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Spore Almost Ready for Production, Complete With "Sporn" 127

It seems that there has been some backlash over questionable creature creation with the Spore creation tool. Some of this content has been cleverly and obviously nicknamed 'Sporn'. For better or worse, Spore's Producer Thomas Vu is saying the long-awaited game should be ready for production in about a week, keeping it on track for the announced September 7th release.
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Spore Almost Ready for Production, Complete With "Sporn"

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  • Rule 34. (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    There is sporn of it. No exceptions.

    If there is not sporn of it, someone will design sporn of it.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Everyone seems to love rule 34 but I wish more people would remember rules 1 and 2!
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @02:22PM (#24420839)

    Did they pull the phone-home copy protection or not?

    • by MagusZeal ( 1156955 ) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @02:49PM (#24421305)
      When they pulled it from Mass Effect they said they'd do the same with Spore, we're still left with the crappy ass token activation scheme along with authenticating when you first start it and on new patches. I really hate token activation, but they at least pulled the phone home every ten or so days crap.
  • DRM? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kamots ( 321174 ) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @02:24PM (#24420877)

    And... has there been any announcement in changes to DRM?

    I'll gladly give them my $50 if I get a game that'll stay a game.

    But when the single player aspects of a game will only work as long as the DRM servers are kept up... well... $50 for something that turns into a plastic coaster whenever EA wants seems just a tad excessive.

    • Maybe it will be available on Steam?
      • Re:DRM? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @02:35PM (#24421057)

        And that changes what? That it will be working as long as there is Steam? Where's the difference, if I may ask?

        Even Steam being around forever doesn't mean the game will work forever. Let's assume for a moment that the whole parents' outcry crap hits the fans and Jack Thompson or some other loonie hypes it so far out of proportion that a court declares that hey, EA can turn the game off any time they want, so they have to.

        And snap.

        And then? Oh sure, if you can still find that receipt, you may even be allowed to get some other EA game as compensation. Now, I buy my games online, I don't even have a "real", physical receipt. And I buy EA games at a rate of about 1 every 10 years or so. Then again, I buy games at a rate of about one or two a year...

        Whatever you do, it all comes down to one single flaw: You buy a game, but EA retains the ability to disable your copy or all copies essentially at will whenever they either want to or are forced to for some reason. They could decide that you should have bought the game elsewhere, so your copy is invalid (see orange box for reference). They could decide that you created such a porn animal and thus for some reason your license is invalid (yeah, you can try to fight that out. Good luck). They could essentially pull whatever reason out of their ass and just disable your copy.

        Why, again, should I spend money to hang at EA's leading-string?

        • just as a quick point in reference to Steam, there is an option to bring the game "offline" and and still be ensured that it will work properly. If steam is going to go down, all you have to do is bring the games you bought offline.
          • You have to log in to your account every so often for those "offline" games to work...

            • by Mascot ( 120795 )

              Got proof? I've never had it try to force me online and Steam on my laptop is pretty much permanently in offline mode.

          • That still doesn't account for future operating system reinstalls or new computers - you may have paid for the game, but how do you install it on another computer if the game's been disabled from the server side?

            Correct me if I'm wrong - I don't use Steam - but I'm not aware of any "backup to CD/DVD" option, let alone one that doesn't include DRM on the disc.

                  --- Mr. DOS

            • by pdusen ( 1146399 )
              Steam allows you to make perfectly disc-sized backups of your games for as many discs as you like. They also give you the option to break it into custom sizes.
              • Ah, thanks for telling me. Do you know what sort of protection is on the discs? Are the burnt games already set up for fully offline use, or do they still require activation through Steam?

                      --- Mr. DOS

                • Steam backups only store the files (i.e.: I'm moving to a new computer, and don't want to have to download my ~20GB Steam folder). It doesn't do anything in terms of the copy protection. Supposedly, you can even borrow a backup disc from a friend for a game you don't own, restore it into your Steam, and be left with a block of useless files because you don't have access in your account. But if you bought it, you'd be fine. pdusen: Mr. DOS is more interested in stripping DRM (i.e.: a "backup" of a DVD mo
                  • Which takes us back to the "what if Steam doesn't exist anymore" problem. How am I going to validate my newly installed games?

                    If I got your comment right, it means that I can install from whatever medium, even from the CD a friend lent me, but I have to validate them with the Steam server to prove that I am legally installing those copies and that I bought them. Now, what if the server doesn't exist anymore?

