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dapunisher

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Thinking it over
« on: March 31, 2005, 01:10:23 pm »
Hello everyone I am new here. I was previously putting up posts on the now seemingly dead gamefaqs forum for Spore. Of course like everyone else here, I was extremely excited when I first heard about the game. I got my first bit of info at penny arcade of all places, and got even more excited after coming here and listening to Steve's podcast, which was really well done by the way. Anyway, I've been doing alot of surfing and collecting as much information on Spore as I could find, and I'm begining to wonder just how deep and good this game will be.

Now before you flame me for this, hear me out. The folloing rant is based on MY opinoin. If you don't like it, good. I encourage people to post some feed back. I wanna hear your arguements and whatnot. I'd love to be proven wrong, especially about Spore.

I respect Will Wright alot. He is a very creative individual that has bucked the system several times with games that many thought would never catch on, yet went to become the new industry standard for a few new genres. With that being said....I think he might just be over his head with this one.

Again, hear me out.

According to Steve's podcast and MANY other Spore sources that were at the GDC conference and experienced the demonstration first hand, Spore is a mix of several different games. Those include Pac-Man, Diablo, Sim City, Civilization, and even a little bit of Master Of Orion. However it has also been stated that none of these influences have been devloped fully, but rather they are just parts fitting into the massive whole that IS Spore. Anotherwords, in Civ mode for example, you probably WILL NOT get to do everything you could in Civilization. As a good example, I just read recently somewhere (sorry I don't have a solid source, but just stay with me for the sake of arguement) that you will be able to create only one type of vehicle per class. What does that mean exactly? We don't yet know. It could mean that you are limited to just one type of plane, tank, boat. Or it could mean that you are limited to one type of plane, helicoptor, jeep, tank, submarine, and boat. At this time no one knows. Can you edit these further down the road? Do you start with captapults and get technology to improve your stuff over time? Again, no one knows. And what of the weapons? Do you just have missles and cannons? Or can you create bombers, artillery guns, lasers, WMD, etc.? And if so, just how deep does it get? And that's what this all boils down to. Either this game is gonna be massive, or it will be super simplistic. I'm opting for the later.
Why? Easy.
This game is H U G E. That is something we DO know. We also know that 99% of the content is player created. Which is awesome, since it takes the stress and a huge majority of development time off of the dev's backs and places it on the player's, giving them near unlimited creative imput. But here is where things get tricky. The Engine.
Let's say the game only has missles and cannons as the only modern weapons available. And let's say the weapons are player created, too. And let's say you want to create a machine gun. No biggie, right? Wrong.
Essentially the editor allows the player to make things. Creatures, buildings, vehicles, even weapons. So you could make the given cannon LOOK like a machine gun, but it would still fire cannon rounds, because there is no PARTICLE or PHYSICS editor. And if they are included (which I don't think they will be) Spore will pretty much leave the realm of video game and turn into a video game desgin tool making it TOO complex and un-fun for 99% of the technologically uninclined (me) out there. I'm already worried about the basic editor. Far Cry's editor was supposed to be super easy. After reading the manual for 4 hours I STILL can't make a level that works right. Sure it's easy for the 14 year old's that pump out Battlefield Mods, but again for the technologicallly inept, it's damn near impossible. Right now the design editor looks easy and cool, but no one is sure how the game will color objects. And from the  pictures I have seen, Will had some pretty intricately colored and textured vehicles.
But the biggest what if is essentially what will make or break this game...the A.I.
In the demo at GDC, the neighboring "star wars" civ started spewing out tanks and attacking Will's city. Which shows that the A.I. can and will be aggressive....at least against the player. Now multiply that 1,000 fold (I'll be conservative here, as it's been speculated that with the interstellar engine you could leave the galaxy and explore others, driving this number to a hundred thousand or million fold.) That means there are at least 1,000 other planets with similiar city's and similiar civ's all constantly being simulated by the A.I. THAT is a LOT of processing juice. Ok so maybe when you are not in the neighborhood the A.I. controlled civ's go "dormant" meaning the computer doesn't have to focus on evolving them and simultaing their wars. But who says they can even evolve or go to war with each other? Again we're talking insane computing power here. And how does the game start? Are you all just goo? Are some civs already evolved to the interstellar traveler level? And if so, what IS to stop them from coming and nuking your planet? And if these other civ's don't evolve, HALF the fun is gone. (You can't for example, abduct some creature, edit it, put it down and watch it grow)
And if the A.I civ's don't fight each other, then the Star Trek baby sitting game idea is out, along with a few others. In essence, the player will have this HUGE sandbox with everywhere to go...and nothing to do.
So what is Spore exactly? Is it a Civ game? A building game? An RTS game? A Sim? I suppose no one will know untill E3, but right now I'm starting to have my doubts. The game just sounds TOO massive.

