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MattyN

Feature You'd Most Like to See

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There should be extremly rare events that could potentially sink a campaign... for example (and this is off the top of my head) a candidate is strongly in favour of allowing canadian perscription drugs into the us, then it comes out they were made badly and 100 people die of complications - this would effectivly blow a sure to win election out of the water. Obviously a better senario is possible, but I this needs to happen very rarely, and then even if it occurs should only have a massive impact if one of the candidates have the right stance on a certain issue.

This would be a really bad idea. Although small-scale random events are appropriate for a game like this, an event with an effect as large as the one you postulated is going to be a game-killer; player skill will become marginalized relative to the effects of luck.

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This would be a really bad idea. Although small-scale random events are appropriate for a game like this, an event with an effect as large as the one you postulated is going to be a game-killer; player skill will become marginalized relative to the effects of luck.

Great point, while typing these ideas I was simply writing whatever came into my head without much thought. I never concidered the great and horrible impact this could have on the game.

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I'm sure it's been said before and I know it would be a nightmare to code, but the single biggest barrier to realism in this game imho is the lack of:

Media Markets

You pay a premium to run ads in, say, New York because it's the state with the 3rd largest population - 19 million.

Well, 12 of those 19 million live in NYC, Long Island and Westchester county.

And if you're reaching them, you're also reaching New Jersey and Connecticut.

I only bring it up again because it was such a factor in the last presidential election. Ohio was mostly split evenly between Democrat wins in the city and Republican wins in the rural areas. Except Cincinnati. Why? Because Cincinnati might as well be Kentucky. The Republicans won Cincinnati, and so Ohio, and so the election.

If I'm the Dems in P4E, I want in theory the option to blanket Cincinnati with ads and leave Cleveland alone.

I realise this masks the fact that political opinions very across individual states, and also that dissecting the whole map into markets would be impractical.

But would it be possible to include, maybe, the top 25 markets on the "Where?" menu of the Ads page, and have the influence split across states on the back end?

Those top 25 (according to Nielsen) are:

New York City*

Los Angeles

Chicago*

Philadelphia*

SF Bay Area

Dallas/Ft. Worth

Boston / New Hampshire*

Washington, D.C.*

Atlanta

Houston

Detroit/Windsor

Tampa / St. Pete / Sarasota

Phoenix

Seattle/ Tacoma / Olympia / Bellingham

Minn./St. Paul

Miami / Ft. Lauderdale

Cleveland / Akron / Canton

Denver

Orlando/Daytona Beach/Melbourne

Sacramento / Stockton / Modesto

St. Louis*

Pittsburgh

Portland (OR)*

Baltimore*

Indianapolis

I've marked with * the ones that are definitely (i.e. geographically) split over more than one state. You can also get Pittsburgh stations in West Virginia and St. Paul stations in Wisconsin; I'm sure there's others like that, but this would take some research to confirm and quantify. It'd be worth the work that comes after, if you ask me; I'd gladly help with legwork for the boon in realism.

Cincinnati, btw, is the 33rd largest market.

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The coding is probably doable, although maybe not within the way PF currently works - they'd have to create "regions within regions", which is what they did for UK Prime Minister Forever. So you'd have things like "targeting the Chicago media market will improve your standing in the Chicago subregion of Illinois and the Gary subregion of Indiana". Maybe this would be an idea for a later version.

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Thanks GaryHart88, this is an interesting idea. The current game engine does allow for media markets, but they're not used in the default scenarios. As it currently works, the media markets are simply sets of regions (so you could define a region as a sub-state entity, but then the player has to manipulate that sub-state region in other parts of the game, the electoral college would have to be divided into sub-state regions which doesn't really work, and so on). So, there could be a media market called "New England," for example, which included Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

We'll think about this, though.

Sincerely,

Anthony Burgoyne

80soft.com

I'm sure it's been said before and I know it would be a nightmare to code, but the single biggest barrier to realism in this game imho is the lack of:

Media Markets

You pay a premium to run ads in, say, New York because it's the state with the 3rd largest population - 19 million.

Well, 12 of those 19 million live in NYC, Long Island and Westchester county.

And if you're reaching them, you're also reaching New Jersey and Connecticut.

I only bring it up again because it was such a factor in the last presidential election. Ohio was mostly split evenly between Democrat wins in the city and Republican wins in the rural areas. Except Cincinnati. Why? Because Cincinnati might as well be Kentucky. The Republicans won Cincinnati, and so Ohio, and so the election.

