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Spore Editor Available June 17th

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the get-yer-spore-on dept.

PC Games (Games) 119

Dr. Eggman writes "Ars Technica heralds the coming of the creature editor for the highly anticipated Spore. A previously promised downloadable demo of the creature editor from the game, due on September 7th, will be available June 17th. Furthermore, a full version of the creature editor will appear as a standalone product at the same time for $10. According to EA: 'The demo lets players shape, paint and play with an unlimited number of creatures, using 25 percent of the creature-making parts from Spore. Gamers can then share these creations with their friends, including seamless uploads to YouTube.'"

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119 comments

money off the full game? (2, Insightful)

cliffski (65094) | more than 6 years ago | (#23222526)

No mention of it, so it sounds like you will be paying this as a premium just to try out the editor before the game is finished, which doesn't appeal.

Re:money off the full game? (0, Flamebait)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#23222634)

They're getting people to pay them to beta test their junk? Insert M$/WhackO$ jibe here.

Re:money off the full game? (4, Informative)

CogDissident (951207) | more than 6 years ago | (#23222844)

Actually, they have said that the reason they're releasing the creature editor early, is to populate the game with creatures (that we make) before the game comes out. So non-networked players will have species to play against from the start.

So they're actually being paid by us, to make content for their game. Which is actually kind of the premise of this game (for good or for ill, they count on people making their content for them).

Re:money off the full game? (0)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#23224164)

I pass.

If I create, I expect to get paid.

Oh well, I guess piratbay will have it.. The full game, I mean.

Re:money off the full game? (1)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23224542)

The irony in your statement is astounding. Do you think the full game is just going to appear magically? If not then someone has to create it and you've just said that you expect to be paid if you create so I guess you're fine with your hypocrisy in wanting to download it from TPB instead of paying them?

Re:money off the full game? (2, Interesting)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#23226736)

I guess you've never heard of sarcasm.

Take a look what I posted prior to this (article about anti-copyright getting removed from Canadian copyright discussion).

I'm for fair compensation for creators. I dont necessarily think it needs copyright. However, Spore-creators want to charge people to create content, which they will turn around and sell back to the creators.

I dont think what they are doing is right either.. unless they are paying people back for good content (heh heh hardly).

Re:money off the full game? (2, Funny)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 6 years ago | (#23225858)

I would get whiplash if I expressed that strong of a self-contradiction so clearly and in so few words...

Re:money off the full game? (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 6 years ago | (#23224412)

It's nice that they're trying to populate the game for offline players...

but is anyone else concerned that all the creatures will end up looking the same?

In particular the tribe and city levels seem to not care about initial creature design, the cities look the same for every kind of creature.

It looks like the only game components that reflect the creature editor are the first few stages. If only one or two stages rely heavily on the creature editor we might see a bunch of identical user created designs.

Here's hoping there's game balance and diversity...

Re:money off the full game? (1)

vertigoCiel (1070374) | more than 6 years ago | (#23226798)

It is my understanding (from watching some of the GDC videos) that in the later stages of the game, the creature editor is replaced with a unit/building editor. It seems like you will be able to continue to create custom content throughout the game - they've just focused on showing off the creature editor thus far.

Re:money off the full game? (1, Insightful)

OzRoy (602691) | more than 6 years ago | (#23224478)

I hope they are moderating it then. Otherwise I'll probably load up the game and the first creature I meet will look like a mouse with a penis grafted onto its back.

Re:money off the full game? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 6 years ago | (#23225688)

I thought it was a penis with a mouse grafted onto it.

