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DG6: Alternative Government Structure

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Demo Game V: Citizens' started by DaveShack, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    Citizens, the CFC DemoGames have been losing steam for several games now. There is widespread apathy, disgust with the process, entrenched opinions on how the game should be run, long-standing animosity at past events, and a sense that leadership is more a chore than a priviledge. It's not all bad, we could easily continue on with business as usual and we would probably be successful, and possibly even revitalized.

    I've been pushing the business as usual approach, so that we could have something ready to go if circumstances demand, but in the back of my mind has been an idea to radically change our approach to the game. A completely new approach might light a spark in our citizens and may challenge old timers to renew their committment to the game, and energize newcomers to try to make a difference. I'm willing to at least toss out this idea and see what happens.

    Rather than try to compare the proposed new structure to the old, tested, and successful format, I'll introduce the high level concept on its own terms.

    At its highest level, the game can be structured as layers of decision making. In rough terms, these layers are:
    • Strategic
    • Tactical
    • Game Play
    • Administration and Management

    These layers can be implemented using 4 branches of government:
    • Strategic Council
    • Tactical Directors
    • Designated Players
    • Administrative and Game Management Offices

    Looking at the Strategic Council further, these elected officials would be responsible for determining the will of the people in terms of long-term strategy, and developing plans which are capable of achieving that strategy for citizen approval. On the Strategic Council would be:
    • President
    • Consul for Domestic Policy
    • Consul for Military Policy
    • Consul for Culture Policy
    • Consul for Resources and Technologies Policy

    The Tactical Directors would be elected officials responsible for putting the plans created by the Strategic Council into action. They would write the turn by turn instructions, typically on their own initiative but under guidance from the Council and with advice from the people. Their instructions would not routinely be polled, but the people could request polls in the case where controversial alternatives are available. The Tactical Directors would be:
    • Commander of the Armed Forces
    • Director of Commerce (trade, rushes, sliders)
    • Director of Infrastructure (worker actions)
    • Governors & Mayors (build queues, worker action requests, rush requests)
    • Director of Expansion (settlers & escorts – job goes away when no more land)

    Designated Players are exactly what they sound like. Some number of DPs would be elected by the people. A DP could also hold another office, and some would say should or even must hold another office. This allows the people to choose who plays with finer granularity than currently available.

    Administrative Offices would include the Election Office, Naming Office, Information Office, and Judiciary. This does not mean the Judiciary is any less important than it is now, this is just the right place organizationally.

    Gotta run, more later... :D
     
  2. ravensfire

    ravensfire Member of the Opposition

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    Hmmm, this is really pushing the long-term planning and discussions, much more than anything before.

    Thanks for posting this, DS!

    -- Ravensfire
     
  3. Octavian X

    Octavian X is not a pipe.

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    I like where this is heading, DS. Let's hope that more comes soon. :D
     
  4. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    How would this work, you ask?

    During the elections, the candidates for the Strategic Council offices might post their vision of where our nation will be at the end of the term, and maybe some teaser plans which would achieve those goals. Except for the first term, the Consuls are not looking at what we need to do the next couple of play sessions, they're looking at the big picture. This is not to say that Consuls don't need to be aware of the current state of the nation, just that as long as conditions remain equal to what was planned, plans don't need to be adjusted.

    Examples of the types of strategic decisions that Consuls would lead are
    • What settlement pattern do we want to follow (tight build, loose build, etc.), and how aggressively do we want to expand (build a ring far away and fill in, vs grow like an amoeba into available space)
    • Do we research ourselves, or plan for getting most tech via trade
    • How do we balance military vs culture
    • What branch of the tech tree do we research to maximize its value in trade
    • Do we rush the nearby civ, or try to out expand them?
    • Do we build early wonders, or capture them?

    The President would have a very important role in this government type. Since the Consuls are presumably driving an agenda based on the office they hold, there will be inevitable conflicts, for example the Consul for Military Policy will likely be pushing to rush the nearest neighbor and take their resources, where the Consul for Culture Policy would rather be building libraries and temples instead of military units. The people may very well say they want to pursue both a culture strategy and a military one. The President would be responsible for working with the Consuls to coordinate their plans, mediate disputes, and arbitrate final solutions to disagreements. Ideally the President would also be the motivational driving factor for our success.

    This does not mean the President would be a dictator or hold an excessive amount of power, because ultimately the people still have all the power via their right to approve the strategic direction and Consuls' plans.

