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Games Entertainment

Will Wright and Spore Profiled in Popular Science 28

Via Joystiq, an enthusiastic interview in Popular Science with Will Wright. He talks about his much anticipated PC title Spore (still slated to ship later this year), the educational qualities of games, socializing via games, and the future of gaming. One of his closing comments: "Getting people more connected to the real world through gaming. Because I think we all live in our own little bubbles, we have our own little lives and there's this whole world out there of things happening that we're kind of dimly aware of. We might pick up the paper or watch the news. And it's a complex world. A lot of very strange twisted dynamics, interesting things, very important things that are going to shape the future that our children live in. And that if you could just get everybody to be a little bit more aware of the world around them, and how it works, and have that feedback in to the course the world is taking, gaming could be an incredibly powerful mechanism for steering the system."
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Will Wright and Spore Profiled in Popular Science

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  • Coming up next on Slashdot: "Cowboy Neal Featured in GQ"
  • by jandrese ( 485 ) <kensama@vt.edu> on Tuesday February 13, 2007 @11:51AM (#17998764) Homepage Journal
    Man, when Spore comes out and turns out to have boring sucky gameplay (see: Black and White), all of this hype is going to be embarrassing.

    Ok, I have no idea if the gameplay is going to be good or not, but certainly it can't be as good as all of the hype it has been getting. I was as excited as anyone at the demo he gave at E3, but until we have something resembling a beta to play around with I'm going to file this under "pre-release over hyping" and get on with my life. It will have a nice cozy location between Daikatana and the Segway.
    • by DarenN ( 411219 )
      Maybe, maybe not, but I'll buy it anyway! In fact, I have it pre-ordered. I suspect you will to. B&W was a bit boring, but I liked it because it was different and entertaining (and you could throw your worshippers into the sea if they got stroppy :) ). This looks like it might be entertaining, and it's definitely different!
      • I think I might have enjoyed Black and White a great deal more if the controls hadn't been so poor. The motion to throw something seems so intuitive with a mouse, but that flick-of-the-wrist motion is really hard with a trackball. I consider that a severe weakness Black and White. It had a fascinating control mechanism that assumed you had a particular controller. At one point, I was supposed to lob fireballs at my enemy's village and I tried for three or four minutes before the game let me move on (wit
        • It could be reasonably assumed that more people use Linux than a trackball. So, logically there is more reason to expect a game to make effort to support Linux than support a trackball. Especially since Linux wouldn't require Molyneux to totally rethink his control scheme that he seemed to have obsessed over. Very few games do support either because most games can go well in the market without those in fringe technical situations.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by stratjakt ( 596332 )
      You're right. Hype kills the experience. Black and White was not a bad game, but it was nowhere near the hype, and it hurt the experience. I put Doom 3 in that pile too. Lots of hype, for a paint-by-numbers FPS with shiny graphics.

      But, the hype sells lots of copies, and makes bank, which is what is important to the publishers - whether or not you feel the game lives up to it is irrelevant, so long as you buy it.

      The movie industry has long functioned this way (and is having a harder time doing so now).
      • Point is, you'll buy spore, and whether you like it or not, they'll have your $$.

        Not everyone. *cough* extended 'trial' period by downloading from unauthorized sources *cough*

        • by ifrag ( 984323 )

          Not everyone. *cough* extended 'trial' period by downloading from unauthorized sources *cough*

          That brings up an interesting point though, because AFAIK Spore will have that psuedo-online engine to take lifeforms & planets from other user's sandbox. If the game actually does support true 'solo' play (as in no tube to the internets) then I suppose that would work. My guess is a game on this scale will attract the attention of groups who have worked things like the emulated steam engine for HL2.

      • Hype may generate lots of short term sales but it severely harms your ability to create a successful franchise game. For instance I bought B&W on the hype, was very disappointed with it and will never buy a sequel or even anything by Peter Molyneux, unless I'm certain it's outstanding.

