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About KevinTMC

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    Political Hack

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  1. Wow. Here I'd been strictly adhering to the CP limit, even when it hurt...but it turns out you can go over without having the roof cave in. I had expected, at the very least, that those extra CPs would be taken out of my available CPs for next turn. That is, you're given 14 in a week, but you use 16, so the next week you're only given 12. You'd think that I'd have actually tested this at some point, but I was too afraid of Very Bad Things happening to my campaign. Sounds like if the candidate's energy isn't critical, though, going 1 or 2 over each week isn't a problem at all. Look forward to trying this.
  2. Fundraisers were failing too; and it wasn't all for lack of money (when an order does fail for lack of money, I generally see a messages in the turn report...there were no messages of any kind in this case). My candidates were not spending more than the available EPs either.
  3. KevinTMC


    I hope that at least the game-related forums will carry on as they have been. And being able to devote more moderating time to the bugs/suggestions and scenario-creation areas couldn't hurt. I've tried starting several threads there lately in recent days and they haven't seemed to have gotten reviewed yet.
  4. I was playing through the general election last night with my self-created Constitution Party nominee. It is hard to make much headway with such a candidate, and his 3 CPs per turn, under the best of circumstances; but as the campaign wound on it became increasingly difficult for me to successfully order anything. Example: I would be out of money, and would order one of my nominees to raise money, and the other to rest (3/3 CP thus used). End turn, check the reports...and no money, and no sign of my candidate having done anything! I look through the turn report and there's background fundraising, miscellaneous news from other campaigns...and nothing about either a fundraiser or a failed attempt to hold a fundraiser. After repeating for three or four turns, I would finally throw a fundraiser and have a little cash on hand. So then I order my nominees to barnstorm. End turn, check the reports...and sometimes I see a note about "successful barnstorming" regarding one of my candidates, sometimes regarding both, sometimes regarding neither. Similarly, sometimes the campaign-appearances count in the Strategy window goes up, sometimes not. Is this a bug? Or was my candidate just so lousy that he often failed to actually carry out anything he intended to do?
  5. There's a really good point. Candidates--especially for scenarios from 2000 forward--need to be given the option to either accept or decline matching funds. (Of course that option would be more attractive if, as in real life, it were possible to actually raise considerably more than the matching fund total in the game.)
  6. Also, when the convention meets to vote on the nominee, one should be offered the option to go through the state-by-state roll call (accompanied by a cumulative count of delegates at the side or on the bottom of the screen). This would be especially helpful for third-party conventions, where all of the delegates are "selected"/committed on the same day; going through them state by state with a running count would be much more exciting, as well as more informative. (The last game I played, the third-party primary maps disappeared after the convention, so there was no way for me to go back and see the vote totals, and evaluate how effective my strategy had been.)
  7. I entered Election Night in one of my games last night, and all was going smoothly until the race was called for my candidate. Then things went just a bit silly for a while. The problem came from the fact that what put me over the top on electoral votes was not a new state being called, but Michigan flipping from blue to red. You see, Michigan had been called for my opponent very quickly--by 5 minutes after the hour on the election-night clock--but it was in fact extremely close. (The final margin was 6500 votes out of over 4 million cast.) I suppose y'all were trying to model the Florida debacle in 2000 here or something. So, as the count went back and forth, my "confirmed" EV total would go up and down with it. I got within 10 votes of 270 while Michigan was blue...it flipped to red...and I got the formal announcements that I'd won, with the musical fanfare, etc. (At no time did I get any notices about Michigan changing, or a retraction of the call.) Not long after, Michigan flipped back to blue, and my confirmed total dropped back below 270. I got a pop-up notice (accompanied by the tail end of the fanfare) that "We are retracting our call". It offered no detail or explanation; nor did anything happen on the election night screen when I clicked "OK". A minute or two ran on the election night clock, which took a fraction of a second--and then I got the same popup (with the same audio). And again. And again. And again. I had to click "OK" on this same popup dozens of times, until another state or two were called for me, putting me over the top again for good. Once I was securely past the 270 mark, the message did not recur; not a mention of the changing fortunes in Michigan again all night. To sum up, the glitches that need to be fixed here are: 1) When a state has been prematurely called, have the call actually get retracted and fully un-made, with no electoral votes going in anyone's "confirmed" total until it is called again--rather than letting the "confirmed" electoral votes bounce back and forth as it does now. 2) Find and fix this recurring loop of retraction notices that takes place when a candidate reaches 270, but then dips below again.
  8. Just on the annoyance level, it would be nice to be able to turn off some or all of the change-in-status popup alerts (especially, say, "Montana is now a tie between X-Y-Z"), particularly in the primaries. Update: I'm playing a third-party primary scenario now, and the need for this is desperately urgent. I get messages about literally half the states before every single turn. Extremely tiresome!
  9. I think that the issues for the 2008 scenario are well-chosen, and, for the most part, the left-of-center and centrist positions are decently described as one sorts through the platform options. But as one moves right, the descriptions get more loaded and more detached from what conservative candidates really advocate. "Private stem cell research, even for adult stem cells, should be banned." No one believes this, no matter how "far-right" they may be. Religious conservatives in fact tend to be big advocates of adult stem cell research. "We should make Iraq a tributary state and harvest its oil wealth." That's just silly. Lousy descriptions make it more difficult to place new candidates on the ideological map when we add them to the game (and it's also a little insulting to those of us with conservative views outside the game). As a corollary, I think that PR cant should be kept out of the descriptions too as much as possible. For a candidate to say they favor keeping abortion "safe, legal, and rare", for instance, really tells us very little about their actual policy...the phrase sounds nice but is light on both content and sincerity. (Which is precisely why it was invented, of course.)