If I'm the Dems in P4E, I want in theory the option to blanket Cincinnati with ads and leave Cleveland alone.

I realise this masks the fact that political opinions very across individual states, and also that dissecting the whole map into markets would be impractical.

But would it be possible to include, maybe, the top 25 markets on the "Where?" menu of the Ads page, and have the influence split across states on the back end?

Those top 25 (according to Nielsen) are:

New York City*

Los Angeles

Chicago*

Philadelphia*

SF Bay Area

Dallas/Ft. Worth

Boston / New Hampshire*

Washington, D.C.*

Atlanta

Houston

Detroit/Windsor

Tampa / St. Pete / Sarasota

Phoenix

Seattle/ Tacoma / Olympia / Bellingham

Minn./St. Paul

Miami / Ft. Lauderdale

Cleveland / Akron / Canton

Denver

Orlando/Daytona Beach/Melbourne

Sacramento / Stockton / Modesto

St. Louis*

Pittsburgh

Portland (OR)*

Baltimore*

Indianapolis

I've marked with * the ones that are definitely (i.e. geographically) split over more than one state. You can also get Pittsburgh stations in West Virginia and St. Paul stations in Wisconsin; I'm sure there's others like that, but this would take some research to confirm and quantify. It'd be worth the work that comes after, if you ask me; I'd gladly help with legwork for the boon in realism.

Cincinnati, btw, is the 33rd largest market.

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Yes...make sure the Detroit/Windsor market gets it. We wouldn't want the Canadians to miss out on our ads. :-) Oh...80soft is in Vancouver, right? OK...Seattle/Vancouver market too! :P

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Yea, it would. I'd think that making one thing possible could make both possible, if work were put into it.

The Maine and Nebraska electorial systems are official now, right?

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Yes...make sure the Detroit/Windsor market gets it. We wouldn't want the Canadians to miss out on our ads. :-) Oh...80soft is in Vancouver, right? OK...Seattle/Vancouver market too! :P

Actually, DeVil DeVos ran ads in Windsor, looking for any US citizens living or working in Canada. Not sure if Granholm did it.

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I would be interested in a very simple add-on to the primaries where you select a policy goal or two that you want to effect while you're running for nomination.

For example, if running as Hillary Clinton, you could set a priority to sponsor a bill to get troops out of Iraq, or as Bill Richardson attempt to pass a law funding immigration support centers in NM. The screen where you select your project could indicate chance of success given the issue, partisan divide, etc. Perhaps you could offer to another candidate (on either side) co-sponsorship.

As the season progresses, you could enter CP and PIP points to usher it along through the process, and final success or failure could have an effect on the game.

One other idea -- could the scoring system be changed to reflect how much you "moved the map" rather than the final outcome? If you win as McCain over Kucinich, that isn't much of an accomplishment, though it's scored high. However, if you start out 2008 as Mike Gravel, and win the nomination and pick off 200 electoral votes, that's a more impressive loss than most victories would be.

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Thanks, interesting ideas.

Anthony Burgoyne

80soft.com

I would be interested in a very simple add-on to the primaries where you select a policy goal or two that you want to effect while you're running for nomination.

For example, if running as Hillary Clinton, you could set a priority to sponsor a bill to get troops out of Iraq, or as Bill Richardson attempt to pass a law funding immigration support centers in NM. The screen where you select your project could indicate chance of success given the issue, partisan divide, etc. Perhaps you could offer to another candidate (on either side) co-sponsorship.

As the season progresses, you could enter CP and PIP points to usher it along through the process, and final success or failure could have an effect on the game.

One other idea -- could the scoring system be changed to reflect how much you "moved the map" rather than the final outcome? If you win as McCain over Kucinich, that isn't much of an accomplishment, though it's scored high. However, if you start out 2008 as Mike Gravel, and win the nomination and pick off 200 electoral votes, that's a more impressive loss than most victories would be.

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Ads by markets (I must keep this in the minds of the powers that be :)

-This is huge, because this is how ads work. People see what's in their area, rather then what state they might happen to be in. Furthermore making ads selected and un-selected easier would be nice as its a huge pain right now.

Fund-raising room. You build an internet room and direct mail room and big donor room and how much you raise is based on variables. i.e. Internet money is good to further left/right candidates as that gets the hard-core partisans, direct mail is more expensive to build out state-by-state but yields consistent results with boosts for good news articles. Big donors come on board if you're in the top couple. All money varies on momentum state-by-state and states are also tracked in how much money they raise—direct mail costs more to build but yields way more in New York, with bonuses as your vote increases there. Likewise holding a fund-raiser with your leader in New York and California make you the most money but it drops off if you go to the well too often, but (again) it goes back up if you do good in the state or overall.

