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Messages - Stromko

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There isn't a building demolish part? You must've been trying a different adventure.

It's definitely best to get the thorn or claws weapon before you do this mission, the monsters are balanced vs that. There's a huge gulf between the Captain weapons and the natural weapons, they do about 10x as much damage, so there's not really a way to balance for both. It's particularly balanced vs claws, because you'll be fighting hordes of enemies that can withstand 2 or 3 hits, but claws can hit multiples at once.

I did include suggested crewmates who are armed with weapons, and they'll increase the damage you can do. Unfortunately they only ever attack when you attack, so you still have to get into the thick of things even if you aren't armed.

I've spent about 12 hours fine-tuning this one, I think it plays rather well. It's tough but the key is to let someone else TANK for you. Gee I wonder who ...

The enemy is balanced vs a captain with weapons, if you're going at them with tooth and claw you won't make much of a dent. So by default you've got a few lackeys backing you up, but you can swap them out for weaker crew if you need more challenge.

Spore: General / Re: Galactic Adventures Review
« on: June 24, 2009, 10:13:41 pm »
Personally I'd rather level up each captain in a reasonable span of missions (about 15 - 20, maybe 50 to get all the upgrades), then start over again with a new captain. I don't care how awesome a species is, after you've been playing it for days you get pretty tired of looking at it. It seems like it'll take a week to hit level 10 or so the way it is now, and that's pretty much constant play.

Spore: General / Re: They got rid of the Water Stage?
« on: December 11, 2006, 03:31:24 pm »
Erasing a database entry doesn't refund the money they spent coding it.

(edit) I think the point of Will's quote means they're still wondering if they can make it high-quality enough to stand with the rest of the game, though saying it's 'on the cusp' of being cut may also be an attempt to soften the blow when in fact it's inevitable that it will be cut. Whichever classification the sea creatures fit into, we really don't know

You've said twice you know how companies like EA think, and I was going to let it pass the first time, but now I really must share my belief that you can't know how anybody but you is thinking, furthermore one can't even know how they themselves will react to information that they don't yet know-- to clarify, I'm not aware of you having direct internal knowledge of what's going on with Spore's development, let alone the many many executives that may or may not be mucking around with Spore's development from on high. You seem to be claiming omniscience in other words and I just don't find that to be a valid argument.

All I'm aware of is there's been a few articles about how Maxis has been given a really loose leash to develop Spore because EA wants to develop a whole new brand of cashcow ala The Sims, and that just doesn't happen if they try to limit the designer's vision too much.

Obviously there's been a freakton of expansions to The Sims but that was only after the game was selling like crazy and the product clearly had a huge market. Excessively limiting Spore just to leave more room for expansion packs would be a gamble. If the original release of Spore doesn't catch fire and sell like crazy, they cannot expect more people to buy both the original game AND expansion packs that make it a worthwhile purchase, 6 - 18 months after the initial shipment. The hype would die down and the brand would not reach the stratospheric levels that The Sims did. It may seem like a can't-miss idea but the expectations of hardcore and casual gamers alike get higher every year.

Spore: General / Re: Watcher - A Spore-Like Game
« on: December 02, 2006, 07:16:40 pm »
The 'sucker' attachment is much too slow right now. It's cool that the developer's considered alternate methods of feeding, but even if I had 8 suckers attached it's wayyyy too slow compared to floating around eating. Higher-grade suckers with much much faster rates of evo point gain would be one way to fix that, but I think even the basic one is way too slow.

You can't really 'forage' for food like you do normally and also be a parasite, it's one or the other, so making it as slow as it is just doesn't make sense in my opinion. It's not fun gaining 1 evo point a second, gets boring fast.

Once you get the hang of it the cosmetic alteration aspect of Watcher is actually pretty decent IMO. I made a sleek critter that had a spike up front, two mouths on the side that almost faced forward, two heavy 'spike clusters' (rank 2 power attachment) on its sides, and a tail on the back with two tendril-clusters (rank 3 speed enhancers) that were clustered directly around the tail. It looked pretty nasty and was of course quite fast... this was the point where it was god of the sandbox and I really had to either move on or get better challenges though.