    Once the high level plans developed by the Consuls are approved by the people, then the Tactical Directors have the task of making those plans a reality, if possible. Conceptually, since the strategic direction and plans have already been approved by the people, the Tactical Branch would have almost total freedom to implement the plan. A citizen who disagrees with tactical directions could suggest an alternative, and if still dissatisfied could request a vote on the matter. Likewise, a Consul who finds that the tactical direction is inadequate to meet the plan would bring that to the Tactical Office's attention.

    The Governors would have essentially the same duties in this structure as they have in the current organization. Governors would identify what worker tasks are needed for their cities along with guidance on what actions have higher priority within the province. The Director of Infrastructure would merge the governors infrastructure plans into a national plan, taking into account availability of workers, travel time between jobs, and other factors we might think about. The Governors would then review the national plan and approve it, or offer their requested changes. The President again would act as mediator, and if necessary arbitrator.

    This sounds like a lot of sequential decision making, but it isn't really. Once we get the "pump primed" with the first set of decisions, the strategic office is working on the "next big thing" while the tactical office is working on getting the current plans accomplished.

    Other factors to consider
    • You will note a general correspondence between the strategic and tactical offices. This means we don't need deputies, as the strategic and tactical officers can fill in for their counterparts.
    • The strategic officials need to know the current state of the game at a high level, but do not need to open the save to do their work. This means that people who don't have Conquests can hold strategic offices, as long as someone is providing accurate in-game information.
    • Tactical decisions are taken out of the poll every 2 days mold, and placed under autonomous authority of the tactical officers. We only have to poll the big questions. This does not deprive the people of a voice in tactical decisions, it just means we codify the "speak up or hold your peace" philosophy that we're already following.
    • We get some real, long-term, coordinated strategic policy, and actual plans to achieve those policies, instead of making each decision in a vacuum in a popular poll.
    • The President's job is improved from being a puppet of the leader's TCIT instructions, and the leaders are freed from being puppets of the polls. All of those strings are tying us up in knots. :crazyeye:

    So, what do you say? We need to shake things up and get everyone's blood moving again. This is a game, and it's almost like we're treating it like a term paper instead of having fun with it. Let's try something new, a grand experiment, and see if changing the game changes us in the process! :hammer:
     
  5. Provolution

    Provolution Sage of Quatronia

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    Excellent proposal DS, I fully agree with the basics of this. This will be the death to the present Anarcho-syndicalism in the game, as we actually are allowed to elect leaders that plan a term ahead.

    Very good.
    I suggest we call it Dictators and Consuls until Feudalism, and then call it ministers.
    Titles could changes as they did in earlier Civ versions by era to get the feel. I also agree there should be five ministers, also for balancing out votes in decicions.

    President (DP) (Long term infrastructure projects, wonder proposals)

    Stratagem/Marshall of State (Military Strategist,force composition plan, police forces, upgrade plans)

    Steward/Secretary of Treasury (resource upgrade requests, expansion plans, major infrastructure plans, policies for all city specialists, decide on Forbidden Palace!!!)

    High Priest/Minister of Science (Culture and Science combined, as their builds are interdependent, wonder strategy, techs and builds, also city scientists)

    Emissary/Minister of Foreign Affairs (All foreign negotiations, including treaties, trades, threats, espionage and so on, all in one place, Foreign Affairs is indeed of long term nature).

    Agree 100 %
    Balancing out the strategic directors, one could also do it like this:

    Director of Infastructure (Worker actions and plans) (close to President)

    Chief of Staff (Military plans for any upcoming war, including strategic objectives, battle plans and rules of engagement, clearly defined powers).(Close to Marshall)

    Director of Commerce (Rush requests (what is left after budgeted upgrades, sliders, addititional upgrades, Foreign Affairs gold requests, watch corruption levels) (Close to Treasurer)

    Director of Security and Intelligence (Watching Culture levels on borders, corruption levels on fringes, calling for culture builds and anti-corruption builds, calling all intelligence operations by Embassies, bribing cities, also assessing city riots)

    (Close to Science/Culture Strategist)
    Director of Expansion (settlers & escorts – job goes away when no more)
    This job could gradually go over to that of Admiralty, running all Navy and Exlporers/Scouts, agood division
    Fully in line with most imperial powers Colonial Office.(Close to Foreign Affairs, Trade)

    Governors and Mayors, the same as stated
     
  6. Eklektikos

    Eklektikos Eponymous

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    So depending on whether we went with DS or Provolution's plan, we would have either 15 or 16 positions which have to be filled to allow the game to operate as intended without even taking governors into account.

    Allowing the Election, Naming and Information officers to hold these posts in addition to another would reduce this to 12 or 13, but that's still quite a lot considering our present participation levels. Remember that although we do have more than enough citizens to fill these posts, not all of them are necessarily interested in holding (or have the time to hold) fully active governmental positions.
     
