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Managing Planetary Government

Basically, I was going to wait until I have my laptop back before I start throwing out random idea, but... well...
[Insert witty remark and subsequent metaphor that includes a badger, a lazy repair man, a teaspoon of Aqua Regia, and a burst water main]

Basically, I see the current LT version of planatery government being just another version of Colonial Despotism or Preachy Libertarian Democracy (the governors of which all own copies of 'the Fountainhead' which are excessively worn).
I don't know if there are future plans (I assume there are) on planetary ownership and governance, so here's my idea:
This system revolves around the idea that plantery rebellions can happen if people feel like they are being screwed over (having them violently breaking away from their faction, starting a new one with a new set of governance).
Basically, you have two drop down lists when in a planetary government interface: economic (yawn) and political (bigger yawn). These can help in the specialisation of planets, give them bonuses that they wouldn't normally have. I'll start listing the options below the dotted line.


- Atlasism: No market regulation, 100% privately owned. These would give enormous monetary bonuses, aimed at cooperation with as many factions as possible. The penalty is that the more money factions make, the more the common pleb scum will want a share and potentially start a revolution.

- Syndicate: You say you own the planet, but you share it with other factions to build facilities and allow selling-buying goods for a small tax fee. You can make lots of money by attracting other factions to take part in planetary development, but problems will arise if a resource is far too common or far too rare.

- Mixed Markets: you definitely own this planet, but you allow factions to operate - they regularly pay 'lease' to you as well as taxes. Problems rise when there are not enough factions on the planet to create competition. This one will bring you the most money, but is the most dangerous and may lead to uprising or faction creating by random civilians.

- Commonism: You own the planet and only you can build factories, other infrastructure. Factions may sell goods to a nearby station, or transport them to the planet, but they must pay egregious taxes. You might not make as much money, but your citizens will be happier.

- Plan & Command: you own 100% of the planet and economy, everything is at a fixed price you set no matter how much or too little you have. Factions will find it extremely difficult to work in your territory, and might try to plan a takeover or move away (whichever one they find cheaper). Expect maximum happiness, predictable income and possible supply problems if you have too much or too little of supply to meet demand. Unhappiness rises when Factions try to shake things up by building stations, or when they successfully negotiate a price with station owners.


Molotovism: anarchism on an intergalactic scale - expect massive factionation by your citizen base as they start forming new factions and corporations. Due to the power vacuum, molotovist governments may find they won't last very long.

Voterism: Fancy intergalactic democracy. Faction creation still happens, but not as much as molotovism. Of course, its still the people's choice in leadership - you'll find yourself losing the planet if the citizens are too unhappy, and of course keeping them happy can be tricky, since outside factions can campaign for succession...

Imperial: Your highness, Imperial planets pledge their allegiance to you - your citizen base won't create factions, but they can still join existing ones. This quasi-monarchist policy states that you must retain majority control over the system, or you might lose power...

Egocracy: glorious dictator, we look to you for guidance. Citizens are oppressed enough that they won't join any faction but your own, provided they aren't fleeing to a nearby system. Outside pressure might cause some unrest, but thanks to our bonus towards military production, it'll be easier to pacify the population. You're more likely to lose planets as they switch ownership to other factions during war, but people will always like you and miss your leadership... for a while, anyways.

Psychoticism: you're always ready for war and constant expansion - your airtight-grip control of your glorious empire-republic and her subject-citizens has given you a massive boost to military production, albeit, at the cost of a penalty to research thanks to psuedoscience... I mean, what'd you expect when you convinced the population that 2 + 2 = 5?
Other factions are more likely to be hostile for no apparent reason, and you suffer massive unhappiness when your expansion slows down... gotta blame someone for the hardship and oppression your citizens might be facing?


