Mart

SMACX Democracy Game - participation poll

My intended participation in SMACX DG   16 members have voted

  1. 1. My intended participation in SMACX DG

    • play singleplayer DG
      1
    • play extended singleplayer DG
      4
    • play 2 human factions DG
      0
    • play 3 or more human factions DG
      0
    • play any DG setup
      8
    • maybe I would join, and I played in the past
      1
    • I need more info, but I think of joining DG
      2
    • I need more info and I'm uncertain
      0
    • I will not play
      0
    • I delegate broccoli to play
      0

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136 posts in this topic

We are planning to start a new SMACX Democracy Game. Please select an option in the poll that best describes your intended participation. Below is more information regarding democracy games in SMACX. Also, the thread is open for discussion.

======================

SMACX-DG setup schedule

As of Tuesday, Feb 9.

 

Friday, Feb 12 - Decision on the form: sp, sp extended, mp, other... We will take a look at the poll results.

 

Monday, Feb 15 - Decision on the map, factions, final map generation (maps can be started earlier to have something done by then). Final pre-defined units and AI enhancements are set. SMACX-DG forum could be open at this time.

 

Wednesday, Feb 17 - Scenario completed, testing.

 

Friday, Feb 19 - game starts.

======================

 

Explanation for the poll questions:

DG = Democracy Game

 

Singleplayer DG

It is based on singleplayer SMACX game. All players are in the same faction, there is one team of human players. Interfactional diplomacy is limited to AI only. Roleplaying, organization of the faction simulating state/country and discussions regarding in-game actions (unit movement, build queues, etc.) are among major activities.

Note: It is possible to make this game multiplayer based with password, even though only one human faction plays. The reason is no access to scenario editor.

 

Singleplayer Extended DG

As above, however I made it separate to highlight possibility of forming within the human faction internal political parties/lobbies, that would have separate sub-forums accesible only for its members. the difference is that players would not see all forum discussions - this is somewhat similar like in multiplayer game described below.

 

Multiplayer DG (2, 3 or more human factions)

There are multiple human factions (teams) in SMACX game, it is multiplayer game with passwords. Each human faction has a sub-forum where only members can view and make posts. There is also one forum for all open discussions.

This kind of game can be more competition oriented, possibly only one team may call itself a winer. Two player game would be probably the most fierce from the very start, as there would not be 'other factions' community aside of two fighting factions. Three or more human factions game would probably see in the early part more diplomacy of peace, alliances, etc. As any such game approaches the end, it would be more war-like. However, special game rules are possible that might shape the game in some other way.

 

If you need more information, please take a look at some of the archives of old Apolyton Alpha Centauri Democracy Games:

 

ACDG2:

http://apolyton.net/forums/showthread.php?t=107713

 

ACDG-Police State Game:

http://apolyton.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=212

 

ACDG3:

http://apolyton.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=222

 

ACDG4, other:

http://apolyton.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=296

 

ACDG5:

http://apolyton.net/forums/showthread.php?t=177950

 

ACDG6:

http://www.apolyton.net/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=182549

 

Drogue's short DG history, till ACDG3:

http://apolyton.net/forums/showthread.php?t=138983

 

Short List of ACDG on Apolyton:

 

ACDG1 - singleplayer, huge/large map?

ACDG2 - multiplayer (5 human factions), map smaller than ACDG1?

ACDG - Police State Game - singleplayer (Hive).

ACDG3 - multiplayer (4 human factions), map smaller than ACDG2.

ACDG4 - singleplayer.

ACDG5 - as above, we had map 30x60 (below small) (SMAC vanila).

ACDG6 - singleplayer, map... I do not racall. SMAniaC Mod.

Edited by Mart

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I wish I could vote twice, as I hated to leave the :broc: option alone...

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I'd certainly be interested, if only to lurk and learn from you SMAC-heads.

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"Singleplayer Extended DG"

 

I'd like the two internal factions to be given secret objectives at the game start by the CMN. These objectives should be chosen such that the two parties are put in opposition. The game is won when one of the internal factions completes their secret objective.

