Author Topic: Thinking it over  (Read 15284 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

dapunisher

  • Guest
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

  • Phoenix Fighter
  • **
  • Posts: 171
    • View Profile
    • Perkwiki
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.

-Craig

Offline happydan20

  • Venture Conqueror
  • ****
  • Posts: 777
  • Discovered the "everything syndrome."
    • View Profile
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.
I survived the flood of 2008 and all I got was this crappy homelessness.

Offline WeltallZero

  • Fire Truck Driver
  • *
  • Posts: 38
    • View Profile
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

  • Moderator
  • Doom Space Marine
  • *****
  • Posts: 12115
  • I'm not confused anymore
    • View Profile
    • LadyMpire
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.
Rules-LadyMpire-YouTube-Twitter
Starbound and Minecraft server: ask me

dapunisher

  • Guest
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

  • Intellivision Junkie
  • ***
  • Posts: 487
  • FINISH HIM!
    • View Profile
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

  • Guest
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

  • Intellivision Junkie
  • ***
  • Posts: 487
  • FINISH HIM!
    • View Profile
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

  • Tron User
  • *****
  • Posts: 1326
  • Defender of the Universe
    • View Profile
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

  • Pac-Man Maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 273
    • View Profile
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

  • Venture Conqueror
  • ****
  • Posts: 777
  • Discovered the "everything syndrome."
    • View Profile
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?
I survived the flood of 2008 and all I got was this crappy homelessness.

Offline Jecrell

  • Battlezone Captain
  • ***
  • Posts: 319
  • Giant Snowy Ape
    • View Profile
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

  • Fire Truck Driver
  • *
  • Posts: 38
    • View Profile
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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?

Quote
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?

Quote
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).

Quote
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.

Quote
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

  • Defender Devotee
  • ***
  • Posts: 437
  • It's Crow-Time, Baby!
    • View Profile
    • The Adventures of Crow-Man
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.