If you will allow me to say so,
“I hate corporate art.”
This game is so very light on graphics, it would not take considerable effort to replace all of the art.
The art, itself - the visual style of the game - is “The Sims”-esque, lowest common denominator, vile, and basically makes me want to deliberately oppress these people. This style definitely appeals to a majority of people, but I’m not sure if there is any significant intersection between that majority, and the sorts of people who actually want to play such an autistic game.
Mods should do some repaints if they haven’t already, and devs should A/B test these with existing players to see if they actually prefer them.
I would say that the style should be sober, mature, darker, nuanced, detailed, and above all, more realistic, to give the player the immersive illusion of the real humanity affected by his decisions. It could also use more variety, as I’m stuck seeing the same faces over and over again, and for simplicity, modders could source everything from the public domain.
The current style may appeal to most people, but Democracy 4 is not a game for most people, and never will be.
This is probably the best question that can be explored in terms of increasing game reception. All of the rough edges on balance are only discovered once you have, in effect, gotten to the end of the game.
I think that it’s an issue of budget, if Cliff has more money from Sales, he can put in a greater effort for higher quality, although I don’t think that it will match the minimalistic nature of the game.
Can I ask whom this art is oppressing? And why is this game “autistic”? Do you mean that it appeals to those who have an eye for detail, I’m just uncertain about your meaning.
It’s precisely why this game is not for everyone that it is how it is, its style appeals to those who like games based off of Excel Sheets.
I’m not sure that the art is even driving sales. It is a good art strategy for a general audience game, but this is not a game for general audiences. I strongly suspect that he simply copied known-functional art styles that work for The Sims and other sex/drama simulators that appeal to general audiences without paying it too much thought, and that he could actually do better with sales.
The art isn’t oppressing anyone - the art makes me want to oppress the citizens of the nation in question. When I see these portraits, my first thought is “capital punishment for most crimes” - just to get rid of as many of these people as possible.
I have a particular lifelong fascination with games based off of Excel sheets, which have no graphics. Graphical games came later. I would enjoy this game more if all of the art were removed - instead of being simultaneously fascinated and disgusted, I would just be fascinated.
Okay, well, I never said that the art drives the sales, I’m saying the sales drives the art and the soundtrack, the more money Cliff gets, the more art and music in the game.
As for what you said about Cliff copy and pasting the art, it’s not true, Cliff gets the art custom made for the game, which costs money.
As for why you feel the need to oppress the citizens of the Nation in question, either you mean like, you want to brutalist art in game to oppress people, or just that the in-game art makes you angry.
If it’s the latter, I’d say you should find a way to work on your aggression. It helps.