Re:money off the full game? (2, Insightful)

CogDissident (951207) | more than 6 years ago | (#23226008)

Its always easier to moderate than to create the content yourself... (+3 insightful)

Sounds like a great deal to me, personally (4, Insightful)

patio11 (857072) | more than 6 years ago | (#23222856)

No offense to the starving college students in the audience, I was one once and I've been there, but: $10 is far, far below my care threshold these days. I'm a grown-up, I earn a salary, and $10 for an oodles-of-enjoyment toy is an absolute no-brainer for me even if it doesn't come with a discount for the actual game. Typically, nothing I buy for $10 is intended to last, anyhow. That doesn't even cover a sandwitch or movie ticket these days, and I can virtually guarantee that I will get more child-like glee out of that critter editor than I did out of seeing, e.g., Jumper.

(Maybe I can mock up that Anakin Skywalker guy, just so I can feed him to hungry predators.)

SANDWITCH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23224134)

That doesn't even cover a sandwitch
How about a dustwarlock?

Re:Sounds like a great deal to me, personally (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23224488)

Where do you buy your sandwiches??

Re:Sounds like a great deal to me, personally (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#23225340)

The $10 is peanuts, yes, but the premise that users are paying to create content that would normally be an in-house responsibility... that's the nasty part.

If they gave away the full editor and not a 25% demo, they would have billions of diverse creatures ready at launch and most people would praise them for it, but having us pay AND do their job, that's just weird and sketchy.

Re:Sounds like a great deal to me, personally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23225570)

No offense to the starving college students in the audience, I was one once and I've been there, but: $10 is far, far below my care threshold these days.[...] That doesn't even cover a sandwitch or movie ticket these days [...]
I can buy a Deli sandwich (at the campus Bistro) made with quality Boars Head meats and cheese, along with chips made right there in the Bistro-- all for about $6... add a soda and that's like 7.50. $2.50 in change is actually quite a lot when you don't eat quality meals like that. A pop-tart pack is 89 cents, and that's 1 meal.... for us starving college-types $10 is still quite a lot... Congrats on the salaried job.:P --AC, out.

Re:Sounds like a great deal to me, personally (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23225686)

And the kicker is that you can get the demo for free. You don't even have to spend the lowly $10.

Re:Sounds like a great deal to me, personally (1)

immcintosh (1089551) | more than 6 years ago | (#23225696)

I earn a salary too, and I'd be pissed off over the general principle of it if they only charged 50 damn cents. They're essentially asking the game playing public for $10 for the privilege of doing their jobs for them. I think I lost my faith in the future decency of the video game industry when Oblivion players started paying $5 (or whatever) to caparison their horses. Nevertheless, you seem to be confusing outrage over the practicality of the matter with outrage over the principle of it.

tl;dr version: Make your own goddamn finished products developers! (or charge less if you make us do the work for you, and moreso if you make us PAY you to do it)

Typically, nothing I buy for $10 is intended to last, anyhow.
Don't even get me started on how disposable our culture has become. Is there any practical reason why products couldn't be designed to last and sold at a decent price as well? No, it's just less profitable. Anyway, sorry about all that... *rant off*

Re:Sounds like a great deal to me, personally (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 6 years ago | (#23225888)

And really, it is like paying a measly $10 to completely pwn other Spore players who do not for the first 3 to 6 months of the game.

I got to do this kind of thing (pre-release Beta- keep your characters) on a MMorgg. Even folks putting in 20 hours a day didn't catch up for months because I was always in empty areas with a few other experts to group with while they were in zones so packed you could barely move, got hideous lag, couldn't find any resources/mobs, and had to deal with a bunch of other clueless types that got you killed.

Re:Sounds like a great deal to me, personally (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23227438)

Except that you'll never be able to pwn any Spore players, as it is a single-player game. Unless you count contributing to the creature-library as pwning them.

Re:Sounds like a great deal to me, personally (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 6 years ago | (#23228448)

Competition is a squirrelly thing.... in this case, you would be able to create certain types of creatures (and maybe name them or get credit as the creator?) before other players.

You might be able to found successful blogs/websites about the game that would earn you cash when later players came to read about your advance knowledge to save time.