                    • by pdusen ( 1146399 )
                      I don't have a source readily available, but it's generally believed amongst steam users that, should Valve go under or some other such thing prompt the server going down for good, there is already a mechanism in place to remove the need to authenticate games.
                    • Anything supporting that or is it more some sort of wishful thinking?

        • On my laptop, I vastly prefer "phone home" systems to CD-in-drive style protection. I sure as hell don't want to haul around CDs for every game I have installed on my laptop.

        • by Mascot ( 120795 )

          And that changes what? That it will be working as long as there is Steam? Where's the difference, if I may ask?

          The difference, for me, is that Steam is a distribution platform. If they go out of business I'll lose the ability to install my Steam games on any new machines, but that's a side effect, not its purpose. As long as they stay in business, I'll have access to my games, no restrictions (with exception of Bioshock, and they added a warning label to that).

          DRM of the type that's becoming popular lately, purely exists to ensure you don't own what you bought. It adds nothing of value, while taking quite a bit away

          • Whether that's a side-, by-, or main effect I don't give a rat's behind. A game I bought and paid for stops working because the parent company goes under, I'm pissed. You are aware that you could not play Master of Orion 2 anymore if it had that kind of protection, yes? At least I'd deem it very unlikely that some sort of activation server would have survived the consecutive takeovers of Microprose. You enjoyed Railroad Tycoon 2? Say byebye, unless Take2 would want to continue running the PopTop games, and

            • by Mascot ( 120795 )

              Whether that's a side-, by-, or main effect I don't give a rat's behind. A game I bought and paid for stops working because the parent company goes under, I'm pissed. You are aware that you could not play Master of Orion 2 anymore if it had that kind of protection, yes?

              I was talking about Steam, specifically. There's quite a lot that separates what Steam does from what authentication based DRM does.

              Steam and Stardock are services I appreciate and use. They are so damn convenient and time saving for me that I accept the fact that I will no longer be able to download those games from them once they go out of business. This is not because they are evil and require authentication and limits amounts of installs or anything of the sort. It's simply because they do not exist any

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Months ago, as mentioned on Wikipedia, the phone home every 10 day behavior was pulled. It still phones home on installation, but that's it.

      You can install 3 times before you need to contact EA and ask them to recharge your key for further installations.

      • So in other words, I can still only install it as long as EA agrees that the game should be playable?

        I don't trust them. Their record of "annual titles" is stunning, and I do consider it far from impossible that my game(s) will suddenly stop working as soon as the next incarnation hits the streets, so I have to rebuy it.

        • So in other words, I can still only install it as long as EA agrees that the game should be playable?

          Yeah, sort of like the operating system you're running the game on.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward
            Yeah... because millions of people can't use XP anymore now that Vista is official. The DRM boogie man has killed XP. OHS NOES!!! Guess I'm the exception, because afaik, I'm still on XP and going just fine.
            • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

              by Anonymous Coward

              XP requires activation too, idiot.

              • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

                by Anonymous Coward

                Did I just call myself an idiot?

          • Huh? When did Wine become registration dependent?

      • by Kamots ( 321174 )

        Oh... and that makes thier ability to coasterfy what you purchased OK? Because you can get around it (kind of) if you happen to have it installed when they try to coasterfy it?

        There's still lots of game publishers out there that don't treat me like a criminal. I'll give them my money. EA can keep thier game.

        • There's still lots of game publishers out there that don't treat me like a criminal. I'll give them my money. EA can keep thier game.

          ... yes. They can keep their game - not because they treat me like a criminal, but because I'm going to act like one.

          I figure that if they assume I'm going to pirate the game ... I might as well pirate it - since they assume I'm not paying for it, they shouldn't me in their sales projections.

          The only problem that arises... is ... what if they assume everyone is going to pirate it? Is it an instant success when it sells anything?

          • by Kamots ( 321174 )

            I hope you're not suggesting that I'm pirating?

            If you choose to that's your business, although I disagree with you that you should.

            • Why not purchase it ... then pirate it. Everyone wins. EA gets more of your money, and you get a product that works.

              Ubisoft is already approaching the sale of their products like this - you pay for a product, you play with a pirated version! [ubi.com]
              • by Kamots ( 321174 )

                For much the same reason that I don't buy RIAA music. By purchasing thier good I'm voting in support of thier business model.