Though it IS Will Wright. ANd no one thought the Sims would work...and it's the best selling game of all time.



Offline craigp

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2005, 01:50:25 pm »
Well, you bring up some good points, but also some misunderstandings.

The game will be more simplistic than most people seem to think - he is making it accessable to the 'casual gamer' after all. He's trying to make up for this by allowing REALLY dynamic player-generated content - if you're a casual gamer, you can just ignore it, while if you're hardcore, you can dive right in.

But as for your concerns about 'background simulations' - those backgrounds, such as other species and other civilizations, are probably not something that is simulated at ALL. They are pulled wholesale from someone else who created them. The only time they are simulated is while you are actively interacting with them, unless there's some kind of basic social sim for random diplomatic events.

If you leave and return, I would expect one of two things to happen: either everything would be exactly the same as when you left it, or they would have been re-downloaded from the person playing them.

But, yes, the game is going to be relatively simple in comparison to, say, the starship creation in MechWarrior. Hopefully, however, the simple interactions will provide a very deep gameplay, such as in go or Katamari Damacy.

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Offline happydan20

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2005, 03:03:20 pm »
REcall in the sims how the people you arent playing at the time (your neighbors) are just static, unless they enter your house or you call them... like craig said a social situation...

So I doubt it would be computing anything beyond your area of effect.  Just like in the sims.  My thought it it might randomly generate progress for another civ when you enter the area but as far as real-time computations... doubt it.

Consider also that in wills games you have had powers that the ai has not. Because of that I doubt the other civs will be able to nuke you out of existence, you have that they do not.
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Offline WeltallZero

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2005, 04:18:56 pm »
dapunisher, I think the error in your reasoning is that you're taking Spore for what it's not. The pacman, diablo, populous, simcity, civ mechanics aren't there as the point of the game, but as paradigms of interaction with what is the game itself: a giant sandbox to do whatever you like. Will Wright himself said that 40% is merely aesthetics, allowing the player to design what he/she thinks looks cool, and I'm perfectly good with that. If you're expecting a game to rival with Civilization, etc. well, you're not taking Spore for what it's meant and you're bound to be disappointed.

Offline LadyM

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2005, 05:28:10 pm »
First welcome.. I'm fairly new too.  You do bring up some good points but maybe there is too much technical speculation. Its probably hard to make a good judgement until it is released and people can test it out.  I would agree with the other that it sounds more sims-like in the way its played.  Hopefully it will be as good as they hype.  I intend to give it shot and make up my mind after I've actually played it.
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dapunisher

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2005, 08:24:38 pm »
First off, thanks for the input. I really appreciate your comments and you do make so good points. However, I do have one thing to say.
WeltallZero, you mention how the game won't be on par (game mechanics wise) with a game like Civilization, and I agree that it won't. But what IS the point of Spore? Sure the editor WILL give us hours of entertaiment, but think about this. What if the Sims 2 consisted of JUST the sim editor. You can create new sims untill your heart's content.....but that's it. There is no real game. Now I know you are going to say BUT THERE IS A GAME IN SPORE!!!! And I'm sure you are right...but again...
What IS the point?
Yes the game is 60% creation...which is awesome and amazing. But then what? Like I said, you build...you build again...you build some more.....and...?
You could argue that there was no point to Sim City or the Sims. And you might be right. But at least in those games you could constantly update and improve your creations. There was a bigger picture which of course was up to you, the player to design. Will Spore let us do the same?
If you read the preview of Spore on Gamespy, it sounds like once you get the interstellar drive, the world is your oyster. "In the process players can play out whatever science-fiction cliché they want." They then list the different options at hand: "Invasion? Supervision? Uplifting? First Contact? Abduction/Cross-Breeding? Diplomacy? The game is what players make of it. "
Ok let's think about this....
Invasion? Yup can do
Supervision? Nope. I'll explain why in a second
Uplifting? Not really sure what this means. If it means babysitting a lesser civ and giving them technology or weapons or whatever to elevate them, then no way....I'll get into that in a second
First Contact? Well, not much fun here. Show up and get blasted and start a war, or....not. And there aren't many options OTHER then war....again in a second
Abduction/Cross Breeding? Man I friggin hope so. Though the chance of this happening...slim to none. I'll explain in a sec.
Diplomacy? Hmmmm...war or not war? Not much there really.
So why am I whining so much? Here is why.
Majority of you guys DON'T think the A.I. controlled civs will evolve or fight each other. Some of you think maybe they do when you are in their neighborhood (i.e. their solar system) others think not at all.
Well if this is the case, you have eliminated the Supervision, Uplifting, and Abduction Cross Breeding options. Why? Well, how do you supervise civs that don't battle each other? Or evolve? How do you elevate a civ that never grows? And finally what good is cross breeding if the species you produce never evolves?
All in all it's a scary prospect. I understand this game will never be as deep as Civilization, or Sim City, or Populous, or whatever. But I think people are so excited by the prospect of Spore that they are totally blowing what the game is capable of out of proportion. If the game consists of creating new stuff and just floating around the galaxy seeing other new stuff....it will be pretty cool. But what good are Legos if all you do is build something, put it on a shelf and say "Boy that's nice" 
So again I leave you with this question...
What IS the point of Spore?
And I guess are answer will arrive at E3.

