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More Spore Details from DICE Summit 47

Will Wright and his team at EA put together a presentation for the DICE Summit, giving folks more details on the much-anticipated Spore . Gamespot reports on the talk, which sounds like it must have been highly entertaining to view. The entire presentation centered around the development process for the game, which has been a platform for smart people to talk about making games since Wright first announced the project. Designers from the team talk about making the space ship creator flexible ("It's pretty satisfying to fly around in your X-Wing and blow up The Enterprise."), and Wright mentioned their habit to run a batch process creating thousands of planets every night. Stephen Totilo at MTV also discusses the talk, and fleshes out a few more details from the event. Looking this over, what do you think? Still excited for Spore, or has it been in development too long?
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More Spore Details from DICE Summit

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  • by casualsax3 ( 875131 ) on Friday February 09, 2007 @03:45PM (#17952590)
    I would much rather have a game delayed by a full year, as long as the developers take advantage of that extra time. If I could have Spore tomorrow, but it would be lacking in some features or not as polished as it should be, or I could have it in a year with everything they promised - I'd definitely take it in a year. I have enough great games to play through as it is. I don't want to see major features scaled back a-la Project Ego/Fable due to time constraints. Take your time devs, and make it worth the wait.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by DeeZee ( 84216 )
      Of course I agree, but looking at it from the dreaded Business Point of View(tm), a year extra in development is a lot of extra expenditures in salary and other costs, and it does not guarantee better sales. (In fact, a years delay might sour the deal for some people, not to mention the "buzz" might be gone by the time the game is actually released).
      • I'm hoping some people will take a look at the sort of model Blizzard works with, where they bust their asses on a project, and aren't afraid to delay the hell out of it until it's exactly what they want. They don't have many titles under their belt, but their hit record is second to none, and you can't say it's not making them a ton of money.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by milamber3 ( 173273 )
      Might I offer up Duke Nukem Forever and Daikatana as examples for a counter argument.
      • by Mursk ( 928595 )
        How are those counter-arguments? The original poster said that he would be willing to wait if the extra time were taken advantage of. From what I hear, this is not the case with Duke Nukem. Please clarify if I'm misunderstanding your post.
    • by Kuvter ( 882697 )
      I agree with you and also suggest Blizzard Entertainment games to tide you over till Spore comes out. They do just what the Spore team is doing, delay, delay, delay, YAY great game.
  • by ShadowsHawk ( 916454 ) on Friday February 09, 2007 @03:46PM (#17952596)
    It's not that the development has been to long, it's that we've been hearing about the thing constantly for the last year and a half! The phrase "Shit or get off the pot" has never been more appropriate.
    • by PhoenixOne ( 674466 ) on Friday February 09, 2007 @04:06PM (#17952908)

      If you don't want to hear about things in development, stop reading Slashdot and those stupid gaming mags.

      Personally I'd rather EA doesn't "shit" out Spore like they do so many other titles. Sims is still selling well, let the development time have the time they need.

      • Spoor (Score:3, Funny)

        by SimHacker ( 180785 ) *

        If it was going to be shit, then it would be spelled "Spoor".

        Spoor []: spoor (plural spoor or spoors) 1. The track, trail or droppings of an animal


    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by shoptroll ( 544006 )
      You must be new to gaming I take it? EA letting Maxis take their time with this is the best thing they can do. I'd rather have a good solid game to start of with before it gets EAified and they start churning out yearly iterations or an expansion pack or content pack every quarter. This also suggests that EA is putting a lot of money behind this project in order to let them keep working on this as long as they have. Although it's pretty well known that EA will let Will Wright/Maxis do whatever the hell
      • Re:Development time (Score:4, Informative)

        by SimHacker ( 180785 ) * on Saturday February 10, 2007 @04:05AM (#17960724) Homepage Journal

        Although it's pretty well known that EA will let Will Wright/Maxis do whatever the hell they please, as long as it brings in the cash by the truckload.

