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Messages - Zen

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Spore: General / Re: I want to play the original Spore.
« on: June 30, 2008, 03:03:56 pm »
I've listened to and watched the slideshow of the Chris Hecker talk.  It provided the actual answers that proves the "rabid fanboy kiddies" wrong each time they try to think of their own version of an answer, like this (and many others):

Stop it, all of you. Usually I'm all for the Feeding of Trolls, but even I can see how quickly this will degenerate.

There was no original Spore, there were a series of separate programs that had a barely functioning base code. The GDC was a Tech Demo, more than a game. It never existed as presented, it's just a testament to the skill of Will Wright and the people who helped him build it that it came off so well that it's led to arguments like these. The GDC contains portions of components that constitute Spore, but by themselves they are not Spore. Without the revisions and tweaks made to them, they are not Spore. At this point I almost want Maxis to release the damned pre-Alpha Creature Creator (and it WAS pre-Alpha), just so that people will finally see that the GDC presentation was not as solid as it looked. The Creature Creator, according to (what I can understand from) Chris Hecker's blog, was horribly inefficient at handling the Procedural Animation. When it worked, it worked beautifully, but it failed often and it failed hard. That's how I understand it. If you want to play around with a buggy, incomplete, and slow program, go ahead. If Maxis can weasel some money out of you idi.... people, then good for them.

The Creature Creator at GDC 2005 was a complete enough demo to do the things it showed us it did.  It wasn't a trick.  It simply used their earliest version of the procedural animation code (specifically to solve the IK problems).  This earliest version was physics based, which is why things moved (and therefore animated) so well.  From the Chris Hecker slide show he shows an IK Solver version history:

0.0 – linked rigid bodies, constraints, controllers
slow, inaccurate, unstable, not “posable”
1.0 – multibranch 6DOF CCD
complex, slow, more accurate, not tunable
2.0 – particle IK – “control freak”
fast, accurate, more tunable, twitchy, fails poorly
2.5 – particle IK – “laid back”
fast, accurate, tunable, smooth, fails better

We saw version 0.0 at GDC 2005.  We have 2.5 in the current product - which uses a com-pletely different system for solving the problems of creature animation.  Hence the completely different results in animating faithfully recreated creatures from the 2005 demo.  The reason why the animation looks worse three years on is because the creatures they chose to show off a physics-based animation system in 2005 now animate badly under the new system which isn't physics-based (but particle based instead).  Had they used a particle-based system back then they would *not* have chosen those same creatures. 

That was my original question answered, and so I wanted to post the answer here, just in case anyone else wanted to know, but didn't want to listen to the lecture or watch it's accompanying slide show.   

When I said that I would much prefer to play the buggy incomplete demo from 2005 than to play with the current 2008 version of the Creature Creator- this is still true, but it can be rephrased to something like this:

If there were a Creature Creator game (Spore or otherwise) that I could buy that would animate creatures the way the creatures animated in the GDC 2005 demo, I'd buy it, and stick with it. 

This means that either the current Spore using the IK particle-system could be improved enough to match this, or another product (Maxis or otherwise) that manages to solve the problems associated with the physics-based system (even if it means limiting the number of creature configurations a player is able to make- which isn't so bad considering just how truly ridiculous some of them are) then we're talking about some serious game devotion.  Right now Spore just seems like kiddy fare when the characters are jittering around attempting to walk and move properly.  Sure, it's fun making the different configurations, but the seed of what it could have been has already been planted in my mind and the minds of so many others who are currently feeling fairly disappointed now.  Technically Spore is still an incredible achievement and a wonderful idea, and a terrific amount of credit must be given.  Well done, everyone who plays it will have a great time, but for me in particular, I wasn't all that interested in playing the whole game, just the creature creator, and have been interested since I saw the physics-based editor in motion.  The current version doesn't deliver that, so I'll just have to wait some more...

Spore: General / Re: I want to play the original Spore.
« on: June 30, 2008, 12:42:05 pm »

The editor we saw in 2005 let you sculpt bodies. It even let you attach limbs. What it didn't do yet, at least not reliably, was generate animations for those creatures. It also didn't yet have any ability to texture them. So, these well-animated and/or textured creatures you keep talking about, guess what? They were not made in any magical superior 2005 editor. They were premade, using standard techniques, to show what they hoped to accomplish in the future. Maybe their animations were premade in whole, and maybe they were cherrypicked from what the editor could do at the time, it doesn't really matter. We do know, though, that the animation system wasn't working in anything like its present form till months or years after 2005. So I lean towards the former.