Offline Tarious

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2005, 08:38:19 pm »
You also got to relise that we got only a small bit about the gameplay.

We'll have to wait till E3 to know more.

dapunisher

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2005, 10:27:25 pm »
You speak nothing but truth my friend. I'm really excited over Spore and it's prospects. But the other day I was thinking, what if I'm wrong? What if this game is soooo basic there isn't any real gameplay? What if the sandbox turns into just this empty boring void? Just some thoughts. Trust me, I SO hope I'm wrong. Either way, Spore is STILL at the top of my most wanted list for the editor and the animation generator alone.

Offline Tarious

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2005, 10:34:31 pm »
We're also hoping its not just a sandbox at the ufo stages, cause it kind fo sounded like it.

Sandboxes get boring after a while.

Offline DevilMachine

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2005, 11:55:54 pm »
But I think people are so excited by the prospect of Spore that they are totally blowing what the game is capable of out of proportion.

this is exactly what I was trying to say in my thread 'overkill?'
http://gamingsteve.com/blab/index.php?topic=198.0

Offline Jayce

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2005, 01:55:57 am »
Hello everyone I am new here. I was previously putting up posts on the now seemingly dead gamefaqs forum for Spore.

That thread is staying (AFAIK) for people to add new FAQ's too and then Steve will move them to the FAQ every now and then.

Offline happydan20

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2005, 02:05:00 am »
I can understand the wariness anytime a game promises many types of gameplay or "cross platforms"  It generally doesn't turn out well...  But has will wright ever made agame that didn't have solid mechanics?
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Offline Jecrell

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2005, 02:41:09 am »
Hehehe -- the point of the game?
Early on you have a really clear point of the game.
Later on it's a sandbox and you make your own goals. The game ends when your imagination ends, and ultimately this isn't The Sims because the possibilities are sooooo much more diverse with so much more customizable depth... at least in my opinion.

Personally I would enjoy making scenarios and sharing them with other users (there is no hint at this being possible).
I believe Dan said it best with an example of a universe filled with care bears and you being charged with the task of destroying them all.

Other than that -- I think I can find more than enough ways to keep myself entertained for more than 200 hours with Spore, as it was described -- with only the facts that have been released. Some people are going to obviously throw raw tomatoes at another game made by Wil Wright, but I'm interested in the game because of the sheer originality of it.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2005, 02:43:59 am by Noob Monkey »

Offline WeltallZero

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2005, 07:03:40 am »
First off, thanks for the input. I really appreciate your comments and you do make so good points. However, I do have one thing to say.
WeltallZero, you mention how the game won't be on par (game mechanics wise) with a game like Civilization, and I agree that it won't. But what IS the point of Spore? Sure the editor WILL give us hours of entertaiment, but think about this. What if the Sims 2 consisted of JUST the sim editor. You can create new sims untill your heart's content.....but that's it. There is no real game.

But you see, for me, that's the game. THIS is what I want to do, to create species, buildings, vehicles, planets. You may not agree with me, and indeed I can see many people attracted by the RTS, etc. components of the game, but honestly, I can't see these people staying. What I'm trying to say is, what is it exactly that got you attracted to Spore? Surely can't be the individual games, because they've been done to death (and probably better) in the past. If the editor and it's possibilities aren't good enough to make you like the game and be excited by it, then I honestly can't see you liking it.

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What IS the point?
Yes the game is 60% creation...which is awesome and amazing. But then what? Like I said, you build...you build again...you build some more.....and...?

Um, I dunno, explore other players' creations? That alone would literally take an entire life.