 

The game is lost when either the other internal faction wins or the faction as a whole is exterminated.

 

I keep thinking of other rules too, like how to choose which internal factions gets to control stuff at any one time. Which internal faction gets to do diplomacy etc. Maybe even assassination of other players (perhaps who is a member of each faction is secret t5o those not in the faction, of course, for this to work at least some posters/officials must start the game unaligned so that you can't just guess)

 

We could even do military Juntas through cunning use of the CMN.

 

On the other hand, I'm perverting the original idea of the DG away from any resemblance of the norm.

 

Your choice, peeps. I would also be happy to play a normal DG.

 

Edit

Dolgorukov and Buster's Uncle have shown interest in this idea, so here are some more detailed ideas and prototype rules for the type of game I described above.

 

Proposed rules

 

Players take the place of senators or other high ranking officials in the faction we're playing as. Each player can either be independent or align themselves with one of the parties, they need not inform anyone of their choice, though they will not gain access to the party specific private forums without asking the leadership of that party first.

 

This brings us nicely on to the forums necessary for play: one for each party and a third senate forum that is open to everyone (possibly only to players). The leadership of each of the factions control who has access to their respective forums.

 

At the start of the game, each party is given a secret objective. It is up to party leadership what they do with this knowledge (they don't need to tell anyone and they can lie if they want). For a party to win the game, they must succeed in their secret objective or eliminate the other faction. A party loses the game if they are eliminated or if the other party succeeds in their objective. All players lose if the faction is eliminated.

 

From this point it seems sensible to separate the play of the game into two parts, the roleplaying, forum based part and the actual SMAC playing unit movement etc.

 

The forum game determines who gets to make decisions for play of the SMAC game. All the actual SMAC playing is performed by the CMN or another neutral party (if the CMN is unavailable), the CMN then presents information from the SMAC game to specific players. Generals will receive information on their specific units, as will Admirals and other military commanders. The governors of each city will receive the information from their bases. These players are then free to distribute, modify, falsify or withhold this information as they see fit. This information will be given in the form of screenshots, where possible

 

As mentioned above, there will be several different special roles for players in the forum game. There will be a military hierarchy (those without direct control of forces will have to rely on reports from their subordinates), an intelligence bureau (handling espionage and counter espionage) and finally the senate.

 

At the beginning of the game those outside the senate our technically supposed to be party neutral and are subservient to the senate as a whole. The governors, military commanders and spooks are all required to make reports to the senate. Any player may then propose a course of action and this may be voted upon. There probably needs to be some kind of tick system, such that all senators get a chance to vote (military commanders and spooks may not vote, governors may be allowed to vote).

 

The senate may vote on any in-game action and then give orders to the relevant players. These players then tell the CMN what their actions are. In addition, the senate may vote to launch a senatorial investigation at any time into any organization or individual. These investigations are headed by a player and report to the senate (supposedly) unbiased information. The organization being investigated may then decide to either cooperate with the investigation and give them whatever information they have unedited or they may attempt to hide the information, in which case the CMN rolls a dice for the success of that action. Investigators may report whatever they want to the senate.

 

Senators who have become investigators may not vote until they cease being investigators, any votes they have made that session are discarded. Up to x senators may be launched on a single investigation each session. Only one investigation may be launched per session.

 

Any player may talk in private with any other player (PMs). All party members may talk together in private (but a player may belong to more than one party at once (if they are sneaky) and may do whatever they want with any information they receive). Parties may launch their own investigations independently, if they so wish. These follow the same rules as senatorial investigations, but those being investigated are under no obligation to submit to their demands and the investigation need not be made public and those involved in it may still vote.

 

Some notes

 

Any military commander may at any time declare themselves rogue to the CMN, the CMN then uses the scenario editor to put their units under the control of the aliens (or some other free faction slot). They may then attack whoever they want.

 

The game will need an official forger-of-evidence who uses the scenario editor to make fake screenshots as necessary.

 

The CMN needs to do an awful lot, therefore there should probably be two or more and they should be chosen to provide as wide a spread of combined "open hours" as possible.

