A winning campaign consists of two key components. First, there must be undecideds you can win to your column. To increase the percentage of undecideds, you (or someone else) must attack another candidate. Second, you must win undecideds into your column, by boasting about yourself.
For example, in your Theme, a mix of one attack and two boast components usually works well. If there are few undecideds, or a candidate has a very high percentage in a primary state, say, then you might want to increase the attacks to two components in your Theme.
The number of voters you strengthen on your side, or weaken on an opponent’s side, is related to momentum. Momentum is per issue. Each issue has a maximum amount of (positive or negative) momentum associated with it, which is then multiplied by its profile.
It’s grueling. You’ll get dragged through the mud. You’ll get kicked when you’re down. Politics, anyone?
How to Win
President Infinity is a game about American Presidential politics. Your goal is simple: win the election. How do you do that? In short, win your party’s primaries (if you start with the primaries option on) and then get the most Electoral Votes in the general election.
To elect a nominee for President, the two major parties have primaries. The primaries are actually a mix of primaries and caucuses. Some primaries are “open,” meaning that people who are not registered in that party can still vote in that primary, and some are “closed,” meaning that only registered party members can vote. Caucuses are like closed primaries. If a candidate has more appeal with independents or even people who are registered with another party, then closed primaries or caucuses can be more challenging to win for that candidate. After each primary or caucus, delegates are selected to attend the party’s national convention. Typically, these delegates will be pledged to one candidate or another. Whichever candidate gets a majority of delegates voting for them at their party’s convention wins the party’s nomination, and can proceed to the general election.
Understanding Electoral Votes
In the general election, each state has a certain number of Electoral Votes. In 2008 there are 538 Electoral Votes in all. California has the most Electoral Votes, at 55. Texas is second, with 38.
Whichever candidate has the majority of Electoral Votes becomes President.
Each state’s Electoral Votes are all-or-nothing. That means whoever has the most normal votes (any vote cast by a registered voter – you or I) in a state gets ALL the Electoral Votes. For example, if you got 51% of the vote in Texas, you would get 100% of the Electoral Votes from Texas.
Whichever candidate has more than 50% of the Electoral Votes wins the game. In the 2016 scenario, you will need 270 Electoral Votes to win.
What if there is a three (or more) way split, and no one gets 270 or more Electoral Votes? Then Congress decides between the top two contenders.
How do I …
Q. How do I move my candidate?
A. To move your candidate, from the Main Screen click the Activities Button (a crown). Then, click the Move Button (an airplane). Then click where you want your candidate to move on the Main Map. Then select the activity you want to do in that state by clicking one of the activity buttons. To move to multiple states in one turn, after selecting the first activity, click the Move Button again, and select a second location on the Main Map. Then select the activity you want to do in the second state. And so on.
Q. How do I move my VP candidate?
A. To move your VP candidate, from the Main Screen click the Activities Button (a crown). Then, click the Toggle Button (again, a crown). Then, click the Move Button (an airplane). Then click where you want your candidate to move on the Main Map. Then select the activity you want to do in that state by clicking one of the activity buttons. To move to multiple states in one turn, after selecting the first activity, click the Move Button again, and select a second location on the Main Map. Then select the activity you want to do in the second state. And so on.
Q. How do I rest my candidate effectively?
A. To rest a candidate effectively, go to their homestate and don’t schedule any activities for them for a turn. You can repeat this until your candidate has the desired number of Energy Points.
Q. How do I win the early primary states?
A. Create lots of positive ads (pick 3 issues, say), and negative ads on whomever is your strongest opponent. Build up regional Org. Strength and Footsoldiers. Barnstorm and send surrogates there.
Screen By Screen
- Start Screen
- Select Scenario & Parties Screen
- Leader & Party Information Screen
- Main Screen
- Options Screen
- Strategy Screen
- Endorsers Screen
- Spin (News) Screen
This is the first screen after the splash screen that you will see. At the top left is the Options Button and the Help Button.
To check if you have the latest version of President Infinity, click the Update Button. Note: we will be updating the game frequently up until the election. Please keep in mind that if you have a save file and then update, you will not be able to load the save game. Rather, you will have to start a new game.
Select Scenario & Parties Screen
Select the scenario options
There are several scenario options that can affect game play and strategy. To enable an option, on the Select Scenarios & Parties screen click the button to toggle whether it is selected.
- Primaries. If on, the game starts at the beginning of the parties’ primaries. You must first win your party’s primaries, and then win the general election. If off, the game starts at the beginning of the general election.
- Computer Difficulty. If harder, computer players receive bonuses when playing.