Primary momentum. As mentioned elsewhere there's no real point in fighting for the early primaries as it doesn't have the same effect as it does in real life. Likewise in 1960 Kennedy winning in West Virginia was huge but would have been worthless if Humphrey had decided not to compete. The point was that a Catholic beat out Humphrey 6-4 in an only 30% Catholic state which proved to the bosses that Kennedy could win. You should be able to choose which primaries you even want to enter, rather then just the ones you want to compete in.

Additionally you should be able to withdraw and re-enter as Rockefeller did in 1960.

Draft campaigns. If you're not entered you should be able to be drafted. If you never enter an option to switch to a different candidate would be nice.

As mentioned elsewhere in the thread entering the competition when you want to is very important for earlier scenarios. i.e. you're in the game and playing but you will only win a few write-in delegates until you formally announce.

Don't forget about how the delegates system worked pre-1972 in the Democratic primaries.

Speeches should matter in which state they're given in. Immigration is big in Texas for example. So if you have a similar immigration stance as Texas you get big points on a speech there. Vice-versa if they dislike your stance and you give a speech—say an abortion one by a pro-choice candidate. i.e. the opinions of states on issues should matter more.

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I'm back with much much more.

This is a rambling list of all the things I've noted about the game and think could be worked on. I'm sure that some of it has been mentioned but a quick skim through the recent suggestions doesn't turn up anything.

Take game to 1024x768 as that's a standard at this point and wouldn't really use much more resources. Plus it would help a lot with the current cramped layout.

Every time I've beaten the game and gone through the high score thing when I open a new game and set it up, the map screen opens, pops up an error, and goes a shade of blue, and then the error just keeps popping up. I have to quit and open the application again to play a new game after beating the old one, essentially—not that big a deal but a little annoying.

An option to sort dates by day/month/year as well as the US standard month/day/year would be really nice.

The High Score should probably say Electoral College, rather than seats and maybe a little map showing what they won if you click on them.

It's somewhat too easy. In my last general campaign (the second game I'd played on hard [4th total, 3 wins]—final rating was Masterful and #7 High Score) I had 50+ foot soldiers for most of it versus under 10. My 4 week 50 million dollar opening TV blitz should have been countered—that solidified my entire base, and brought a wide number of unlikely states into play. Likewise Gore staying in Texas for the middle section of the campaign went unchallenged (and Texas went Democrat 54-46)… Oh heck. Let's go down the list of important, swing states that weren't even close—the general election Gore/Obama (me) versus Romney/Brownback went 58.1% (407) to 41.9% (131):

Ohio 61-39

Florida 54-46 (the only one Romney paid attention to of the lot—but he spent plenty of time in freakin' Washington State and Delaware)

Virginia 64-36

These are the kind of margins I won New York, Pennsylvania and Maine by, they shouldn't be anywhere near that. The computer doesn't counter, is the problem. If I ad blitz Texas he should be in Ohio giving a speech. If Texas is fluctuating he should pour foot soldiers in. Of course no AI is ever that good, but even if you have to make it cheat (behind the scenes, I dislike artificial human limitations like reducing CP or whatever) it needs to do better. Force it to think about EV totals and how to get them the easiest or whatever you have to do to make it better.

It's been mentioned as in making Iowa/New Hampshire more important but I think it should be a building momentum/primary bar. Every primary you win bumps it, every primary you lose (that you entered—see my previous suggestions in the post above) knocks it in, say, half. This simulates Clinton upsetting that dude whose name I never remember in 1992, as well as making early primaries assume the importance they do have. A poorly funded volunteer campaign winning New Hampshire and Iowa would have a second win for a little bit even if they shortly lose a couple primaries and their momentum/primary goes back down.

An option to turn off the message bulletins telling you if you're tied, or ahead, or whatever. A better map (outlined below) would make this unneeded except for those who like to be notified.

When choosing the vice president, maybe something to indicate why and where they'd be a good choice? Like maybe you could get their crusaders as well as your own, and they give a bonus in their home state, and for their region (I'm unsure… this feature exists but is unused?): New England, Great Lakes, South, Deep South, Texas/Southwest, Midwest, Caifornia/West.

