Democracy 3 is a government simulation game that was developed by Positech Games in 2013, the original Democracy was released in April 2005 and a sequel in December 2007. The player plays as if they are the president or prime minister of a democratic government. The player must introduce and alter policies in seven areas – tax, economy, welfare, foreign policy, transport, law and order, and public services. Each policy has an effect on the happiness of various voter groups, as well as affecting factors such as crime and air quality. The player has to deal with "situations", which are typically problems such as petrol protests or homelessness, and also has to make decisions on dilemmas that arise each turn.
After deciding which nation to play as, the player must win the support of various voter groups which make up the electorate, including the religious, patriot, parents, capitalists, socialists, liberals, conservatives and others, and thus win the ensuing elections that take place. The player introduces policies and uses sliders to change the amount of government funding, level of a tax or generally the law and regulations in that particular area. Of course, because each individual person belongs to several factions (e.g: a Poor Conservative Smoker who is a Patriot or a Rich, Socialist person who is also a Drinker), it is practically impossible to control all the voters.
To make policy changes, the player must spend political capital, which is generated by loyal ministers.The player must also try to balance the budget and pay off the country's debts without losing votes and causing tax evasion due to very high taxes or a debt crisis due to an extremely high debt.
There are also many events, dilemmas and situations in the game which the player must deal with. An example of an event might be the curing of a disease, a dilemma may be who to appoint as a senior judge and a situation may be high levels of pollution. An event happens, sometimes due to policies but the player doesn't take part; they simply profit or suffer from it. A dilemma is an important decision which must be resolved for the turn to be ended and situations are ongoing conditions which must be dealt with or helped and enjoyed.
The games designer has described the code behind the game as being based on a neural network. This has allowed the game to be very easily modded, and most of the 'game logic' in it is openly editable in simple text CSV files, allowing players to change the way the core mechanics of the game operate. A number of mods have been released for both the first and second game in the series, and are generally released on the Positech forum. Mods have included new countries (and real countries for Democracy 2) and the addition of factors such as inflation, as well as enhancement of the voter cynicism factor in Democracy 2.
“Apparently somewhere between the genuine bona fide electrified six-car monorail, the prostitutes and the land mines, I lost the support of the electorate.” PC Gamer
“I returned to Democracy 3 in an attempt to put right the wrongs of my previous administration. On my first visit, I broke Britain, crushing its culture and creating a country reminiscent of Clockwork Orange, filled with gangs and ultraviolence.” Rock Paper Shotgun
“Positech has made, I believe, one of the fullest real-world governance simulation games ever conceived. It’s engaging, it’s self-aware, and, at times, it’s funnier than anyone might have expected” Indie Statik
Changes from Democracy 2
- New policies, situations, dilemmas, and events.
- Expanded privatization. The addition of Private Healthcare, Private Housing, Private Pensions, and Private Schools as simulation values increases the feasibility of a highly capitalist nation.
- Drinkers and Smokers are no longer voting groups, having been replaced by Alcohol Consumption and Tobacco Consumption simulation values.
- Ethnic Minorities and the Youth are now voting groups.
- Similar to the levels of wealth Poor, Middle Income, and Wealthy, all people will be either a Conservative or a Liberal and either a Capitalist or a Socialist. The ratio of these voting groups is determined by two new simulations values; a country's Liberalism and Socialism.
- The pressure group system has been overhauled. Along with the addition of new groups, peaceful pressure groups and terrorist ones are now linked; peaceful protesters may eventually radicalize and join their group's terrorist branch.
- Trade Unionist
- Self Employed
- Middle Income
- State Employees
- Ethnic Minorities
- Private Housing
- Private Pensions
- Tobacco Usage
- Alcohol Consumption
- Legal Drug Consumption
- Working Week
- CO2 Emissions
- Energy Efficiency
- Poor Earnings
- Middle Earnings
- High Earnings
- Currency Strength