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Spore System Specs Released, Creature Creator Coming Soon 125

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the so-much-waiting dept.
Will Wright's long-awaited game, Spore, seems to be nearing completion, with a release slated for September. In anticipation of this release, EA has outlined the system requirements and will still be releasing their Creature Creator demo for experimentation on June 17th.
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Spore System Specs Released, Creature Creator Coming Soon

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  • ... they just consume all your computer's resources.
  • I saw the system specs on EA's preorder site, http://eastore.ea.com/store/ea/DisplayProductDetailsPage/ProductID.91619200 [ea.com] , Monday. I thought I had merely missed them...

    Does Knowing this before everyone else make me cool?

    Anywho, they don't look as bad as I was thinking, and the fact that it supports onboard video with a dual-core CPU raises interesting questions about the engine.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by allanw (842185)

      Anywho, they don't look as bad as I was thinking, and the fact that it supports onboard video with a dual-core CPU raises interesting questions about the engine.
      It just means that the graphic engine goes from very low graphics to possibly high graphics.
      • Which means the game has been sensibly designed. It always amazes when devs fuck that part of game design up. Lord of the Rings Online for example. On a system that can run WOW with all the gorgeous eye candy on, LOTRO looks like utter crap in comparison and can't run at full detail. I spent more time on my trial trying to get the game to run nicely. And even when it did, it had nasty stuttering (on multiple systems).

        Was worried when I clicked the link, but having read the specs, my six year old Dell can ru
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by wagnerrp (1305589)

      onboard video with a dual-core CPU
      The original Intel Mac Mini is the only single core Intel Mac. Since it did not have sufficient graphics to run this game, there are no single core Macs capable of running spore.
    • Does knowing this before everyone else make me cool?

      This is Slashdot. We're geeks. That's how we define cool.

  • meh (Score:4, Funny)

    by nawcom (941663) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @06:38PM (#23755957) Homepage
    Ever since he mentioned that you don't need to start at the beginning in order to get to a certain stage, i've just felt like it will be a bunch of mini-games, without present decisions being made in the current stage affecting your options in future stages of, what i assume, is the evolution of your creature(s). I have a feeling that the expansion pack he's been working on [penny-arcade.com] will be a ton better.
    • Not necessarily (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Moraelin (679338) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @05:09AM (#23760999) Journal

      Ever since he mentioned that you don't need to start at the beginning in order to get to a certain stage, i've just felt like it will be a bunch of mini-games, without present decisions being made in the current stage affecting your options in future stages of, what i assume, is the evolution of your creature(s).


      Not necessarily. It can just mean you have a bunch of predefined choices at each step. It doesn't mean you can't do better.

      I mean, look at, say, Paradox's games. Different genre, I know, but they do illustrate the point nevertheless.

      You can start Hearts Of Iron in 1941 and get directly to attacking the USSR, or being attacked if you play the USSR. In which case you'll start from the historical situation in 1941. But you can also start in 1936, build up your economy, and build up teh uber-Wehrmacht or Red Army, and deliver some serious smack down when 1941 comes. Or play a USA which didn't wait around for Pearl Harbour to start thinking about war, and is in much better shape to deliver a devastating punch when that happens. Play a France which picked different doctrines and built up its army, and can hold its own at the Maginot Line. Etc.

      Essentially having the option to skip to 1941, doesn't make the 1936 option meaningless. You can and _do_ affect your options in the future by starting earlier.

      Ditto in any other of their games. You can skip to the 1600's in EU2 and get to colonizing America, or even directly at the Napoleonic wars, or start in 1419 as an England bogged down in the 100 year war and work your way from there.