Allow hands-off games so as to make historical tweaking easier for scenario creators, and for someone who just wants to see counterfactual players (i.e. no Goldwater in '64 so the primary season is easy on Rockefeller) without their own presence interfering.

Allowing the player to see incoming/outgoing money supplies would be nice—the same with CP points, and an estimated EP usage for the upcoming turn would also be excellent.

Outside events: Johnson sat on poor Humphrey in 1968, Nixon was constrained about commenting on Vietnam in 1968 as well because he didn't want to spoil things, and Rockefeller in 1960 released his 'what to do' plan which pressured Nixon heavily despite sealing Rockefeller's defeat at the convention. i.e. It forced a civil rights platform which got them few northern black votes, and cost them plenty of southern white votes.

A click to auto-finish the election day counting would be nice—the fast forward button does little for those of us using (emulated) slow computers.

Barnstorming should be a small plus to debate skills, as normally debate is only ever prepared in the week leading up it—Nixon, famously, had zero debate prep (not to mention cracking his knee, again, on the way in) and lovely pancake beard make-up for the first '60 debate with Kennedy. Plus somewhat translucent skin, which did not play well… I assume debates are already affected by candidate statistics. Barnstorming, then, is a chance to hone your ideas and speeches while debate prep translates that into sound bites with no pauses.

A different theme in addition to the current—perhaps a paper based one (with magic marker :) so you can choose how your campaign looks: high tech war-room, or hanging off a wall somewhere.

A more flexible trip planner, especially in the one day turn general election. Allow a rolling 7 day schedule (for, perhaps, a 10-20% bonus because of advance planning and trip reliability) but of course conditions can change on the way shifting days each day sooner then the 7th begins to rack up costs. Conversely you can forgo the bonuses and stay flexible with a one or two day schedule.

Making it clear how bored a state is of you, and how much effect in that state it's costing you.

Show on the map where the upcoming primaries are.

Show on the map which are the primaries that are part of your strategy.

Show on the map which states are tied WITH YOU as the person tied with someone else, saves a lot of back and forth clicking.

This is a small thing, but in the primaries there's no real need to use associated colour palettes. I understand why, of course, but tracking light blue (Clinton)/dark blue (Warner) just to match Democratic Blue is a little silly. It's easy enough to tell which parties primary map you're looking at anyway. Maybe then seeing the difference between solid and 'blank' country would be possible (I can see it, but I'm never sure and sometimes wrong).

Another small thing. I beat Clinton in the primaries as Gore (Obama and Warner endorsed) and so 23 weeks before the election I had the nomination sown up—she never withdrew and the newspapers continued to match her up against Romney because she was slightly ahead of me in popular vote. It seemed a little silly.

I never use the graphs—can they made more legible and easier to understand? Furthermore selecting regions in all areas should be optional between map selection and pull-down menu selection. Several times I've been irritated by having to leave, select a new area, and then come back to a screen.

Money should be overhauled to match reality in costs for things and how much money you can raise as I outlined in my previous/above post. However you should also be able to make estimates of how much money you're opponent has spent (NOT, mind you, how much they have on hand. Just how much they've burnt through unless you have truly excellent spies). I don't bother with spies so this feature may exist.

For example it costs at least 2 million a week to run ads in California. Candidates are raising as much as 30 million dollars a quarter before election season—It would be nice to see accurate money totals combined with accurate spending totals.

This article about money is an example of what the campaigns are raising and spending (I just picked the latest one, there are plenty of others) and the game should reflect that—see the below foot soldier overhaul for example.

Foot soldier screen should allow you to see which states have foot soldiers in them (as opposed to the squinty foot solider map view).

Foot soldiers should automatically switch to raising money in primaries that are over. Or they should be allowed to move into an adjacent state for a 2 into 1 penalty to reflect problems in running campaigns even in the state next door.

Expiration of foot soldiers would make more sense if there were volunteers and staff. In fact volunteers could be random support based on momentum/candidate visit and staff would be permanent (but cost money)—unfilled slots for staff would be filled with volunteers. This allows you to staff up and lay groundwork for a national campaign without having to keep creating foot soldiers but it also expands your monetary burden. Popular candidates (Dean in '04, Obama in '08) can rely on lots of volunteers but someone like Clinton must spend staffing out money. This also helps make the collapsing Dean campaign more realistic—with no staff as his popularity crashes and volunteers jump ship it becomes extremely hard to recover.

You may require a Youth type (as well as Catholic/Protesent for the 1960 scenario) so as to simulate the support McCarthy and McGovern got out of that movement. That would relate to volunteers as well, of course.

