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Thread: Government Model v. 3.1

  1. #91
    roquijad
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    It looks good to me, Laurent!

    Just to detail it some more, I think the precise buttons at the bottom we need at this point are:
    Current Govt Profile (negotiated values)
    Ruler Preferences (only screen where the player can change values)
    Military Political Block (values desired by MPB)
    Religious Political Block (same)
    Capitalists PB (same)
    People's PB (same)
    Bureaucracy PB (same)


    For playing purposes, there should be just two groups of variables: pol powers and policies. Not three, as in the model (and in the picture). In other words, the player doesn't need to know and shouldn't even care, that Private Property and Social Policies are not handled in the same way as all other policies (Civil Rights, Slavery, etc) inside the model. In fact, I think it'll be more confusing if we split them in the interface as we're doing now. The player just needs to understand there're policies and there's a structure of power that determines who defines the values for those policies. I would, therefore, put all policies in the right window (move PP and SP to the right window).
    In that right window, though, we may, if we believe it'll help the player, group policies by themes using colors. FE, Civil Rights, Slavery, Ethnic Discr and Religious Discr could be blue (the "liberties policies"), Private Property, Social Policies and Tax Rate could be red (the "economic policies") and Foreign Affairs could be green (the "International policies").


    Another thing: I might be taking your picture too literally, and if so, ignore me, but just in case: social role values, as shown in the left window, should not be shown and should not be subject to change. What should be shown are pol powers (ruler, people, capitalists, military, religious and bureaucracy), hopefully through a pie chart.
    I don't know how difficult it is, but it should be nice if in the ruler's window, where the player has to enter his desired polpower distribution, the interface would allow you to move the rays of the pie (the lines dividing the pie segments), thus changing the size of the pie segments (thus changing the distribution). That's at least the friendliest interface I can imagine for a group of variables that are forced to sum 100%.

    What do you think?

  2. #92
    LDiCesare
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    The policies can indeed be grouped together.
    An overall button should be as much work as the rest to do so it's ok.
    The left part is for the political power blocks, I'll change the label. Sliders are much better than piecharts to change the values (easier to change, particularly if you want to move somehting from 0 to more). A pie could be added, but it would be redundant with the sliders.
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  3. #93
    Lord God Jinnai
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    What exactly does "Ethics" mean on your newly renamed "political power blokcs"
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  4. #94
    LDiCesare
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    Ethics is the political power of ethical authorities, i.e. religious power.
    I belive ethics was preferred to religion as being more general.
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  5. #95
    LDiCesare
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    Here's a new interface screen. I put a few highlights. Comments about the looks (icons...) should go elsewhere, probably here.
    But I'm interested in feedback about ergonomics, that is, how is the model shown to players.
    Here are the interesting parts to be discussed:
    1) The name of the panel changes with the selected tab. Here, the ruler is Philip, so these are Philip's preferences. Clicking 6,7,8,9,10,11 will give 'empire', 'military', etc.
    2) Current government name. (Currently needs closing/opening the window to refresh it after a new turn changes the kind of government.) Computed on distances. Note I changed a bit the government.xml file we had (don't know who did it) because I totally disagreed with the Spartan Dictatorship that was in the said file. Spartans used an oligarchy which was very different from anything else (think communism with slaves) and we lacked something to represent the Roman Republic. Not that the new values are accurate, but that would need some work on the scenarios.
    3) Changed teh name to try to make it clearer.
    4) I want to keep the modifiable value (in the box) and end result (to the right). Maybe this needs more explanation?
    5-11 and 5'-11') Icons and names of power blocks.
    5) I haven't got an image for Philip so I made a generic ruler image. If the ruler has an image (as in Carthago scenario), that one will be used instead. Note that here the Philip tab is selected, and thus the pane above is what the player can modify.
    6-11) Icons used to see what each power block. Ask here for better icons.
    6) I called this one 'Empire'. This is the view of all the blocks but ruler. Any idea of a better name is welcome.
    7-11)Warfare, Ethics, Capital, Human and Bureaucracy. Suggestions for names are welcome. Although the names are ok for the model, there are several issues:
    Warfare is quite simple to understand, nut Military or Army could be better to show the player?
    Ethics mostly means religious power. 'Church' might be a better name for the player to understand.
    Capital is tricky because Capital may also mean the capital city. So I believe this word shouldn't be shown to the player because in English it's too confusing. Capitalists would be less ambiguous.
    Human could be replaced by People.
    Bureaucracy is ok. Of course, since the name is easy to find, the icon is crap and it's hard to think of a good one.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  6. #96
    Lord God Jinnai
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    Ethics = Religious Ideology (Church only works for Christian...temples, mosques, shrines, etc are used elsewhere)
    Captial=Kapital (? :P) Resources maybe?
    Human? What does it mean exactly?