 

The game could be quite badly messed up by people who don't roleplay properly (i.e. give away information to people based on real life friendships, w/e) there's no way to prevent this, so we'll just have to trust in people.

 

The game will likely devolve into an extremely paranoid affair. This is intentional.

 

The game may need assassination rules. I don't know how these should be set up yet.

 

Final note: despite the tone set above, these are all just my proposed ideas and I believe that we should decide these as a group. Thus, any criticisms or alternate ideas/rules are welcome.

Edited by DrazharLn

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heh, I ended up voting for an extended single player game, the internal faction (political parties/agenda's within a single human controlled faction) concept really turns me on.

 

Woop woop!

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...

 

On the other hand, I'm perverting the original idea of the DG away from any resemblance of the norm.

 

...

I don't see it this way. What you described is for me within an interesting democracy game, it sounds like more stress on roleplay. In any demogame there will always be differences of oppinions, naturally lobbies/parties/juntas form.

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As a few of you seem quite interested in the idea, I have updated my first post in this thread with some proposed rules and ideas for such a game.

 

I'll stress again that I'm not trying to rule this thing with an iron fist, or rule it at all. I'm just suggesting some ideas I think would be fun.

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...

Players take the place of senators or other high ranking officials in the faction we're playing as. Each player can either be independent or align themselves with one of the parties, they need not inform anyone of their choice, though they will not gain access to the party specific private forums without asking the leadership of that party first.

The overall setup could be flexible, e.g. in the begining players would assume roles of starship Unity officers, crew members, etc. Then after settling on the planet they would have freedom to select their roles, as you write. However, there would not be any specific organization scheme at first, Chiron is new begining.

...

At the start of the game, each party is given a secret objective. It is up to party leadership what they do with this knowledge (they don't need to tell anyone and they can lie if they want). For a party to win the game, they must succeed in their secret objective or eliminate the other faction. A party loses the game if they are eliminated or if the other party succeeds in their objective. All players lose if the faction is eliminated.

The in-game victory conditions would work nicely too. E.g. Military might tend to conquer all other factions (AI), but some Peace party would attempt to achieve diplomacy win.

 

In case of other conditions, I would say some set of conditions/objectives know to everyone would be required. Otherwise no one might guess some such objective. We would be just limited number of players. We would just not know, if other faction wants A, B, C or D.

From this point it seems sensible to separate the play of the game into two parts, the roleplaying, forum based part and the actual SMAC playing unit movement etc.

 

The forum game determines who gets to make decisions for play of the SMAC game. All the actual SMAC playing is performed by the CMN or another neutral party (if the CMN is unavailable), the CMN then presents information from the SMAC game to specific players. Generals will receive information on their specific units, as will Admirals and other military commanders. The governors of each city will receive the information from their bases. These players are then free to distribute, modify, falsify or withhold this information as they see fit. This information will be given in the form of screenshots, where possible

A bit too much micromanaging, imho. The game save could be accesible to everyone. However, independent from parties, there could be government with president, execution member (turnplayer), military head, terraforming head, etc. And these roles would change from time to time.

 

I would not split roleplaying from turn playing that much.

As mentioned above, there will be several different special roles for players in the forum game. There will be a military hierarchy (those without direct control of forces will have to rely on reports from their subordinates), an intelligence bureau (handling espionage and counter espionage) and finally the senate.

yes, but game saves open to everyone.

At the beginning of the game those outside the senate our technically supposed to be party neutral and are subservient to the senate as a whole. The governors, military commanders and spooks are all required to make reports to the senate. Any player may then propose a course of action and this may be voted upon. There probably needs to be some kind of tick system, such that all senators get a chance to vote (military commanders and spooks may not vote, governors may be allowed to vote).

all players might take part in government discussion, but decisions would stay with appropriate government members.

 

I think all players would be considered as important enough to voice their oppinions in the senate, so the factional open to everyone forum would be it.

 

But I would be against assigning Base Governors. We tried that in ACDG5 - did not really work. It's more of a boring micromanaging roles.