Likewise an Establishment rating for how much the party approves of your candidate, and therefore how much 'boss' support you get in various areas. However, as in the McGovern 1972 campaign, the 'boss' support may have decayed without most realizing it so building your own network (versus inheriting one) becomes more important.

i.e. Kennedy winning in West Virginia meant that his newly built personal network beat Humphrey's inherited labour/local party network.

On the other hand a boss/state network may be very powerful, as in Rockefeller's New York state one—but it would be purely for himself or who he decides to support, George Romney in 1968 for example.

Toggle Ad should probably be Create/Cancel Ad—it makes more sense.

Allow the Return (Enter) key to dismiss dialogs with an automatic yes as well as the space bar. In fact eliminate the Ad dialog for 'Regions from your Primaries Strategy added' as its superfluous.

Allow more ads: usually campaigns have a large stock of ads they choose to use or not. Therefore introduce a small 'leak' chance that someone may learn of or get a hold of one of your ads. This allows the campaign that got a copy to be unaffected if those ads are later used, or it allows them to tell the media and and slam you, albeit for a small penalty to themselves for mud slinging.

(For example the Canadian Conservative Party in the 2006 election accidentally sent a DVD containing all their in-reserve attack ads to a whole bunch of media outlets. They stopped the courier, but he had already delivered one… However the news outlet was happy to exchange it since their copy didn't work. Likewise the leaking of the Liberal 'if the Conservatives win there will be soldiers… IN OUR CITIES' ad)

In the Ad section there is no UI downside to making the list of states (should be media markets of course :) as big as the screen for less scrolling. Further indicate which states are in your strategy, and allow rank by power, rank by date of primary indicating which will happen this coming turn, rank by strategy, rank by running toggle that relates to the other ranking methods.

There should be an option to ad buy in the state which are 1-2 turns (7-14 days) away, with a toggle for just the ones in your primary strategy. I commonly ad blitz and this would be very useful.

A rolling ad blitz would also be useful. Pick a state, or set of them (media markets! Please, I'm begging you :), and then roll through other areas with roughly the same cost. This means your ads cost you about the same amount each turn but rotate through all the states in turn, or just the ones in your set strategy of course.

Furthermore being able set the ad buys for a selected group of (or all) ads would save me a lot of clicking.

The successful / highly successful thing in ads bugs me—I won't run a 'successful' ad simply because it costs the same to put in on the air, for less effect. It's cheaper and smarter to lay out 50 grand a turn waiting then to air anything but 'highly successful' ads. Although when I get 14 'successful' ads in a row before a 'highly successful' one I get just a little frustrated.

Winnability should be more then just newspaper headlines. All candidates on one side should be theoretically matched up against all other side candidates once every little while to determine who 'wins' and this should shift votes around a little—non-winning candidates lose votes to the undecided pool while the winning candidates gain a little from the undecided pool. i.e. Clinton might beat 3 of 4 so she gains the most, Obama might lose to any possible Republican candidate so he loses the most. No huge movements or anything, but a little.

Spinning News in the primary should start on the last page to see if you can spin news first.

Once primaries are won they should automatically be removed from your primary strategy (or marked as won for you, and your crusaders stop going there and ad buys exclude them when selecting 'in your primary strategy' horse head) and added to your delegate count in that same screen.

The activity screen would be more useful if it was:

Mon: Barnstorming in 'blank'

as that would save me clicking on it to see as the map lines are never that clear.

Turn Summary screen could be made larger so as to avoid scrolling. Further making clearer which day it is (bold, or a different colour, or some such) would be nice.

Can the Turn Summary screen also show effects if you click on stuff? i.e. what did 3 people spinning the same story actually mean vote-wise at the end of the day?

The Turn Summary screen should probably say 'Gore stayed in Kentucky' if that's what happened, rather then saying he moved there despite being there in the first place.

I don't think telling us opponents have completed ads is either useful, or needed.

Turn Summary screen should show what all those endorsements did for the candidate.

Actually Turn Summary screen should have an option to sum up how the votes have changed (including the past few weeks) across the country, sorting by whether they're in your strategy and (if in primary) when they're coming up. This allows you to easier see broad trends rather then little arrows on the map.