Spore in 2005 was an illusion. It's called a proof-of-concept. It's only supposed to look like a game. That is the nature of a demonstration, especially one taking place at the Game Developers' Conference. What we have now is their best attempt at fulfilling that concept. There is nothing "better" that they threw away. Unless, of course, you wanted your Spore experience to consist of perhaps 100 creatures that people at Maxis slaved over to animate fluidly and texture perfectly. That seems to rather defeat their stated purpose, though.

So once again, the entire "2005 Spore" including its editor was concept only, and has no relation to the Spore we have now. Why do we have to keep talking about this 2005 design concept as if it were a full game, when it in fact bore no resemblance to anything like a game? The only things they threw away were some code written for the Sims 2 engine and a handful of prerendered creatures. What we have now is the very best they could do to make their concept a reality, and it will remain so until Spore 2.

So...  how do you know this exactly?

Liveoctopus, I think you've just made this up.  (By the way, I'm only talking about the animations here, not the texturing.  And I'm not talking about the whole game or the whole editor, (never have done) I'm talking about the basic non-textured creature editor that could procedurally animate that was demonstrated at GDC in 2005) Even Will Wright during the presentation said that the animations were procedurally generated which was *why* the six-legged Dilemma creature had a faster gait than other configurations.  This would contradict your rather "authoritative" post above.  (Quoting you: "What it didn't do yet, at least not reliably, was generate animations for those creatures.")  We saw Will make a creature (non-textured) and have it procedurally walk.  This would also contradict your post. 

The crux of my posting is wanting to know *why* what we see today is *worse* than what we saw three years ago.  Damn, is that so difficult to grasp? 

I'll now go and listen to Chris Hecker's mp3 and watch the presentation slides to find this out...  Ciao.

PS. Thanks, Daxx.  I too hope to see an improvement in the future.  Cheers.  :)

Spore: General / Re: I want to play the original Spore.
« on: June 30, 2008, 12:25:46 am »
Crowster wrote:
What we saw in the 2005 creature editor was code that worked ... ... when we were looking. When the creatures that Will designed for that demo walked, they looked beautiful.

You can do the same thing with the editor we got.

Zen responds:
You're talking about Tripod creatures.  I'm talking about the creatures that were shown to us in the 2005 GDC demo.  (HangDog, TweetyBird, Dilemma, etc) I have recreated the Dilemma creature from the 2005 video and its animation pales in comparison, so you cannot do the same thing with the editor we have now.  That was my whole point.  I'm certainly willing to be proven wrong however.  Look at the 2005 video, recreate the Dilemma creature or the Tweety-Bird creature and see for yourself.  If I see someone's YouTube video with the same beautiful 2005 animation but using the 2008 version, I'll eat my words and *I'll* apologise. 

Crowster wrote:
If I were presenting this to the press for the first time, and wanted to show off a tripod creature, I'd choose something that animated like this. However, for every tripodal creature that animates that well, you also get a slew of 'em who animate terribly. That's just the nature of any system that takes whatever you create, and attempts to set it to motion without a human mind deciding how things should move.

Zen responds:
This is completely not the point I was making.  Again, look at the creatures of the GDC 2005 demo, and look at how recreations of those creatures animate today.  Very different.

Crowster wrote:
By the way ...

To all the people that defend the poor procedural animations that we see today and want us to be sooo thankful and grateful, again, I say to these wretched fools

Crowster wrote:
^^^ It's comments like this that make it harder and harder for me to take someone seriously. What purpose does calling people who are not agreeing with you "wretched fools" serve other than to tick said people off?

Zen responds:

True.  I was really directing that at the blind Spore apologists who think we should humbly, graciously and silently accept such a discrepancy between what we were shown and what we got in the end in terms of procedural animation. 

I wanted an explanation from someone who does know, preferably from Maxis, and not the rambling pontifications from fanboys which amounts to a very long-winded "I don't know" which is all I've received so far.