  7. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    I forgot to mention that the non-judicial administrative positions would be open to other elected officials, so think in terms of 12 or 13.

    By comparison, not counting governors, the current game has 10 elected positions and one semi-mandatory appointed deputy (the VP) so effectively 11 offices. My proposal is a net increase of 3 elected positions in the early game and 2 in the later game, or 2 and 1 respectively if you count the VP in the current system.

    The real difference is that 4 of the non-judicial elected positions in my system are freed from having a deadline to post instructions every 3 days, and could theoretically be held by people who can't open the game. Decoupling the bulk of the polling from the game instructions would allow the game to go more smoothly by having shorter and more frequent play sessions.

    Also this alternative doesn't include deputies or a VP, reducing the number of appointed (and hard to fill) offices, and includes explicit DP elections to facilitate the more frequent and shorter play sessions, which would presumably be held at all hours of the day and night since we wouldn't be stuck on one persons schedule.
     
  8. Cyc

    Cyc Looking for the door...

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    The big question here is are we going to see Eklektikos as a contributing member of the Government of DG6, or are you just dropping in to help us formulate said Government? :) We'd love to have you back, I'm just wondering if you're here to stay or just passing through. I can't help but remember your current signature statement in the days of DG1 and what it inspired in me for this game. Whatcha gonna do?
     
  9. Cyc

    Cyc Looking for the door...

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    I'm going through your proposal a piece at a time, trying to figure out if the big picture translates into a smooth operation for the Government. I imagine you've put a lot of thought into this DS, so I'd like to see if your vision can be refined into specifics (probably the purpose of this thread). I've jotted down my thoughts below, although I haven't gotten past the Strategic Layer. I will update my thoughts as I move through your proposal, but I wanted to check with you, as far as if what I've summarized matches what you're thinking. If I'm missing the boat somehow, let me know. If I'm leaving out a major point, clue me in.
    _________________________________________

    Ok, so this plan has 4 layers.

    Strategic
    Tactical
    Game Play
    Administration and Management

    Strategic - Puts together the big picture through discussions and polling of the public. I imagine there will be the usual amount of polling to get the initial plan completed, as I believe putting together a "total package" plan would need too much refinement before final approval by the citizens.

    Tactical - Writes Instructions for the DP to follow in the Turn Chat. These
    Instructions would have to be posted early enough so that if one or more of the citizenry had a problem with them, they would be able to discuss and/or poll them. Likewise the President or Consuls would also be able to intervine on behalf of the public, if a problem were to be sited.

    Game Play - A number of Designated Players to implement the Instructions given them by the Tactical Layer.

    Administrative and Management - This Layer handles issues not directly associated with Game Play Instructions, but needed none the less. The Judiciary has always been seen as a review and rule processing entity, so it would naturally fall under Administrative, separate from in-game decisions. Other Offices manage information and numbers used by those giving Instructions, but are not included in that group.
    ________________________________________________

    In these Layers are Players.

    Strategic Layer~
    President - The head hauncho. The Coordinator. The Mediator and if
    necessary, the Arbitrator. The President has the final word in all disputes. He
    motivates others in the Strategic Layer to formulate the big picture and can fill in where necessary.

    Consul for Domestic Policy - In charge of Settlement planning and approach, and basically driving other Domestic duties and responsibilities into the big picture. Has oversight of Director of Infrastructure and Director of Expansion.

    Consul of External Policy -In charge of satisfying our Defensive and Aggresive Military needs in the big picture. Recomending units for exploration, pushing for Technologies geared towards strategic resources, formulates policy on Eminent Domain. Responsible for relations with all foreign nations. Has oversight of the Commander of Armed Forces.

    Consul of Culture Policy -In charge of projecting the appropriate and suitable Scientific and Religious aspects of the nation in the big picture. Pushing for Cultural Improvements and Wonders, great and small to be injected into building scheme of the nation. Does not oversee any Tacical Directors, but monitors Instructions.

    Consul for Resources and Technologies Policy -In charge of determining the Technology Tree path the nation should focus on. Would assist with the Settlement planning and exploration policies. Does not oversee any Tactical Directors, but monitors Instructions.

    These 5 positions would not have Deputies, the President can fill in for any of the Consuls, just as the Consuls may fill in for Tactical Directors. Discussion and polling would be the primary method of mapping out the big picture in conjunction with the recommendations of the Consuls. Determining the WOTP (Will of the People) in putting together this big picture will be their main responsibility and duty.
     
  10. Eklektikos

    Eklektikos Eponymous

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    DaveShack, where would responsibility for foreign affairs planning fall within the structure you've set out?
     