- Simulation. This controls whether, instead of playing a game, it is rather simulated a given number of times, which only the results being shown. If this is checked, instead of playing a game, you will go to the Sim Screen after clicking Continue, where you can rapidly run the campaign a given number of times, where only results are shown.
You can click More Options to set more options for the campaign.
- Spies. Enables you to create spies to infiltrate other candidates’ headquarters. Turned on by default.
- Fog of War. When enabled, public polls are not always accurate. Turned on by default.
- Voter Details. Voter Detail increases the number of virtual voters in the sim. This is important in particular if you have 3rd party primaries, where you need more voter resolution for realistic dynamics for that party. So, if 3rd party primaries are important to you, consider setting Voter Detail to a higher value for more realistic dynamics.
Select parties and number of players
Click the button below each of the party or candidate graphics to choose Human, Computer, or Off.
If the Primaries option is on, you can click the Notes Button next to the candidate to view that candidate’s attributes.
Select computer player difficulty level
Click the Computer Difficulty Button to change how difficult the computer players are to beat. Either Easy, Medium, or Hard. The more difficult, the higher the highscore bonus for a human player.
President Infinity currently includes the 2016, 2012, 2008, 1968, and 1912 campaigns. Additional campaigns may be added in the future. If they are added in a future update, you can select to play a different scenario by clicking the Change Campaigns Button.
Press ‘k’ on the keyboard to enable KickStarter surrogate and endorser rewards (if the official 2016 campaign is selected).
Leader & Party Information Screen
In this screen you will be able to choose the Presidential candidates for the game, and (if starting in general election mode) the Vice-Presidential nominees.
If you reach your ‘Party goal for this election’, there is +50 to your high score.
Each Presidential candidate has a number of attributes, from 1 to 5, 5 being best. If you hover your mouse icon over the icon next to an attribute, it will describe what that attribute does.
Leadership reflects a candidate’s leadership abilities, including executive and managerial abilities.
Experience refers to relevant experience. What this means varies from campaign to campaign – sometimes, experience in the Senate is relevant, other times its business experience, or experience as Governor, and so on. To an extent it also includes campaigning experience, but this isn’t the main part of it.
Integrity reflects personal character, and also includes whether the candidate says what they believe or whether they take positions merely out of political expediency.
To view your Presidential candidate’s campaign attributes, click the Click To Toggle Info Button. You will then see the campaign attributes. If you hover your mouse icon over the icon next to an attribute, it will describe what that attribute does.
If you are starting in general election mode, you will have the option to view your Vice-Presidential nominee’s info. Click the View VP Info Button. This will list the VP nominee’s attributes, as well as the percentages bonuses you will gain in any states if you choose that person as your VP nominee.
There are several areas on the main screen.
Main Map Area
The Main Map displays the country, divided by state, district, or territory (henceforward abbreviated as ‘state’). Each state displays the color of the candidate who is leading in that unit. The darker the shade of the candidate’s color, the larger the lead. If the state is too close to call (a statistical tie), then it is white.
To select a state to view, click it on the Main Map. To select the entire nation, click on the map somewhere where there isn’t a state. To view detailed information on a state, once it is selected click it again.
Candidate Info Area
The Candidate Info Area displays a picture of your Presidential Candidate (or Vice-Presidential Candidate if they are selected through the Activities Button, or a Surrogate picture if they are selected through the Surrogates Button).
The Candidate Info Area displays Command Points, Energy Points, and Funds.
The number of Command Points your candidate’s campaign has left for that turn. So, 4/8 would indicate you have 4 points remaining out of a total of 8. You can click the Command Points Button for details on Command Point usage for the turn.
The number of Energy Points your candidate has left for that turn. So, 90/100 would indicate that you have 90 points remaining out of a total of 100. Once your Energy Points drop below 50 (indicated by the color becoming red), you are in danger of making a gaffe if you campaign. Energy Points are restored each turn.
The Funds you have available, and the net change in Funds from last turn. You can click the Funds Button for details on expenses from last turn.
Polling Graph Area
This area contains a graph of polling numbers from the start of the campaign. By default, it displays tracking percentages for each candidate.
Polling Numbers Area
This area displays numbers for the most recent polling data for each candidate displayed, as well as undecideds. Next to those numbers are the change in the numbers from the last poll.
To the right of the numbers is the flag of the state currently selected on the map. To view some extra information about the state, move the mouse over the flag.
Seats Bar Chart Area
This displays the seats (Primaries) or Electoral Votes (general election) each candidate is projected or has won in the selected state. The color indicates the depth of support for those seats.
If you are in the primaries, a Delegate Count Button is to the top left of the seat bars. Click this to switch between projected seats (default) and seats from completed elections (delegates locked up). When viewing completed elections, the line in the middle represents the number of seats required to win a majority of delegates.