Crowster wrote:
When I want to avoid biased views and educated guesses in favor of a detailed explanation from a game developer, a fan forum doesn't really seem like the logical place to go. Just sayin'. >_>

Zen responds:
I didn't know where else to go, but there are some people here that do provide intelligent responses, in particular the one from Lippy who directed me to the place I couldn't find on my own.   (...which meant that posting here it turns out was the right thing for me to do).  Thank you, Lippy.  That's awesome.  :) 

Spore: General / Re: I want to play the original Spore.
« on: June 29, 2008, 07:06:10 pm »
Some guy who I couldn't care to look back to find out their name said (in defense of the Spore Creature Crapator we have today): "Some things have been removed from the original design concept, or modified, but there was no 2005 Spore"

Nor is there a Spore now. 

What we saw in the 2005 SCC was code that worked.  What we see in 2008 SCC, having recreated the same creatures from 2005, is procedural animation that doesn't work. (At least not nearly as well). 

All I wanted to know is what happened between then and now to make this part _not_work_.  Be as detailed in your explanation as you like. 

I wanted an explanation from someone who does know, preferably from Maxis, and not the rambling pontifications from fanboys which amounts to a very long-winded "I don't know" which is all I've received so far. 

And if I didn't get an explanation, I wanted an apology, because we were sold something we didn't get.  However...

I WOULDN'T WANT AN APOLOGY IF... they had shown the same creatures from 2005 moving in their advertising campaigns with the way they procedurally animate now (as opposed to 2005).  This would be the equivalent of them coming clean and fessing up: Our code don't work they way you think it does anymore.  If they had done this I simply would not have bought the SCC, but instead waited for Spore2 or someone to do a Spore clone that worked.  Simple. 

To all the people that defend the poor procedural animations that we see today and want us to be sooo thankful and grateful, again, I say to these wretched fools: Let me buy the buggy incomplete code of 2005 and not this handicapped version available to us today- because I want THAT game, not this one.  And if you can't then someone from Maxis explained how things got so f**ked up.

One more point, but to the moderator, I would like to complain about my original thread being merged into this one.  This thread we are in now "I want to play the original Spore" covers the entire Spore game (amoeba to galaxy) whereas mine only covers the Creature Creator and specifically the difference in the procedural animations of the 2005 demo to today's poor result we see in the current Creature Creator.  Please move it back into a legitimate thread as the points I raise are lost here.  There is more chance someone from Maxis may respond if it's in its own thread.  Thank you.


Spore: General / Re: I want to play the original Spore.
« on: June 27, 2008, 04:57:01 am »
All those who saw the GDC 2005 video of the Creature Creator ( have been left as astounded as I was at the amazing demonstration of five pre-made creatures and how they moved procedurally...

-Buttface (multiple legs - strange walk)
-Tweety Bird (four legs + massive head- funny walk)
-Hang Dog (four legs - cool walk)
-Dilemma (six legs - fast walk)
-Care Bare (normal walk)

It was the Dilemma creature that sold me on Spore.  (If you don't know they one I mean go to 1min38 on the youtube link above).  Such fluid movement this had.  To see how a different leg configuration has such an amazing impact on the way a creature moved was tremendously inspiring.  The rest of the game was a bonus.  To create creatures with this was all I wanted.

Three years later... if you recreate this exact creature he won't move like what was in the video- instead he moves pathetically.  There is no fast gait.  There is none of that fluidity.  Now there is just a stupid-looking series of quick and awkward steps.  How did things get *worse* after three years of programming???!!?! 

Even something less complicated, like the Tweety Bird creature with the over-sized headmoving like a top heavy RV has its movements hopelessly recreated by this version of Spore.

I'm totally serious when I say this... If I could trade in my retail Spore Creature Creator with all its bells and whistles and pay *full price* for the incomplete GDC Creature Creator demo we saw in 2005 I'd gladly do it!   

Will we get an explanation as to where things went so wrong??  Is there some ex-Maxis employee with a shady blog somewhere to explain the real reason why we get these juttering glitchy-looking movements?

We saw this stuff working, for Christ's sake!!  It worked!  There it was!  Way back in 2005!!

So what is this poor imitation that's on my computer now??? 

To Will Wright, or anyone who knows the truth at Maxis... Will we get a procedural script update that will address this issue so that at least this thing works as well as it did three years ago? 

Or if not, can we at least get some kind of honest explanation as to why things aren't like what we naturally thought they would be.  Even if it's a complicated explanation- good, just so long as you're honest about it. 

And if we don't receive an update OR an explanation, may we at least have an apology? 

