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Intrigue Journal #2 - Taxation without representation

Published on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 By Frogboy In GalCiv III Dev Journals


People don't like to be taxed.  They really don't like to be taxed if they don't have a say in it. The principle cause of the American revolution was not taxation in itself, it was that the colonists didn't have a say in who and what was taxed.

Now, let's imagine how this would be handled when you are talking light years. To understand how distances work in Galactic Civilizations, we need to understand Hyperspace Projection.

I'm the map I'm the map I'm the map! you may know, is 3-dimensional.  This makes drawing a map on a 2D surface difficult.   When we have to display something from 3D to 2D, we call it a projection.  Here's an example with maps:


In Galactic Civilizations, we have to deal with with an extra dimension known as hyperspace.  In the year 2178, the humans of Earth invented Hyperdrive which is what kickstarted an intergalactic space race to colony grab.  The way Hyperdrive works is by channeling massive amounts of energy to fold space.

Here's a link to the original Galactic Civilizations that explains the background:

Even with Hyperdrive, we need a way to illustrate space and time on a 2D map, and this is where hyperspace projection comes in.

Here is a map from Sol to Tau Ceti.  It's 11.9 light years away.  But in GalCiv it's 11 hyper-parsecs away (even though a parsec is about 3 light years).  Why? Because in Galactic Civilizations, mass drastically interferes with hyperspace.  Saturn, for example, is 4 hyper-parsecs from Earth despite being "only" 1.2 billion KM from earth. 


Mass reduces the benefit of Hyperdrive in Galactic Civilizations

What does this have to do with the taxation of distant colonies? Not much. But this diversion illustrates the immense distances we are talking about.

The last temptation of taxation

In Galactic Civilizations III: Intrigue you have a tax slider.  Your civilization's economy is made up by your gross domestic product (GDP) which is the amount of commerce that's occurring on your worlds plus trade with other civilizations and tourism.   Your take of it is what percentage of all that you tax.  The higher your taxes, the more angry your people are.


65% tax rate...I'm not proud

Low approval will affect the productivity of your planets as well as make it a lot harder to win elections.  We'll be talking more about elections soon, but suffice to say, you do not want to lose elections.


High approval can greatly improve your growth, raw production and influence.

Conversely, low approval will lower your influence and population growth.


Tourism money

Tourism has been redone, and here's how it works in Intrigue:


Tourism = Every tile you own X your ability to extract money from it.

You've heard the term "tourist trap".  Every tile you control represents an area of space that you have cultural influence in.  Your planets and starbases generate cultural influence and it grows over time.


You can mouse over a given empty tile to see who has what influence in a tile.


Influence is generated by your planets and starbases.

Cultural influence is one of the few statistics not tied to population.  We call this the "France" effect, whereby a nation state exerts a lot of cultural influence independently from its raw population.  Your influence spills out from your worlds and travelers through your area of space may visit your worlds if there's something to see.


Tourist improvements attempt to capture a percent (a very small percent) of the travelers through your influence.

The tourism improvements will tend to have very small percentages.  For instance, the Port-Of-Call provides a 1% addition to your tourism income.  Why so low? As someone in marketing could tell you, a 1% conversion rate is actually pretty good.  1% of the people traveling through your space will visit this port. That's a huge number actually.


Galactic Civilizations III: Intrigue will be released this Spring (2018).