Rise to Power (Working Title) (Chapter 1 WIP, 20% Done!)


Hello, everybody! It’s wonderful to be here on the CoG forums. I’ve been playing (and loving) CoG games for about a year now, and today I had the idea of perhaps trying my hand at making one myself! Needless to say, I was pretty excited when I found out that devving games for CoG was a completely open playing field!

I’ve decided to make a topic in the forum to pitch my idea for my game to other members of this forum, to see what people think of it and to get feedback on it. Yes, yes, I know. Another wannabe game dev who doesn’t even have the first line of code written, same old same old. Still, though, if you would hear me out and tell me what you think, I’d appreciate it.

Summary: CYOA about being an American politician, starting at the local/city level and rising all the way up to try to get elected President of the United States! If possible, I would like the player to be able to serve their terms as president, including the challenge of re-election!

Details: In terms of the political spectrum, I would have multiple stats to represent it, instead of just a simple “Liberal/Conservative” and/or “Left Wing/Right Wing” dichotomy.

The ideas I had so far would be something like:



State Economy/Laissez-Faire



…and a few others I’m still mulling over.

This is, of course, just the -public- perception of your politics; Going into full cynicism mode here, we all know that the -true- motives of many politicians aren’t quite the same as what they show to the public. And thus, character personality stats:

Honest/Pragmatic (More honest means the politics actually represent your views, more pragmatic means you’re just going for votes)

Clean/Ruthless (Up-front in your dealings, or a backstabbing sonnuvabitch? You decide!)

…and more!

There would be skills, too, obviously:


…and some others I need to get figured out.

You would have to balance your campaign funds (and potentially budgets, if you’re in an executive position) as well as your approval rating - Approval rating drops too low, and you’re outta there, pal!

I have some other ideas, as well, but I’ve already written far too much, so I don’t want to over-inundate you guys with any more. Let me know what you think! Also please feel free to tell me if somebody else has already made/is making a game like this. It would be disappointing if so, but I would like to try theirs out, even if it means that I’d have to come up with another idea!

For reference, I have extensive programming experience, and the quick overview I’ve had of ChoiceScript makes it seem like a pretty pick-up-and-go language. I would try to do most of the game by myself, writing and coding it personally, although I certainly wouldn’t reject help if anybody was interested!

EDIT: There’s a demo out, now! It’s just the prologue, but give it a try!


Best WIPs - 2015
Stupidly ambitious game development

Seems intresting, looking fordward to this


I don’t really recall any other titles like this, off the top of my head. I personally like the idea. My only question about it is: Is the main goal to just become President? You said you would like us to play out the term and try for re-election. So if we don’t get to be President, do we just lose? Or could we get shoe-horned into VP and spend our whole career trying to backstab the Pres, and assume direct control. Or…you know… we could be a good VP… Or we could go back to our old lives.

Overall I am just curious as to how this game would branch off if we lose the election.


That could be interesting. There haven’t been in stories written yet involving modern politics


Ah, politics. All the stats sound interesting, allowing the player to craft a politician with depth instead of just being for everything one party agrees with.


I had several ideas regarding that.

The simplest, easiest, but least enticing option is, yes, simply a game over. But, as you mentioned, there are better options.

First of all, if you fail at the primaries with high enough numbers in the polls, the candidate who won the primaries would tap you as their VP. This would result in a lot more work for the game, creating an entirely different chapter for being a VP rather than being the president. As the VP, you could work to undermine the president to force him to resign, to not seek a second term so you can jump at the opportunity, or if you’re crazy enough, try to get him assassinated! Go full Frank Underwood and all that. Of course, if you’re a more clean type of VP, you could work with your president to help make his term successful, and try for the presidency once his second term is over. Again, a lot more work for the game, but it would certainly prove interesting! Alternatively, you can retire happily with the president at the end of his second term, not achieving the highest office in the land, but still having left your mark on American politics, regardless.

Secondly, a sort of middle ground, was to simply give the player a second chance at the presidential elections; Four years later, the incumbent wouldn’t be running for re-election, so you can go in and do the whole campaign trail over again. This should be less work than a full chapter or two for being the VP, but still manages to keep the game going.

The end game would be about what kind of legacy you left as a politician, and, hopefully, as a president.

Anyways, some more details, since people seem to be interested:

The basic idea I had for the progression of the game would be over two or three decades, starting in the mid 90s or so, and going to the late 2020s. You would start out as a politician at the local level (A city assembly person, or similar), or as an intern for a federal/state-level politician’s campaign. After that, you would move up to running either for mayor or the state assembly/senate. The next level would be running either for governor or for the federal Senate or House of Representatives. Finally, of course, the penultimate campaign would be running for president. And, as mentioned in my first post, if you succeed, you would then go into serving out your term, trying to get re-elected, and serving out your second term as president.

I had a lot of ideas for character customization, as well.

The standards would be gender (The first presidential election would be 2020, so imagine being the first female president!), sexuality (First gay/bisexual president? I also had ideas for being a traditionalist “closet” LGBT person.), and the such. I also wanted to include religion, which is a big deal in American politics, whereby you could be a genuine Christian, or fake Christian faith in order to get votes. I would also allow you to be openly atheist, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, or other religions, which would, of course, play a part in the elections (It wouldn’t create entirely different chapters, but it would be brought up, and you would have to deal with it.) Finally, I would also allow ethnic choices - Caucasian, African, Hispanic/Mestizo, Asian Indian, East Asian, etc., with being an ethnic minority also playing in to the election slightly - Imagine being anti-immigration while being Hispanic!