Another improvement I can think of is that there could be more proper fighting. You could perhaps take damage and need to do some sort of maneuvering in order to win. I think it may be an improvement if per-part collision testing was added, different parts with different durabilities, perhaps the inclusion of various armored plates. If a spike hit an armored plate it'd do much less damage than if it hit a mouth or the main body.

I like that you get more powerful compared to everything else as you advance, this captures the basic point of an RPG system in my opinion. When everything advances at the same exact pace as you, which seems to be the case with Sporabee, it seems like you are required to find a min/max strategy instead of getting into the creative spirit of things. But, some advancement of your enemies might really improve things.

Spore: General / Re: Watcher - A Spore-Like Game
« on: December 02, 2006, 04:49:06 am »
I kind of wonder how the that 'sucker' attachment works, that part that costs 100 and allows you to attach to cells. Mostly it just makes me unable to pick up foodbits until I remove it. :) It also made it so I didn't kill the shieldie-blimp creatures(I had lots of spikes at this point), didn't get repulsed by them either I just had no interaction whatsoever.

Sporabee 2 seems a lot like Sporabee 1, unless Sporabee 2 has been around for quite awhile in which case it's probably what I played before. It's a little too abstract, it's kinda sorta like watching someone play Spore in terms of game mechanics... but when you're the one actually playing, it just seems you jam together as many vertices as possible to be as badass as you can be. The parts in Watcher aren't very balanced, sure, there's an obvious min/max strategy to them.. Sporabee has no parts, and what you can kill or what can kill you seems inexplicable.

Watcher's much more like the Cell stage, if the Cell stage doesn't use polinated content. Some people are hoping the Cell stage does use pollinated content, so Sporabee may speak to them more than it does me.. you can well and truly beat Watcher after about a short learning curve, whereas Sporabee is pretty much a guessing-action game. 'Can I eat that or not? Nope, it's going for me, now I run away quickly!'

That game Flow isn't really comparable... yes it's a very smooth game, it's a zen-like game.. and there's also no creative aspect whatsoever to it. You don't decide how your creature is formed, you just hunt down the next bit of food. Apparently there's real boss battles and stuff in the PS3 marketplace version. It's not a 600$ game, but the version that was released for free on PC is certainly lacking depth. It's a good example of a meditative game.. other than its visual simularity it has nothing to do with Spore. Flow is a pretty polished game, even that free Flash thing that was given out was pretty much finished since the creator decided to make something really simple and just make it gleam.

If indeed there was another stage after the cell stage in Watcher, then it'd actually be a good game. It'd be utterly acceptable that it's simple and your strategy is obvious, that moving around until you get lots of mouths and a mobility upgrade is pretty boring, that once you get a spike or two you're god of the sandbox-- because you'd be all done with it in ten minutes and move onto bigger and better things.

I really don't know how the creature stage could be accomplished by a lone creator, but it's an admirable effort.

Spore: General / Re: Monsters who can build TV's
« on: December 01, 2006, 11:23:57 pm »
I seem to recall reading that in the Creature Editor that your choice of hands helps determine your Social rating. It might be that very primitive hands will make it impossible to continue onto the Tribal phase-- after all without a social dynamic, how can your creature be in a tribe?

I think the answer also lies in whether or not creatures can grab  and manipulate things with their mouths. I believe they can at least drag food along with their mouths while feeding, though that's just a simple mixing of verbs (eating + moving) and it might be that mouths =are not= programmed to perform the same tasks as manipulators. If they aren't, then advancing to the Tribal stage where tool use becomes important would be impossible without proper manipulators.