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You could argue that there was no point to Sim City or the Sims. And you might be right. But at least in those games you could constantly update and improve your creations.

In this game you can constantly update YOUR creations PLUS other player's creations from all around the world.

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There was a bigger picture which of course was up to you, the player to design. Will Spore let us do the same?

What do you mean by "let us"? How could it not to? That's the entire point of the game, isn't it?

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Diplomacy? Hmmmm...war or not war? Not much there really.

What, did you get an advance copy of the game there? Where are you getting those assumptions from?

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Majority of you guys DON'T think the A.I. controlled civs will evolve or fight each other. Some of you think maybe they do when you are in their neighborhood (i.e. their solar system) others think not at all.
Well if this is the case, you have eliminated the Supervision, Uplifting, and Abduction Cross Breeding options. Why? Well, how do you supervise civs that don't battle each other? Or evolve? How do you elevate a civ that never grows?

That's actually a good question, but assuming that, since you don't know the answer, there is no answer, and therefore, Spore is failed, is a bit too big of a jump. Even more so since it's based on assumptions that may or may not be true (i.e. species aside from yours not evolving).

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And finally what good is cross breeding if the species you produce never evolves?

Um, YOU are making it evolve, artificially. That's again, the point and the fun.

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All in all it's a scary prospect. I understand this game will never be as deep as Civilization, or Sim City, or Populous, or whatever. But I think people are so excited by the prospect of Spore that they are totally blowing what the game is capable of out of proportion. If the game consists of creating new stuff and just floating around the galaxy seeing other new stuff....it will be pretty cool. But what good are Legos if all you do is build something, put it on a shelf and say "Boy that's nice" 
So again I leave you with this question...
What IS the point of Spore?

No, you're asking us "What is the point of Spore for me, dapunisher?". To which we obviously have no answer.

Offline Crowster

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2005, 09:07:59 am »
Personally, I WANT some of the early stuff wattered down. Mainly during the simcity and RTS stages. If I want to play games like those, I'll play the original. I still play SimCity 4 to this day, and when I want that experience that's where I'd rather turn. I want the game to feel like your in control of the species evolution directly WITHOUT the micromanaging headache.

For those of you who have never played it, SimCity4 is hard. Harder than earlier versions. The game is designed as its own game. Progression can be slow, depending on your play style, because frankly, why would the developers make a game that you can master in a few hours and get bored with easily? SimCity4 is just as it should be. However, with Spore, it's different. The SimCity4 stage is only one aspect. If you give it SC4's complexity and dificulty, what are you left with? "Oh my goooooood, I just want to move on. I'm sick of babysitting my city's economy. I want to surf the universe and blow stuff up already!" The same can be said for most of the other stages too.

If you ask me, the different stages (excluding the final space exploration stage) should be immersive enough to keep you interested, and enjoyable enough where you want to go back and fiddle with that stage some more once you get to the sandbox, but simple enough for most anyone to play through without too much difficulty. I personally wouldn't want to sit down and learn to play 6 different full games to enjoy Spore.

dapunisher

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2005, 12:21:38 pm »
Again WeltallZero good points all around, but I'm still confused.
No offense, but you seriously want a game that consists of just flying around looking at other players stuff and saying, wow that's cool?
I want to interact with the other civs and have a blast doing so. Again, no offense but if I wanted to see cool stuff, I'd go to an airshow.
I don't HATE Spore, acctually I'm waiting with baited breath. I'm just worried that there won't be much to the game. Think of the Sims. Now again, imagine if they took out all the sim-sim interactions and just made it an architectual and people creator. Cool, but...then you don't really have a game. I mean despite what a lot of people think, I believe a game of this size and scale has got to use a lot of processing power. I mean think of all the algorithims and other complex math the computer has to use to decide how to animate your 26 legged walking blob. Now think of that, plus EVERY OTHER player created creature. That's a lot of thinking your computer has to do. Which I believe means they are going to have to trim down all the other stuff so they can acctually get it to run without choking. So just how deep will the other aspects of the game be? Like we have said before, only time will tell.

And as for the diplomacy thing....I WISH I had an advanced copy...heh
But think about the Civilization series. Diplomacy didn't acctually get really advanced untill Civ 3, before which it consisted of war, alliance, peace, or nuetral. And if Spore is a very watered down version of that, how deep do YOU think the diplomacy will be?

Oh and in passing, I should also point out again that everything I say IS just my opinion. So no offense again to you or anyone.

Offline Tarious

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2005, 12:27:10 pm »
Dude, you're thinking to much.

