Author Topic: Wild Spore vs Domesticated Spore  (Read 23181 times)

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Offline jiboxemo

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Wild Spore vs Domesticated Spore
« on: December 17, 2008, 05:25:51 am »
Hello everybody, longest lurker in town, read you all for a lot of years, blablaba, etc...

I want to give my tip on why Spore didn't survived to our expectations.

What we see in the famous 2005 GDC video? We see a wild game that promises us a lot of things: creativity, community, varied gameplay, etc...

My theory is that in this video there is another message: "emergent gameplay". We are promised to expect the unexpected. To be surprised everytime we play. Spore will be a wild place where whatever can happen. This is at least the message I received. Maybe it was my fault. But I think I'm not alone on this.

What we finally receive is a brilliant software, but a totally domesticated one. You can play Spore some hours and then you have seen all of it. There is nothing new after that.  No surprises. No novelties. Every time you see the same. You have an infinity of creatures to find (and vehicles, and cities, and planets...) but in the end they are all the same.

Its hard to find a game as rigid as Spore. Even the Sims have a lot of emergent gameplay due to the social behaviour. But Spore? It's overcontrolled. It's a brilliant clock with no soul inside.

The Spore Galaxy is a cold cold place to live on. Every time is harder for me to go back to it.


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Offline Snork

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Re: Wild Spore vs Domesticated Spore
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2008, 06:25:26 am »
Do we need another post like this :-\
Quote from: Orc Creation Story.
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Offline Fumanchu

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Re: Wild Spore vs Domesticated Spore
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2008, 06:58:06 am »
With friends like Snork, who needs anemones? Your comment about the rigidity of Spore rings true to me. I kept thinking that, in spite of its open atmosphere, the game is on rails the entire time you play. It's deceptive, though; in Creature stage, you're given the illusion that it's all open-ended, but the amount of options for interacting with other creatures is incredibly diverse--if you're living in a binary world, that is.

I also like the "wild place" you mention that we had in our minds. Science seems like a wild place where emergent behavior can happen. Spore seems like it went the route of intelligent design and proceeded to dumb down every part it could. It's like that biblical phrase where there's milk and then there's meat. We didn't even get 2% milk, we got the white-colored water of skim milk.

Offline jiboxemo

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Re: Wild Spore vs Domesticated Spore
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2008, 08:01:06 am »
I think something during Spore developement was terribly wrong.

I mean, you have the most ambitious idea for a game in history, and then you make it "casual"  ???

It can not be done. It's impossible.

Or, less dramatically :P let's say it's very difficult to make it without flaws (yes, crop circles, I'm looking at you, moronic easy to use tools!!!)

WW showed in 2005 in premade demo form the closest possible graphic representation of is idea. And we approved it cheerfully. If the final product had been exactly that, few people had been dissapointed. Also, what you see so harcore in GDC 2005 that you have to redo all the project to make it more palatable?

My stupid theory: Maxis team misunderstood WW idea of a massively single player game, and they started making a MMORPG. In the middle of the project WW find the mistake and they have to redo all the project. Hey, look at the game closely! It has a really good structure for a MMO. I'd say they have the work 80% done for a Spore MMO (not counting the dedicated servers, etc..).

Maybe due to this sometimes I feel that to play Spore is as beautiful and pointless as to play WOW in single play.
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Offline Snork

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Re: Wild Spore vs Domesticated Spore
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2008, 08:29:42 am »
With friends like Snork, who needs anemones?
And whats that supposed to mean? I was just saying that there are lots of topics that this could be posted in.(90% of this board is a good place)
Quote from: Orc Creation Story.
Stop rolling like pigs amongst the faeces and get out of the way of my sunlight, you stupid f***ers.
Jawless women and their fine, fine feet

Offline Uroboros

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Re: Wild Spore vs Domesticated Spore
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2008, 09:06:54 am »
Well, as much as I normally say "there are plenty of other topics about this", I think Jiboxemo hit the nail on the head.
That is exactly why people were disappointed, though it applies mostly to the creature stage...

Offline Snork

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Re: Wild Spore vs Domesticated Spore
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2008, 09:51:44 am »
Thats true.
Really, to be honest, this topic is THE truth. Infact, probably the most truthful topic on this forum.
Quote from: Orc Creation Story.
Stop rolling like pigs amongst the faeces and get out of the way of my sunlight, you stupid f***ers.
Jawless women and their fine, fine feet

Offline Lippy

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Re: Wild Spore vs Domesticated Spore
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2008, 12:11:23 pm »
I think something during Spore developement was terribly wrong.
I mean, you have the most ambitious idea for a game in history, and then you make it "casual"  ???
It can not be done. It's impossible.
Well, that's what Will wanted to do since the beginning.  You've never seen the 60 minute demo, have you?

Quote from: Will Wright GDC 2005
I wanted it to be a very light game experience compared to what these games (diablo, civ, etc) have turned into.  I wanted it to be the best 20% of Sim City, or the best 20% of Civilization.  Because I as a hardcore gamer just don't have the time anymore to invest in these games nowadays.  I'd rather have a light game experience that distills the core game elements out.  I'm expecting a full 40% of this experience to be aesthetic that the player spends a lot of time creating these worlds. So its part light gameplay, but still very open ended, very interesting strategies.  But very understandable simple systems that anybody can pick up and play like a gameboy game.

WW showed in 2005 in premade demo form the closest possible graphic representation of is idea. And we approved it cheerfully. If the final product had been exactly that, few people had been dissapointed.

