Author Topic: EA using spore tech in other games  (Read 10854 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline snappledude21

  • Space Invaders Junkie
  • *
  • Posts: 59
    • View Profile
EA using spore tech in other games
« on: April 22, 2005, 10:10:25 pm »
First off, i'd say its an inevitability.  Why WOULDN'T you recycle something that's taken years to build and is incredibly time consuming and likely to be a huge hit (if its not a huge hit, they won't reuse it).   But think about possibilities

Need for speed underground 3: Shape your own cars, interior, exterior, engine, body, etc. 

Command and conquer : DROOLS custom units and buildings for a limitless number of factions and possibly taking the whole RTS thing interplanetary.

Sims 3 : ETA 2008.....well DUH they'd want to use it for that.  Make your sim any shape you want. Alien sims, everything moldable, couches to fit them,
custom screens, appliances, EVERYTHING shapable from the start, no annoying hacks that don't work with expansions and waste a LOT of my time (personal rant of mine..)

Simcity 5(000?)? whatever it will be called...make your own buildings easily so that you don't have such a repetitive landscape.  Shape your roads to different looks, shape the trees dotting the city.

And of course all of these would access online databases to make the amount of content available even more varied (especially nice for simcity and sims3 cases).  If anyone disagrees that this would be useful in all these games, let me know.  Also if anyone has any other ideas.  And if anyone else manages to make this tech work, there are obviously SO many other games that would benefit fromt his, particuarly any sim (GT5 with your own custom cars? or any RTS with more units you could design on the fly).  Let me know what you think.

Mike



Offline Zealousy

  • Wizard of Wor
  • ***
  • Posts: 275
    • View Profile
Re: EA using spore tech in other games
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2005, 11:03:23 pm »
If you're talking about the creature editor, I don't think we'll see it in another game unmodified. It may be great, but it'd be even better if every new iteration contained all the stuff the original version left out. I'm betting it'll be redesigned to suit particular requirements of certain games, as well. Maybe Maxis can try to license the technology and put it on the market for other developers to buy. :-\

If you're talking about procedurally-created content, well I know some developers are already using it to make games. They kind of have to; XBox 360 and PS3 will be able to support characters 5-10 times more detailed than today's games (I think... I've read the numbers jump from the 3,000-5,000 polygons most games sport today, to 20,000-30,000 polygon characters... not to mention the work needed to make Normal Maps. :P). I'd pick procedurals over hiring however many more artists... in a heartbeat. :o

I can't tell if I'm sounding harsh or not here. I'm agreeing with you, honest! ;)
« Last Edit: April 22, 2005, 11:43:11 pm by Zealousy »
I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather ... Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.
- Will Shriner

Offline Gaming Steve

  • Master Chief
  • Dig Dug Digger
  • *****
  • Posts: 1543
    • View Profile
    • Gaming Steve
Re: EA using spore tech in other games
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2005, 12:02:28 am »
First off, i'd say its an inevitability.  Why WOULDN'T you recycle something that's taken years to build and is incredibly time consuming and likely to be a huge hit (if its not a huge hit, they won't reuse it).   But think about possibilities

Need for speed underground 3: Shape your own cars, interior, exterior, engine, body, etc. 

Oh yes, you are so correct. And those extra cars, interiors, exteriors, engines, etc. are called Microtransactions! That is where this is all heading (unfortunately), if you want to add new items to your car you need to buy them online. They loved showing this off at GDC, and now Sony is jumping on the microtransactions bandwagon expect to see it everywhere!

But I know what you're saying, having the ability to "shape" and "create" your own units/car/people/etc. using the Spore model is quite cool. I would love to see that sort of functionality. I always expected Impossible Creatures to be like this, but sadly it wasn't.

