Hi Cliff, apologies for starting a new thread, but I wasn’t sure really where is the best place to share these thoughts with you (that is the point of the Alpha, isn’t it? To give you some early feedback before wider release…)
This is coming from a huge fan of D3 & D3 Africa - over 520 hours played on them; so, I totally love your work and THANK YOU. Based on my early play-throughs of D4, I’m enjoying it and still getting used to the differences.
Where I’m coming from is that I was really happy with D3 and I might get frustrated if D4 ends up being way more difficult. What can I say; I enjoy being successful at things (we all like to ‘win’, right) and I’m less likely to spend my leisure time fighting losing battles if it gets too hard. As you say in the videos, the game has to be fun. (I really appreciated your comment in your blog a while back about the importance to life generally of enjoying doing something that you are good at.)
Having said that, it only took me two play-throughs on 200% difficulty (in which I ended up being a liberal capitalist, despite being a soft socialist in real life) to win 100% of the vote in elections in the USA, so maybe it does need to be made a bit harder. (I moved up to version 1.10 mid-way through my last play-through, but mostly I’ve been on 1.09.)
But where I think you’ve gone too far already is on the environment. I get that you’re an Environmentalist yourself, and that you probably think that it is the most important issue in world politics/government today, which overrides all other issues; but the game feels a bit limited when the player is continually pestered by negative environmental situations that feel extremely difficult and way too time-consuming to get rid of (if one ever succeeds). It’s spoiling it for me a little. Unless I’ve missed something, it is way too hard to get rid of the Respiratory Illness situation, even with extensive limits on cars and pretty much every environmental policy going. (The fact that subsidising trains is so much more expensive in D4 - not least because one has to nationalise them first - doesn’t help.) I get that respiratory illnesses are a big issue in real life, but a red-icon crisis is surely supposed to be when a problem gets out of control.
So could we please de-emphasise the environmental disasters a little bit? It just makes a game about every aspect of government feel unbalanced and skewed towards one set of issues.
Now, some specific suggestions, starting with green policies:
Reforestation should improve The Environment
Environmentalist Protests (which are also too difficult to get rid of) should be linked to Environmentalist Happiness, rather than The Environment itself. I’ve had one situation where I’ve had extremely happy Environmentalists (group approval at or near maximum, and literally all of them individually on the ‘will vote for me’ side of the line), but they were still protesting!
Why are Liberals bothered by Limits on Automated Trading?
Some of the Minister icons disappear on the main screen sometimes - particularly after a re-shuffle
Last but not at all least: Clicking on Estimated Effect of a policy not introduced yet should link to that Effect - e.g., if I’m looking at Helicopter Money in the potential Policy screen and it says Inflation might go up, I should be able to click on Inflation from that screen, to check how Inflation is doing at the moment, then be able to click your lovely new Back button and implement the policy.
That’s all for now. I’ll write more as more thoughts occur to me. Thanks again!