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Will Wright's Spore To Release Sept. 7th 186

Posted by Zonk
from the master-of-the-universe dept.
After several delays and much anticipation, Spore looks like it will finally be coming out this year. EA has announced a September 7th release date for the game. The only confirmed platforms so far are Windows PCs, Macintoshes, the Nintendo DS and various mobile phones. Wright wants the Wii, 360, and PS3 to have the game, but they're not firm 'yes'es yet. Newsweek's LevelUp blog is celebrating the announcement with a series of interviews. N'Gai Croal spoke to Will Wright, and the man himself tries to convince us why it's been worth the wait, and (oh yeah) why it has taken so long. Croal also sat down with the game's Executive Producer, Lucy Bradshaw, who explains how the game has settled onto other platforms like the DS and mobile phones.
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Will Wright's Spore To Release Sept. 7th

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  • Happy Darwin Day (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Plazmid (1132467) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @02:50PM (#22395980)
    Strange, they released the release date for an evolution game on Darwin Day. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin_Day [wikipedia.org]
    • by Catiline (186878)
      It would have been better if they had planned the release date for Darwin Day. I don't say that because it would mean I would already have the game, but that doesn't hurt either!
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by _xeno_ (155264)

      And if only they could find a reason to delay the release date until a year from today, they'd hit the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth!

      Wait, no, bad, I don't want to give them an excuse to delay further...

      Maybe they can delay the PS3 version until 2009. PS3 owners are used to getting late versions of games anyway.

    • And September 7th was the day the Serbian government approved the decision to require teaching both evolution and creationism in school. I'm sure that was completely random, but it is kind of interesting (and not to start a flame war) since Spore is built on both the principles of evolution and creationism, though admittedly, less creationism and more intelligent design.
      • by NC-17 (411446) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @03:17PM (#22396384) Homepage

        less creationism and more intelligent design.
        That all depends on those who play it...
      • by SimHacker (180785)

        Sorry to burst your bubble, but Intelligent Design IS Creationism, just renamed to fool people on purpose. I'm sorry you fell for the Dicovery Institute's trick. Read about the Wedge Strategy [wikipedia.org] and the accidentally leaked Wedge Document [antievolution.org].

        -Don

        • Re:Happy Darwin Day (Score:5, Interesting)

          by hansamurai (907719) <hansamurai@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @04:18PM (#22397444) Homepage Journal
          Sorry, but I do not adhere to that notion. I believe in Creation but do not believe in Intelligent Design. I am able to see connections between macro-evolution and my theistic evolution beliefs and thus the theories Intelligent Design provides are not necessary to "fill in the gaps", so to say.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theistic_evolution [wikipedia.org]

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theistic_evolution#Relationship_to_intelligent_design [wikipedia.org]

          You say I fell for Discovery Institute's trick, but it seems you are under the impression that anyone who believes that God is the Creator must also believe that He scattered dinosaurs fossils around and that the Earth is 6,000 years old.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Amorymeltzer (1213818)
            Intelligent Design is Creationism, but not all Creationism is Intelligent Design. As you pointed out, there is a very strong place for religion and God's work within evolution, seeing as evolution explains the how not why; SimHacker's logic was simply flawed.
            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by kaizokuace (1082079)
              I don't think that it's the job of science to explain why, just how. Why is for philosophers. Also, if it was God or any super natural being that created everything, I don't really care about the why, but I definitely what to know how.
              • I dunno about you, but I'd much rather know my purpose in life than how I evolved a four-chambered heart!
                • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                  by kaizokuace (1082079)
                  Yea well thats you. I already decided that it really doesn't matter if I know why I exist.
            • by SimHacker (180785)

              My logic isn't flawed, I'm simply reporting the flawed logic and lies that the Discovery Institute themselves perpetuate, but don't tell the general public. They were very upset that the Wedge Document leaked, but it tells it like it really is. The Discovery Institute says one thing in private to their superstitious religious whack-job supporters who believe in the fairy tale of Creationism, and they say something totally different in public. That IS their Wedge Strategy. That's just what the Wedge Documen

          • by bataras (169548)
            >>>thus the theories Intelligent Design provides are not necessary to "fill in the gaps"

            you're a god of the gaps adherent?

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_of_the_gaps#The_.22God-of-the-gaps_argument.22_in_modern_usage [wikipedia.org]
          • Theistic evolution criticism [wikipedia.org]

            Choice quote :
            ""the illusion of design in the living world is explained with far greater economy ... by Darwinian natural selection"
            "the universe would appear the same to us whether it was designed by God or not"

            By Caroll and Dawkins.
          • by kindbud (90044)
            You say I fell for Discovery Institute's trick, but it seems you are under the impression that anyone who believes that God is the Creator must also believe that He scattered dinosaurs fossils around and that the Earth is 6,000 years old.