This game will have something to do at every time and phase, but the ufo phase may turn just into a sandbox...

dapunisher

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2005, 07:25:18 pm »
Acctually, we're ALL thinking too hard. How many posts are there for a handful of screenshots and almost no known information? lol

Offline Zealousy

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2005, 10:17:55 pm »
Keep in mind that, as inspiration for how best to make Spore, Will Wright immersed himself in a culture of people that could make fully 3d games in under 64k, which is about 1/20 the size of the photos I take with my 3.2 megapixel camera (each photo being about 1.2 megs).

I'm guessing this game'll run like butter, on any system.
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Offline WeltallZero

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2005, 08:04:56 am »
No offense, but you seriously want a game that consists of just flying around looking at other players stuff and saying, wow that's cool?

Um, when exactly did you decide to ignore the part in which I create stuff?

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I want to interact with the other civs and have a blast doing so. Again, no offense but if I wanted to see cool stuff, I'd go to an airshow.
I don't HATE Spore, acctually I'm waiting with baited breath. I'm just worried that there won't be much to the game. Think of the Sims. Now again, imagine if they took out all the sim-sim interactions and just made it an architectual and people creator. Cool, but...then you don't really have a game.

I don't really care what you want from Spore (no offense), so why should you care about what _I_ want? There's really not much to discuss here. My only observation is that I'm growing more confident that YOU won't like the game that much, so it's you who shouldn't get too hyped.

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I mean despite what a lot of people think, I believe a game of this size and scale has got to use a lot of processing power. I mean think of all the algorithims and other complex math the computer has to use to decide how to animate your 26 legged walking blob. Now think of that, plus EVERY OTHER player created creature. That's a lot of thinking your computer has to do. Which I believe means they are going to have to trim down all the other stuff so they can acctually get it to run without choking.

Well, as a computer programmer with almost a decade of working experience, I expect to know a bit about the subject. There are techniques, pretty simple ones actually (especially compared to the rather unorthodox programming Spore is alledgedly sporting), to simulate a continuous growth when there is only a "perceived" one, i.e. it only is calculated when you look. Sort of a Schorodinger's cat, if you get my meaning.
But actually, that's not even needed. Simple mathematical calculations for growth are extremelly light on modern computers' processors, as long as they're kept withing a reasonable order of magnitude. Several thousand civilizations is actually a reasonable order of magnitude, so the game COULD calculate all that in real-time (not that I would expect them too: that'd be simply unnecesay overhead and plain sloppy programming).
Bottom line: I'm a programmer, and I don't worry at all about that. I think you shouldn't, either, but it's your call.

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And as for the diplomacy thing....I WISH I had an advanced copy...heh
But think about the Civilization series. Diplomacy didn't acctually get really advanced untill Civ 3, before which it consisted of war, alliance, peace, or nuetral. And if Spore is a very watered down version of that, how deep do YOU think the diplomacy will be?

Extrapolating from previous, unrelated games, isn't a wise course of action. We have no evidence of how diplomacy will be handled in Spore, so drawing conclusions at this point is preposterous.

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Oh and in passing, I should also point out again that everything I say IS just my opinion. So no offense again to you or anyone.

None taken. It's just that you're expected to base your conclusions on solid evidence and reasoning; AND not to asume everyone thinks like you.

Offline Therlun

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2005, 10:18:36 am »
Keep in mind that, as inspiration for how best to make Spore, Will Wright immersed himself in a culture of people that could make fully 3d games in under 64k, which is about 1/20 the size of the photos I take with my 3.2 megapixel camera (each photo being about 1.2 megs).

I'm guessing this game'll run like butter, on any system.

thats not quite true.
the point of such code is that it only has very small files that describe everything, and the computer builds the graphic and sound while playing (which actually needs more resources on the computer side :( ).

it is only less work for the creator of the game.
the development team has not to compute hundreds of megs of data, but only a few, small "descriptive" files.

e.g."kkrieger"
it is a shooter that is 96kb big!(take a look at the gallery)
and it needs quite high specs:
http://www.theprodukkt.com/kkrieger.html
« Last Edit: April 02, 2005, 10:23:18 am by Therlun »
Change is being.

dapunisher

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2005, 12:18:19 pm »
WetalZero,

Schorodinger's cat huh? Wow that is some pretty crazy stuff!

Anyhow, ok I submit. I have been beating up on you. Though I didn't even really realize it untill your last post. I guess I  just wasn't thinking (hey don't say anything!!! lol)  You're entitled to your oppinions as much as I am, and I haven't really been respecting that have I?