  11. Eklektikos

    Eklektikos Eponymous

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    I very much doubt I'll be running for office, but I may well be at least a little bit more active in this game than the last couple. ;)
     
  12. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    I had a thought on that but forgot to write it down back when the idea was first forming. :blush: Now I'll need to think about it again.

    [edit]
    I remember now, Consul for Military Policy should be Consul for External Policy. The rationale is that we're either planning to be at peace or at war, never both at the same time. This Consul would be responsible for all our relations with other nations.
     
  13. ravensfire

    ravensfire Member of the Opposition

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    My suggestion would be to move Tech to the Domestic Consul, then rename the Consul for Resources and Technology Policy to Consul for Foreign Matters. Have that Consul handle trade, treaties, espionage and investigations.

    I'm really, really excited about this, btw. Great idea, DS!

    -- Ravensfire
     
  14. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    Crossposted, see above for the other idea I had.
     
  15. Black_Hole

    Black_Hole Deity

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    Excellent idea!
    I love the idea for a few reasons:
    1. People without conquests can play
    2. The DP isnt nessecarily the president anymore, and we can have multiple ones.
    However with this plan I say we have about 3 ppl elected to designated player and have NO CoC. So only 1 of those 3 ppl can play the game. Im not sure more than 3 would be wise
    3. The deparments are split up great!

    Suggestions:
    Actually allow people to be in the judiciary and 1 more ministry. We should limit people to 1 tactical or strategic office, dp position, and 1 administrative position. Unless there is a CC going on the Judiciary has relatively little work. They just answer questions in the form of judicial reviews.

    We need to add a tactical director of trade and foreign affairs.
    Even though there is the consul of external affairs, he cant be deciding on trades and whether or not to sign a MPP. He would set an outline of who are friends and foes are, and how to treat each. And the director of trade and foreign affairs would actually post the TCIT instructions. Of course this director would also be under the consul for resources and technology.

    Now lets see where people fall:

    [pre]
    President
    Consul for Domestic Policy
    Director of Commerce* Put fully under Resources and Technologies? *
    Director of Infrastructure
    Governors & Mayors
    Director of Expansion
    Consul for External Policy
    Commander of Armed Forces
    Director of Foreign Affairs and Trade* Just my idea *
    Consul for Culture Policy
    ???
    Consul for Resources and Technologies Policy
    Director of Commerce
    Director of Foreign Affairs and Trade* Just my idea *
    [/pre]

    Problems I see above are that the Consul for domestic policy is basically incharge of 4 tactical positions and culture none.
     
  16. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    It's a mistake to think of the Tactical Directors as being subordinate to the Strategic Council. In particular, mentioning Governors as subordinate will draw a lot of fire. It's more of a dotted line relationship.

    If infrastructure were considered to include buildings, then Culture could be associated with infrastructure and you get a much better grouping.

    I agree with the general concept of allowing the judiciary to also hold other offices, but it might not fly with some people because it would give the appearance that the judiciary is not completely impartial. This is especially true when hearing Judicial Reviews over the powers of the offices -- what if a Justice is directly affected by the ruling? If we could trust the justices to recuse themselves anytime there is the appearance of a conflict of interest then it would work. Or how about this, have 5 justices, of whom 3 are needed to rule on any given topic. We could even allow a single justice to rule on straightforward cases.
     
  17. Octavian X

    Octavian X is not a pipe.

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    I'd actually like to see further elaboration on the designated player and administrative branches of government.

    For one, you put the position of President in a branch of government seperate from the one defined for designated players - does this imply that the President will no long participate have the traditional role as chief DP? Mind you, I don't have a problem with this - in fact, given the new system proposed, I think it's entirely appropriate to take this power away from him.

    The question remains: how, in this system, will a DP be chosen?
     
  18. Black_Hole

    Black_Hole Deity

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    DPs will be elected seperately no number has been specified(i would like to see 3) and they can be in other positions also, and a possibility would be that it is required to be in another office.
    However it very well could happen that the pres is also elected to DP. But that is not always true.

    I understand DS, however there is talk of the Consuls filling in for tactical office, so i assumed there was a bit of heirachy
     
  19. Octavian X

    Octavian X is not a pipe.

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    I must have missed that bit.

    That just gave me another thought - Black Hole mentions three DPs, with the possibility that a DP holds another office. Perhaps we could create a triumverate of DPs - one a member of the Strategic Council; another a member of the Tactical Council; and a third DP, independant of any either of the other two bodies? I'd imagine that conflict between the Stratgic and Tactical people is possble, and that seems like a good way of solving that conflict...
     
  20. YNCS

    YNCS Ex-bubblehead

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    Would the President appoint the Administrative Level officials (other than the judiciary)?
     

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