            No one gives a shit what you believe about God and creation. That's totally beside the point. All we care about is whether you want to pass it off as science and have it taught in schools as science. If you're not into that, no one cares whether you've managed to suppre
          • by dbIII (701233)
            Good point. Intelligent design is really an assertion that the Universe is too complex to attempt to understand so we should all give up trying to understand any of it. It's all too hard, the God ate my homework. People forget that a lot of this stuff orginally coming from cults is about political control and really has nothing to do with either religeon or science.

            Darwin is really not the personification of the enemy for these people - it is Mendel. An educated member of the clergy (blasphemy for some

    • by danielk1982 (868580) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @04:56PM (#22398178)
      Actually, its more of a "Intelligent Design" game.
  • The Soul of The Sims (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SimHacker (180785) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @02:58PM (#22396096) Homepage Journal

    The Soul of The Sims, by Will Wright [donhopkins.com]
    Macintosh HD:XmotiveHarness:src/Motive.c
    Tuesday, January 28, 1997 / 9:25 AM

    This is the prototype for the soul of The Sims, which Will Wright wrote on January 23, 1997.

    I had just started working at the Maxis Core Technology Group on "Project X" aka "Dollhouse", and Will Wright brought this code in one morning, to demonstrate his design for the motives, feedback loop and failure conditions of the simulated people. While going through old papers, I ran across this print-out that I had saved, so I scanned it and cleaned the images up, and got permission from Will to publish it.

    This code is a interesting example of game design, programming and prototyping techniques. The Sims code has certainly changed a lot since Will wrote this original prototype code. For example, there is no longer any "stress" motive. And the game doesn't store motives in global variables, of course.

    My hope is that this code will give you a glimpse of how Will Wright designs games, and what was going on in his head at the time!

    Read The Soul of The Sims code here... [donhopkins.com]

    -Don

    • Well, considering he had designing the game for more than a decade, I find that this code is still on the game. Albeit in a more simpler or complex way.
    • by Solder Fumes (797270) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @03:33PM (#22396614)
      I read through it, and I'm not sure that's actually for The Sims. With messages like "You smell very bad, it's time to take a bath" I think Will was simply encapsulating his own life in code.
      • by fm6 (162816)
        "Dollhouse" was a working title for The Sims, so that's what he's talking about. Thing is, I've never been all that impressed with the Sims autonomous behavior. Maybe I didn't train mine properly or something, but they can't even make it the bathroom in time without me reminding them. So it's hard for me to take all these "insights" seriously.
    • The idea for that game sounds interesting and slightly disturbing from a philosophical point of view. (At least my philosophical point of view) If you have a simulated person with a simulated soul, feeling simulated feelings, living the simulated life that you give them, then you are simulated god. That sounds great until you stop to consider if you then have moral obligations to your sims. That might sound ridiculous until you think about all the people in this world who ask questions like, "If there is a
      • by SimHacker (180785)

        You have just perfectly summarized the point of Stanislaw Lem's [www.lem.pl] short story, "The Seventh Sally [blogspot.com]" in his excellent book "The Cyberiad [wikipedia.org]" (also reprinted in DugHof's "The Mind's I"), which inspired SimCity [wikipedia.org].

        From Wikipedia's SimCity article [wikipedia.org]:

        In addition, Wright also was inspired by reading , a short story by Stanislaw Lem, in which an engineer encounters a deposed tyrant, and creates a miniature city with artificial citizens for the tyrant to oppress. [1]

        "And how do you know there aren't civilizations a hun

    • by QuantumG (50515)
      Stress just got split into "comfort" and "room", the later of which always seemed kind of abstract to me.

  • So I was discussing this news with a couple of my friends as we'd all been interested in the game. Sadly, I will be in the middle of studying for PhD qualifiers instead of being able to play. This brought up joking of just getting a real job instead so I could actually play. The conversation might go something like this:

    "So Dr Adviser, I was thinking about taking quals. But Spore's coming out on September 7th so I'm going to get a job instead. kthnxbye."

    Sadly, I don't think my adviser or the research
    • by T.E.D. (34228)

      So I was discussing this news with a couple of my friends as we'd all been interested in the game. Sadly, I will be in the middle of studying for PhD qualifiers instead of being able to play.

      What? ...Ohhh. I see. You actually think this means it is really going to come out on September 7th. How quaint.

