Author Topic: Stages still under major development?  (Read 7091 times)

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Offline TFGoose

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Stages still under major development?
« on: December 15, 2006, 11:51:50 am »
Disclaimer:  Yes, it's possible (and perhaps even likely) that this subject has been discussed before.  I tried a search for similar topics, but found nothing that really delved into this.  If it has been discussed, I would certainly welcome a link.

Topic:  Given the amount of information presently known on some stages of the game (cell, creature, space), what can we infer about the completion percentage of the stages we haven't been told that much about at all (tribal, city, and civ)?

My basic point here is that we've been given a lot of information about some parts of Spore, and comparatively little on others.  In fact, the lack of information about the tribal, city, and civ portions of the game is a little scary to me, and I'm curious if I'm the only one who is concerned (or if, in my 2 month hiatus from this board, I've somehow missed a ton of updates on this stuff).

For example, in the Civilization stage....  We know that it's possible to win either through military conflict or through some type of cultural unification of the planet.  We know that vehicles are responsible for the interaction between different cities, whether that be peaceful or violent interaction.  However, as far as I know, that's pretty much all we've been told.  I mean, what about resource management?  Is there a unit cap?  How about a point system?  How is victory over another civ determined?  Can there be alliances between your city and others, going to war with opposing factions?  Are certain buildings required to build vehicles, or different types of vehicles?

Or how about in the tribal stage of the game?  What's really the goal here?  As far as I know, the few demos we've seen of this stage shows a developer dropping a fire, some drums, or some spears into the fray and the creatures play around those tools.  But what is the player actually responsible for accomplishing at this point?  What challenges are there to be overcome?  Honestly, I don't even know how to formulate many questions around the gameplay of this particular stage, because I know so little about it.

Anyway, the point is, what do you think the reasons are for the lack of information on these "middle areas" of the game?  I am concerned that part of the delay with Spore is because the developers are struggling to figure these sections out (hence the shortage of public information on them, and their general tendency to skip over them during demos).  They may not be sure what to do with them exactly, or are having trouble making them feel fun.  I only bring this up because we've heard several reports that the game is essentially done, and that they are mainly applying polish at this point, squashing bugs, etc.  If that's really the case though, why the almost total absence of information on nearly half the gameplay?  Are they just holding that much back to discuss in the coming months before release?  Is it part of a marketing plan of some kind?  Or (and I seriously hope this isn't the case), is it because there's still a lot to be done in these areas, and they aren't presenting them because there simply isn't much to present?

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Offline papaboom

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Re: Stages still under major development?
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2006, 12:26:26 pm »
Because the game is so vast they are focusing on the major selling points - creature editor, creature phase, space.

There's alot of ground to cover in this game - people have short attention spans - they need major points to focus their awareness.

Offline TFGoose

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Re: Stages still under major development?
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2006, 12:46:42 pm »
Interesting point, and made much more briefly than I would of   ;)

I agree that the game has a monstrous scope, and that it's difficult to show every aspect.  But it just seems odd to me that we have seen so many demos that contain exactly the same material, and there has actually seemed to be a reduction in what is being shown for the tribal, city, and civ stages.  At GDC '05, there was a bit of camera time for every single stage, with the majority being on the space stage of course.  However, since then, there's been scant any mention (let alone video) at all of the middle parts of the game.  Even back then, when I first became aware of Spore, I was asking myself questions like, "how will they make that fun" and "what will you be able to do there".  Very few of those questions have been answered over a year later.

I don't know, maybe you're right.  Maybe they're just using the small amounts of demo time they do have to highlight the parts of the game they feel are their biggest selling points.  I guess my concern lies with the fact that I believe each section of the game should be worthy of showcasing, not just the parts we've been lucky enough to see so far.  And I'm hoping that the reason we haven't seen those areas isn't because they're having trouble getting them right.  Because if that's the case, time is runnnig out.  This game strikes me as one that will be in play test for several months, even when all of the features have been fully implemented.  If there are three sections of the game whose major elements they are still tweaking, then we may be in for a lot more waiting than many are anticipating.