To the top right is a Projected Electoral Vote Swing Button. This displays the swing in Electoral Votes for the state selected, compared to the previous election. So, if playing 2016 it would be compared to the 2012 outcome.
These are the buttons for taking various actions during your turn. Hover over a button to see what it is for.
Once you have clicked a button during a turn, the line preceding it will turn from blue to yellow, to indicate that you have already clicked it. The buttons have numbers 1. through 12. next to them.
‘p’ selects percentages mode.
‘s’ or ‘d’ selects seats or delegates mode.
‘v’ selects popular vote mode.
‘f’ selects favorability mode.
‘m’ selects momentum mode.
‘c’ selects completed seats mode (primaries).
‘t’ shows the Strategy Screen.
‘n’ (next) to click the Done Turn Button.
When graph pop-up is showing, ‘Esc’ closes the graph pop-up.
When activities showing, ‘Esc’ returns to regular mode.
The Options Screen is accessible by clicking the clipboard icon on the top of the Main Screen or the Start Screen.
There are several options available. To turn them on or off, click the box next to the option. A checkmark will appear or disappear.
Whether to have sound in the game.
Whether the game will show help hints at the bottom of the screen when you hover over a button.
Whether the game will automatically save after you click Done. If so, it will be saved to a file called ‘autosave.sav’. To load this save file, click the Load option and select ‘autosav.sav’.
Every time the game autosaves, it will write to the same save file, so if you autosave during one game, then start another game and autosave during that game, the autosave file from the first game will be overwritten.
Show +- On Map
Whether the map on the Main Screen will show the change in percentages. These changes will only show up once a week, and indicate the change in difference between your candidate and the next (or most) strongest candidate. For example, if you were at 25% and the other candidate was at 30%, and the next week you were both at 27.5%, then the number displayed would be +5%.
‘Esc’ closes the screen.
To get an endorsement, your endorser score must reach 100 before anyone else’s.
Endorser scores can increase through several factors. 1. Offering PIPs. 2. Offering CPs. 3. Affinity increase.
1. PIPs cause your endorser score to increase by an amount that is dependent on the given endorser.
2. CPs cause your endorser score to increase by points equal to your campaign’s Command Strength. You can only use 1 CP per endorser per turn.
3. Affinity increases happen automatically, and are determined by several factors, including your Command Strength, your national polling numbers, your national momentum, and how close your platform is to the endorser’s position. These increases are greater if the endorser has become ‘leaning’ (+1) or ‘decided’ (+2) for your candidate. An endorser becomes leaning or decided when the difference in endorser scores between the candidate with the highest score and the candidate with the second highest score is above a certain amount.
Affinity increases will stop at 95. At that point, you must use PIPs or CPs to cross 100.
If you get an endorsement, some endorsers can become surrogates. It will say ‘potential surrogate’ on the Endorsers Screen. Once you have gained their endorsement, that potential surrogate is automatically put into your list of possible surrogates. You can then create the surrogate by going to the Surrogate Screen, and creating them as you would any other surrogate.
On the Platform Screen, the white vertical bar represents the regional center.
The gray vertical bar represents the party’s regional center (if applicable – this matters for the primaries).
The chevron (thing that looks like an arrow pointing upwards) is your position.
Spin (News) Screen
National news stories gives country-wide momentum, based on their Power.
Power is determined by Extent x Slant.
If the news story has a negative Slant, it is causing negative momentum. Positive Slant, positive momentum.
The news story is affecting momentum on the issue that is specified.
Most stories are only spinnable the first turn they appear. The exception is scandals, which are spinnable until they exhaust themselves.
If you select ‘spin’, ‘neutralize’, or ‘flip’ for a story about another player, you will decrease your Relations score with them.
If you select ‘help’ for a story about another player, you will increase your Relations score with them.
‘Spin’ will modify a news story’s slant by 1 (up or down, depending on whether it’s about yourself or another player).
‘Neutralize’ will reduce the story to 0 slant, and make it no longer spinnable (useful for scandals).
‘Flip’ will flip the slant to the opposite (for example, from -1 to +1), and reduce the extent by half.
‘Help’ will increase a news story’s slant by 1 (it can only be done for stories about other players).
Q. When spinning a story and getting a 100% chance of success, does it make a difference to spin it higher – to 150-200% for example –
or am I better to spend these ‘excess’ spin points elsewhere?
A. Currently, there is no added advantage if the chance of success is > 100%.
Q. My candidate never gets invited to any media appearances (interviews). Is there a setting I need to change or enable?
A. You have to click the Interviewer circle on the Spin Screen when it has > 0. Then check the relevant check-boxes.