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Author Topic: The Political Machine 2008  (Read 2851 times)
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Island Dog
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« on: May 16, 2008, 10:26:22 PM »

Since this is an election year, and an interesting one at that, I wanted to start the topic for the next edition of The Political Machine.  I'm sure many of you remember TPM '04, and it's back again for this political "season".

GameSpy did a preview of TPM 2008 a couple of months ago, and you can find that here.

http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/the-political-machine-2008/848621p1.html

I also posted a couple of "teaser" screenshots today, and you can find more info at The Political Machine 2008 website.

http://www.politicalmachine.com/

smile

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Asharak
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2008, 10:39:20 PM »

I can't say the game concept fascinates me but, given that it's Stardock, I'll at least give it a look.

- Ash
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Ironrod
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2008, 10:48:37 PM »

Looks intriguing, but there isn't a whole lot of info on the developer's site. I gather from the review that it's limited to the 2008 election, with a few alternate scenarios and a handful of historical figures. Can you adjust various social conditions? news events? I'm curious about the extent to which it's a current election simulator, vs. a more open and configurable game.

I haven't played an election game since President Elect (?) many years ago. That one was basically a glorified spreadsheet, but it had lots and lots of historical options. I played a lot of hotseat games with a friend -- it predated the internet -- and it had great replayability. This one seems more stuck in time. 

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Lee
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2008, 11:21:05 PM »

I think I pre-ordered this, but OO isn't up to see if I did. Maybe Stardock Central would list it if I did?
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Asharak
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2008, 11:28:27 PM »

Quote from: Lee on May 16, 2008, 11:21:05 PM

I think I pre-ordered this, but OO isn't up to see if I did. Maybe Stardock Central would list it if I did?

Possibly. I usually order stuff through their website and I have to actually add the serial numbers from the purchase to SDC before it shows up there. Dunno if you've done that (or what would have happened if you used the browser in SDC to pre-order the game).

Alternatively, though, you can just plug your e-mail address in here and they'll e-mail you all the serials attached to that address.

- Ash
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Lee
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2008, 11:31:05 PM »

I can't find any emails from Stardock saying I preordered, or anything in Stardock Central. That bugs me now, because I could have sworn I did pre-order. I will have to request my serial numbers and see if one is listed, although I am not sure that will work since the game isn't out to assign me a serial number.
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baelthazar
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2008, 07:08:13 AM »

I found PM2004 a tad lacking. Sure, it was fun, but I never felt like my platform meant anything. Basically it was all about where you built HQs and where you bopped around. You tried to give a speech to match your party's goal, but that was the summation of that. I may still get it, as it is a fun diversion here and now.

Now I have been enjoying 80soft.com President Forever 2008 + Primaries. It is far more complex, you can create your whole platform from scratch and the game gives you tons of options. Now, it is a bit "spreadsheet" but the info is rather digestible.

In truth, I love political games, so I figure two is better than one!

Bael
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Jeff
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2008, 11:14:15 AM »

Quote from: baelthazar on May 17, 2008, 07:08:13 AM

Now I have been enjoying 80soft.com President Forever 2008 + Primaries. It is far more complex, you can create your whole platform from scratch and the game gives you tons of options. Now, it is a bit "spreadsheet" but the info is rather digestible.

Here's a link to President Forever

Nice looking game, and there's a demo available. I see that it's also only $19.95.

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Island Dog
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« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2008, 07:49:33 PM »

Quote from: Lee on May 16, 2008, 11:31:05 PM

I can't find any emails from Stardock saying I preordered, or anything in Stardock Central. That bugs me now, because I could have sworn I did pre-order. I will have to request my serial numbers and see if one is listed, although I am not sure that will work since the game isn't out to assign me a serial number.

You should have received an e-mail receipt.  I won't show up in SDC/Impulse because it's not available yet.  If you still run into trouble e-mail [email protected].

smile
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JohnathanStrange
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2008, 08:09:28 PM »

Just FYI for those who are into political games - and I assume you are if you're reading this thread - Flash of Steel is doing an AAR for the boardgame 1960: The Making of the President - the link is to the first move, but they're still posting moves (as of today).

