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Is this demo game dead?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Demo Game: Citizens' started by robboo, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. Falcon02

    Falcon02 General

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    Also, I just noticed, this game is entering 11th term (month), this is the longest running Demogame that I'm aware of (missed the last half of the Civ III demogames). And with us being 11 months into the game it looks like we're only half way through the game judging by date and trade discussions (correct me if I'm wrong, I haven't had a chance to look at a save yet).

    I wouldn't be surprised if the slow pace resulted in a decrease in attendance.
     
  2. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    That's actually in our current CoL, one of the few items which worked as intended. Even before this game, several of us veterans have systematically mixed things up by voluntarily switching the offices we run for to give others the chance.

    Unfortunately the DGs have been on a slide for quite a while. One symptom has been that the majority of terms in the last 2-3 DGs have seen a shortage of candidates. It seems that most games start strong, but they decline rapidly about 3-4 terms in.

    The slow play is both a cause of and result of declining participation. This thread started off asking ourselves if we've fallen below the threshold of continued viability in the current game.

    I think we might have reached the point where we need 2 discussions:
    • what can we do (if anything) to jumpstart this game
    • what changes should we make for the next game. (this thread has already gone in this direction)

    Complicating all this is getting buyin from new (or old returning) people while still moving things along. To get that buyin, the strong people need to tread lightly, but to keep it rolling they need to remain active.
     
  3. Falcon02

    Falcon02 General

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    Well, it is my experience as a new person to trying to return to the demogame previously when I've tried to return, it has been hard to catch up. It's hard to figure out the history, and without that history the "current events" tend to lack flavor to maintain interest.

    I am trying to get back into the demogame, however the task of catching up again seems fairly daunting. I have no idea of how we got where we are today, and I don't really know very well where we are today (still haven't had a chance to view the save). I did not see any detailed history thread which would be very useful for this. As such, I kinda want to know the history and current state before I actually become an active participant again.

    And with the decline part way into it, I guess I was one of the examples in the early days DGII and DGIII, I tried to join but slowly became less active as I had more going on in real life or lost motivation.

    Also, how have the lack of candidates slowed things down? so long as you aim for X turns per chat and still hold chats regularly I don't see where the slow down would come...
     
  4. dutchfire

    dutchfire Moderator Moderator

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    Lack of DP's, lack of instructions.
     
  5. Oldbus

    Oldbus Chief of Confusion

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    But that stems from a lack of people in the game, I think. There is not the urgency to arrange a swift TC if there are not lots of people waiting for it, and if your logging-in rate on the forums drop, you can often miss TCs being posted and therefore not post instructions.

    I'm not quite sure why so many have left - though others with more DG experience have suggested that it tends to happen anyway. I do think there is a problem once you get below a certain number fo players that others think it is not worthwhile to continue. I suspect that the threshold is different for different people - I've just about hit that limit, which is why I've done very little posting since my last turnchat and have not stood for a post in the recent bout of elections.
     
  6. ravensfire

    ravensfire Member of the Opposition

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    From the Code of Laws:

    -- Ravensfire
     
  7. Black_Hole

    Black_Hole Chieftain

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    In my opinion here are the main reasons this demogame has lost people:

    1. We are playing on epic, which the way we are playing TCs is way to slow to keep people's attention... If we prefer fewer turnchats (which I do) we should have played on normal...
    2. This is the eleventh term! As DaveShack said, participation drops off during terms 3-4, we are in term 11! Our demogames should only take 6-8 monthes preferably. This is partly due to #1
    3. The ruleset was horrible, there are quite a few problems, and I just don't think anyone wanted to put effort into fixing it, it is also way too detailed
    4. Like RF pointed out above, term limiting is one of the worst laws we have right now
    5. The ruleset wasn't even agreed upon by most people, this led to an entire term of legal wrangling over if we were using an illegal ruleset
    6. The constitution was way to vague regarding decision types, a good idea, but not detailed enough... we end up debating the definition of words
    7. We focus way too much on the civ4 game mechanics instead of roleplaying around the game
    8. As Falcon02 pointed out, we have no way for people to catch up with what is happening, just now I was looking through the more recent threads in the citizen and government forum and I couldn't find a single screenshot...
    9. School & Life

    All but the last of those can be fixed for our next demogame
    One thing I don't completely agree with our people is that I think we should take a considerable break between DGs... I would say we should take 2 monthes off to work on a ruleset, this lets people rest from the game and brings more anticipation
     
  8. Falcon02

    Falcon02 General

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    Agreed

    Not 100% sure that was RF's intent, honestly I think it's a good idea in general, assuming there are enough people to rotate through. If there are no other candidates the person could run again. This is coming from someone who was Military Leader DG1 for all but one term. It wasn't until I took a break from the Demogame that we got some fresh blood as military leader.