        I certainly hope that EA listens to what Will Wright says he wants to do, and lets him do it without throwing up any roadblocks. The last group of people who thought they knew better than Will Wright caused SimCity 3000 to be delayed by many years, and almost bankrupt Maxis. If they had just done what he said, they would be on top of the world, but instead they all got fired after EA bought Maxis and cleaned house.


      • Did you even read the post? As I said, I don't care how long is in development for. I really don't care to hear about it until it's relatively close to release. I don't have the time or interest to follow every detail of a game for years on end only to have it canceled.
  • I'm willing to give them until late 2007 / early 2008 like I've heard. I don't think I could hold out any longer than that. IMO it would lose a lot of its hype by then.
    • by ajs ( 35943 )

      I'm willing to give them until late 2007 / early 2008

      After which.... what? You will ask for your money back? Play another game in the meantime? Exit their target age-range?

      The real question is: who cares? Blizzard answered that with their extended beta of World of Warcraft: no one. No one cares when you release it; they care about what you release and how playable it is.

      Spore could be released in 2020, but as long as it delivers a solid game that people want to play, it will be a success. The only time pressure for them is their funding.

      • by zyl0x ( 987342 )
        If it does take them until 2020, I won't even remember what it was. Forget having an interest in playing it. I'm an adult with a job, and I'm starting to settle down and start a family. If these "awesome" games don't come out in the next year or so, I'm just simply not going to have room in the budget or on the clock to invest anything in any more new computer games.

        The real question is: who cares?

        The real answer is: I do. So do a lot of other adults who are out of highschool and their mothers' basements.

        • by DarkJC ( 810888 )
          Well that's a specific scenario then. It's not so much that you'll lose interest in the game after a year, it's that you'll lose interest in spending time with games in general.

          If I have interest in a game, I'll buy it when it comes out. It dosen't matter when it comes out, if I think it will be a fun game, I'll go and buy it. I think that's the majority view here.

          I'd also like to mention that just because you're an adult and out of your mothers basement doesn't mean that all adults throw away their
          • by zyl0x ( 987342 )
            It's a faint possibility. Perhaps I should have said after another year of development, my chances of buying the game diminish exponentially.
            • Don't you plan on ever playing games with your kids?

              The Sims is a game that kids and parents and grandparents often play together, because they have a "common ground" to share and discuss, that everyone can relate to and understand.

              Playing Spore will be a great way to get your kids interested in science, evolution, nature, astronomy, biology, society, etc!

              ...Unless of course you don't want your kids to believe in evolution or learn about science, in which case you should keep them far away from Sp

          • by ajs ( 35943 )

            I'd also like to mention that just because you're an adult and out of your mothers basement doesn't mean that all adults throw away their game playing time. Some actually, you know, make time for it.

            1) I'm an adult (have been for a couple decades)

            2) I play games

            3) Whenever spore comes out, I'll probably try it out, but I don't really care when

            4) If there were a basement appartment involved, it would be mine (and one day it probably will be, if she doesn't move into a nursing home instead)

        • by DrSkwid ( 118965 )
          Gaming doesn't stop when families start, it's not one or the other.

          You might even actually play games with your kids !

  • Spore Wii? (Score:2, Interesting)

    I want to play spore, but I want to stick with my inexpensive Wii.
    • Are you being sarcastic, or serious? Frankly this game looks like it would be best on PC, having a full mouse and keyboard to use. I mean, it'd be like playing Sim City 2000 on a's fully featured, but still gimped.
      • I mean, it'd be like playing Sim City 2000 on a's fully featured, but still gimped.

        Hey, I liked SimCity (classic) on my Super NES, and that didn't even have a proper pointing device (unlike Wii).

