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.
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.