Hearts of Iron IV - Developer Diary 12 - Internal Politics

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Hi everyone, we are now back from holidays and hard at work making games, so it's time for another dev diary. In this one we are going to talk about internal politics as well as give you an update on project schedule for Hearts of Iron IV.


Political Power
Political power is a new currency in Hearts of Iron IV. It models how much control you as a ruler have over things. Political power is gained over time automatically, but there are also ways of gaining more quicker, which brings us to National Goals.


National Goals
A national goal is something you set up as a promise or mission to the nation. Picking one will cost you political power, but you'll usually get it back plus more reward if you can show that you were able to accomplish it. It might be a specific historical goal (which is a great way of pointing the AI in the right direction btw) or something more lose, like a campaign of improving the nations roads.

dd12_1.jpg


We modeled this mechanic around how Hitler historically secured his grip on Germany and started WWII, the idea being that you need to pull off some stuff to build confidence in your ruling powers. There were groups convinced that he would bring ruin to Germany and were about to stage a coup vs Hitler as he went from breaking treaties by putting German military presence in the Rhineland and onwards to annexations of Austria and Czechoslovakia. Hitler gambled right that none of the League of Nations members felt strong enough to flex their muscles and stop him. I have a feeling there was a generous serving of good luck there, but nevertheless the effect was that his political power grew - he had been right when everyone else argued caution. Well at least short term, and this let him dictate policy without being questioned.


Ministers & Government
Your government is filled by you by spending political power. Some ministers may be hard, or impossible to get rid of, some may cost an upkeep of political points every week to work for you, and some may even help your political power grow faster. Ministers can have both positive and negative effects on the country. For some posts ministers are mutually exclusive, so you can only pick one from a group. This is true for all military top positions, such as head of army, navy and air force where we have a couple of different people to pick from, all with their specialties. For example, Germany can pick between 3 heads of the air force: Hermann Goering - who favors Ground attack missions, Ritter von Greim - who reduces weather penalties, or Albert Kesselring - who enables faster experience gain.
I think setting up the perfect cabinet will be a very interesting job in HOI4.

dd12_2.jpg


Companies
Tech teams from HOI2 was something a lot of people missed in HOI3, so we wanted to bring them back somehow in IV.

In HOI4 we call them companies, and, just like other things in this diary require political power to be selected, or to remove/change. They generally always come with a research bonus to a particular field and for most categories you can only select one company to be responsible for development of new models. Lets take tank research as an example, both Porsche and Henschel give you the same research speed bonuses, but tanks developed when you have picked one of them will have different starting stats. Porsche tanks will get an edge in armor, but suffer lower reliability and speed vs Henschel's designs that have better reliability and a small edge in firepower. With this we hope to add even more cool flavor to companies and make equipment from various countries a bit different, even if its tech of comparative years.

Laws
A subset of ideas, Laws are basically a group of ideas which are linked. You always have one, and only one, Law set for each group. You can freely change between Laws as long as you meet the trigger conductions for the Law you want to use, but the Political Point cost is higher the further away from your current Law it is. For example, there are 7 Conscription Laws, the first is Disarmed Nation, the 6th is All Adults Serve and the last is Scraping the Barrel - It costs a lot more PP to move from Disarmed Nation to Scraping the Barrel than it would to move from All Adults Serve to Scraping the Barrel. Extreme Laws are not always entirely better, Scraping the Barrel does grant the most Manpower, but it fairly significantly lowers your industrial output and the maximum Training Level of your divisions.

dd12_3.jpg


Elections & Public support
The nations in Hearts of Iron which hold democratic elections will find themselves in some special situations. If the public is concerned that the administration doesn't handle the current situation adequately, they may voice their dissent, making the rulers choose between facing lower public support and a nation that stands less unified against outside threats or making changes to policies or the administration to appease the voters. Although exceptions can be made in times of war, an administration that handles conflict poorly may see itself replaced.

Additionally, democracies are not immune to the effects of communist and fascist movements that defined much of the politics of the era. If the popularity of either grows strong enough, the ruling democratic party may find it necessary to form coalition governments with these parties. Such arrangements come with their own strengths and weaknesses, as these partners may use international ties among the communist or fascist empires abroad to open up new opportunities and risks for the nation.

If the public support for the democratic parties themselves wanes, the elections can effectively abolish themselves in favor of a military junta or vanguard party. Although the old government may choose to contest this, sparking a civil war, public support for the institution of democracy itself will ultimately be necessary to maintain it.

However, public support is not the only way another ideology can take over. Shifting the political allegiance of the nation can also be a national goal, with communists seeking broad support for a violent revolution and fascists looking for ways to topple the government via military coup. Even a dictatorship where no elections are held can work to increasing liberties and holding referendums to eventually move towards democracy. These tumultuous changes can temporarily weaken the nation, but allows for radical changes to foreign policy.


Release Schedule
On to other important matters. As some of you on the forum have already guessed, we have decided to move the original Q1 2015 release target to late Q2 2015. Hearts of Iron IV is a very ambitious undertaking and we might have been a tad optimistic with the original date that was communicated.

Hearts of Iron IV is our most complex game with massive scale as well as a lot of systems and details you need to get right. It covers a modern period which puts a lot more requirement into the simulation accuracy and with our new focus of making sure all games we make are solid, playable, and a lot easier to get into with polished interfaces... well, its a lot of work to make it as good as we want it to be.