      Heck, IIRC you can even export your world from one game to the next, and play it as one uber-campaign spanning 1000 years. You can start in Crusader Kings, export to EU2 when you reach the 1400's, export to Victoria in early 1800's, and (if you have the expansion pack) export to Hearts Of Iron when you reach the 1930's. The option to start directly with Hearts Of Iron doesn't make the previous stages meaningless minigames. Starting at CK can _massively_ affect your options later. You can end up in EU2 with a Byzantine Empire that regained the former lands of the Roman Empire and has the Mediterranean as Mare Nostrum (our sea), instead of being a one-province victim of the Turks. Colonize, get to Victoria with it, and you can try to out-industrialize the English. Make Byzantium _the_ industrial and cultural capital of the world, like in the old days, and the empire over whose flag the sun never sets. Etc.

      You can still ask, "why?" because it gets so ahistorical that it's not even funny. Still, the principle remains. And as Spore isn't a historical game, even that objection vanishes.
  • Quite low (Score:5, Informative)

    by Danny Rathjens (8471) <slashdot2@@@rathjens...org> on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @06:46PM (#23756071)
    pixel shader 2.0 == directX 9 == 128MB video cards from 2003
    I suppose this is due to the long development. Hopefully the creative gameplay will overcome the lack of shiny and high res texture graphics. :)
    • Re:Quite low (Score:5, Informative)

      by EvanED (569694) <evaned.gmail@com> on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @06:52PM (#23756141)
      HL2 Episode 2 only required a DX7 video card, and recommended a DX9 one. I wouldn't exactly call that game lacking shiny and high res textures.
      • Yeah, after I posted that I realized I was being a bit dismissive. I guess the rate of advance has actually slowed a bit and 5 year old cards are not so terribly different from more recent cards. I upgraded from a 6 year old 128MB nvidia ti4200 just last year myself to play Oblivion at high settings and mods that increase texture resolutions. :)
        • by Kneo24 (688412)
          I don't think you being dismissive is exactly bad. There's a huge difference between those DX9 cards and the more recent ones. DX10 cards are actually a huge leap. The low end ones probably blow the low-end DX9 cards out of the water.

          I have never actually tested that myself (low end to low end), but I did go from a high end DX9 card to a high end DX10 card. My jaw dropped at the FPS increase alone. Massive.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Hadlock (143607)
          I guess the rate of advance has actually slowed a bit and 5 year old cards are not so terribly different from more recent cards

          This is where I post This post [slashdot.org] and get modded +5 interesting yet again. People keep forgetting relatively new games like Team Fortress 2 will run on five year old hardware (With the settings turned down a bit) running on Windows ME. A $600 "gaming rig" will play any game out there at 1280x1024 at 30fps with all the settings set to high. Why so cheap? Because not a whole lot
      • Re:Quite low (Score:5, Insightful)

        by lgw (121541) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @08:00PM (#23756927) Journal
        HL2 textures had low poly count and were generally easy to render. The game looked good because the texture artwork looked good. It's the ultimate efficiency hack.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by JorDan Clock (664877)
          I think you meant the models have low polygon counts. Textures are what go on the models. And yes, the textures made the difference. While the polygon counts were up there, they weren't as bad Doom 3 (released around the same time, I believe) and the textures made it all look just that much better.
          • Re:Quite low (Score:5, Insightful)

            by lgw (121541) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @08:44PM (#23757413) Journal
            Ya ya, and they reversed the polarity of the neutron flux, too. My point was, even for it's time HL2 was quite easy to run at high settings, unlike the content-free flop that was Doom3. You can't judge a game by how hard it is to run.
          • by KDR_11k (778916)
            I'm pretty sure Half-Life 2 has higher polygon counts than Doom 3, the latter just has shaders that eat sick amounts of performance. Doom 3 uses way fewer polygons than even games that came before it, roughly 1.5k per character when Unreal 2 was already doing 3-5k.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sznupi (719324)
          I'm perfectly fine with developers doing the homework and trying to make good looking game by all possible means, not just relying mostly on bling of latest GPUs...