                Combine that with the fact that cracking the DRM is illegal... (although I'd argue that it is moral)

                I'll simply play other games.

                • Combine that with the fact that cracking the DRM is illegal

                  Only in the land of the free (USA). Another reason I'm glad I don't live there.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by umbrellasd ( 876984 )
      So, I've payed > $13.99 * 48 = $672 to play WoW over the past 2 and a half years and they can turn it off whenever. $50 might just be a bargain.
    • Re:DRM? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nEoN nOoDlE ( 27594 ) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @04:17PM (#24422975) Homepage

      $50 for something that turns into a plastic coaster whenever EA wants seems just a tad excessive.

      Then you must hate going to the movies and paying $12 bucks for not even a coaster. I don't know about you but I judge the cost of entertainment based on, well, the entertainment aspect of it. For $50, you're not getting a cd, you're getting a certain amount of entertainment. I'm probably gonna be modded down as a DRM apologist, but Spore is probably the most anticipated game of this year and it's been in production for around 6 or 7 years. As such, it will also be the most pirated. The DRM will of course be cracked eventually, and probably pretty quickly, but I don't see anything wrong with trying to delay the piraters so they might actually go out and purchase the game.

      To some (like you), having the DRM on their disk will be inconvenient enough that they will wait for the crack. To others, not having a crack for the game immediately will be inconvenient enough for them to purchase it. Since regular people still don't even know what DRM is, I'm betting that the latter outnumbers the former, and that Microsoft made the most logical move.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Padron the pedantry, but Spore was the most anticipated game three years ago, a highly anticipated game two years ago, an overdue and expected game last year, and an 'awaited' game this year.

      • I don't know about you but I judge the cost of entertainment based on, well, the entertainment aspect of it. For $50, you're not getting a cd, you're getting a certain amount of entertainment.

        That's nice. That really doesn't matter at all because of the way the game is presented and the expectations of the customers, but it's nice to know you'll maintain such a positive attitude.

        As such, it will also be the most pirated.

        It'll also make a shitload of money despite being pirated. It's unlikely it'd actually lose any significant amount otherwise. Worse, every step they take to lock down the game increases the value of the cracked version. The legitimate customers are the ones that pay for it. Actually, I wonder how many people won't b

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Blackhalo ( 572408 )
        "I don't see anything wrong with trying to delay the piraters so they might actually go out and purchase the game."

        Strangely I find it pretty easy to find something wrong with DRM. It will be cracked before the game hits the store shelves, so it's only remaining purpose is to take control of what I would have been willing to pay for from me. The value of the free version exceeds the value of the paid for version. So why would I pay?

        http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&rlz=1G1GGLQ_ [google.com]
      • The thing is, had the DRM been dropped, and the price be dropped, the chances of piracy would be much lower.

        But what do I know. Some people download games and such just because they can, they refuse to pay whatever price. Personally I've only done it twice, and both times for more obscure japanese GBA games. (and I might do it for the Tingle games on DS, if only because Nintendo won't sell them to me)

        Spore is a game that deserves the 40$-50$ asking price. It's like the (original) Sims.

      • For $50, you're not getting a cd, you're getting a certain amount of entertainment.

        And so what happens if the game gets shut off when you've only gotten half the amount of entertainment you'd expected to get for your $50? When you go to a movie, you know up front how long it is and that you can't take it home with you except in your memory. When you buy a game, you buy it with the expectation that you can spend as many hours playing it and replaying it as you want - if that gets limited AFTER you've put
        • I guess that depends on how much expectation you have for your $50 game. You might expect an hour and a half in a movie, but there's no guarantee that it's gonna be a good movie. My decision on whether my $12 was well spent is based on whether the movie was good, even if it's 75 minutes and not the 90 I was expecting. On the other hand, if a movie is a 3 hour bore, then I'll still feel ripped off and my time was wasted, even though I got 3 hours of "entertainment" from the movie. The same goes for a game. F

          • a) Plenty of people will leave in the middle of a crappy movie and ask for their money back because they haven't gotten their money's worth.

            b) If you decide a game is crap, you can usually resell it to get at least some of your money back. If some DRM swoops in and makes the game with XXX serial # unplayable, you lose that ability.

