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EA's E3 Lineup 54

Next Gen continues its rundown on E3 2006 offerings, with a listing of what EA will be bringing to the party. As far as I'm concerned, there's only one game on this list: "Spore - As a contrast to Crysis, consider Spore, a game where design is the be-all and end-all of the buzz surrounding it. Enthusiasts of game mechanics in both the player community and the industry itself have placed this game on an untouchable pedestal: the last great hope for innovation from the last great innovator in the industry, Will Wright. While we can concede that he may not be the 'last great innovator', there's no question that Wright has a long pedigree of thinking so powerfully outside the box that the box implodes from the pressure - The Sims in particular changed the way people thought about how to cater to different players. It also may very well be that Spore represents his most ambitious design yet - the player starts with a single-celled organism and ends up with a space-faring civilization. The whole thing is generated on the fly, meaning every player's race and culture will be different." Update: 04/26 22:14 GMT by Z : Sorry, I should point out these are the games *they* want to see at E3 from EA. I missed the disclaimer at the bottom the first time through.
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EA's E3 Lineup

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  • From the video footage and fact sheets I've seen on Spore, it looks like one of the best things to come out of Maxis since SIM Copter.

    It is unfortunate that in recent years Maxis has been a pawn to EA's money-hungry ways. Don't get me wrong, The Sims is an amazingly popular franchise that holds a special place in many peoples' lives (I personally like to find the most creative ways to kill my Sims). Other then The Sims and the continuation of SIM City, Maxis has been off the map.

    EA has been known to
  • Spore (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BigZaphod ( 12942 ) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @03:48PM (#15207096) Homepage
    Spore is the only game I care about at this point. It looks like damn cool tech - and it was made mostly by demoscene coders! You can't beat that! Hopefully there's a cool "greetz" cheatcode or something which activates a screen of flying and oscillating words, bright rotating and flashing background lines, and a rockin' retro MOD score blasting from the speakers.
  • Is it just me, or is EA somehow flooding the Slashdot news recently?

    this [slashdot.org] (today)
    overtime [slashdot.org] (today)
    e3 [slashdot.org] (yesterday)
    (monday) [slashdot.org]
  • by Duct Tape Jedi ( 802164 ) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @03:54PM (#15207146)
    There were no sports or movie based games on that list. You sure this is EA we're talking about right?
  • I had never given a shit about e3, although I'm quite an avid gamer, if you'd asked me a year ago, I couldn't have told you what e3 was. But since I first heard about spore, I've been counting the days to e3, hoping there'll be an update. I've decided to hold out my next pc upgrade until I know what I'll need to run spore.

    Let spore deliver on half of the promises Wright made last year, and I'll buy it. Please please please let it deliver on everything!

    oh yeah, and in case you still haven't seen it: s [google.com]
    • traditionally, all Maxis games are CPU-heavy, but this life simulation thing is practically guaranteed to be nuts. That's what is going to be the real problem here. Faster video cards are rolling out on like a monthly basis, but not so with the CPUs which have recently switched to increasing the number of cores, rather than the raw frequency. So, either Spore will require a dual core CPU or it will cut down on a bunch of features, or they are going to delay it for year.
  • by Shihar ( 153932 ) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @04:02PM (#15207213)
    I bet it will be super awesome just like Black and White was!

    You would think people would learn by now. Take the hype, divide it by 100, and that is what you really get in the end. Spore is going to promise the world and then deliver a rough facsimile of a tiny sliver of the world it promised. If the hype involves AI in a video game, divide that hype by 1000.

    I am not saying that it this game will suck. On the contrary, it might very well rock. I am just saying that the bullshit hype they are spewing right now is nothing but that, bullshit hype. The closest game I have seen to really living up to such hype has been Oblivion, and even then demons of Oblivion's "radiant AI" could have been renamed "AI in the magical kingdom of scripting".

    All of that said, I really do hope that some fresh ideas come out. Game developers have made me sick with the lack of originality and balls in their games over the past year or two. The only really guts project to come out in the past couple of years has been Oblivion. Outside of that, these past couple of years have been thoroughly underwhelming.

    Oh look, what is that? Another Halo with blandly generic FPS style gameplay that has been around since Doom and the original Quake? Yawn.
    • Considering Oblivion is basically Morrowind with better graphics, physics and AI, and Morrowind is better Daggerfall with better graphics, physics, and AI... well, Bethestha is more of an "evolution" studio than a "revolution" studio. Of course, all their games are excellent and there's nothing at all wrong with it, just that the example you give isn't that good.
    • ... or Fable, or any number of other "highly anticipated" titles. I have been a game reviewer for some years, and amazingly I still fall for one game a year being a truly groundbreaking title... it never happens. Fable, Guild Wars, Odama, and my next ones Okami and Spore.