    Anyway about something mentioned earlier...about workers PB not being implimented...what would happen then if someone created a Populist Monarchy type government?
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  7. #97
    LDiCesare
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    I don't know about 'church'. In French, L'Eglise would be understood as any religious authority, not specifically christian. Ideology doesn't bear votes. Ideologists could do, but that's a weird word.
    Human = The People.
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  8. #98
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    True, but in many places outside of Christian dominated religious areas Chuch is seen that way.
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  9. #99
    yellowdaddy
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    my 'umble thoughts:


    THE BOTTOM:

    "Empire" - how about "POWER SPECTRUM"? nice and neutral.

    Don't like face icons - stick to symbols - I've posted on this on the Graphics To Do thread.


    THE LEFT HAND SIDE:

    "Warfare" - nowadays we call it "Defence" don't we; "THE MILITARY" is the obvious neutral term. But then, I don't know what the scale refers to.

    "Ruler" - I prefer "The Government", something more general which can encompass everything from a Despotic King to a liberal cemocratic Prime Minister. Though, to be honest, I don't know what it's measuring! Even better would be "THE EXECUTIVE"

    "Ethics" - So you mean "The Theocrats" then? The religious establishment? Ecclesiatics? Episcopals? Sacerdotes is a bit florid and abstruse for most people? The Church is a simple one, but might not make much sense to some non-christians.
    I'd go D&D and try "THE CLERICS", the word clerical means religious, but it's nicely neutral.

    "Capital" - again, not 100% clear on what the scale means, but if you like the term "Capitalists" - why not explore terms like "Plutocrats", "Fat Cats", "Business" and "Commerce"? "THE MERCANTILISTS" is a good one (rooted in the more loaded term Merchants). Unless you mean the Middle-Classes/Bourgeoisie?

    "Human" - "People" is hardly much clearer... The Hoi Polloi? The Plebs? The Commoners? The Subjects? The Citizens? "THE PUBLIC"! is probably the most neutral and suitable. Unless you mean the Working-classes/Proletariat?

    "Bureaucracy" - now that I think I've worked out what you mean, I think you want to change this one to "THE BUREAUCRATS" to fit with the other changes I propose above; The Civil Service.


    THE RIGHT HAND SIDE:

    Don't you think having "Slavery" is a bit of problem - it becomes a complete anachronism once you've abolished it - surely you should change this to something like "SOCIAL MOBILITY" to illustrate people's ability to move from class to class - obviously highly restricted if you're a slave!

    I'd also change "Private Property" to "PROPERTY RIGHTS", a bit more general and neutral, and general satisfactory.

    What do you mean by "Social Policy"?

    "Civil Rights" could do with an explanation of what you mean, and how it differs from "Social Policy" and "Slavery"/"Social Mobility".
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  10. #100
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    Slavery should probably be discussed in the social model, but no, I think it belongs. Even today, it would be exaggerated to pretend all nations have abolished slavery.
    Ruler is not the exectuive, it is the ruler. The executive is actually made of the ruler and many others, including buireaucrats. Ruler is one person, executive many. This one should stay as is.
    As for the rest, the terms are defined in the social model, so I reuse them. Clergy could probably replace ethics, even though ethics may include philosophers who aren't religious.
    Human = everybody. So the people is probably good.
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  11. #101
    yellowdaddy
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    Why I think Slavery is maybe not the right word:

    1. It is surely a researched "technology", not something you start the game with in 10,000 BC.

    2. It becomes obsolete as a nation industrialises. The countries in the modern era which still have slavery lack fully developed Social and Economic Infrastructures - slavery is displaced by Indenture, and as the taxation and financial systems and services become more sophisticated slavery becomes anachronistic and unprofitable.

