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Spore Prototypes Put Up By Maxis For Free Download 45

azuredrake writes "According to GameDaily, EA today released a free download of a Spore prototype known as 'BIOME.' The download site describes BIOME as a program that 'uses a language based on chemical stoichiometry.' It goes on to note that 'cells in a BIOME simulation change state the same way that chemicals change when exposed to other chemicals. Systems such as this can be used to simulate phenomena such as forest fires, disease epidemics, animal migration patterns and crystallization.' Note that the link provided in the article is, in fact, incorrect. Here is the correct link. Apparently, many more prototypes giving insight into the dev process of one of the PC world's most-hyped games will be posted in the future, so keep an eye on it."
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Spore Prototypes Put Up By Maxis For Free Download

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  • by jrwr00 ( 1035020 )

    Im Glad i Pre Ordered Spore, but WOW, the stuff they are relasesing for free is amazing, i cant wait for the game, if this is a small part of the massive game OMFG!

  • by Yvan256 ( 722131 ) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @04:31PM (#24350753) Homepage Journal

    Will this thing also install SecuROM like their creature editor?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      There are just ziped dirs with the exe files in them no installers.

      • by EdZ ( 755139 )
        And a virus is an .exe disguised as pretty much anything else. Your point? Yes, it would be incredibly sneaky and unethical (and quite possibly illegal), but definitely not impossible or even improbable.
    • I sure would like to BUY this game when it comes out. But due to the draconian DRM, it looks like something I would be getting from the torrents instead.
      • I don't get it. Are you boycotting because of the anti-piracy DRM, or are you just assuming that you will have problems with it?

        It seems like if you think a game is worth paying for, you should buy it, and then download a cracked copy IF you had problems. And report the problems to customer support, loudly, so that the company learns in a *TRACEABLE* way that DRM is bad.

        A boycott is much less effective than escalated customer service traffic. A company like EA can't measure or even notice copies that are

        • Thats my plan. I'm buying it the moment I see it on a shelf, but If I can't bust out the DRM myself, I'll download and install a version that is fixed. I then plan on pursuing every possibility of complaining about the DRM. I don't want to think that Will Wright would endorse Securom based on his past history, so i can't see ripping him off. But the more overtime I can cause EA tech support, the better. It's too bad there is not a semi-official way you could get the fixed download and donate money to the ga
          • by yukk ( 638002 )
            That's not a bad idea. I plan on doing what GP has said and buying the game and then installing a cracked version using my real key. The only issue with this is that properly cracked versions are LESS likely to have problems than securom'd installs. As you were saying though, it would be an interesting option to have a retail channel on TPB where you could choose to download game X in non-DRM form by verifying your purchased key and receiving 99% of the D/L by BT and a custom pre-keyed exe directly.
        • I kind of think it's naive to think EA would put down SucuROM just because of complaints. They wouldn't put it in their games if they weren't scared of pirates (even though, with the amount of money they make, they have no reason to fear GIVING away copies). That fear, and the greed that fear comes from, is why, if you ever think they'll take away SecuROM, they'll really just replace it. For bettor or worse.
          • I agree, remember to EA (and most publishers) PC gamers are simply criminals that have not been busted yet. They would give your complaints about SecuROM the same weight a Warden would give prisoner complaints (which is non sans a court order to do so).
        • I have been eagerly anticipating it for a long time. I do plan to get a version of this game that does not include the phone home activation. I am willing to pay for that version. But if I have to download a cracked version to do so, I am less inclined to pay. I love Wright's stuff. I own, paid for, versions of every title he has released, including Sim Ant and every Sims Expansion. I, however, refuse to pay for "rentware." I will never buy XP, or anything that uses Steam. Galactic Civ 1 and 2. Thos
      • Aslong as SPORE includes the same 3 activation DRM policy which Mass Effect did there is no reason to buy the product.

        I purchased Mass Effect for PC, and I can blame noone other than myself for not getting into it's DRM policy but I frankly didn't think any company would ever do something like it. You see, Mass Effect (and SPORE) comes with 3 activations, activations that are eaten each time you do major hardware upgrades, buy a new computer or simply reinstall windows. In my ignorance I happily wasted my

      • If you pirate Spore instead of buying it, you'll be missing out on the "massive" function of the game, where creatures on the planets you visit are populated by the creations of other players. IMO, that's one of the game's coolest ideas and something I'd definitely want to have in.

