Jump to content
270soft Forum

President Infinity feedback


Recommended Posts

I've downloaded and played the heck out of President Infinity, and made quite a few observations....

The good

-I like the gameplay, and really enjoy the primary process. The countdown next to each state is invaluable.

-Great variety of issues and ability to drill down into controlling the actions of candidates and surrogates

-I like the wide variety of candidates from which to choose, and the flow of data to use for decision-making.

The needs

-Threshold is mis-spelled in descriptions of the caucuses

-The transition from primary to general is pretty rocky...lots of leftover stuff in ad screens, for example.

-Preferences need to be ore "sticky". As a Massachusetts native, I was surprised how often for Hilary Clinton to beat Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts. There should be NO way on Earth to get Mitt Romney and Dick Cheney to endorse Warren for president.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had Republicans endorse Democrats, too. If any candidate has high momentum, they can get anyone to endorse them. Sometimes for fun, I'll make a candidates that is Far-Left and 5 in every attribute, and by February, I can get even the most right-wing people/organizations to endorse me. This shouldn't be possible.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Having tried my hand at President Infinity again after a lengthy hiatus, I have to say that I still find a lot of issues in how the game and set up and runs, principally when run from the Primaries; running from the General Election eliminates some of the issues I'll raise.


  • Currently, the momentum and efforts of all the candidates in a party effect the general election, and this naturally benefits the party(s) which have more candidates. For example in the 2016 scenario it is not uncommon for the Republicans to develop massive leads in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, sometimes over 60%. As a Democrat or Third Party I have never been able to compete in those states.
  • The voters appear to become more static as time goes on, often once the conventions are over and done. Playing with FOW off, there is some movement, but even with momentum for a candidate over (-10) or more their movement in the polls is by tenths of a percent. The end result is that the General Election often becomes anticlimactic as the map is, well, static, other than perhaps a few states within a point or so.
  • Conventions are still broken, though I am aware they are presently being worked upon.
  • The primaries are almost too fluid, at least on the state-level; if Hillary Clinton is supposed to have a sizable bloc of support in Iowa, and that about 40% of them should be committed to her, there should be no way to drive her support down to essentially zero. A similar situation often arises with Donald Trump on the Republican side.
  • Foot-soldiers and organization should have their cost be based on the population of the political unit slash state, not be subject to a flat fee. While I agree there would technically be some flat fees associated with state managers or top-level staff, the actual 'foot-print' of the foot-soldiers and organization should be based on how many people it needs to achieve the same effect in would have in another state. For example, establishing operations in California or New York should be far more expensive then it would be in Wyoming or New Hampshire.
  • Endorsers need further limitations to prevent them from endorsing candidates they simply would not endorse. I don't want to see Dick Cheney endorsing Elizabeth Warren, or in a case I've seen the NRA endorsing Jill Stein. There should be some room for crossover but not so much that the endorsers would be committed to an institution.
  • Allow the scenario editor to work into the (00.1)'s place in percentages. Not that important, but its such a pet peeve of mine that this never carried over from the last version of the game, and makes the inclusion of any candidates that operated in the single-digits more trouble than its worth, both in the primary and the general. Don't know if its not compatible with the engine, but the only workaround I have right now is to truncate the voting population to prevent it from reading my new percentages as billions of voters.
  • When you have the editor remove a political region from the game, it should remove the political region from the files as well. Right now it seems to do nothing other than block them from the Campaign Editor.

That's it for now, but I'm sure I'll think of more later.


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • The primaries are almost too fluid, at least on the state-level; if Hillary Clinton is supposed to have a sizable bloc of support in Iowa, and that about 40% of them should be committed to her, there should be no way to drive her support down to essentially zero. A similar situation often arises with Donald Trump on the Republican side.

Somehow fixing this in particular would go a long way

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just noticed that you can chose between FPP and PR for the electoral votes, but PR doesn't seem to work; the electoral votes continue to be apportioned to whomever is winning the state, and manually adding a cut-off through Notepad++ doesn't seem to fix it either.


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is from a conversation I was having with another member, but I feel it may be applicable here as well in case anyone else has made the same observation.