    3. The other issue is "types of slavery"; you have traditional ancient world slaves which are commonly understood, then you have: human trafficking, and prostitutes; people who are kinds of slaves because of who they are: women, children, racial groups, religious groups, social castes, economic classes.

    What does the position on the slavery slider mean? is it the amount of slavery, or the extent of the slavery? is it the level of oppression?

    Are the citizens of North Korea slaves? (ie. would the slavery slider be up at 90+%?), I can see how it makes sense under an ancient feudal government, but what about 20th century regimes?

    I would be interested in seeing some example tables for different states we know, to see what they look like in game terms, that'd help illustrate the way this preferences box works.

    You might opt for "Personal Freedom".
    Could try "Liberty" perhaps? "Egality" (something the French should know about!); you could be more positive, and call it "Emancipation"!
    -----------

    The Executive is surelyboth the decision making collective noun, and can be used to descrive the leader's position.
    -----------

    Clergy is a good term, as it's not attatched to any religion. Philosophy and Religion are probably best treated as one thing in the game, the lines between them can be blurred, particularly in far east "religions".

    ----------

    Human = The People... I still don't get what you mean precisely - what's all this about the "Capitalists" then? - I would naturally be inclined to go for the termThe Public regardless. It just feels more appropriate.
    Last edited by yellowdaddy; July 19, 2004 at 15:47.
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  12. #102
    audun
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    Sorry if I repeat and old argument or anything, but I really don't have the time to search trough the forum.
    It says in the Features list:
    "...That said, a "Workers PB" (associated to the Labor role), with a power>0%, would imply that workers have a privilege over the rest people.... since this has never been the case anywhere, not even in a theoretical communism (where power just should lie in people in general), then there's no point in having that PB. "

    This is only partly true. Whereas in theoritical communism workers have no privelige over the rest of the people, they do have in social democratic regimes. Namely trough labour unions. This holds true for most of Northern Europe during the last century.

    Another random thought: NGOs may represent Ethics in non-religious societies. Would be cool for more modern settings.

  13. #103
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    Good point about labour unions, though I wonder how much of the political power they actually have. They tend to make it easier to have strikes and cause disorder/unrest, so they have an indirect power, not a direct one. I'm not sure it needs a separate political power block for that. Unions tend to obtain legislation changes that they want only through active protest which is modelled as unrest in the game.
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  14. #104
    yellowdaddy
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    Unions have certainly had a lot of power in 20th century Britain...

    the Labour Party itself through (as the parliamentry wing of the Union body, the TUC) originally had a constitutional obligation to obey policy set by Unions through block voting of delegates, this situation was completely brought to an end when current PM Tony Blair became leader and "broke the link with the unions" when he removed "Clause 4" which stated that the party was committed to bring into 'the common ownership of the means of production'.
    http://www.labour.org.uk/aboutlabour/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labour_Party_%28UK%29

    This may be unique in the world, but it certainly was very real, and the power of the unions played a major part in the downgrading of Great Britain from superpower to medium or regional power by destroying British industry - like car and motorbike industries (handed over to the Japs and Germans), and lets not forget the famous NUM (coal) war with Thatcher, steel and shipyard strikes - the 3 day week in the 70s.

    So in the UK at least, Unions have had more power than simply the ability to protest and influence - most of the MPs, even some PMs were Union members.


    and...
    What does the position on the slavery slider mean? is it the amount of slavery, or the extent of the slavery? is it the level of oppression?
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  15. #105
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    Slavery is the max amount of slavery allowed in the civ, if I remember the social model definition correctly. However, it's up to Rodrigo to answer.
    Normally, the model states that depending on the slavery slider, there should be slave social class(es), but that is not implemented.
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  16. #106
    yellowdaddy
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    allowed
    ?!

    ...you mean officially by govt policy, or allowed by the AI?
    as it's a slider, does it go through levels or percentages?

    there may be some slavery allowed by the govt, but more may exist if the govt is not strong enough to control criminality in it's territory?
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  17. #107
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    I was never impressed with the idea of sliders on a dialog box as the main interaction with the government model. In fact, I remember trying to explain an alternative method to Rodrigo, way back when he first began developing the gov't model. I don't think I ever adequately explained the idea to Rodrigo, so it never went further than that. The alternative method was what I call a system of laws, where each civ would have a list of laws with a few variables that they could enact or not. Technologies could unlock new laws as the game went on. What I ended up using for EIT was heavily influenced by these discussions with Rodrigo, and ended up being a hybrid slider/laws system. I'm going to describe that system below, in Clash terms, so that the powers that be can make use of the added depth if desired, and I certainly hope they do.