The wings of the parties should be made more clear: for example the Republican's have the regulars and the citizens. The regulars are conservatives that want to win (Taft, from 1912), the citizens are basically the old Roosevelt Progressives as embodied by Rockefeller in the '60s. Hence the 1964 battle royale between Goldwater (regular) and Rockefeller (citizen) but usually everybody gives in to compromise (Eisenhower or Nixon '68[can win]/Agnew[conservative]) instead of fighting amongst themselves. When the pure conservatives win out you have Goldwater, when the balance shifts between the two sides (i.e. the introduction of the Southern religious folks who used to vote Democrat) you get Reagan.

Well that's the large and disjointed mess of it all. I don't know if you need background information on campaigns but if so I'm happy to point you to the stuff I know—mostly book accounts rather then statistics though. Also its mostly American and Canadian—the Brits, Aussies, and Kiwi appear to have less information on campaigns. Nothing like John Duffy's Fights Of Our Lives for example, or Theodore White's Making of the President, 1960 (also: 64, 68, 72), or Graham Fraser's Playing For Keeps, and so on…

Actually, as a complete aside, if the powers that be have some books about campaigns in the US/Canada/Britian/Australia/New Zealand they want to mention I'd be very interested in the hopes for something new.

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There should be a toggable thing when creating parties, that determines if a party is a third party or not. This would give them much larger penalties than normal parties, such as less momentum, much less chance of getting an interview, etc. Basically, if you get 1% on election night, you did good.

Or at least have only the AI be affected by third party status.

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So I ran out of money with 3 weeks left in the general. That's it. I ran out of money and nothing happened. I wasn't able to barnstorm/speechify but my foot soldiers still worked and I had built up enough of a lead that I still won. Hugely. (Giuliani/McCain with 56.7% and 401 EV against Obama).

Presidential campaigns do not run out of money. They may have to hock the silverware and may not be able to afford *ads* (which make up at least 50% and probably closer to 70% of the cost of a campaign) but they can always keep putting on events (barnstorming and speeches in the game) regardless of their circumstance. Heck any presidential candidate that wants to give a speech will get tons of free media.

Primary campaigns, on the other hand, do run out of money. But if you're running for President and are going to *be* President (57% in the polls) people will lend you money and you'll lie and cheat and do whatever you have to get around the legality of it.

In 1960 national committees could legally spend 3 million to elect the president in the general campaign but the cost to elect a president was around 12 million. Something doesn't add up there…

Of course we're looking at 500 million for both sides in the 2008 general election campaign so this 75 million nonsense is something of an altogether different problem.

A larger problem, though, is the fact that my 100 foot soldiers (versus 6, to be fair) and starting lead beat his ability to spend money on ads, barnstorm with a pair of people, and give speeches. I think a presidential candidate who parked his butt in California for three weeks (with the VP candidate in Ohio) and then didn't move a finger for three weeks is not going to win—regardless of ground organization and substantial lead. There were 5 states that would have been mine with money (California, New Hampshire (27 votes), Vermont, Connecticut, and Delaware—less then a 2% swing would have won me them) but I have to think that a lot more should have gone to Obama.

On a completely different topic would it be possible to add a feature showing turn-out? Or at least how many eligible voters voted?

Another thought would be something along the lines of a pre-primary window. Obviously it applies to the 2008 election campaign where just about everybody (excepting Gore and Gingrich) are running like mad already but it could also apply to older scenarios. Certainly Kennedy spent a couple years building his network at home and elsewhere.

Perhaps add an optional year to the scenario where turns take a month. This lets you get the basics of an organization down and conduct fundraisers and so on—but because turns are a month long and you have other duties you don't have enough money and CP to utterly dominate.

This would simulate the 2008 early start and for older scenarios would be a chance to test the waters. Did Rockefeller have enough time in 1960 to run for it from the beginning or would he suffer badly at home in New York by doing so? Stuff like that. Balance keeping your power base happy (i.e. your home state and perhaps a few allies) with seeing if you have the resources to run. If you spend too much time working for the nomination you lose your power base and are pretty much screwed.

Not sure if it could be worked out, but might be interesting.

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Sort Endorsers by importance and by the one's who haven't yet endorsed. This is mostly useful for national endorsers, but it would save some scrolling and some reading.

Should clarify Private Polling (and probably make it use no CP and more money) so that 3/CP and $60,000 a turn in the primary changes to per week, or per 7 turns, once the General Election begins. Furthermore I think Private Polling should come out twice a week (say Monday and Friday—since you're paying you probably want them as often as possible) and use the Private Polling data to update the map rather than the Public Polls (to be fair I don't actually know which data the map/pop-ups use).

