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Messages - FalconNL

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Spore: General / Re: Spore Advanced: The wishlist V1.1
« on: September 10, 2008, 07:25:27 am »
Yeah, for the computer it makes sense and leads to more variety. Added.

Spore: General / Re: Spore Advanced: The wishlist V1.1
« on: September 09, 2008, 11:25:45 pm »
Added suggestions from Hobelhouse, OpDDay2001 and Lurker28.

An equivalent to Pinstar's idea is already in the list.

SiestaGuru: would these change the gameplay in any way? We already have the philosophy system (Shaman, etc.). What would the different be between a logical and an emotional creature in, say, the tribal phase?

Spore: General / Re: Spore Advanced: The wishlist V1.1
« on: September 09, 2008, 03:04:04 pm »
80 ideas and counting; version number updated to 1.1.
Feel free to suggest more.

Spore: General / Re: Attn Maxis: Suggestions for changes to the game
« on: September 09, 2008, 01:45:55 am »
In all honesty, with a 50 unit or so limit, you still wouldn't have anything close to what real battles are like (Kursk, as mentioned, involved thousands of tanks, for an upper limit, and that's just on vehicles. There were battles in feudal China with hundreds of thousands of men), and thus my idea is an attempt to get realistic numbers without having to have a godlike computer to run it.

Correct. Then again, we don't have anything approaching a realistic number of cities or inhabitants either. If we want realism we need billions of creatures, tens of thousands of cities and armies numbering thousands. This isn't happening anytime soon. Even in Civilization, which is slightly more realistic in scale, a full planet would have maybe 100-200 cities. I think somewhere between 0 and 200 units per side, with an average battle involving ca. 100 units (the 50 per side figure I used) strikes a reasonable balance between realism and playability.

Spore: General / Re: Attn Maxis: Suggestions for changes to the game
« on: September 09, 2008, 12:50:28 am »
Ah, but I'm not proposing to literally have that many troops, as I said. I'm proposing to have it represented statistically through an algorithm for types of units. For example, Civilization A makes Tier II Mainline Tank A, which (assuming the scale is 1 HP=1 tank, and, that the baseline attack is 10, and the HP is 100 as the result of adjustment by the algorithm, 100*10=1000 attack). It appears exactly the same as Civilization B's Tier I Mainline Tank on the field, but it's statistics are dramatically different- Civ B's tank has 10 hp and 100 attack.

It's purely algorithmic, and requires no more units on the battlefield then there already are. Basically, it would be similar to the system used in the Heroes of Might and Magic games, but in the same real-time environment of vanilla Spore.

Ah, ok, I see your point now. So n units with stat x are displayed as one unit with stat n*x. But doesn't that hide any visual sense of strength in numbers? Let's your you tanks as an example.

Civilization A send out one Tier 2 Tank.
Attack score: 100
Cost: 5000

Civilization B sends out 10 Tier 1 Tanks.
Attack score: 20
Cost: 700

What it will look like on the battlefield:
1 Tier 2 Tank (Att 100) vs. 1 "Tier 3 Tank" (Att 200), with the only difference being that unlike a real Tier 3 Tank this combined tank's attack value will drop as it suffers damage (sub-units get destroyed).

In the system I'm proposing you would see one big tank face off against 10 small tanks, which apart from being a lot more visual about the difference in quality/quantity also allows for more strategy: The big tank's gun can only be pointed in one direction so be sending 5 units to each side you gain a strategic advantage and will lose less units.

Spore: General / Re: Attn Maxis: Suggestions for changes to the game
« on: September 08, 2008, 11:02:39 pm »
Good ideas.

Combat as a minigame: I've added an idea that is a bit different from yours, but along the same lines.

