Author Topic: What makes a creature good?  (Read 9466 times)

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Offline Whosawhatsis

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What makes a creature good?
« on: August 21, 2008, 09:48:44 am »
I'm baffled by what gets rated highly in the Sporepedia. In general, both the highest-rated creatures list and the featured list contain some that seem really lame to me, but I was really surprised last night when my newest creature, Tiki, shot up to become my second-highest rated. For a long time, Seaclops was my highest rated, until Skullker finally passed it. While I only post my creatures if they meet certain standards, I never liked Seaclops all that much, and while I like Tiki more, I'm not sure I think it's one of my better creatures. I have also made some filler creatures recently that use fewer DNA points, like Affliction, Ogling, Crystal Carrier, and Pugnax that are rated much higher (compared to my other creatures) than I expected. Meanwhile, some of my favorites creatures, like Blinky, get nothing.

So I have two questions. First, in general, what do you think makes a creature good? How do you find good creatures, what makes them jump out at you, what makes you click on a creature to view it, what makes you download a creature, and why do you rate up the creatures that you do? Second, of my creatures, especially comparing Tiki and the other creatures on the first page with Blinky and the others on the last page, do you agree with the way they are ranked?


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Offline smjjames

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2008, 09:53:30 am »
it varies from person to person, I often get comments on how well I colored my creatures. So obviously a cool paint job is one.

I don't rate creatures because I don't care much about the rating system. Plus the rating stuff will have no affect on the full game.

Personally though, a good creature is one that also animates well.

Offline Kenobro

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2008, 10:05:51 am »
Too me, good creature is...

Original
Well put together
Nicely painted
Nicely animated(parts going through each other doesn't count for me)


Also, most people like recreations of things. Like a banana(just a quick example).


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Offline smjjames

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2008, 10:10:49 am »
Nicely animated(parts going through each other doesn't count for me)

Agreed on the clipping, sometimes parts (usually limbs) will clip just because the creature can't help it and you can't do anything about it. I try to minimize clipping for the walking animation, but sometimes you just have to accept it when you have the leg configuration right.

Origionality is also good.

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2008, 10:17:35 am »
I usually ignore creatures that have little forethought. It's almost like designing a character than just an abomination.

True, what we create we should feel personally attached to what we make even though others think it's nothing special or lame. But when trying to make something that will catch on with other people, considerable thought needs to go into it. This would require a basic understanding of appealing design. If your goal is trying to make something for an audience then you need to do some research. More than likely, people who succeed at getting featured are more than likely proficient artists. It takes a good amount of creativity and imagination to execute something appealing.

You have taken the first step to good design not because you slapped something together. That's what the majority of people do and think it's cool but it's actually crappy. People need to make believable and functionally conventional creations. Even something as unoriginal as making a real world animal (a very good one) gets more attention than a traditional Spore alien creature. Why? Because an audience is attracted to things they relate to, things they are familiar with and things that they are accustomed to seeing in everyday life. They aren't fascinated with strange and unusual ideas. When something is given human-like characteristics or personalities, they fall for it. How good you are at doing so also depends on your skill as an artist. I think Maxis tries had to find good creatures, it's just so difficult to find them out of over 2 million creatures.

Offline Whosawhatsis

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2008, 10:18:09 am »
You don't think that they'll use an algorithm that prefers higher-rated creatures when it chooses stuff to populate your planets? That Average/Prosperous/Flourishing species stuff doesn't mean anything?

I understand that there's no accounting for taste. That's why I wanted to get a variety of opinions. I also get compliments on my paint jobs, and I often spend a while tweaking my creatures to perfect the animation, but half the time I don't think anyone is even looking at them. How do you even find a good creature if it hasn't been featured or rated really highly, unless it was just posted? of the nearly 3 million species in the sporepedia, how many great ones are there that nobody but their creators has ever seen?
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Offline smjjames

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2008, 10:24:49 am »
AFAIK the rating system is not supposed to have any affect on the full game. This may need clarification though.

Offline Whosawhatsis

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2008, 10:28:09 am »
...
More than likely, people who succeed at getting featured are more than likely proficient artists. It takes a good amount of creativity and imagination to execute something appealing.
...
You think the person who created this is a proficient artist? Incidentally, I suspected that rating down didn't actually have any effect until I saw that. "Endangered species".
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gec05

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2008, 10:32:18 am »
Again, it's all dictated by Maxis and they're trying. Doesn't mean that they got it perfect either. My strategy only increases your chances.