            Most of your argument is pretty much meaningless in this context anyhow - it doesn't matter exactly how many hours/dollar a person expects, and whether that expectation is t
          • by Kamots ( 321174 )

            So by that logic you only expect 2500 hours of operation out of a $20k car?

            You only expect to be able to use your $150k house for a tad over 2 years?

            There's a difference between purchasing a good and a service. $12 to the theater is $12 for a service. $50 to a game publisher is $50 for a good.

            If you wish to start paying them $50 for a service, that's your prerogative. I however won't. They get my $50 when they provide me with a good.

      • I think it's a paradigm shift, and an unwelcome one since it's being rammed down our throats rather than any sort of general evolution.

        You can't just say that "it's fine" without understanding the market standard.
        Previously, if you BOUGHT a computer game, it was YOURS, FOREVER. Yes, gameplay got old and computer systems changed, but essentially like a piece of art, or a book, you could always go back and appreciate it again.

        EA is trying to forcefully change that paradigm; how would the art community like i

  • by sshuber ( 1274006 ) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @02:25PM (#24420893)
    You know that after this launches and little Johnny visits his friends planet with giant penii walking around and his Mom and Dad see it there is going to be a meltdown in the parent sector. I think if GTA San Andreas proves anything, it's fine for our children to shoot cops all day long and beat up hookers, but as soon as they get a glimpse of something sexual the parents' heads start spinning a la the Exorcist.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Opportunist ( 166417 )

      What's really funny is that it usually requires a pretty dirty mind to see anything "sexual" in the sporne monsters. It's a bit like complaining at an inkblot-test that your shrink is showing you all those perverted pics.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You must not have looked at very many of them!

      • Put down your braille keyboard for a moment, and ask a friend to model a user-created Spore creature with Play-Doh or something. Now put one hand on that model, and if you're male - and equipped with two hands - the other hand over your genitals.

        Do you get it now?

    • It's single player. You can't visit your 'friends.' Also, there is an in-game setting to only download community content that has been reviewed and okayed by people at EA. Meaning no dicks, tits, or balls.
      • Can you make your own Sporn for your world?

        • Of course that's how all the sporn got created in the first place, by people defining how their own race should look. Feel free to make penis monsters to your heart's content. (actually my favorite was "The Beast With Two Backs", euphemism made literal heh)

      • Is there a setting to ONLY download sporn?
        • by bugnuts ( 94678 )

          You can have it prefer your creatures over others.

          The reason it's connected is that it downloads creatures other have made for you single player experience. That means the more people play, the more variation there is. As a result, it's a bit harder to play without an internet connection.

          They bill it as a "massively single-player game."

      • by Joe U ( 443617 )

        okayed by people at EA. Meaning no dicks...or balls.

        And if you toggle it the other way, you have EA management.

    • Welcome to the uptight U.S. of A. This is still mostly a puritan country as far as sex is concerned, nowhere near as sexually progressive as, say, The Netherlands. I agree, the whole "sex is as bad as violence" shit has always bugged the hell out of me. Maybe as future generations grow up and have their own kids, we'll collectively start to move away from that mindset.
      • "as bad as"? In all seriousness, given the supposed American outcry over nudity in games, nudity is actually deemed worse than violence.

        This reminds me of an interview I read a few years back where a European gaming company was interested in getting their game introduced to the U.S. market. Supposedly, the conversation went something like this...

        Euro dev: "It seems the US does not tolerate any nudity, but our game features some. Are there exceptions?"
        US marketer: "Well it all depends on how it is portray

        • by OmniGeek ( 72743 ) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @04:27PM (#24423099)

          Screwed up? Yep, we've got lotsa that, all right.

          I recall reading, several years ago, an interview that the head of Britain's film censorship board gave on the occasion of his retirement (i.e, now that he was able to speak his mind freely without contradicting policies he was required to uphold). Basically, he said that he thought that, as regards media depictions, that sex was a fine and healthy thing for society, while violence wasn't. He thought that Britain (and societies in general) would do well to be less concerned with censoring sexual content, and more concerned with violent content.

          Now, while I thoroughly enjoy playing CS with a group of fellow forty-somethings who understand that IT'S JUST A GAME, I must say that I agree with that fellow's opinion. (I don't really know how to reconcile the inherent conflict here, BTW. )

          • I don't see any inherent contradiction to reconcile.

