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Games Entertainment

Spore About Six Months Away 90

Posted by Zonk
from the believe-it-when-i-see-it dept.
SimCity creator and all-around genius Will Wright recently publicly stated that Spore is about six months away. Whether that's six months from completion or release isn't said. CVG has his comments from a recent interview with Radio 5 Live: "Spore's an ambitious game - which he admits - that's essentially a life sim. Players start off as a single-cell organism and then create their species at every stage of its evolution - from its first steps on land through to tribes then a culture and then finally it's off to explore the galaxy. 'We've had to do a lot of testing to make sure that the game is accessible by a wide group of people', Wright went on to explain. 'I want the people who have played The Sims to be able to play Spore - I don't want it to be some thing just hardcore gamers play.'"
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Spore About Six Months Away

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  • Too bad, I was hoping for a nice birthday present early next year. With normal game delays, this could be pushed to summer-time.
  • by TheThiefMaster (992038) on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @11:37AM (#21101429)
    Just like there isn't anything more in this post than in the subject :)
    • by Aladrin (926209)
      That's because it's not really news. Nothing has changed. In fact, the only 'news' in the article is the official announcement that it's in final testing. 6 months of final testing is a -lot-, though, so I'm not sure I believe that... Unless they expect to have to make major changes.

      I actually think it's a lot more likely that the PC version is done and 1 or more of the consolse they plan to support at the initial release is lagging behind. They are probably feverishly working on it and hoping to be do
  • 6 Months (Score:5, Funny)

    by Taimat (944976) on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @11:38AM (#21101437)
    Right After Duke Nukem Forever - which will be released in 5 Months....
    • by Vexor (947598)
      This game is vaporware...just like Duke Nukem Forever. If you recall all those years ago this was how Duke Nukem Forever started. Same with Starcraft:Ghost. Few months here and there. Now how many years later since their initial launch date...
      • by jandrese (485)
        Starcraft: Ghost was at least properly shitcanned.
      • Not every game that's been in development for a long time is vaporware, and comparing Spore to DNF is absolutely ridiculous in so many ways. Spore was first revealed in 2005, so from the public's perspective it's been in development for just a few years.
    • Re:6 Months (Score:4, Funny)

      by Jarjarthejedi (996957) <christianpinchNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @11:53AM (#21101659) Journal
      And just before Nuclear Fusion, approximately 7 month away. Don't forget the flying cars coming in 8 months.

      I hereby predict and welcome our '6 Month's later' Overlords will arrive in approximately 1 years time, if we're lucky, in Soviet Russia.
    • Re:6 Months (Score:5, Funny)

      by IthnkImParanoid (410494) on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @11:56AM (#21101699)
      I look forward to playing Spore on my fusion-powered computer (running a secure Windows OS) in the passenger seat of my robot controlled fuel cell powered flying car while listening to the inaugural address of president Kucinich.

      Everyone knows DNF will be exclusively released for the Phantom.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by jnaujok (804613)
        Don't be ridiculous. Kucinich will never win...
      • by ultranova (717540)

        I look forward to playing Spore on my fusion-powered computer (running a secure Windows OS) in the passenger seat of my robot controlled fuel cell powered flying car while listening to the inaugural address of president Kucinich.

        And by "robot controlled" you of course mean your android girlfriend made of shapechanging liquid metal.

        But why is the car powered by a fuel cell if you have fusion power ?

        • Re:6 Months (Score:4, Funny)

          by IthnkImParanoid (410494) on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @04:37PM (#21105605)
          You can't just carry around a fusion reactor in your pocket, silly...at least not for the next few years. The fuel cell is for portable energy storage, not energy generation.

          As far as the android girlfriend goes, I think I'll wait until the shapechanging gel models come out. One little software glitch and you're making out with the business end of an industrial can opener.
          • by ultranova (717540)

            You can't just carry around a fusion reactor in your pocket, silly...at least not for the next few years. The fuel cell is for portable energy storage, not energy generation.

            Must be a big computer, then, if the fusion plant which doesn't fit into a car fits into it. Or am I missing the joke ?

            As far as the android girlfriend goes, I think I'll wait until the shapechanging gel models come out. One little software glitch and you're making out with the business end of an industrial can opener.

