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What Spore May Spawn 205

Posted by timothy
from the all-purpose-cleaner dept.
ches_grin writes with "A new look at Spore, including a slideshow that examines the broad influence that the game is expected to exert on fields ranging from law to education. From the article: 'Spore's unprecedented level of user-generated content is sure to send ripple effects through and beyond the video-game world. Could the mass-market game provide the tipping point for the burgeoning retail trend of mass customization? How will it redefine the roles of game designers and publishers alike? We asked a variety of experts to predict the economic, educational, legal, and other effects of the game.'"
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What Spore May Spawn

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  • If someone creates a Borg creature that takes over the game, whatever fun it had will be gone. I'd guess some advertisers will buy the rights to such characters, so that Pepsi will eat all your spores, but not long after, Coke will eat all those, etc.
    • Umm the multi-player simply doesn't work that way. I've read somewhere that the creatures that get randomly added as neighbors you can visit are placed in there with respect to your power. You won't have to face disgustingly powerful neighbors until you are almost equal in power.
  • news story? (Score:2, Insightful)

    news story? advertisement? what's the difference?
  • None of the above (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MuNansen (833037) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @11:47AM (#15750286)
    Because like all Will Wright games, people will try it and admire it for its creativity and inventiveness, and then go play something else that's a good deal more fun.
    • Re:None of the above (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Bodrius (191265) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @12:09PM (#15750507) Homepage
      This may be moderated as funny, but if you replace 'people' with 'gamers', I think it is quite correct.

      The interesting thing is that his target hasn't been 'gamers' for a while, if ever.

      And I still see non-gamers playing with their Sims and virtual doll-houses longer than I could think humanly enjoyable.
      They don't play his games because of his creativity, inventiveness and reputation. They don't have any idea who Will Wright is, and to be honest, they would never call the Sims 'creative' or 'inventive' in any way.

      They still play it because it is just a game, and they enjoy playing it.
      And maybe because they didn't have to spend a quarter of their free time honing reflexes and virtual skillz to 'p0wn and not be p0wned'.

      • I really can't see Spore reaching the 'moms and girlfriends' market the way The Sims did. The Sims does indeed represent a virtual dollhouse, but Spore is something else all together. Outside of 'gamers', Spore is only likely to interest the kind of people who are really interested in things like micro-biology, evolution, space exploration, etc. That doesn't doom it to failure, but I don't see it having the mass market success of The Sims.
        • I think you're missing the point when you think Spore only appeals to the geek interests its technology implies.
          Based on that reasoning you could say that SimCity only appeals to urban engineers and game theorists, or a closer analogy, that the Tamagotchi was a toy for biologists and zoologists.

          It's not about such a specific demographic. Frankly, for the Sims, I don't think it was about so much 'moms and girlfriends'.
          That was just the most atypical gamer segment and easy to point out, but the user base was
        • it deals with all the topics you are talking about, it broke records of audience in many countries.

          If you present a topic properly (any topic) you can make it interesting for any person with the most basic curiosity.
      • by MuNansen (833037)
        Who plays Sims, though, mostly? Young girls. Sim City was interesting to non-gamers because they got to play god with a situation familiar to them: human cities. Spore will neither attract young girls nor attract anywhere near the number of non-gamers Sim City did. Basically Will's come full circle back around to Populous. And hardly anyone played Populous. This enormous effect that Wright games are going to have on the industry never surface. Yes a bunch of games tried to clone The Sim's success. N
        • Who plays Sims, though, mostly? Young girls.

          An assumption not borne out by even a brief visit to the Sims newsgroups or forums.

          Sim City was interesting to non-gamers because they got to play god with a situation familiar to them: human cities.

          Sim City players are playing a game - by definition, they are gamers. not the same niche as Halo, or FF, but gamers none-the-less.

          Spore will neither attract young girls nor attract anywhere near the number of non-gamers Sim City did. Bas

          • The reality is that Will Wright has revolutionized the industry at least twice - and is paused to do so again.

