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Messages - Tr0n

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Spore: General / Re: One of the reasons why Spore is "cute" and dumbed down
« on: November 03, 2008, 11:11:02 am »
Sorry I didn't respond in a timely manner to people throwing poo at me, but I'm reading the rebuttals to my original post and, being the pessimist-and-often-realist that I am, I do agree with Blulightning when he says that EA could care less about what the "purist" crowd wants and that the chance we'll see Science Spore is slim.  My "just plain wrong" point was that because of the underlying technology and mass appeal of the game, that chance is slim, not nil.

To those still saying that Spore would have been a runaway success had it been geared towards the scientific approach, I'm afraid that it's just not the case.  No longer can a game appeal to 10,000 people, sell 100,000 copies, and be considered a financial success.  There's no way.  EA doesn't take 5 year gambles for a 5 million dollar turnaround.  It's bad business for them.  It doesn't even pay for the lights and computers to be on much less payroll and a profit.  We'd have loved it... but "Spore omg GDC is teh epic win" would have been the last we'd have seen of the game.  It would have been one of those 9.9 games on IGN that kills a franchise because it's a "sleeper hit".  Look at "Beyond Good and Evil."  Look at all of those games, while freakin' awesome, never got off the ground because the masses didn't buy it. I'm sorry, but it would have been the best game we've ever played and the last game like that for another decade.

Blulightning said it perfectly in the fact that publishers don't screw around with big risks like Spore and if it were not to be accessible to the masses, it would have never been greenlighted.

So I suggest, and am supported by Lucy's previous post in saying that "Spore turned out exactly how it was meant to turn out and it could not have turned out any other way."  Once Spore began to get delayed and screenshots got cuter, I knew they were turning it into a marketable product.  I don't really have a problem with that.  I'm disappointed that I didn't get the last game I'd ever need to play... but it's just a game.  That's all it is.  It's an entertainment venue... not the end of the world.

To that extent, I never thought I'd see the day where people would be asking others what the hell was wrong with them in anything but in jest.  But I'm seeing it more and more here.  The GS forum was the bastion of civilized discussion and intellectual collaboration pre-Spore.  I suppose a lot of people were truly hurt by Spore's release, throwing flames around (not the worst by any means though, thankfully)... but we need to just let it go and understand that as much as we long for the piece of heaven that was GDC 2005, it ain't gonna happen.  We might get close to it if we cry out and the developers and suits listen... but did we ever really know what we wanted in Spore aside from pointing wildly at the GDC 2005 screen and saying "that"?  I saw a demo and my mind made up the rest of what Spore was supposed to be.  Seems like we're just screaming a lot about "I liked that idea in 2005 but I can't really tell you what I want specifically... but NOT what came out in 2007."

While not the smartest decision to appease fans, admittedly we are not in the 1980s or early 1990s age of gaming.  Back then, everything was new.  Shareware developers listened.  Heck, we didn't even know what could be done.  Crazy ideas were funded because production values (and expectations) were low.  Simcity in 1989 was far more impactful than Spore today.  

Why am I spouting all of this off?  It's because if Maxis had released science-Spore, it would have been a commercial failure... guaranteed.  It would have been pirated into obscurity and would have only sold enough to maybe recoup some of the cost of technology production.  It's a classic example of money > all.  But here's the crazy part.  We're all ready to hang Chris Hecker up by his toenails and beat him like a pinata until he poops out little SPORE figurines, but by directing the game to where it is now, he may have saved the franchise.  Now, with the constant influx of money, EA can green light expansions, keep the Sporepedia servers running, and allow greater freedom for the Maxis team.

Will they do that?  Who knows?  Given a space expansion is in the works, it seems as if they're using Spore as the platform that the suits wanted it to be.  One may not like the gameplay now because it's cutesy and a 3 year old could dominate the galaxy.  I'm one of these people.  But to that extent, my Spore GE box is sitting on my desk looking pretty until they release an expansion I find approachable.  It's in EA's best interest to spearhead development of a "science-Spore" because in their eyes, they're getting two times the money out of one game.  The base game had to be bought.  We were disappointed... but now they get to tailor it to our needs based on the money coming in from those (probably a wider audience) who are perfectly happy with the game.  

I'm not saying that this was the plan all along or that the cutesy-ness was done with us in mind.  But I am saying that because of its mass appeal, the side effect is that WW and crew may have the time and funds to make a science project of a game.

I'll be waiting for the Space expansion eagerly, but I'm not going to follow it like a cultist anymore.  I don't want expectations, I want results.  I won't hype myself up again and I will take anything new at face value.  I ruined my own Spore experience by expecting way too much, knowing it was impossible for Maxis/EA to deliver and be profitable.

PC Games / Re: Multiwinia!
« on: September 24, 2008, 07:56:49 am »
Back on track... the "Your Ad Here" statue is a jab at the games that DO have ads in them. Introversion loves picking on AAA titles and some of their dumber design choices.  It was meant as a joke, not as a marketing ploy.