            Ouch. Goo

      • Who would listen to Kucinich when you had the tribal beats of your own race of cycloptic camoflauging tentacle monsters as an alternative.
    • by fistfullast33l (819270) on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @11:56AM (#21101713) Homepage Journal
      and the Iraq War proponents have both started converting time to Friedman Units [wikipedia.org].
      • This comment has as much to do with this article as the parent. Lets take every chance we have to start a pointless political flamewar between the child killers and the wussies. I of course don't care to take a side in the issue because I'm to busy looking at pr0n. Due to my sticky hands, my ballot will probably have hanging chads too. It's all a conspiracy man!
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by scibtag (586144)
      And right when the Iraq War is scheduled to end as well. Maybe they're just waiting for the troops to get home so they don't feel left out.
  • Last time i saw the graphics looked a bit "last gen" and the gameplay looked a bit repetative. You just go around interacting other cells/animals/cities/planets. I know its by Will Wright and it will pwn 90% of the PC gamers out there, but ...

    Any idea what platforms/consoles?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Underwhelmed Indeed. I was totally stoked about playing Spore when I first saw it... Now there are so many other cool games that ACTUALLY came out like Portal that make me not care as much about Spore.
      • Portal is certainly full of win, and I can see how the delays have pushed Spore off your gaming radar, but seriously. A three or four hour puzzle minigame compared to a Wil Wright sim?
      • Re:Underwhelmed! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by nschubach (922175) on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @12:26PM (#21102127) Journal
        You make an interesting point. Would we be better off not knowing about stuff (building up hype) until it's ready? Is this why open source isn't gaining more steam? People expect the instant gratification? Your more likely to pick something up if it comes out "production stable" within a specific period of time? So let's say there's an ambitious project to create a game with ___ feature, but this is going to take years of development and bug testing. Would you like to know it's on the horizon or about 1 month before it's released?
        • This is just another reason why episodic/indie gaming will take off in the future. Companies can't afford to tie up their dev teams for years at a time as
          a) no return
          b) technology changes so fast
          c) loss of momentum.

          I suspect b is the main cause of the problems at the moment and why consoles are so popular with game companies. Once you have a stable platform you can develop against for a couple of years then turn around gets quicker and the technology gets pushed. As it is yo have to start again from scra
          • by Dutch Gun (899105)
            I'm not going to disagree with you that episodic content may start making inroads. I think viable integrated distribution/payment methods such as Steam, Xbox Live, and whatever-the-PS3-service-is-called will certainly help push this along.

            But regarding your reasoning... it's not quite that simple. Nowadays, no game developer "starts from scratch again" every 12/18 months. Every game development company I've worked for had a core engine which was relatively stable. Even porting the engine to other platfo
    • by Seumas (6865)
      I'm not particularly excited by Spore. I'll probably buy it and at least something new is being attempted, but it looks like something a lot of people will stick in, play for a few hours or maybe a couple days and then never touch again. I don't care how many times people in the game industry say "it is completely open and free to do whatever you want and design absolutely anything you want", but there are always significant limitations. It's like when Vanguard game out and had "millions upon millions of li
      • by Dutch Gun (899105)
        Like the Sims? Yeah, that sure didn't go anywhere...

        BTW, I'm not sure where you've read claims that "it is completely open and free to do whatever you want and design absolutely anything you want". If someone did indeed say that, you have a right to be skeptical. But I don't recall those claims being made about Spore. To be honest, I attribute that sort of over-promising and under-delivering to Peter Molineaux. Not maliciously, mind you, but I think he tends to dream bigger than his programmers can rea
    • by Reapy (688651)
      I have to agree. After all the hype, when they finally demoed the product, I felt.. MEH. I think the procedural animation was really cool, but when I looked at what they had, I felt like there wasn't enough interesting gameplay, and more like a cool concept that is fun to watch. I'd almost rather watch it on autopilot then run around.

      I also wonder how different each world will be, especially if certain leg/arm/body combinations are going to end up killing off your species if they don't work well together, t
  • Call Me Cynical (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Squiffy (242681) on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @12:11PM (#21101921) Homepage
    Call me cynical, but the wider the audience is, the dumber the game will be.
    • by mcsqueak (1043736)
      Well, you have to account for the "lowest common denominator" after all.