...

Any military commander may at any time declare themselves rogue to the CMN, the CMN then uses the scenario editor to put their units under the control of the aliens (or some other free faction slot). They may then attack whoever they want.

That would be like making multiplayer game, and although idea is very tempting, we would encounter a lot more issues. I would say, if we start singleplayer, it would be good to keep it till game ends.

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this will be my first DG if we manage to get it started.

Draz's proposal is a very interesting, but we will need much more players than we have to make it work.

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I'm not sure having two threads right now is a good idea. The conversations are parallel enough that I never know which one I'm in...

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this will be my first DG if we manage to get it started.

My impresion is, it is certain with 99% or more.

Draz's proposal is a very interesting, but we will need much more players than we have to make it work.

I think we already have enough interest, there is 6 votes, and I admit, I still did not cast mine, just no final decision what I would prefer.

 

So it's 7 persons, and I have seen players in multiplayer forum, that I think as being active, some of them would join and see. Even if for an occasional post/remark. This creates enough participation for a minimum game.

 

And the poll is less than a day posted.

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As a few of you seem quite interested in the idea, I have updated my first post in this thread with some proposed rules and ideas for such a game.

 

...

In addition to your idea, what comes to my mind now:

 

U.N.S. Unity roles (AI):

Captain Garland - Unity Commander, deceased

Deirdre Skye - Unity Xenobiologist

Sheng-Ji Yang - Unity XO

Prokhor Zakharov - Unity Science Officer

Nwabudike Morgan - Unity Franchise Holder

Corazon Santiago - Unity Security Chief

Miriam Godwinson - Unity Psych Chaplain

Pravin Lal - Unity Ship's Surgeon

Ulrik Svensgaard - Unity Astrogator

Aki Zeta-5 - Specialist under Unity Science Officer

Sinder Rose - Unity Information Services, helpdesk

Domai - Unity Assistant Jobtech 3rd class

 

Note: In case of some of the above AI factions not being included in the game, players could assume these roles.

 

And other for the players, examples:

Unity ...

Flight Officer

Second flight Officer

Second Astrogator

Psych Assistant

Planetologist

Astronomer

Captain in ship's marines unit

Lieutenant in ship's marines unit

...

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And how it might look like on Chiron:

 

Government:

- President/premier/commander/leader in general - final decision maker when needed

- Executive minister/officer - turnplayer

- Military Forces Chief - turnplayer for these, it could include also domestic/probe units

- Infrastructure Officer/Minister/Chief - build queues, former units, etc.

 

might be more members, depending on activity.

 

Parties:

whatever we care to form, from Broccoli Beer Party to U.N. Military Lobby.

... I have to think about some examples

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Broccoli Rootbeer Party.:broc: -If we're actually going to have a silliness/clowning contingent, (which I doubt is a good idea) I don't know that I can stay out of it, but I don't drink...

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In case of limited activity, government might be consisting just from 3 persons, we would somehow split roles.

 

We might hold maybe elections to the government every 10/15/20 turns?

---------

Other idea is that parties only form government, they might hold turnplaying priviliges for some time, maybe even more than one term

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Maybe one more note regarding parties/factions.

There always exist possibility to use some external free message boards. I think for embassy purposes in ACDG3 we had such maybe even several. So over there interfactional talks were held.

For singleplayer this might serve for small parties or parties starting that would not find enough interest at first, or maybe even 'secret' parties/juntas...

--------

On technical side, it would not be good if we formed hidden forums here like 5 every 2 weeks, then abandon them quickly. Also PM communication is not that convenient.

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The overall setup could be flexible, e.g. in the begining players would assume roles of starship Unity officers, crew members, etc. Then after settling on the planet they would have freedom to select their roles, as you write. However, there would not be any specific organization scheme at first, Chiron is new begining.

 

I like this idea.

 

The in-game victory conditions would work nicely too. E.g. Military might tend to conquer all other factions (AI), but some Peace party would attempt to achieve diplomacy win.

 

I was thinking that we could use some more subtle objectives, but I can't think of any at the moment. So, maybe.