Offline Skyward

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2008, 11:03:22 am »
what i think a good creature is, is one you would actually use in spore. its all based off a person's opinion. I personally dont like creatures made to look like objects, like trains or chairs.
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Offline Whosawhatsis

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2008, 11:52:07 am »
Something you would use at some point in the game anyway, I agree. There's something to be said for the creatures that are simple but functional, like what you'd expect to see shortly after leaving the water. Stuff like Locomotief and all those creatures from that aquarium thingie that would be useless on land are no good, and they'll get banned from people's games more than the penis monsters. (Side note, why penis monsters? I don't understand why pubescent boys like looking at penises so much... the heterosexual ones, at least.)
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Offline Pietoro

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2008, 12:22:27 pm »
There are also some creatures which look good in their thumbnail, and some which look not so good. I've d/led a couple of creatures that looked only 'meh' from their picture, but once you see them close and moving around, you can see all their cool little features. Stuff like that is hard to see from a small icon. Most people rate only from seeing the icon, so a simpler design that shows well on it's thumbnail would look better at a glance than a more complex design that isn't flattered by the picture's angle/size/whatever.
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Offline Whosawhatsis

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2008, 12:27:24 pm »
That's true, I wish it was possible to browse from inside the game, so you could at least get a higher-res view of the creature without the rigamarole required to import a creature.
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Offline WeatherMAN

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2008, 12:57:31 pm »
Obviously what makes a good creature is personal opinion, but the most popular ones are typically at least 1 of 3 things:

1) Identifiable (such as the '2nd grade turkey' creature)
2) Funny ( such as 'Sporesaw' or the Maxis creature )
3) Eye candy (typically highly detailed with amazing color and look incredible in the thumbnail but not in the game)

The most popular ones have typically been featured - fueling their huge ratings just b/c they are there for all to easily see...

Now I personally believe once Spore comes out things are going to be turned on their head and cool creatures that animate properly will become more popular as people will be mainly seeing creatures in the game instead of surfing on the online sporepedia for thumbnails

As an aside:

I wish I knew which of my creatures some of the more 'well known' GS people in creature design (ART, Gec, Parkaboy, Hydro, ilikesanta, Skyward) liked as well as what I could do to make more popular creations but they haven't commented on my exchange or anything... and I want to make very cool, believable, unique creatures but apparently I haven't accomplished that quite yet, though, like any proper proud parent I unconditionally love some of my personal favorite creations I've made... I just wish they would get the love that my delusioned mind thinks they deserve

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« Last Edit: August 21, 2008, 01:30:26 pm by WeatherMAN »
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Offline Skyward

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2008, 03:27:36 pm »
im a well known GS creature designer?!  :o
THIS IS THE HAPPIEST DAY OF MY LIFE!  ;D


EDIT:
Another thing i dislike, is bad animations, such as clipping between objects. when objects interact smoothly, the creature looks better overall to me.
and i agree, it want to know what people like in my creatures, or what i could improve.

oh and whosawhatsis, i love rusty ;)
« Last Edit: August 21, 2008, 03:35:15 pm by Skyward Descent »
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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2008, 03:36:40 pm »
That's another thing too. Maxis has featured a few creatures which look good on thumbnail, but animate poorly. Taking this factor into consideration does heighten our standards of good creature design.

Offline martyk

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2008, 03:38:56 pm »
The thing is, most of the time, once it's up there, it'll stay up there because of all the publicity it gets and most people are either going to vote good or not vote at all.
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Offline Skyward

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2008, 03:43:11 pm »
when i say bad animations, i mean clipping, and limbs passing throught eachother, or unrealistic spine movement, but there are glitches i hope maxis fixes such as the one on this guy: http://www.spore.com/sporepedia#qry=ast-500006735366%3Asast-500006735366
when he attacks or laughs etc. his head jerks all over.

PS: i heard there was a way to send in you creature to report a glitch, how so?
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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2008, 03:46:46 pm »
Just add this to your creature tags.

breakprocanim

And Chris Hecker will pick it up on his searches.

Offline Skyward

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2008, 03:47:47 pm »
cool thanks ;D
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Offline Blissmaker

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2008, 05:40:28 pm »
One thing that makes a creature good is having the full CC -.-x.