As for the game itself, I really don't know what Spore is or isn't. I started this thread for the sake of arguement, mainly to get intelligent oppinions and information on the inner workings of the games mechanics (which you have explained). Although I do have to say the design concept of the game IS very cool. I am very much looking forward to making my own creatures/buildings/vehicles/ufos....who knows? But I DO hope there is something more to it then that....and I'm sure there will be. And I hope it will have some sort of depth
The reason why I whine so much is because I am afraid of hyping this game too much. Anytime a game has been hyped alot, it has fallen short of people's excpectations BIG time. Basically I'm giving the negative what if side And you guys have argued your way out of this rather well....reassuring my hopes that Spore will be an awesome game.
Anyway, once again sorry for attacking you. You DO make some good points, and as I said I am very much looking forward to Spore. 

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2005, 08:04:24 pm »
Therlun, Good point. I didn't think about it that way. (Or at all?) :P

I still don't think that this game'll bring a lot of computers to their knees though. I don't know why, but if the game's going to be simplified (as I remember people mentioning Wright had said) then I don't think that the simulation in this game is going to be phenomenally involved. ;)
« Last Edit: April 03, 2005, 06:13:26 am by Zealousy »
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Offline krjal

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #23 on: April 03, 2005, 12:15:03 am »
That might be the case but I think that it would be a very scalable system. You would be able to lessen the processing power needed by setting animations to become less detailed etc.
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Offline Cend

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #24 on: April 03, 2005, 12:28:46 am »
Like someone before me, remember that nearly everything so far is speculation...not that it'll stop anyone from speculating, especially not me!!

I can't remember, but isn't time scalable? So if you wanted to spend more time on the city part of the game, then just don't zoom out...and spend more time designing and such. Now, I'm not sure how much the game gets into making a city work properly (simcity games) or running the economy (ceaser games) or if it's just a sandbox for the city.

Also, Mr.Wright's demonstration sped through the game at very high speeds. It's quite likely that there was many parts missing or skipped, and/or parts were done in advance so he could skip by them.

To me though, this isn't a game about organizing a city, or running a civilization...it's taking a creature you have made, and designed and bringing it from being a single-cell organism to the ruler of the cosmos and everything in between. I'd hope the game is complex enough in each stage that, if I want, I can spend hours just working with my tribe of primitive Tribbles (now where would they hold the spear? :D) or I can speed time up by zooming out. This would also mean amazing things for replayability!

Ramble ramble, this game is hard on the fingers.
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Offline Mr.Heat

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #25 on: April 03, 2005, 06:15:27 am »
No offense, but you seriously want a game that consists of just flying around looking at other players stuff and saying, wow that's cool?

Um, when exactly did you decide to ignore the part in which I create stuff?

Ummm..ok, so you explored alot of creatures and buildings and whatever, and you created alot too, what will you do with them without the ability to interact with those objects? ;)



Heat

Offline WeltallZero

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #26 on: April 03, 2005, 08:02:55 am »
Quote
Anyhow, ok I submit. I have been beating up on you. Though I didn't even really realize it untill your last post. I guess I  just wasn't thinking (hey don't say anything!!! lol)  You're entitled to your oppinions as much as I am, and I haven't really been respecting that have I?

Eh? No, no, I didn't feel attacked at all! Don't worry about it. It's just that I'm a bit surprised that you expect others to justify your expectations of the game, when ours are completely different. That, and I wanted to assure you that there is nothing technically impossible within what Spore is trying to do: it's just very ambitious in scope.

Offline Stromko

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #27 on: April 03, 2005, 08:21:00 am »
I think a few other people have touched upon this, but my summation of what Spore will have to offer is that you shouldn't think of any one stage as a full game, with sufficient depth, etc. The depth of Spore will be that you go through all these stages (tidal pool, ocean, land hunting, tribes, etc) and they build upon eachother, the things you do in these stages may seem simple, but they have a lasting impact on every stage afterwards.

Example: (* refers to things where I can't be absolutely certain, from what we know so far, that such a feature exists)
IE, your creature shambles out of the water and begins devouring smaller creatures for strength and evading more powerful predators. In so doing, it wanders deep into a desert landscape where perhaps prey becomes more scarce and it must develop sharper senses* or the ability to move farther or faster, and needs much less water, perhaps it develops special camouflage* to hide from giant saurians that prowl the wastes?

So skip ahead, skip ahead; those desert people who evolved in their environment purely by chance form their entire society and technology around surviving and flourishing in this environment, OR, perhaps you grow sick and tired of eking out and existence int he desert, and you now have a possibly difficult quest where you move your entire tribe to someplace where the environment suits your wishes.