    I'll discuss the Religious Tolerance slider, to narrow the scope of discussion somewhat. Under the current slider system, each tick up the slider (from 1-100) increases religious intolerance which is easily understood - but essentially has little real meaning to a player. Under a laws system, there would be an option to set a state religion, make other religions illegal, and persecute still other religions (the difference between making a religion illegal and persecuting it being that an illegal religion's buildings are destroyed, while under persecution you get the same plus the slaughtering of it's followers). There would also be a law to allow religious drug use, a law to allow free religion, and laws to tax/not tax religions, just to name a few.

    You can clearly see the difference between the two systems in that paragraph. The slider system is like an unseasoned, uncooked steak - it lacks flavor, while the laws system is a perfectly seasoned, perfectly cooked steak - it oozes flavor. The slider system is like a broom - it's easy to use, while the laws system is like a brand new computer - it's very complex, time-consuming, and somewhat cumbersome. Each system has clear advantages and disadvantages, but personally I'll choose flavor over ease of use almost every time. In this case, however, I did come up with a hybrid of the two systems that keeps the ease of use of the slider system, but adds all the flavor and depth of the laws system as well as a little unique flavor all itís own.

    Basically, you maintain the current slider system dialog, but add a button labeled "laws" next to the slider. Clicking this button brings up a dialog box with all the laws under that slider (Religious Tolerance, for example). For the laws, youíll have various check boxes, pull-down menus, radio boxes, sliders, etc., as needed for whatever laws are present. For the most part, the laws themselves should be fairly intuitive, and require one to three clicks to set (on/off toggle, plus maybe a few settings unique to each law) Ė but the player never has to dig into this screen if he doesnít want to, because the slider values and the laws are interconnected. Changing the slider will vary the laws attached to it just as changing the laws will vary the slider attached to it. We do this by assigning a value to the laws, something in a range. So, setting a state religion, for example, might be worth 13-17 points on the Religious Tolerance slider. If the player changes the slider by 15 points, this law might be enacted, if no other laws or combination of laws are worth the correct value. Enacting this law will change the value of the slider by 15 points (the median value of the range).

    As with any system, there are a few oddities that occur here. For example, when there is only one religion in a civ and the only law available under the Religious Tolerance slider is State Religion Ė you can only have a value of 0 or 15 on the slider for Religious Tolerance. Some laws, could/should affect multiple sliders to varying degrees. There are many other expansions that could and probably should occur as a result of doing this, but seeing as Iíve rambled long enough Iíll leave it at that for now.

  18. #108
    Mark_Everson
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    Sounds reasonable to me, Alms. The only caveat is that much more of the game should be working before adding a "flavor" feature like this.

  19. #109
    Lord God Jinnai
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    I think the main problem i have with your system alms is that it could very quickly become a nightmare for anyone not into micromanagement to use.

    I mean, just religious model - you have all those you've listed plus: unofficial state religions, promotion or demotion of various religions (a step between making them illegal and making them completely legitimate), allowing human sacrifices, allowing animal sacrificies, promotion of various religious themes/holidays, whether or not the ruler is divine or semi-divine, resticting religions via not allowing others to join (but not banning the religion) (such as Coptics in Egypt), explusion of missionaries, whether certain religions can hold slaves, whether they can have their own set of laws or special privlages under the law, etc.

    I can probably come up with more that would still be approrpiate.
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  20. #110
    alms66
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    Obviously we'll need to draw some lines somewhere on the number of and what types of laws, but the purpose of the laws system is for those who like the micromanagement. Currently, gov't micromanagement really isn't possible, the model simply doesn't provide for it. Those that don't want to micromanage will simply continue to use the sliders mostly, if not totally, ignoring the laws. They won't see any real difference in gameplay from what you have currently.