            I think you mean poised, but you're correct about everything else. The Sim style games aren't generally popular among the same crowd that plays most of the other genres, but that segment also vastly outnumbers the rest of us. Not a niche by any means. Too bad FUD gets modded up over fact.
      • If you read the caption, screenshot 4 isn't from Spore, it's from a US military sim - the quote is from the president of a sim company called BreakAway, and he's making predictions of Spore as a sim platform.
    • funny perhaps... but I don't know how many months I wasted playing simcity back in the day.... most of them included "lets see what happens if I put godzilla next to a farm of nuclear reactors"
    • Penny Arcade said it very well [penny-arcade.com].
      • You know, I just posted this, and now I feel bad. It's not Will Wright's fault that the gaming press is a bunch of howler monkeys who are incapable of making the statement, "Will Wright requests the creation of games that are genuinely unusual, while still making some amount of effort to maintain playability, and generally they sell pretty well. Good for him!" without it coming out as "Will Wright, single-handed creator of such breathatking masterpieces as 'The Sims' and 'Black & White,' has outdone M
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Or does the 4th slide look like it's from C&C Generals? How is that incorporated into Spore? Can I turn my 7 legged, beaked, tentacled, wingged, silver-backed behemoth into a war powerhouse by picking up the remains of my fallen foes like the GLA? FOR MY PEOPLE!!!!!
  • Yeh Right (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 20, 2006 @11:48AM (#15750302)
    This game will dissapoint in much the same way Black and White promised us the world and turned out slightly dull.
    • by Corngood (736783)
      Spore seems like even less of a 'game' than Black and White.

      I hope you don't get modded down to much by people who are caught up in the hype. Hell, we are looking at an article which is basically about how Spore will change the world as we know it. I think that's slightly out of control, in the end most of us will just move on to something else after a week or so (like we did after B&W). I'm certain it will be a technical masterpiece (as with B&W again), but that alone will never be enough.
      • I don't think Spore will "change the world" and I believe it will have its shortcomings like other games, but I'm still happy that despite the harsh climate of the computer game industry and how tough it is to succeed, even moreso getting companies to bet your money on your team, that "games" like these can get developed. If I'd chose the computer gaming subject to complain about, I'd rather complain about yet another World War FPS being too similar to others, than a rather unique game not being a typical "
      • Agreed 100%. The very first 3 words that entered my mind when I read the summary were "Black and White".

        What amazes me most is that (Black and White creator) Peter Molyneux is held up by the media as the greatest British videogame designer of all time, almost a British Shigeru Miyamoto. Yet, since he created Populous, he's done little more than releaase the same game a dozen times with a different skin on it. The guy has no new ideas outside the God Game genre, and few within the genre itself.

    • if you don't like the genre that's one thing, but saying that Will Wright's game will be bad because Peter Molyneux's game wasn't what you expected is at least as speculative as the premise of this article predicting that Spore will be a cultural dynamo.
  • Sounds cool... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ereshiere (945922) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @11:48AM (#15750305)
    ...but how long does a game last? The old video of WW playing Spore seemed to take only a couple of minutes. He zoomed right through it all--completely unlike the other Sim games, which take forever to play (at least without cheating). Also, a card game? WTF?
    • Don't you think people would want to see all the cool stuff that the game has to offer without having to wait several days / weeks for results? It was all "fast fowarded" to keep the presentation short(er) than it was. I remember it being really, really long to begin with.
    • Re:Sounds cool... (Score:2, Informative)

      by rockchops (866057)
      Well, the point of the videos was a demo . The point was to cover all of the phases of the game in a reasonable amount of time to expose us to all or most of the game elements. I do believe it was mentioned in at least one of the demos that the final game was being very much paraphrased, and that each phase would take a substantially longer time to advance.

      As for the card game, WW explains in the E3 demo that a new "cool factor" that they are trying out with the game is the ability to make a tradable ca
  • Everytime i read a new review on this game the pins and needles im on multiply. This game can not come out soon enough!
  • "It may not be there in the same form in the final game, but you could also hit a menu item and send your creature to Maxis' 3D printer, which automatically creates a model of it. It is likely that a model-making service (which will probably require payment) will be available when the game appears."