And that's basically a rough concept of an idea, and a perfect example of how writing style changes mid-parahraph. Ah well. Early morning will do that to ye.
I think this is a good idea, because it adds to the dynamic-appearance to the universe with factions going for a certain governing style, and colonized worlds have a chance to become independent (read: now owned by a brand new faction) and this has the possibility to revive chaos in a tamed universe... It also ensures that the player will have to take into account what their empire needs to keep existing, or how they will react when a new aggressive quasi-Socialist faction takes power in an important trading system. I choose to go after spoof names instead ofreal ideologies to make it seem less esoteric - it still feels a bit esoteric, maybe ya'll have an idea to fix that?

I'd love to hear your feedback, suggestions, corrections(like if JP has a plan already in place) etc. Also, excuse atrocious English - like I mentioned before, early morning will do that to ye c:
Added to the fact that I'm posting on mobile, the ac seems to like... not work... at times, so you'll still forgive obvious spelling mistakes that I made while fumbling with this touchscreen.
Happy first-thread-made-by-me day BTW c:
The most intriguing fact about imagination is that its all in your head.

Re: Managing Planetary Government

N810 wrote:Neither planitary owenership, nor Visible cockpits where funded in the kickstarter goals. :thumbdown:
Actually, the good man himself confirmed that planetary ownership will come post-release. I'm not sure on the other goals.
The most intriguing fact about imagination is that its all in your head.

Re: Managing Planetary Government

I think Josh has personalites and motovations/wants/need for planatary colonies allready:
not so much named goverment styles though. :)

Best to wait a few hours untill the next monthly update comes out,
there was suposed to be some progress in the colonies ... :think:
"A sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
- Arthur C. Clarke

Re: Managing Planetary Government

I like the general outlines of this. It's an interesting mix of concepts and practical game mechanics.

I also like that LTSL may allow people to design the social physics of their local LT game so that Occupyist economic beliefs magically become capable of achieving and maintaining more-or-less functional civilizations. ;) I'm taking a gentle poke here, but to be clear: I genuinely support being able to tweak what are likely to be LT's default economic/political forms into other forms that different people will find more congenial.

The main question I have concerns whether political/economic forms in LT need to be conceived and implemented by a programmer as explicit options, each with its distinct requirements, outcomes, and vulnerabilities... or if the behaviors of worlds and system-spanning empires will emerge naturally from the nature of the faction(s) that exert the most control at those levels.

Defining explicit forms has the virtue of making it clearer for players to know how to play -- how to make choices that can result in desired outcomes. "If you want full control, click the Command Economy selection." A lot of gamers seem to enjoy that kind of gameplay clarity.

On the other hand, imposing specific forms (even if there are quite a few varieties) means that you have to know how to handle edge cases and transitions. For example, if a political form changes due to a revolution, do you go instantly to another defined form? Or do there need to be one or more transitional forms?

A design that allows control choices by faction leaders to emerge naturally is better at tolerating a wide range of inputs, as you might get in a game with a detailed economic model. With no hard-coded political and economic forms, there are no transitions between forms that have to be handled through special-case code. That flows better as a simulation (pleasing the gamers who like worldy games), but it could make it harder to know what to do to achieve a desired outcome. And that's not just for human players -- successful NPC faction leads would have to have AI capable of reasoning about what actions they should take to try to create a particular goal. How would a revolutionary figure out how to topple a factional government? How would the leader of a factional government figure out how to preserve their current power structure?

On balance, I think I personally like the more dynamic emergent approach. In this design there are maybe a range of pre-constructed policies, but any factional government is able to choose any policy "a la carte" if they think it will support their overall strategic goals. That seems like a functional and codeable/testable balance between clear-but-brittle high-level forms and highly adaptable but harder to program/test emergent forms.

Re: Managing Planetary Government

InfelixTurnus wrote:in a game where randomness is hard to create, emergent economies often tend toward centrism or even centre right in most scenarios
You say that like it's a bad thing, rather than evidence of a well-designed simulation. ;)
InfelixTurnus wrote:there's not really a way to show how personal motivations and socio-moral motives can interact with economic ones to create a balance between ethics and an economic model.
In what way would that kind of visible connection be useful? I'm not disagreeing; I'm trying to understand the gameplay you may be proposing here.

