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Government Model v. 3.1

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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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    • 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.

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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.
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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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          • 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.

            Comment


            • 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)

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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.

                Comment


                • 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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