I really would love to see this technology used in an RTS game. The closest we have come to date would be Total Annihilation with their two billion types of units (I loved them all).
Check out Gaming Steve on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/thegamingsteve

Wulf

  • Guest
Re: EA using spore tech in other games
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2005, 03:37:36 am »
Impossible creatures was a piece of ****!...Er...
*cough*
I don't think they will use the spore stuff in other things because the world and everything has to suit the procedral content. It would all just get too complex and crazy.

Offline snappledude21

  • Space Invaders Junkie
  • *
  • Posts: 59
    • View Profile
Re: EA using spore tech in other games
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2005, 09:58:09 am »
Yea, the tech not exactly as is, improved/tweaked for each individual game. Yea microtransactions are all well and good, but if they give you the tool and its THAT easy to use then the only microtransaction you'll have to make with games like those are if you are lazy or to get official microcontent.

So i'm not worried about that. But yea, i'm sure EA will reuse the shaping system on lots of other games in some better form (if it can get any better i'll start drooling right now but i guess its possible) and i'm looking forward to it, and glad you guys agree with me on that.

Mike

Offline Legodragonxp

  • Excitebike Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 3556
  • Now for some real user power...
    • View Profile
Re: EA using spore tech in other games
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2005, 07:35:27 pm »
There are a lot of games/sims out there that have the ability to add user created content (Trainz, SimCIty4, Impossible Creatures, etc can all use GMAX). Many more can be hacked to allow additional content (various NFS titles, Total Annihilation, iL-2 Sturmevik, etc). Hopefully there will be a market for the designers to build the tools to build our own worlds, or at least build them easier.

Total Annhiliation (when I built things) used several crude tools that didn't link together well and it was a bit of a pain to get much working animation wise

Trainz: Once you learn the basics of GMAX you can build simple objects, but there are still several coding issues for anything more. Many of the values were setup but the game deigners and you need to figure the conversions on your own.

X-plane: Aircraft design is a mixture of moving vertex points on wiremesh, data value entires, airfoil files, and drag and drop interfaces. The flow is learned by trial and error and texturing a totally external function outside of the aircraft editor. Like Spore however, the information you enter in the datasets and vertex points are acted on by simulator, so you have extreme flexiblity. (and you needed a decent understanding of aerodynamics or you'd find yourself 'flying' some interesting bricks, some with values so extreme that the simulation would crash just trying to test the design)

Basically, the designers of Spore are going to have implement some sort of controls to keep players in line with the code. Examples include the inherent limitations of survival in the water, gravity, external species, etc... Ideally these limits will be fairly transparent, and I'm sure there will be complaints when someone fails at building a living cube as a creature, but from what I've read about Spore so far, they are in place. How much will you be able to 'evolve' once you become a tribe rather than a single creature? From what I've come to understand so far, not much if any. Its a limitation imposed by the simulation to keep everything in scope.

I'm drooling about Spore, but as I think it through, I'm starting to think the hype is going to make it more than people are going to get.
-Lego

Offline Stromko

  • Phoenix Fighter
  • **
  • Posts: 164
    • View Profile
Re: EA using spore tech in other games
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2005, 09:44:31 pm »
There are some games that will benefit from this same mechanic of dynamically player-created content, but not every game. Frankly an RTS with three or four very different, yet balanced factions that complement one another in an overall theme, will likely be a better game than one where you have hundreds of different factions. You just can't hope for them to be consistent at all.

Spore is a game that is going to require dynamic player-created content, it spans such a large number of game mechanics that it won't be able to have the same depth as other games. Having different creatures, plants, buildings, and vehicles is going to be necessary to make it a good game. Depending on how they pull it off, the total package may come out to be an incredible game, but we'll just have to wait and see.

My point is that some games are direly in need of procedural content, and some aren't. If they aren't, then they don't need it at all. There's probably all kinds of game concepts that weren't even viable yet due to there being no full-scale example of procedural cotnent being done to such a degree.

