Issue Submission Guidelines

How to submit an issue to NationStates, and what we do with it.

Note! This is a brief reference document only. Dedicated issue submitters should dive into the Got Issues? forum, which is bursting with information. You can read other people's drafts, offer your comments, and get help polishing your own! In particular, you may wish to read the Got Issues FAQ.

Important Legal Stuff

When you post text to this site, you agree to allow NationStates to use and display it (as per the site Terms & Conditions). This especially applies to issues you submit: you must agree that we can use them as part of the NationStates game.

Your issue may not be used. If it is, it will be edited by Issue Editors.

If you do not agree, you may not submit an issue.

General Guidelines

Issues should be fun, quirky, and interesting. They should be written in a light, humorous tone, and not attempt to push any particular political viewpoint.

Each of your options should have pros and cons. There should be no "right" option that makes everything better and "wrong" options that make everything worse. Your options should force players to make a trade-off: to think about what they consider important.

Don't try to make your issue too similar to the ones already in the game—be original!

Using Variables

If you want to use a word that will change depending on which nation is receiving the issue -- e.g. the name of the nation -- use capital letters and surround the word with "@@". So a sentence including the nation's name might be: This is a sad day for @@NAME@@. To substitute the national currency, use @@CURRENCY@@, etc.

To insert a random person's name, use @@RANDOMNAME@@.


Choose a short, relevant title, such as Nudists Demand Time in Sun or Child Casino Shock.


This should be a sentence or two summarizing the issue at hand. For example: A loose coalition of sartorially-challenged individuals known as "Let It All Hang Out" has called on the government to relax public nudity laws.

Or: Children as young as eight have been spotted gambling in some of @@NAME@@'s seedier casinos.


If some nations should not receive this issue—for example, it is about road rage, and so isn't valid for nations that have banned automobiles—mention this here. Example: Not valid for nations with low tax rates.


Here you enter several different choices: players will have to select which they most agree with (or dismiss the issue altogether).

Each time you begin a new option, start a new line and write [option]. Then write the actual text that should be displayed.

For example: [option]The High Minister for Finance, who also happens to be your brother, dismisses the claim...

At the end of the option, start a new line and write [effect], followed by a short description that will be added to the description of nations that select this option.

For example: [effect]the right to free speech is being drastically curtailed.

You can also provide more detailed instructions as to what should happen to the internal makeup of nations that choose this option. To do this, start a new line and write [stats] followed by a description as to what should happen.

For example: political freedom falls, publishing industry shrinks a little.

A Complete Example


Should Democracy be Compulsory?


In response to a slow news week, certain highbrow newspapers have stirred up the debate over voluntary vs compulsory voting.


Not valid for nations that don't have elections


[option]"Compulsory voting makes about as much as sense as having the death penalty for attempted suicide," says civil rights activist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "You can't force people to be free! You can only give them the choice.  Besides, if all those derelicts who can't be bothered to get off their ass once every few years voted, who would they elect? I shudder to think."
[effect]voting is voluntary
[stats]political freedom increases, public apathy increases

[option]"It's not contradictory at all," argues political commentator @@RANDOMNAME@@.  "The fact is, if not everyone votes, the outcome isn't truly representative. Some groups--like elderly gun nuts--vote more often than others.  That's why always we always end up with such terrible politicians."
[effect]voting is compulsory
[stats]size of government increases a bit, political freedom
decreases, apathy decreases

[option]"This raises an interesting issue," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your brother. "And that is: why do we need elections, anyway? Seems to me it would be much simpler if you just decided what was right, and did it. Wouldn't that save everyone a lot of time?"
[effect]elections have been outlawed
[stats]political freedom decreases to almost zero


If you take a very long time (more than about two hours) to type in your issue, the game will think you have left and log your nation out. Clicking "Submit Issue" will then take you to the login screen and cause your issue to be lost! For this reason, you may wish to draft your issue offline (e.g. in a word processor), then paste it into your browser when you're happy with it.