Mat Brady

By the way, if you do a search for my entries in these forums you'll see that I've been a very avid Spore supporter. 

                 Whoops!      :o :o :o

It seems in my original post that started this thread people missed what I said about...

for now let's conveniently leave out all the legalities for others to sort out / approve / bargain / etc…

I said this because there are far more interesting things to be gained by exploring what lies beyond this legal barrier.  AND IT'S VERY VERY INTERESTING...

Like how Spore Mudokans would actually fare against Spore Scrabs and Spore Fleeches, etc.  Spore Oddworld would actually behave MUCH differently than what we see in the original games of Oddworld. 

In the original game the Glukkons are made to be tyrannical rulers, but they are actually very weak- this is created this way to support a specific narrative, however... Chances are the emergent behaviours of Spore Oddworld would get a completely different outcome if the Spore Oddworld Inhabitants were left to their own devices.   Would Spore Scrabs become the dominant species?  Maybe.  However Scrabs in Oddworld were fiercely territorial.  If one of them would be near another they would forget about you and fight each other.  So...

 - How would a Spore Scrab decide if they are territorial to this degree or not? 

 - Do we choose this in the editor? 

 - What indicators are there that they run in herds, packs or by themselves? 

Interesting indeed.  And that's what I meant by getting past the legal stuff and talk about the game itself.  Since we have more of an indirect influence in this than we do with any legal conversations, then I think this is the wiser alternative, no? 

Also, very few people picked up on my last remarks, about visiting other worlds other than Spore Oddworld.  Like Hoth, Tatooine, or... dum,dum,DAAA!!! ...The World Of The Dark Crystal!!!!  How cool would that be???  Personally I think this has been just begging to be made into a game for years now, but no-one's been brave enough to.  But think- a world with


The four-armed urRu,   (Also known as Mystics)

The evil Skeksis,

The tall and elegant landstriders,

The beetle-like Garthim

And the stupidly cute pod people.

With Gelflings the females have wings. -  Will/can there be such specific gender differences in Spore? 

(BTW, for all you Dark Crystal fans, the sequel is coming out in 2007!!!  That's right- The Power Of The Dark Crystal and )

For all those people still worried about copyright issues...
Considering how small the creature files will be (and the building files and fauna files, etc), I could literally email an entire world to my friends to download into their universes.  Simple.  I could go to a person's website and download a world from his/her fan site.  There's nothing stopping an underground fan base to circulate their illegal Spore creations, and I say go for it!  Mores the better.  So catch your breath and settle down please.  You're worrying about nothing. 

I still entertain the possibility that professionally made feature planets will be seen in Spore one day.  If not for any other reason than the enormous popularity this game is destined for.  It will be so huge, how can cross-marketing resist the temptation.   :o ;D

But anyway, I digress.  I instead invite you to consider" What existing world you would like to see, and what creative problems/issues may arise from doing so?   ::) ::) ::)

Spore: General / ODDWORLD - a "feature planet" in the Spore Universe
« on: April 16, 2006, 08:57:32 pm »
I'd like to discuss the idea of a "feature planet" within the Spore universe that is essentially a recreation of the creatures, buildings and vehicles that appear in the Oddworld games.  I think it's a nice fit, to reserve one planet in Spore to be the planet of Oddworld, (and for now let's conveniently leave out all the legalities for others to sort out / approve / bargain / etc… ), but I'd like to concentrate this thread on what a project like that would involve because it's a terrific imagination exercise in finding out where the limits of Spore will be, and maybe even provide some interesting conversations in the Spore development team.

For example, it's fair to say that the spore editor would only be able to "approximate" the Oddworld cast.  It wouldn't be a perfect translation, but it would at least be better than, say, what Star Wars Lego can approximate to the Star Wars universe.  No surprises there, but sticking with just the creatures for the moment, the Spore editor would be able to re-create some Oddworld creatures incredibly well.  For instance, these guys would be close to perfect...

Scrabs -

Paramites -

Gabbits -

Slogs -

Elums -

Yet other creatures would have their own difficulties.  Like clothing.  The Glukkons in Oddworld actually rely on it.  (It helps cover their atrophied legs, and so they walk on their hands.  That's why you never see their "arms")  Whereas the Mudokans on the other hand use clothing to distinguish themselves from other Mudokans (or to just cover up their naughty bits).