Weapons like spikes, clubs, etc certainly aren't going to be programmed to grab spears, so there's no question about limiting technology or not. There can't be technology without some limb that's able to manipulate things, but I think technology for a given species will be an on/off switch not 'tiers' limited by manipulator capacity, because until you unlock some sort of genetic engineering there's no way to go back and change it. It'd shut off a lot of the content for your species that you've already invested at least several hours into, so I just don't think it's a viable game design decision.. but that's just my opinion.

Spore: General / Re: Social should NOT be determined by body parts.
« on: October 23, 2006, 10:34:21 pm »
I believe the adaptations and such you buy for your creature is like buying equipment in an RPG.  Ineed to deal more damage so I need stronger Power, so I improve my natural weapons.  And so on. 

Describing it like that makes it sound really mundane and non-revolutionary.. but on the other hand, if it's really that simple then it means we can make creatures that are not at all 'stream-lined' or 'optimally arranged', meaning that there could be more variety among successful species.

On the third hand, it seems like it kinda makes the procedural animation engine entirely cosmetic and may sorta 'break it' by making an extremely unfit creature, for instance, move like a bat out of hell because it has lots of the good Feet but its legs are a total mess.

Also, it contradicts the top-heavy 'Egghead with fifteen beaks sprouting from its protuberous body' example from the first GDC video. A lot can change in that amount of time, Spore had a lot of shaping up to do.. but, at the time, he suggested the 'Egghead' would probably be an unfit creature. It wobbled around almost out of control and had trouble changing direction and whatnot.

And on the fourth hand (we're talking some sort of freakish Spore critter that is designed for open-ended forum posts), only having one column of parts that's 'best' and having no other way to improve attributes may limit the variety of creatures we see even more. Sure we can rescale the limbs in all sorts of ways but they're still going to have a strong resemblance.. it's okay on Earth that virtually all herd omnivores have hooves, but throughout the UNIVERSE? You'd expect more variety.

Perhaps one column of parts for 'best' in one category is still enough variety, but still.. I hope how you configure the mass of your creature, its shape, and spinal column matters in some way. I haven't heard anything about the basic shape costing anything, so I can only assume that it'd be self-balancing.

Spore: General / Re: I think it will be 1 galaxy for your "neighborhood"
« on: September 14, 2006, 08:01:45 pm »
I hope it is indeed an option to have one galaxy with multiple 'current' species/civilizations that you can switch between, just like families in The Sims games. That's really what made for the enjoyable metagame in The Sims, the families you invested in being able to interact and effect eachother. Even with terminal results!

So fine, your replica of Angelina Jolie might start a housefire and wipe out your Star Trek themed family during a house visit. If that upsets you then at least the game is making you care, and that's a good thing. Life goes on, but if you can't accept Picard being turned into a neat pile of ash then just exit without saving and they'll miraculously still be alive.

In Spore, if progress is saved, tracked, and cross-pollinated as it is in a Sims neighborhood, then this means you have more capacity to create your own stories. Alliances and vendettas could be deliberately forged and you could set the stage for epic showdowns if you wished. Further, it means that the time you put in to develop one civilization will remain active and potentially useful for any other species that you start and play out. Things you learn about the universe you inhabit, such as what civilizations and species are out there, will still remain valid when you get sick of playing your first species and start a new one.

The time paradox, where the creature-evolution phases and the UFO stages are assumedly on a different timescale, just isn't that bad compared to the time screwiness in The Sims. Inactive families were immortal, there could be two childhood friends and the one in the house you're running could die of old age while his friend's still a little kid. There'd be no such problem in Spore because apparently we do not follow individuals but rather entire species and civilizations. The old civilization could just be assumed to be in stagnation or decline while the new one is being developed, and then vice versa when you switch back to the old civilization to play it a bit more.

Spore: General / Re: Resources?
« on: June 03, 2006, 03:31:27 pm »
Well it is true that it's all speculation, we can't outright =confirm= anything right now. So people shouldn't get their hopes up or DOWN for that matter based on just what we've seen. Hell the civ stage so far seems overly simple and boring, but, since we haven't seen it, I know that that isn't confirmed.

