President Forever 2012 Alpha Released

If you have already pre-ordered, you can download the Beta here.

For those who want to pre-order the game and also try out the Beta, you can do so here. (Note: for Windows.)

This an early Beta release. This is a way to offer people who have pre-ordered a sneak peek into the game, as well as an opportunity for them to offer feedback on features they think would be useful, awesome, and so on, if incorporated into the game.

Things should start moving fairly quickly now, with new features being added in quick succession.

Please remember in any feedback: many features that will be in the final game are NOT in the current Beta.

Please note we may not be able to respond to all feedback. We encourage feedback via the blog or the forum, as this will allow for answers to common questions to be posted, and discussion of any ideas.

Below is a list of features that will be added, although this list is not complete:

– Negotiations
– Computer player AI
– More candidates
– More parties

We will be adding new features regularly (probably a new release about once per week for some time).

Please note with the Beta: This version will have bugs. Some of these may cause the program to crash. Gameplay won’t be right.


No save-load for now.
No help file (but in-line help) for now.
Only one scenario and two parties for now.
AI will get more challenging.
Some graphics are place-holders.

Modders: please note that the scenario XML files will change. If you mod a scenario, then it will probably stop working at some point in the near future.

Having said all this …

Good gaming!

46 thoughts on “President Forever 2012 Alpha Released”

  1. The current struture is quite good, but I do have a problem with the command points. It becomes to hard to do what is needed each turn. usually it would go over the 8 or so CP’s in PFE ’08, it should be the same way now. Plus with the ads I feel that there should be a easier way to make ad’s in individual states.

  2. Yeah my problem I have noticed is the same thing as Political Mastermind I preferred the way the ads where able to be played as in PFE 08

  3. Will the scenario editor also be available for 2012 once the game is out of beta? I LOVE scenario editing. Love it.

    I’d buy some of the other election games if they had scenario editors.


  4. I agree with Matt. Scenario editing makes the game a lot more fun, and enables me to make the game tailored to my liking. Also there should be a enhanced way of spinning news. The media has become a larger factor in these races, and I feel it should have more of an effect then just clicking the spin button. Also since there has been talk of a brokered convention the details should be iron clad in the game if it came to that conclusion. There should be a way where you can use political command points to influence members for a second ballot. Lastly, the delegate count should be the same or as close as possible to the exact number considering the race is becoming all about the numbers.

  5. I for one, love the news ads. It’s easier to see how many turns it has run and at the same time feels realistic that they need to be updated after 5 turns.

    Will election night be updated as well? I’ve only been able to reach it once, but it’s not different from the past games. Some suggestions:

    – check marking the winner (not the lock button)
    -offer concede or declare victory button
    -add election music or something
    -show exit polls beforehand
    -let us know what states had strong turnout compared to others

  6. That is a great idea NYmchine. My biggest complaint is the cp points. Their is just no way you can do everything necessary to keep up. Something needs to be done about that like don’t let candidate activities factor into the cp.

  7. I especially agree that the game should have election music, checkmarks instead of locks for winners and I REALLY like the exit polls suggestion.

  8. @Political Mastermind,

    Thanks for the feedback re: CPs. It’s very easy to change the number of CPs, we will experiment with it to see what is the best. The idea is to make each CP count – the player shouldn’t have too many, and should almost always feel pressed in terms of allocation.

    Re:making ads in states, can you be more specific about this? What exactly do you find difficult about making ads for a given state?

  9. @Moderate Guy,

    Similar question as for Political Mastermind – can you be more specific on what you preferred about the ads system for P4E8?

  10. @anthony_270admin

    I understand what you are saying, but during the PFE ’08 general election it was possible to go over the 5/6 limit. This was done when do all other activities during campaign, and then saving candidates activities for last and was able to go over the limit. Now it seems it is impossible. This should follow a similar model, “don’t fix it, if it ain’t broke.” Also I wanted to add that there should be an added feature where I can list my safety for each state, similar to PFE ’08. Now on the television ads. It becomes quickly complicated when you have ads for the United States, and then for each state. When you look at each state when the U.S. ads are running it doesn’t show it running in each state. Shouldn’t that be showing the ad running in every state if it’s all across the Country? I do like how you can focus more intensely on each state, but I feel I spend more time on the ads then media, or campaign infrastructure. The media should be a more intrinsic task then tv ads. Also if we could have our own strategy tab, that would not cause any loss of CP it could tie in with television ads. It keeps everything a little more organized. Lastly, does anyone have any suggestions on the media? I was thinking we could pick talking points for the candidate to say during interviews, and,have room for gaffes. It happens consistently, and should certainly be formatted. I was also thinking we could have a better reader on exit polls throughout the campaign when paying for polls. More thn just on election day, but every week, for example, telling who is leading on what issue the most, and what the American people want to hear about most. Any suggestions?

