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Topics - Petike

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Spore: General / Maxis reacts on "science vs. cute" debate
« on: November 05, 2008, 06:16:35 am »
From the official Spore forums.

Quote from: MaxisLucy
Hi all. I wanted to weigh in on this thread. I appreciate the comments and the open discussion about the game, the look and everyone’s expectations. I think that this type of dialog is a healthy exchange of ideas. We get a lot out of it and I’m not interested in shutting that down. However, I do think that the aspersions toward any individual member of the Spore team are unwarranted and are getting out of hand here. The concept of Spore that Will presented at GDC 2005 was the guidepost for the development and execution of the game. Will very much remained the visionary and design leader throughout the development of Spore. He worked collaboratively with the team when opinions differed but decisions were definitely in his domain.

The cute vs. science debate within the team had more to do with the concept of accessibility, character and aesthetic than it had to do with the underlying gameplay. Some of this was driven by the simple reality of a very unique and rather cutting edge approach to animation. Procedural animation is just one of the incredible contributions that Chris Hecker made to this game. It was a huge area of focused work and learning for us as the animation engineering team developed this system. One thing that we learned is that setting an expectation of very realistic looking animations that, for instance, captured the discrete differences of movement of a cat vs. the movement of a dog would be off target. Moving away from an aesthetic that set such expectations was a well considered decision on our part. I’m personally amazed at what the animation team was able to achieve. Will set a goal for the team that we be able to hit a mark, in terms of creative breadth, that reached from Pixar to Geiger. The aesthetic, physical and placement constraint decisions that we made regarding the Creature Creator were held to our tenets of unconstrained creativity and accessibility for the creators.

Chris contributed so much in the way of innovations for Spore and deserves to be recognized for his work. While we have no interest in stifling conversation on the Sporum about Spore from anyone, I request that people show respect for others and refrain from outright defamation and threats.



Quote from: MaxisWill
I’ve just recently tuned into this thread on the forums. I usually try to keep more up to date but I’ve been traveling way too much lately. Wow, there’s some rather intense discussion here I see about the design decisions we made in Spore. I think it’s really important for me to jump in and clarify a few things from my point of view.

First let me say a few things about the “Cute” vs. “Science” perspectives in Spore. It is true that during most of the design process we had team members on different sides of this debate. While I was officially on the science side at the same time I always saw this as a crucial tension that I wanted to foster, in other words I didn’t want the science side to win, I wanted to make sure both sides were represented in the game to some degree.

Two of the Chris’ on our team (Chris Trottier and Chris Hecker) were the most vocal representatives of what I started calling the cute team but they were by no means the only ones, they represented quite a large portion of the team. And their agenda in our design process was most certainly not to dumb-down the gameplay but rather to foster emotional engagement with the players in the game experience. An early example of this was the decision to add eyes to the cell game which in no way changed the gameplay, but we found for certain players made the cell experience more humorous and personal.

I see that many of the criticisms about the depth of play in Spore seem to be personally directed to Chris Hecker in particular. This is both ironic and incorrect. Chris was the leading talent behind the voodoo math of the procedural animation system in Spore, the system that brings the creatures you design to life. As the author of this system Chris was quite aware of how flexible and also how unpredictable it could be. I had many discussions with him in particular about how much of the players design decisions would affect the actual performance of your creature in the game world.

To take a quick tangent let me use the creature design vs. performance as an example. We had competing issues to face. First, we wanted the creature’s design to impact its in-game performance. Second, we wanted the economics of the editor to be simple and understandable and connected to performance. Third, we wanted a high amount of aesthetic diversity. We didn’t want there to be one ultimate design direction that the simulator was forcing all the creatures into. In other words if to be fast you had to have long legs that would have met the first goal, conflicted with the third goal and made the second much more complex.

As the lead designer my goal through most of the project was to make sure the gameplay didn’t end up too complex, which resulted in simplifying many of the level dynamics and editor consequences. I felt like we were already asking quite a bit from the players as we took them through the various level genres. This was totally my judgment call and not even part of the agenda of the “cute” team, and certainly not the fault of Chris Hecker. So to make a long story short I’m the one to be blamed for any faults in the gameplay, that’s my job on the team.