With the new schedule, I'm happy and confident with where we are now with the game and with it being one of our core titles there is not really any risk of any other delays. After the last spurt of work we did before Christmas for example we have really seen all the pieces fall into place.

I really hope that you, just like us devs, prefer the idea of the game to be the best it can be on release. We care just as much of this game as you do. We'll be around to answer questions in the thread, so please ask us anything you want to know and we will do our very best to answer. We will also answer questions from this thread in a live Q&A tonight about the diary at 18:00 CET.
I'll also have Jacob Munthe the brand manager for Hearts of Iron with me on the couch in the livestream to help answering your questions.

Highlights video from the stream:
 
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I'm a hot little potatoe right now. :D

Thank you!!!
 
AS lovely as those are (and they are very lovely, I like EU4 influence), isn´t it even better if you made a 1933 start date?

Suggestion for expansion, at least.
 
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Ohh, cool.

One question that pops up, what do the trade policies do now that there is no money in game any more? Can you "sell" the use of civilian IC for consumer goods us to other nations for resources or something along those line?
 
Release Schedule
On to other important matters. As some of you on the forum have already guessed, we have decided to move the original Q1 2015 release target to late Q2 2015. Hearts of Iron IV is a very ambitious undertaking and we might have been a tad optimistic with the original date that was communicated.

Hearts of Iron IV is our most complex game with massive scale as well as a lot of systems and details you need to get right. It covers a modern period which puts a lot more requirement into the simulation accuracy and with our new focus of making sure all games we make are solid, playable, and a lot easier to get into with polished interfaces... well, its a lot of work to make it as good as we want it to be.

With the new schedule, I'm happy and confident with where we are now with the game and with it being one of our core titles there is not really any risk of any other delays. After the last spurt of work we did before Christmas for example we have really seen all the pieces fall into place.

I really hope that you, just like us devs, prefer the idea of the game to be the best it can be on release. We care just as much of this game as you do. We'll be around to answer questions in the thread, so please ask us anything you want to know and we will do our very best to answer. We will also answer questions from this thread in a live Q&A tonight about the diary at 18:00 CET.
I'll also have Jacob Munthe the brand manager for Hearts of Iron with me on the couch in the livestream to help answering your questions.

Thank you for being honest and finally releasing some info on the schedule matter. It's preferably to know that it's gonna be late Q2 than nothing at all :)
Though the waiting will be harsh... give us some more frequent DDs at least :p
 
So is a TUSSLE or POW-WOW going to take place?
Say, you put Erich von Manstein (Combined Arms Genius?) as your Chief of Staff and he favors an All Weather Air-Force and his Boss, say Ludwig Beck - Organisational Expert supports Manstein, then will a Manstein-Beck vs Goering fight happen?

Inter ministerial fight dream has come true?? or not?
 
Looking real good.

In the post you write "democratic parties" in plural, yet on the screenshot there are only one democratic party (SPD)? Will we have more than one? (I really really really hope so...)
 
This hurts... a lot.

The shift to laws.... I liked how educational sliders were in previous HOI. Messing with the sliders you could make a really distinct government and they had more flavor.

This looks like the difference between nations won't be political at all beyond broad "fascist, democratic, communist" labels.

Is the difference between SU and the UK in 1944 only going to be that the UK has free trade and SU has a closed economy?

It feels boardgamey and not in a good way. Like instead of controlling the massive military industrial complex of one of the combatants, I'm playing a worker placement game where I'm trying to move my economy guy up the ladder.

Maybe if you gave the laws country specific names for the majors? Make them functionally the same, but just put a bit more flavor in there?

Like instead of saying "Partial Mobilization" if you're Britain, it would say "Blood, toil, tears and sweat." after the Churchill speech in 1940.

I like the idea of companies, but I'm not sure how they're going to work for the countries which didn't research their own hardware...
 
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Hopefully having a volunteer army is a viable choice (inb4 "Volunteer armies aren't better than conscripted armies" :p )

A shame about the release date. Probably because I'll likely be working this summer :sad: but oh well, at least I have Pillars of Eternity in March and I'll probably be able to at least play some HOI4 in the summer (late Q2? So June?)
 
we get our fix at last! I was going through some serious withdrawal issues.

I can't say that the delay surprises me. If it means getting a better game upon release, I can wait the extra couple of months.
Would be cool if you could swing the release for 6th of June, though.
 
Glad to see tech companies make a comeback. The stats flavor sounds intriguing.

A question: What is the cutoff for whether countries will have custom tech company names/ministers/national ideas vs generic ones?

Its obvious that the major powers such as Japan, the US, Germany, Italy, the Soviet Union, France, GB, etc will have custom ministers, national goals, and tech companies.
But what about regional powers such as Poland, Nat. China, Spain, Romania, Czechoslovakia, etc? Will they have custom ministers/tech companies/national goals or just generic ones?
What about smaller but important countries like Comm. China, or Greece?

Obviously, the more the better, but at release, what is your target goal?

------

Also, the political screen shows 1 democratic, 1 communist, 1 fascist party. Will there be more in-betweens for other countries (think US, dems vs repubs) or for autocratic governments that may not be necessarily fascist or communist (think HoI's generic paternal autocrat category)?
 
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Okay, I'm seriously worried now.

Have you guys only put in three political parties representing Fascism, Democracy and Communism? Please, please no.
 
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