I'm uncertain if we can have two buildings that do the same thing but look different because I'm uncertain if they'd want more than one 'set' of buildings per creature file. So, yourself creating one resource extractor that LOOKS like a lumbermill and another that LOOKS like a mine or a bank or whatever might not be possible-- then again maybe it could be via the regular catalog interface, perhaps it'll let you choose to make the building anyway you want not only the 1st time but every other time you place one. However I for one wouldn't mind 2 or 3 actually different resources in the tribal and civilization phases that require different means and buildings to get-- but if , in the spirit of keeping things simple they only have 1 actual resource type, I can accept that.

I think rare resources(Tiberium, whatever) could probably be worked in as a Quest/Mission thing, some generic ultra-rare resource that gives +% to your research speed or makes a certain tool on your UFO more powerful or who knows. The way ultra-rare resources are usually used in stories is people start fighting over it, and so it'd be a perfect thing to make quests/missions in the tribal-civ-UFO phases.

Spore: General / Re: No Tool Editor?
« on: May 17, 2006, 08:36:13 pm »
If Maxis decides a tool editor is a valuable and indispensable design element then we should expect to see it in, unless expansion packitis claims it away from the initial release(and cynical = not always right). Looking at that old GDC 05 snapshot may not confirm any concrete design decisions but it does confirm, to me, that your choice of tool says a lot about your creature's personality.

Non-flexible clothing and armor doesn't seem like a difficult feature at all compared to even a single tab of the creature editor, and they've already got to figure out how to make every shape and configuration of arms and legs to interact with spears and drums, so what exactly is so hard about giving us an editor that is 100% aesthetic and does not implicitly require any adjustment of physics or animation whatsoever? It all comes down to whether they decide if it's fun enough to be worth the time, it's not a matter of whether they 'can' do it or not.

There's a reason or two I could see them deciding on 'not'. One, there's a possibility of a constant evolution of tools during the tribal phase, I don't know if this is the case or not but if so they might find it counter-immersive to make you go into an editor to design a new tool every 5 minutes. Granted, the Catalog could alleviate this if you're happy with an off-the-shelf pick, and furthermore giving you more opportunities to use the editors and distract you from potentially simple gameplay might not sound bad at all.

Secondly, there's a possibility that the tribal phase is a rare snapshot of a civilization meaning it's unlikely a UFO will come along and see it. Perhaps the huts and social interactions of the creatures are the primary defining factor of the tribal phase also and no further customization is needed -- a couple caveats there, from what I heard we languished in the tribal phase for hundreds of thousands of years or somewhere in that ballpark so while we're probably going to spend 2 hours on it in one playthrough of Spore there's no reason we shouldn't run into plenty of of tribal societies. Also with customizable planets, plants, creatures, and huts it's going be a little jarring to see everybody using the same exact assortment of clubs and spears without even visual modifications..

In closing, I think it would be a little 'off' to allow us to customize all content except for tools. There's no many places they could cut back why tools? Why no simplistic 'jewelry'-style clothes? Also we have not seen a close-up of the tribal and city phases as we have the creature and UFO phases yet, frankly I think the cities look simplistic .. we just place five-six buildings down and that equals a city? For crap's sake Dune II was a deeper RTS than that... I think that whole 'sapient' part of the game isn't being shown yet, and it ought to be slightly deeper than what we've seen. Who knows if tools or clothes are going to be part of that equation but it doesn't seem less believable than walking vehicles.

All I can say is that clothes are more likely than cybernetics. Seriously. If they had clothes you could just graphically approximate cybernetics and the latter wouldn't even be necessary.

I think I'd make a planet of extremes. Vast canyons and mountain ranges, stretches of desert, verdant jungles, a vast inland ocean dotted with islands. Valleys and lagoons abound, lots of hilly and irregular terrain, perhaps an enormous crater or two just to add a bit more variety.

An incredibly rocky planet might be fun too, full of natural bottlenecks and passages between huge peaks and ranges.