Re:money off the full game? (0, Redundant)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 6 years ago | (#23223038)

it sounds like you will be paying this as a premium just to try out the editor before the game is finished

It's a smart move though; let the 2.0 community enjoy themselves creating 3D, animated creatures to identify with, see how it's used and appreciated (or not) in the community and have them all move over to the spore-universe.

Honestly, 10$ or 6euros, isn't really such a crazy amount I'd lose my sleep over. And if it allows me to immediatly dive into the game later on (instead of starting with the creature designer before I can start to play) I'd be willing to pay for it, to enjoy myself creating creatures and not being forced to buy the entire game to do so. OTOH, I would find it offensive if they'd require you to purchase both to have a decent gaming experience. I think they just though "hey, we have a fun editor here which we can use outside of the game. Lets sell it seperatly for those who want it." (you don't *need* to buy *anything*)

Re:money off the full game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23226154)

Has everyone misread the announcement form Maxis? There are going to be two versions of the demo. One is a free version that has ~25% of the creature parts available, the other is one you have to pay $9.99 to get all the creature parts.

So the premium you are paying is just for all the content, instead of one-fourth of it.

Spore Editor? (-1, Troll)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23222580)

So the editors Slashdot have gotten to be so bad, they've resorted to hiring spores? I guess they meet the qualifications -- can't spell, poor grammar, approve every submission from "I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property", etc.

Re:Spore Editor? (2, Funny)

autocracy (192714) | more than 6 years ago | (#23223348)

Hey, it's that or we bring back Roland.

Vaporware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23222600)

Spore has generated a great deal of hype. But endless delays and brief glimpses of demos are starting to give this whole project the feel of vaporware.

Re:Vaporware? (1)

Wiseman1024 (993899) | more than 6 years ago | (#23223016)

The feel of Duke Nukem Forever, Linux desktop, GNU Hurd, Perl 6, PHP 6, Python 3000 and bytecode-compiled Ruby.

Re:Vaporware? (1)

moranar (632206) | more than 6 years ago | (#23224056)

One of these things is not like the others...

Hint: Py3000 was _defined_ as purely a wishlist. Calling it vaporware is incorrect. And plus, it's coming out this year, with alphas already available. Hardly vaporous.

Re:Vaporware? (1)

Wiseman1024 (993899) | more than 6 years ago | (#23229636)

Lol, of course. I'm a Python programmer myself; it's just that I couldn't help but point at the four next versions of the major dynamic languages in widespread use, perhaps with a tiny bit of trolling intent. Bytecode-compiled Ruby is supposed to come soon as well, now that Sun is working on theirs.

Re:Vaporware? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23225738)

Prey was vaporware and shipped. Mark my words, Duke Nukem Forever will ship within the next 18 months and we'll have to start joking about the Phantom instead.

The Linux Desktop is gaining in popularity, and is becoming mainstream. More and more countries are switching all schools and government desktops to Linux every day. Brazil is installing 52 million KDE desktops in their schools right now. WalMart and Dell will both sell you a Linux PC. If that isn't mainstream, I don't know what is. At best, Linux will likely never top 5-10% of the US Desktop market, but I wouldn't be shocked to see it reach Firefox levels (25-30% adoption rates) in the rest of the world.

Hurd is a joke.

PHP 6 will likely happen.

Bytecode-compiled Ruby? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#23227586)

Ruby 1.9 is available, and is bytecode compiled.

Re:Vaporware? (4, Informative)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 6 years ago | (#23223254)

Spore has generated a great deal of hype. But endless delays and brief glimpses of demos are starting to give this whole project the feel of vaporware.
Far from it. Spore is finished, they are just in Beta-testing to work out all the kinks. The Spore we saw when Robin Williams created a creature, the Spore which Will Wright first demoed, is nothing like what it looks like now. September 7th is the release date, which is directly stated in the article. Call it Vaporware if you will, but in just over 4 months the world will suffer a slight productivity drop as many individuals start playing Spore.