Glukkons -

Mudokans -

And then there are the characters like the Sligs that have robotic-limbs, which the editor wouldn't be able to handle at all.  These would technically need to be vehicles that the characters sit in, yet the vehicles in Spore never show the creatures inside them.  The vehicle acts just like another creature, not as an actual vehicle carrying a creature, Sligs in this case still wouldn't be achievable...

Sligs -

Flying Sligs -

But it also brings up the idea of robots.  In advanced civilisations that are capable of interstellar travel surely they would be capable of building robots.  (Essentially these would be vehicles).  Here are two that appear in the Oddworld universe...

Snoozers -

Greeters -

And then there are the completely strange ones that pose their own unique problems.  For instance, the Fleeches can grappling-hook to higher places just using their tongues!

Fleeches -

And Fuzzles can change from cute fluffy little furballs into a rabid ball of teeth!   This isn't really a big issue, but the unique thing about Fuzzles is that they have no legs at all!  They bounce everywhere like rubber balls.  (And they have fur).  Can creatures in spore bounce to get around?

Fuzzles -

And then there's Elum.  Abe's friendly ride.  Can creatures be tamed and ridden?  Would creatures who, once tamed, be available in the vehicle editor?  And if so, could they be given machine enhancements, like a saddle, or armour, or robot legs (like the Sligs)?

Elum -

This particular creature, a Vykker, sports a tattoo that looks like a brand.  Can we give our creatures tattoos?  In some ways I hope we can, but only if they're procedural- otherwise we'd have herds of Pepsi Bears and Coke-a-sauruses filling up our creature databases.  Yuck.

Vykkers -

The Sporification of Oddworld would be incredibly cool, and even if it doesn't happen (at least on a deliberately professional level, which won't stop fans from creating Scrabs and Mudokans) I hope then that the idea of Sporifying an existing imaginary world raises questions that can at least be useful to the Spore development team.  If not just to generate ideas and considerations for the Spore creature editor, but also how it's other editors as well.  For instance, looking at the fantastic buildings in Oddworld, can we have statues, like those that appear in the Mudokan shrines?  Can they be overgrown with leaves and vines?  Tree houses?  Walkways between these raised structures?  Monorails?  Monorails over water?  Floating cities?   The list could really go on and on, but the fundamental notion here is that Spore could add and add and add and keep adding to what is possible within its universe. 

As much as the players will add content to enrich the Spore universe, I hope the developers can continue to increase the capabilities of what is possible for the players to create.  If the developers keep adding tools, we'll keep building with them, which will inturn keep enriching the game.  Just talking about all the possibilities makes me giddy with excitement.  I'd love to pop in my UFO and dash around planet Oddworld for a while, then maybe off to the world of the Dark Crystal and see what's happening there before scooting past Endor, Tattoine, and Hoth. 

Ok, I think I need to lie down now.   :D  zzzzz...

Spore: General / Re: special skills
« on: April 05, 2006, 03:16:30 pm »
Great idea for a thread.  Here are my suggestions...

  • The abilitity to roll into a ball.  (like an armadillo or sonic)
  • Swing from tree to tree.  (like a monkey)
  • Glide for short periods of time (like a sugar glider)
  • The ability to spin a web/build a cocoon (to gestate)
  • The ability to breach the waters surface (like a dolphin/whale)

I also reeeeally like the idea of an effects editor.  That's cool! 

Spore: General / Re: Spore as educator or agenda?
« on: March 30, 2006, 06:54:54 pm »
 ;D  He he.   This is funny.  I can see the headlines now...  VIDEO GAME PROVES INTELLIGENT DESIGN

I don't think so. 

Particularly as it's mostly right wing religious zealots that point the stick at video games for violence and abusive behaviour.  I doubt they'll be changing their tune anytime soon.   He he.  Still makes me laugh.   :D

Spore: General / Re: Human Evolution
« on: March 30, 2006, 02:50:05 pm »
The idea that the weakest still survive in the human species makes me think about all the collected effort it took to provide the technology and services to keep those weakest alive.  In this sense we are acting more collectively than previously in history.  I think the world is showing signs of unification, even when (and sometimes especially when) its old systems are breaking down.  (Economic systems, political systems, energy systems, etc)  I think that if we are evolving, we're evolving in that way- the way of unification.  What we're evolving to, however, is anyones guess-  Group mind perhaps?  Who knows?   ::)   