    Holy shit how cool would that be? Unless they became sentient and we had to welcome our new 3-legged overlords.
    • Holy shit how cool would that be? Unless they became sentient and we had to welcome our new 3-legged overlords

      Wow, if something like that would ever happen, we should have to welcome the era of raging clones. Want a clone of yourself? Upload your DNA data (that would probably take a lot of time) and send it to the 3D printer. It becomes sentient (and alive because of that) by some weird method, and bam! instant clone.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 20, 2006 @11:51AM (#15750322)
    We will finally have world peace. Linux and Mac will each own 50% of the desktop market. BSD will stop dying. Democrats and Republicans will start making sense. And a few years later we will all get Alzheimer's.
  • Considering people make anything and everything for The Sims 2, I can't see how Spore is going to have more than "everything".
    • If I read the article correctly then you will be able to buy models of the animals you create. That is pretty neat and impressive if you ask me. Also, the article hints at the same idea in creating your own cars in a card game. This whole game is starting to remind me of second life only this time it's crossing over.
  • Videos of Gameplay (Score:5, Informative)

    by se7en11 (833841) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @11:52AM (#15750337) Homepage
    These videos [google.com] might prove to give you a better idea of what the game is all about.

    If Robin Williams [google.com] likes the game, it must be good. ;)
    • If Robin Williams likes the game, it must be good. ;)

      Wow, if you guys watch that video the parent linked to, stay around till the end when he's interviewed a little bit about the games he plays. He really knows his stuff.

  • Easy to read page (Score:5, Informative)

    by RickPartin (892479) * on Thursday July 20, 2006 @11:53AM (#15750347) Homepage
    Nice clean printer friendly version. Yum. http://www.businessweek.com/print/innovate/content /jul2006/id20060720_289503.htm [businessweek.com]
  • by us7892 (655683) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @11:54AM (#15750364) Homepage
    Sounds like an interesting game to play. It mentions the "space phase" as the "business end" of the game. The database of content created by players can be shared between other players. Not sure exactly what this means. Maybe as simple as evolved planets can be visited by others, and tens of thousands of users will be able to have quite unique planets, none too similar. And technology can be passed from race to race.

    Does this mean that my "planet", which I spent 2 months building after I spent 3 months evolving my race, can be wiped out by an evil player who simply wants to nuke everything in site? I hope I have time to spend 2 months on defense systems...

    Another year to release...wow. Nothing ever lives up to the hype.
    • It has been a month or so since I have watched the Spore video, but from what I can remember you are not actually playing online against other people. Instead the whole universe is your own separate universe and populated by creatures and planets which are designed by other users. (But not controlled by them).
    • Does this mean that my "planet", which I spent 2 months building after I spent 3 months evolving my race, can be wiped out by an evil player who simply wants to nuke everything in site? I hope I have time to spend 2 months on defense systems...

      From what I've heard about the game, the content you make gets shared with every player, but you're still in your own, isolated universe. There's no interaction with other players other than the creatures and stuff you create. And your whole universe is always on the

    • by sho222 (834270) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @12:11PM (#15750530)
      Does this mean that my "planet", which I spent 2 months building after I spent 3 months evolving my race, can be wiped out by an evil player who simply wants to nuke everything in site?


      No, your planet (or your species, rather) will appear on planets in other players' game instances. Interactions between those players and your species will be local to their game only, and not affect yours. Imagine it this way: instead of Spore shipping with a set of "other" creatures, it will reach out to a central DB and pull back creatures created by other players. Your creature may end up dominating my puny one-legged hoppers, but you'll never know.
      • "No, your planet (or your species, rather) will appear on planets in other players' game instances. Interactions between those players and your species will be local to their game only, and not affect yours. Imagine it this way: instead of Spore shipping with a set of "other" creatures, it will reach out to a central DB and pull back creatures created by other players. Your creature may end up dominating my puny one-legged hoppers, but you'll never know."

        And here is the big area where I feel Spore will fal

      • Your creature may end up dominating my puny one-legged hoppers, but you'll never know.

