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Topics - Zen

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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 - http://www.ryane.com/Downloads/Images/scrab_yell.jpg

Paramites - http://www.oddworld.au.com/universe/creatures/images/paramite01.jpg

Gabbits - http://www.oddworld.au.com/universe/creatures/images/gabbit05.jpg

Slogs - http://www.oddworld.au.com/universe/creatures/images/slog01.jpg

Elums - http://www.oddworld.au.com/universe/creatures/images/elum03.jpg


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 - http://www.artinfantry.com/gallery/albums/oddcharacters/executives1.jpg

Mudokans - http://www.oddworld.au.com/universe/creatures/images/mudokon01.jpg


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 - http://www.artinfantry.com/gallery/albums/oddcharacters/sligs.jpg

Flying Sligs - http://www.oddworld.com/universe/industrial/characters/sligs/ow_flying.html


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 - http://www.oddworld.com/universe/industrial/characters/snoozer_assets/snoozer.gif

Greeters - http://www.oddworld.com/universe/industrial/characters/ow_greeter.html


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 - http://www.oddworld.au.com/universe/creatures/images/fleech01.jpg


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 - http://www.artinfantry.com/gallery/albums/oddcharacters/fuzzies3.jpg


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 - http://www.artinfantry.com/gallery/albums/oddcharacters/abe_elum.jpg


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 - http://www.artinfantry.com/gallery/albums/oddcharacters/Vykkers1.jpg


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...

2
Spore: General / The Omni-Script
« on: March 20, 2006, 02:52:46 pm »
If all the creatures animate from the same script (to procedurally generate how they walk, fight, dance, etc) then they are also *limited* by this same script.  Don't get me wrong- it's a great idea, but...

Are there any plans to keep updating this script online?

For example: In the 2005 demonstration I saw that when any of the creatures would run they would simply walk very fast.  They wouldn't break into a gallop.  Think of a kangaroo.  A kangaroo walks like a tripod- it rests on its tail and moves both its huge feet forward to bring up its tail again to rest on, and repeats the process.  If a kangaroo ran in the 2005 Spore it would do this very slow walk cycle, only faster.  It wouldn't bound like a kangaroo does. (ie. break into a gallop).  If the Spore programmers later work out how to incorporate a procedural gallop into this "omni-script" (or any other improvement) then by updating that one script it would update the entire experience of Spore.

Putting my business hat on-  It would be possible to take advantage of the single-playerness of Spore to pay for upgrades to the basic Spore script, thereby creating a revenue to pay for your programmers time.  I would certainly pay for an upgrage if I knew that all the creatures I've created (and hence, fallen in love with) would all suddenly be able to sprint, and play, and do things they couldn't do before.  How amazing would this be?

------------------------------------------------------------------

So that's my entire suggestion.  From now on I'll shamelessly take advantage of your remaining attention to completely gush at how excited I am for this game to come out.  I'm a concept artist and character designer as a profession, so I think you may grasp how enamoured I was to see the creature editor and the range that is possible.  The other huge plus for me is that it is impossible to "finish" this game.   You see, I am one of those "completists", so what I enjoy about Spore is that I can't trap myself (or bore myself) into a mindset of trying to finish the game to 100% -because it's impossible.  Instead I am left with the only option of playing for the pure enjoyment of playing.  What a difference this will make.  Again, excuse me while I gush.   I.  Can't.  Wait.    ;D ;D ;D


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