Which annoys me because all the people with trial CCs are ignored, no matter what amount of talent they may have. I dont feel like I have any talent at all, so I don't really care, but other people who have the trial CC does an amazing job with what they have and noone gives a crap.

Offline smjjames

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2008, 06:04:30 pm »
@ WeatherMAN: oh come on, I'm not a well known designer? maybe not as high profile as ART, Hydro, and Parkaboy, but I seem to be getting known for coloring my creatures very well.

Anyways, as far as glitches go and part clipping, those breakprocanim bugs and the wobblyness (among other bugs) are already known to be fixed in the full game. So a creature that has an issue with this, will be fixed in the full game.

Offline Skyward

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2008, 06:42:42 pm »
@ WeatherMAN: oh come on, I'm not a well known designer? maybe not as high profile as ART, Hydro, and Parkaboy, but I seem to be getting known for coloring my creatures very well.

Dont forget me! :P


but it is good to hear that those glitches will be fixed. it has been said before, and i agree, i dont want glitches ruining the immersion of spore!
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Offline Pietoro

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #23 on: August 21, 2008, 07:00:46 pm »
One thing that makes a creature good is having the full CC -.-x.


Which annoys me because all the people with trial CCs are ignored, no matter what amount of talent they may have. I dont feel like I have any talent at all, so I don't really care, but other people who have the trial CC does an amazing job with what they have and noone gives a crap.

I dunno, I've seen many really nicely made trial creatures. Maybe I should go out of my way to comment more on people's things, usually I just rate them without a comment.
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Offline WeatherMAN

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2008, 12:19:17 pm »
@ WeatherMAN: oh come on, I'm not a well known designer? maybe not as high profile as ART, Hydro, and Parkaboy, but I seem to be getting known for coloring my creatures very well.

Actually you were on my initial list but have given me feedback and comments and the like so I had to remove you from the list in order to make my point that I was looking to some of the more well known people to improve what I design in the future :)

Don't think your creatures go unnoticed by me, I've seen most of GS, all that are on the Spore CC lists stickied on top of the page and many of the new ones that come in... I think I have made over 500 comments now (all positive), so I am a commenting fool :)
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Offline Kenobro

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #25 on: August 22, 2008, 12:23:21 pm »
Adoidable glitches make a bad creature in my opinion. Like, moving one part of the torso. Like where the creature's head starts to wobble around.


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Offline smjjames

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #26 on: August 22, 2008, 05:56:08 pm »
Adoidable glitches make a bad creature in my opinion. Like, moving one part of the torso. Like where the creature's head starts to wobble around.

Could you give an example of that? My Chiropeteraan does have a strange head jerk with a few animations, but its very brief and the animations are otherwise fine. I know I just gave an example, but I'm just wondering what you mean by that.

Offline Skyward

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #27 on: August 22, 2008, 06:02:54 pm »
he means when an object passes through another, or clips with the body.
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Offline Kenobro

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #28 on: August 23, 2008, 09:24:55 am »
Like sometimes a head jerks, but with a minuscule amount of torso shrink it is fixed. When an   animation glitch like that stays in, it makes a creature seem sloppy/lazy to me.


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Offline smjjames

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #29 on: August 23, 2008, 09:53:04 am »
I already tagged my Chiropeteraan with breakprocanim a long time ago, so they may have fixed that by now.

There is also that wierd glitch where during some animations, the front part ahead of the arms caves in with the neck.

If you also mean the one where the head and usually the body jerks when transitioning from walking mode to resting animations, I'm not sure how fixable that is right now in the CC.

Offline Skyward

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #30 on: August 23, 2008, 12:20:51 pm »
Like sometimes a head jerks, but with a minuscule amount of torso shrink it is fixed. When an   animation glitch like that stays in, it makes a creature seem sloppy/lazy to me.
not entirely true, i did everything to fix a creatures head jerking problem (not the one posted above) and i couldn't fix it, so i canned it.
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Offline Shadowgandor

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #31 on: August 25, 2008, 11:26:05 am »
When I'm looking at the sporepedia, I'm mostly checking out creatures that look detailled, as in, parts used to make the creature look more interesting so to say. I've tried to make a couple of detailled creatures as well, though the simplest creature I have made is also my most populair one, so yea, I've been wondering what others think as well.,

Offline smjjames

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #32 on: August 25, 2008, 11:45:55 am »
Like sometimes a head jerks, but with a minuscule amount of torso shrink it is fixed. When an   animation glitch like that stays in, it makes a creature seem sloppy/lazy to me.
not entirely true, i did everything to fix a creatures head jerking problem (not the one posted above) and i couldn't fix it, so i canned it.