Returning you now to your regularly scheduled posts...
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Lee
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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2008, 09:40:16 PM »

Quote from: Island Dog on May 19, 2008, 07:49:33 PM

Quote from: Lee on May 16, 2008, 11:31:05 PM

I can't find any emails from Stardock saying I preordered, or anything in Stardock Central. That bugs me now, because I could have sworn I did pre-order. I will have to request my serial numbers and see if one is listed, although I am not sure that will work since the game isn't out to assign me a serial number.

You should have received an e-mail receipt.  I won't show up in SDC/Impulse because it's not available yet.  If you still run into trouble e-mail [email protected].

smile


Thanks ID, I might have to email Stardock, because I am not seeing any emails, but it's perfectly possible I deleted them. If damn OO was up, I could see about when I did pre-order.
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Semaj
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« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2008, 12:47:24 AM »

Quote from: baelthazar on May 17, 2008, 07:08:13 AM

I found PM2004 a tad lacking. Sure, it was fun, but I never felt like my platform meant anything. Basically it was all about where you built HQs and where you bopped around. You tried to give a speech to match your party's goal, but that was the summation of that. I may still get it, as it is a fun diversion here and now.

Now I have been enjoying 80soft.com President Forever 2008 + Primaries. It is far more complex, you can create your whole platform from scratch and the game gives you tons of options. Now, it is a bit "spreadsheet" but the info is rather digestible.

In truth, I love political games, so I figure two is better than one!

Bael

+3

I loved the humor in PM2003.  I played the hell out of it, a republican from NY and Arnold as a Vp meant I rarely lost with both NY and Cali in the bag.

BUT... it was very repetitive and simpe and only fun in small doses, I will have to check out Presidents forever.  I need some kinda review on the depth of PM 2008.
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Island Dog
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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2008, 01:08:08 PM »

Quote from: Lee on May 19, 2008, 09:40:16 PM

Quote from: Island Dog on May 19, 2008, 07:49:33 PM

Quote from: Lee on May 16, 2008, 11:31:05 PM

I can't find any emails from Stardock saying I preordered, or anything in Stardock Central. That bugs me now, because I could have sworn I did pre-order. I will have to request my serial numbers and see if one is listed, although I am not sure that will work since the game isn't out to assign me a serial number.

You should have received an e-mail receipt.  I won't show up in SDC/Impulse because it's not available yet.  If you still run into trouble e-mail [email protected].

smile


Thanks ID, I might have to email Stardock, because I am not seeing any emails, but it's perfectly possible I deleted them. If damn OO was up, I could see about when I did pre-order.

If you have any problems feel free to shoot me off a PM.  smile

One thing I really like about TPM2008 is the ability to create and customize your own candidate, even making your own bobble head out of them. 
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Island Dog
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« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2008, 03:17:33 PM »

Just an update:

IGN gives a "first look" at TPM - http://pc.ign.com/objects/142/14231815.html

GameSpot Preview - http://www.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/thepoliticalmachine2008/news.html?sid=6191527&om_act=convert&om_clk=multimodule&tag=multimodule;picks;title;6

smile


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Roscoe
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« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2008, 04:14:26 PM »

I'm beginning to warm up to the idea of getting this for the gaming aspects, as otherwise I couldn't care that much about the political aspects. When is the expected release date?
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Asharak
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« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2008, 07:32:00 PM »

From the IGN article:

Quote
For an even more outlandish experience, you can even try out the Drengi election campaign, which recreates the politics of the evil empire from Stardock's Galactic Civilizations. There are plenty of important issues here, from whether or not it's a good idea to eat subjugated races to whether or not better treatment in the slave pits will lead to increased productivity or outright rebellion.

OK, that's funny.

- Ash
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wonderpug
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« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2008, 07:38:12 PM »

That almost sold the game for me.  If you can create a Kang & Kodos campaign as well I don't know how I'll be able to resist.
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baelthazar
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« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2008, 08:47:23 PM »

Better yet, the Lord Kona bobblehead!