  11. Not to be naggy, but could you please allow load-save in the next release. It gets rather annoying when you spend an hour strategizing and such on a game that goes 3/4 of the way through itself.

  12. Hi Dan, save-load will not be included for some time. An Alpha version, by definition, isn’t complete. We are, however, prioritizing any bugs that cause the game to crash.

  13. @Political Mastermind,

    “I understand what you are saying, but during the PFE ’08 general election it was possible to go over the 5/6 limit. This was done when do all other activities during campaign, and then saving candidates activities for last and was able to go over the limit.”

    Got it – noted.

  14. Thanks.

    I have one idea. For activities, have a “rally” option alongside fundraising and barnstorming. Based on momentum and strength, when you click a particular state it will tell you the crowd attendance, Rally in Michigan 200 people. Similar to the fundraising option where it tells you how much money you have raised based on different variables.

  15. I remember playing a similar game back in the late 80’s and early 90’s by SSI called President Elect. One of the features I liked was being interviewed and being offered options of choice, which would swing you conservatively or liberally or be neutral on an issue. When you choose to do a television appearance (via. “The Tonight Show”) I’d like to recommend you drop into a 5 question and answer scenario that could swing the the votes of the undecided. Behind the scenes the undecided could be swaying one way or the other, but not committed and your responses would push those voters into your camp or away. The player may not know if it’s in their best interest, though through some expenditure of CP and specialize polling could clue the player into how the undecideders are leaning.

    On the flip side if you try to work the neutral or answer opposite position (i.e answer conservatively when your liberal) of your initial values, you may lose base support (having a greater impact in primary races).

  16. I like that idea of showing the crowd size. That just adds a more detailed dynamic to the game. I also like what olds layer said about picking lines when on talk shows. That would really make the media have a larger role in the game, like it does in a real campaign.

  17. Just off the bat, I noticed that the accept and cancel buttons when setting up the game appeared to be outside the focus area and obscured by the images in the background. Perhaps moving those buttons inside the candidate selection area would make them easier to find. Second, how do I include states in my electoral strategy without going into each state and selecting target? Can I do it from the master list and without expending CPs? Sorry if these sound like noob questions, I haven’t looked at PF since ’08.

  18. Hi Franklin,

    Thanks for the feedback – currently, states can only be targeted or not, and targeting requires CPs. There’s not a separate electoral strategy button, but question noted.

  19. @NYMchine and Political Mastermind re: rallies,

    Yes, this is a feature that has been planned for a bit. Probably rallies and super-rallies. Require certain Org.Strength + Momentum to be successful, require more CPs, but give potentially bigger result than Barnstorming. The idea of displaying the est. attendance is noted.

  20. So I noticed that my debate skills decreased significantly after the debate. Why does the candidate lose those skills?

  21. I think a great feature for the game would be putting an endorser tab in each state, and once they endorse it can be made possible to try and influence the endorser to switch sides, and create momentum, and such.

  22. How about when you create a national ad and then turn it on in individual states, could you make it so that I could select multiple states at once and prevent having to go through individual states to turn on ads one at a time?

    Second, how about being able to recycle ads? I get that there is a time limit on ads running, but perhaps those ads can go into an archive to be used again after a certain number of turns pass? 5 days seems like a very short life span for an ad given their cost in CPs to make.

    @mastermind: I like the idea of the state endorsers, I remember them from PF08. How about making them crusaders for the state that they represent? They could help boost the size of rallies/super rallies, boost fundraising, recruit free ground troops, etc.

  23. Any plans to allow for creating web ads cheaply and quickly? It would be very cool to have, just like an ad backfiring, the possibility of a web ad getting media attention and the ability to spin that as well.

  24. Any plans for a coupon, or a discount to be issued for this game? How about emailing old customers a providing them with a 25-50% off coupon?

    I would like to buy this game, but it’s just a bit out of my price range right now, but maybe with a $5-10 discount you can drum up 3-4 times the buyers.

    P.S. Loved PF2008

    Thank You

  25. I remember the 2008 version came with the 1980, 1992, 2000, 2004, and 2008 elections. I was hoping the 2012 would have some of the more interesting past elections, such as 1912 (can’t even find a user created scenario for this), 1968, 1860, 1844. 1912 is the one I most want to see. 4 strong parties.

  26. @Mike,

    Thanks for the feedback! Feedback re: price noted.


    We’ll see what official scenarios P4E12 ends up having. At this point, this hasn’t been decided. 1912 request taken into consideration, though.