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Offline papaboom

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Re: Stages still under major development?
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2006, 01:06:39 pm »
Personally I think we're going to say more and more of this stuff in the coming months. From all appearences - and in fact according to several interview - the base game is pretty much complete.. there are odds and ends to add/tweak.. but I dont think we're going to be waiting forever.


Offline Allch Chcar

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Re: Stages still under major development?
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2006, 03:04:35 pm »
They've already given an estimate to how long it'll take to reach the space age. Like papaboom said it sounds/looks/thinks like they've already finished the bulk of the gameplay. The five stages are clones of various games anyway. Put it together and it looks like the main focus and fun will be with the editors with the gameplay just being for grinding points or playtesting creations.
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Offline Person21

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Re: Stages still under major development?
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2006, 03:08:48 pm »
Good something worth discussing that would just lead to over hype.



I am worried that it may be because the stages we have not seen, lack depth, for example, as far as I know the goal in the tribal stage is to advance your creatures tech level, just as it was in the creature stage, but then what is the point in interacting with other tribes.

I'm also worried about the Cell stage, as it seems that that will lack a lot of depth
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Offline smurfslayer

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Re: Stages still under major development?
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2006, 03:31:30 pm »
Well did anyone really expect it to have a lot of depth? It's basically a tutorial for Creature stage and is supposed to be far shorter.

Offline Person21

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Re: Stages still under major development?
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2006, 03:42:21 pm »
But if it has no depth, it will give people bad first impressions, and they might not play through it
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Offline Oviraptor

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Re: Stages still under major development?
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2006, 03:44:19 pm »
I'm also worried about the Cell stage, as it seems that that will lack a lot of depth
But if it has no depth, it will give people bad first impressions, and they might not play through it

I believe the Cell Phase is basically like the initial tutorial, which allows you to get a feel for the basics of the game.

Offline Person21

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Re: Stages still under major development?
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2006, 03:50:33 pm »
If the cell stage lacks depth (as it will, i don't think even WW could give that much depth), I hope its short, bad first impretions have stoped me playing through games before. It won't stop me playing through spore, but it might stop other people.
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Offline ilikesanta

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Re: Stages still under major development?
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2006, 04:37:09 pm »
I am worried that it may be because the stages we have not seen, lack depth, for example, as far as I know the goal in the tribal stage is to advance your creatures tech level, just as it was in the creature stage, but then what is the point in interacting with other tribes.

I'm also worried about the Cell stage, as it seems that that will lack a lot of depth

For each stage you get XP(or what ever it is) for doing things, YOu eat something you get XP, you learn a new verb, you get XP. I would think in City/Civ stage that your city will gererate money. So if you take over another city you'll start to generate more money, to further your goal to finally get your UFO.

If the cell stage lacks depth (as it will, i don't think even WW could give that much depth), I hope its short, bad first impretions have stoped me playing through games before. It won't stop me playing through spore, but it might stop other people.

The cell stage isn't going to have the most depth but it should still be fun. You eat things to get more XP so you can built your creature up to deal with the bigger things that try to eat you. It's the foundation to the creator stage, how can people not be excited about that.

Also Someone said ealier that we know how long it will take us to get the UFO stage... how long is it?
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Offline Person21

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Re: Stages still under major development?
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2006, 04:41:53 pm »
Also Someone said ealier that we know how long it will take us to get the UFO stage... how long is it?

I think WW said 7 generations in the cell stage, and 20 in the creature, I'm not sure if he said anything about how long city/civ would take
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Offline Luminar

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Re: Stages still under major development?
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2006, 11:27:12 pm »
As long as it takes us to research our way up, presumably.. given at that point in the game the main tender changes from DNA to money

Offline 7LES

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Re: Stages still under major development?
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2006, 11:31:35 pm »
I think the tribal stage is the least developed at this poind because they have not had a demo of it showen for years, but then agean it could be just an extention of the creature fase.

Offline munchkin5

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Re: Stages still under major development?
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2006, 03:07:15 am »
It has been said that the game is fully playable, so it is unlikely that they are still under truly major devolpment, alyhough they may be spending lots of time adding new features, glitzing up the graphics and fixing bugs, the stages are basically complete.