I've encountered another problem though which has proven a bit crippling, and I don't believe it is entirely as a result of the conventions being bugged but it may be related. It was the 1868 scenario, I played as Millard Fillmore with the Constitutional Unionists, and the main contest was the Democratic nomination (I had turned on Chase and Wade to fight Grant, but they were too weak to really contest). Pendleton eventually won by default through the bugged convention, but what I noticed was that in states where Pendleton was really weak in the primary phase it was near impossible to knock down Democratic support, and conversely it was easier in those states he won but still somewhat like molasses. The Republicans meanwhile, whose primary phase was dominated by Grant everywhere except in Ohio, were fairly fluid in their support in every state 'cept, of course, Ohio where Grant had netted only ~35% against Chase and Wade. For the sake of argument I ran the same scenario again, this time as Grant with no opposition, and this observation held true; Pendleton had won again but I could not effect Democratic popularity in those states where he had been especially weak in the primaries. Run from the General Election however is nothing of the sort happens, every state is fairly fluid in its support according to the parameters of Committed, Leaning, etc., as it should be.

Now my hypothesis for why this is happening is that the game, for whatever reason, is not redistributing the support of eliminated candidates to those who are still running, or even to the nominee. I ran a third time as Grant and decided to wait until the Democratic caucuses had all been won in June, then decided to run attacks on Joel Parker in Michigan where he had won with a fairly sizable amount of the vote, and because of some mishaps on my part the Democrats had managed to reach 55% of the vote in the state while I languished nearer 40%. Lo and behold, the Democratic vote went down by about one or two points, not all that much but far more than I ever managed after Pendleton was again named the nominee; he had only earned 2% in the caucuses there, and I was lucky to ever get more than 1/10th of a percent knocked from the Democratic margins.

I haven't tested it extensively, but it seems to connect fairly well with what I have experienced in other scenarios such as 2016, where for example Clinton usually becomes to the nominee but, because her support is driven to essentially nill in the early primary states, its impossible to degrade Democratic support in those states.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

The primaries are way too fluid; they seem to assume that everyone

I just did a test in the most recent version starting from January 2016 and spacebarred through to the day of the Iowa caucus. The numbers in Iowa are frankly silly, and totally implausable

Iowa Republican: Cruz 21.8%, Fiorina 16%, Kasich 13.8%, Carson 10.6%, Rubio 7.5%, Bush 6.7%, Huckabee (!!) 6.2%, Trump (!!!) 4.1%, Santorum 3.9%, Christie 2.1%, Paul 1.1%

Iowa Democratic: O'Malley (!!!) 45.5%, Clinton 23.2%, Sanders 12.3%

The national polls are vaguely reasonable (O'Malley for the Democrats is up at around 10% and Sanders has gone down a load, Trump is second a fair distance behind Cruz), but because candidates focus all their attention on Iowa and the early states you end up with candidates dramatically falling in those states but not nationally. Like in this game Trump still has big leads in lots of states (Probably would have been more, there were a few level 6 scandals in there) because no one is campaigning there so they swing with national momentum, but because the early states. This seems to really hurt candidates that start out big for some reason; they eventually end up with a bunch of delegates because they have big leads in loads of states and the early ones go in seemingly random directions so

It seems to be common for all the early states on the Republican side: in this game New Hampshire has Kasich with double the votes of anyone else, while South Carolina has both Carson and Kasich at 12% with everyone else really tight together - also the two national poll leaders are eighth and ninth which seems like an impossibility. The democratic numbers are more reasonable although there are a tonne of undecided voters which makes me less sure (44% in New Hampshire, 41% in South Carolina - this one is actually the most reasonable with Clinton having a huge lead and O'Malley only on 3%).

