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not that what i want matters...
Published on July 12, 2007 By Sean Conners aka SConn1 In The Political Machine 2004
I have no idea how many copies of the "Political Machine" that Stardock Inc. sold. All I know is that I bought one. And I very much enjoyed the game. Of course it had it's flaws and limitations, but overall it was a good simulation experience, in my view.

The game had at least some of the elements I like in my strategy games. It had some depth, like the Avalon Hill games of old or like old "Strato-Matic" sports games. It was politically based, so, of course a political junkie like me could appreciate that. And the game could be played relatively quickly, although sometimes it played too quickly, in my view.

Several months back, I believe Brad announced they would be releasing a new version of the game sometime before the 2008 election. For some strange reason, this morning I woke up thinking about that game, and what I might like to see in a new 2008 version. Here's a few of my suggestions...

*** More evenhandedness in determining how voters will react to stands on certain issues. In the 1st version, I felt the game was tilted to the right a little too far. Especially where it came to independent voters, who always seemed to go with the GOP on most relevant issues where that vote might be more split or left leaning than the game portrays. Also, the candidate selection seemed to be a little more favorable for the republican party. No JFK? RFK? FDR? More candidates and better candidates would be a nice add.

*** At the start of each turn, the computer player has too big of an advantage to "jump" and collect something in a given state before the player even has a chance to scan the map and react. The timing of the beginning of the turn when the computer is being played would help a bunch.

*** In the 2008 version, an expanded mode where one would have to start with the primaries instead of the general election would be cool. And to take that a step further, a mode where one could start with state or local office and "work their way up" - a political "fantasy career" mode, if you will, would add a great dimension to the game.

*** More interviews and things like that. Also, more than 2 questions per interview. Perhaps add a "debate" scenario in the campaign.

*** More involvement of the running mate.

*** Offer a 3rd party or independent candidate option.

*** The more detail the better.

That's all I can think of now. On the whole, my suggestions would all entail what my last bullet point said...the more detail the better. The deeper this game gets, the better it will be i'm sure. I hope that Stardock is still working on this game. I don't hear about it much, but that's probably because the Galactic Civillizations talk tends to dominate around here.

Or maybe they've abandoned the project. I sure hope not.

Comments
on Jul 12, 2007
*** More evenhandedness in determining how voters will react to stands on certain issues. In the 1st version, I felt the game was tilted to the right a little too far. Especially where it came to independent voters, who always seemed to go with the GOP on most relevant issues where that vote might be more split or left leaning than the game portrays. Also, the candidate selection seemed to be a little more favorable for the republican party. No JFK? RFK? FDR? More candidates and better candidates would be a nice add.

*** At the start of each turn, the computer player has too big of an advantage to "jump" and collect something in a given state before the player even has a chance to scan the map and react. The timing of the beginning of the turn when the computer is being played would help a bunch.


I also played this game and like it.

I don't agree with the first point. I always thought it was slightly more challenging to win as the republican. NY and CA favor democrats, Florida was fairly evenly split and TX favored republicans.

To win as the republican, you pretty much had to get FL and TX. After you had those two you needed to do some interesting stuff to nail down enough of the in-between states... Not the only way to win as an (R), but the easiest.

While as a democrat, you really only needed to nail one of the big four. If you had two, it was usually not that hard to win, if you got three it was over...So really you only have to win two states that favor you and you are in pretty good shape.

Mind, I think this is probably realistic.

More candidates would always be good. Perhaps even some from before the the (D)/(R) two party system.

I would absolutely echo your second point. That was always an irritant to me.

I would add a third one. You shouldn't be able to get endorsements from both pro and anti groups on a single subject...I managed to get myself endorsed by both the pro and anti abortion forces one time, something I'm sure would never happen in real life.



on Jul 13, 2007
You shouldn't be able to get endorsements from both pro and anti groups on a single subject...I managed to get myself endorsed by both the pro and anti abortion forces one time, something I'm sure would never happen in real life.


agreed...good point, i forgot about that.
on Jul 13, 2007
I'd like it to be more moddable, with the ability to add historical scenarios with appropriate maps, issues, and even modes of transportation. Imagine playing Lincoln's elections, where candidates had to travel slowly by plane and bus, and the newspapers were the only way of quickly spreading your viewpoint, and issues so fiercely divisive as to cause actual violence to break out.

With a few scenarios like that, it could get very, very interesting.
on Jul 13, 2007
I'd like it to be more moddable, with the ability to add historical scenarios with appropriate maps, issues, and even modes of transportation.


i like it:)
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