      Myself, I could never get into "The Sims" I found it horribly boring. The last Will Wright game I really enjoyed was Sim City 2000... I played that for YEARS, and even had it on a PocketPC for awhile.

      Reticulating Splines? Yes please!
      • by ifrag (984323)

        I thought SimCity 3k was also about as good. Granted not many concepts there could be claimed as "original" since 2k had many of them. But it did take much of what was good about 2k while still progressing the concept. I think they dropped those huge skyscraper city in a box buildings, but by the time you had those the game was basically played out.

        Then comes along SC4, which I never managed to get into at all. First of all you can't compete with your neighbors since, wow, my neighbors are also actuall

        • by Ailure (853833)
          Micromanagment in SC4 became automatic?

          Are you sure we played the same simcity? Simcity 4 is easily the most micromanagement-heavy Simcity ever.
          • by ifrag (984323)
            I'm referring to how the low level local roads are built. In 2k or 3k, dragging a large residential zone made exactly that, residential only. Try making something standard like a 6 * 10 block of residential in SC4 and it starts filling in roads, at least on mine it does. If there is a way to turn that stupid option off I'd like to know.
            • by Ailure (853833)
              Remember that commercial and residental zones lots need to be next to a road. You can hold down shift to disable auto-street functionality, but keep in mind that the zone arrows in each "zone rectangle" need to be pointing against the street as you build them. (version 1.0 have no arrows in Simcity4, so if you don't see any... update)

              And from the sounds of it, you hadn't gotten really far in Simcity4. The traffic simulation in it is rather advanced compared to older simcities, and can even get quite complic
    • by MWoody (222806)
      Cynical.
    • Well hello Cynical, how are you doing? Have you met my friend Sarcasm? I bet you make a perfect couple.
    • Yeah, man. Those games with wide audiences like Simcity, Tetris, Mario, and Wii Sports are totally crap.
    • That can't be true, because look at Counter-Strike and TF2...those games got bett-- oh wait.
  • by Devir (671031) on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @12:12PM (#21101925) Homepage
    Now the time has come with Spore delays that people equate it to Duke Nukem Forever. For one, Will Wright is a perfectionist. He wont let trash get released. he wants the game acessible to more than the hardcore. The money spent developing would justify the need for a wider audience.

    People dont make games simply because they want to, they need to take a serious financial look at cost versus estimated market. You cannot simply jump in, spend $20,000,000 dollars in development and expent the game to be a 5 million copy seller.

    Remember Sims 1? That was a huge risk for EA to take. A risk that paid off beyond what anyone imagined. They game was simple, barren of serious content and low graphics. It was all done in a way that if the game didnt sell well, at least they didnt invest excessive cash into the game. By making it expandable, they had planned for it's potential success. Years later Sims is going strong.

    Spore is in a similar category. It could flop, it could be the boulder that crushes the sims dominance. But if they release a game, that is buggy, and crash prone, that they plan to patch repeatedly for another year, the game will be quickly dropped and fail miserably. So in taking this risk, they must be 100% certain that Spore is complete, 99.9% bug free and acessable to a large ammount of people, both hardcore and non gamer alike. It's not easy to do this. It takes time, planning, implementation, testing and more planning and revision. Give it time, it will be worth the wait.

    Now, Duke Forever. It's an FPS, no where near as complex as Spore. It should have been out after 2 years development. It was basically an empty promise that kept the company alive. Duke = Vapor, Spore = Real.
    • Having waited for a game that was almost as delayed as DNF, and loving what finally came out, I'm more than willing to let someone like Will take his time and get Spore right, six months is a blink of the eye.
      • by Jthon (595383)
        Except that after 8 years of development they basically released the exact same game as before but with updated graphics. They even recreated the popular 2fort map. It's a nice update to a classic game, but not exactly what I'd expect after 9 years of development time.

        In the end I think they must have scrapped and rewritten the game several times. Anyone remember the old 1999 screenshots/preview of TF 2 when it went for realism?
        • by Chyeld (713439)
          If you examine the developer's commentary in the game, yes they had to scrap and redo major portions of the game a number of times before they found what they liked. Noteably, one of the first versions had a "Commander" ala Natural Selection that they really wanted to keep but couldn't ever get to 'groove' right.