You can probably see what I'm talking about here, that choices and happenings in an earlier stage would very logically have an impact on every stage thereafter, and without necessarily needing a great deal of depth in any one stage. Also I've pointed out that, like Will Wright's previous games, it is the gamer that determines what they want to get out of the game, it is the gamer that choses their goals. But now instead of playing the Sims 2 and trying to, say, make a 'graveyard' lot just for the freaking hell of it.. you get choices like making vicious desert-wandering Carebears with energy rifles that drive gigantic tanks around (Jawas!) just for the freaking hell of it!
« Last Edit: April 03, 2005, 08:23:07 am by Stromko »

Offline krjal

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2005, 08:51:08 am »
I like that image Stromko, even if we don't know which parts are possible.
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Offline WeltallZero

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #29 on: April 03, 2005, 12:56:40 pm »
Agreed, Stromko's tale is a very cool example of the kind of cause-effect gameplay Spore could sport.

Offline lemurbouy

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #30 on: April 03, 2005, 04:34:30 pm »
Hats off to Stromko.  This is what I hope happens in this game.  A sense of developing with your environment rather than simply issuing an order to the computer and seeing it happen without there being a sense of connectivity with the rest of the game.  Less sliders, more awesome.  -leeman

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #31 on: April 04, 2005, 09:59:05 am »
I forget if this is where I was reading stuff about this or not, but what the hell.
Drawing many conclusions and using educated guesses I'd say that your solar system is your playground when it comes to playing around with other creatures. It seems that to make the game run better and to make more sense system resource wise i'd say that progress (like evolution and displomacy or what ever) only happens in your solar system when you are activly working in it. It working like that just makes a whole heap of sense to me. That's to say that the universe is static unless you are actually there currently or it is within your solar system. This opens up lots of things like watching progression and doing experiments. If it wasn't like this then everything in the universe would be very simplified and rather bland when it is being processed. Questions?

Offline Stromko

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #32 on: April 04, 2005, 11:23:40 pm »

I find that pretty likely. If things were going on when we weren't around to observe them, then we ultimately wouldn't know why most of it was even happening, it's likely we couldn't really appreciate the complexity of what was going on. You might get constantly caught up in events that are forced upon you, instead of being able to conduct your policies, invasions, and experiments at your own pace.

You could just as easily simulate a living universe by having a random table of 'while you were out' random events, coupled with simplified time advancement. Say the first time you go to the planet Dogfish III, you see a scattering of arachnid and rodent tribes eking out an existence. Let's say maybe you mess with things a little, maybe you Uplift some of them with technology or knowledge, or maybe you grab a few of the native species and intermix them, selecting different traits and merging them into one species. Maybe you drop a select blend of the most vicious flesh-eating predators in the galaxy in select spots around the planet....

At any rate, even if you do nothing, the next time you visit Dogstar III it will determine with a very quick simulation what has happened since last you were there. You may find the planet dominated by one tribe that made the best use of advanced technology, perhaps they will be eager allies or bitter enemies, perhaps you will find that the hybrid species has taken over, perhaps you will find that the super-predators have exterminated all life on the world and then themselves starved out.. Perhaps there has been a dramatic climate change that changed the balance of power between the various tribes, perhaps some of them are advancing into industrial ages, or perhaps another space-bearing race have dropped colonies onto the world.

I don't think it necessarily has to change the whole nature of the end-game, if there are other space-bearing races, so long as their actions are limited. IE, no planet-busting, no messing with your homeworld or even colonies, no sweeping through the galaxy exterminating every creature they meet and demanding your immediate attention to save the diversity of the cosmos(but that would be kind of cool, come to think of it).

I guess my point is that, rather than having a totally static sandbox, we can go halfway on having a dynamic universe. Quick and massive changes to planets will mostly only be caused by you, and other races will not do the full array of things that you do; just like guests in Sims 2 don't have the full array of actions that you do. (But they need to leave my f%@(ing Simolean tree alone, or they ge trapped in the walls with all the rest..)

Offline Cobra

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #33 on: April 05, 2005, 03:36:46 am »
Personally I'm interested in the genetic modifng UFO hopefully using it on another sentent being on som random planet and then putting them back see what results now that essentally 2 different sentent species are on the planet.

Offline krjal

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #34 on: April 05, 2005, 09:11:17 am »
Conversly, it would be rather wierd to have left a planet for, say, 4 days realtime and come back to where nothing has changed.