Actually adding private polling firms would be pretty cool. You could have a selection of 7 at different costs and different accuracy (or 7 firms that you can pay low/medium/high for more accuracy) that each have a day of the week so if you have the money you can have polls come out every day using all 7 firms. The more polling you do the greater bonus you get to speeches and ads in general as you know what people like.

Even better also use the firms for focus groups to improve a speech or ad: i.e. you now have light-bulbs (from insight into a speech/ad—and I suggest it be automatically added because who doesn't add them? and the 2 pop-ups to use them are annoying) as well as focus driven data. Focus groups make your speech/ads have a certain guaranteed effect but un-focus driven speeches/ads have a possibility to go both higher and lower. The trade-off between known results and getting a really good or bad result.

ETA: Private polls should also be given an option to go state-by-state. Perhaps activate private polling in any state where public polls say the margin is 5% or so. That way you're not running private polls in New York where you have 65% of the vote and it's a waste of money to poll.

Does: >CA< versus CA have any rhyme or reason? I can't find any pattern to it showing up and its really irritating. It kinda seems that it shows what states you're leading in but this is redundant given the map colours and if you wanted to show who's winning in tied states something better could be come up I think.

Thanks Oxymoron. Even knowing that it doesn't seem terribly useful (to me, of course, others may differ).

That and the font for the map (and election night) is ugly—that whole monospaced no anti-aliasing thing. It wouldn't hurt to use something nice like Garamond for the whole program. Or Palantino or whatever, but a nice pleasant easy to read font.

It seems somewhat random whether or not Undecided voters get +- data either in as voters or delegates (EV works). It often stays blank despite changes it not adding up in other +- changes. i.e. I go up 3%, and my opponent goes down -1% so obviously there was Undecided movement but it stays just +- without giving a number. A little thing, to be sure, but it's nice to see how Undecided's seem to be moving.

I believe the computer spends too many CP on spinning news. Or at least they spin every? (I don't always read all the recap) news article successfully.

They don't spend nearly enough CP on foot soldiers.

It should be easier to find out the other side's VP (unless there's an easier way then Players:Select Other Side:VEEP button).

ETA: Foot soldiers auto-fundraise too soon. Make it a global and state option button to set their threshold for auto-fundraising (plus overhaul the whole system as I've talked about before).

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Does: >CA< versus CA have any rhyme or reason? I can't find any pattern to it showing up and its really irritating. It kinda seems that it shows what states you're leading in but this is redundant given the map colours and if you wanted to show who's winning in tied states something better could be come up I think.

It's your targeted states.

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A feature that would be great would be change of issues as the election goes on, so if something huge happens like if crime becomes an issue it will become an issue and either add on to the list of replace an unimportant issue like campaign fianance reform.

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A couple of suggestions:

I would change Newspaper Ads to On-line Ads.

I would also add a Cable TV Ad feature. This would have regional spending options (Like California-Nevada-Arizona region or something like that).

And finally I would love to have an Independent Candidacy option. You know, in the off change of not securing your parties Nomination, you should have the option of running as an Independent. Also, as a add level of difficulties, you can also have a computer player run as an Independent if the end up the loser in a tight nomination.

All in all, I love the game.

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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!

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Yeah I hate those pop-ups too. I think I made a couple suggestions to get around them a few posts back.

My new feature request (one of like a zillion at this point, so some feedback from the powers that be would be cool) is thus: personal fortunes. Some candidates have personal fortunes and can self-finance. However, unlike Congressional races, this doesn't allow the other candidate to take in donations above the limit.

Therefore people like Romney and Bloomberg and others can loan their campaigns as much money as they need in a Presidential race

There should be some kind of backlash of course, but it's an option if you're a rich candidate whose fund-raising isn't going that well. For Congress Forever it should also be an option, but in that case the caps get adjusted upwards for donations for the other guy.

Speaking of Congress Forever are you including primaries in that? Not sure if it's workable, but it would be cool given some of the primary battles seen in '06.

Oh. One more feature request. The ability to switch the guy you're running. It would be cool to be winning and then switch sides and have to deal with the plan you were just hammering the other guy with.

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Well this one is just plain silly. Once I pass the required number of delegates at the convention why would anybody endorse my opponent? Now in 1976 where Reagan went right down to the wire I could see it (although that would require an actual delegate/convention system—as you would need for every scenario 1976 or earlier)

I'm watching million of pointless dollars (please, dump public funding—or make it optional—for 2000, 2004, and 2008—obviously it shouldn't apply to pre-1976 elections since it didn't exist) and lovely foot soldiers get showered on Edwards—with 1000 delegates and all primaries finished—while Gore's 3000 delegates and guaranteed presidential nomination gets overlooked.