    Agreed, this was one reason I had a hard time getting back into the demogame before. People stopped roleplaying with the events and it didn't have the same community flavor. Now, I'm not talking about DG2's vision of RPG where it was highly structured, but more the type there was in DG1. A less formal role playing. For example when we reduced Greece to an Island city and made peace with them one of our citizens went on a voyage to interview the "ousted Greek leader." During his voyage the Iroqouis closed in on the city and eventually eliminated the Greek Nation, but we rushed a Destroyer in the area to take part in the search for his expedition as we lost contact with him in all the chaos.

    Or the Victory Festivities in the central province shortly before our spaceship victory.

    THAT is the type of roleplaying that the DG needs, it was also integrated into the Citizens forum so it was intertwined with discussions on mechanics and strategy. In DG2 the RPG was so structured that it was very isolated from the main game and rarely ever effected actual decisions.

    Some Demogames have been semi-good with this, the creation of a History department which would compile and archive such information served this purpose, fairly well. However, there should be two parts to this, in my mind. One which is a very detailed archive of history, data, and screenshots. And one which is written more as a story, giving you an insight into the personalities and RPG parts of the history as well as the dry (Babylon declared war on us in 2000 BC because we refused to give into their demands).

    And Work.....

    Half agree, half don't....

    Yes we need to make sure we've got a solid ruleset before starting the new game. Quite a few times the ruleset has still been in development at the start of term 1 and it ended up being rushed.

    However, the longer the break the more chance you'll lose players that won't come back. Play the demogame, long break between demogames, so you move onto something else and then lose motivation to return to the demogame. Trust me it's happened to me before, not so much between DG's, but School work has taken over my attention, so what leisure time I do have I spend on less involved pass times, then lose the motivation to return.
     
  9. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    And kids growing up and starting school, soccer, swimming, daisy girl scouts, etc. :crazyeye:

    The start of this DG was not as fun for me as it could have been. Kick off discussions, try to encourage others to write laws, wait, prod, wait some more :wallbash:, decide we gotta have at least a constitution nailed down, write it according to input :king: , get it ratified something like 18-1 :cool: (don't really care what the real % was), nurture a new player, shepherd a so-so CoL through, think the people have approved it :confused: , find out from the mods that new player is really a con man :mad: , rule as judiciary that we ratified it anyway :eek: , listen to all the people who now say they didn't agree with the constitution and don't want to follow the so-called one man show :mad: , get frustrated as most of the people leave... :cry:

    One thing the military didn't accomplish was weeding out my volunteering instinct. I figure I'll be right back to the same place, waiting for others to make progress and then jumping in when they don't. Maybe we'll be luckier this time. ;)
     
  10. Falcon02

    Falcon02 General

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    The lack of participation in the legal discussions has been a problem in the past (again can't vouch for the most recent DG's). Honestly, I've never helped the issue, the "legalese" never interested me at all. I payed attention to it only when forced to, tried to know my responcibilities and limits on power, but aside from that I rarely, if ever, participated in discussions for laws.

    Fact of the matter is I joined the DG to play the game, not spend time milling over, creating, and correcting legal documents. I left that to Shatian, Daveshack, Donsig and others who actually seemed to find it interesting. I realize the need for it, but if you can't raise my interest in it.... you can't force me to do it....
     
  11. ice2k4

    ice2k4 Chieftain

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    So shouldnt we start drafting up a consitution now? Not to saythat it should be done in a month, two or even three, but I think we would see a clearer view of everyone's opinions if we created a thread (or wiki type thing) for a new constitution.

    After the constitution is completed (And if the current demogame isnt done,) we should vote wether to play out the game or call it a day.

    We would then hold any CoL discussion (not to say we would agree upon even having one) and once we have that finished we start the game.

    Just my input on how we might go about things.

    Would of posted earlier, but there seemed to be a problem with the databases yesterday, and lucky me, I was one of the people who was affected. Oh well. :sigh:
     
  12. dutchfire

    dutchfire Moderator Moderator

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    first shot at making a constitution

    Spoiler :

    The law
    The law shall consist of: (in order of importance)
    The forum rules represented by the moderators. The moderators may veto anything done during this demogame.
    This constitution
    lower forms of law, lower forms of law may be made according to this constitution. These lower forms of law may not contradict the constitution.

    The citizens
    Any member of the Civilization Fanatics Forums may participate in this game of democracy. To get the right to vote they need to register in the citizen's registry, and apply to the game of democracy group (done in the user control panel).

