[Request] For educational use: Overview of policies and their effects separately from the game

Hello everyone and especially Cliff,

I have a pretty specific concern/problem, but maybe it’s easier to solve than I thought. First of all, I have no programming skills whatsoever, please keep that in mind. Also, I really enjoy the game and would like to use it for educational purposes.
Some context: I am a teacher of political science at a high school in Berlin, Germany, and currently teach an advanced course. The current topic is the structure and political system of Germany. Democracy 4 provides a fantastic hook for a variety of topics that students should learn. As you may know, Germany is not exactly a pioneer in the digital equipment of schools, so the computers available at our school cannot run the game despite the manageable system requirements. So acquiring sufficient school licenses does not make sense. So it’s a very German problem, hence “specific”.

My idea is to have my students, as “government experts” discuss in class what policies they would implement and have two or three moves at the end of each week of class. Then the impact is evaluated, discussed, and new moves are planned, etc. This is underpinned by the various lessons so that the decisions become progressively wiser or better - or not. For this to take place in a time-effective manner given the complexity of the game, a tabular (?) overview of the different policies implemented in Germany in the game, as well as the policy ideas including costs and target group impacts (excluding the variable impacts, of course) would be great, so that students can decide at home which policies to then discuss and implement.
Long story short: Is there such an overview or would it be possible to generate one? That would be a tremendous help.

An alternative, which would probably be more complex but great, would be the option to run the game in a kind of “multiplayer”, by which, however, a kind of spectator mode is meant: students can hover over the different icons and see the information. Perhaps they can even click on actions to see the costs, but cannot apply changes. Only the “group leader” (the host of the session) can do that, who will make the moves after the discussion.
I hope this makes sense and again, I have no idea about the programming side of things, I’m just looking for concepts to integrate a great game into the classroom.

Oh, and to avoid save scumming, the “Iron Man” option would be awesome - no autosave and only save when leaving on a slot. This way the students would have to deal with the consequences of their decisions. Or does that feature already exist hidden somewhere?

If all of this is impossible, I guess I just have to take a bunch of screenshots and wait for new PCs. Yay for Germany!

All the best from Berlin!

1 Like

Hi, so sorry I missed this post originally! Very interesting. I am surprised that you have PCs that cannot run the game, and I might suggest taking a look at Democracy 3, which is similar, but not as slick, and may run on lower spec computers.

As for what you describe, the policy impacts in the game are already out there in plain-text form in the csv file policies.csv, although without the whole game and the various interactions, that may not be much help.

I was originally planning on integrating Democracy 4 with twitch, to allow twitch streamers to get their viewers to vote on policy choices… I really should take another look at that.

Hi Cliff,

thanks for the reply! I gave the system requirements for the game to the people in charge at school and apparently we only have a few (about 12) laptops with i3 processors, which is why my idea was deemed unfeasible. I then wanted to check this myself and, surprise surprise: in fact the game does run on the laptops. However, I can’t use all of them exclusively for my students in the long run, which is why the idea of a twitch integration sounds like a fantastic idea to me.
Right now we’re trying it via a VPN connection with remote desktop - fingers crossed…

I looked through the csv files before I made my request and sadly they are not that helpful to students. Thanks for the suggestion though!

Regarding the IT equipment and if that is interesting for you: In Germany, education is a federal state matter. I work, like previously mentioned, in Berlin and Berlin is basically broke all the time (Bavaria - in contrast - is not). So whenever an authority, e.g. the police or - what should happen within the next months maybe - a district court has to replace all PCs, the schools get the old equipment - if we are lucky. The devices are then five to seven years old and designed for office use - there’s not much you can do with games.

Long story short: I’m absolutely in favor of the twitch idea, since some students of mine stream anyways! So that would be an unexpected but very welcomed solution :slight_smile:

Best regards


So as we did in elementary, before computer age broke in much (top pc in that time were 386 with tops on 40 Megab HDD).

  1. Define goals: what needs to be done/ solved
  2. When that done collect possible policies
  3. How to manipulate population/ voters/ international players to accept such or at least minimalise opposition
  4. Short term effects
  5. Long term effects
  6. Policy grupping: needs several policies in close proximity to reach a certain goal/ target

Yes we did it in pen/ paper forms and in elementary starting in grade 5. Even math was about balance budgets, or language/ litertature about “how to sell” policies to the public or at least confuse them enoght not to revolt.

As for the IT part solution is quite easy for you:
1 pc or capable laptop + 1 projector
In class/ classrom that is suitable. Teacher should be the “executive power” who after the decision is made by the class implements it in a graphical interface.

But depending on the needs - games are not neccesary the best to teach hardcore.
It is a fine game and an even finer neural network which can visualise connections between policies and progresses (simulastions), but have certain limitations.
Like opposed with power and revolution game (which fails to do properly - honestly does badly) Democracy series not even tries to greatly consider turmoils.

It is good for:
What can affect what, and probably how much in proportion and makes it visualised in a fine way.

1 Like