Meanwhile, I was reading everything I could lay my hands on. In all, I acquired and read about 15 books as part of my research, and consulted another 12 that I had already acquired and read. These books addressed many elements that I put into the game: the mechanics of insurgency and coups d'etat, global power structures, and so forth.
Among these were The War Trap by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, which presented a mathematical analysis of how countries get themselves sucked into wars. The ideas in this book suggested a great many algorithms, but in the end, I didn't use them. Nevertheless, reading the book proved beneficial to the project, as it clarified my thinking on a number of issues.
Also useful was Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis, by Graham T. Allison. This book brought home to me the dramatic nature of superpower confrontation, and was the inspiration for what eventually became the Crisis feature in the game.
Not all of the books were directly useful to the creation of the game; indeed, there was very little that I found that I could simply lift out of the book and insert into the game. But all that reading stimulated my thinking on the problems of the design; ultimately, I think that it was an important factor in the overall success of the game.