Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
How I beat Bush
Published on April 13, 2004 By Draginol In Strategy

I defeated Bush today. As Kerry. In the Political Machine that is.  The first beta is going out tomorrow and I played the build we have up on Stardock Central (available privately).  It'll be available tomorrow to all users of I'm not fully satisfied with the game play so far. We'll be tweaking the heck out of the game in the coming weeks.

But I must say, even as a beta, I'm having a pretty good time. Which isn't something I could say for Galactic Civilizations which I went around the office saying "This game...Suuuuuuuccckkkkssss..." during the first 2 betas until we got starbases in. I still wasn't really satisfied with how GalCiv turned out, if I had known how MOO 3 was going to turn out we would have put in the ship design feature we had originally wanted to put in. But hindsight is 20/20 and the Altarian Prophecy is something we're pretty happy about.

Here's a screenshot from tonight's game. I played at "Beginner" level.

I managed to win Wyoming as Kerry which was a bit gratuitous. It took quite a bit of effort to do it as you can imagine. I wasn't able to win over Ohio though, Bush had simply gotten there and worked it harder sooner.

So what are the parts I don't like?

  1. Badly need a status report dialog each turn so that the game flow is nicer
  2. The issues need a lot of tweaking. Right now, it's just too tempting to say "I support the war on terror!"  Need more divisive issues.
  3. The political consultants aren't powerful enough.
  4. The activists aren't powerful enough
  5. Endorsements are too powerful and too expensive
  6. Lots of annoying UI issues. For instance, too often I don't have enough stamina or money to take out an ad or build a campaign HQ and only when I try to do it does it tell me. Needs to gray out the button when I lack something.
  7. Need the + and - keys to zoom in the map.
  8. Need the left mouse button to let you grab the map (middle button does this)
  9. Clicking on your candidate (or any other unit) should also make it select the state it's in.
  10. Units get strewn all over the place.
  11. Not enough feedback. I want to know precisely what an ad is doing in a given state.
  12. I want to be able to click on a state details and see much more info such as how they feel about me and my opponent and why. I want to visually see the effect my advertisements and stances on the issue are.
  13. The candidate info screen needs to be done.
  14. Need to be able to design the candidates
  15. Need option to be able to randomize the partisanship of the states (i.e. New York be a Republican state, Texas a Democrat state).
  16. TV news casters are not working right. Always is Nighttime with a goofed up picture. Where's O'Maley?

So that's some of the things we're working through.  I've got a lot of work to do on the AI still. I don't have the AI able to do endorsements, deal with political consultants or activists correctly. And I need to crank out a lot more political issues. I also need to make sure that answering crazy answers definitely sinks your campaign.

So in this practice game I did beat Bush by about 30 electoral votes.

on Apr 13, 2004
I'm disappointed to see you campaigning against Bush Brad... It hurts me deep.
on Apr 13, 2004
on Apr 14, 2004
Sounds great. Will download when I get home this evening and try it out.

on Apr 14, 2004
In addition to TV News Broadcaster anchors, would you be willing to add talk radio personalities? Like Shaun and Rush? Maybe even Colmes? or Tony Snow?
on Apr 14, 2004
Argh, you've done it to me again Brad! Today is now forfeit to me clicking to refresh the program list in SDCentral!!! Is it up yet? *click* damn.... Is it up yet? *click* damn....

Definitely looking forward to this one.

on Apr 14, 2004
A game is the only way that Kerry can beat Bush.
on Apr 14, 2004
loocking forward to learning more about the us voting system.
on Apr 14, 2004
*cough* Bush was beaten last election wasn't he (tongue in cheek) */cough*

Looks great, sounds great and I'm really looking forward to this one.
on Apr 14, 2004
"Bush was beaten last election wasn't he (tongue in cheek)"

Bush won the election. Get over it.
on Apr 14, 2004
The game needs a windowed mode, that's the biggest item on my wish-list (other than the things you listed, of course).
on Apr 14, 2004
Is that v0.70[b].004 I see on SD Central?
on Apr 14, 2004
Already has a windowed mode. Just run it with a w parameter.
on Apr 14, 2004
Oh great.... 20 page research paper past due in my senior seminar, and this has to go and come out. Thanks a bunch man, you are really helping my grades, and right before I try to get into grad school!
on Apr 15, 2004
Had a quick play with this - interesting but a bit confusing for a poor old Brit who doesn't really understand the US voting system.

on Apr 15, 2004
Had a quick play with this - interesting but a bit confusing for a poor old Brit who doesn't really understand the US voting system.