Introduction: Hello! I usually go by my first initials R.F., but feel free to call me Rob (either work). For the past several weeks, I’ve been hard at working writing The People’s House, my first story with ChoiceScript. I’ve posted several updates in the Interest Check Thread, but now that I have a demo, all future updates will be posted here! I look forward to any and all feedback, suggestions, and comments.
The Plot: Congratulations! You’ve just been elected President of the United States. If you thought the campaign was hard, just wait. Political rivals, the media, and even members of your own Administration will work to take you and everything you’ve worked for down. Balance special interests, the desires of your Vice President, and your own personal goals as you try and keep your approval ratings from sinking underwater. You can try to keep a strong moral code, but it could end up costing you everything.
Play as gay or straight, male or female
Join the Republican or Democratic Party
Be a party loyalist or play the role of Maverick – you decide what policies to sign into law
Select your region and backstory before the White House, with the ability to choose from all fifty states!
Accept or reject bribes, and see if you can keep it under wraps
Now this is one I can get behind. I look forward to seeing this develop (hopefully some more background info like picking the state we come from rather than the region, and maybe getting a chance to make some choices about how we won the office).
This president-sim WIP is very fleshed out and political thus far. I will watch this with interest.
By the way, I wonder if later, you can set the ages of the child(ren), as well as their names and genders. A president with college-aged children is very differently seen from one with a young family, and the children can do different things based on age.
Agree, still hoping for a path that avoids the US Senate as a stepping stone however. In fact one that avoids the whole of Congress. Ideally I’d want my mc to come up through a state government and its governorship so as to be a relative Washington “outsider”. In fact I think that avoiding the national spotlight before a presidential campaign would be pretty essential for what I am trying to do running as a maverick gay “Republican”.
I know it’s completely unrealistic to how US politics actually work, but third party/independent would be nice. Though that may require a stat rework (or it could just be harder to stay in office, which would be true).
You can’t run third-party but you can run a unity ticket with a VP of the opposite party, which, although unrealistic with how polarized current politics is, has been done before and could be if everything mellowed out, so that’s probably the closest you’d get. I Second the governor background instead of congressional one as well, and it fits with the kind of character I’m trying to make, a moderate republican willing to work with anybody on either side of the aisle to get his agenda passed, and as a GOP governor in a democratic region, he’d have evidence to back it up that he could do it
You could also have the option to run independent but aim for one of the major party nominations, something Bernie Sanders tried twice and was allowed to do, which gives you a chance at winning the election without worrying about a three-way race but also lets you thumb your nose at the party establishment and go your own Way
Thanks to everyone so far who has taken the time out of their days to play my demo and to leave helpful comments and messages of support! I did want to reply to as many messages as I could.
Thank you @Xoromin for writing! Would you mind sharing which explanations you thought were a little vague? If it’s for the Executive Orders I’d be happy to flesh it out more. For your main legislative agenda, details are vague as it still needs to be drafted by Congress (which will happen later in the story) before more details are hammered out. I could also look into handing a “help” dialogue option if you just weren’t sure what some policies meant.
Thank you @Snowflower for your suggestion! This was definitely something I considered before releasing the demo. While I am definitely open to allowing you to name your children and pick their genders, I think that setting their age would make writing dialogue very time-consuming, but I still may add it once I’m closer to actually finishing the game later down the road.
I’m also unsure as to how I’d be able to pull of writing scenes with a variable amount of children (I’d have to re-write a scene with the President’s Family three or four times to account for how many different kids it would be possible to have). If anybody has any suggestions regarding how I can improve family/spouse relations, please let me know!
@idonotlikeusernames I think you’ve won me over. In my next update, I’ll be sure to take the time out of my day to write-in the ability to choose any state and to pick what you did before the Presidency. While I don’t know how much this will actually change gameplay, I have heard the suggestion from a few different people and think it’ll be worth-while to implement.
Thanks for the feedback @Sujan_Dhakal and @geldar! I do think it unlikely that I’d let the player be able to run as an independent when starting the game. This would require a complete rewrite of the code and the story, as many points in the plot and stats are completely based off of what party you select at the beginning.