  21. #111
    LDiCesare
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    Options like you describe them are a bit like civics in Civ IV (although the base civics are few and are always exclusive choices, some mods make use of 10 categories of civics for instance, and don't feel like micromanagement).
    It's a good system but since the ruler doesn't have total power in Clash, there may be some difficulty in mapping the options (which are essentially flavour text) to the levels, as the other political blocks want other options.
    We could have a list of policy choices which map to one (or more) of the ruler categories. That is, in Civ IV terms, a set of civics, several of which map to one category. For instance, religious discrimination could be a set of a few options:
    State religion category:
    Free religion - State Religion - Divine ruler
    Non state religion rights category:
    Worshipping allowed - Proselytism allowed - Religious education allowed - Limited Civic rights - Limited ownership rights
    These can be combined to give a single figure, or the figure to give a set of options. The problem I see is that riots depend on a value such that 1-2% can often make a difference, and this model won't allow such small variations. More than one or two category will make it heavy if we show the sliders in addition.
    Clash of Civilization team member
    (a civ-like game whose goal is low micromanagement and good AI)
    web site http://clash.apolyton.net/frame/index.shtml and forum here on apolyton)

  22. #112
    alms66
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    I suppose they are somewhat similar to civics, but a little more detailed than anything you'll ever see in civ. Setting a minimum wage law, for instance, is something you'll probably never see in civ, but would be a logical choice in this system (under Civil Rights or Social Policy?). In fact, even if you did see it as a civic in Civ4, it wouldn't have such a direct and obvious effect that it would have in Clash - it would raise the cost of labor (under the econ stats dialog), and thus the goods produced by that labor - but at the same time, it would raise the living standards of the poorest in the nation.

    On the 1-2% making a difference - that's true and I hadn't really thought about that when mapping the laws to the sliders. Perhaps some small changes to the rioting equations could be done to reduce their sensitivity? And possibly even severity, so that just because you're 1-2% off doesn't mean you get 10,000 rioters - maybe only 1,000? Perhaps the percentage "off target" you are with your policies should drive the strength and intensity of the social model effects.

    Laurent & LGJ, you both expressed concerns that there will be too many laws to deal with. It is possible that some people will feel that way if we have 10 laws per category. Others will feel the same at 15, 20 or even 50 laws per category. My thoughts are that the more laws we have, the less each law has to be valued at on the slider, thus making it work with existing social code much better and requiring fewer changes to existing code, which is a good thing. More laws will give those micromanagement freaks out there more crunchy bits to mess with, making them gleefully happy, while giving a level of realistic feel that's never been matched before. More laws will have no effect on those who don't want the micromanagement - simply set the slider where you want it and never click the "laws" button to get the detailed dialog box.

    I'll also share an easy trick to the system to help reduce the concerns. (continuing with Religious Tolerance)...
    Let's say you know you want to have some laws enacted in this area, but due to your own moral beliefs you wouldn't be comfortable if "persecution" was on for any religion. Well, set the slider to 25 - some laws are on, but not many. Then, open up the detail pane by clicking the laws button - and tweak until you're content. Or, going the opposite direction, let's say you're trying to unite an ethnically and religiously diverse empire - social tensions are high and rioting/rebellions are common. Ignoring the ethnic side, one way to unite the empire on the religious front is to set a state religion and persecute all others - raise the slider to 100, and tone it down from there in the detail pane to you're content. So, as you can see, simply looking at the number of laws will give you an idea of where you want to be on the slider along with the situation you're in dictating it as well. It's just a matter of tweaking to you're content with the final selections.

    But anyway, as Mark said, the system works fine as is, and this is mostly flavor (though many laws, such as minimum wage, would also have specific game effects), so we can iron out all the details over the next few demos and implement it later.

  23. #113
    LDiCesare
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    Perhaps the percentage "off target" you are with your policies should drive the strength and intensity of the social model effects.
    That's already the case. This is all tuning anyway, so it will need testing before any change is made to the model and code.

    As for opening up a panel with lots of checkboxes/options that map to a given percentage and may have additional effects, I think that's a good way to handle this, but the number of options will have to be checked.
    Clash of Civilization team member
    (a civ-like game whose goal is low micromanagement and good AI)
    web site http://clash.apolyton.net/frame/index.shtml and forum here on apolyton)

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