Tech tree in Civ game: I considered this, but the problem is that the typical Civilization-like tech tree of bronze age to future as you suggest is awfully earth-centered. Other races might take a completely different path. To quote the Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy movie: "a race with fifty noses, and the first to develop the aerosol deodorant before the wheel". This is why I didn't include it yet. For tribal it should be doable, as there is only a limited amount of technology to work with, but for Civ this is significantly more problematic. If anyone has any good ideas for this that don't constrain you to Earth's history I'd love to hear them.

What about a system akin to the Creature phases, with technology cards gained in some fashion (or technologies sold among cities)?

Also, just to make it clear (since the wording was kind of ambigious) what I'm proposing isn't to actually make the units waaay bigger visually. It's to adopt a scale (e.g. 1 hp on a vehicle unit is 1 vehicle of that type, 1 attack point is equivalent to one of that vehicle, 1 HP is 10 men, etc) and adjust units to an algorithm to account for that (higher tiers being unlocked as techs, since supply systems wouldn't be advanced enough to support 1,000,000 men in a civilization using spears and stones, while numbers are subtracted from city population). That way, you can have units with realistic numbers (even in the Bronze Age, they had battles with tens or hundreds of thousands of men on certain occasions, and Kursk had thousands of tanks) without needing an engine that makes the Total War series look like a picnic.

However, it would mainly be infantry that necessitate this. Vehicle battles already work pretty well and realistically if you assume 1 hp=1 vehicle.

Personally I'm not a very big fan of the card system, as the direction you take is decided by chance instead of yourself. Suppose you have decided to play a ground-based militaristic civilization but the only cards you find are things like jet engines and air-to-surface missiles. This robs you of creative control. For the cell and creature phase it's somewhat realistic, but I don't think it will work for Civ phase.

As for the battles: obviously seeing thousands of troops on the battlefield would be more realistic. However, there are very few games that do this, mainly for technical and to a lesser extent gameplay reasons. Hence my suggestion for armies of up to about 50 units (not an absolute limit, just a rough indication). This is roughly the amount you'll see in most RTS games. It's high enough to have different groups of reasonable size (say 10 artillery, 25 tanks, 10 infantry, 5 helicopters) but low enough to be able to clearly identify and manage them. Basically my proposal comes down to a faster-paced Advance Wars.

Spore: General / Re: Attn Maxis: Suggestions for changes to the game
« on: September 08, 2008, 01:16:49 pm »
Personally I suggest three threads:
One with a list of suggestion that can easily and feasibly be implemented in Spore in the short term, i.e. kandalf's post.
This can be locked and stickied.
One discussion topic for short term solutions, i.e. this thread. Ideas from this thread can be put into kandalf's topic by him so that the Spore devs don't have to wade through page after page of discussion, but can get a quick list of what we would most like to have changed.
The third topic would be mine, with ideas for expansion packs or different games altogether. These are low priority, but can serve as an inspiration for modders or game developers. Discussion will occur in the same thread, and I will try to include most of the ideas in the first post for easy reference.

Just my two cents.

Spore: General / Re: Attn Maxis: Suggestions for changes to the game
« on: September 08, 2008, 05:41:41 am »
I see one of the moderators decided to merge my topic with this one. I don't think this is a good idea, as most of my suggestions are far outside the current scope of Spore. I decided to make it a separate topic so that my list, which contains ideas that most likely won't be seen in a game for the next five years or so, would not clutter up the list of things that can be done in the short term to improve Spore. If it is possible to unmerge the two topics I think it would avoid confusion, keep discussion in both topics more focused and be generally easier to work with.
If this is not possible I can also recreate the topic if a mod gives permission (to avoid recreating and remerging the same topic multiple times).

Thanks in advance.

Spore: General / Re: Attn Maxis: Suggestions for changes to the game
« on: September 08, 2008, 04:20:37 am »
Good ideas.

Combat as a minigame: I've added an idea that is a bit different from yours, but along the same lines.
National flag: Added.
Government & religion editor: Added.
Clothing editor: What I meant was to have the ability to design the clothes themselves. Currently there aren't all that many options.

