Culture Policy, Propaganda Policy, and Prison Culture Policy

Culture policy, propaganda policy, and prison culture policy are all arms of your colony’s policy configuration. They’re each used to promote value systems in human NPCs, and each differs only in segment of the global population that they target. These policies are chiefly implemented through the production of media that promotes the values you’ve configured.


Culture policy promoting values that would work well in a militaristic colony. This configuration would be ideal for grooming a generation of elite soldiers.


  • These policies are used to promote value systems in your population. Remember, much of playing Outer Colony involves encouraging the AI of your NPCs to behave the way you want.
  • These policies can be used to promote or discourage almost anything considered by humans in their personal preferences.
    • Attractiveness preferences can be influenced strongly by configuring appearance traits values and personality trait values here. This can have a profound effect on the long-term makeup of your colony, as it effects human reproductive choices.
    • Personality trait preferences can be used to promote both the desirability of traits in socialization partners and behaviors in line with the traits you’re promoting.
    • Item properties and item preferences can be used to influence the consumer tendencies of your NPCs. If your colony is geared to producing certain items, you can increase the happiness of NPCs by making materialistic ones desire them more.
  • These policies can also be used to promote culture views.
  • Setting the policies themselves does nothing to influence the views of your NPCs. The influence of these policies is felt through media production by author NPCs during their work shifts. To make sure your policies take effect, make sure that your authors are set up to work and that they have access to materials for media production.
  • The success or failure of your policies can be seen as your colony’s local culture changes.
  • The differences in these three sorts of policy configurations is only in which group of NPCs the policy targets.
    • Culture policy is used in media that targets your own colony’s non-prisoner NPCs.
    • Propaganda policy is used in media that targets other colony’s NPCs. It’s used only for foreign broadcasts, which your NPCs won’t consume.
    • Prison culture policy is for your own colony’s prisoner NPCs. It won’t be consumed by non-prisoners.
  • Keep in mind that you’re always locked in a war of information with your enemies. Your culture policy will be pitted against foreign propaganda as both vie for influence over your NPCs, especially on the DataNet.

Configuring Policies


Launching the prison culture policy dialog from the configuration menu.

The mechanics of policy configuration are designed to be simple. To configure any of these policies, first select the desired one from the configuration menu. This will launch the configuration window for the type of policy chosen. Navigate the interface’s tabs to configure different aspects of your policy, and click the OK button to save your choices.

Each dialog also contains a slider near its top, with a value ranging between internal and external propaganda. This slider is used to configure how much time your professional authors spend producing media for internal consumption versus how much time they spend producing media for foreign broadcasts. Setting the value to its maximum toward internal propaganda will result in a strict focus on your media for your population, carrying the values of your culture policy. Setting the value to its maximum toward external propaganda will make your authors spend all their time producing media for foreign consumption, containing the values of your propaganda policy.

Policy Effects


Note the values being promoted in the media. This is how these policies are implemented.

Policy effects are felt in the media that your professional authors produce during their work shifts. The media is then consumed by NPCs, which influences their value systems. This in turn affects nearly all aspects of the humans’ behaviors, by way of their goal selection, plan generation, and action execution mechanisms. You can monitor your local culture to see the effects take shape over time. For more specific information on how the effects are conveyed, see the article on media in Outer Colony.

Using the Different Policy Configurations

Remember that each configuration differs in the audience to which it’s applied. The need for distinctions arose during play testing, when it became apparent that I didn’t always want to promote the same values to all NPCs. For example, if I were fighting an armed conflict against an enemy colony, I’d want to promote values to strengthen self discipline among my own population while subverting the trait among my foes.

The same rationale applied to the distinct configuration for prison culture policy. I’d often find myself promoting aggression in my own population, especially when I knew that I’d be fighting wars. A culture policy that promoted aggression in my prison population turned these already-too-aggressive NPCs into intractable maniacs. I needed to promote a different set of values for them to make them into usable NPCs.

As with all things in Outer Colony, there’s no right or wrong way to configure these policies. Keep the intended audience in mind, and remember the specific objectives you’re trying to accomplish. If you want to decrease crime in your colony, promoting aggression will have the opposite effect. If you want ferocious soldiers, aggression will be a trait that you’ll want to promote. Which configuration is better depends entirely on your aims.

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