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Prime Minister Forever - Australia 2010 Beta Feedback Thread

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I'm not going to issue a date for the full version. I expect a new version of the Beta to be released soon (i.e., within about a week).

Anthony Burgoyne

Lead Game Designer

http://www.TheorySpark.com

Games that spark the political imagination!

Any idea when the full version of PMF Australia 2010 is going to be released?

Thanks.

Keith

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How playable is the beta?

I just purchased PM4E Australia 2007 and am a little disappointed by how limited it is compared to what I've read about PM4E Canada and UK. But I understand that Australia 2010 is a big improvement. So I'm wondering if I should get the beta or just stick with 2007 until it's finished.

Also, is how the engine deals with hung parliaments going to be changed at all? It'd be nice if Labor and the Greens weren't in a coalition by default, and that at the end, if it's a hung parliament, a party must change their platform on some issues to try and align themselves with as many of the crossbenchers as possible.

Another suggestion, about the independents. Because they didn't vote as a block this election, we should have three categories of independents (kind of like the Australia 1996 scenario for Canada), where we have Independent-Right (Katter), Independent-Left (Wilkie), Independent-Center (Oakshott and Windsor).

EDIT

Actually, just thinking about the hung parliament eventuality more. Each candidate will need another number added to their profile - representing how much they are willing to change their platform to accommodate for the crossbenchers. Each small shift (moving from right to centre-right, or centre to centre-left, etc.) on a single policy will add 1. Someone like Kevin Rudd who is rather stubborn will have a "flexibility" of say 5, while someone more open to negociation like Julia Gillard will have a flexibility of say 15.

From what I can tell about preference_weights.p4e, platformDistance creates a metric on party platforms. Parties that are 'close' under this metric will get more preference flow. We can use this metric, combined with, to a smaller weighting, partyRelation and partyLeaderAttributes, to calculate the distance between parties. We could also factor in something about your relationships with other parties. In the 2010 election, Tony Crook's not liking the Lib-Nat coalition increased the "distance" between him and the Lib-Nat coalition (for trivia: if Labor had abandoned the mining tax, there's a good chance he would have sided with them). In the hung parliament scenario, an Independent-Right might be pushed further away from siding with Labor if the Greens sided with Labor.

So, in the event of a hung parliament, the computer player will only be able to change their platform a fixed amount (based on the candidate they are), so they will optimise how much they change to get as close as they can to as many of the crossbenchers as they can. The crossbenchers too will compromise on their platform based on their candidates "flexibility". The crossbenchers will side with whoever is closest to them after one (or more) candidates have exhausted their "flexibility".

Your final score will also be affected by how much you change your platform post-election. If you have a flexbility of 15 and only use 5 of it, you'll score much higher than someone who used all 15.

This is just something I've been thinking about, based on what I've played of the PM4E Australia 2007 engine, to try and best approximate the realities of a hung parliament like what we had in the 2010 election.

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I keep forgetting to mention but it bugs me, on election night the states report left to right, by that I mean west to east. In Australia the states would report right to left, "East to West" often with the first results coming in from Tasmania because of it lower population.

I think I worked out how to fix this.

In the political_units.xml file, each political unit has a value for poll_open_time, and looks like this for NSW

<poll_open_time>2359</poll_open_time>

So, polls don't close and start reporting until 11:59pm in New South Wales.

If you really want to, you could look up the times when polls close across Australia, and fix up the numbers. That should fix the problem.

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"is how the engine deals with hung parliaments going to be changed at all?"

Thanks for the feedback - noted.

These situations are pretty difficult to simulate.

Anthony Burgoyne

Lead Game Designer

http://www.TheorySpark.com

Games that spark the political imagination!

How playable is the beta?

I just purchased PM4E Australia 2007 and am a little disappointed by how limited it is compared to what I've read about PM4E Canada and UK. But I understand that Australia 2010 is a big improvement. So I'm wondering if I should get the beta or just stick with 2007 until it's finished.

Also, is how the engine deals with hung parliaments going to be changed at all? It'd be nice if Labor and the Greens weren't in a coalition by default, and that at the end, if it's a hung parliament, a party must change their platform on some issues to try and align themselves with as many of the crossbenchers as possible.