Chris is one of the most talented people I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with in the game industry and he takes his craft quite seriously. So it’s been very disturbing for me to read how he has been unfairly vilified for what were in fact entirely my design decisions.

A genre-spanning game like Spore is almost by its very nature experimental. Not only do we not have an existing game to learn design lessons from, we also don’t initially know what the demographic of our players will be (and hence their expectations for complexity and depth). As we move forward with the franchise we plan to listen closely and learn. Our plans for the first Spore expansions are already revolving heavily around what we’re hearing from our players so far.

I want to personally thank everyone who’s playing Spore, especially for the countless, wonderful creations that have been posted to Sporepedia. And I also want to give thanks and encouragement for the discussions here on our forum that will help us make Spore a cooler experience for everyone.

-Will Wright

(I bolded the parts that directly speak against the popular rumors of the fandom.)

Spore: General / Hype and punishment
« on: October 27, 2008, 01:27:22 am »
I'm curious, and I think enough time passed to correctly rate the game.

Spore: General / No water creatures expansion pack?
« on: September 23, 2008, 07:27:34 am »

The Big W said that what was cut out from the full game, will be in EPs, and we always believed that the wate phase will be one of the first ones...

RPS: Way back in the mists of time, there was a more free-moving water based stage rather than going straight onto line demoed. I presumed it was lost because the multi-axis movement is more complicated than the land-based two-axis movement, causing a break in the learning curve… is this right, or is there something else I’m missing?

Alex: That demo in ’05 was really a high concept pitch – the demo wasn’t an actual playable game yet, it was just a terrific visual presentation of what people hoped the game would eventually become. After that there was years of hard graft to get it back to that point and keep evolving it.

To be honest we never even really attempted to build that phase, as soon as production started we realized the mountain we had to climb with five different games – remember that means essentially five control schemes, five sets of user interface, five sets of everything… and all of it with a team that was only about 80 people which is well under the average team size these days for a big project.

The 3D movement would definitely have been a pain, and I think also it would have been hard to differentiate it from either the cell or creature phase – it feels like it would have been more filler than useful, although I’m sure there’s an interesting design in there somewhere.
...but it looks like they didn't even really try to make it!


Spore: General / Second Review (PC Gamer)
« on: August 22, 2008, 09:37:27 am »

It is:

Annoyingly adorable

It isn't:
Easy enough on easy
Hard enough on hard

Spore: General / First Spore Review -coming soon!
« on: August 17, 2008, 09:18:13 am »
It will be released on the 20th, in Australia.

Spore: General / Microtransactions -round 2
« on: July 30, 2008, 04:07:33 am »

John Riccitiello said he'd love to "be able to monetize, if you will, body parts, plant parts, car parts and planets as a way to generate incremental revenue on an installed base of several million active users."

My first creature, the Prime Cow:


Well, not very original, but still lmao.


Camoflage colors, and a little natural environment on it's back makes him invisible (except on a forum board!!! :o)


The smallest creature that I managed to make, smaller than a piece of grass. His babies are ridiculous!

Spore: General / New Tide Pool Phase vs. Old Cell Stage
« on: May 21, 2008, 06:29:13 am »

Spore: General / Official System Requirements!
« on: May 09, 2008, 05:20:11 am »

OS - Windows XP/Vista (FAT 16/32 file systems not supported for Digital Download)
Processor – 2.0 GHz P4 processor or equivalent
Memory – XP: 512 MB RAM / Vista: 768 MB RAM
Hard Drive – At least 300 MB of hard drive space for installation, plus additional space for created creatures. (600 MB for digital download)
Video Card – A 128 MB Video Card, with support for Pixel Shader 2.0*
For computers using built-in graphics chipsets, the game
requires at least:
* Intel Integrated Chipset GMA 950
* Dual 2.0GHz CPUs, or 1.7GHz Core 2 Duo, or equivalent
ATI Radeon(TM) series: 9500, 9600, 9800 X300, X600, X700, X800, X850 X1300, X1600, X1800, X1900, X1950 2400, 2600, 2900, 3650, 3850