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baelthazar
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« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2008, 08:48:53 PM »

And some of the Issues Lord Kona is dealing with...

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Island Dog
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« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2008, 02:07:24 PM »

Just a note that the 1.04 update was released.

Quote
Today the Political Machine team put the finishing touches on 1.04, an update that adds some new candidates to the fold (Gravel, Huckabee, and Kicinich), as well as a 'Simple Icon' mode that will add some pep to the game on slower machines.

Users will also see a significant improvement in memory usage and a slew of new candidate peices to use when building your political avatar!


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Blackadar
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« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2008, 02:52:01 PM »

As someone who purchased this and played around with it for a bit - going through a few different elections in the campaign - I can say that the game is a bit disappointing. 

First of all, the landscape is always the same.  While your opponent is different (for example, Reagan starting in CA makes things more difficult for a Democratic candidate), the issues, party affiliation and tactics are pretty much the same game after game.  If you're a Democrat, you run on the environment, health care and no outsourcing of jobs and concentrate your resources in the Ohio/Michigan region with a dogfight in FL.  You won't/can't win the midwest and there's no reason to bother with the South/Texas.  Republicans have very much the same strategy - run on terrorism, tax cuts and the military concentrating in the same areas while ignoring the East and West Coast.  If you play one game, you've essentially played them all.  If they had changed the voting landscape - even slightly - it would have been much more wide-open. 

Second, there are no random events to react to.  While the interviews are well-done, they're short and not very challenging and they're not really random.  It would have been a *much* better game if the game threw in a few September Suprises...for example, if Iran tested a missle, or gas prices rose/fell, or if the mortgage crisis got better/worse, or if there was a terrorist attack, or another Katrina, or so forth...but as it is, the landscape doesn't change all that much. 

Third, negative campaigning doesn't seem to do much.  Unlike real-life, where a Willie Horton or Swift Boat ad can change the direction of a campaign, negative campaigning seemingly has little to no effect.  Karl Rove types need not apply.

Fourth, they missed an opportunity to delve a bit more deeply into crafting speeches/ads.  As it is, you just pick the issue and your stance ("Social Security - For") and off you go.  There's no nuance in any positions.  I know that would be tough to do, but I'd love to put together a nuanced platform.  Where are the details on  the positions?  "A Strong Military - For" - what kind of stance is that? 

Fifth, you just don't get enough points to craft a detailed candidate.  With a lot of positions and few points, you create a pretty generic candidate.  As such, you can't really make a detailed Mike Huckabee-type, or a Bill Richardson-type of candidate.  You just don't have the points.   

So you set up the same HQs, get the same endorsements, run the same ads on the same issues and so forth.  In fact, you'll find yourself picking the same running mate virtually every time.  For example, Obama or Gore is golden for Democrats, while Hillary doesn't add much at all because of their geographic assistance. 

Overall, I think it's OK - and at $20 you could do worse - but you're not going to find much long-term enjoyment out of it.  It's just to thin to have much longevity.
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Island Dog
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« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2008, 06:18:54 PM »

The v1.5 update is out!

Quote
The Political Machine v1.5 includes vastly enhanced multiplayer features including supporting match-making via the digital distribution platform, Impulse. It also includes features allowing players to print out bumper stickers and campaign pins from within the game. Players can create their own candidates, controlling everything about them in how they look, and then export them as an avatar for on-line use or use the new print shop to create a variety of physical media with their creations including campaign pins, bumper stickers, and more. The update adds the new vice presidential candidates, Joe Biden and Sarah Palin to be played as.

Full changelog: http://www.politicalmachine.com/article/324129/Change_log_for_15_Release
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Island Dog
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« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2008, 02:03:49 PM »

http://www.politicalmachine.com/express

Stardock released The Political Machine Express, which is a free version of TPM.  Also, you can play with Stardock staff on Tuesday nights.  smile
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