Sounds similar to the problem with my Mallakaq, except it was only happening while turning in place (which the CC has some problems with sometimes) using the arrow keys. However since it was still a very good creature, I just slapped a breakprocanim tag on it so that it could be fixed.

My Cygnoan Ice Strider actually does a similar thing, but it just makes it look odd, not broken.

Anyways, I'm lenient about how a creature seems sloppy/lazy to me for now until spore is released because of the bug fixes that will be in.

Offline Kenobro

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #33 on: August 25, 2008, 02:21:41 pm »
True, very true. But why not, if bugs are fixed in Spore, release a patch?


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Offline smjjames

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #34 on: August 25, 2008, 03:27:14 pm »
You'd have to ask Maxis that question. One reason could be that there are some interface changes (the layout and all the major things are still there, its mostly a change in the appearance of icons and some color differences) and there may be some stat changes.

Offline Kenobro

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #35 on: August 25, 2008, 03:51:45 pm »
What about Maceballs and such not actually attacking but only raising stats? I don't think that is very good.


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Offline MindMuncher

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #36 on: August 25, 2008, 04:09:43 pm »
I bet they'll fix the fact that some of the mouths give the spit stat, but don't have the spit animation. Or that the strike weapons animation doesn't look like thier doing anything unless if you have hands...


Also...  I like a creature that looks like effort was put into it... lazy(or igorant...) things bother me... like the fact that most people just slap on a pair of legs ad size them to thier liking. most animals front legs bend backwards at the joint... like this ( > ). But most sporepedia contents legs bend like this ( < ) just because that's the default leg shape... And it looks more natural in the way I said before. You do have to tweak it more because the animations(leg animations make me pissed of.... I'll get a leg perfect than it just vibrates across the ground grr....) aren't as easy.


So I like creatures
~without (igorant) details
~that look compact and don't have fly-away details that stick in all direction... the creatures details need to flow together.
~that is not a re-creation(which is sad because lots of the featured content is re-created.. including the ashwalker... or stalker or whatever.)
~that animates well. I hate flying creatures and "floater" parts.
~that are strange and alien
~that are nicely colored(a good creature ca be ruined by a bad paintjob...which is sad because one of my computers has orrile graphics, limiting my painting skills...)
~that are original and make creative use of parts.



Oh, to see what perspective I'm coming from you might need to check my creatures...
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Offline Null

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #37 on: August 25, 2008, 05:15:39 pm »
Creatures that are fantasy objects like islands, whack-a-mole, etc are popular because they are funny or neat to look at. That they are  useless and don't work as an animal seems to be irrelevant to most people. And the looks sometime don’t reflect the amount of work, because you can try really hard to get a concept to look right and it sometimes just does not work out as you had hoped.

Also, while the concepts of realistic creatures may not be original, the execution in producing them has to be if you want it to look decent and realistic. And im not just saying that because I have a hermit crab as my avatar, LOL.

Offline smjjames

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #38 on: August 25, 2008, 11:12:58 pm »
@MindMuncher: The wings actually do move, we have seen that in a few vids. They look horrible right now in the CC, but you should check what they look like in the full game.

As for the legs, I generally angle the front legs like >. Insectoid/arthropod creatures are a different matter however.

Some of my own creatures look pretty alien IMO. I actually like to experiment around and some of my wierder creatures are in fact a result of me experimenting around. I'm not worried about the paint jobs as people have commented that they love the colors, so I guess I have a bit of talent or something in painting my creatures.

Offline Whosawhatsis

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #39 on: August 26, 2008, 03:33:23 am »
It seems to be pretty common that a creator's favorite creature is not their most popular, assuming people use their favorite as an avatar. Of all of the profiles I've seen, I can't remember the most popular creation also being the user's avatar.

