Issue spectra, Favorability, and Voting Blocs

Note: this post is discussing planned changes to President Infinity. These may or may not be implemented, and this can change at any time.

3 new features will be the focus of President Infinity for the next while. They are

a) Issue spectra

b) Favorability

c) and Voting Blocs.

These 3 features work together.

Currently, issues fall along one spectrum, Left to Right (Far-Left, Left, Center-Left, Center, and so on). This will remain as the basis of issue positions. However, every issue can be tagged with additional issue spectra, or a specific issue position can be tagged with an additional issue spectrum position. For example, new issue spectra that might be added to the game are ‘Social Left-Right’, ‘Fiscal Left-Right’, and ‘Foreign Left-Right’ to distinguish between types of left-right. Similarly, ‘Totalitarian-Libertarian’ and ‘Populist-Globalist’ are possible spectra that might be added to the game.

Issues will be sortable by the spectra (so you can view by Social issues, Fiscal issues, Foreign issues, and so on). You will be able to view candidates in terms of their issue position averages on any given spectrum. Veeps can have issue position averages along any issue spectrum. Endorsers’ desired position can be defined in terms of any spectrum.

Voting blocs are definable in terms of any issue spectrum (or spectra) or issue, including where the center is for that voting bloc on that issue spectrum or how important the issue is to that voting bloc. The electorate will be set up using customizable (to the campaign designer) voting blocs. Obvious possibilities for voting blocs would be party affiliation, age, income level, sex, ethnicity, religious affiliation, geography, and so on.

Favorability will become the basis of candidate %s. Initial Favorability levels for candidates in significant part will be determined by the voting blocs, which determine the issue position averages for various parts of the electorate. This will lend itself to multi-candidate dynamics better than the current system (such as primaries, or general elections with > 2 strong candidates).

What you can expect: first will be a revamp of issues, including new issues and issue positions, as well as additional issue spectra added to the official 2016 campaign. Then, Favorability and Voting blocs will be implemented for 2016. I expect these changes to take some time.

Feedback welcome!

46 thoughts on “Issue spectra, Favorability, and Voting Blocs”

  1. Awesome! Perhaps head-to-head polls launch with favorability? For example you could just select two candidates and see how they go against each other in polls,also candidate GE % instead of just the party as a whole.

  2. @anthony

    I really do think that this will be what sets this game apart from any other election simulator by a large margin once fully implemented. Think the biggest election simulators; The Political Machine, The Race for The White House, etc.They’ve all got the same glaring flaw: Depth and oversimplification.

    With this, the game will be set far apart from the rest of its competition because it will have more than “left” “right” and “undecided” which is the basis for most other games. Being able to have politicians have different viewings by different voters and to actually have the issues be fiscal or foreign or the like is perfect.

    For example, let’s say you pick Cruz in any other game. He plays just like any other. You can talk about any issue anywhere and they’ll love it.

    Now? If Cruz decides to talk about his prolife stance in Massachusetts? He might have a net LOSS. Sanders in Georgia about free college? He’ll be at a major disadvantage.

    This also has the unintended benefit of making the player vary his speeches. For example, I’ve played Santorum (!!!) And only talked about Leadership and won the general election by a large margin. Now, I’ll have to vary my speeches and emphasize what’s closer to the core and not so social conservative to win over voters, and not just talk about leadership if I want to court specific voters.

    Overall, I’m very pleased about the changes and I didn’t even get started on favorability. Great work!

  3. @caleb

    I feel the game is going that route. Look at this election. Ted Cruz, despite doing well with Orthodox Jews in NYC(at least considering he was running against the donald), he failed to win a single delegate. Many attribute his failure on his, “New York values” comment.

    I can see a campaign emphasizing x position, while might be great in a state like North Carolina, can cost him New York.

    And this-what should you say to southern evangelicals without offending Wall Street businessmen-can help set this game apart from the others.

  4. I really love these new ideas! Does it mean if I play as Rand Paul and I win in Iowa when Trump gets less than 10%, Paul recieves a big boost in the polls and Trump suddenly declines?

  5. Agree with everything stated so far.

    Echo Rophil’s comments: I once played a spectator to the GOP primaries where Clinton and Trump both finished last in their respective Iowa primaries — nothing happens.

  6. I LOVE the direction this game is taking. Favorability (and the voting blocs, which were presumably going to underpin the feature from the first) was something I really looked forward to. The issue spectra add new layers of complexity and realism, and complement the favorability system in many ways.

    I’d love to have all these features ready yesterday, but I have no doubt the wait will be worthwhile. This game has been good for a long time, standing head and shoulders above any other election sim I know, and with these changes I think it’ll set a standard that won’t be topped for a long time

  7. I think that my favorite part about these features will be the scramble once someone has left the race. For example, let’s say Cruz and Santorum drop out after New Hampshire (trump won both of something) The only true social conservative left, Huckabee, will be in a fantastic position to pick up the pieces since those voters line up very well with him. So as the pack thins, we get to see the remaining candidates pick up the voters who liked the guy who dropped out.

    This also gives the potential to play the “spoiler’ of an election. For example, let’s say I play as the Green Party and reach about 15% with the Republicans at 45% and Democrats at 40%, 290-248. I can check and see where the Greens did best and see if their percentages of different voting blocs within are what costed the Democrats 7-8 states and turned should have been a landslide victory into a narrow loss.

  8. I like the ideas but worry if the game will reach a level of micromanagement that makes it unplayable or not enjoyable.

  9. I would suggest you look into interviews and such. No one have ever offered me an interview, I suppose that is a bug tho.

  10. Don’t know if you noted the freezing bug or not?,I can write down the error code if that’d be helpful.

  11. Sorry everyone, someone pretending to be other users. I’ve deleted the posts associated with the IP address.

  12. @Nick

    I think micromanaging games are fun. As long as you can set some things to auto, I’d want much more micromanaging.

