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EA's (Limited) Creature Creator For Spore Released 116

JimboFBX writes "The Spore creature creator has been released. It's a limited demo, but it lets you make a full creature and test drive it a little. It gives some insight on what you'll be able to do with your creatures. Personally, the novelty already wore off within 10 minutes. From what I can tell, the full creature creator is a separate purchase from the actual game. Gotta love EA." An anonymous reader points to a thread at More Awesome Than You alleging that this creature creator also contains some phone-home features which might be cause for concern.
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EA's (Limited) Creature Creator For Spore Released

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  • by Mascot ( 120795 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @02:33PM (#23842841)
    Has anybody seen any logical explanation for charging for the full version? The entire idea of releasing the creature creator is to have a population of creatures ready for when the game is released, as far as I've gathered. If so it makes no sense to limit it.

    Is it as simple as "we think we can get a few bucks off of this so let's charge for it", or is there some other reason?
    • by Daimanta ( 1140543 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @02:36PM (#23842889) Journal
      You've answered your own question. People are willing to pay for both the creature editor and the game. So EA lets them and rakes in the cash.
      • by SQLGuru ( 980662 )
        Or at least gives them some info about you so that they can ban you and all future attempts to buy your way back in.

      • I think it is just that. There have been a few posts on /. about it. The general concensus seems to be that $10.00 is below the mark of caring for a lot of people and if they can get 2 or 3 hours out of it then it was worth it, and if they can't then no big deal. The creature editor will come as part of the game too, so you don't have to buy both, it is just also made available separatly for people that want to try it out early. If $10.00 is too much for you then you can get the preorder bundle [] for $54.
    • by k_187 ( 61692 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @02:37PM (#23842897) Journal
      I would also imagine that charging $10 for it allows them to easily weed out all the people making penis head creatures and uploading them.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Sadly, not true. There are already a pile of penis creatures out there including a goatse one. There's some youtube links to a lot of them on a Bluenews thread I was reading yesterday (sadly BN is blocked here at work so I can't reference any of them at the moment).
        • Those are made with the free editor. What the GP meant was that EA probably only puts creatures made with the full version of the editor into the final game, as the amount of penis creatures should be lower. They will still have to hand-pick the creatures they put in the final version though.
      • by mobby_6kl ( 668092 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @03:03PM (#23843287)
        That [] doesn't [] seem [] to be [] working [] that [] well. []

        Anyway, it's not surprising that it "phones home", considering that it's supposed to be online/sharing oriented, and needs to contect the servers. As far as SecuROM, the version I got from TPB works fine, although that doesn't mean SecuROM didn't install silently.
    • I believe they are charging because they know that plenty of people are willing to shell out a piddly $10 for an early crack at the creature editor. Not to say you were implying otherwise, but they obviously have every right to do this.

      I doubt very much they will have any problem churning out ample creatures for the full release.
      • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *

        they know that plenty of hackers are willing to shell out a piddly $10 to be the first to produce an early crack for the creature editor.

        There, fixed that for you.

    • The not-so-evil answer is that if you release all of the creature features right now for free, upon release of the game there wouldn't be surprises left in terms of these features -- you would have seen 'em all.

      I'm assuming of course that the paid creature editor isn't released yet (or isn't gonna be released anytime soon, at least significantly before the game's release).

      On the other hand, if it HAS been released, then the reason's exactly as you said.
    • by Chyeld ( 713439 )
      You did notice the letters "EA" in the summary, correct? Have you seen the number of expansion packs, deluxe packs, and megauber packs they release? Especially ones like the Sims?

      While Spore might be Sid's attempt to get around this (it's hard to sell an expansion pack when all the content is user/procedurally generated), that just means they are going to do their best to squeeze out every last cent they can out of the game.
    • The game has several phases, each one expanding on the previous phases. Creature, family, colony, planet, etc.
      • by Mascot ( 120795 )
        Yes, we all know that. But they're not selling each phase individually, unless they've gone completely crazy and the press somehow failed to pick up on that development.

        The question was whether they had tried to justify demanding payment for the full version of the creature editor versus the free limited version. Especially since the people creating creatures are in effect working on creating content for the game for free. Any justification beyond "we think we can milk a few more bucks out of people this wa
        • Should be...

          Especially since the people creating creatures are in effect working on creating content for the game for fun.

          That evil EA, charging people for letting them have fun? How dare they! I bet they'll even want to charge for the actual Spore game too! Travesty!

          • by Mascot ( 120795 )

            They're charging them to save EA money on creating the initial content themselves. There's a difference.

            Anyhoo, dead horse and all that.

  • Typical... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Stormwatch ( 703920 ) <<moc.liamtoh> <ta> <oarigogirdor>> on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @02:35PM (#23842875) Homepage
    Legit version has malware-ish features. Warezed version will certainly be clean. Do they WANT people to pirate or what?!
    • I was looking for info on this. I blocked its net access with my firewall because I felt the game would probably try to connect to their servers (something acceptable considering the games psuedo-online design), but I didn't know if I was going to buy into the full version (of Spore, not creature creator) until I found out exactly what EA was pulling across my network.