          (@importance of textures: http://forums.galciv2.com/310173 [galciv2.com]
          section "The Updated Graphics", also:
          http://forums.galciv2.com/167995 [galciv2.com]
          I couldn't find the post in which they describe how they did it, so: each race has one, detailed, "ships texture", parts of which are used by all ships of given race; apparently it also means only one copy has to kept in
        • by Fackamato (913248)
          How many polygons were there in the textures again? :-P
        • Um..textures don't have low poly count - those are models - textures have low fidelity aka resolution.
        • by Chelloveck (14643)

          HL2 textures had low poly count and were generally easy to render. The game looked good because the texture artwork looked good. It's the ultimate efficiency hack.

          Wow, the game looked good because it actually used high-quality artwork instead of fancy video card tricks? I didn't think that was still allowed in games!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Deliveranc3 (629997)
        Agreed, is this Nvidia/ATI shenanigans or is there some reason that pixel shader 2.0 can't be done in software...

        Spore doesn't seem likely to need uber framerates...
    • by MobyDisk (75490)
      Good: It might almost be playable on today's top-of-the-line laptops.
    • by KDR_11k (778916)
      If The Sims required a high-end graphics card it wouldn't have been nearly as successful, I guess they want to repeat that with Spore. Most people who have a casual interest in games and might want to see something like The Sims because it seems interesting have a fairly old or cheap PC.
  • Well, my machine will run it.

    *Dances happy dance and begins to prepare letters of absence*
  • by merreborn (853723) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @06:52PM (#23756143) Journal
    I built a machine 6 months ago for about $400 that should work acceptably, according to these specs -- a $100 asus mobo, $100 for an old geforce 7600, $50 for the cheapest AMD dual-core proc, and $50 for 2 gig of ram.

    Glad to see they took the time to make sure Spore will run on low end PCs.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Dr. Eggman (932300)
      I built mine around August for about $1300. A GeForce 8800 GTX, an Intel Core 2 Quad, and 2 gigs of dual channel DDR2 1066 RAM ranked among the fancier pieces. I had assumed Spore would require a beefy CPU to run, as I also foresaw a general move in gaming towards focus on multicore machines. Oyi, did I ever guess wrong!

      I mean sure, Oblivion flies, I'm all set for future Source-based games, and Crysis runs like a dream but at what cost? AT WHAT COST!?! Oh right, $1300. At any rate, it certainly seems I wa
      • Cost per player? (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by tepples (727027)

        and Crysis runs like a dream but at what cost? AT WHAT COST!?! Oh right, $1300.
        But most multiplayer PC games require one PC per player. How much would it cost to upgrade the PCs used by the other members of your household?
        • Initiating Karma burn:

          Oh for Christ's sake, tepples. We get it. You have been posting the same insipid shit in every PC game story for TWO GODDAMN YEARS. You prefer console gaming. People who play old-school roms on PC emulators are blaspheming heretics. Split-screen is next to godliness.

          WE GET THE IDEA. For fuck's sake, go find a vagina already.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      By taking so long to develop the game that piece took care of itself. It's like if you wanted to run Duke Nukem Forever, back when they announced it, it would only run on what was basically a supercomputer. Not the case anymore.
  • RAM requirements: XP: 512mb Vista: 768mb OSX: 1gb
  • by Bwana Geek (1033040) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @07:36PM (#23756671) Journal
    Not mentioned in the article or summary is the much more interesting news that the Sporepedia [spore.com] is live. Go check out some of the creatures that the Maxis team has created. Some of them are quite different from those I've seen in previous media.
    • by jthill (303417) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @10:45PM (#23758517)

      So I go check it out, and I see this:

      How do you see one of these Creatures in your Spore Creature Creator? Right Click on the thumbnail image of the creature. Save the image to your desktop. Drag the saved image from your desktop into the Spore Creature Creator. Voila! The Creature is in your game.

      Whoever thought that up deserves a few moments of quiet respect.