        If only so I can make a planet full of my buddy's creations, and then nuke them into the stone age. Muahahahah! :P
    • Question - what about SecuROM is "installed"?

      DRM software is not malware just because you don't like what it does. AFAIK, SecuROM is just a wrapper that goes around a game EXE. When the game isn't running, SecuROM isn't running.

      If it is integrated into the game EXE, and it doesn't hide executable content on your hard drive, I don't see how you can claim that it's "installed".

      • by Yvan256 ( 722131 ) []:

        The use of SecuROM is very controversial. It installs a shell extension that prevents Windows Explorer from deleting 16-bit executables. [...] It can cause computer problems and people sometimes use cracked (cleaned up) executables on their original and legally purchased software that use SecuROM to avoid its effects.

        SecuROM 7.x, if run under a non-admin user account, installs its own service called UAService7.exe, which works in ring 3 of the computer's operating system

        • Wikipedia is all well and good, but I don't see any citation for the shell extension information, and can't find any information on it other than "it's in Wikipedia". And I've installed both Mass Effect and Spore Creature Creator, which use SecuROM protection, and I do not have any such services or extensions installed on my PC.

          Perhaps there are specific versions of SecuROM that can do these things, but a blanket statement that SecuROM is bad for your computer is not borne out by my own experience. I've n

          • by Yvan256 ( 722131 )

            I've read anecdotal stories from other slashdot members about SecuROM screwing their systems, they couldn't rip music CDs with iTunes, others couldn't burn DVDs correctly, etc.

  • Smooth, (Score:4, Informative)

    by cee--be ( 1308795 ) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @07:36PM (#24352507)
    you can download the prototype without agreeing to EA's terms by clicking the picture instead of the text on the prototype page. Nice work.
    • That didn't work for me, but I did enjoy counting the number of times the terms said "Tools & Materials" (22).

      But, I'm always cautious of downloading something with EA's name attached. []
      • Didn't work for me the second time I tried either, weird.
        • by ekhben ( 628371 )
          lrn2NoScript. There's a bit of JS on the page to prevent you clicking the image unless the checkbox is marked.
          • Except the first time I got it I hadn't agreed by clicking the check mark. I guess I still haven't. Does that mean I'm not bound by the terms of the agreement?
            • by ekhben ( 628371 )
              I'm not a lawyer, but speaking as a non-lawyer, I'd say it really doesn't matter -- the license agreement likely contains a bunch of unenforceable crap, and you're unlikely to do anything that would draw EA's attention.
              • I think it's a fairly interesting situation but you're probably right, nothing is likely to come of it even if it were repeated in other cases with different games/companies/media.
  • by AmonEzhno ( 1276076 ) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @07:50PM (#24352637)
    I'm confused, these things appear to be the software that underlies and makes spore work, not really a prototype, a lot of them are just modified (or maybe not ever) scientific software from what I can gather. Seems interesting, but prototype seems severely misleading.
    • by azuredrake ( 1069906 ) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @09:55PM (#24353707)
      Prototyping in games does not mean what it means in say, mechanical engineering. In the games industry, we build apps to test out and see how systems work and what would be fun to play. What you're seeing here is basic applications that were developed in order to see what might be fun to put in Spore.

      That's the reason I submitted it - because it's a cool window into the development process that can rarely be found in the game industry.
  • There's already a second prototype called ParticleMan. From the same page linked in the article: 'ParticleMan simulates gravitational attraction between particles in a cloud. This system was used to study such gravitational dynamics as orbits, nebula formation, star formation and particle streams from sources like pulsars and black holes.' Interesting? You bet.
  • by Boronx ( 228853 )

    MCell [] is a great cellular automaton simulator (like Biome) that's highly customizable. You can even write your own DLLs to link into it if their extensive rules customization options aren't enough for you. More fun and more accessible than Biome.

    One thing that Biome's got that MCell doesn't are these spiral CAs. What is the Spore team trying to do here? Graphics effects for space?

  • Is there a place to trade files that you have made? reply if you wanna trade.

Receiving a million dollars tax free will make you feel better than being flat broke and having a stomach ache. -- Dolph Sharp, "I'm O.K., You're Not So Hot"