Author Topic: What Would You Have Done Different?  (Read 2340 times)

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Offline BBsman5

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What Would You Have Done Different?
« on: September 05, 2008, 04:06:08 pm »
I've noticed a lot of people whining about how Spore turned out, and I like to know, what would you want done differently in each stage?



Offline Verkinix

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Re: What Would You Have Done Different?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2008, 04:37:31 pm »
If I had it, I could tell ya :) But from my perspective right now, what I would have done different... Not let EA put its grubby hands on it.

Anyway, from what I've read, it sounds like the game has been greatly simplified. I would have kept it more complex. More difficult. More epic. More like the beginning of a planet would be like. Constantly running for your life or chasing down prey while distilling a presence in the area. Marking territory and roaming about the wilderness, not exactly with any aim apart from exploration and finding new things. Now keep in mind, I havent played it yet. I'm just stating what I'd like. For me, a 4X games' depth like civ4 or galciv2 with the graphical capabilities of spore would be ideal.

But mostly, NO SECUROM would be ideal. No long term limitations on reinstallations. No needing to even connect online to "activate" the game. Thats what I would have done different.

Offline Protoavis

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Re: What Would You Have Done Different?
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2008, 04:44:16 pm »
Added gameplay
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Offline Hydromancerx

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Re: What Would You Have Done Different?
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2008, 04:49:26 pm »
Had a single global release date.

Offline Praetyre

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Re: What Would You Have Done Different?
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2008, 04:52:38 pm »
I would have:

Added options for removing "cute" things like single celled organisms with eyes or adding realistic things like blood. The blood option could be parental-locked, like they did with some features on Duke Nukem.

Changed the mechanics of the tribal game a bit, making other tribes members of your own species or very closely related ones.

Wrote something up about what the scale is (e.g. for example, I typically tend to see each health unit in a vehicle as representing a single vehicle of that type). Or in the same vein, write up a bit of fluff about the universe being tiny or something, explaining why planets are the size they are.

Added infantry to the civilization stage, along with editors for them. Also, I would have had some sort of research function, with the civilization stage progressing from Bronze Age technology to something more BF2142 esque. Dividing the units into classes like "Mainline, Support and Elite" and/or "Gunboat, Frigate, Cruiser, Battleship" would be great.

Revamped the space stage a lot. Make it more like a simplified version of Master of Orion or Galactic Civilizations, with you being able to take direct control (ala the U-Drive-It function in Simcity 4: Rush Hour) of ships for missions and the like.

Lastly, I would have expanded the outfits a fair bit. Have them evolve from age to age, technologically wise, and add something resembling trousers. Unless all the people in the Milky Way happen to be from Loony Toons, of course ;)

Offline Jennifer Reitz

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Re: What Would You Have Done Different?
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2008, 05:10:42 pm »
Here is what I would have done differently:

All stages: the ability to choose to individually control one creature at any time. To 'become' one creature of your own species at any time, and go about the world. 'Being' an individual creature is taken away from the player at the tribal stage onwards... the closest thing to granting it back is to have a holographic representation in the space stage.

Why?

We are innately drawn to associate and identify with living beings, and we are led from the beginning of the game to 'be' a life form. Later, it is more practical to extend that identification with a larger population, but the desire to be individual still remains.

It is also valuable to be able to walk among your own cities, or the cities of others, to walk the world, or other worlds, and to make contact, or to otherwise interact. This is of greatest importance in the space stage, the enduring stage of the game.

What is the point of travel? To get out and explore. To sight-see. To be there.

It is vastly harder to identify with a floating UFO than a living being, and we are well indoctrinated from every single science fiction story that the point of getting to another world is beam down, land, step through a Gate, or otherwise get out on foot and go see and do things personally. We are wired, as social apes, to want to do things personally, to have a personal stake, to have something we identify with. In games, we need an 'us', a representation of self to feel close to events. A character. An individual.

What would I want to do on a world, or in the Civ phase, or the Tribe phase as an individual?

Walk around, see things from ground level, try to sneak into enemy cities, or stroll through allied cities. Individually participate in the battles or conversions, as an admittedly weak individual with weak individual ability... but front and center, 'being there'. That's the point. I want to go and participate.

I want to land on alien worlds and hunt or scan the wildlife. I want to go search for stuff on foot, I want to make first contact Klaatu style, in person, on the ground, mingling. I want to land out in the hills and walk down to the new species and see what they make of me, an alien, and not just my flashy ship. I want to feel like I am participating as a being, not an abstract ship.

One game of note did this brilliantly - Bullfrog's 'Dungeon Keeper'. In this top-down 3D game, the player was tasked with digging out a dungeon to make it a place that monsters would want to live, while fending off raids from heroes. There was a simple, basic spell in the game 'possess' that allowed the player to pick any monster, any creature on their side and 'become' them. The camera swung down and entered the back of the monster's head, and the player enjoyed a first-person view. One could slash with a claw or whatever, or dig, or whatever single power the creature had, and of course walk about and look around. It was wonderful... one could get a feeling of the dungeon one had built being a 'real' place, a place one could walk through. Brilliant.

This would be so easy in Spore. The mechanism is already in the game, from the creature phase. Just allow the player to choose a single member of their own people and 'become' them, walk them around as the creature they are, take individual control of a single being for a time. A key press or whatever, and the control and view go back to the distant operations of running an empire.

So incredibly simple... the code is already there, it's just a matter of permitting that choice. That's all. Just that.

I wish designers would learn from other games a little more than they do. I also wish that the importance of identification with an avatar was more understood.

I would modify that last statement with one caveat, though... a recent study has shown that there is a difference in identification between males and females... males seem, on average, to find it equally easy to identify with a ship as with a being, while females seem to only truly form a connection with an apparently 'living' being. On average.

But, this said, following the percentages regarding gamers, 40% of Spore's players (maybe more, considering the Sims) are going to be women, like me, and that is a hell of a lot of players who would benefit from what I have described. Almost half, and perhaps even more than half (if Spore gets the same demographics as the Sims did.)

There is a patch for you, Maxis: the 'let us be our creatures at any time' patch. All it would take is a single key or button to activate and deactivate it, the rest of the code for walking around as a creature is already there, and it would make the game more appealing for women, and would not detract from anything at all. Win-win all around.

 
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Offline macweirdo42

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Re: What Would You Have Done Different?
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2008, 05:24:25 pm »
One thing - in the creature stage, I would've made the groups more active - sure they occasionally migrate, or get into fights with other groups, but most of the time, you'll just find 'em all hanging around the nest.

Offline Bellum

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Re: What Would You Have Done Different?
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2008, 05:33:05 pm »
Agreed. Don't have the game yet, but the whole nest thing seems a little artificial. Could have been better implemented.

Offline Hectonkhyres

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Re: What Would You Have Done Different?
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2008, 05:43:04 pm »
I would have had EA hire the monkey in charge of Dwarf Fortress.
Half for the direction he would have sent the game and half as Will Wright's keeper and warden.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2008, 05:46:37 pm by Hectonkhyres »

Offline Slife

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Re: What Would You Have Done Different?
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2008, 12:05:11 am »
I would have had EA hire the monkey in charge of Dwarf Fortress.
Half for the direction he would have sent the game and half as Will Wright's keeper and warden.
Pretty much what I was going to say.  But then we'd have cannibal zergling GROX with wooden UFOs.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.
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