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Messages - SporeKevin

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Spore: General / Re: The Sporepedia lacks in censorship
« on: September 22, 2008, 02:09:08 pm »
God damn this thread.

God damn spore.

God damn you.

You know what, that's profanity.    Just like the original comment that is being defended.   I wonder if your mothers would be embarrassed that you're trying to rationalize writing such profanity unnecessarily in a comment to someone's in-game content that anyone (including children) can read when they play the game.   Rationalize it til doomsday, but it remains profanity.  Sorry.

As for a week ban, that's just silly.  One day for first offense would have been more than enough.   They probably outsourced the ban stick to someone in India.

Spore: General / Re: StoryBook Planet!
« on: September 21, 2008, 07:39:29 pm »
I found a 'baseball' planet once.   Does that count as a theme?  It sure isn't a storybook planet...

Unfortunately, as I was leaving it, got caught in meteor shower (T0 planet) and apparently blew up or otherwise got stuck when the game crashed.   This was first time into space, and didn't have a good save-game, so it may be a while before I figure out again where it is at (moved onto other species after that un-fun incident).

Spore: General / Re: The Grox (Spoilers)
« on: September 21, 2008, 11:53:55 am »
Rather than a trainer, you may want to consider a hack, as in a .package file.

Check out this webpage by someone who created a few, including one for SoL and another for changing the aggressiveness of the game (still useful if you haven't patched yet).

I haven't used the SoL one yet (haven't gotten towards the core yet), but am just starting to use the changed times for pirate attacks and war.   Not enough to report success, but at least the .package type hacks are of old school Sims style, where you can drop it in a subdir, try it out and if you dont like it, remove it.  The other hacks under discussion were megabyte files that required deleting save games and messed with things.   Just saying... might be worth trying one or the other.

Spore: General / Re: Have planets always orbited?
« on: September 16, 2008, 11:18:59 am »
Odd, but I'm not sure there are background patches coming in.   The sporepedia in the game is an HTML based browser client, so if the devs at Maxis make server changes (re-arrange formatting of webpage content), it shows up differently in the in-game sporepedia.   This should include the achievements lists as well.  Is there any evidence of any actual in-game (in the 3-D world of any stage) that a patch has been implemented?   It COULD happen, but I think it's conjecture at this point.

Spore: General / Re: Signs of Intelligence from Sporepedia?
« on: September 15, 2008, 02:55:45 pm »
That's your QUICK question?!  *falls over

Spore: General / Re: Is it normal for the game to lag much?
« on: September 15, 2008, 02:13:07 pm »
I'm running Spore on a year old iMac with 2GB RAM on the OSX side and it doesn't have much lag for going into planets and such.   Realize that there may be some extra delay on first visiting a planet as a multiple MB file for it may be generated at that point on first visit (might be done on entry into system, not sure).  I recommend trying the OSX install.

I do however sometimes get a lot of near game-freezing lag when I get into very busy firefights with several foes and there are major explosions.  Doesn't happen every time, but the graphics for drawing the little debris parts and the "kaboom" graphics seems to all but kill it for a few seconds sometimes.

Note that I run with all graphics settings at maximum, at 1920x1200 resolution, so I could well adjust things to not have the above slowdown.  Just haven't tried given it's a bit rare in my game play.

Spore: General / Re: How do YOU kill pirates?
« on: September 15, 2008, 02:01:29 pm »
Thanks.   Seems like some good advice here!

So far:

1) Use the back-up procedure to aim at them and attack while 'retreating'.
2) Switch from torpedo to laser to burn the runners down.
3) Buy uber satellite defense if you can afford it to help take them out.
4) Notice whether flying in high orbit which is faster or low orbit, slower but more precise.
5) Pick up any spice boxes in colonies before pirates, so they have nothing to steal.

Seems like good strategies, and I only had a couple of them myself, so I'm sure I'll be doing better than simply spamming torpedoes and saying rude things at the monitor as they get away.  : )

Spore: General / Re: Fantasy Land Formations
« on: September 15, 2008, 01:56:04 pm »
I'm waiting to find a chocolate planet.   I'm starting to get the tools for one, so if a 'wild' one doesn't show, I may have to make my own.

Spore: General / Where is difficulty level of a saved game shown?
« on: September 15, 2008, 01:26:16 pm »
Maybe I'm just missing the obvious, but I cannot seem to find where in a saved game (after you start up in that game) it says what difficulty level it is (easy, normal, hard).   Knowing from looking at the galaxy view would be nice also, but not my main quest in this thread.   Thanks!

Spore: General / Re: Another reason to avoid alliances....
« on: September 15, 2008, 01:23:56 pm »
One side benefit of alliances seems to be that if they get into a war with someone (maybe even a mutual enemy <cough cough, oops, my fault>), they may get attacked and lose their colonies on a planet.  This allows me to go in and attack the aggressor, take over the colonies, and now have a system that I wouldn't have had before without paying a lot for from the ally (assuming they ever offered it).   I'm slowly filling out my collection of systems this way in a rather painless way.