      You need to understand how to calculate actual release dates from announced release dates. What you do is take the delta between the last release date they announced and the current release date, divide by the

  • seven months out? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Anyone else think its kind of strange that they're announcing the release date 7 months out? I seriously doubt the game is done with all the testing and balancing that needs to be done with it. It's almost like they're trying to slap a ship date on it regardless of whether it will actually be ready by then. Let's hope it's complete enough when it actually does ship. I'm not holding my breath, though.
    • It's not that strange, if you define "strange" as meaning something similar to "unusual". It is a bit of a worry though -- my general impression of Spore has been of a "it's done when it's done" type of project, and aiming for an arbitrary release date seems contrary to that.

      Still, I have hope. Even all those years ago when it was first demonstrated it appeared pretty gamey, even if the different phases weren't linked. And I've been seeing various hands-on previews that say the game is virtually complete.

  • I heard they are going to package it together with Duke Nukem Forever! Hooray!

    Bring on the vaporware!
    • From the amount of times that Will Wright has demoed large portions of this game at various game conferences and other gatherings (just search for "spore" on Google Video, or check out the links on the Spore wikipedia article [wikipedia.org]), I don't see how this can qualify as vaporware. DNF has only one (likely pre-rendered) trailer to show for all that development time, Spore has hours of demo videos.

      From all the videos I've seen, it seems like the bulk of the game is finished, and the only tasks that remain are gam
  • Sept 7th... (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by Antho (982028)
    Will Wright's Spore To Release Sept. 7th ... 2026
  • by randyest (589159) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @03:17PM (#22396390) Homepage
    Did the story submitter RTFA?

    The summary:

    The only confirmed platforms so far are Windows PCs, Macintoshes, the Nintendo DS and various mobile phones. Wright wants the Wii, 360, and PS3 to have the game, but they're not firm 'yes'es yet.


    The article:

    A Wii version has already been announced. What can you say about what that's going to play like in terms of structure, control, etc.?

    I can't say much about it except the fact that the overriding kind of factor in my mind and Lucy [Bradshaw]'s, in terms of looking at what direction that team goes with it, has been to make really good use of the controller. What interests me about the Wii is that in some sense you have a much higher bandwith controller than you have with any other console or even a PC. How do we abstract the maximum Because one of the biggest advantages we have is our procedural animation system, which means that we can have an infinite of variety of animations that we can make the creature do because it's done procedurally. So that's a natural kind of strength of having a higher bandwith input device--it should really feel like I'm puppeteering this creature very directly, as opposed to I'm just indirectly controlling with a few buttons here and there. The rest of the design is totally going to evolve around that.


    These are contradictory. I think I'll go with the story itself.

    Also, something out on a cellphone before major consoles? That seems odd -- is it a first?
  • by CopaceticOpus (965603) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @03:27PM (#22396518)
    ...so wear a raincoat?
  • So, any news on the following?

    * The so called "Underwater stage"? Supposedly this was cut in lieu of your creature moving from cell to the beach...
    * Flying critters, or otherwise critters with wings?
    * The length of each stage? In the latest interview he talks about difficulty levels and how that will affect it, so... How long will it take each stage on the average difficulty?
    • by RobinH (124750)
      * The so called "Underwater stage"? Supposedly this was cut in lieu of your creature moving from cell to the beach...
      * Flying critters, or otherwise critters with wings?


      This is Will Wright we're talking about. These kinds of things will be reserved for expansion packs. You didn't think he was going to sell the you *whole* game for that price, did you? :)
  • by elysiana (1152995) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @03:35PM (#22396638)
    So we've got those who complain about companies releasing a product before it's ready, and then we've got those who complain that a product is taking too long to come out. I'd like to think that Spore is one of those games that's going to have playability over a large range of ages - you're not going to outgrow it. Sure, we're not getting any younger, but you gotta admit you still wanna have a crack at it, and you still will when it's finally released.

    Has it taken a long time from concept to completion? Yeah, that's a pitfall they've encountered. Maybe their timing is good, though - the MMO world has calmed down a bit, the Wii isn't as brand-spanking-new, people have done Bioshock... now there's something new to anticipate and it's not competing against the "biggies" we've had lately. Granted, in the months to come we may find that new hardware and games are going to challenge it. But think of it this way - it's certainly piqued your interest, right? Controversy means people will take a look at it, just to find out what the fuss is about.