Another suggestion, about the independents. Because they didn't vote as a block this election, we should have three categories of independents (kind of like the Australia 1996 scenario for Canada), where we have Independent-Right (Katter), Independent-Left (Wilkie), Independent-Center (Oakshott and Windsor).

EDIT

Actually, just thinking about the hung parliament eventuality more. Each candidate will need another number added to their profile - representing how much they are willing to change their platform to accommodate for the crossbenchers. Each small shift (moving from right to centre-right, or centre to centre-left, etc.) on a single policy will add 1. Someone like Kevin Rudd who is rather stubborn will have a "flexibility" of say 5, while someone more open to negociation like Julia Gillard will have a flexibility of say 15.

From what I can tell about preference_weights.p4e, platformDistance creates a metric on party platforms. Parties that are 'close' under this metric will get more preference flow. We can use this metric, combined with, to a smaller weighting, partyRelation and partyLeaderAttributes, to calculate the distance between parties. We could also factor in something about your relationships with other parties. In the 2010 election, Tony Crook's not liking the Lib-Nat coalition increased the "distance" between him and the Lib-Nat coalition (for trivia: if Labor had abandoned the mining tax, there's a good chance he would have sided with them). In the hung parliament scenario, an Independent-Right might be pushed further away from siding with Labor if the Greens sided with Labor.

So, in the event of a hung parliament, the computer player will only be able to change their platform a fixed amount (based on the candidate they are), so they will optimise how much they change to get as close as they can to as many of the crossbenchers as they can. The crossbenchers too will compromise on their platform based on their candidates "flexibility". The crossbenchers will side with whoever is closest to them after one (or more) candidates have exhausted their "flexibility".

Your final score will also be affected by how much you change your platform post-election. If you have a flexbility of 15 and only use 5 of it, you'll score much higher than someone who used all 15.

This is just something I've been thinking about, based on what I've played of the PM4E Australia 2007 engine, to try and best approximate the realities of a hung parliament like what we had in the 2010 election.

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A few suggestions for party leaders

Labor:

Julia Gillard

Kevin Rudd

Steven Smith

Wayne Swan

Bill Shorten

Simon Crean

Liberal:

Tony Abbott

Malcolm Turnbull

Brendan Nelson (what if his approval ratings had improved)

Joe Hockey

Julie Bishop

Peter Costello (what if he hadn't retired)

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Yes, a new update for PM4E Australia 2010 is coming. That's all I can say at this point.

Anthony Burgoyne

http://www.TheorySpark.com

Games that spark the political imagination!

Will the next version will have the ability to simulate preferences to make that each winning candidate have a majority of votes?

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Yes, it will have 2PP.

Will the 2PP be instant-runoff or will it be like the actual Australian system? I noticed in PM4E Aus 2007 the preferences were distributed to the two candidates with the highest number of votes, which isn't how the Australian system works.

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You mean as opposed to round-by-round elimination and redistribution? Yes, it should work the way the real system works.

Anthony Burgoyne

Lead Game Designer

http://www.TheorySpark.com

Games that spark the political imagination!

Will the 2PP be instant-runoff or will it be like the actual Australian system? I noticed in PM4E Aus 2007 the preferences were distributed to the two candidates with the highest number of votes, which isn't how the Australian system works.

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Quick little thing...

It would be nice if it were easier to target multiple seats, distribute funds easier (perhaps a donate-max button next to the send funds button), create ground ops easier, and, most desirably, allocate targeted ads much quicker. If I want to run ads everywhere in say Tasmania, I have to go to each seat in Tasmania, open up the ad menu, select the ad, close the menu, close the seat overview, open up the next seat and repeat. It would be several kinds of fantastic if we had something similiar to P4E 2008 for allocating targeted ads.

Perhaps in the Strategy overview where we see all the seats, we would have buttons next to each seat for targeting and ground ops.

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Not yet. That would happen after the official release.

You can open up the scenario XML files with a pure text editor like Notepad and edit attributes.

Anthony Burgoyne

Lead Designer

270soft.com

Where gaming gets political!

Is there a way to edit candidates/seats like in previous versions?

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