  27. I think a good argument for including the 1912 election as a scenario is that it is the 100th anniversary of the scenario. There’s been a lot of discussion about a potential 3rd party, or the need for one. The 1912 election is the ultimate 3rd party election–with the Republican party splitting between Taft conservatives and Roosevelt progressives. The Socialists were at their strongest as well. It also led to Wilson’s election,, who enacted the Federal Reserve which is an enormous topic today. I think many of your fans would greatly enjoy playing the 1912 scenario.

    Ok. That’s all. Said my peace. 🙂
    I’m excited about PF2012!

  28. there are several elections that i would like to see added in. Many people who have created the scenarios have amassed a great amount of information. I would also love to see the senate and house races incorporated into it. Make it a long running game with possible made up candidates in the future.

  29. Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the ideas – making it a long-running game, with running the government in between, has been suggested before. This would involve a whole other game being added in, effectively, but is noted.

    For Senate and House races, are you thinking of anything in specific?

  30. I’ve been playing around with the game for a few days, and I must say, it’s markedly more difficult than the 2008 version. I haven’t won a single election yet; Barack Obama gets decimated by Romney (latest election I lost Michigan, Oregon, New Mexico by 58-42, and Wisconsin, and failed to carry a single swing state, all of which seems really unrealistic), and as Romney I’ll narrowly lose to Obama.

    The new advertising feature is cool, but I feel like it adds a bajillion different things to track. Keeping on top of having ads running, especially with targeted ads for each of the states, it’s incredibly challenging. I feel like if you don’t keep on top of it, you get absolutely decimated by a computer that runs through all of these processes flawlessly. I’m finding it difficult to keep up!

    Overall I’m enjoying the game (I just suppose it’d be nice to win an election or two :P). But I just can’t shake the feeling that things are getting a little too complex to manage within the confines of playing a game. Nevertheless, keep up the good work! I’m looking forward to seeing the game progress!

  31. I agree a little bit with Jacob. However, I like the complexity and approve of anything that makes it more realistic. Although, I’d like a way to delegate certain tasks, if we wish it, giving the computer certain directions. For instance, having the computer control Bill Clinton as as a surrogate and then deciding which states you want him to go to, and then the computer follows the directions for the rest of the election. Just one example.

  32. Great start so far! My main problem is Gingrich always seems to dominate. How do I recreate the “Santorum Surge”?

  33. Also, it would be nice to have an easy delegate map in the Republican Primary. It would be nice to track who has the most delegates at any stage in the primary.

  34. @Jacob,

    “But I just can’t shake the feeling that things are getting a little too complex to manage within the confines of playing a game.”



    “having the computer control Bill Clinton as as a surrogate and then deciding which states you want him to go to, and then the computer follows the directions for the rest of the election.”

    Yes, automating Surrogates is on the list of possible features – general point noted.


    Thanks for this feedback.

    “My main problem is Gingrich always seems to dominate. How do I recreate the “Santorum Surge”?”

    In the next version, Energy Points are increased more quickly, and Barnstorming Power doesn’t drop as quickly. This should allow for a more accurate representation of Santorum’s strategy, which basically was to camp out in Iowa and Barnstorm.

    “it would be nice to have an easy delegate map in the Republican Primary. It would be nice to track who has the most delegates at any stage in the primary.”

    Can you say more about what you mean by an ‘easy delegate map’?

    By clicking the button about the seats bars on the Main Screen, you can view who has the most delegates at any stage. This feature has also been updated in the latest internal version (see ).

  35. I think limiting the spouse to a certain number of days is weird. You’d think the candidate’s spouse, and maybe their kids would be unlimited. And some of the candidate surrogates would be higher points.

  36. WS-Montana, I agree on the spouses. I think Bill Clinton should probably be the highest surrogate. It will make the game a harder challenge for the Republican player, but I think it would be more realistic. Regardless of how one rates Obama as a president, he and Clinton are probably the best campaigners since FDR (almost said Reagan, but he only really had to campaign in 1980 and he had lost a few times before).

  37. @WS-Montana,

    Spouses can be renewed every x turns. They just require more CPs to ‘re-create’. In theory, they can be set to unlimited easily in the scenario files … I’ll think a bit more about this. The basic idea behind setting a number is that even spouses are not sent out every day.


    Clinton is an available Obama surrogate in the current 2012 scenario, and he has fairly high attributes (5s across the board). Do you mean he should be listed higher in the surrogate list?

  38. @Anthony,
    I was just thinking that Clinton should probably be the highest across the board. I forgot if there were any other surrogates that were all 5’s. I say this as he’s probably easily the most influential surrogate right now.

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