Re:Vaporware? (1)

CRiMSON (3495) | more than 6 years ago | (#23224428)

For a day.. till they realise.. the game is just hype.. and everyone moves on....

Re:Vaporware? (1)

Liquidrage (640463) | more than 6 years ago | (#23225136)

Spore has a black and white feel to me. Hyped beyond belief. Very cool concept. Bored with it after 4 hours.

IOW, I don't think productivity is going to suffer on a global scale. That's already here, and it's called WoW. People are just used to it by now.

Re:Vaporware? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23225760)

I was bored with The Sims in just a few hours. Why play something so mundane? Yet, last time I checked, it was the best selling PC game of all time, and it wasn't even close.

Spore seems like taking The Sims, and making both the gameplay and design process far less repetitive, and far more interesting. I'm not sure I'd ever have the same gameplay experience twice. Add-in internet play, and it does seem like a slam dunk.

Re:Vaporware? (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#23227044)

Spore has a black and white feel to me.
Check the underside of your monitor -- there's probably a saturation knob you can turn to fix that.

Re:Vaporware? (2, Funny)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 6 years ago | (#23225910)

Spore will not make the September 7th date.
It'll be pushed to "Holiday 2008" with the excuse that they have to go through our millions of submissions to populate the world.
It will then be pushed to "Q1 2009", with the excuse that they want to make sure the servers are ready ready for our massive influx.

The game will release in April, 2009, with many features missing. These features will be available "soon after release", but will never fully materialize.

The game itself will enjoy moderate initial sales, but will suffer a quick drop off. Total worldwide sales will not break 400,000 (ever).

Drop in productivity? Hah.
You my friend have never met Tetris.
Invented by the Russians to destroy the American workforce and turn us all into fat lazy slobs.

Besides - it's not as if the typical office machine would be able to run spore anyway. Don't show up to work? Someone else will, so don't bother coming in on Monday, either.
With Tetris, all you need is a web browser, a cell phone, or a calculator, and you're in business, while still looking like you're in business.

Re:Vaporware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23229042)

It seems the letters for "Vista" and "Spre" must be practically next to each other on the keyboard.

Will this be the most hyped game of all time? (1)

kinoku (1259628) | more than 6 years ago | (#23222636)

I see this game as one that "could" bridge the gap between "The Sims" crowd and the rest of us. Easy to pick up, fun to play around with, enormous levels of depth. IF it can live up to the hype which is going to come thick and fast as the launch date approaches. Some of the previews so far look promising though: SPORE Hands On: http://www.fracknaps.com/read/?p=LETTDC9B [fracknaps.com] http://www.fracknaps.com/read/?p=G21DY3W6 [fracknaps.com]

Re:Will this be the most hyped game of all time? (4, Funny)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#23222664)

I see this game as one that "could" bridge the gap between "The Sims" crowd and the rest of us.

You mean bridge that previously impassable void between adolescent giggling girl & overwieght middle-aged grumpy fat bloke? Impossible!

Bridging gaps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23224552)

You mean bridge that previously impassable void between adolescent giggling girl & overwieght middle-aged grumpy fat bloke? Impossible!

That's good, because I don't think bridging that gap is even legal (except in Utah).

Re:Will this be the most hyped game of all time? (1)

CynicalTyler (986549) | more than 6 years ago | (#23227314)

You mean bridge that previously impassable void between adolescent giggling girl & overwieght middle-aged grumpy fat bloke? Impossible!
Nah, there are already plenty of middle-aged fat blokes who giggle like adolescent girls while playing The Sims.

Re:Will this be the most hyped game of all time? (2, Interesting)

Wiseman1024 (993899) | more than 6 years ago | (#23223068)

Rule of thumb: if they talk about an incredibly amazing AI that pretty much takes over your computer, checks your bank accounts and calls you a moron for having not invested in XYZ which has risen by 200% last month, and you think it may be true, you're in for a disappointment. See Oblivion.

