Suggestion: Legislature Mechanics

Full disclosure, I’m a Mac user and, in lieu of being able to play, I can only speak to my experiences playing Democracy 3 and watching some Let’s Play Videos.

One thing that bothered me about Democracy 3—which appears to also be true of Democracy 4—was that the game focused more on enacting ready-made policies rather than attenuating governance to the needs of as many parties as possible.

I think that Democracy 4 should add more legislative aspects into the game. I also believe that this can be done in such a way that adds to the overall gaming experience.

Here’s how it might work, as a broad overview:

Legislature Overview

  • Proposing a policy determine What policy gets enacted. Whereas the Legislature determines How that policy will be run once enacted. e.g. Is it headed by a bureau? A CEO? A Board? An ombudsperson? Does it have an internal review board? How many deputy CEOs?
  • After you propose a new policy, you need to get it through your Legislature (its name is localized based on the country you’re playing, e.g. the US is Congress, whereas the UK is Parliament, &c.
  • The Legislature Phase itself has three rounds: Think-Tank, Legislation, and Voting. The whole process is analogous to a game where you build a base and aim to defend it from an attack. That’s the mental model in use.
  • The Think Tank Round is where you craft how you’d like it to run using different entities (buildings) and assigning officers (troops) to lead (garrison) those buildings.
  • The Legislation Round is a time based round where you fend off amendments (attacks) from the opposing party that may weaken its overall effectiveness once enacted. Your side may drop-in helpful amendments (reinforcements), and some amendments from the enemy might actually be advantageous if let through.
  • Upon getting through your defenses, an amendment will prompt a set of binary choices, such as adopt this change (usually with negative side effects) or take a hit to your bill’s score, &c.
  • The Voting Round is where the bill’s overall score is tallied. If it’s less than 50%, then it fails.

This is really fascinating but I wonder if too complex. I for one would love it.

How might this be made simpler/less overwhelming for players?