Basically I can't imagine any scenario that has O'Malleymentum becoming a thing to the extent of the guy having a 20 point lead in Iowa in a month - especially since there were no scandals against any of the Democratic candidates

The above mentioned thing about votes not being reallocated after the primaries also makes a great deal of sense and ought to be looked at as well

e: I just ticked on: Trump finished in 9th getting 3.7% which is in line with the above polls but feels wrong since his support IRL seems much stronger than that; also O'Malley got 74.4% in Iowa which is definitely wrong - also he's gone down nationally despite winning there, the only place he's had a major post-Iowa bump is New Hampshire

e2: Cruz just finished last in New Hampshire with 1.3% of the vote as Iowa winner and national leader; while O'Malley got 83% in New Hampshire despite being a very distant third nationally.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it is fairly realistic to have the AI focus on the early states(Iowa, NH, NV, and SC), though should they pull a Santorum and do all their campaigning there? Not all of them, but maybe a select few.


I'd check to see how strong O'Malley's ground game is in Iowa and in NH. And I'm not entirely sure what the game code says about caucuses, so I might be entirely wrong what I'm about to say: Caucuses tend to favour candidates with stronger ground games-since caucuses are done in the open infront of a crowd( Might be why O'Malley surged last minute, and Trump fell behind), so maybe the game's code mimics this. Though I'd check with Anthony to see if my theory is correct.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you want to see the best thing that I love to do with this game :D?

Win the primaries with Obama in 2008 or Al Gore in 2000 before the Republicans, wait just the moment between that we have only ONE republican but not appointed yet, and receive his endorsement as Vice President :D.

By the way, I have 100% of the vote in the presidential for 2000 in example with 132 000 000 votes and Bush as VP.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it is fairly realistic to have the AI focus on the early states(Iowa, NH, NV, and SC), though should they pull a Santorum and do all their campaigning there? Not all of them, but maybe a select few.

I'd check to see how strong O'Malley's ground game is in Iowa and in NH. And I'm not entirely sure what the game code says about caucuses, so I might be entirely wrong what I'm about to say: Caucuses tend to favour candidates with stronger ground games-since caucuses are done in the open infront of a crowd( Might be why O'Malley surged last minute, and Trump fell behind), so maybe the game's code mimics this. Though I'd check with Anthony to see if my theory is correct.

Maybe there could be an attribute from 1-5 which suggests how likely a candidate is to do this; e.g

1 = Candidate piles his campaign in the early states, 5 = Candidate plays the long game.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Further observations on my part, as well as recommendations, in regards to President Infinity:


  • The fact that the primary vote in states that have already held primaries is not redistributed once a candidate has dropped out of the race is what I think is causing the issues with some states in the General Election period being rather static or only moving a couple tenths of a percent this way or that; since the attacks are only made against the nominee of the party, only his percentage in that states primary is being effected, whereas the rest being is connected with candidates that can't be attacked once the conventions have concluded. The redistribution of the vote once a candidate withdrew was something that occurred in President Forever 2008. I could be wrong of course, but the two do seem to correlate.
  • I realize regional parties and candidates are something that has already been discussed between Anthony and Vcczar, but I would also like to add onto that the possibility of completely removing certain political units from holding primaries for a certain party, as well as blocking their ability to attain support in those political units in the General. For example, I've been working on updating the All-Star Presidents scenario for President Infinity and some Parties, like the Democratic-Republican Party, aren't meant to be organized in states like California or Wyoming which were formed after the Party dissolved. I can move those primaries past the convention date while removing their delegates, but that doesn't preclude the candidates benefiting from momentum provided by newspapers. I can remove ballot access in the General period for the Party, but that encounters the same issues which can amount to a Party gaining some non-negligible support in a state they are supposed to have literally zero. Even with regional candidates and parties added, this could prove problematic.
  • ​Ideologue and Ambition need to have far more say in how soon a candidate will drop out of the race; usually half or more of the field drops out of the race with the first two primaries, as has just happened in the case of the Republican race, whereas in-game this rarely happens, most deciding to stay in until Super-Tuesday or even later.
  • Candidates, even when they drop out, continue to raise millions of dollars in funds and are subject to attack ads and negative campaigning by those who are still in the race. If a candidate drops out of the race, they should drop out of the race; they shouldn't be raising money, I shouldn't have the option to attack them, their endorsers should be freed up.
  • At the moment it appears that the A.I. appears to target its attacks based on the amount of momentum a candidate or player is able to generate, which while somewhat understandable given the polls may or may not show a rapid rise for that candidate, does not always reflect the reality on the ground. As Lindsey Graham for example I was at best languishing at around 4% or so, but nearly everyone had changed their themes to attacks on my positions and character, and ultimately I was permanently gifted negative momentum in the early primary states and thrashings at the debates as everyone attacked, while front-runners Donald Trump and Ben Carson were left alone. To say it is frustrating, and this has been the case in each and every one of my games, is an understatement.
  • When a candidate wins the nomination of a Party, their General Election Campaign Infrastructure stats should immediately kick in. I do understand that upgrading the campaign to that level would take a reasonable amount of time realistically, but the A.I. seems to at best do a sub-par job in progressing its stats beyond its initial starting levels, moreso for lower leveled candidates. This of course would work with the caveat that it would not upgrade down, or alter Campaign Infrastructure stats which are at parity or higher then those set (Five won't go to four).
  • You should be able to recruit two or more crusaders at the same time. Now this would be rare especially in the primary period, but in the General period where your foot-soldiers are established and organization is up to your standard you sometimes will have the investment on hand and desire to recruit two or possibly even three crusaders. This has happened to me on a couple of occasions.
  • Ability to change the costs of various actions and abilities; I normally wouldn't mention this given I can take care of most of this through Notepad++, but I haven't been able to find the costs related to Rallies which is problematic for those scenarios where the money coefficient is rather low.
  • Fix Proportional Representation in regards to the Electoral Votes for Political Units, as well as the ability to place a floor in terms of the percentage of votes needed to be awarded Electoral Votes. Not the highest of priorities, but it would certainly allow for a greater variety of possible scenarios than the present FPTP does.
  • Increase the character limit or space available of the Party name in the Candidate boxes during the final voting stage. Not that important, but it is a bit awkward to see the names of Parties like Republican, Democratic, Federalist, Whig, but then for the Democratic Republicans it simply displays DRP.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Been running tests for one of my own scenarios, and the Primaries are effecting the General percentages so severely that the maps between each play-through are essentially unrecognizable. I have images I captured that highlighted some of these issues but the forum is forbidding me from linking them from Imgur, and I am not familiar with how to upload attachments to this site for use. I'll describe three cases.

To set the scene there are two Democratic candidates, the incumbent President and a weak challenger, eight Republican candidates though only four with any real strength, and one Green candidate.

In Missouri the Republican-Democratic-Green balance is supposed to be around 50-47-2. As it stands in May, after seven months of campaigning, that balance is now at 58-13-3. The Democrats, despite having a relatively uncompetitive primary and the Republicans at each others' throats, have lost 34 points in the polls. The absolute floor for the Democratic vote, even when factoring in that it may be exclusive to Gore at his 80 primary points at 40% committed, should be 15%. Reasonably though were the Democratic Party be what was followed, the floor should be the 60% committed vote I've set, which is 28%.

In California the Democratic-Republican-Green balance is supposed to be around 54-42-5. As it stands in May, after seven months of campaigning, that balance is now at 21-42-8. There was no real competition on the Democratic side in California either, but what perplexes me the most is that, in the week I had caught the image, the Democrats had lost 22.4 points in the state, going from 43 to 21. I have no idea what reasonably could cause that kind of dip in support within such a short period of time. Accounting for the Democratic committed block the absolute floor for the Democratic vote should be ~33%.

In Michigan the Democratic-Republican-Green balance is supposed to be around 51-46-2. As it stands in May, after seven months of campaigning, that balance is now at 56-19-2. Now I realize that the Republicans did have a competitive primary, but I'm still not sure how they could lose 27 points of support in the state. Accounting for the Republican committed block the absolute floor for the Republican vote should be ~28%.

Then there is also the 18 points lost by the Democrats in New Hampshire, the 8 points lost by the Republicans in West Virginia, the 10 points lost by the Democrats in Minnesota, and so on. I really don't know what is going on; these kind of changes or drops in support never appear if I run the scenario from the General Election.

Thought the creators should be aware.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...