Spore: General / Re: Permanent Connection?
« on: May 15, 2006, 06:02:04 am »

Given how much content will be available online I'm pretty positive it wouldn't be about choosing one planet or one creature to download, makes a lot more sense to get several dozen or more creatures and buildings and such at a time. Even on dial-up that's going to be a tiny download, the whole point of going procedural is people no longer have to download a 1 meg file that gives one shirt for their Sims to wear.

It shouldn't be too much to expect people to get connected before they start Spore, people do it for all sorts of games just because you aren't directly interacting with people shouldn't make a difference. That said, I think it'd be nice if they offered Packs for people to download that had a bunch of somehow related content in them. Maybe they'd have a Top-Rated Pack each week, maybe there'll be community sponsored Sci-Fi Packs and Goofy Packs and stuff like that. If they open things up and make it possible to download things from sources they don't control, then it's also possible we'll see packs themed after particular mythos and universes, like Warhammer or Star Trek or whatever.

Haven't heard anything about being able to start with special scenarios, so, not sure if we'd be able to just pick a few packs and have only them populate our universes. Some purists might only want to play with packs that are screened in some way (probably by community effort) to ensure they don't run into anything that's outside their conception of acceptability. I could also see some roleplayers on the forum wanting to play in the metaverse that they and others have cooked up, it would be pretty awesome if scenarios could be constructed and perhaps shared.. could see a 'Halcyon War' scenario, or a scenario where the members of C.A.B. and O.T.H.E.R. are the major empires with pre-existing relations and alliances.

Spore: General / Re: Death
« on: May 15, 2006, 05:18:05 am »
^ That makes sense to me, obviously a new UFO is going to need to be built so why not have the player go back to their nearest suitably established colony and design/pick a new UFO to build. You might lose artifacts that aren't researched but wouldn't lose the technologies and abilities derived from them, logically you'd want to relay those back to your civilization.. it would make no sense to horde their discoveries aboard the UFO, it exists to serve the good of the civ not the other way around.

I think it'd make the most sense if you die in the creature stage that you'd just go back to the design phase, and including all the changes you've made. Difference is now you can change it before being 'born' again. Why bother keeping the old pre-breeding design in memory? Maybe keep 'undo' history intact so they can take it back to the last generation if they wish, but to force players to de-evolve seems like it would waste their creativity and also hurt immersion.

Think about it somebody might've put a ridiculous amount of time into tons of tiny little shape tweaks, color combinations, switched through all sorts of different parts, and they'll take some amount of time trying to remember what they did and trying not to forget anything, only to run the risk of dying =again= and being back at square one.. it's just way too much of a pain in the butt.

Spore: General / Re: Spore Trading Card Game
« on: May 15, 2006, 03:29:10 am »
I never heard the word 'print off' on the videos, I'm fairly positive that they're more likely uploaded to cellphones or PSPs or DS's for the mobile version of Spore. Said portable versions of Spore are confirmed and officially in development from what I've heard, though I know nothing of what they'll be like so this is pure conjecture.

At any rate, I haven't heard about printing off the sporepedia cards.. though given that you have planets, creatures, solar systems (perhaps even vehicles and buildings and such; Will didn't scan anything on the world that had intelligent life) there could be a complex cardgame built out of that. I don't know anything about Magic the Gathering, but having looked at a deck there seems to be a complex interplay of terrains and creatures and such; you've got at least that much variety in terms of Sporepedia cards.

If they made an addictive cardgame on a platform with internet multiplayer capability (PSP, DS, mobiles all fall into this category), they could get over the hurdle of limited storage capacity on those devices by using the online database, perhaps having an off-system 'vault' for each player's profile based either on what they've discovered in PC Spore or what they've bought online or perhaps earned from tournaments and battles. They'd have one hell of a seller on their hands, huge market lots of inherent buzz and loads of constantly generated content to keep users hooked.

edit: What, like anyone has time to play cards if they're not draining a battery and staring at an LCD screen while doing it? Pfft. Nonsense I say.

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