    If the game is good enough, it doesn't matter when it's released - it's not going to miss the boat because it's not trying to ride a fad. In the meantime, we can still play the games we've been playing. No need to hop from one game to the next constantly, just sit back and enjoy what you're playing... when Spore comes out, you'll be ready for it, and maybe you can take the time to play it out and appreciate what it is, rather than whipping through and waiting for the next late-release game.
    • I don't mind waiting for Spore; to be honest, we should be forced to wait more for games, or really any product. As far as I see it, every day we wait, the game becomes slightly better. Yeah, they could probably rush it out by May or June but who cares? It'd be a much sleeker, smoother product by September. I'm more than willing to sit back and wait for something awesome if it's actually going to be awesome. Rushing never helped anything.

      Oh, and FYI, this doesn't mean DNF will be the best game ever.
  • Blue Balls (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anne_Nonymous (313852) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @03:48PM (#22396910) Homepage Journal
    >> Will Wright's Spore To Release Sept. 7th

    If he waits that long, he's going to have a hell of a case of blue balls.

  • by HomerJ (11142) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @04:23PM (#22397558)
    This game has been marketed to death as some Will Wright masterpiece. What exactly has Will Wright done other than an early 80's game about building a city, and a game who's main purpose is to wash dishes and trap people in a pool?

    I'm not saying Spore will be good or bad, but I'm not buying a game who's sole reason for hype is a guy who's managed to make two franchises and milk them to death in a way that makes Nintendo jealous.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Jaysyn (203771)
      This little game called "The SIMS"? Maybe you've heard of it? Best selling PC game / series of all time?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You can trivialize anyone's accomplishments with that attitude. Examples:

      What exactly did Einstein ever do aside from work in a patent office and publish a few papers?

      What exactly did Linus Torvalds ever do aside from start a UNIXoid kernel?

      What exactly did Andrew Wiles ever do aside from proving some dead guy's really old theorem?

      Of course past performance never proves future returns, but by trivializing Sim City and The Sims you just make yourself look silly.
      • by Talgrath (1061686)
        Perhaps I can restate the gp's gripe in a more constructive and clear manner:
        "I didn't enjoy Will Wright's previous game series, and I found the number of expansion packs for each series to be repetitive and/or redundant. I'm sick of hearing about Spore, people have been hyping it more than the second coming of Jesus Christ(Christians) and/or The Purple Lizard God (Mormons)."

        To be honest, I tend to agree, this game has been talked about to death; it looks mildly interesting to me, but not that great as a g
    • by addie (470476)
      What exactly has Will Wright done other than an early 80's game about building a city, and a game who's main purpose is to wash dishes and trap people in a pool?

      I think the point is that Will Wright created the definitive game about building a city, and the definitive game about people washing dishes. There are other city building games, and other games where you push around people and see what they do, but none are as good as the simple and elegant creations that Will Wright has come up with. Following t
      • by kamapuaa (555446)
        Did you ever play SimEarth, SimLife, or SimZoo? They really sucked. This is his fourth try at the same basic idea, and it's hard to believe this one will be any better, much less take it for granted it will be some kind of classic. This is a game developer who's made a couple classics, but the large majority of his releases are either instantly forgettable, or add-on packs. All the hype over a collection of mini-games seems out of place.
        • by paganizer (566360)
          I liked SimEarth. and SimLife was interesting. They were both games that suffered from, IMO, insufficiently advanced standard PC's; SimEarth would be pretty cool on a modern system with modern graphics, and SimLife... well, it wouldn't have become spore, but I could see it becoming a pretty cool game.
          SimAnt was just too confusing, but I could see it being a decent RTS.
  • It's amazing how many things that have been considered vaporware for so many years are coming it this year. Obviously most have still not sent he light of day but we are starting to get release dates. I always thought Spore would come out in the next 12 months but a few old friends like Duke Nuke Em Forever will have a bitter sweet edge to it. There needs to be a little mourning for some of the more long lived bits of vaporware. I just hope they both live up to expectation so it can be a positive thing them
  • What I fear is that spore will end up like black and white, which is to say they will try to turn it into a game.

    Most simulation games are fun because they basically let you play god. The world is your sandbox and you can do pretty much anything you want.

    Black and white had this, and had a pretty cool sandbox, with people you could pickup and throw around, and a semi intelligent animal you could train to do tricks. Then they added the "game" elements.

    First, they intentionally made the interface hard to use
  • ...you are **JUST** making a game.

    If it's good, a lot of us may end up buying it and playing it.

    If it's bad, then we've lots of other shit we can be doing instead - it's really no biggie.

    So give us a quick tinkle when it's out in the shops, otherwise just **BUGGER OFF** until it's ready.

    Thanks for your time and understanding.

  • Why do we care about some dude's fungus? I guess he's going to have some mushrooms then or something?

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