September 10, 2004

Political Campaign Games – [misc]

A recap of this year's political campaign simulation games, in alphabetical order:

I'm posting this partly as self-motivation to finish my own campaign game, Political Icon 2004. Right now my to-do list looks like this:

- campaign game - rally: 4 hours
- campaign game - speech: 8 hours
- campaign game gfx : 2 hours
- campaign game - debate challenge: 4 hours
- campaign game - interview: 16 hours

A total of 34 hours of work, for an alpha release. (18 hours if I cut the interview minigame.)

The central game borrows from the dating game genre, where you have a limited amount of time, energy, and money, and you need to raise your character's attributes. The three attributes are personality, politics, and popularity. To raise your personality, you can make a public appearance, or play the interview minigame for more points. To raise your politics, you can hold a press conference, or play the speech minigame. To raise your popularity, you can go on a whistlestop tour, or play the rally minigame. And there is also a debate minigame, which is somewhat disconnected from everything else you can do -- but is a finished minigame.

Unlike the other campaign simulations mentioned above, PI2004 doesn't contain a single map of the US, and there are no issues like "The war in Iraq" or "Job outsourcing" used to determine your candidate's standing.

Of the commercial games listed above, I've played the demo for President Forever, and the retail version of The Political Machine. Both of these simulations have a stamina mechanism: your candidate only has so much stamina, or so many points, to spend each turn. Part of the learning curve for each game is learning if and when to conserve these points -- in President Forever, there are a number of "hidden" mechanisms that silently eat away at these points.

Well, I should be programming, more later.

Posted by B Rickman at September 10, 2004 06:00 PM | TrackBack