  10. I agree with adding more to the convention...especially when going into a convention without a clear winner. There could be extended haggling the week before the convention, ways of simulating dramatic multiple ballots and floor fights, et cetera; but the two biggest improvements in my book would be simple to implement. 1) Allow the VP slot to be offered (or asked for) in exchange for an endorsement, even before a candidate has a majority of delegates in his pocket, so long as the endorsement would put the candidate over the top. After all, there's a lot more impetus behind the horse-trading before the nomination is wrapped up than after. You might also allow the VP slot to be offered even if an acceptance would leave the candidate with just 90-95% of the needed delegates--this could set up scenarios in a rough analogue to 1976, where Ronald Reagan hoped that an early running-mate announcement would impress enough delegates to eventually put him over the top. 2) More sophisticated allocation of delegates after the first ballot. In my limited experience in gameplay so far, it has seemed that the computer just doles out free delegates in proportion to what a candidate has already got. So whoever was ahead in the beginning automatically wins. That's not very interesting or fun. Or realistic--in a recent Republican scenario, my candidate ruled California in the polls without Duncan Hunter in the mix; but when he was eliminated, a majority of the delegates Hunter got from winning California went to my rival, who was slightly ahead in the overall delegate count. I should have gotten some credit for being way more popular among Republican voters in California than my rival, and for the considerable time and attention I lavished on the state even after their primary. Even before the convention, in fact, it ought to be possible to try to woo delegates won by candidates who dropped out without endorsing anyone. Those delegates shouldn't just be arbitrarily committed to various remaining candidates right away. Also, while I'm on the subject of offers and drop-outs, I would like to see a couple other tweaks. a] There should be no offers of nothing in exchange for dropping out. If you (or the CPU) run out of money and momentum and hope and decide to pull the plug, you should simply drop out...not call some random other candidate to "offer" to drop out, with no endorsement of anyone and in exchange for nothing. b] One should be able to offer more than just the VP slot and PIPs. Some cash to help pay off campaign debts, perhaps? A cabinet post? (I'm not sure how the latter could be made significant...perhaps if your platform had to change to accommodate that candidate's views on a relevant issue or two, or if taking that person on board had a risk of alienating some supporters.)
  11. I just played through a Republican primary scenario using v11 and it was good fun. I was scared off the Town Hall feature because, if I tried to schedule one, I got an error. It would present me with the issue list; I would select one; and then I would get "error in TONYintArray::isNumCellWithinBounds" / "TONYintArray::setValue". I thought I saw discussion of new fundraising methods on here (e.g. direct mail), but if that was implemented in this version I didn't spot where it was. I was kinda surprised at how much money I had sloshing around, playing as Sen. Brownback. (I was on Hard difficulty.) Seems to me that finances could stand to be tightened up for middle-tier candidates. Also, there were way too many big Issue Events. It is good to have more than the default (the game before last, I played through an entire election using the default scenario without seeing even one); but by the conventions in the game I just played, half the issues on the board had Very High importance, several of them having been refreshed with Issue Events multiple times. Many weeks, there would be two or three major Issue Events in a single week's newspapers. That's much too much. Oh, and this is easily fixed on my end if need be, but I did find some of your replacement candidate photos distracting, being either smunched (Hillary), or with head too small in frame (Richardson), or stretched (that Libertarian guy who looks like GOB Bluth). Improving some of them, and also purging random unused stuff from the image folder, would be worth putting on the to-do list. Thanks for deciding to put in Thompson. I'm looking forward to playing with Fred. I think it's safe to take Frist out; and George Allen's a dead letter too, you could easily get rid of him as well if you decide to put Chuck Hagel in at some point. On the Democratic side, if you've got an extra spot, Mike Gravel would be the logical next declared candidate to add (he at least used to be somebody). Thanks for all the work you've put into this. Good job so far.
  12. So these never got posted to the scenario page at 80soft? I see a few of your scenarios there, but not many. That's a shame. On a tangential subject, how hard would it be to transmogrify the most popular PF'04 scenarios into PF'08 scenarios? Has anyone been contemplating doing this? (If that idea's a non-starter, I guess we'll have to dig up our copies of PF'04 and reinstall them if we want to play anything other than '04 or '08.)
  13. Howdy! I'm new to PF'08 (though I bought PF'04 and played it a good bit, even worked a bit on a 1976 Reagan scenario but got so lost in details I abandoned it). A few questions: 1) It seems that, at least until a new official 2008 scenario is released by 80soft, this is the only game in town for updated and improved 2008 gameplay. Am I right? 2) Just how profoundly has the 2008 scenario been changed by now? What gameplay decisions embedded in the latest version might one want to revisit first (being an inveterate tinkerer and all)? 3) Is this at all a collaborative effort (and if not, has that been considered)? 4) I take it that CLARK/BAYH2008 has been distributing new versions via mailing list. I would like to be added to that list (KevinTMC at yahoo dot com); but maybe it would be better to regularly upload these files somewhere? I've got web space with tons of available bandwidth that I could make available for that purpose. Hope that's not too many questions.
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