Wulf

  • Guest
Re: EA using spore tech in other games
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2005, 08:37:49 am »
Bah! Baaaah! *ka-slap*

Offline HCantu99

  • Breakout Battler
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: EA using spore tech in other games
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2005, 02:55:20 am »
Can someone explain in slightly more layman's terms what exactly procedural content is?  I keep hearing about it and it seems to save tons of space. But I'm trying to understand why it would get "too complex and crazy" to use spore stuff (tech) in other things (future games).

It seems to me (from my very limited understanding, as I'm not a programmer), that some kinds of reusable tools could be made for making that "procedural content", and that even if the content itself was not exactly reused, then perhaps at least those newly developed tools could be, perhaps even in some modular way, making it less "complex and crazy" and potentially doable?  ???

Wulf

  • Guest
Re: EA using spore tech in other games
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2005, 05:51:12 am »
Stuff
It's just basically really refined code using equations to do everything. You could roughly compare it like bitmap and vector, bitmap being the oldschool code and vector being the procedral. Actually, that's not really that rough for a comparison.

Offline Legodragonxp

  • Excitebike Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 3556
  • Now for some real user power...
    • View Profile
Re: EA using spore tech in other games
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2005, 08:02:51 am »
Duplicate of below (sorry)
-Lego
« Last Edit: April 25, 2005, 08:50:51 am by Legodragonxp »

Offline Legodragonxp

  • Excitebike Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 3556
  • Now for some real user power...
    • View Profile
Re: EA using spore tech in other games
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2005, 08:44:16 am »

The difference is in how objects are going to be handled. For example:

In Microsoft's FLight Simulator - The aircraft is a 3d model. Nothing on the model actually effects the way it behaves. All behaivor is handles in files that say what the stall speed is, the top speed, maximum altitude, etc... The object itself has no bearing on the actions the simulator takes. You have to tell the simulator exactly how to make the model behave. Your experience it what you tell it to be.

In X-plane - You shape the wings, the fuselage, the propellers etc. The simulator takes that model and applies a procedural code to it and gives you back the result (wanted or not). If you make the wings longer you get more lift at the same speed, you don't need to tell the simulator that you want more lift, its code will determine that for you.

The Microsoft way is more stable because you determine what happens, but it is also limited in that the model has no real bearing on the flight characteristics. You could switch the model from being a piper cub to a SR-71 blackbird and it would still fly like a piper cub.

The X-plane way means that changing the model from a Piper Cub to a SR-71 Blackbird you'll get an aircraft that flies like a blackird.

The problem with running on procedural code is that it has to work a lot harder. It has to constantly calculate what is going on. It can be overloaded by user input, intentionally or accidentally, causing strange results or crashes. In the above example simple changes to a Microsoft model are costmetic, it is flying the aircraft off of the data table. In X-plane, a cosmetic change could dramatically effect the way the aircraft performs. If I were to change the wing shape in MSFS you get the same flight, but in X-plane that shape might generate so much lift that is rapidly overloads the computers ability to handle the data (resulting in a red screen crash in X-plane)

With Spore, I don't think the challenge will be in making the game. The challenge will be in making it idiot proof while still providing freedom of creation. In X-plane, you end up crashing your computer if you push the envelope too far with your design, and for most of us that build aircraft that is acceptable. For a Maxis title from EA, the user base won't be as educated or tolerant.

-Lego
« Last Edit: April 25, 2005, 08:50:26 am by Legodragonxp »

Offline syphonbyte

  • Moon Patroller
  • *****
  • Posts: 1497
  • You know what the payment is...
    • View Profile
    • The Village of Fools
Re: EA using spore tech in other games
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2005, 10:03:37 am »
That's why programmers have to spend so much time idiot-proofing everything. When I write programs, half the code usually ends up being error handling stuff. With Spore, it's just a bit more idiot-proofing. Okay, a LOT more.

Offline RealmRPGer

  • Akalabeth Addict
  • **
  • Posts: 181
  • Tanket
    • View Profile
    • Realm Protectors
Re: EA using spore tech in other games
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2005, 12:30:35 am »
not to mention the work needed to make Normal Maps.