      • by biovoid (785377) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @12:27AM (#23759265)
        Very cool. The creature data is encoded as binary in the alpha channel of the PNG. That means any creature can be defined in under 2KB.
      • You might think that this would take ungodly amounts of image recognition technology. And that is true, for the general case of "Import any image into Spore". But given that you have procedural creature generation, all you have to do is ship the Creature Creator with as many critters as you want to be discoverable (cheap to you: its just a list of parameters), give them all a unique ID, and then make sure your website serves up thumbnails with the ID embedded in the filename. The ID essentially serves as
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by biovoid (785377)
          The creature data is encoded as binary in the alpha channel of the PNG. 2KB of compressed data. Simple but effective.
        • by jackbird (721605)
          You need to review combinatorial math, monkeys with typewriters, etc.
  • After hearing about the copy-protection scheme announced earlier last month- I'm not interested in buying. No way am I connecting every other week to prove I purchased this game.
    • by Dachannien (617929) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @08:59PM (#23757539)
      They apparently caved to the public outcry (EA listening to its customers? No wai!!) and have scaled back their copy-protection scheme. Now it will require verification when you first install the game as well as anytime you use it to retrieve online content (creatures, patches, etc.).

      • by arkhan_jg (618674) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @08:04AM (#23762195)
        Assuming it's the same securom restriction as mass effect (and previously bioshock) - which it's been said it will be - you'll get 3 install activation 'credits', which must be done online. Uninstalling/reinstalling on the same computer and the same copy of windows will re-use the activation already made, as of course will having your activation checked when you retrieve more creatures.

        Reinstalling windows on your pc, or upgrading hardware will then cost you another of your three activations.

        Once you've hit the limit, you'll need to phone EA tech support - a premium rate phone call in my country - and request permission to install your game, most likely then having to provide proof of purchase. Permission is granted on a case-by-case basis, and not guaranteed.

        They caved only insomuch as providing a more restrictive limitation than bioshock, rather than a more restrictive limit than bioshock plus constant 10 day online activation.

        It's not a purchase. It's a rental. I for one have cancelled my pre-order.
    • by Toonol (1057698) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @09:17PM (#23757679)
      I believe EA has backed off slightly after the outcry over that scheme. I believe now they check upon initial installation and whenever new content is downloaded.

      Which is still pretty obscene, since downloading new content is one of the main features of the game. Your point still stands, I agree with it, and won't be buying this for the pc.

      These registration schemes, along with constantly increasing requirements, are killing pc gaming.
      • by Etrias (1121031)
        While I would normally agree with you on the copyright schemes and such, but with it being available to so many systems at launch...what's the big deal about popping your CD in the tray?

        Seriously, if you are going to buy it for console, that's what you have to do to play it anyway. How is this any worse on a PC?

        Don't get me wrong, I can be as lazy as any other PC gamer and I hate having to pop in a CD just to have it run it's verification check, but if I had this game on a PS3 or X-box, I still have
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by mrchaotica (681592) *

          what's the big deal about popping your CD in the tray?

          My laptop doesn't have an optical drive, you insensitive clod!

          And no, I'm not joking: I install software by pulling the optical drive out of my girlfriend's desktop and hooking an IDE->USB converter to it, but there's no way in Hell I'm going to do that on a regular basis!

          • Yeah... getting an external USB DVD Drive is *so* expensive... I'm not sure how I was able to buy one for my wife... oh, wait, maybe I just spent $50 at newegg [newegg.com].
      • by KDR_11k (778916)
        I don't think checking if your key is valid every time you go online with the game is that uncommon, it's rarely broken and gives an incentive for buying the game over pirating it. Other games lock you out of multiplayer, Spore would lock you out of the other web features.
      • by Woy (606550)
        "A is killing pc gaming"
        "B is killing pc gaming"
        "C is killing pc gaming"

        Meanwhile pc gamers play. I have been playing for a while, and i have 2 comments on this:

        - All interesting and innovative stuff is coming out on PC. While this is the reality, every other platform is more likely to die than the PC. I am talking dwarffortress-class innovation, NOT better graphics.
        - The massive population of console users is mostly unexperienced gamers that will in time get bored of the limitations of consoles in both inp
        • Copy protection killed MY pc gaming. I said screw it and stopped buying games. It wasn't worth the hassle.