Tech tree in Civ game: I considered this, but the problem is that the typical Civilization-like tech tree of bronze age to future as you suggest is awfully earth-centered. Other races might take a completely different path. To quote the Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy movie: "a race with fifty noses, and the first to develop the aerosol deodorant before the wheel". This is why I didn't include it yet. For tribal it should be doable, as there is only a limited amount of technology to work with, but for Civ this is significantly more problematic. If anyone has any good ideas for this that don't constrain you to Earth's history I'd love to hear them.

Spore: General / Spore Advanced: The wishlist V1.1
« on: September 08, 2008, 03:03:47 am »
Note: This thread is a list of long-term ideas for expansion packs, mods or different games entirely. It is NOT a list of things we want in patches for Spore. As such it should not be merged with topics such as "Attn Maxis: Suggestions for changes to the game" and discussion for short-term fixes should be conducted in different threads. Thank you for your cooperation.

After three years of waiting Spore has finally been released and it has done a thoroughly commendable job of getting down the breadth of the gameplay and solving the technological hurdles. However, there are a lot of people who were hoping for a lot more depth as well. Some of these were even in early videos, but they were cut due to time, gameplay or target audience constraints. This is fine. As someone else noted Spore has created a new genre and is currently the only game in it. There will be other games that do the same thing but better. And so we come to this topic. This post will be a list of ideas for a future, more serious successor to Spore, i.e. if Spore is SimCity Societies, this is an idea list for Cities XL. Naturally, if Maxis chooses to address any of them in patches/expansion packs that would be much appreciated, but it is not the main focus of this thread. Not all of these ideas will necessarily result in good gameplay. I will be editing this post as I think of more ideas. Others are encouraged to post their ideas as well and I'll try to periodically integrate them into the first post to get a comprehensive list of inspiration for modders, game companies that are going to license the Spore Engine or companies making a whole new engine.

Cell phase
Not a whole lot of demands here yet. The stage does what it intends to and at the moment I don't see any great improvements or opportunities for increased depth. Perhaps a different company might go for a more realistic look but the cartoony thing works fairly well here.

  • Maxis has decided to cut the water stage. I can see why they did so, since the gameplay is fairly similar to the cell and the creature phase. However, this means no aquatic civilizations, which is a real shame. Therefore, I propose that instead of just legs we can also place gills, fins, etc. If you place legs and no gills you will be a land creature and things proceed as they do now. If you place no legs but gills and fins you will be an aquatic civilization. Place both legs and gills and you will be an amphibian. Switching between these should remain possible in the creature stage.
  • NEW: Ability to start on a hot or cold planet in addition to the current T3 planets

