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The Political Machine 2008: Final Stretch

Article posted on 5/27/2008

Only a week or so left until we go gold with our new PC strategy game, The Political Machine. It's scheduled to hit stores in North America on June 17th so we're up against the gun! I haven't been to bed in over 2 days! The AI and the pacing has to be just...right. But we're in the home stretch and very pleased with how it's turning out - especially compared to the version we did in 2004.

 

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The last days of Bush...

 

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The Political Machine 2008 includes more than just the US election. It has other scenarios as well. Some are educational (Election of 1860) some are fantastical (Drengi) and one is offensively funny (Europe as seen through the eyes of an American high school student).

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Players of Galactic Civilizations can picture the coolness of the included candidate editor. Both candidates were made with the included, easy to use editor.

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Only an indie could make a game with a map like this.

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The AI in The Political Machine is very good (if I say so myself). But it also comes with multiplayer built in and will be the first PC game to make use of the Common Multiplayer Platform (CMP) that is being launched with Impulse. CMP is the answer to any gamer who has bought a game and struggled to find people to play multiplayer (especially strategy games). 

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You can design your own candidates from scratch, give them positions on issues, and all.  I have taken the liberty to make my lovely wife and my dear aunt for tonight's test game.

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They're all bobble heads which means they're bobbing at you and trying their best to look at you.

 

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He looks..familiar...

 

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Getting endorsements is very important. Depending on which political party you play as, some of these are harder to get than others.  They change depending on the scenario of course (Europe, Drengi, and the election of 1860 have their own sets).

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There's a ton of different ways to view the maps depending on what sorts of information you want to get.

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as you can see, late in the game, you can hire a lot of operatives, consultants, and less than savory chartacters to help you out.

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Plaeyrs can make speeches, take out advertisements, raise money, etc.  When players make a speech, they pick what issue they want to speak on. This is not window dressing as your speech will persaude others of your point of view - in that state anyway.

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If you can make it in New York...

Different states have different issues. The start of the game has pretty realistic issues. But players can manipulate through the course of the game what issues care about through clever advertising, speeches, TV appearances, etc.   In one game, I had "Alien Abductions" as a top issue in some states.   In a game against experts, you won't be able to get away with that kind of thing as much though.

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Hooray! I need to improve the AI more...yay...yay...sigh.    More sleepless nights it seems. The AI didn't get enough endorsements and focused too much on fixers.

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Yes, we include a tutorial too! A little mention of our local school.