    Citizens have the following rights, only limited by the forum rules:
    • Freedom of Speech
    • Eligibility to hold an office
    • Entitled to a fair and speedy trial
    • Right to vote
    • Right to Assemble

    Decisions of the people
    The following ways of decision making by the people are allowed (in order of seniority):
    Initiative, a binding poll started by a citizen. This can only be repealed by moderators and more recent initiatives.
    Recall, a poll made by a citizen, that may remove an official from his position.
    Mandate, the election of an official. The official can make decisions that can be recalled.
    Approval, The absence of non-approving citizens in a discussion that has been open for 3 days.

    Elections
    All elections will be at the same time. Before the elections begin, a nomination thread has to be open for 3 days, listing all positions for which elections will be held. Election polls shall be private. The candidate with most votes at the end of the election will win the election. If two or more candidates tie, run-off polls should be held until one candidate wins the election.

    Playing the Save
    1. No person may play the save other than a Designated Player specifically tasked to do so, or an official who is required to attempt certain actions to get information about what is possible in the game.
    2. If any action must be performed outside a scheduled play session, to obtain information about possible options, the game must then be immediately closed without saving, and without performing further actions.
    3. Obtaining information which would not be visible to someone playing the game, at the current point in time reflected by the current saved game or a previous saved game, by any mechanism, is prohibited. As noted in Section 2 of this Article, actions performed by an official, where performing the action is the only way to determine options, are permitted as long as the game is immediately closed following such investigation.
    4. Inadvertent discovery of information shall not result in any penalty, provided no attempt is made to further disseminate the information or use it to advantage within the game.
    5. Use of any exploits is prohibited. No person may manipulate the game in any way other than by normal play mechanisms, unless expressly permitted by law.

    Judiciary
    There shall always be a judiciary, consisting of 3 members. The judge, prosecuter, and the defender.
    The Judiciary will review and clarify the constitution and any other type of law on citizens request. These reviews and clarifications will be saved in an appropriate thread, and will be called an Inquiry.
    The Judiciary will post their procedures at the start of term.
    Any citizen may ask for legal help from the defender, and the defender must give this help privatly unless he is involved in the case himself. Then the judge will have to give the citizen legal help. The prosecuter will defend the cause of the citizenry.

    Amendments
    This constitution shall have to be ratified in a public poll open for at least 4 days. The majority of non-abstain votes cast will have to be yes for this constitution to be ratified. The constitution may be amended in a poll open for at least 4 days and public. 60% of the non-abstain votes cast in such poll have to be yes for the amendment to be ratified.
    Minor changes may be made, but will only be official if no-one has opposed the change within 5 days. Otherwise, the change should be treated as an amendment.



    more coming later.
     
  13. ice2k4

    ice2k4 Chieftain

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    excellent, so far, no problems.
     
  14. GeorgeOP

    GeorgeOP RF Bleachers

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    I think we should create a new government based on the new constitution and CoL's and finish this game. We can maybe find bugs during this game instead of spending the first three months of the next game looking for bugs.
     
  15. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    I'm ok with this as long as officials are still considered citizens.

    Instead of "recalled" here, I'd suggest "overriden by an initiative". Also remember many of our officials are not elected, unless we change the normal plan and have uncontested nominees stand election anyway.
     
  16. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    A careful comparison of dutchfire's proposal shows that it is the same concept as the existing Constitution, with certain details removed -- the ones which have resulted in conflicts. I definitely agree with this general approach, especially for the Constitution layer.


    I'll be disappointed if we don't require the judiciary to be "fair, impartial, public and speedy", but that's the only detail missing that really has any potential to make a difference.
     
  17. ice2k4

    ice2k4 Chieftain

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    I would expect to be writing a CoL for a higher amount of players for the new demogame. I dont think that each demogame at certain times will have different needs, and a constitution and CoL for the beginning of a new demogame, should not be the same as one for an old dying demogame.
     
  18. Black_Hole

    Black_Hole Chieftain

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    so our laws can be repealed by moderators?
    We previously had a clause that let moderators strike down laws breaking forum rules, but giving them the power to strike down all laws is a very bad idea
     
  19. GenMarshall

    GenMarshall Widowmaker: Ghost Operative

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    Perhaps the only condition should the moderators should repeal any law is if it goes against the forum rules or goes in contrary to them.
     
  20. Falcon02

    Falcon02 General

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    I agree the moderator portion should get some clarification.

    Either limiting the scope of the power (ie. limiting the reasons for the repeal) or limiting the scope of Moderators (ie. the Moderator can't be an active participant in the DG).

    Honestly I think the first is more reasonable and more fair. The second requires the Moderator to essentially be ignorant of the scope of the Demogame.

    And excuse my potentially outdated terminology, but what happened to purely informational polls? Were non-binding polls for more general policy guidelines thrown out as "unfair" or something?
     

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