      I've finally given up and pay no attention to the hype or press a game gets and am just pleasantly surprised when something new and cool breaks through like Katamari Damacy... caught me offgaurd totally.

      To be a true unknown it canlt have ye
    • by American AC in Paris ( 230456 ) * on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @05:15PM (#15207849) Homepage
      I bet it will be super awesome just like Black and White was!

      Wil Wright is not Peter Molyneux. A more appropriate sentence would have been, "I bet it will be super awesome just like The Sims was!".

      Spore is going to promise the world and then deliver a rough facsimile of a tiny sliver of the world it promised.

      Even simply watching his old presentation on the game makes me want to play it--and we're talking about rough-cut tech demos here, not four-color glossies, demos-on-rails, or pre-rendered FMV. Unless he's deviated -significantly- from what has already been shown or there are serious bugs in the final release, odds are it'll at least live up to the early tech demos--which, in my humble opinion, were seriously cool.

      I am just saying that the bullshit hype they are spewing right now is nothing but that, bullshit hype.

      We've already seen live, interactive demonstrations of much of the hype--I'm thinking particularly about the procedure-oriented behavior of your creatures and the building editor. (Consider, too, how much of the hype has been generated by community response to these previews as opposed to a concerted ad campaign.)

      All of that said, I really do hope that some fresh ideas come out.

      Agreed. As far as Spore is concerned, I see two big opportunities for this game to either soar or crash: powerful, easy-to-use editors and continuity of experience. I'm more concerned about the second issue: if the various stages of the game don't transition well, it could seriously detract from the gameplay.

      I'm expecting Spore to shine as an example of what a really good dev team can do with funding, math, talent, and pre-existing titles. Wright doesn't hide the fact that each stage of the game is firmly rooted in some pre-existing title or genre. What makes Spore so exciting is that we've never really had all these different genres wrapped up into one neat, sprawling, procedurally-run, community-driven video game.

      Think about "The Godfather" (the movie, not the book or game.) It didn't pioneer any significantly new ground in cinema. At root, it was an organized crime drama, which had been done before. It didn't introduce any substantial new technical milestone. Instead, it was brilliantly written, directed, acted, shot, and edited--they didn't do anything all that new, but they did everything amazingly well. That's what I'm hoping Spore will be--nothing we haven't seen before, but something that does it all very, very well.

      So yes, "wait and see", but I've got high hopes, and I think they're pretty well-founded...

      • The way spore is coded with procedural-oriented behavior. It would really simplify the process to also code the physic component of the game for a ppu card.Since it's an open ended game anything can happen. So your best bet is to code a physic engine as open as you can, to cover a maximum of possibility. Since you cannot prerender anything or have an artist define everything.Also it would allow realistic movement for you creature and their interaction with the environnement. From the fluid dynamic when you
      • I bet it will be super awesome just like Black and White was!

        Wil Wright is not Peter Molyneux. A more appropriate sentence would have been, "I bet it will be super awesome just like The Sims was!".

        Sim Life was complete shit, and would seem to have a lot more in common with Spore than either Peter Molyneux or The Sims.

    • by Jerf ( 17166 ) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @05:35PM (#15208004) Journal
      Take the hype, divide it by 100, and that is what you really get in the end.

      Naw, that's a crappy formula. That says the less hype the game gets, the worse it will be.

      I'd go for something more like "the upper bound of quality is inversely proportional to the hype". Even this has counterexamples, but it's much closer to true.

      (In the case of Spore, I am very skeptical because while I believe that a fun game of that description can be produced, I am not convinced that one iteration can jump that far. The more crazy things you try in one iteration, the more likely it is that at least one of them will wreck the game. I think this is what happened to Black and White; the "pet" alone wrecked the game for me, and there were a couple of other deal-breakers that bothered other people. The technology, on the other hand, was pretty impressive, and there was a fun game there if somebody had just taken a knife to several aspects of the game. What they needed to do was sneak up on the pet aspect, starting out simple and relatively unimportant, and developing it over several iterations until they eventually reached what they thought they had in the first Black and White, only this would have actually worked.)
      • You're looking at it backwards.

        You all seem to think that the hype is what causes the bad game.
        Publishers look at the game, they have people test it and play it, and then they determine how much hype and advertising will be needed in order to sell the product.