Part of the trouble may be distinguishing between "simulation" (to observe) and "gameplay" (to manipulate). The simulationist aspect of LT's economic system naturally gets some people (including me) interested in defining particular constants and processes and then turning the NPCs loose to see if the result backs up our personal beliefs. A system that can do that doesn't necessarily make for good gameplay, though.

That's where suggestions like HKY09's are valuable. They're a good reminder that clarity matters in gameplay: a whole civilization that acts according to a specific set of economic constraints is easier to understand and manipulate toward a "win" condition than one that adapts. That's not very realistic, but games often aren't about realism; they're about fun. And "nothing I do as a character in this world seems to matter to these people!" is not fun for everyone.

I'm looking forward to seeing how Josh balances the simulation aspects of LT, where the "ethics" of an NPC contribute to the economic principles and consequences of the primary faction to which they belong, and the gameplay aspects in which players will expect the world to respond to their actions regardless of any theories of ethics or economics.

Re: Managing Planetary Government

Thank you Flatfingers for your response. My Libertarian Purity Score might have something to do with how I constructed policies. c:

When I was writing this, I had this idea to make switching governments... not the best thing to do for no reason. The longer you have a style of government, the more bonuses you would get from it - so it becomes a hard decision between losing one planet to revolutionaries or keeping your faction's massive credit surplus empire-wide.
My idea behind this was to simulate transition ('Rome wasn't built in a day' style) to emulate the feeling of building up (or tear in down statues of former dictators), and that maybe the procedural seed would take care of petty things like how long that system has been in place, or how content the people are with it, etc. so we could have a little variety in how well other factions perform.

Though, I still like your proposal for emergent simulation by leaving the AI to 'use sliders' to manipulate their own policy so that they can mix and match and finally slowly fall to a 'default' (center-right), I feel as though this might make a static universe... perhaps a faction with a certain governing style should try to keep leaning left, right, up and down (whatever they see fit) until society collapses or a revolution occurs all of their held planets.
I should also probably clarify that factions can only have one set of policies they use on all planets - just for continuity sake.
And of course, including a 3d political compass might feel a little.... esoteric (word count: 3).

Additionally, I would like to add that most modern governments have been formed with specific objectives in mind - the United States set its eyes on Democratic values and personal freedoms, while the Soviet Union looked towards Socialism and Equality (ehhhh...)... some modern governments were formed with time, like the UK, but I addressed simulation earlier in the post.
What do you think?
The most intriguing fact about imagination is that its all in your head.

Re: Managing Planetary Government

Cornflakes_91 wrote:
HKY09 wrote:slowly fall to a 'default' (center-right),
I guess theres a pretty obvious solution to your "problem": give them reasons to use other policies too.

Else the same would happen in your system too
I thought I addressed this with the idea that left-wing governments keep leaning and inching to the left, right governments would keep leaning and inching to the right, up governments keep leaning and inching to the up, right-up governments keep leaning and inching etc etc etc
Maybe when revolution occurs, the new government has a specific target on what they would like to achieve and they start on the same position on the compass as their predecessor (eg: a new right wing government topples the left wing one, but their government style starts in the left and they start to lean right) which would also help simulate transition.

Maybe certain areas of the compass trigger government policy. I'll put up an illustration of what I mean later.
The most intriguing fact about imagination is that its all in your head.

Re: Managing Planetary Government

Cornflakes_91 wrote:What would prevent a similar system to be used in slider based politics?
I would like a system like that, but it might make it seem esoteric (4). The point of the basic system was so players can have a basic understanding of policies in their worlds, instead of having LT turn into a 4x multi genre game.
The most intriguing fact about imagination is that its all in your head.

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