Eh, normal maps are oldschool. They're just high-res bump-maps. Now, Displacement Maps, hooboy are those things cool! (If you don't know, unlike normal/bump maps, displacement maps don't "trick" the object into making it appear to have extra polygons -- and thus, if you look at an object that's "protruding" something from the side, it looks flat! -- , but displacement maps actually GIVES it more polygons at a faster rendering speed!).

In one sense, I can see the Spore technology diffusing into other games. But, on the other hand, I really don't see it happening. This is the ENTIRE game of Spore, and if every game had it, who would want to buy Spore 2? No, no, this is not coming to any other games unless it's severely crippled. Like Steve said, you should be expecting micro-purchases instead.

Wulf

  • Guest
Re: EA using spore tech in other games
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2005, 04:55:14 am »
not to mention the work needed to make Normal Maps.


Eh, normal maps are oldschool. They're just high-res bump-maps. Now, Displacement Maps, hooboy are those things cool! (If you don't know, unlike normal/bump maps, displacement maps don't "trick" the object into making it appear to have extra polygons -- and thus, if you look at an object that's "protruding" something from the side, it looks flat! -- , but displacement maps actually GIVES it more polygons at a faster rendering speed!).

In one sense, I can see the Spore technology diffusing into other games. But, on the other hand, I really don't see it happening. This is the ENTIRE game of Spore, and if every game had it, who would want to buy Spore 2? No, no, this is not coming to any other games unless it's severely crippled. Like Steve said, you should be expecting micro-purchases instead.
Don't normal maps do the same thing? I'm pretty damn certain they do.

Offline Zealousy

  • Wizard of Wor
  • ***
  • Posts: 275
    • View Profile
Re: EA using spore tech in other games
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2005, 02:01:40 pm »
Ah, totally forgot about those. ;D Yeah, displacement maps = awesome. I think I saw displacement maps being used in the Unreal 3 tech demo... did u happen to see it RealmRPGer?

If I remember correctly, (which, of course, I probably don't ;D) the process to make normal maps requires two meshes of the same model. There is a high-res mesh, with way more detail than can be used in-game, and the low res mesh, which is used in-game. Then through computer wizardry, all the details of the high-poly model are placed as a bump map over the low-poly model. I also heard from someone that normal maps use the X, Y, and Z axes, while bump maps only use one axis... but I don't know if it's true. ???
« Last Edit: April 26, 2005, 02:06:43 pm by Zealousy »
I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather ... Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.
- Will Shriner

Offline Tr0n

  • Dragster Diehard
  • ***
  • Posts: 341
    • View Profile
Re: EA using spore tech in other games
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2005, 10:51:23 pm »
One thing I've picked up is the programming revolution Spore will bring along.  Or at least it will bring the methods used by the demoscene to the forefront in a big-name-game.  Procedurally creating animations and so forth is the key behind all of this game.  One piece of the game cannot work without it.  So, will EA use procedural design elements in other game?  Well, I suppose that depends on how big a hit Spore becomes.  From what I gather, it took a LONG time to develop the game, but if they programmed it right, the code should be portable and thus dev times become much lower.  So if Spore sells like tickets to the next Star Wars, you betcha EA will further invest in this technology.
Hey love crusader, I want to be your space invader
For you I will descend the deepest moon crater
I is more stronger than Darth Vapour
Obey me, I is your new dictator

Wulf

  • Guest
Re: EA using spore tech in other games
« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2005, 03:36:23 am »
Ah, totally forgot about those. ;D Yeah, displacement maps = awesome. I think I saw displacement maps being used in the Unreal 3 tech demo... did u happen to see it RealmRPGer?