That's my favorite thing I hear people say about the GDC2005 demo.  Obviously you looked at the shiny magical moving colors and inferred from your own wants and desires what that demo could do.  You wouldn't want that demo.  Everyone would have been disappointed by getting exactly that.

I do agree that the final game is lacking the emergent gameplay he talked about during the presentation. 

Quote from: Will Wright GDC 2005
As we try to scale up the size of the possibility space for the player, the development [grows exponentially].  To build an emergent game takes a LOT of iteration.  We're trying to push that curve down a bit now by building more emergent gameplay.  And we also need to fight it by getting cheaper content development.

I think the simplest explanation is that they bit off more than they could chew, time was running out, and stuff had to be cut.  Since the design was more about getting cheaply made player content, and tailoring the game so that anybody can pick it up, the less important parts like the emergent gameplay got cut.  I know the big part about emergent gameplay in the creature phase came from the physics based animation/fighting system.  When that got cut right at the beginning, due to technological reasons, the emergent gameplay based on that system went with it.


Offline jiboxemo

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Re: Wild Spore vs Domesticated Spore
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2008, 12:41:02 pm »
Quote
Well, that's what Will wanted to do since the beginning.  You've never seen the 60 minute demo, have you?

I saw it LOT OF times  :'( :'( :'(

Quote
I think the simplest explanation is that they bit off more than they could chew, time was running out, and stuff had to be cut.  Since the design was more about getting cheaply made player content, and tailoring the game so that anybody can pick it up, the less important parts like the emergent gameplay got cut.  I know the big part about emergent gameplay in the creature phase came from the physics based animation/fighting system.  When that got cut right at the beginning, due to technological reasons, the emergent gameplay based on that system went with it.

The simplest explanation use to be the good one  ;)
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Offline papaboom

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Re: Wild Spore vs Domesticated Spore
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2008, 12:58:03 pm »
The second poster was correct - this proliferation of "Spore was a disappointment" threads is getting way out of hand... There should be one thread for this topic - not a thousand. 

Offline Grangan

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Re: Wild Spore vs Domesticated Spore
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2008, 01:17:28 pm »
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Well, that's what Will wanted to do since the beginning.  You've never seen the 60 minute demo, have you?

I saw it LOT OF times  :'( :'( :'(
You missed his goddamn point.  Will says in that demo that the gameplay would be simple.
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Offline Skyward

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Re: Wild Spore vs Domesticated Spore
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2008, 01:53:48 pm »
what i think is this

if you make a revolutionary game, DONT OPEN IT TO CASUAL PLAYERS AND CHILDREN!
Hell, Skyward Descent is pure win!
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Offline Fumanchu

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Re: Wild Spore vs Domesticated Spore
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2008, 01:55:02 pm »
The second poster was correct - this proliferation of "Spore was a disappointment" threads is getting way out of hand... There should be one thread for this topic - not a thousand. 
Alternatively, it could be said the apologist threads are getting way out of hand. Depends on perspective, I guess.

Offline Grangan

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Re: Wild Spore vs Domesticated Spore
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2008, 01:55:50 pm »
The second poster was correct - this proliferation of "Spore was a disappointment" threads is getting way out of hand... There should be one thread for this topic - not a thousand. 
Alternatively, it could be said the apologist threads are getting way out of hand. Depends on perspective, I guess.
Fumanchu:This is a spore fan forum.  We are supposed to be spore fans.
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Offline jiboxemo

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Re: Wild Spore vs Domesticated Spore
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2008, 02:58:13 pm »
Quote
Insert Quote
Quote from: jiboxemo on Today at 12:41:02 PM
Quote
Well, that's what Will wanted to do since the beginning.  You've never seen the 60 minute demo, have you?


I saw it LOT OF times   
You missed his goddamn point.  Will says in that demo that the gameplay would be simple.

It's not a simple thing to define "simple". And it's not a simple thing to make a game elegantly simple. WW wanted to pick the best games and distill the "fun" in small games that provide a quick and satisfying experiences. Did he succeed? My particular opinion (please don't kill me) :

Cell: The closest to achieve the original idea. Quick paced and smart.
Creature: As Fumanchu well said, a good mirage of an open and breathing world. Too big maybe for a so small set of rules. Repetitiveness erases.
Tribe: This one is my guilty pleasure  :). I like how the tribe lives their small lives: hunt, fish, dance... It's a relaxing experience.
City: Big problem with this one: GRAPHICS. Cities and vehicles have horrible graphics. They make no justice to the editors. Fix the graphics and the experience will be a lot more enjoyable "casual" experience.
Space: Same as creature, 10000 times worse.

So, was  Maxis succesfull in make a simple gameplay? Yes.
Was Maxis succesfull in distill the "fun" of the reference games? Yes... more or less.
Was possible to distill more "fun" from these games keeping the thing simple? I think so.

I insist: Mr. Wright is not the proper one to make a casual game (the sims is not a casual game in my book). He is too brainy!!! He created a complex Spore (not talking about the GDC video, but the idea of Spore itself) and dumbed it down. Nothing strange. WW always start with ultracomplex conceptual ideas and simplifies it to enjoyable experiences.

Only this time he dumbed it down too much...


Note: I'm not a Spore hater. All this is constructive criticism.

Give me an improved Spore, an improved "The Movies" and a Little Big Planet for PC and I will be as happy as a pig in the mud.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2008, 03:09:02 pm by jiboxemo »
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