 

In case of other conditions, I would say some set of conditions/objectives know to everyone would be required. Otherwise no one might guess some such objective. We would be just limited number of players. We would just not know, if other faction wants A, B, C or D.

 

The objectives don't necessarily need to be known by those opposing them. If they can work out who is in the opposition party, then they can simply oppose mysterious motions made by that party.

 

One would hope that they could work out the gist of it, though.

 

A bit too much micromanaging, imho. The game save could be accesible to everyone. However, independent from parties, there could be government with president, execution member (turnplayer), military head, terraforming head, etc. And these roles would change from time to time.

 

I would not split roleplaying from turn playing that much.

 

yes, but game saves open to everyone.

 

By making the information available to everyone you make it much harder for subterfuge on the part of individual players. In Solium Infernum, one of the main ways that tension is heightened is by withholding information from players. You fear what you do not know. And fear is paranoia fuel.

I think the micromanagement is worth it.

 

Though, combined with the earlier idea about the government making itself, we could save the greater complexity till later. Besides, if you choose the right people the system should be efficient enough.

 

all players might take part in government discussion, but decisions would stay with appropriate government members.

 

Specific things like move former to 84,100 and make a farm shouldn't be voted upon at all, IMO. The senate would instead vote to use the former to improve the nutrient production of base x, for example.

 

I think all players would be considered as important enough to voice their oppinions in the senate, so the factional open to everyone forum would be it.

 

This is more about the separation of military power from political power. The military people can come to the senate and voice their opinion and even back a specific proposal, but they may not actually vote and they're bound to obeying the senate's will, whatever they decide.

Of course, they can go rogue, if they want. That should be a decision that is not taken lightly, however. Also, the players nominated to control the military should be fairly loyal to the faction. You don't put a revolutionary in charge of a legion.

 

But I would be against assigning Base Governors. We tried that in ACDG5 - did not really work. It's more of a boring micromanaging roles.

 

This is a fair point. If they can vote as well, however, it could be that base governors make a kind of house of lords. Unelected (by the people, anyway, a senator would be promoted to this position by the senate) politicians who cannot be easily removed from office (I had the idea that the senate could vote to expel a particular senator, as a more plausible alternative to assassination).

 

That would be like making multiplayer game, and although idea is very tempting, we would encounter a lot more issues. I would say, if we start singleplayer, it would be good to keep it till game ends.

 

I imagine a military junta being something that ends fairly quickly. To ensure they stay short we could impose heavy penalties to production for the duration of the conflict.

 

I'd also like to mention that I think we should play a modified version of SMAC, like the GotM, with premade units. You could even add new ones as you go along, if necessary.

 

In this idea o'mine I see the CMNs more as Game Masters and the actual turn playing as more of a vehicle for providing interesting circumstances for the players to react to.

 

It might be better to have the game start 50 years in or so. That way we get to sort out all the relatively uninteresting start and set the game up for an interesting political situation straight away.

 

Edit: For this idea I think we would need at least 15 people, however, not all of them need to know how to play SMAC, so we can recruit from quite a large pool. As always, voice your opinions.

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...

By making the information available to everyone you make it much harder for subterfuge on the part of individual players. In Solium Infernum, one of the main ways that tension is heightened is by withholding information from players. You fear what you do not know. And fear is paranoia fuel.

I think the micromanagement is worth it.

With hidden subforums for parties, we would already have secret information. You would not know, what they plan. Game save, is kinda world that you see with your own eyes.

...

Specific things like move former to 84,100 and make a farm shouldn't be voted upon at all, IMO. The senate would instead vote to use the former to improve the nutrient production of base x, for example.

yes, I agree.

This is more about the separation of military power from political power. The military people can come to the senate and voice their opinion and even back a specific proposal, but they may not actually vote and they're bound to obeying the senate's will, whatever they decide.

Of course, they can go rogue, if they want. That should be a decision that is not taken lightly, however. Also, the players nominated to control the military should be fairly loyal to the faction. You don't put a revolutionary in charge of a legion.