I guess it was a little too tongue-in-cheek.

(EDIT) Oops, I accidentally forgot to read the rest of the thread... this has already been said. (/EDIT)

Does anyone have comments on gameplay?  There are a few bugs that are sort of annoying, especially with connecting to a game, but the gameplay is golden.

Spore: General / Re: Terraforming? More like, Terrible-forming! :3
« on: September 24, 2008, 07:52:52 am »
If you covered it with water, wouldn't that kill all of the wildlife and destabilize the planet again?

At that point, the distance from the star would take effect, evaporating the water and leaving land behind?

Btw, the default planet scripts are optimized and not tailor made.  They're random and random takes less time to process than specifics.  Now once the planet is generated, it's saved and my guess is that its T Score is calculated form that and doesn't change so someone can come back to the same random planet and it will still be the same.

If one mucks around with the terraforming tools on a planet, you have to apply custom scripts to the procedural generation.  Not onl does this take longer, but if the ecosystem unlocks again, then the planet will destabilize and morph to something it can maintain.

At least that's my experience.

PC Games / Multiwinia!
« on: September 23, 2008, 12:30:44 pm »
I've always been a fan of Introversion, a small company in the UK that creates some astoundingly good games.  They're all about gameplay and they're focused on their community's input.  If you haven't heard of them, their games (Uplink, Darwinia, Defcon, and now Multiwinia) are all extremely fun with a lot of thought put into their specific gameplay.

The latest release is Multiwinia, a frentic RTS with only one soldier type... the 2d sprite called the Multiwinian.  These little guys spawn by the truckload, ready to do your bidding (as long as a grenade doesn't get tossed their way).  You can play through 6 game modes vs the CPU or vs other Humans.  Modes include Domination, where you capture spawn points and overrun your enemies; Capture the Statue, where you have to grab and (slowly) haul randomly placed statues to your safe zone; Assault, a team attacks a very heavily defended fortress in an attempt to get to the main structure and destroy it.  There are three other modes too.

They offer a free demo of the game, letting you test out King of the Hill and Capture the statue modes (I think).  The best thing about it is if you wish to buy a license (for 25 bucks), you can just input the code into the options menu and you unlock your demo... it's Shareware style :)

(Edit) (Edit)

Good luck and have fun.  If you purchase the game and play MP, I'll be "Tron"... the one swarming your base with my suicidal little soldiers.

Spore: General / Re: Is it normal for the game to lag much?
« on: September 15, 2008, 01:56:30 pm »
Looks like a memory leak.  I had 1gig of RAM in my PC and the game started slowing down dramatically after about 3 hours.  2 gigs almost doubled that time. 

If you have the drive space, you may wish to increase the cache size in the graphics menu.  This may help to keep more pieces of geometry and textures available at a given time.

Spore: General / Re: For Caryl: What we DO like about Spore
« on: September 15, 2008, 09:11:51 am »
What do I like?  Let me count the ways!

1)  The graphics are bold and entertaining.  It offers an entirely new experience to the gritty side some of us expected.  I feel that it's not so much of a change as it is another paradigm.  It's kind of halfway between Gears of War and Viva Pinata.  I can dig it.

2)  The pure concept of the game is revolutionary.  The engine that Spore is built on may be the catalyst that brings back original ideas in gaming.

3)  The sound in the game is beautiful if one takes the time to listen to it.

4)  Space is darn near endless.  There is so much to explore (quantity-wise).

5)  The creators are genius and so easy to use, dare I say a bit too easy?  Looking at the Sporepedia offers an incredible amount of content... so much so that users may miss the true gems sifting through the millions of crap creations.

6)  The gameplay is accessible to darn near anyone.  My fiancee, who isn't bad with games, is a constant question asker.  She will look at a situation, turn around and ask "how do I do this?"  In Spore, no sooner does she do that, then the game shows her how to do a specific action.  It keeps her in the game, which is an honor unto itself... she normall has a 1ms attention span for things she doesn't understand.

7)  Badges and achievements... Bravo!  I have never really been and XBOX 360 achievement whore, but Spore turns me into one (for the PC of course).  It's freaking great hopping onto the galaxy save you've already been playing for 25 hours knowing that there's so much more to do.

8)  The range of machines that Spore will run on is admirable.  Especially with the techologies involved, Spore will run on many systems.  Not to mention the initially small storage footprint of the game.  It's only like 4 gigs in size, which is refreshing compared to the 9 gig behemoths coming out now.

That's all I can think of right now, but there's a lot to like here.  Notice that I tried to cull all of my ideas for improving the game, as they belong elsewhere.

Spore: General / Re: Was it worth the wait?
« on: September 12, 2008, 01:22:20 pm »
Thanks for the props, Fumanchu.  