Creature phase
  • A better animation system. Bodies sometimes stretch in non-natural ways
  • Intersection detection. No parts of the creature should ever go through each other, the ground or other creatures.
  • Hair. While hair can be faked to some extent, making a wooly mammoth is still pretty much impossible.
  • More parts. Self-explanatory.
  • More variation in herd size. There are currently few or no solitary creatures
  • Let creatures stray from their herd. This lets you pick off creatures without it immediately becoming an all-out brawl.
  • Fight or flight. Currently attacking a herd means they will become angry and attack you. Compare gazelles. They don't attack the lion, they run.
  • Killing a creature produces a corpse, which you can then eat. A corpse attracts scavengers. To protect against this you can drag the corpse away (see the GDC 2005 video).
  • Allow different looks for males and females (compare lions, peacocks, etc.)
  • Flying creatures
  • Nests in places other than the ground. Trees (for flying creatures), caves (especially under water), mountains, etc.
  • Predators when playing a herbivore. When playing a herbivore there is virtually no threat as long as you don't come too close to epics or a carnivore nest. The farther away you venture from your nest, the bigger the chance should be that something will try to eat you.
  • Consequence for failure when socializing. Currently failing a minigame means you can just try again on a different member of that species. After three failed attempts or so the species should become hostile or at least dismissive of further attempts until they are appeased some other way.
  • Different terrain types. Currently we have the following terrain types: 1) water 2) land, land with trees, hills (all play the same) 3) mountains (land, but too steep to walk on). Ideally there would be more different types of environment, which are visually distinct and which have an effect on gameplay. E.g. mountains (rock, requires certain creature configuration to navigate (mountain goat vs. giraffe)), swamp (amphibian only), forest (no big creatures), caves (eyes are useless, require different senses), polar regions (require thick fur/alternative way to keep warm), savanna/desert (no thick fur), etc.
  • Different way of befriending creatures, e.g. dragging corpses over to their nest and leaving them there (food sharing), protecting them from attack (bodyguard), etc.
  • Migration should be based on food supply near nest, not mission after x points/time. During migration it would be more realistic to travel with the whole group instead of solitary. Predator attacks while migrating should be frequent. It might be interesting to have to cross a river during this point, which obviously contains more predators (compare gnus vs. crocodiles)
  • Apart from food drinking should be required as well. This leads to interesting dynamics around watering holes (meeting new species, keeping watch for predators, etc.)
  • NEW: Different AIs for other races. This goes along various axes like Passive-Aggressive, Protective-Every man for himself, Explorative-Indifferent, Flee-Stand and fight, Herd-Individual, Trustworthy-Treacherous, Greedy-Zen, etc.[/i]
Tribal phase
  • Hunting semi-epics. A group of creatures should be able to defeat a creature that's quite a bit bigger and stronger than them, but not epic in scale (compare man hunting mammoths).
  • Customization options for buildings
  • A tech tree. Unlike Civilization, large parts of the tree should be optional and there should be multiple paths to techs. For instance, you can get to javelins from sharp rocks (add a stick and throw it) or from thrown rocks (add a stick and make it sharper).
  • Trading. We are fisherman, but for a balanced diet we need fruit. We'll trade you these fish for your fruits.
  • More ways to anger tribes. You are picking fruit from our trees/fishing in our rivers, etc.
  • Allow more than three pets at a time.
  • Allow pets to be mounted. For technical reasons this should probably be restricted to creatures with certain layouts, but it should be possible.
  • Allow eggs from pets and processed pets to be a major food source (apart from fish, fruit, corpses)
  • NEW: Ability to colour clothing separately from the creature. This goes for civ and space stages as well.