        If the game sucks, it needs more hype. if the game is intended for a smaller audience, which is not prone to heavy spending habits, it needs more hype. If the game stands on its own two feet, release lots of videos, and the people on the internet wil
        • by Jerf ( 17166 )
          In the equation A = B, A does not cause B, nor does B cause A. There's no causation claim, just a relationship claim. I'd never claim 'hype causes a bad game'. You didn't disagree with my point, you elaborated on it. Fairly well, I think. (Your "games standing on their own two feet" correspond to my clause about "exceptions", because such games are definitely exceptions.)

          As for Spore, I've seen the videos. But it's only slightly easier to determine how fun a game is to play from a video than to learn a lang
  • by Skotlake ( 891399 ) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @04:05PM (#15207240) Homepage
    From the article:

    Disclaimer: These are Next Generation's E3 picks which we are hopeful to see or are anticipating highly. This is not the publisher's official E3 lineup announcement.
  • Hail 2006 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dr. Eggman ( 932300 ) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @04:10PM (#15207282)
    2006 is shaping up to be the best year in gaming since, well a long time. Rise of Legends in May, Half-Life 2: Episode 1 in June, New Super Mario Bros. sometime in the summer, Nintendo Revolution toward the end of the year and I think the PS3's in there somewhere. Not to metion all the nice games that came out since january. If spore could squeeze it's self in somewhere towards the end, it'd be perfect. Otherwise 2006 and 2007 will be the best two gaming years since, well... a long time.
    • The new Super Mario Bros. is slated for release on May 15, 2006, according to Nintendo's American website. Now seeing how that's a couple of weeks away, I have my doubts.
  • Oh boy. Two games, Gray Company and Spores, are going to be relying heavily on it. The first directly and the second is going to be made by the same guy that gave us toilet training 101.

    If you ever played The Sims 1 or 2 you know that the biggest pain is to get your sims to not pee their pants. Especially the morning is a problem becauser they all need to go at once and if your house has only a dozen toilets for every member of the household well then they are all going to cue in front of one. Since my sim

    • In the Sims you don't have to be a money grubbing bastard per say but it's hard to live on welfare (something that similar to real life) or social security. I haven't played Sims 2 so I'm not sure if you can transfer money between people but I bet the answer is no. Anyways, I doubt the desire to play those two paths is high anyways.
    • The Sims, the only path is capatalist. There is no social security system in the game. So you can't be a stay at home single parent living of social security. Neither can you sponge of your parents.

      That's why we have infinite-money cheats. Now, if I can just find the money cheat for non-simulated life, I'll be set...

    • you forgot Black and White: - creature impossible to toilet train and leaves its poo everywhere - forget about being a purely evil god with an evil creature
    • Shrugs, I've created train based cities in sim city that worked pretty well. And implementing social programs in the sims in just silly they can only be expected to program so much.
  • Sim Earth? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Is it just me or does this seem like a rehash of Sim-earth?
  • To me, EA is just a company that sells sports games to Joe Sixpack that come out yearly with the "24 more polygons than the last version!" selling point, while the company clothes itself in the empty husks of other once-glorious companies that it purchased and ravaged to the bone long ago.

    Aside from the space-warping anomaly of Will Wright's Spore (that might collapse under the gravity of its own hype at any moment,) is anything to do with EA actually News for Nerds or Stuff That Matters?
  • Calling all trolls? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by casualsax3 ( 875131 )
    If ever there was an article that deserved to be blasted by the thousands of haters who hover here everyday - this is it.

    The company that's doing its best to stifle the industry is talking about a single interesting title, and suddenly we let them off the hook for being complete bastards? No thanks. More EA bashing please.

    • Hear Hear!

      But remember, I has never been done successfully before, so it will never be done successfully in the future! If the luddites had their way, Linux would stop fighting MS for market share...

      cue the asbestos underpants!

  • May I predict what the list is?

    NHL Hockey 2007
    The Sims 3
    (insert some random silly The Sims addons)
    Sim City 5
    Battlefield (insert random number)
    Command and Conquer 4 (or are we at 5 already?)
    Battle for Middle Earth 3
    Need for Speed Underground 3 (4? 5? I can't remember)
    Halflife 3 (preview)
    Burnout 4
    FIFA Soccer 2007
  • Will Wright's reputation is well-deserved.


    Plenty of people can think outside boxes. You can probably do it yourself. Thinking different comes not from intrinsic ability, but because a person has learned insufficently to be the same.

    And "The last great innovator in the industry" is that way only because he's allowed to be. Wright is, unquestionably, a genius, but there are other geniuses, whose names you've never heard of, and probably never will.

The rich get rich, and the poor get poorer. The haves get more, the have-nots die.