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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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  • 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.
  • Calling all trolls? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by casualsax3 ( 875131 ) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @04:55PM (#15207667)
    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.

  • 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...

  • 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.)
  • by Jerf ( 17166 ) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @11:14PM (#15209719) Journal
    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 language just from hearing people speak, with no chance to interact. I remember how awesome the Black & White videos were, and how un-awesome the game is. I remember the zoom in from the sky to the worm in the apple. What the demo-er didn't tell you is that the worm in the apply is the only thing in the world that has detail that fine. Any number of such things could be going on in the Spore videos. We can't know.

    I'm not convinced the game is crap or anything; in fact I'm not convinced of much of anything, because we have almost no data. Been here, done this. I hope it succeeds. I'm just skeptical, and have good reason to expect failure.

"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982