However, I believe we're comparing Spore to our dreams instead of something else.  When one thinks about it, what do we really have to compare Spore to?  See, the blend of mini games can only be compared to better games of every genre.  

Arguably, Cell is better than Pac-Man.  So that's Spore 1, rest of gaming 0.

Creature is akin to grinding in World of Warcraft, complete with loot.  So Spore 2, gaming 1... a tie.

Tribal is akin to an RTS, but way to freaking simple.  Spore 2, Gaming 2.

Civ is like... Civ 1 at its most basic and lack of strategy.  Spore 2, Gaming 3.

Space is unique.  As much as one wants to compare it to other games, it's pretty tough.  
You can't compare it to Master of Orion.  It's not a 4x game.  There's no real strategy involved.
You can't compate it to Elite.  It's not a flight sim.
You can't really compare it to anything, because no game gives you the creative control over the universe that Spore Space does.

So, let's just toss it out because it has no comparison.

So Spore 2, Gaming 3... it's a jack of all trades, as was said before.  And again, it is human nature not to take the sum of the parts but to dissect it, overanalyze it, and then compare it to the closest superior thing.

Bottom line, we just forgot all the other stuff it has that can't be compared.  I'm not saying it's the best game in the world, but we're having toruble appreciating the other parts that bring the game together.  It's almost as if Maxis did too good a job at making the most important parts of the game transparent to us.

Yeah, so they just finished programming and said "done!"

I have to be sarcastic here.  If someone has EVER programmed in their life, they know that any piece of code or program or module or engine has to be tested and tested so much and so tediously, that people often never want to even play/use the finished product. 

There's a FREAKING HUGE difference between beta testing and game balance.  If the game failed to start on 20 percent of the PCs it was installed on or something, that's lack of beta testing.  Play the old school game "The Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall."  That's a game that could have used another 6 months in beta.

*Flame on, don't say I didn't warn you*

Everyone's whining about game balance.  I understand that, but are you telling me that because Hunters and Rogues are overpowered in World of Warcraft, that Blizzard didn't beta test the game at all and put no thought into it?  That's essentially what we're saying about Spore.  Come on!   Grow up and realize that perfection isn't alway attainable on a game that revolutionized content sharing and asset creation and charged us less than most 5 hour FPS romp XBOX 360 trash.

Jesus, we have a game that changes the way we think about digital entertainment and we have to bitch and moan about the frequency of pirate attacks, calling the dev team a group of retards?  How superficial and judgemental!  You try making what they made.  Hell, try making a crappy Flash game and then tell me that they put no effort into a game with the potential magnitude of Spore.  Try taking raw C++ code and 3D studio max and making ANYTHING move in a semi-believable manner and then tell me how they didn't try.  They spent more time on prototypes of a new technology than more companies spend making an entire title.

*Flame off*

I'm not a fanboy.  I'm just protecting the intellectual prowess of the dev team at Maxis for going all in on thie project and achieving a goal that's never been done before.  I do fully recognize the issues in the game, but every game has issues.  It doesn't mean the devs didn't try/care/test.  It'll get fixed... at least they plan on a future for Spore versus the one-off crappy movie-to-game-for-a-quick-buck one-offs that some companies specialize in.

Spore: General / Re: Was it worth the wait?
« on: September 12, 2008, 12:06:19 pm »
It's not worth the wait thus far.  But it WILL be worth the wait in the future.  I'm glad they released it when they did and they didn't hold it another year from now with another stage or something.

Now we can fiddle with the base game and appreciate the add-ons later.

The third planet from Sol is the message I got.  So I found Earth, but haven't destroyed it yet (for the achievment).

Spore: General / Re: Colonies not collecting spice
« on: September 12, 2008, 11:56:39 am »
If you took over your homeworld in a hostile manner, then the ICBM superweapon will destory pretty much all of the buildings.

You're much better off terraforming a T0 -> T1 planet and placing a work colony there (3 houses, 2 factory, 1 entertainment, placed in the proper areas).  If you have a rare color of spice on that planet, you can rake in over 200k for 5 pieces of spice versus 200k for 60 pieces of red spice.

Spore: General / Re: What is your favorite STAGE?
« on: September 12, 2008, 11:53:37 am »
Space, I suppose.  If you take them from start to "finish", space has the most to offer and the greatest set of goals in the way of badges.

Spore: General / Re: Graphic Quality Issues
« on: September 12, 2008, 10:15:23 am »
The level of detail may vary depending on hwo much free video ram or normal ram you have available in your PC.  I won't know until I pick up an extra gig of memory.

Spore: General / Re: 2 Computers at once?
« on: September 12, 2008, 10:11:21 am »
I'll be trying this soon.  I have a roommate who wants to play and I trust him enough not to put Sporn on my account.  I'm trying to let him sample the breadth of the game so he will buy it.

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