span. Basically, if you improve air quality, life span is going to climb as well.
Now, here is the issue. I have gotten this whole approach down. I realize that I can push the game parameters further to the right and make it harder. This will most likely add further friction to my game, but not really invalidate my general strategy.
So, my question/concern is where is the replayability here? Despite random events, the nothing seems to perturb the balance or have long enough lasting impact to require me to substantially change my approach. So, how are things going to be any different from one game to the next?
In another thread, Cliff asks “what do people want in games”. Well, I want a game that requires thought and analysis, both initially and ongoing. The way Dem 1/2 are playing out, it seems like once you work out the basic plan you are going to be playing on auto pilot.
So, am I missing something as how to play the game? Is there something to do with the settings that I don’t know about? Or do people play with “house rules” to make the game more interesting … like you can never cut the military budget … blah … blah. Or are people role playing and pretending to be a real candidate/party try to conform to a real world political platform?
I am not trying to knock the game, but I just want to know how to get better replay out of it. Yes, I know that there is more than one scenario and that these games very reasonably priced. But I am kind of hard headed. I tend to only invest my time in games that have unlimited play possibilities and infinite replay.
Thanks for indulging my questions.