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Acharis

Central and local government

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The player is the Emperor, there are up to 200 planets in the Empire. Each planet has a planetary governor (if nothing else I need those governors for the mood, immersion and it looks great on the intertface :D).

 

You probably see the problem with this setup already, it's unmanageable (too many characters). So, I got an idea, let's divide characters into smaller central government (the player interacts with them) and hordes of local government (no interaction or bulk interaction).

 

 

Question: what's the relation between the central and local government? and how exactly it should all work?

 

 

 

My quick idea is to make 5 ministries, each made of up to 12 personas (you can't move personas between ministries, it's more manageable this way). The player can appoint specific charcters within the ministry to offices (the most important being the minister) or fire them. The efficiency and stats of the ministry is based on high ranking officials of the ministry (low ranking ones add to it too but to a significantly smaller degree). Then each ministry provide a certain bonus/penalty based on the stats (competence, loyalty, corruption). Like high total competence in the Defence ministry means a bonus to combat; low total loyalty means a risk of a military coup; high total corruption means high upkeep since some of the military supplies get constantly missing. The importance of those stats is differenty in various ministries (like corruption is devastating in Justice and Fincances ministry while loyalty being of relatively low consequence; Defence and Internal affairs ministry loyalty being very important).

 

In addition characters belong to factions and you want to keep a balance of power between factions (so you would not want to appoint ministers of several ministries out of the same faction, that faction would get too much influence) which makes it more complicated than appointing the best person as the minister.

 

New officials/firing officials. I'm not sure but maybe new ones should be auto spawned when there is vacancy in a ministry. As firing people maybe the player can do it anytime but it leads to temporary stats penalty in the ministry? Not sure...

 

I have no clue about the local government part. Maybe governors should be auto appointed by the ministers (favouring people from their factions)? And therefore lonmg term local government would represent the imperial court factions balance of power? Also maybe some bulk actions like "fire all governors with competence below 3"?

 

 

 

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5 x 12 is still 60 people one has to keep track of. That feels like an awful lot - certainly I don't think I'm going to be keeping all their relative stats straight. And are there really 60 stat variations to go round? Plus if I can fire people, they are going to be replaced by yet more cookie-cutter officials...

 

It might make sense to not include firing, without some sort of event-driven scandal mechanic. Powerful government ministers are often backed by factions powerful enough to prevent a firing without a major scandal to justify it.

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5 x 12 is still 60 people one has to keep track of. That feels like an awful lot - certainly I don't think I'm going to be keeping all their relative stats straight. And are there really 60 stat variations to go round? Plus if I can fire people, they are going to be replaced by yet more cookie-cutter officials...

 

It might make sense to not include firing, without some sort of event-driven scandal mechanic. Powerful government ministers are often backed by factions powerful enough to prevent a firing without a major scandal to justify it.

That's why I wanted to divide them strictly into ministries without an option to move them, so you don't have to deal with more than 12 at once. Also, all 12 with their stats fit perfectly on one screen so you can examine them all at a glance.

 

Firing - yeah, I had a similar thought. It could lead to a fire-fire-fire cycle until you get the best ones. Still some form of firing them should be available to the player?

 

Another concern, what the player does with those officials? Sure, one (per ministry) has to be appointed the minister but what about the rest? Do they sit there and just provide bonuses? Maybe some ranks assigned by the player (high rank affects ministry more)?

 

It's also missing one things, having a pool of officials and you deciding which one to put where (I mean you have this one best persona and you decide which ministry is the most worth of having him appointed as the minister). There is no such mechanic if you have officials predivided between ministries. I was thinking even of making a higher tier of officials (those elligible to become ministers and you can move them between ministries) and regular clerks that work inside a ministry an never can be promoted or change the ministry, but that's complex and a bit confusing I say...

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Do they sit there and just provide bonuses?

Part of the challenge in running a political party is that its members represent a spectrum of views, and only some of those views align with your aims. Perhaps personas come with both positive and negative buffs?

 

Appointing the workers-rights candidate to the ministry of labour is going to give +5 happiness in your general population, but in return labour costs increase across the board...

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Part of the challenge in running a political party is that its members represent a spectrum of views, and only some of those views align with your aims. Perhaps personas come with both positive and negative buffs?

