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Topics - kmr

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Spore: General / Planetary Weather: Confirmed
« on: May 13, 2006, 04:31:30 am »
Straight from the lips of Will Wright himself.  ;D

As he is pulling away from the Screebles' home planet, Will says:
"We have a weather system, here you see some storms going on down there."
(Source: Wired/Robin Williams video @ 0:14:40)

I didn't see it in the recent sea of information, and thought this would be of interest to some people.  8)

A particular thing I noticed as I was watching the IGN/GameSpy recording of the E3 video was the discrepancy between what we could see of the editor in that video, and the screenshots we saw of it earlies (see aquaman's thread for that).

In particular, the video shows seven meters to the right whereas the screenshot only shows five. (It also says Strength where the video say Power, but that is just a semantic thing.) The two additional meters are called, from what I can decipher, "Sense" and "Special". The former is pretty straightforward, but the latter might be of interest for those that have been calling for special abilities. ;)

Spore: General / An update on Creature Editor Parts
« on: March 23, 2006, 11:17:58 am »
For the benefit of those who are PowerPoint-challenged (OpenOffice will help with that), but also for the rest of us, I thought I might put up the one image that, next to the high-res Willosaur, struck me the deepest: cut from the one slide that showed a prototype of the creature editor, I give you -- functional parts!

Most of these were pretty easy to make out even in the blurry shots and the old video, but confirmed here we see for the first time that there is, indeed, a Sensory Organ catch-all category with an Antenna for an icon, and a general Mouth category as previously guessed at on SporeWiki. What is the triangular-ish one? Let the brainstorming commence!

Personally, though I have said it might be fins or flippers before, I must admit that it looks like it could be a natural weapons category, symbolized by a Spike. Your thoughts are asked for!

This is more or less directed at those with reservations about Spore's graphics. I say, look at the texture detail in this:

Is it not nifty? Worship the Willosaur. ;D

Spore: Creation Corner / Jumping the creature bandwagon: The Abana
« on: March 11, 2006, 06:17:23 am »
Visitors that browse SporeWiki might have seen it before, but I never felt I had an adequate graphical representation of my creature that would warrant showcasing it along with Hydro's or Hugg's splendid work.

No more! For today I received a PM from another talented artist that frequents this forum: Bonemouse, creator of the Borark and Coanny creatures. He sent me fan art for my creature! ;D So I figure it's time to introduce my own creation to the forum.

I've been working on it off and on, but being horribly inept at drawing I was limited to the one kind of artistic expression that I am good at: spriting. I have been pushing pixels since the days of Civilisation II, and so took to creating my creature that way. The first result looked thus:

Acceptable for a first try, but the more often I looked at it, the more it looked like a cow with a bird's head to me. ::) I was shooting for a insectoid centaur kind of look, granted, but this first try wasn't it. I fiddled around, ditching a large amount of the work that had gone in the first draft as counterproductive, and in the end arrived at the second versioN:

That's more like it! ;D And then imagine my surprise when I unsuspectingly checked in this morning to find in my inbox the following rendition of my creature:

Thanks for the gift art, Bonemouse! ;D It's dead-on.

Spore: General / Specialisation: It is for Insects, not for Spore
« on: March 06, 2006, 08:45:09 pm »
Excuse the blatant paraphrasing of Heinlein in the title, but I had to get your attention somehow. ;D

I have been going round and round in recent threads, proselytizing the gospel of imagination and storytelling against the backdrop of heathen demands for specialisation. ;) Since I hate repeating myself time and again, but also hate leaving this particular issue rest as it is somewhat of a pet peeve (no doubt you could tell), I figured it was time for a more general, explanatory post.

As the GDC and E3 draw closer, understandably many thoughts as to the previously unexplored aspects of the game are bandied about. We've seen many great thoughts in our stickified Wishlist (such as the concept of a "creature viewer" outside the game), but there is one thing that keeps popping up as people sit up in their chairs and go, "Hey! It would be so cool if the game included this!"

Now, I want to make perfectly clear to those of you that I have been arguing with that I think your ideas are splendid, and deserve the merit of consideration. We've gone over the pros and cons more than once by now, I'm sure. What I want to express in this thread, however, is the motivation behind my ongoing reservation regarding such additions to the gameplay, and why I am in favour of "imagining crap", as it has been so eloquently put.

The suggestions range from offhand "Wouldn't it be cool?" one-liners to elaborate "The game needs this!" proposals. All of them have one thing in common: they emphasize a particular aspect the poster wishes to strengthen in the game. Way back in the beginnings of the forums there was the debate over including infantry units, and more recently the lively discussions over creature-design-dependent perks for vehicles or the pros and cons of element-based life.

In all of them, but particularly the later ones, I have made a point out of stressing the storytelling aspects of the game. (In that I am no different than any other poster pushing their favourite side of the game.) The underlying motivation to my arguments runs thus:

Spore is supposed to be all about end-user creativity. We are the ones who get to let the artist out of the box, to paraphrase Ocean Quigley. To that end, the game is supposed to give us free reign over the creation process of our creature, vehicles, buildings, and, perhaps, more.

I believe this concept of creative liberty is currently only poorly understood, or perhaps not understood at all. It means essentially, everything is possible so long as you can imagine it. That's the whole point of giving us these editors, right? You can make any shape of creature, as long as you can imagine it. Nothing limits you to four limbs plus head. Nothing limits you to one mouth, one set of eyes, a nose and a pair of ears in creating your very own sentient creature.

I'm getting to my point now, no worries. ;) The lack of limitations when it comes to design is Spore's strongest draw. It hence strikes me as strange that people consider it necessary to lobby for inclusion of hardcoded, specialized aspects such as a distinction of the element the creature is based on, a distinction of building material used in creating houses, or other such issues. While either is a warranted idea on its own, they would be of no benefit to the player in Spore.

Why? Because they limit our creative liberties.

Think about it. In the case of base element, for example. Nevermind the question of implementation, but suppose it popped up a notification to the player saying "In Spore, you can only create creatures that are based on the element Carbon." That is a limitation of creativity right there, is it not? Non-carbon-based life is abundant in science fiction, and even moreso in the pulp scifi of the Fifties, which is one of the best examples of what is possible to create with Spore. If we were to be forced to adopt a chemical element as the limitation what we can design in the editor, we would lose out on all the wacky sentient stone, wood, metal and whatnot creatures out there! What if I wanted to port something like Terry Pratchett's version of Trolls? I would not be able to!

Hence I cannot believe that a hardcoded distinction between elements has any place in Spore. Note that I say 'hardcoded'. I don't think it has a place in the game code, but by all means -- if you decide for yourself that all your creatures are carbon-based, go for it! But please, don't infringe on other people's creativity.

The same holds for the hotly debated issue of organic/hybrid buildings and vehicles in the game. There is nothing stopping you from saying that your non-creature creations are really just specialized evolutions of a basic creature template a la StarCraft's Zerg race. But to demand that all players think in similar distinctions is courting ridicule.

If it limits my creativity, I don't want any part of it.

Spore: General / Transition between City and Civ.
« on: March 05, 2006, 03:01:06 pm »
It's there. Right there. In the GDC video.  ;D Start up googlevid and skip to minute 16, when he exits the building editor. Watch the Stage icon in the top left.


Seems to be as simple as that.

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