With that being said, I am toying with the idea of allowing you to leave your political party and run for re-election as an independent. It will be near-impossible to win, as I did want the game to be as realistic as possible, but it would be an option for players. I really believe that in order to accurately write a story from the perspective of a first-term Independent President, it’d have to be a stand-alone game because of how differently the story would go when compared to the Republican/Democrat routes.
You could have a choice to say that your kid, upon your first inauguration, is: in kindergarten (6), in their freshman year of high school (14), in their last semester of college (22). Each one could lead to small variations in the scenes involving the family, as well as different special events for each age group. For example: an adult child could be appointed in the second term for a political post, for a big family and cabinet relationship increase, as well as a big increase in corruption and drop in approval. I’d advise having one child maximum at the start, if you still plan to allow MC to have a(nother) child with their spouse while in office.
Always cool seeing another political focused WIP, and an ambitious one at that!
I enjoyed the current demo, but I felt things were going a little quickly. It was as if every scene/situation had a single choice. My personal preference would be for fewer scenes but more involved; it feels like there’s a number of scenes with potential in the first chapter to develop the PC or the other characters. I understand if that’s not the type of thing you’re going for, given the aim to cover a whole term.
I hope the VPs will feature relatively significantly. It seems like that’s a promising area, especially with a unity government and the potential for conflict there.
Glad to hear about adding in the ability to choose a home state. Though I would personally like to see a variety of backgrounds aside from the current ones and governorship (perhaps military or legal), I’d prefer if there were fewer options but some slight impact/callbacks, rather than many for largely aesthetic reasons.
How will the “big tent” nature of the parties be depicted? I assume high rep with one party translate to an abstracted ability to whip them into supporting what policies you want pushed through? Also, presumably foreign relations will be included outside of the connections to Russia?
A lot of great questions and comments here so I wanted to write a specific reply to just your comment!
This is definitely something I have a lot planned for. Your VP pick will become very important the more I write. Going for a unity ticket can be very beneficial, but if your approval rating drops too low or your relationship with your VP deteriorates too much, it can and will backfire. I won’t say too much more on that to avoid any future spoilers.
I’m planning on adding a few more backgrounds, namely military and legal, to give you a little more say over what your character did before getting elected. Your comments on less options is definitely noted! I know the first Chapter is very choice-heavy as you need to pick your policies, cabinet, and create your character all at the beginning of the story.
I will say, though, the later in the story I write, the less choice-heavy I hope to make it. The next chapter will certainly have fewer options, and the choices you make in the first chapter will all be incredibly important to how the next chapter turns out for your character. I do promise that these choices, while there are a lot of them, aren’t just aesthetic. Who you choose for your Cabinet will directly impact what advice you’re given in certain situations (and may even determine what choices you’re able to select). What policies you select to pursue will have direct impacts on your relationship with parties and your approval rating, and some will even lead you to legal troubles and battles in the future.
This is pretty much how this mechanic will work. Because you aren’t able to play as an Independent, I did want to give the player as much power as possible to push the bounds of what their party believes in. As the game is written, it is completely possible that a Democratic President passes a ban on abortion in the future, assuming they have a high enough reputation with their party. While this element isn’t entirely realistic for some policy choices (Democrats in today’s America would never go for a total ban on abortion) I’m trying to find that balance between realism and fun, it is a fiction game after all.
Yes! Russia was the first nation I brought up in the Chapter because I wanted to give a taste of as much as I could in the demo. There will be, later in the story, a big focus on Foreign Relations. In the second chapter, you’ll have the opportunity to decide where you want to go on your first abroad trip as President, and that will also have an impact later on in the story. Much later on, I’m also planning on allowing for a potential war to break out, though that’s still in the very early stages of planning.
The main countries that, as of right now, I’m planning on including are Saudi Arabia, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, and Israel/Palestine. Obviously, this can (and probably will) change over time, but these six countries are some of the most involved in U.S. Foreign Policy today.
Hope that answered your questions, and glad you’ve enjoyed the demo!