Spore: General / How do YOU kill pirates?
« on: September 15, 2008, 01:20:00 pm »
No, not talking about copyright breakers, but those pesky spice thieves.

I'm wondering if anyone found an attack type that gets them when they run, because it seems like my torpedoes cannot get to catch up to them fast enough, and once they get some distance then they do a quick-heal.   I have the better weapon levels in one game, so if anyone has suggestions I'd appreciate it!

Spore: General / Re: Spore Isn't Fun Anymore
« on: September 15, 2008, 01:10:13 pm »
I don't know why.   Probably mostly to get the player to move around and have a reason to shop, rather than do a warehouse store loadup and rarely need a reason to scan the stock on every planet they visit.   Not sure that's a GOOD practice, but it is effective if that's why they limited things like Health items to one per planet.

And no, I'm not any more associated with Maxis than you are (aren't you that Maxis addict employee down the hall?!).

I believe it is only on the official site where they have Maxis<name> for the red-letter employees of Maxis.  Even on this forum the Maxis employees are logging in with single word accounts, like "Lucky".

Apparently it isn't a problem to use Spore<something> for setting up an EA account or Spore account, since I've had this one for 3 months or so.

Watch my game no longer load and sporepedia entries get erased by the EA security detail after this...

Spore: General / Re: For Caryl: What we DO like about Spore
« on: September 15, 2008, 10:22:41 am »
My list:

1) I love that they released it in dual Win/Mac format, so I have a choice of OS environment.   I bought an iMac a year ago and was playing with bootcamp and the Win side of it until a few months back when my main Windows PC dropped dead, so the Mac became main system for games as well for the time being.  Now I finally have a contemporary large game I can play on a Mac without apparent OS specific issues.  Special grats to the OSX porting team for that!

2) I love the way they added gameplay elements to the mini-games.  They were working on the stages for years, and took an additional year to polish the stages and make more of a game out of it.   I think it shows very well as a result, and makes it easier to get others to try out.  Spore should spread... *chants

3) Related to above, I love how there are aspects of Sims games in Spore, with the way the creatures are cute and all, but that they added stronger gameplay.   But not so much gameplay that one gets stuck with a Civ-style dozen hour game.   I'd rather get suckered into playing 5-7 hours to get a new species up to space stage, and go make another species, or go on with one for many more hours as I get frequent gratification from badges and achievements in the space stage.

4) I love the philosophies and related attributes.   Without that, there would be a whole lot less reason, for game purposes, to re-run new species to the space stage.   It reminds me of MMO style gameplay, where I'm willing to put (many) hours into playing a new character just to see a new combo of archetypes, even though the basic game was seen weeks or months before.

5) I love that they actually wrapped it up and released a game on (their) schedule.   Or as some would put it (coming from a test group perspective), "pooped it out".  : )   No vaporware here, luckily.

6) and what everyone above said.  

Definitely a unique game and experience and a stand-out achievement for the gaming software industry.


I'll be the last to defend the current version we have and why it was shipped that way!  Particularly the way that easy mode is not so easy.   Normal mode maybe could have had some quirks and hard mode, sure, but they didn't ship it with a way to have the 'sandbox' feature that they both talked about and many fans were anticipating.   

I think they (Maxis and EA) lost a lot of loyalty from this poorly done release and it'll be interesting to see how EA does after this (as I understand it, they've been in the red for a while and Spore was going to help resolve that, supposedly).

One thing though...their ideas on what makes the space stage challenging, such as the frequent attacks until one (supposedly) gets better gear then takes out the attacking species, haven't been shared with us.   Odds are that they didn't see it as a bug but as a feature.   I don't know why, given that they have otherwise competent devs with previous game development experience, but, who knows since it hasn't been shared...   Hopefully they'll resolve this by adding UI to the options settings to turn off some things or adjust the rate.   Personally, I find the rest of the game fine, but this product needs a patch, definitely.

Just for clarification.   

Test engineers can find issues or have recommendations as they get familiar with an area under test and those they write up as "Change Requests" or "bug reports".   They may well see exactly the same thing as the end-customer, or see something different if they happen to have a working environment that doesn't match (i.e. they use something similar to the developers environment where things work, but not real-world, which is a bad idea, but happens sometimes).   

In any case, the reports get reviewed and usually a decision is made by project management and development leads with input from the test department as to what to do.   There are always more defects and suggestions for change than there is time to implement them at any one period of time.

So in other words, it isn't that it wasn't tested, it just wasn't fixed.

Welcome to my world.

And as for beta testers, they normally help with late development, after the product is mostly done but where the code needs to be exercised in different environments than available by the developers/testers, as well as to get a lot more sets of fresh eyes on things.   But it isn't likely that major changes will be suggested by beta testers in the last months of the product cycle that can implemented in time.   Depends on the project of course.   It is the 'alpha' (paid professional) internal testers where hopefully more critical design issues are found.

-(anonymous test engineer with the name of Kevin)

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