          Now I just play console games on my 50 inch tv.
        • The massive population of console users is mostly unexperienced gamers that will in time get bored of the limitations of consoles in both input and variety of games. Half of them will end up pc gamers.

          PCs also have input limitations: the vast majority of PC games can't take input from more than one player when run on a home theater PC. As for variety, is there really much other than M-rated first-person shooters, real-time war simulators, and MMORPGs? Where's the counterpart to Smash Bros., Mario Party, or Bomberman on an HTPC?

          • by Woy (606550)
            As for variety, is there really much other than M-rated first-person shooters, real-time war simulators, and MMORPGs?

            My point exactly. Go out and explore. With a PC.

        • by Toonol (1057698)
          I exaggerated a bit. I don't think pc gaming is dead. I still game on the pc quite a bit. But nothing any big studio has published in the last three years. Old games, emulators, new indy games, that sort of thing. That's great. Newest big-budget blockbuster? Nah. If I get it, it'll be for a console.
    • EA has "scaled back" the copy protection. Now it's almost the same as the copy protection on Bioshock, (both use SecuROM) except no license revoke tool to transfer the software to another machine, and not as many activations allowed. Three activations maximum.

      What's really strange is that a lot of people seem to be OK with this. I think, basically, EA said "We're going to cut off your head and your arm if you play this game," and everyone cried out "That's horrible!" So EA said "Ok, ok. We won't cut of
  • by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @08:23PM (#23757201) Journal
    I had to make room for a more imminent releases like Duke Nukem Forever, The Arrival of Godot and Jesus, The Second Coming.
  • From what I read recently, quite a substantial amount of content is either cut, or reduced in scope.

    What comes to find first are the rules for dealing with flying/swimming creatures.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @10:53PM (#23758579)
    If you try to pre-order, you're taken to a helpful, filled-out order form that includes the Spore Creature Editor for $9.99 and an item EA calls "Extended Download Service" for $5.99. WTF? A helpful link next to the item explains:

    "EDS means that with the purchase of your digital product, we'll keep a copy of your file for two full years, so you don't have to. You'll gain peace of mind knowing that we have your program stored and ready for you to download again at your convenience."

    So what it sounds like is, if you upgrade your PC, the only way you can lay your paws on your software that you purchased from EA is if you also pay "protection" money to them. And then only for two years. Swell, huh?

    • by Joe U (443617)

      So what it sounds like is, if you upgrade your PC, the only way you can lay your paws on your software that you purchased from EA is if you also pay "protection" money to them. And then only for two years. Swell, huh?
      Or burn the download to a CD, or save it to a thumb drive, or save to another partition on your HDD. It's the same digital river style 'download protection' that's been in use for the past 8 years, it's a backup for the lazy.

    • You do realize you can keep a backup of the file yourself, right? EA are under no obligation to waste bandwidth allowing you to download the file time and again for free.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Kneo24 (688412)
        Why not? STEAM does it and people love them for it! That of course doesn't mean they *have to*, but one would think if they want to stay competitive in that sector of the business, it would be a good idea.
  • by ZephyrXero (750822) <zephyrxero AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday June 12, 2008 @02:27AM (#23759919) Homepage Journal
    Hmm...I wonder what kind of specs you'll need to run the game decently through WINE? Hell, really I just hope it runs at all. Hopefully the release of the creature creator next week will help give the WINE devs plenty of time to make sure the full game will play when it's released ;)

    Also...since there's an official Mac port, that does mean the game should have an optional OpenGL render right?

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