Appointing the workers-rights candidate to the ministry of labour is going to give +5 happiness in your general population, but in return labour costs increase across the board...
Too complex, I don't want to go into that direction. I strongly prefer a more abstract and simpler system. Each charatcer has 3 stats (competence, loyalty, corruption) and an affiliation to one of 5 factions.

 

Then you have a ministry of defence and the sum of competence of people there determines a combat bonus. Loyalty probably would be global (total loyalty empire wide determines problems like rebels and support to them). Also corruption would be empire wide.

 

 

Anyway, is the whole ministry about choosing and appointing a single character as a minister? Would there be other personal decisions to be made?

 

 

Or maybe discard the ministries concept and go for a 12 people imperial court where you select who has what task/position, where there are more tasks than available characters?

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Firing - yeah, I had a similar thought. It could lead to a fire-fire-fire cycle until you get the best ones. Still some form of firing them should be available to the player?

I guess a cooldown timer would actually some of the issues I'm seeing here. Can't fire a minister until he's had a chance to prove his worth. And/or temporary stat penalties when firing a minister?

 


Anyway, is the whole ministry about choosing and appointing a single character as a minister? Would there be other personal decisions to be made?

I mean, if the player is just trying to min/max 4 stats (well, 3 stats plus faction balance), and promoting/firing is the only tool to hand, the system seems a little complex for the return in gameplay.

 

Do officials stats increase over time? Can they change based on player actions?

 

If the player's decision to wage a particular war can alienate the defense minister and cause his loyalty to drop, then firing becomes a very meaningful tool. Similarly, if the player has the power to reduce funding to the justice ministry, the justice minister might well become more corrupt. And so on...

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the system seems a little complex for the return in gameplay.
You know, I was thinking and maybe it's indeed too complex for this game's purpose. Maybe I should discard ministries and make a simplier imperial court.

You have 12 courtiers (3 stats, plus a faction affiliation) and you designate tasks for them (diplomacy, warfare, treasury, special projects/missions). You have more tasks than people so no one in ever unemployed (but some tasks are more important).

Probably there should be some sort of ranks system (you assign a rank to a courtier and the faction of high rank official gets more influence). As for firing and recruiting new ones... not sure, but maybe "you can fire one courtier per audience event" or "you can fire anyone anytime but you get a new courtier once per audience event"?

 

For local government maybe like this: You get a periodic event "governors tests" and then you have a choice to:

- do nothing

- fire all governors with competence below 5

- fire all governors with competence below 8

- fire all governors with loyalty below 5

- etc

Similar event would be for officers (fleet & army).

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Check attachment (court screen concept).

 

You have 18 courtiers, all on one screen (6x3). They are divided into departments (A-F) and ranks (high, mid, low). So basically a rows and columns system.

Managing courtiers: You have like 5-8 "court moves" which replenish every audience event. You can use those moves to move around courtiers. You can promote (up), demote (down) or move (left/right), each such action cost 1 move point. The top row (high rank) can be only demoted (can't move left/right). If at any point a courtier is missing (for whatever reason) all lower ranks (same column) move up one spot, then the lowest rank slot is replenished by a new courtier at the end of turn.

 

The characters affect their department depending on their rank (so, traditionally, you want the best ones at the top). Same for faction affiliation, influence of the faction depends on rank of its supporters.

 

Events: during audience you have a chance for a "court" event which allows you to "fire all lowest rank courtiers (6 characters)" also there is a high chance the high rank courtier (top most row) will visit you during an audience, then you have a chance to fire such individual (if a character visits you you can always fire him/her, you can't do it via the court screen, only can move around people there).

 

 

So, what you think? Other ideas/modifications?

 

 

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Implemented.

 

There are 6 departments (Defence, Finances, Justice, Foreign Affair, Internal Affairs, Protocol), made of 3 courtriers each. The the court politics level it works great (scandals with an option to fire the head of department, events where you are forced to choose which of the most influential factions to anger, etc).

 

Now I have two questions:

* What's the purpose of those departments :D

* How about local government (governors)? How it fits in the mix? At the moment you can not affect governors directly, only if a governor decides to attend an audience (only 2-4 governors per audience attend) you have an option to fire that governor, so it's a minimal interactions (which does not necessarily mean it's bad).

 

Not I would not want to add too much additional complexity (like introduce new mechanics). I would prefer something simple like "competence of all staff in the Defence department determine combat bonus to your troops".

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