Civ phase
  • Completely free building placement. No city wall. For practical reasons restrict building to a radius from existing buildings (similar to a lot of RTS games). Make building walls free as well.
  • No limits to city size (Allowing Coruscant-like planets)
  • More realistic scale compared to the planet. With current dimensions recreating earth is fairly impossible since one city takes almost an entire continent.
  • More building types. small/medium/large Religious buildings (shrine/temple/cathedral), small/medium/large economic buildings (supermarket, bank, stock market), small/medium/large war buildings (barracks, army camp, vehicle factory), small/medium/large productivity building (workshop, refinery, factory)
  • Wonders of the world (like Civilization, but customized) with selectable effect.
  • Like nests, allow different locations for cities. Cities in trees/treetops (Lothlorien), Floating cities, underwater cities (with dome if you are a land dweller), cities on land (with water-filled dome if you are an aquatic species), underground cities, cities on mountains, cities on top of the water (Waterworld)
  • Religious conversion should not gradually damage vehicles. You send a religious delegation to convert a city. Depending on how strong that city's faith is the attempt will succeed (city is converted), their faith is weakened (your vehicles are sent home but the city is not yet converted) or they will reject your conversion (your delegation is destroyed)
  • Economic conversion should be a gradual process, not a true/false affair. You should be able to gradually acquire more control of the city's finances (which increases your revenue. See it as buying some of their companies and becoming shareholders) until you have full control and the city becomes yours.
  • Different types of military units (knights, tanks, artillery, infantry, etc.). Something of a rock-paper scissors affair. Allow far greater amount of units for more realistic battles (50 or so per side should be fine)
  • Allow customizing the city floor, walls, decorations.
  • More textures. Also a texture editor to create new procedural textures.
  • Far higher complexity limit.
  • More parts.
  • Diplomatic options (alliances, non-aggression pacts, trade routes, etc.)
  • NEW: Combat as a subgame. The proposed larger armies will probably be infeasible to display on the planet scale. Instead, display them iconically (compare to the way cities would become larger as you zoomed out in the GDC 2005 video). When two armies meet or an army comes up to a city, zoom in to display the battlefield. The gameplay in this game is basically a slow RTS. This allows tactical maneuvers like flanking, pincer strikes, etc. while keeping the real-time nature of the game. Apart from fighting a city it should also be possible to hold a siege at the planetary level, slowly draining the city of food until they are relieved by that nation's army, at which point a battle occurs.
  • NEW: Allow designing your nation's flag.
  • NEW: Allow editing your government style. A simple way would be to have a series of sliders with Personal freedom, bureaucracy, militarism, draft age (if any), etc. More complex options are possible as well.
  • NEW: Allow editing your religion (if any). Amount of gods, sex and names of gods, look of gods (= creature editor), allow writing holy texts and commandments in a text field, etc.
  • NEW: Much higher complexity limit in buildings
  • NEW: No scale restrictions in building parts. You should be able to make parts as big or small as you want to.
  • NEW: For that matter, once freeform building placement is allowed, no size restrictions on the building either. Some buildings are simply a lot bigger than other (Beijing's Forbidden City vs. an average house. Building scale should depend on the size of the door, i.e. the door should be big enough to fit one of your creatures through and if a building has a bigger or smaller door the building will be scaled to match the correct size.
  • NEW: Control over texture wrapping.
  • NEW: Different types of resources. Allows for trading and wars over scarce resources instead of everyone having access to the same spice.
  • NEW: More advanced music editor. Perhaps first you pick a genre, then pick instruments, then use sliders to control tempo, cheerfulness, etc.
  • NEW: Ability to construct vehicles based on mounts: chariots, creature-drawn carriages, etc.

Space phase
  • Make missions completely voluntary (compare Grand Theft Auto). No "Your colony is being attacked by pirates" every three minutes.
  • If random attacks are kept in, make planets able to defend themselves. The likelihood of the pirate attack succeeding depends on the quality of the defenses. Initially this will be a per-city defense (turrets) but later on you can place satellite defense networks or something that protect the entire planet, reducing micromanagement. UPDATE: Perhaps an option to control those planetary defenses.
  • NEW: If pirates are kept in, they should have a home planet with an operating radius. Destroy their base there (or the entire planet) to permanently stop pirate attacks in that sector.
  • No three cities per planet limit, though the amount and type of buildings should depend on the T-score. For instance: T0 = no free building. You are limited to a protective dome similar to the way it works now. Only small buildings allowed. T1 = There is atmosphere, so free building. Still only small buildings though. T2 = small and medium buildings. T3 = Go nuts.
  • A galactic stockmarket where you can see the prices every planet you've visited is offering for the different spice types. This makes a Gazillionaire-like subgame possible.
  • A list of all the planets you've visited where you can search for certain criteria, e.g. a planet with at least a T2 score that's in an uninhabited system that produces purple spice.
  • A long-range communicator so you can communicate with any visited planet.
  • More galactic phenomena. So far the collection screen list black holes, proto-planetary disks and a several types of binary star systems. Where are the pulsars, the neutron stars, the nebulae (if think they're there but you can't visit them), the trinary star systems, the supernovas, etc.?
  • Mega-constructs. Dyson spheres, Halo rings, etc.
  • Planet sculpting.
    • Add a way to make all tools free and infinite to use. Placing a volcano should not cost you 10 minutes of spice harvesting.
    • Make raise/lower/level tools laser-based instead of missile based.
    • Add a Tiny and Huge scale for the tools beyond small, medium and large.
    • Add an option to flatten the whole planet.
    • Allow much more variation in planet size, from small comet to the largest solid planet
    • Allow painting regions with different textures instead of the whole planet being one texture. (beaches, deserts, etc. see also creature phase)
    • Have polar regions depending on planet temperature and oriented towards the sun(s).
    • Allow beaming down to planet for terraforming that is hard to do from orbit (caves etc.)
    • Realistic water behaviour: waterfalls etc.
    • Speed up time tool to allow for natural erosion.
    • Tool to raise/lower sea level independent of planet temperature (within limits. A lava-filled planet will obviously not support any water)
    • Allow planets to look completely artificial (e.g. Deathstar appearance)
    • Mega-structures, both natural and artificial. (E.g. Shiitake Moon from the Spore concept paintings)
  • Tools to shape solar systems/parts of the galaxy
    • A tractor beam to move planets, suns or entire solar systems. While doing this, show projected orbit. For the sake of gameplay, speed up time massively while doing this so that when you let go of the planet you can see it spiral into the sun.
    • Naturally all the laws of physics should apply here, so crashing two planets into eachother should leave craters, create new moons or, if the impact is big enough, a proto-planetary disk.
    • Have a tool that automatically finds a stable orbit around one or more bodies. Useful for adding new planets or moons.
    • NEW: Ability to change size of planets and suns. Making a sun too big will result in a gravitational collapse, resulting in a black hole.
    • NEW: Ability to design interstellar vehicles that you do not control but that you can give tasks, e.g. "Transport all the spice produced on planet Dune to planet Arrakis" or "Keep traveling between these five planets and fight and attackers"

