So it turns out that we already have about 2,000 games of Democracy 3 being played every day by actual players, rather than some hacked-together AI of mine, so I thought step 1 might be to grab data on how those games are being played to see if I could spot any obvious balance issues. I started collecting a few basic stats at the point of elections yesterday and already have a ton of data here:
I have a few pieces of data I was interested plus a snapshot at elections as to which of the best known situations are active during victories and during defeats. So for example 1% of people who won the election have gridlock, but 10% of losers do. Average GDP during an election is 51% but 55% if you win, and so on…
Actually extrapolating balance issues from this data will be a bit tricky though, as I likely need more data to back up my assertions, but right now, from the current data I am tempted to proclaim the following:
- The game is too easy (85% of elections are won. Granted some people get assassinated beforehand…but still..)
- Unemployment at victories is still 28%. Maybe unemployment is not having enough of a negative impact?
- 20% of people have eliminated poverty entirely (got it to 0%). That seems high. This should be harder.
- Gridlock is only a problem for 1% of victories. Maybe this should be harder/slower to fix?
- Teacher shortage never seems to be much of a problem, this should trigger more?
- Armed robbery is generally very rare, even when losing. This should maybe trigger more?
- Corporate exodus is actually higher during victory. This may actually make sense, as people are ‘buying’ the public support despite a huge debt?
Its going to be pretty difficult to get the exact data I want. For one thing, the game NEEDS situations that are *bad* but only crop up in later terms, and I don’t currently track which term we are in. Democracy 3 Africa has a very cool mechanic where people arent bothered about some issues until more pressing issues have been fixed. I suspect I may need to introduce an element of that here.
My main worry, a bit like a doctor is that I need to ensure I ‘do no harm’. Its better for me to leave Democracy unbalanced but hugely popular than tweak it and break it…so I#’m nervous of any big changes.