        Actually, I hope they would let me _know, as part of player stats/history. They could possibly even include a somehow automated description of events (is that possible in an interesting way, technically?) and/or user blogs where you can describe your events as if you were a blogger in Iraq. Possibly even spectator areas (you would have to opt-in to be able to being watched.
        It would be enough to be unable to _influence the
    • It's passive. It imports data from other people's games into universe. But that's all. Yes, they can download your species and wipe them out - in THEIR GAME. You, meanwhile, can download their species and wipe them out in YOUR game. There's no real multiplayer going on here. It's just a cheap and imaginative way to generate content.
    • Okay, I watched the 1 hour demo. It really looks impressive. I admit. The shared content does make sense. Other players planets and creatures, and items, are shared among everyone, throught the Spore database. And the Spore online databsae sounds like it would be smart, resorting content, delivering the best based on criteria. It was explained pretty well in the demo. I'm sold. A great creative universe. When can I buy it? Dammit! Another year!
  • The jury's out... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by retro128 (318602) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @11:56AM (#15750383)
    It sounds cool and looks cool, but I want to get my hands on it before I decide. I hope it's not like Wil's other games where it's fun in the beginning but then just gets tedious as you get farther along. The Sims was fun for me at first, but I ended up hating it because all I ended up doing was chasing the stats instead of doing cool stuff like putting them in unique predicaments. Those damned Sims have to hit the can more than my girlfriend.

    With that said, even if Spore isn't as great as everyone makes it out to be, I'm hoping it will spawn a new class of games that use procedurally generated content for some incredibly unique gaming experiences.
  • by Tackhead (54550) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @11:57AM (#15750396)
    Pretty good article, right up until the last paragraph, where we get change the subject so fast I got whiplash.

    If you are feeling particularly vindictive toward a planet, you can hover above it and indulge in a spot of terraforming - such as submerging the main city under a lake. And you can acquire nuclear weapons that completely destroy planets, which is why Will Wright developed Spore's database system, which sucks up and redistributes content created by other players (apparently, a fully compressed creature occupies a mere 3Kb).

    The "nukes" gameplay feature drove the fundamental design decision to enable user-created content?

    What. The. Fuck?

  • by Chris_Jefferson (581445) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @12:00PM (#15750428) Homepage
    Spore will turn out to be a good idea, but have the odd spot of poor execution. There won't actually be that many ways in which you can evolve creatures, and there will be fairly obviously fixed levels where you progress to another level of evolution. The game when first released will work poorly, and require a series of patches. The CD copy protection will be annoying. There will be many expansion packs.

    Don't get me wrong, I think Will Wright is great, and I think this game will be too. But I don't think it's going to "change the face of gaming", any more than the sim, simcity Psychonauts did (sure a lot of people bought the sims, but has it really effected anything else?)
    • WTF are you talking about? Did you pay attention to any of the videos? It sucks user-created content from userspace and integrates it into everyone else's game. Who the fuck needs an expansion pack when afterwards you could possibly cross-breed with any other creature in the game (possibly?) The only thing an expansion pack could do is maybe be a cheap 2K piece of code to allow creatures to just supernaturally float off the ground or something silly like that, simple engine optimizations and additions.
  • First of all, "mass customization" has been a meme for a while, but I think it's a bit premature to call the area "burgeoning". Most people still buy mass produced goods at Walmart, and customization of their computer consists of baby picture wallpaper and stains on the keyboard.

    Second, Spore may be the most flashy and well-executed variety of computer game that permits user customization or attempts to do things with evolution, but it is far from the first. And to be commercially successful and appeal to
  • unprecedented level of user-generated content is sure to send ripple effects through and beyond the video-game world. Could the mass-market game provide the tipping point for the burgeoning retail trend of mass customization? How will it redefine the roles of game designers and publishers alike? We asked a variety of experts to predict the economic, educational, legal, and other effects of the game.'"

    Wow do you need a cigarette? That has to be one really great game or are you a shil for the vendor?
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday July 20, 2006 @12:13PM (#15750542) Homepage Journal

    It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone but gamers want to interact with their environment. How long have we been screaming for fully deformable terrain? When I miss someone with a rocket launcher I want it to take out the fucking wall. Granted the technology hasn't been there, so it's understandable it's taken this long for even a few games to do such a thing.

