Games in Development/Liberal Diplomacy

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Introduction[edit | edit source]

These are a set of rules in development for a variant of Diplomacy that is slightly less in the Realist camp of International Relations and more firmly entrenched in the Liberal school of thought. By way of introduction - and as a chance for a pithy commentary about the ongoing state of disagreement between these two philosophies - I'd just like to say that Diplomacy, at its very core, is zero-sum and cutthroat. The game is about winning, and winning means being the girl (or guy) with the most resource centres at the end of the game. This means that, while you might slow your expansion, cooperate with others, or engage in fruitful intelligence sharing, you have no intention of long-term partnership; on the contrary, partnership in Diplomacy (the game) is strictly for the purposes of short-term gain. Self-interest still overrides the impulse to cooperate long-term. It is thus an excellent example of the Realist school of International Relations. Painfully, however, the game does not take economics into account. To be more precise, the kind of economics the game takes into account are protectionist economics, meaning the international economy can effectively be factored out of game-play altogether without much loss of realism (no capital R!). It is precisely this factor that is the cause for a loss of the interest in medium to long-term cooperation, and precisely this factor that I wish to remedy with the creation of a more Liberal-friendly Diplomacy.

The Phases of Development[edit | edit source]

This game development is being used as an example of the Spiral Method of game development. It's also an exploration of the Spiral Method, as I've never tried the idea before in a reasonably rigourous context. Below are listed the phases of development for those who are following this game for the purposes of studying the Spiral Method.

  • Phase 1: The Initial Idea - where did this hare-brained scheme come from in the first place?
  • Phase 2: The Essentials - the first phase of the Spiral Method is the development and testing of the first fundamental principles of your project.
  • Phase 3: The Board - Once the basics are ironed out, start adding bits incrementally!
  • Phase 4: ...

The Game[edit | edit source]

If all you really wanted to know about was the rules for the variant, look no further! They will appear here when they are done!