Finally, there would be the choice of origin - Your parents’ social class and the city/rural area you were born in. The place you’re born in will affect the sort of politics you’re dealing with - Good luck being a progressive state economist in the South, or a traditionalist authoritarian in San Fransisco! - as well as having some options to affect your politics and personality. Lastly, you would choose what your major in college was, which will affect your skills, and the reason you decided to enter politics, which would affect your personality.

It’s a lot, I know, and even I’m worried that I might be being overly ambitious with this. But hey, I figure if I want to do this, I ought to do it right. Like I said, I have extensive experience and study with programming, so I should be able to wrangle ChoiceScript to work how I want it to.


Maybe if you are a prominent politician, you could form a new political party.


I had actually intended something along these lines.

In terms of political parties, there would be multiple options. The first two, obviously, are either Democrat or Republican. Alternatively, you can choose to go with one of the third parties - Libertarian, Green, or Constitutionalist. Finally, you can go independent. Obviously, the latter two choices become increasingly more difficult to win elections with as you reach higher levels of political status; It’s easy enough to win as an independent or third party candidate at the local level or for state assembly, but for federal Senate or state Governor positions, let alone being elected President? Hooooo boy. Such an option would be a challenge option, although there would be benefits to doing such, namely freedom to choose your political ideology (Your selected party will get mad and potentially run you out if you don’t conform closely enough to their ideology) and not having to deal with party politics.

Working on a demo for you folks right now!


One of the better ideas for a game that I have ever seen around here. I have played about 20 games from hosted and choice of games, but I never felt the need to create an account here in the forum, despite the big amount of time spent reading the topics. But for your game, for your fantastic idea? I had to register an account to give you my support, that is how much I like your project. There isn’t any kind of game like that out there in the market, and I really want to play it.

Good luck and good work.


Oh gosh, you’re making me blush.

Anyways, folks, I’m going to get a demo out today, featuring the prologue from character creation to college, right up until you decide whether you’re going to enter local politics or work as an intern for a political campaign as your first step into the political world. After that, I’m going to try to get the local politics chapter out within a week, and then the intern chapter a week after that.


I really like the idea of having the choice to become VP or to stay put and wait for the next election, it would be much better than to limit the course of the game to conquest the White House. But all that must be decided by you when the time comes. I can only guess how much work does a person have in creating a good multiple choice story, with the writing, the programming and the personal life.

That being said, whatever you decide on that matter I just want to make a suggestion. I hate sudden endings or rushed endings . After we loose the elections or whatever event that marks the end of our political career, we should get two or three more choices that will define our life after that.

My character could, for example, remain many years as a Senator, as a Governor, or as a spokesman for a cause or organization that he really believes in, he could become a teacher in an university, become a novelist (ok, that may be a bit unrealistic), or he can just enjoy retirement. There could even be some personal stuff to resolve.

I just don’t want to fail at the elections (or whatever game-ending event) and read an epilogue determined only is my past choices. My character can be a very militant and strong-willed politician, but after all that, he can want to enjoy a quiet life away from the public, no speeches, no great causes to defend, nothing :sunglasses: . I would really like some degree of control over the aftermath of the political career.

Sorry for the wall of text, but I have never been this excited for a project in a long time (it even surpasses my need to play the demo of Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven a thousand times :sweat_smile:). Count with my regular (possibly irritating but hopefully contributing) presence over here.


How do we react to loosing the nomination for President? Can we pull a “Theodore Roosevelt” and form a new party for the election?


Will there be SCANDALS?! Please tell me there will be Scandals!!!


Only presidents it seems have never been Independents, since the first. There have been independent governors (Ventura) and independent Senators, like a self-declared socialist from Vermont, so it ought to be difficult but not impossible to rise to the top as an independent politician. Doing so with one of the third parties on the other hand is going to be the nightmare mode, though there might be an opening for a very well played green party the way I see it.
For one, the US has usually had a gaping hole on the left side of the political spectrum that none of the major parties has dared to address since the formal end of the cold war. A green on the outside red on the inside Green party could attempt to fill that void.
If presented more as a move towards a sensible and sustainable economy instead of hippy, feel-good, environmental activism a Green economic agenda doesn’t have to be anti-capitalist and could work in the US.
If it’s a stronger party by the alt 2010’s such a green party might also be able to capitalize on things such as California’s now seemingly permanent water crisis.
To be successful any third party would really need to work on changing politics at state level first, if an alternate Green party could change California alone, that would be a huge success that could provide it with the strong regional basis to eventually catapult it to federal prominence.

Good luck with this ambitious project, but playing a liberal, perhaps even leftist, Frank Underwood like character sounds like it’d be a lot of fun.


Can’t FREAKING wait for the demo!! XP


There will be scandals, yes! I intend it to be a percentage meter that determines a sort of political “heat” that raises with scandals, some unavoidable and some caused by your own actions - the higher it gets, the greater the effect on your approval rating and standing in the polls, and a greater number of negative events involving the media will occur. The way you handle the scandals will, of course, affect many things - You can try to cover it all up, shift the blame onto somebody else, or simply accept responsibility. Each one will have different drawbacks and benefits, of course, as will almost every decision in the game.

Prologue demo will be out sometime today! I promise this time, too! :smiley:


Can we be like donald trump?


Going to go for that big fat (I) behind my char’s name for his entire career. Will there be one of those in-game achievements for spectacular success as a third-party or independent politician?

Although, at some point I imagine that just like Sanders irl, my character will eventually end up caucusing with the Democrats, because the GOP has just fallen too far from being “Lincoln’s party” for me to take them seriously anymore. They might as well start calling themselves, the raving loony reactionary party should Trump become their candidate this election cycle.


@faewkless, the hair would be the hardest part.


It would also be the best.