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Spore

From fish to demigod

[Darren Montgomery] At GC 2007 in Leipzig, Darren Montgomery was our tour guide for Spore.

Will Wright has created Sim City and The Sims, earning first Maxis and then their new owner Electronic Arts much money. Spore has an additional role: In the apparently endless stream of successors and clones EA is publishing, this sandbox strategy game is one of the few original titles. GamersGlobal just had an extensive look at the newest version of the game at GC 2007, approximately eight months before it's possible release in April 2008.

Update: Read our September 2008 review on Spore!

French translation (external)


Discovering Spore

While many games were playable by the public at this years' Games Convention (about 180.000 gamers attended), to get to a Spore presentation in Leipzig was not so easy. You had to (a) have access to the business part of the Games Convention (e.g. by registering as a journalist), (b) get into the EA hall (by having an appointment) and (c) find and get behind the following door. Luckily, GamersGlobal did and can tell you about it. Let's start with the most important part of Spore, the many editors (or you could say it's one editor which can edit nearly everything in the game). Afterwards, we'll walk you through the five distinct game stages, which were fully linked to each other for the first time in a trade show presentation.

[Spore door] Only a few journalists were allowed behind this particular door.

Player
0 EXP -
August 29, 2007 - 20:01 #

The one thing i would like to know is do the stages of the game actually have to end? or do you have a certain time for each stage. because i would like to spend more than 90 mins on the creature phase!

Player
0 EXP -
August 29, 2007 - 21:22 #

no you dont have to go on to the next stage. you just select the higher brain level in the creature editor to move on.

Player
0 EXP -
August 29, 2007 - 22:01 #

they made it sound kinda lame in the end, but i have confidence Spore will be great.

Player
0 EXP -
August 29, 2007 - 22:20 #

no you dont buy new brains. they took that out a while ago. but i still wana know how you can have 15 people and continue to stay in tribal and not progress. maby the transactions take time. idk but i do wana have and underwater creature which only seams possible by staying in cell.

Player
0 EXP -
August 30, 2007 - 02:44 #

uderwater creatures are no longer in the game they might be in a expansion pack though

Jörg
5433 EXP -
August 30, 2007 - 09:54 #

In the presentation, Darren Montgomery told me that you could go on in Tribe Mode and conquer all of the 5 - 6 tribes (instead of conquering or convincing only 2 - 3 of them, which gives you enough tribesmen). So progressing to the next stage definitely is optional.

Player
0 EXP -
August 30, 2007 - 12:35 #

My hope is that they will be supportive towards modders in addition to the casual creativity that the basic (and extensive!) options allow.

I for one would rather play with a more restricted evolutionary model.
Not realism per se, but with very high penalties for radically altering bodyplans.

I have always been a fan of sandbox games in which the world goes on whether you do anything or not.
Many days were spent battling invasive mapletrees in simEarth, even though the game was years old when it came into my pawns. Had a whole herd of creatures in C1 and C2 and in B&W I am usually found tending the forrest rather than the humans.

As a biochemist specialising in plant development, I am looking forward to creating nice plants as well. :D

I am confident Will will allow you to hang around any stage for as long as you can take it. He knows that at some point you will get bored with trying all the options available to you after stretching things out. So eventuallly you WILL start that nuclear world encompassing war (civ reference).

Player
0 EXP -
August 31, 2007 - 00:22 #

i hope the game will come out in o8 instide of o9 becouse 2 years of wanting to play the game is driving me crazy

Player
0 EXP -
August 31, 2007 - 00:33 #

Coming out in 09? Urge to kill... rising!

Player
0 EXP -
September 1, 2007 - 22:52 #

Things appear to be pretty much on track for a 08 release.

Player
0 EXP -
August 31, 2007 - 04:57 #

How come there isn't any new info? I found all of this out six months ago.

Player
0 EXP -
September 1, 2007 - 19:52 #

Well, most of the features have been announced before, indeed, but this preview (together with another one at GameSpot) for the first time tells you how you really progress from stage to stage. A good read! They could have included more new screenshots, though.

Player
0 EXP -
September 1, 2007 - 23:37 #

nothing of this is new!! why? this drives me crazy. is it so hard to give some new information?!

Player
0 EXP -
September 15, 2007 - 01:20 #

I've heard March for a release month but also 2009.

Either way, it looks great!

Jörg
5433 EXP -
October 2, 2007 - 15:45 #

@Anonymous: To my knowledge, EA still plans to release it in "Spring 2008". The game looked like a typical beta version (instead of alpha), so I think we're talking months here, not years. Well, let's see...

Knurrunkulus
2674 EXP -
October 30, 2007 - 01:38 #

In fact one of the few really useful previews I ever read about "Spore". Now I can imagine what it's all about.

And I'm afraid. Because keeping in mind how much lifetime I already wasted in the Mii editor of the Nintendo Wii, I really can't even begin to imagine how much time I will spend in "Spore" with creating, yeah, things.

I'm really looking forward to it, one of my personal hypes. Hope that it doesn't get the hype-disease and fails.

Starkiller
1470 EXP -
October 30, 2007 - 21:00 #

I'm not much for replayability, once I'm through and had a feeling that I've seen pretty much everything, then I'm through, so I'm really hoping one can expand on the 20something hours mentioned in this article.

20 hours would be roughly one weekend for me, which doesn't seem much for a game you've been waiting for years to see it.

Anonymous (not verified)
0 EXP -
October 31, 2007 - 13:44 #

Well, I think there isn't much more to say about the game and there won't be very much more in future previews, because we know the concept we know the style, we know the diffrent gamestages and the editor. And that's it, that's your sandbox.
So what are you expecting of a Spore preview? Someone who tells you how to play?

Benztown (not verified)
0 EXP -
November 1, 2007 - 05:01 #

I have to say that I'm underwhelmed. I've been looking forward to this game for a long time now, but after this preview, Spore doesn't seem to be what I was hoping for. It sounds like a personalizable "Civilization". I'd have expected much more freedom.
Whatever you do, you seem to have to end up with some sort of mammal (possibly reptile) but anyway "humanlike". I'd have liked to try to mome up with something completely different, like an insect colony or something like the alien from the "Alien" movies. That thing doesn't need to have technology or clubs or spears to dominate the planet. I'd like to have different forms of reproduction (like one queen laying eggs or my creature undergoing some sort of metamorphosis or something completely crazy). Why do I have to build human like cities when I could have insect colonies in a totally different environment (which could be just as advanced).

Also, the confinement in the different stages is another bummer. Depending on the species I create, it would make sense to use group effects" early on. E.g. if I have a small, weak creature, it could work well in a group, but maybe not so well on its own.

Jörg
5433 EXP -
November 4, 2007 - 23:04 #

I guess there will be enough diversity for many games in Spore, but you're basically right (to my best knowledge): You won't be able to play a aquatic species, you won't have a civilization of intelligent gas clouds, so you're limited to a "species with legs and arms" (or very similar extensions). Still, let's wait for the finished product (or a playable beta for preview purposes), I really think that Will Wright is a master in his field.

onlinecasinopig (not verified)
0 EXP -
June 12, 2009 - 00:52 #

good result