    I played this game called Gangsters in 2000, and at the time, it was considered the most micromanaging PC game. So much so that rarely anyone had beaten it. I ended up beating it and I enjoyed every moment of it. It took almost an hour to set up two minutes of action for every turn.

  13. @anthony_270admin I don’t see anything there. In previous versions of the game it came as a popup on the screen after each turn.

    I also have noticed a few things that needs to be “fixed”.


    Walker does not have any funds (July)

    Biden does not have any funds (July, October, January)

    Warren does not have funds (July, October, January)

    Both biden and Warren have over 0 percent in the polls so they are probably chosen by players more often, but with no funds its quite difficult.

  14. @Nick,

    The point of these features is to increase the realism of voter dynamics, not to increase micromanaging. There will be more depth to the game, and so players who want to can try to use that in their strategy.

  15. @ZeroSen re candidates starting with $0,

    I believe those are intentional. Those candidates, if the were to enter the race at those times, would have no funds and probably have to spend a considerable amount of time fundraising.

  16. @anthony I suppose that is something for someone with lots of time to look up.

    Now, could you breif me on how you accept interviews so we can find out if something is wrong with the game or if something is wrong with me.

  17. I have an idea for a future update, media attention.

    As you may understand a frontrunner gets more media attention than what a “Bobby Jindal” gets. So from a realistic perspective it should be for example be rarer to get interviewed if you are a “Bobby Jindal”, and if an interview occurs it may not get the same scale of bonuses or de buffs compared to a more “popular” candidate.

    For the most part negative media attention would be bad since most things you do will most likely not be on the news in the way of someone with more popularity. But if you would make a gaffe it would probably not be a very big deal, at least not compared to if a a frontrunner front runner made gaffe.

    I am not a very good explainer but you probably see what I mean, just question me if you wonder anything.

  18. These all sound great! As a Libertarian the first one sounds the best, but the rest are just as good. I think they are must do’s.

  19. Once voting blocs are implemented, my new goal will be an extreme conservative Santorum-Huckabee ticket. Think of the challenge on that one!

  20. @Officerpup,

    Updating the algorithm to determine when candidates drop-out is on the to-do list.

  21. How realistic will these be for example for the 2016 election will there be a % of pop per voting bloc out of the total voting population,also what about a voter turnout,and head to head polls (suggested before see my forum post) 🙂

  22. I’m curious as to just how the favorability feature will work. I’m assuming that a high favorability for one candidate and a low favorability for another would help to simulate something like Ford nearly closing the gap on Carter in 1976 after being so far behind, or that it could help steer voters from one candidate or party to specific others, such as the PC vote bleeding to the Liberals and Reform in 1993. Am I on the right track there?

  23. One question re: Voting Blocs – I’m assuming that for custom voting blocs you’ll have to enter a percentage from 0-100. How will this work for categories that overlap?

    An example: Let’s say that, being fairly realistic and using electorate numbers instead of general population ones, I set the “white” voting bloc to 68% of voters, the “18-29” voting bloc to 17% of voters, and the “65+” bloc to 16% of voters. In the real world, about 55% of those Millennial voters, and 80% of the older voters, would be non-Hispanic whites, and both identities would play into their choices.

    I can’t imagine that the game is able to simulate that, so I’m assuming that the game will run voting blocs as completely independent of each other. But tell me if I’m wrong.

  24. Any way to make it easier to define candidate colours in the editor instead of specifying three separate RGB values per candidate. Maybe it could automatically darken/lighten the colour when setting the default.

  25. @Luap,

    Can you say more? There is the option to specify three values, but you can also move the visual controls to select a color.

  26. @Jack,

    Some voting blocs will be exclusive, such as ‘age 18-25’, ‘age 26-35’, and so on. That’s fairly simple. Others will be overlapping, so for each age bloc you would have varying religious affiliations, say.

    The game engine will allow for campaign designers to set up complex demographics.

  27. @anthony_270admin

    What I mean is it is often tricky to work out the best shade of the ‘leaning/solid colour. I remember the earlier versions of P4e worked it out automatically. Maybe having both options would be useful. It would speed up editing. Thanks.

  28. @Scott re favorability,

    Each voter has Favorability ratings for the candidates. The highest one is the one they will vote for. If, for example, you attack a candidate and so lower certain voters’ Favorability numbers, then they might switch to the candidate with the next highest number.

  29. @Libertarian,

    The %s should be pretty realistic. There’s pretty good data on major voting blocs (age, religious affiliation, and so on). Head-to-head polls will become a possibility once Favorability is implemented.

  30. @ZeroSen,

    Yes, something like media attention is a good idea. There are mechanisms in place in the game to approximate it, but making this more explicit would be useful – we’ll see.

  31. @ZeroSen,

    Click the interview circle on the Spin Screen when it has a number that is greater than zero. Then check the checkbox of the interviewer(s).

  32. I’d love to see it to where you can choose how you speak at your rallies and choose to make statements to the media. If you chose to attack people or lie in the rallies, it can bring down your favorability

  33. The update with Issue Spectra, Favorability, and Voting Blocs? It will take some time, I can’t say more than that at this point.

  34. four years later and you still haven’t delivered on half the promises you’ve made. pretty lousy considering you charge for these games but don’t follow through or hold yourself accountable

  35. @MAGA2024,

    Ya, only Favorability has been implemented so far.

    The second line in the post is there for a reason:

    “These may or may not be implemented, and this can change at any time.”

    Instead, the entire code base is being ported to a new language and technological framework. It had to be done, and once it’s done, we’ll be in a much better position to add new features, release on new operating systems, and so on.

Leave a Comment