That's very good idea. Two parties might be:

- Senate

- Military

- Executive government, maybe third...

This is a fair point. If they can vote as well, however, it could be that base governors make a kind of house of lords. Unelected (by the people, anyway, a senator would be promoted to this position by the senate) politicians who cannot be easily removed from office (I had the idea that the senate could vote to expel a particular senator, as a more plausible alternative to assassination).

And here comes a question, how big game will be, what map size, etc.

We could get easily 20-50 bases, appointing a base governor for each would be not realistic.

What might work, is few/several factional districts consisting of a group of bases.

I imagine a military junta being something that ends fairly quickly. To ensure they stay short we could impose heavy penalties to production for the duration of the conflict.

Might be possible, but rules would need more work. We might not want to restrict it too much. Let the situation unfold fully and develop itself. Maybe we would have something like 2 human factions multiplayer game for long then.

I'd also like to mention that I think we should play a modified version of SMAC, like the GotM, with premade units. You could even add new ones as you go along, if necessary.

I agree! :b: Actually I was thinking of a long list of pre-defined units, also other faction tweaking, to ensure as challenging AI as possible in reasonable limits. So the AI is not that stupid...

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With hidden subforums for parties, we would already have secret information. You would not know, what they plan. Game save, is kinda world that you see with your own eyes.

 

I'm still in favour of the level of information hiding I mentioned above.

 

That's very good idea. Two parties might be:

- Senate

- Military

- Executive government, maybe third...

 

I imagined the parties as political parties, like the Republicans and Democrats in America or the Conservatives and Labour in the UK. Of course, I imagine them being rather more radical than those 4.

 

The military is supposed to be independent, but in practice I would hope that the parties would try and win individual commanders over (perhaps by agreeing to support their ideas in the senate) so that they could get information directly off them or perhaps to subtly inconvenience the other party.

 

By making information come through players (in this case the military) you allow for an interesting increasing tension in the game and make the players distrust one another all the more.

 

And here comes a question, how big game will be, what map size, etc.

We could get easily 20-50 bases, appointing a base governor for each would be not realistic.

What might work, is few/several factional districts consisting of a group of bases.

 

Good idea. Perhaps the number of bases each governor administrates would scale with the size of the empire.

 

Might be possible, but rules would need more work. We might not want to restrict it too much. Let the situation unfold fully and develop itself. Maybe we would have something like 2 human factions multiplayer game for long then.

 

I prefer the idea of just letting them do what they want, in retrospect.

 

Good to hear you agree with the addition of custom units. I hear you're quite good with that sort of thing.

 

A new idea: As well as playing the first 50 or so turns of the game before the DG starts, how about issuing roleplaying backgrounds for some of the players?

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...

 

A new idea: As well as playing the first 50 or so turns of the game before the DG starts, how about issuing roleplaying backgrounds for some of the players?

 

I would be for playing all turns from 2101, and going through all techs. In singleplayer we would have a lot of freedom to speed up or slow down the game. However, I would opt for some rather rigid time scheduling for several reasons. E.g. you leave for a week in RL, but when you return you know which mission year on Chiron you can expect.

 

Another thing is, we can do sort of accelerated start, by giving factions more colony pods, energy, etc. It's just that Unity had more escape pods and more energy reserves.

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Yeah, I'm in favour of a fixed length of time/turn. I'll call it a tick.

 

I think ticks should be at least two days long to allow for all the proposals to be gathered in the first day and then voted on in the second day. We could do it in one day if everyone was active at the same times, but we're spread out across the world, so that's not gonna work.

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We would not need to vote for every turn. Sometimes a 5 year plan would be sufficient, sometimes (like vendetta) we might use full tick to the max and still need more time. This will work out itself.

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Remember that lots of stuff should be going on besides the actual playing of SMAC. The early years in particular would be very important for the two parties forming and drawing up battle lines (especially as most players will start unaligned as neutral senators). Ideally, we'd see them interfering with one another with political intrigue every turn.

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Maybe there would be enough activity for 3 stable parties? Unless there would be:

- 2 parties

- independent military

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