Suggestion: Policy change blowback

Changing or adding/removing policies, that change liberalism/conservatism/socialism/capitalism (those voter group membership), voter group income, or low/middle/high earnings should have 2x - 5x higher effect on happiness.
For example I raise policy which causes unhappiness go from 5% to 10%.

Change is 5%. This change would be temporarily multiplied by 5.
So voter unhappiness would be increased by 25% on first quarter and then effect would cool down.
Effect could last longer if change of unhappiness would be bigger.

Positive change could be multiplied by 2.5, since people react harder to negatives than positives.


Right, this would simulate the mechanic where, right before elections, you wanna please people and not do anything too controversial.

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I honestly already assumed this was a thing for elections. The affect recent policies have on happiness definitely should be scaled overtime. In real life the vast majority of voters only vote based on what has happened in the last few months. Likewise angry mobs are likely to take to the streets if they don’t like something you did yesterday but they will scale back as time goes on unless there are other new problems to keep their attention.

I don’t even see this as being a case of adding too much complexity to the game for new players (as clifski has mentioned as reasoning for other feature ideas) as the idea of everything having greater initial reception then that over time is pretty intuitive.

Yeah, there is cynicism stuff, but its absolutely irrelevant in actual gameplay.

Interesting. I am aways wary of anything that introduces more complexity, and my number one concern is “how do i clearly, simply and efficiently explain this to the player, assuming they skip all tutorials and read no guides.”

Although the principle is sound (recent events are more in peoples minds…), conveying it numerically is harder. For example. say we have a policy that the player can see is causing +10% happiness to motorists. We can spend 6 capital to cancel that policy. We therefore KNOW the motorists will be 10% less happy. Where/how to convey that they will be “15% unhappy, interpolating on a linear basis down to 10% unhappy over X turns”.

I’m not saying it cant be done, just thinking out loud. I wouldnt want to overcomplicate those strips on a voter details screen, which is already showing the current value, final value, inertia and an optional graph of the equation at various values plus any intermediary scalars…

Adding additional temporary effects (in code called grudges) for each positive or negative change is easily done, but would clutter that list of voter effects quite heavily.


Maybe you could just do collective effects. Like, have a “policy grudges” effect that groups all of that together. If you wanna figure out why it is what it is, you can refer to the history which should show recent policy changes accordingly.

Such a cumulative version could also help with those event decisions that stay permanently and stack. Instead of having a hundred “airport expansion” lines in there, it could be a single line but the effect strength just keeps going up each time. (tbh almost all of these should decay anyway. It often doesn’t make sense that they seemingly stay forever. For the same reason as this policy blowback stuff.
Most events already do but some stack indefinitely for some reason)

Maybe there could also be a, like, longerm/shortterm mechanic.
Basically, even as there is gonna be immediate blowback, people also will have an “average” opinion of you over time. Just because you did a single thing they disliked doesn’t mean they’ll immediately flee to the opposition which may well do worse things on average.
(Although that’s a bit underdefined in general in this game right now. “The opposition” is just a very abstract notion of “where voters go if they don’t like you”, which captures only very roughly what really happens. Usually, the biggest two parties are pretty close to center, one slightly left, one slightly right, but actually with substantial overlap, because they need to cater to the average voter.
It’s the same as how stores end up opening in the same spots. The fringes are gonna vote for you as the lesser evil so you don’t have to cater to them too much. The undecisive central voters are where you can most strongly move the needle.

If one of those fringe people is pissed off by a thing you do to cater to the block of voters who are ideologically close to the center, so long as there isn’t a sufficiently large party closer to the fringe, they won’t abandon your party for the opposition. And that kind of thing currently isn’t captured at all.

I’m saying this because I’m a bit afraid this blowback mechanic might overcorrect and make the popularity way too unpredictive of electoral success. If it just flings around wildly all the time, you may think you have near 100% approval so you allow yourself one tougher policy closer to election day and suddenly you drop to near 0 'cause you pissed everybody off so much…
It’d be realistic, yes. And I think it’d also be manageable by interface. I think I’d like this to be a mechanic. But I’m not entirely sure the way approval is currently translated into votes would make it work out.