    • by 10Neon ( 932006 )
      From what I understand they'll be porting Spore to pretty much every platform in some form or another.
  • OM.... (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    OMGPonies!!! I can't wait - before it was pins and needles i was on. Now... there is no car analogy that will suffice for how excited I am for this new video game overlord. At the risk of sounding ± 1 whatever, in Soviet Russia I still can't wait. I have my Beowulf cluster on order so I can get the maximum graphics detail for my NatPortman alien model. It's all coming together like a bowl of hot grits!
    P.S. Something dupe, troll, redundant, vorbis
    • I think you mean a beowulf cluster of spore-enabled care bears and klingons fighting for interstellar supremacy.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by SimHacker ( 180785 ) *

        You hit the nail on the head there. Will Wright is fascinated with Care Bears []. He had several slides on the topic in his GDC 2005 talk []:

        Pokemon, Neopets, Care Bears. Give kids a sense of ownership and mastery over the facts and details of the characters. Loved dinosaurs as a kid. Knew the rock-scissors-paper of different species of dinosaurs, which was something his mom didn't know. Mastery of facts.

        Care bears. Started as greeting cards. Found a web app that categorizes your personality: Which Care B

  • Spore. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rdwulfe ( 890032 )
    Wright and team are putting major effort into this project, and it does look like they are comming along nicely. Every so often, there's new stuff up on the Spore website, though not near as much as I'd hoped would be on there by now. I can only hope this means that they are working as hard as they can and keeping themselves from being burned out at the same time. Wright has come out with some of the most influentual games of the last several years. Sims, Sim City, Sim Earth, and so on... These games mad
    • by cliffski ( 65094 )
      I sympathise, but that will be EAs decision. I worked at a company doing a game that had extensive mod support planned. After the hot coffee fiasco, pretty much all mod support was pulled, and discussions were seriously held by company lawyers (idiots) as to how easily we could encrypt everything to prevent anyone ever altering any of it.
      The enemy of easy mod support is not the designer. it's the lawyer. or the finance guy that doesn't see any bottom line in it.
      • by rdwulfe ( 890032 )
        You're absolutely correct, unfortunately. Heh. I love the idea of encrypting all the data. Hmmn. Yes, just encrypt it all. It's note like the *program* would have to decrypt it, while reading it... And no, noone could ever reverse engineer that. Nope nope. Short sightedness is where most of our problems come from, in life, and in games.

        To wit -- Who would ever need more than 640k of memory?

        Gates probably rues the day he said that.

        • There doesn't seem to be any evidence that Gates really did say that. There is no attribution, and Gates denies it. That was the case the last time I explored it anyway. He may rue the day the quote appeared anyway!
          • by rdwulfe ( 890032 )
            True, then. Huh. I wasn't aware of that. I may have to do some research on that myself.. Oh wait, I'm lazy. No, no I probably wont. Wulfe ;D
  • It really is taking a long time.

    Bring Rocket Jockey to the Wii.
    • Bring Rocket Jockey to Open Source. A version with updated graphic that you can play on modern systems without jumping through hoops (outside of the game) would be awesome.
      • Oh how I wish I could play Rocket Jockey again. I'd love to see it released as OSS if there's enough support in the community to make it even better.
        • "Oh how I wish I could play Rocket Jockey again. I'd love to see it released as OSS if there's enough support in the community to make it even better."

          That's the beauty of OSS. You can write the game yourself!!

  • Content Filtering (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MeanderingMind ( 884641 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @11:47AM (#17983314) Homepage Journal
    Excluding the game being actually fun and awesome, my only concern is how Spore deals with filtering of content.

    The fact of the matter is, when this game is released someone is going to make one or more rather obscene creatures. Whether it's a perfect model of a Playboy bunny, or a disturbingly humorous creature based off of our naughty bits, there needs to be a way for someone to say 'I don't want that in my game'.

    While there will be people who will welcome these things into their ecosystems, there will also be people who will not. For them, the entire experience will be ruined if their creature they have lovingly crafted can not be played without encountering a race of Fidel Castros.

    It shouldn't be too difficult to have an option where you right-click a race and select them for replacement.

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. -- Thomas Alva Edison