This 'quick-time' simulation could work on a smaller scale (time scale that is) by only advancing at one tenth of the speed when the player isn't 'around'. I would assume that 'around' could be in the solar system.
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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #35 on: April 08, 2005, 01:02:23 am »
I've re-read what I said an it sounds a bit wrong. What I think I meant to say was that your solar system (with limited number of planets I'm guessing) would always be working no matter where you are. So jumping around the galaxy will still have your dudes being processed. I couldn't think of another way of doing it that is any better. (also I am doubting that you can visit the same solarsystem more than once)

Offline RealmRPGer

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #36 on: April 08, 2005, 01:44:59 am »
Perhaps you're only allowed to leave the planet once it's been conquered (in one way or another). Then there could never really be much more expansion that you don't explicitly state.

I don't see how it would even be possible to not allow you to visit a solar system twice. You can't go back home? What about terraforming planets? You give it an atmosphere, leave to get some inhabitants, and you can't go back? WHY can't you go back? It doesn't make sense.

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #37 on: April 08, 2005, 02:08:19 am »
Because once you have visited a planted it would have to be added to a list. The postion of everything on the world mapped. What they are doing, what they are going to do has to be processed. You visit 5000 planets and you will start to see why it is a problem mapping solar systems. And of course you can return home. As for terraforming, that's what your solar system is for.

Offline Zealousy

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #38 on: April 08, 2005, 03:08:27 am »
I don't see why any of this has to be processed if the player isn't nearby. Why do aliens from every planet we visit have to eat up processor power after making first contact? As cool as it would be to have code sleek enough to make this possible, it's hardly a requirement for game design. Do creatures actually go through evolutional stages independently of the player?

Of course, none of us know for sure, but in my opinion people are labeling those things that 'could be' as things that 'must be.'
« Last Edit: April 08, 2005, 03:10:23 am by Zealousy »
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Offline RealmRPGer

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #39 on: April 08, 2005, 04:38:25 am »
Yeah, it would take up a lot of processing power to do 5000 worlds, but it would be incredibly tedius if all your hard work suddenly became for naught. If there ARE things happening while you're away, it'd be much more likely that the game would only ever process ANY of that unless you were nearing the planet. It would do some quick calculations based on how long since the last update and the intelligence level of the creatures, etc. It doesn't take long for today's computers to generate a likely evolution path from that.

Offline krjal

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #40 on: April 08, 2005, 09:53:32 pm »
That was my guess too.

I'm sure I've seen something similar somewhere else as well, just got to remember where...
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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #41 on: April 10, 2005, 10:06:46 pm »
Yeah, it would take up a lot of processing power to do 5000 worlds, but it would be incredibly tedius if all your hard work suddenly became for naught. If there ARE things happening while you're away, it'd be much more likely that the game would only ever process ANY of that unless you were nearing the planet. It would do some quick calculations based on how long since the last update and the intelligence level of the creatures, etc. It doesn't take long for today's computers to generate a likely evolution path from that.
This is what I keep saying, (at least I think I keep saying this) your solar system (should that be in capitols?) is where you do things. So if you visit planet X and you like the dudes there, you grab the dudes there and take them to your solar system. Seems limiting, but makes a lot of sense.

Offline Stromko

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #42 on: April 11, 2005, 12:19:14 am »
Actually, I don't see the logic in that at all. :) The point of Spore using all this procedural content stuff from the 'demo scene' is so it can contain massive amounts of data in miniscule packages. I've played an FPS that was fully contained in 96K, granted it looked like Unreal Tournament '00 and it was laggy as hell, but this is because that game didn't have several gigs of uncompressed(ie: immediately accessible) content to draw from; which Spore surely will.

I wouldn't be surprised if a solar system and all of the state entries therein took up about 5k.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2005, 06:33:33 am by Stromko »

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #43 on: April 11, 2005, 11:56:15 am »
*roll eyes* There is a difference between awesome data compression and complex algorythims running millions of times over for each planet times by a thousand.

Offline craigp

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #44 on: April 11, 2005, 01:09:46 pm »
*roll eyes* There is a difference between awesome data compression and complex algorythims running millions of times over for each planet times by a thousand.
Well, not if the algorithms are simply extrapolative - IE you can just say "Two years later, they will be HERE" without having to actually do continuous computing.

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Re: Thinking it over
« Reply #45 on: April 12, 2005, 04:27:35 am »
Well, okay, sure. But if *I* was programming it, I wouldn't want to have my game 'making things up' when you are not there. I want grueling detail and constant movement and changes. That is why I believe in the Solar System Sandbox. We'll see, we'll see.