    If you look around, just about every multiplayer game has some customization. At the lower end, you can usually pick colors. At the upper end, you have... Well, Spore :) Somewhere in the middle you have custom models, custom skins, tags, decals.

    But also, keep in mind that customization is the difference between good and great in a lot of genres. Sure, I still love Civilization 2, and play it. (Civ 3, on the other hand, I found to be ugly, with muddy graphics.) But Alpha Centauri keeps me captivated far longer, mostly because of all the things you can do with customizing units and so on.

    Gamers want control. Otherwise they could go live life, where you have much less of it. :)

    • by grumbel (592662) <grumbel@gmx.de> on Thursday July 20, 2006 @12:50PM (#15750839) Homepage
      ### How long have we been screaming for fully deformable terrain? When I miss someone with a rocket launcher I want it to take out the fucking wall. Granted the technology hasn't been there

      The technology was there back in 1994, see Magic Carpet or XCom:UFO, both have had fully destructable terrain. The throuble is that Doom recieved all the hype and instead of destructable terrain developers focused on developing static maps with precalculated shadows and stuff, which resulted in better locking games, but also games whoes levels simply couldn't be deformed at runtime anymore. The technologie simply moved into a direction that made destructable terrain an hard problem (BSP trees), while it was an pretty easy one before (tilemaps), so gameplay got axed to create flashier graphics.
      • X-Com is a 2.5 dimensional game; I'm really talking about 3d. X-Com is one of the best games ever made, but it's not immersive to any degree. I bought it for DOS back in the day, and I have it on PocketPC as well.
      • Mod parent up!

        Magic Carpet 1 & 2 was just SO much fun in multiplayer. And they had fully deformable terrain. There has been a few other games with the same features, but none as good as MC.
        The technology: free code for deformable 3D terrain has been available for several several years. Many like the terrain seen in MC.
    • It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone but gamers want to interact with their environment. How long have we been screaming for fully deformable terrain? When I miss someone with a rocket launcher I want it to take out the fucking wall. Granted the technology hasn't been there, so it's understandable it's taken this long for even a few games to do such a thing.

      Yes. I've been saying that for four fucking years. I won't play Yet Another FPS until they do something like this. No, Red Faction doesn't count. (Bec

      • It ate my does-no-equal sign. (Meant to say, Different does not equal prettier.) Thanks for robbing me of context, slashcode. sheesh. And now this: slow down cowboy slow down cowboy slow down cowboy slow down cowboy slow down cowboy slow down cowboy slow down cowboy slow down cowboy slow down cowboy slow down cowboy slow down cowboy slow down cowboy slow down cowboy slow down cowboy slow down cowboy slow down cowboy slow down cowboy slow down cowboy slow down cowboy slow down cowboy slow down cowboy slow d
  • They're talking about time and productivity lost, right?
  • by mashuren (886791) <dukeofthebump@gm a i l . com> on Thursday July 20, 2006 @12:15PM (#15750553) Homepage
    Spore isn't going to revolutionize anything. It's not going to change the landscape of videogaming as we know it. Spore is just a video game. Sure, an awesome, unusually creative, really fun videogame, but just a video game nonetheless. Everyone out there please stop hyping it so much, because the more you hype it, the more I raise my expectations, and eventually they're going to raise up so high that not even Will Wright will be able to meet them.

    Please, just let the game be, and we can talk about it after it comes out, okay?
  • Slashdot should filter out any article that has the word tipping point in it. Also, tipping points are not PROVIDED by anything. Fads (and the products and markets behind them) REACH a tipping point. Not mine, but: "Damn, why I always gotta be the busdriver? " Could another slashdotter provide the citation for this quote. It slips my mind.
  • From TFA:

    Even so, it is clearly going to take Maxis at least a year to stitch all the elements into a coherent whole.

    It seems to me that this game has been a year away for about a year now. Not a good sign. (Especially since two major sections of the game, one of them quite important, were not available to the reviewers.) Lots of hype here - very little meat.

    The publicity being generated around this game also reminds me of that which was generated in advance of [IT|Ginger|Segway].