      So what exactly does this thing do in terms of information sharing? (or stealing)

    • This game will call home by its very nature. Yet people are shocked that its calling home? Remember the who dynamic experience thing?
  • It's quite entertaining (Goatse-monster aside) to toy with this program.

    Some of the limits in the creator are a bit silly (like only having carnivore mouth options and not including herbi- and omnivore), but it's still fun, and very easy to learn to use.

    I can't wait to get my hands on the full game - but I really hope I get to set the language myself and not be limited to whatever the installer has detected on my system.
  • SecuROM (Score:4, Informative)

    by FnordX ( 115944 ) <fnord&cyberspace,org> on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @02:37PM (#23842905)
    The "free" demo does also come bundled with SecuROM, so, downloader beware.

    Also, it includes about 8 items out of each of the menus. If you're wanting to, you can pay the full price for the demo and get everything, and then proceed to upload your content to help out the developers by allowing them to have content ready when the game launches.

    So, basically, you're paying EA to make their game world better, and they don't even trust you enough to give you access to the limited edition of the demo without some pretty intrusive spyware. And EA wonders why they get such a bad rep?
  • by the brown guy ( 1235418 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @02:43PM (#23842997) Journal
    Gotta love the penis monsters....nothing beats getting your entire civilization wiped out by being that rock with their cocks out....

    <a href="">When spore penis monsters attack</a>, you can't beat the title.
  • I've been looking forward to the creature creator for some time. Ever since I was a kid, I have had a really overactive imagination...something like this is exactly what I have been looking for!

    Given the horrible fact that the retail game will have SecuRom, I will likely just buy a copy in the store, then download and play a cracked copy.

    I've heard rumours that the creature editor contains SecuRom as well, but that doesn't bother me TOO much at this point...likely gonna be formatting my computer soon anywa
    • If you play the cracked version you can almost guarantee you won't be able to participate in the automatic content sharing, so you'd be playing an offline version only while the full game is multi-single-user
      • by Pojut ( 1027544 )
        That all depends on what they use to validate individual users. If it just goes by CD key, then it won't matter because I will have a retail copy:-)

        Here's hoping, anyway...
        • I know the pirated pre-release of the creature editor was banned from content sharing and it doesn't have any key :)
  • Now all we need is the vaginasaurus to go with it.. []
  • by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @03:02PM (#23843277) Journal []

    That one had me laugh out loud at work today. ;)
  • by Knara ( 9377 )

    Turns out the leaked version of this has been around for at least a week. Various xChan boards have been doing threads featuring a variety of memes that were created using it.

    Not terribly surprised that the "demo" is crippled. It's EA after all. Too bad about the SecureROM nonsense, though.

    • by k_187 ( 61692 )

      Not terribly surprised that the "demo" is crippled.

      Isn't that kind of the definition of a demo?
      • by Knara ( 9377 )

        Eh. I prefer the time-limiting or similar idea for demos to the crippled demos. The whole bit where one imagines that someone will want to play a game by making them play a crippled version of it before hand always seemed odd to me.

        It's like trying to sell strawberry-banana icecream by giving people a sample of banana icecream, and then saying "now imagine if it had STRAWBERRY too!"

  • for it seems we will need their 'fixes' to be able to play our LEGITIMATELY purchased version of this game.

    on a sidenote, i have to ask - has it become a tradition to hire iditos for top level management positions in gaming firms ?
    • by malkavian ( 9512 )
      Nah, it's tradition to hire people with the business and finance degrees.. You know, the ones that ran Enron, the property markets and so on..
    • on a sidenote, i have to ask - has it become a tradition to hire iditos for top level management positions in gaming firms ?
      You say that as a joke, but it's not. You have no idea...
  • There's one post in that thread that says something very vague about an encrypted communication, and the rest advocates disconnecting your Internet connection. That's not news, it's hearsay.

    Now, SecuROM in the installer-- that is worthy of note.

  • On "Phoning home" (Score:5, Informative)

    by Suddenly_Dead ( 656421 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @03:15PM (#23843447)
    The game does utilize an internet connection for legitimate purposes. The banner at the start seems to be loaded off the internet (advertising the full game). There's a section in the "Sporepedia" that has links to purchase the game, advertisements for Spore merchandise and other things which I would think are loaded dynamically off the net. And the game of course lets you create and upload creations.

    More, you know, evidence of malicious intent would be nice before people start running around like the sky is falling.
    • Also, when the banners at the start are displaying, the game connects to the patch servers to see if any patches are available. There just aren't any yet.