If I remember correctly, (which, of course, I probably don't ;D) the process to make normal maps requires two meshes of the same model. There is a high-res mesh, with way more detail than can be used in-game, and the low res mesh, which is used in-game. Then through computer wizardry, all the details of the high-poly model are placed as a bump map over the low-poly model. I also heard from someone that normal maps use the X, Y, and Z axes, while bump maps only use one axis... but I don't know if it's true. ???
Then what the hell is a displacement map? From what I saw the U3 demos normals area already doing all of that crap.

Offline Zealousy

  • Wizard of Wor
  • ***
  • Posts: 275
    • View Profile
Re: EA using spore tech in other games
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2005, 06:28:50 pm »
an example of displacement mapping would be the walls in this image (especially the wall on the right-hand side):
http://www.unrealtechnology.com/screens/DynamicLight.jpg

From what I saw from the video, even though that looks like a bunch of bricks, that wall's probably only 2 polygons (2 triangles, excluding the arches). I don't think normal maps can simulate this level of detail, since the high-res and low-res meshes in normal mapping have to be pretty similar (I believe), and jumping from a 2-poly wall to dozens of bricks is quite a large step. I also dont think that normal maps can cast shadows, since they're just a texture, whereas displacement can cast shadows on itself. Again, I've never used either, so this is all speculative.

Wow, I didn't intend for this to get so off-topic. ;)
« Last Edit: April 29, 2005, 07:00:00 pm by Zealousy »
I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather ... Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.
- Will Shriner

Offline syphonbyte

  • Moon Patroller
  • *****
  • Posts: 1497
  • You know what the payment is...
    • View Profile
    • The Village of Fools
Re: EA using spore tech in other games
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2005, 07:38:53 pm »
Yeah, I don't even know what you all are talking about anymore.

Wulf

  • Guest
Re: EA using spore tech in other games
« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2005, 10:24:14 pm »
Normals can do that too. Really. Exactly the same looking. Maybe displacement maps and normal maps are just the same thing with different words?

Offline craigp

  • Phoenix Fighter
  • **
  • Posts: 171
    • View Profile
    • Perkwiki
Re: EA using spore tech in other games
« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2005, 08:31:58 am »
Allow me to explain. No, there is too much. Allow me to sum up.

Displacement mapping incorporates level of detail - IE it gets simpler as you move away from the source. Normal maps, as a rule, generally don't.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Displacement_mapping

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_map

-Craig

Wulf

  • Guest
Re: EA using spore tech in other games
« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2005, 10:59:30 pm »
Allow me to explain. No, there is too much. Allow me to sum up.

Displacement mapping incorporates level of detail - IE it gets simpler as you move away from the source. Normal maps, as a rule, generally don't.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Displacement_mapping

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_map

-Craig
Aha! See, I am so smart! They basically are the same thing at face value.

Offline Zealousy

  • Wizard of Wor
  • ***
  • Posts: 275
    • View Profile
Re: EA using spore tech in other games
« Reply #23 on: May 02, 2005, 11:52:34 pm »
Wow. Why didn't I think of Wikipedia? Now I feel like a dumb-ass. :-X

 :P
I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather ... Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.
- Will Shriner

Wulf

  • Guest
Re: EA using spore tech in other games
« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2005, 12:20:41 am »
Because we were having a discussion. If everyone grabbed an encyclopedia everytime they though of something the world be boring, smart but boring.

Offline craigp

  • Phoenix Fighter
  • **
  • Posts: 171
    • View Profile
    • Perkwiki
Re: EA using spore tech in other games
« Reply #25 on: May 03, 2005, 07:55:49 am »
Because we were having a discussion. If everyone grabbed an encyclopedia everytime they though of something the world be boring, smart but boring.

Like me!

-Craig

Wulf

  • Guest
Re: EA using spore tech in other games
« Reply #26 on: May 04, 2005, 05:29:29 am »
Because we were having a discussion. If everyone grabbed an encyclopedia everytime they though of something the world be boring, smart but boring.

Like me!

-Craig
Oh, you're talking again are you?