  • I am ever so grateful that there is still at leat one designer willing to do huge, epic and different games. This comment is aimed solidly at David Braben. Elite II (Frontier) had the entire galaxy, each star, planet and rock condensed into a 500 kB game. All thanks to procedural generation and fractals, much like Spore. I know that Braben has planned an Elite III for many years which would be fully multi-player... Come on David, you know you want to...
  • by TooMuchEspressoGuy (763203) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @12:32PM (#15750699)
    Frankly, it doesn't look like Spore is going to be a game, so much as an interesting experiment in computer science. Good for people who like that sort of thing, but when I play a game, I want it to either test your reflexes in a fun way, make you think to overcome certain challenges, engross you in an intriguing story, or any combination of the three. It doesn't look like Spore will have any of these things, so I'll be saving my money come release day.

    Unless I'm wrong, that is... can anyone sell me on this game on the basis of the above points?

    • This of it as a toy instead of a game. Like a programmable robot, or an ant farm, or something like that.
    • Like most of Maxis' games, it's not a "twitch" game about reflexes, and it lacks a good story. Also like others, the challenges are largely created by the player. In SimCity and The Sims, there are some scenarois for more scripted challenges, but my impression was that the sandbox modes in these games were among the most popular ones.

      Given Spore's design, what's most interesting to me is the game difficulty. Will you almost always succeed in conquering several planets, only given enough time? Or will a desi
    • Oh, so taking over the galaxy, or surviving against other player's creations isn't challenging enough? Hello, Universe! Inter-fucking-galactic WARFARE with MILLIONS OF OTHER SPECIES...
  • by I Like Pudding (323363) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @12:33PM (#15750706)
    I am the most jaded gamer you can find, but this is a Will Wright game. WILL FUCKING WRIGHT. You know how American McGee get's his name plastered inexplicably onto shipping product? That's hype. Contrast that with a totally white box, save for the words "WILL WRIGHT MADE THIS" printed in bold on the front. That, my friends, is the closest thing you will get to guaranteed quality in the gaming industry.
  • Spore isn't going to revolutionize customzation. Hint 1: We've had customization since the begining of time.

    When you made a D&D character in table top games that was customization, games are adding more and more options in for that, but it's been around for ever. MMORPGs tend to have a great deal of customization as well. And Spore isn't even the only game that has such indepth customization. Remember a game called The Sims? Maybe you know the lead guy on it? Will Wright?

    Customization is a growing
  • Has anyone else noticed that the quote in the summary isn't actually in the article linked to? Do a serach for 'tipping point' and you'll find that it's not in there. The article the summary steals from sounds more interesting, the article linked to is just hype about Spore.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 20, 2006 @12:56PM (#15750879)
    Will Wright makes excellent games.

    But there are severe problems using them as educational material.

    SimCity's demolition is a case in point: $5 to bulldoze a city block. No fair market value, no Fifth Amendment (or the equivalent, if there are any), no neighborhood groups, no angry owner mounting a campaign against you.

    Maybe it's prophecy, and Will Wright foretold what America will be like post-Kelo [cornell.edu].

    Now of course, there are hundreds of games which have valuable educational content. With an appropriate counter-bias, even SimCity could be educational.

    But out-of-the-box, it trains people to become authoritarian apparatchiks.

    In interests of fairness, I should say that I was a programmer at Maxis. We were supposed to make non-violent games. Those who say we succeeded just don't realize how violent totalitarianism is.
    • It's funny that you mention this. I was chatting over lunch with an associate about how I was berated in by an english teacher once at college for playing RTS. His comment was something about the desensitizing nature of the games - I throw waves upon waves of troops against my opponent completely ignoring the causalities of war.

      Of course this being college, I pondered the topic, freaked out a bit, and eventually calmed down. It's a freaking game.

      Now addressing your aspect about how games are lacking real
  • I eagerly anticipate Spore, but I certainly don't think it revolutionize gaming. At best it will be the WoW of strategy games and at worst it will be overly ambitious and appeal primarily to a certain niche of gamers. Hopefully the game wont have excessively high system requirements, because if it does I think it will hinder sales.

