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September 9th, 2008


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11:53 am
Just in case you can't get enough Spore reports, here's my Sporepedia profile with some of the better creations I've made. Some of the critters aren't good for actually playing in Creature Mode (the Blingdragon, for instance) but they'll liven up even the dullest T1 planet.

I plan on fully evolving out the Cowrachnid and then letting it loose in space. Nothing says fun like aggressive, warlike herbivores who go moo and have laser guns.

I'll probably create a Sporecast at some point if I figure out what it's good for (I guess automatically updating subscribers' pool to choose from, with priority given to Sporecast-found stuff rather than random online stuff?)

And if you view the profile now and look on the ginormous right hand nav, you'll see the most popular creature right now is Charles Darwin. Now that's brilliance right there.

(8 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:bkdelong
Date:September 9th, 2008 04:07 pm (UTC)
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I wonder if a Spore Party would be too cliché. Is it possible to play networked Spore rather than online Spore? I find it easier to watch others play than get wholly addicted myself
[User Picture]
From:fancycwabs
Date:September 9th, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC)
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I added you as a buddy last night (although I only played for half an hour), but I have no idea if it informs you of that bit of information.

In any case, I look forward to having my tribe completely slaughtered by Shirley.

And of course, my profile, for those readers of the Spatchepedia who missed it last time.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:September 10th, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC)
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I can tell how many "subscribers" I have (buddy and subscriber seem to be somewhat synonymous) but I don't know how to see who exactly they are. At any rate, I done put you on my pals list too. I think. The Sporepedia website is mind-bogglingly poor in design and takes forever to do anything.
[User Picture]
From:closetalker11
Date:September 9th, 2008 04:38 pm (UTC)
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So, let me ask you a few questions about this game. Is the only purpose to eventually conquer other planets, or can you be all peaceful and hippie-like? Is there any thought in the game ot creating ecosystems, and how they affect your creatures? Just curious about this, as my office is looking right now in to games that do just this as a platform for science education.
[User Picture]
From:fancycwabs
Date:September 9th, 2008 05:39 pm (UTC)
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It uses evolutionary concepts, so liberals can love it, and you get points for sending other species to extinction, so conservatives can love it too! We can all love it!

(For heaven's sake don't use Spore to teach science. It's a great game, but weak weak science.)

Edited at 2008-09-09 05:41 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:closetalker11
Date:September 9th, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC)
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I'm not thinking of it like that, more like as a entree to something else. But thank you :).
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:September 9th, 2008 06:38 pm (UTC)
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It definitely gives you an open-ended set of goals and choices on handling your species' behavior and your status at the end of each stage determines what new skills you get in the next stage, all the way up to determining what type of Space player (Trader, Warrior, Tree-Lovin Hippie, Ecoscientist and Critter Collector) you get. It's got interesting concepts, but they're all really simplified.

For instance, if you end the Tribal phase as Friendly, meaning you mostly befriended all your neighboring tribes, you start out the Civilization phase as a religious city, and have strengths towards converting the neighboring civilizations with your religious might. End it as Aggressive and you get military bonuses and your first city can make tanks and shit. End it as in between, which requires the most amount of skill to do (if you call going halfsies, more or less, skill) you get to be an economic power and convert civs by trading with them so much you eventually can buy them out.

Of course, you can take any tack you want at any time, so you can use military might even if you started as Friendly, etc.

The ecosystems don't really come into play until the Space stage, at which point it works kind of like Star Control 2. Each planet has its own ecosystem, which is represented by atmospheric density and temperature. You can use terraforming tools to control the density and temperature to turn a barren planet into one that supports life. And every time you improve the planet via terraforming, you actually have to go give it life to sustain, by bringing in plants and animals from other planets, so you can mix and match species, put in the big ass eyeball trees if you like those, that kinda thing. It's kind of nice that way but involves a lot of running around abducting herbivores and carnivores with your Abduct-O-Beam to ensure food chain balance (2 herbivores to every carnivore, basically.)

Unfortunately there's no cross-breeding among species, so that kind of DNA fiddling-with doesn't enter into it at all. It would have been interesting, but I'm guessing it was a matter of complexity.

On the other hand, Maxis promises Spore expansions down the road, and as long as they enhance the gameplay and possibly give advanced players more challenges in the stages instead of just cranking out "Look! More creature parts, color schemes and funny hats for them to wear!" then I think this game will evolve into something resembling what it was hyped up to be.

Will Wright has said, and I paraphrase here, that one of the dev team's eventual goals was to make the different stages in Spore as RTS and Civilization games that casual Sims players could understand and play, and he's not talking down to gamers, he's talking to those family members of yours who don't game at all but they sure love playing the Sims 2.

Unfortunately this philosophy goes right out the window when you enter the Space stage and even GalCiv and Master of Orion players are complaining that your enemies basically take turns holding you down while the other has its way with you, but I kinda see what he was thinking about during the middle section of the game.
[User Picture]
From:closetalker11
Date:September 9th, 2008 06:44 pm (UTC)
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Awesome; thats so much for the detailed response!! I appreciate it.

I don't do really any gaming at all, myself, but this game piqued my interest. Also, it just so happens that I'm meeting with some people in my office tomorrow to look at what kinds of electronic gaming/social networking/online communities could be of interest to serious science educators, and I think they'd be interested in this from a "not serious curriculum, but fun game that reinforces concepts" perspective.

Maybe I'll convince them to buy the game for me ;-).

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