Besides the obvious wastefulness of the various organizations, shouldn't these people get that Gore is the nominee? And that if I win the general I can crush them for screwing with me?

It really doesn't matter how well Edwards does because this 2008, not 1968, and primaries are all the cards so it would be nice to see all the endorsers recognize the simple reality: I'm the freakin' nominee and giving support to Edwards (especially by the Speaker of the House) makes enemies you don't need.

(from a different game) Plus the newspaper headline McCain ahead of Obama in polls is freakin' nonsensical when Newt Gingrich has the delegates for the convention locked, and McCain is never ever going to be the Republican nominee.

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Democratic and Republican endorsers shouldn't endorse the other side, most days, regardless of the effort put into them. Right Newt Gingrich is about to be endorsed by President Carter. A tad unlikely, methinks.

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Another thing: does the program prorate ad points on effectiveness? Because a couple hundred of points of newspaper ads really shouldn't be equal to a couple hundred points of television ads and it would be nice to to see the difference. Perhaps ranking ad points by cost/effectiveness (per market, but I've said that before) instead of just by amount.

Further on ads—when McCain has 175 million in the bank and I have 4 million after the primary contest he probably should have had more ads running. Likewise Obama in a very tough contest against Warner had 200+ million after Edwards endorsed Obama and Warner dropped out. Thus, he wasted 200 million dollars because of the public financing.

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Speaking of hundreds of million dollars, why do I have public funding (130 million in Clark/Bayh 2008's 2008 scenario) and Obama has his primary war chest of 320 million dollars? Because that sucks. Not least because the opening week and a half has seen him spend 60 million dollars against my 10. This would be fine, except that I'M STUCK WITH PUBLIC FUNDING. Argh! Also? He's still fund raising. I know because randomly another game neither of us went for public funding (which was fine, since it was for both of us) and I was fund raising during the general.

There's a bug in there somewhere. It may be, in all fairness, in Clark/Bayh 2008's scenario.

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Is there anyway the 'how many times region has been visited' thing can be exposed to the player? As it is I really don't pay any attention to it, but likely would if there was an in-game way to keep track.

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A projected money spent next turn would be nice, as would be some kind of graph so you can see the trend line of your money spent. As well it would be nice to have a comparison screen so you can your money spent versus opponent's money spent.

The current graph system does need an overhaul, though. They remain hard to read. Make the window much bigger, get rid of the glaring background, and make the numbers on the graph per line/per day part optional.

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Is it now intentional that you can change the lightbulb to use on anything you wish? Because if you select something and then select the lightbulb, you can now change it to whatever you wish in the ad screen. In the speech you can also change it but the lightbulb doesn't shift.

Further if you use a lightbulb in an ad and then toggle it off to change your mind—before you've hit next turn—you've lost the lightbulb. I could go either way, actually, so I'm just bringing it to your attention.

When researching if it showed you whether or not you already had a lightbulb in some area would be nice.

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The auto-fundraising and per day cost should probably vary more per state for the foot soldiers, and do so in a fashion that makes more sense. i.e. if you take a look at where the money comes from on a national scale for presidential campaigns.

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When private polling is on it doesn't seem to show national +- despite it changing from week to week.

Actually it doesn't show national +- at all in the General.

When private polling is on during the primaries it shows two extra sets of numbers in parentheses down the side if you switch the data to general election mode.

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Leaving and re-entering the Endorser screen resets to 5 how many CP you can use. If you have CP to spare you can left exit/enter Endorser screens until you've spent it all.

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The usefulness of the PIP system is kinda small. I mean in the primary you have to ration it among Crusaders, endorsers and other players, but in the General the endorsers are less useful and are all pretty much along party lines.

I don't know what to use it for though.

Perhaps, if you improve the organization system, you can use them to get better political talent?

This would make the primary even more of a struggle (and emulate the talent primary contest that does go on) as regards where your PIPs go and in the general you use them to build top-flight organizations and get the best speechwriters, managers, directors, and so forth. However, since your PIPs are still limited, you must choose how much goes to the national campaign and how much goes to the state campaigns, and where.

This would be irreversible but require some time commitment in advance. Therefore your national campaign may be very strong but since you starved the states you could see a strong opponent ground team in Virginia and Ohio take them from under you. Conversely you could have a strong team in Virginia—only to see it not become a battleground.

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