            As long as you're aware that it's just a game (and everyone over an IQ of 50 is), either sex or violence doesn't matter, essentially.

            Outside of the game or the movie, the concerns and attitudes of some societies and cultures _are_ weird. It's funny to see people demonizing sex, as some uber-danger to society and uber-deadly-sin, while at the same time lionizing murder and murderers. It seems to me like some priorities are awfully screwed up there, if you c

        • I'm not interested in seeing some 12-year-old's puerile attempt at humour with his penis monsters. I get to see that spray-painted in my office parking lot, on road signs, in public washrooms, etc. I have even seen the ol' "cock'n'balls" on downloadable Miis on the Wii.

          At least EA will offer some choices [cnn.com]:

          EA plans to make sure nobody sees the content if they don't want to, Bradshaw said. When playing "Spore," users will be given three choices regarding people's creations: to receive no outside content, to

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by maxume ( 22995 )

        The U.S. is, at least in several ways, quite a lot more liberal about sex than several Islamic countries.

        • Oh for sure, the US is better than some Islamic countries. But we still suck. Europe has the right idea.
        • The U.S. is, at least in several ways, quite a lot more liberal about sex than several Islamic countries.

          That's a bit like saying regular people are smarter than retarded people. It might be true, but it's a completely useless measurement.
        • Because the Islamic countries are so liberal about sex!
      • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @03:48PM (#24422427)

        Violence is easier to teach as right and wrong, you get hit it hurts, so you know that if you hit someone else it hurts thus henceforth there is a direct cause the wrongness of violence. Sex if abused takes time before truly understanding the consequences, as the act feels good for both parties, issues of psychological attachment issues, teenage parents, economic problems, medical problems, and other risks. Makes it far more difficult to teach, responsibility, as all the effects are what ifs and could happen and protection offers better chances but not 100%.... All very difficult for stupid kids/teens to comprehend. As well American culture isn't properly designed to deal with these issues so when there is a teen pregnancy it is treated as a problem of society.

    • penii


    • Just wait till they discover what kids can get up to with paper and crayons!

  • by nweaver ( 113078 ) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @02:36PM (#24421073) Homepage

    Ctrl-Alt-Del [ctrlaltdel-online.com] put it very well.

  • am I the only one who thinks it's funny...and clever that they used the name "sporn" as opposed to "s-porn" or something similar?

    I must be getting old I guess.

    • by nawcom ( 941663 )

      heh.. i mean no personal offense when i say.. yeah, it's probably just you. :) To get into technicalities of play-on words, you usually aim for the new word to at least be the same number of syllables, so s-porn would never work.

      Uh oh, I just realized that I'm replying to a post about something only a loser geek would point out. oh well.

  • if it wont install because of the other software on my computer I'm not worried, because it wont say so until well after I try to install in Canada I can sue them for the scam.
  • For the curious: (Score:4, Informative)

    by merreborn ( 853723 ) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @03:21PM (#24421897) Journal

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/scott/spore-porn [buzzfeed.com]
    http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=191255 [computeran...ogames.com]

    I find this one particularly amusing in its simplicity:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnUXnnH6sY0 [youtube.com]

  • by porcupine8 ( 816071 ) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @03:41PM (#24422263) Journal
    One Spore fan told CNN: I consider this very similar to child pornography, at least to the extent of distributing the material to children.

    Child pornography: This isn't it.
  • Spoon boy: Do not try and spank the sporn. That's impossible. Instead... only try to realize the truth.
    Neo: What truth?
    Spoon boy: There is no sporn.
    Neo: There is no sporn?
    Spoon boy: Then you'll see, that it is not the sporn that spanks, it is only yourself.

  • So does anyone know if the Mac version is going to have SecuROM?

    Will the Wii version be the same as the PC/Mac? With the same features, etc?

    • I haven't seen copy-protection on Mac which embeds itself in the OS like SecuROM does on Windows. Yet. I'd wait for reviews, since this is EA.

  • I've got nothing to do with this site... seems safe, but obviously NSFW
    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2008/06/18/nsfw-a-beginners-guide-to-sporn/ [rockpapershotgun.com]
  • hell, Like most of you, I too play a Female NE in WoW but that all changed when I could put a 6' mantenna on a 4' creature, I just couldn't pass it up!

The primary function of the design engineer is to make things difficult for the fabricator and impossible for the serviceman.