Personally, I don't think we're even aware of ourselves as one species yet.  I think we're still stuck in the mindset of countries vs countries, like we're somehow on these separate little planets not connected to each other.  (A telling sign is that we don't even have a flag for the world yet)  Once we have some kind of motivator to start acting like one planet, (global warming?  peak oil? avian flu?) then we'll probably see some more obvious signs of the above mentioned evolution.   (Whoa- I think I need to have a lie down.  My brain hurts)

Spore: General / Re: "History of Your Creature"
« on: March 29, 2006, 09:34:41 pm »
I'm not here to discuss the why's and wherefores of cheating or how it would work.  All I was doing with my last post (which was a response to yours) was to prove that people on this forum were talking about cheating.   Which I did.   I don't want to talk about cheating with you, mrogers.   :-\   

Spore: General / Re: "History of Your Creature"
« on: March 28, 2006, 01:11:43 pm »
Mrodgers asked me, "Umm where do you see people talking about cheating?"

Well, umm... did you read the thread?

$kelet0r - i can see problems arising from that though - how long would it take to assemble the ultimate creature by cheating and then uploading it into the spore database and ruining everyone elses' game by bing far too powerful to beat fairly difficult to prevent


not by using cheats necessarily but by altering the game files/data - anyone with some game making/modding experience could do it

etc, etc... 

Spore: General / Re: "History of Your Creature"
« on: March 27, 2006, 02:15:59 am »
I think this thread is getting crazy and confused, especially about two issues: Cheating, and Saying No to Statistics.

Personally, I don't know how (or why) anyone would want to cheat.  But let's say they did.  I don't think hacked creatures with attributes that exceed the games limits would be seen by the History or Upload feature.  They would be immediately not counted.  What I was meaning was creatures that have specific combinations (created normally in the editor) that take advantage of how the scirpt analyses strength, speed, etc, will emerge in greater number than those that don't- especially with the History/Statistics feature helping them to refine these combinations.  With this in mind, there will naturally be these particular combinations of creatures dominating the player-created creatures out there.  They would exist as a type of "classic design" for strength, speed, and both.  (Updating the script that these creature designs are taking advantage of so that the old ways of exploitation are no longer as significant, or even relevant, is a way around this- and I think will be inevitable anwyay (if the Spore creators go down this route)).

Saying no to statistics seems a little strange to me.  You will naturally see these classic designs appearing in your shopping list of creatures to buy (or discover).  They may come in the form of the classic six-legged creature, or classic human-like creature, but there will definitely be a range of agreed upon templates because they simply work well.  The only way to say no to these statistics is to either: not access the History statistics, or not recognise them as they occur in-game.   :-\

Spore: General / Re: "History of Your Creature"
« on: March 26, 2006, 03:09:51 am »
Skelet0r- I hear ya.  

Actually, one way to prevent this is to constantly update the script that procedurally creates these abilities.  (I wrote about this in another post- The Omni-Script )

For instance, if there were a T-rex creature who was unfairly the strongest and fastest, an update to the script that generates every creatures movements and behaviour (I call it the omni-script) may now include the ability to hunt in packs and climb trees.  In this case a voracious form of carnivorous flying monkeys may usurp the T-rex's throne, which would have been previously impossible since the older omni-script never allowed for it.  So the goal posts would constantly change and therefore so would the game's champions.  Then the next update may include a creatures ability to roll into a ball to defend itself, and also to roll as an attack.  A spiky armadillo may then become the new champion.  Etc, etc...

Spore: General / Re: "History of Your Creature"
« on: March 26, 2006, 02:45:12 am »
I think as a side effect from the History feature you will see "champions" emerge in different catagories- which will actually be optimised creature designs that exploit the procedural animation scripting.  For instance: In the 05 spore video the creature called Dilemma had fastest gait to it only because of the way the legs were positioned.  Eventually some nut will tweak and refine the absolute fastest combination of leg length, body shape, etc, and that will become the cheetah of the spore universe.  Likewise there will be the fighting version as well, (t-rex?) and then the best average between the two -fastest and strongest combo.  Although this is cool, the negative impact the History feature will have is that it will get people focussed on the champions and so you'll have many variations of these.  Possibly too many.  I doubt there's any way to avoid this, but perhaps it can be diluted by introducing other qualifiers like: weirdest, slowest, coolest, longest, shortest, tallest, most robust, spikiest, etc.

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