          What they delivered was an excedingly well polished execution of a classic. I don't begrudge them the time it took to come up with this, any more than I'll begrudge Will taking the time to get Spore
    • by mcmire (1152897)
      "Now the time has come with Spore delays that people equate it to Duke Nukem Forever. For one, Will Wright is a perfectionist. He wont let trash get released."

      It's one thing to want to polish your game. That's a good thing -- game developers don't do that enough IMO. But it's quite another to show everyone how great [youtube.com], how innovative [youtube.com], how new [youtube.com] and exciting [youtube.com] and complex [google.com] your game is......... and yet polish and improve and polish and improve and test and polish and test and improve and polish the thing until yo
    • "Duke = Vapor, Spore = Real."

      On Slashdot, it's vaporeware unless it is on store shelves or it's Apple.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Goldsmith (561202)
      I don't know, this all seems very Peter Molyneux-ish to me.

      A developer is making an extremely complex game (like Black and White) after making a very sucessful simple game (like Populous). The complex game takes forever to finish, features are in limbo, there are lots of cool videos, but... is the game any fun?
  • I know this is a Will Wright game but the more I hear about it sounds like a Peter Molyneux game where there are some keen concepts around the edges of the game but I wonder if the core game play will be able to make it worth playing.
  • by Anti_Climax (447121) on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @12:26PM (#21102121)
    Am I the only one that can't hear about spore without thinking of this Penny-Arcade comic? [penny-arcade.com]
  • Does this mean it will be Christmas 2008 before I can play Spore on my Wii?

    And will this finally be released for the Mac (or Linux) instead of just Windoze, since I've given up on future "upgrades" of Windows since WinVista?
    • by Yvan256 (722131)
      No Wii or Mac OS X release = no sale for me.

      • Originally, Will Wright told my son that he was going to make a Wii version (and he said something about a Nintendo DS version) of Spore. I hope that's still on track.
  • Along with.... (Score:1, Redundant)

    by spooje (582773)
    Yes, it'll be released in 6 months and come in a 2 pack with Duke Nuke'em Forever
  • Spore is finished. (Score:2, Informative)

    by The Iso (1088207)
    Pre-order now at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000FKBCX4/ [amazon.com].
  • Thats only a couple months closer than when it was 9 months away 9 months ago. So, if 3 months of estimated release time decrease equates to 9 months of real time, I estimate spore could be out in 18 months. That means we can all finally play this game in Mar-April 09. Hooray!
  • I don't know about anyone else, but I like the graphics better back when he first demoed it at the 2005 gdc. The game art just looks too cartoony now.

    Hell yeah, I'm still gonna buy it.
  • They need to take a page out of the book of marketing a movie. You market your games 2 months to release and until then keep quiet about it.

    I really don't get why no one has learned this. Surely it would be pointless to hype something up over so many years because we all know what happens when it goes wrong.
  • I believe the concept for Spore is excellent, however I am worried that by shoehorning it too much into the traditional confines of a 'game' that it will lose it's fun. The sandbox gameplay with interesting emergent behaviors from your evolved creatures is enough for me, I wouldn't need arbitrary traditional goals to enjoy myself in Spore. Lets hope it isn't dumbed down too much for 'The Sims' players.
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Thursday October 25, 2007 @06:35AM (#21111387) Journal

    The Sims IS hardcore. So harcore that people buy expansions after expansion while it is THEM that create the real content, pay for sites hosting user made content and spend ages working around all the shortcomings of the original product.

    First update for most people? To get rid of the cartoony look of the characters and get some realistic faces in there.

    The Sims community is as hardcore as the flightsim crowd. This is NOT a casual game. Casual gaming is web-based. Games you can pick up and play AND finish in a few minutes. The Sims AIN'T.

    In fact the only difference between The Sims, flightsims, trains sims and the "traditional" hardcore crowd of FPS lovers, is that the first group can speak proper english and has touched a member of the sex they find attractive.

    But in time and money spend on the game, in many ways the former group is even more hardcore.

    So what does he want Spore to be? A tetris type game OR a The Sims?

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