NVIDIA GeForce series: FX 5900, FX 5950 6200, 6500, 6600, 6800,7200, 7300, 7600, 7800, 7900, 7950 8400, 8500, 8600, 8800

Intel(R) Extreme Graphics: GMA 950, GMA X3000, GMA X3100

Spore: General / Spore Creature Creator on Amazon!
« on: April 15, 2008, 12:16:15 pm »

It seems the Creature Creator won't be free after all.  :(

I know, they can't be trusted about the release dates, but I guess they wouldn't sell a product that is supposed to be free...

Spore: General / Infantry
« on: April 08, 2008, 06:25:52 am »
I'm 95,5% sure that this screenshot shows infantry, or other form of directly controllable creatures in the civ. phase!


Spore: General / New Creature Creator Video!
« on: April 06, 2008, 12:57:44 am »
It is from the EA Booth at the BIG fest

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

Spore: General / SporeDate confirmed! (April 1st)
« on: April 01, 2008, 11:02:56 am »
An official announcement from the site:

"Meet Your Mate

Spore is a game that inspires self expression through creativity yet links untold numbers of people together from around the world through sharing their creations online. We have found ways to enhance that experience by allowing players to email a screenshot of their creation to a friend directly from the game or upload a video directly to the web. Spore allows people to connect instantly in ways that have never been done before. Yet, for our incredibly creative team, this still wasn’t enough.

Our procedurally generated systems learn each player’s style and match the content to that specific person. For several months now, a side team has been working on ways to use this same technology to match players to each other, rather than just to the content. Our systems can analyze play style, aesthetic preferences, time spent creating versus playing, and more and then maps that against the data from other players to find a match. The surprising discovery in our focus group testing was that this is most often a love match.

Maxis is currently in discussions with several well-known dating sites to integrate our player matching system into the format of a dating system creating SporeDate. Since this program is being designed for the most dedicated fans, we are bringing the news to you here first. Starting today, we will choose players for our pilot program of SporeDate at random from our list of newsletter subscribers. So if you haven’t signed up, please do so today. We are truly excited to bring this new innovation to light and look forward to seeing you all on SporeDate!

Spore: more than just a game, it’s a way of life. "

Spore: General / Spore was dumbed down!!!
« on: March 25, 2008, 10:31:51 am »
When I saw the original video in 2005, it was so cool, and amazing, but since that, Maxis totally ruined the concept!
They cut out so much from the game, that almost nothing left:
 Look what happened with the water creatures... and... and... and....

Well, I fooled you, I'm totally in love with Spore as it is now.

 I just wanted to point out, that contrary to the common criticism from fans, Spore was NOT dumbed down, the water creatures are almost the only important thing that was cut out, but generally it became better and better with every presentation.

So I listed (a probably incomplete) list of the gameplay features that were added to Spore (or announced) since the presentation in 2005:

-The hut editor
-The armour/cloth editor
-The music editor
-The plant editor
-The terrain editing tools (creating hills, rivers, oceans)
-The procedurally generated music
-The ability to reach any editor and phase from the menu
-The ability to make Religion-based civilizations
-The ability to play with a "baby" version of your race
-The ability to chose your home planet
-The ability to play in a non-hostile way (singing, dancing, making friends)
-The ability to leave your UFO and play as a single creature
-The detailed civilization phase gameplay (controlling spice nodes, harvesters, military/economic/ religious vehicles)
-The extreme planet types (like lava planets, ice planets, and even colorful, never-seen world)
-The various creature options such as: splitting acid, or other projectiles, having fur, rotating body parts, etc.
-The gender/age/tribal/random differences between the members of your race

I still remember, we could only hope for, (or not even hope) that these all will be included. I tried to list the most important ones, probably I missed a few. If any of these would be cut out, you would also start flaming that Spore is dumbed down, while in fact, when most of us started waiting for the game, non of these were included.


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