        On the other hand games which really surprised me in some way, I tend to buy the sequels and other games from the same developers.
      • Black and White was not a bad game, but it was nowhere near the hype, and it hurt the experience.

        No, Black and White really was a bad game. The creature was about the only thing that didn't completely suck and there were some real problems with the creature.

        The biggest problem with the creature was that to encourage or discourage some types of behavior you had to reward or punish the creature while he was thinking about doing it, but before he actually did it, with no way of reading the creature's thoughts.
    • Actually, there was talk of releasing the creature editor as a demo before the game comes out. I wonder what happened to that notion? If they are going to do so, previous articles make it sound like it is doable soon. Most interviews I've read lately are about the viechle editor, the city building phase, fleshing out space phase, but very little about the creature editor or that stage, leading me to believe that portion of the game is pretty much done. Really, I think the editor is the coolest part of the g
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Chris Burke ( 6130 )
        It's all about managing your expectations. There's nothing worse than feeling jipped because what you got was merely good, not omg-ponies great. It's bad when you convince yourself that your life is going to change because of something, and then your hopes are dashed when you merely experience quality entertainment.

        From what I've seen of the creature editor, it looks like an enjoyable mini-game all to itself (kinda like CoH). I expect that to be really good, and I think there's a good chance it will meet
    • Black and White was - at the time - tremendous on its detail, its novel fractal zoom, its massive interaction and interactivity, and so on. It turned "sucky" because gameplay is gameplay - the number of milestones, while welldesigned and challenging, became too much of a series of targets. I think I got to the fourth level, and then something something something went back found savefile was corrupted. It was too much of a grunt to plough through the milestones again - while I knew I hadn't got to the good m
    • Just so nobody gets confused: Peter Molyneux [wikipedia.org] made Black & White, not Will Wright. [wikipedia.org]

      Will Wright brought us such generally non-sucky games as The Sims and Sim City.

      • Thanks for that - I couldn't understand why a huge B&W discussion erupted over a Will Wright game. Not that I don't think Spore will fail to live up to expectations How can it? The guts of it is an alien dress up doll, just like the Sims was a traditional doll house. I don't play with dolls. Except for my Ric Flair ACTION FIGURE...
        • by jandrese ( 485 )
          Yeah, I feel kind of bad for putting another computer game in that list now. I just wanted an example of something that was hyped to the moon and was ultimately disappointing when it came out.
  • Wright is a brilliant guy and I can't wait for Spore. But I would point out one way in which he seems to have conflicting passions when it comes to making games. On one hand, he says he likes the idea of games that connect people more to the world, by showing them all these different things around them. On the other, he says he likes the idea of games which adapt themselves to the player. When you think of it, the first thing brings people "out of their bubble" and the second thing creates a new kind of "bu

    • Will has announced already that he'll be developing Spore for the Wii as well as a mini Spore for the Nintendo DS.

      My son and I have talked to him about this at times - I'm the person who came up with all the energy sources - wind, solar, hydro, etc - for the later SimCity versions ...
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Is a MMORPG loser greater or less than the dude who argues what makes a good game on slashdot? :)
  • Excessive hype. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MaWeiTao ( 908546 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2007 @01:46PM (#18000676)
    The hype for this game is getting to be so ridiculous that I don't see how the game won't do anything but disappoint. It's being made to seem like the second coming. It certainly looks compelling, but I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out to be a glorfied RTS with unit customization.

    The marketing team sure is working overtime to promote this one. Rest assured the game will sell strongly within the first few weeks of release on media attention alone.
  • For those who are convinced that there's too much hype to the new Will Wright game 'Spore'... what else can you possibly expect, given the mans' track record?

    Combine what he's done previously with the team he put together and the type of game he's making - unless he hid in a basement and told no one, including EA, what he was doing, his project would be 'overhyped'.

    This does not mean the game will suck. It means it will suck to whomever decides that due to the huge hype, if it isn't the 'best bang since the

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