Additional editors
  • A flora editor
  • A clothing editor, i.e. the ability to create clothes instead of just placing the few premade ones.
  • NEW: Texture editor. See Civ phase.
  • NEW: Weapon/Tool editor

  • NEW: The ability to export any object to Maya/3D Studio Max

Spore: General / Re: + and - keys change views in space stage
« on: September 07, 2008, 10:25:12 pm »
X and Spacebar do the same thing, and they're conveniently near the WASD keys.

Sometimes the road that goes straight to the core is indeed blocked. Try going a bit to the left or right; usually you'll be able to continue your path then. It's often nearly impossible to judge which stars are in range and which ones are not. Just trust on the green indicator and keep moving roughly towards the center.

Added some extra ideas to my first post.

I've read that someone chose the slow route and succeeded, but I really recommend the kamikaze approach as it will probably be faster by multiple hours.

I just reached the center of the galaxy ten minutes ago. I was hoping that doing so would lift all the restrictions on terraforming tools and such. No such luck. That leaves me with no way to get the galactic sandbox I was hoping for in this game.

I would therefore like to kindly ask Maxis to include the following in an upcoming patch/expansion pack or modders to make a mod with this idea:

In the space stage, have a button somewhere (perhaps a toggleable tool like the radar and the autogun) that does the following:
- Make all tools available (your actual unlocked tools should be remembered)
- Make all tools infinite (current amounts should be remembered)
- While in sandbox mode, disable all Pirate attacks/eco disasters/etc.
- Infinite energy
- Infinite health

This allows you to actually experiment with terraforming without being interrupted every two seconds or constantly having to recharge. It's fine if this tool has to be unlocked through badges etc. or if it is very expensive. Personally I suggest making it 10 million and making it available upon getting the "Omnipotent" badge (Why would I have an omnipotent badge when I'm not actually omnipotent?).

If anyone could implement this I'd be incredibly grateful.

Just tried out the terraforming tools with the cheat console. While we're on the subject of the ultimate terraforming mode: could we please, please, please, have raise/lower/level tools that work like a laser instead of a missile? Something like the god mode in SimCity 4. I've seen it in an earlier video of Spore and it would really make terraforming much nicer. Also a "Tiny" scale below the "Small" editing tools would be nice.

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