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Suggestion: Regions inside states


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This might require some heavy lifting on the programming side (it would require some fundamental changes to a lot of the functions - I don't have any idea what the source code for P4E looks like but I can guess).

Anyway, I think it would be a major advance if campaign regions and voting regions were disentanged. What do I mean by that?

As it now stands, you campaign in states ("campaign regions"). You barnstorm a state. You run ads in a state. Etc.

And at the end of the campaign, the states ("voting regions") tally up the votes.

In real life, candidates run ads in media markets, not states. Candidates campaign in cities or counties, not states.

The "campaign region" is not the same as the "voting region" in real life. In most cases, campaign regions are sub-units of voting region (e.g. the Houston media market (lets call it the Houston campaign region) is, geographically a sub-unit of the state of Texas (the Texas voting region)). But in some cases, campaign regions stretch across state lines. For example, the Philadelphia media market (the Philadelphia campaign region) stretches across state lines and affects the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware voting regions.

A number of games in the past - Power Politics '92 being the grandaddy of them all - have partially or fully disentangled campaign and voting regions. In Power Politics (which the designer has made freeware - google it and download it if you don't know what I am talking about) you can campaign in Houston on the environmental issue, and it will affect your popularity in Houston which in turn affects the outcome of the Texas vote.

To the best of my knowledge, Power Politics '92 didn't have cross-voting region affects (e.g. Philadelphia). Because it simulated campaign regions only as sub-units of voting regions, I call that partial disentanglement. In partial disentanglement the voting region's vote tally is simply the sum of the vote tallies in all of the campaign regions.

Having full disentanglement (e.g. Philadelphia is campaign region, campaigning in Philadelphia would affect outcome in multiple voting regions) would be much harder to program, I think, because you'd have to apportion parts of the campaign region tallies to the voting regions (e.g. 33 percent of the Philadelphia campaign region vote tally goes into the sum for the New Jersey voting region). I think we probably could be spared that.

At any rate, I think disentanglement - either partial or full - would make for a much more realistic game. Moreover, it would make it much easier to design scenarios at the state level (e.g. Texas Governor scenario - the vote tally is state wide but the campaigning goes on across the state).

In terms of implementing disentanglement in the GUI, I think Power Politics '92 had a good implementation. It used good old fashioned drop-down boxes. I'm sure there would be prettier ways to implement in P4E though.

At any rate, I really hope this suggestion is considered seriously, since I consider the conflation of voting and campaign regions to be the single biggest inaccuracy in P4E.

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