      Hardly malicious, nor even particularly unexpected.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Yeah, you're right, just because someone has their hand in your pocket doesn't mean that they're going to take anything out. Oh wait, I don't like having someone put their hand in my pocket. To be honest the phone home feature isn't as onerous as the 3 validation limit. If you change video cards, hard drives, OS, or make a variety of undisclosed changes to your system they break your game. Why bother paying for that? I change components frequently, and would have to pay for this games 3 times a year, n
      • One would hope after the Mass Effect debacle they'll dump the 3 activation thing.

        Curious how it's going to work with the direct download version. That's the one I'll probably buy (unless I want to wait god knows how long for any store near me to get the damn thing) but I'm going to wait and see what restrictions there are as I have 3 computers I want to install it on. (My desktop and laptop, and the kids computer.)
      • Uh oh, don't tell Windows! You'll have to reactive it too!
        • The preceding Engrish has been brought to you by Caffeine, and its ongoing battle against the Preview button.
      • You're not going to convince anyone to stop making any applications that utilize the Internet.

        The activation limit I'm definitely not a fan of though. Having to call every time I reinstall Windows is stupid enough, but if it gets to the point where I need to do it for every damn piece of software I buy, I'm just going to stop paying for them.

  • Great Old Ones (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cptnapalm ( 120276 )
    I might be interested in this game if I can make Cthulhu & the Gang. Otherwise, meh.
  • Why buy? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by zuggy40 ( 951875 )
    This is a perfect example of what I like to call "BioShock Conundrum" (since that was my first experience). Why buy when pirating is a more enjoyable and pleasant experience?
  • sporn (Score:4, Funny)

    by Dillenger69 ( 84599 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @05:42PM (#23845913) Homepage
    We're being inundated with penis monsters.

    It's a new category: sporn

    yay for innovation.
  • by azuredrake ( 1069906 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @10:22PM (#23849357)

    Hey guys,

    I just wanted to point out what nobody has said (for North America, anyway) yet: If you buy the Creature Stand Alone, it counts as a preorder for Spore, in that if you buy spore at the EA online download thingy you get the CSA's price back off your purchase.

    Now I'm not naive enough to think that that's going to stop most readers here from just warezing it anyway, but breaking the law is breaking the law; so for those of you who want to do it legit, this will save you money.

    • "... breaking the law is breaking the law;" ...

      So: all laws are equal? They all have the same moral and ethical value? I think not.

      Too many laws in recent years have been passed for reasons of power and profit, rather than morals or ethics. There is a big difference.

      Some laws DESERVE to be ignored!
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by azuredrake ( 1069906 )

        Some people opt on principle not to break laws. The above information would be useful for them to know, if they value both lawfulness and pragmatism and are trying to make a decision.

        I also work in the game industry, so people talking about pirating games does tend to piss me off. If you don't like the product, simply don't buy it - that is your message. Pretending your piracy is noble because you "stick it to the man" is a convenient invention to assuage the periodic pangs of morality which sometimes o

        • Lawfulness is only virtuous when the laws represent virtue. When laws begin to represent exploitation more than virtue, then you have a moral obligation toward civil disobedience.
        • Clarification (Score:3, Interesting)

          I am not trying to state that unlawful copying is a good thing in the vast majority of cases. But, on the other hand, NOBODY has a right to install software (rootkits, malware, services) on my computer without my PRIOR CONSENT.


          The latter offense is vastly greater than the former. One might deprive a business of a bit of profit (at least theoretically, but in practice it is far less than claimed). The other is an unforgivable intrusion into someone's personal world and personal information.
        • So you never speed or jaywalk? Some laws do more harm than good and need to be rewritten.

          As for pirating; stop screwing your customers and we'll gladly pay you for a quality product. I was one of many that got screwed when I legally purchased BioShock. As a result, I will not be purchasing (or pirating) any game that has SecuRom. The recipe for success is simply. Good game + target audience - intrusive DRM = $$$

          Stop dicking around your customers and you'll have a lot less to be pissed off about.
  • I'm now on my 4th support ticket with EA, and I still don't have a working program installed on my computer. Next time, I'm only buying the disc version.
    1. I thought the download was available on the 18th. Wrong, it's available at 12 noon on the 18th. *sigh* Why make a program available starting in the middle of the day?
    2. The EA Download Manager isn't downloading the full version. Because I have the trial version installed already. Uninstall that.
    3. Fyi, your instructions to uninstall don't work. The tri
  • Thank you for releasing the SPORE Creature Creator on an international world wide scale. Except for in Australia, where you've left us out in the cold with no where to legitimately order, pay for and download our very own copy.
    You jerks.

    Lots of love,
  • I downloaded the trial version of Spore Creature Creator to see what this game is about. I install the game fine but when I fire it up for the first time I get...

    "A required security module cannot be activated. This program cannot be executed (5016)."

    What the hell is that? Apparently,

    "SecuROM has determined that some File Monitor program is running in the background. Please close this program and reboot your PC before you start the application." Page here []

    Right. File Monitor program? Please elaborate

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