Anyway, Tiki, my joke/experiment creation, has officially taken over as my most popular, and has become my first "flourishing species". [sigh]
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Offline MindMuncher

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #40 on: August 26, 2008, 02:46:25 pm »
no, I mean I dislike flying creatures. Like ones that hover and have no legs. Thier ody contorts in weird ways causing thier details to all go wild. I don't mind wings so long as they blend and don't just stick straight out like you just slapped em' on. And yes, I can appreciate a good re-creation of a creature... but I'd love if they had a little twist. Maybe a rhino with six legs, or a giraffe with lots of eyes. Something that makes it unique. And I like your hermit crab, but I'm basing my oppinions off how they will look in-game. Like how they animate. Since your crab has no legs, he's a "floater". That's the only reason. in-game they wouldn't work. andsmjjames, YES! WE KNOW YOUR CREATURES ARE PAINTED WELL! lol, you've only said it like three times. Why do you feel like I'm insulting you? I had NO ONE in mind when I wrote that post. none of you have to prove that your creatures are good. I was giving my oppinion. If you like yours then great. play with yours. (I didn't mean to sound angry with this, it might come out like that though. I was kinda laughing as I wrote it because of how many times he'd said his creatures were painted well ;D). And no one said hi. They ridiculed me and tried to prove me wrog, but no one said hi....*tear*  :(*tear*
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Offline WeatherMAN

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #41 on: August 26, 2008, 02:55:06 pm »
And no one said hi. They ridiculed me and tried to prove me wrog, but no one said hi....*tear*  :(*tear*

Hi MindMuncher :) Feel better?

I forgot to list you on my post, sorry.. but I did one better, I have you on my super double secret list of awesomeness creators I will be subscribing to once Spore is released... its a very prestigious list so you should be happy or honored or willing to send me money or something :D... I will try and give you some thumbs up and comments soon but it is so hard with like the 369+ creatures you have!
Visit: My Spore Creations | My Sporepedia Profile
...Please Comment & Vote Them Up! Their may be cookies involved...
OK... so there aren't any cookies... do it because I have an undying need to get approval from people I've never me

Offline Null

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #42 on: August 26, 2008, 03:33:11 pm »
Mindmuncher,

First off, welcome to the forums. Late, I know, but I almost never am a ‘welcome’ person so please don’t take it personally!


I was not directly responding to your post when I said that. I didnt have you in mind when I wrote that, I was responding to the guy who said realistic creatures were bad and unoriginal because they were found on earth (right, awhile back). I wanted to make it a general statement so I did not quote. Sorry if my response made you feel like you were pissing people off or anything. It wasn’t you, honest

Offline Cobra

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #43 on: August 27, 2008, 05:42:21 am »
My most popular isn't my avatar as my most popular is a T rex re-creation. My favourite changes a lot but I tend to keep my Essendon Bomber my avatar as it is based on my favourite football team.

Offline smjjames

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #44 on: August 27, 2008, 07:13:27 am »
no, I mean I dislike flying creatures. Like ones that hover and have no legs. Thier ody contorts in weird ways causing thier details to all go wild. I don't mind wings so long as they blend and don't just stick straight out like you just slapped em' on. And yes, I can appreciate a good re-creation of a creature... but I'd love if they had a little twist. Maybe a rhino with six legs, or a giraffe with lots of eyes. Something that makes it unique. And I like your hermit crab, but I'm basing my oppinions off how they will look in-game. Like how they animate. Since your crab has no legs, he's a "floater". That's the only reason. in-game they wouldn't work. andsmjjames, YES! WE KNOW YOUR CREATURES ARE PAINTED WELL! lol, you've only said it like three times. Why do you feel like I'm insulting you? I had NO ONE in mind when I wrote that post. none of you have to prove that your creatures are good. I was giving my oppinion. If you like yours then great. play with yours. (I didn't mean to sound angry with this, it might come out like that though. I was kinda laughing as I wrote it because of how many times he'd said his creatures were painted well ;D). And no one said hi. They ridiculed me and tried to prove me wrog, but no one said hi....*tear*  :(*tear*

I tend to repeat things like that :P but anyways you're not insulting me, so its fine :)

sorry for not saying hi, soo... Welcome to the forums! :)

As for the flying creatures, I probably just misunderstood what you meant. However I see what you mean now, you meant creatures that hover in midair by using some long extended part (or some similar method).

As for wings, i do wish that the bat wing and the bird wing had the ability to fold like a real animals wing would.

Whose hermit crab are you talking about though? I don't have one.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2008, 07:15:55 am by smjjames »

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Re: What makes a creature good?
« Reply #45 on: August 27, 2008, 09:05:37 am »
The one that is my avitar. I went for extreme visual realism so I used some weapons for the legs and thus it floats. He is right; it is more of an artwork than one that would work well in-game.