    I do, unfortunately, expect this game to spawn countless uninspired clones.
  • I can't wait to get my hands on this game: To create my own little creatures. To explore the possibilities of life. To raise my own little species.. and then murder them by removing the ladder from their pools.
  • by IQpierce (444229) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @02:17PM (#15751439) Homepage Journal
    The article implies that Spore will 1) be wildly popular, and 2) be the beginning of a revolution in game development and design.

    I assert that it WILL prove to be a fantastic game; but that the rest of the game industry will be notably UNrevolutionized... because this is exactly what happened before.

    2000. The Sims is released. This is a totally new type of game; in some ways, a totally new form of fun. It sells through the roof, and to this day, there probably hasn't been a week that's gone by without The Sims or one of its sequels or expansions being somewhere on the Top 10 best-selling games list.

    Logically, this should be a watershed. In terms of the game industry's history, this should be on the level of the release of Wolfenstein 3D, or of Dune. In other words: a game this fun and money-making should spawn many other games like it; which will at first be sneered at as "rip-offs"; but in fact people come to realize that this is a new genre, and each new entry brings something new to the table. Then, sooner or later, someone (e.g. Blizzard in the RTS and MMO genres) will create a fantastically polished new entry that pushes the genre to its next level.

    But what happened with The Sims? We got "Singles" and "Playboy: The Mansion." That's pretty much it. There was no rush to make new "people simulators." The Sims still has essentially no competition - it is its own genre. Why hasn't it spawned a new genre? Lost Garden has some ideas about this. [lostgarden.com] I think it's a combination of being unwilling to take on the difficulty of a really hard game design problem; combined with an ironic risk-averseness (what could be less risky than following in the footsteps of The Sims? oh, I know, continuing to crank out FPS and RTS games); combined with developers being too proud to make something someone might call a "rip-off."

    Whatever the reason, I think it's going to repeat with Spore. Game developers have become too narrow-minded. Not only do they not try to conceive of a radically ambitious new type of game - like Spore - but even when one plops in their mist and draws the multitudes to it like the Monolith in 2001, they look at it for a moment and then go back to picking fleas off each other (i.e. making platform games) like they've always done... because they like doing that... and that's they're used to it... and they'll be totally safe doing that... until they get their skulls bashed in by the few apes that were smart enough to learn from the Monolith, that is.

    The game industry as a whole - mainly publishers, but many developers as well - is resisting change. They didn't attempt to adapt to The Sims, and they'll be similarly complacent in their response to Spore.
  • by EEBaum (520514) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @02:20PM (#15751463) Homepage
    Shouldn't we wait until the game is out to make such outrageous claims? For all we know (though I hope not), the gameplay could suck and the game could disappear into the bargain bin within a few weeks.
    • Didn't you view the slide show!? Spore's creature evolution will change the way our children learn, and its character creation tool will revolutionize the fields of design and marketing. Its sophisticated yet entertaining information displays and interfaces will facilitate a deep understanding of how physics drives the universe in all who play it. Its fully sentient aliens will learn to exist outside of the game, and then outside of the computer, and working in harmony they will establish peace in the Mi
  • One thing in the article that heralds a huge change - perhaps not via Spore, but it's coming - is the fact that they can print out models of your creatures using a 3D printer. They just sort of toss out that you might be able to pay a few bucks to a service and get your own plastic creatures made in the same way.

    Can you imagine the toy industry if this becomes popular? Using Spore's open-ended creature generation, plus the ability to make a plastic model for a relatively low-cost, and kids will be able to
    • This is a seriously cool idea, but how long before someone uses Spore and 3DP to make alien sex toys and gets the technology banned in Alabama?

      Hmmm.

      On second thought, if the printer-makers charge as much for the plastic composition used to lay out models as they do for inket ink, it will cost $500 just to make a gaming-miniature sized item.
  • ...let's all just get on with our lives, having babies, drinking alcohol, etc. and *when the game comes out*, we can start all the arguments about how good/bad it is.

    Personally, I have far too much interesting going on in my *own* life without feeling the need to go worrying about whether one particular game to be released sometime soon will be good or not. Yep, I may end up buying it and suffering severe sleep deprivation as a result of being unable to put it down - but for the moment, I've got walls to

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