On the other hand, if you expect an above-average AI with good gameplay dynamics giving an overall very pleasant experience, perhaps with a bit more of creativeness than the usual, you're in for an enjoyable experience. See Oblivion.

Viral marketing (1)

MouseR (3264) | more than 6 years ago | (#23222690)

his is viral marketing at it's best: build up the excitement for years, finally announce another far-off release date and charge people for a preview of it.

Also, pun intended.

Re:Viral marketing (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#23222740)

And the solution to viral marketing?

Shut your eyes, stick your fingers in your ears and go "Bluh Bluh Bluh Bluh Bluh" very loudly for a few minutes.

Agreed, it is the Apple Fanboi approach to dealing with critism but it does work.

Re:Viral marketing (1)

MouseR (3264) | more than 6 years ago | (#23223064)

I'm actually waiting for this game on Wii, although I'm sick of hearing about it. I hope it'll be a good game. I'm just saying I wont bite on their 10$ add.

Re:Viral marketing (0)

CogDissident (951207) | more than 6 years ago | (#23224142)

The Wii, for all that I love that precious gem of a system, is not going to be powerful enough to do much with this game, I suspect.

Re:Viral marketing (1)

MouseR (3264) | more than 6 years ago | (#23224718)

The game was announced fore the Wii. Just not release date. For all intents and purposes, if a simpler version can dun on the DS, there's no reason a more decent version will on the Wii.

Re:Viral marketing (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23225796)

The Force Unleashed is also coming to the Wii, from another developer, with a different engine, and no impressive physics effects. The game has the same name, but is it the same game?

That's like saying the GBA version of Madden 08 is the same is the PS3/360 version of Madden 08.

So what, Linux does this too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23225916)

or are you selectively blocking out those 'tech preview' versions of the linux you can get at best Buy?

fisher-price creatures? (2, Interesting)

Speare (84249) | more than 6 years ago | (#23222746)

Like many here, I have been waiting and watching all of the endless demonstrations of this game, because it really caught my attention. However, my interest is waning with each new demo.

Am I the only one who doesn't like the direction the artwork is going? Maybe it's partly the presentation format but there's more to it. The early demos had a nice art style, realistic colors used in a gentle way, subtler textures. The more recent demos have shown the same super-saturated colors that plastic toy manufacturers (and Redmond OS designers) prefer to use. Even the space shots and primordial ooze scenes seem less realistic and more schematic in nature lately. In short, What was M. C. Escher is now M. C. Hammer.

Maybe they're spreading themselves too thin with an insanely aggressive multi-platform release (hello, Nintendo DS simultaneous release with 2D pixel art!?). Maybe there are some real technical challenges to making this "pervasively online yet not at risk from griefers" panacea they appear to promise. But honestly, don't make it suck on purpose.

Re:fisher-price creatures? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23222868)

In short, What was M. C. Escher is now M. C. Hammer.

*has visions of parachute pants that appear to billow both outwards and inwards at the same time*

Re:fisher-price creatures? (1)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 6 years ago | (#23224418)

Maybe there are some real technical challenges to making this "pervasively online yet not at risk from griefers" panacea they appear to promise.

I never thought about it before but what's to stop a proliferation of goatse-inspired artwork appearing in your game? Is the user-generated content going to be screened?

Re:fisher-price creatures? (1)

Clovis42 (1229086) | more than 6 years ago | (#23224502)

The more recent demos have shown the same super-saturated colors that plastic toy manufacturers (and Redmond OS designers) prefer to use.

If the game is anything like they are aiming for, this shouldn't be a problem. Just don't make your creatures like that! If you want subtle colors, use subtle colors. It sounds like you can modify just about everything in the game. The Sporepedia, or whatever, should allow you to download stuff from other users with the same asethetic. So you can probably find what you want, even if you can't create it yourself. If you want OMG PONIES!!! planets you can have them, or you can make your creatures in Hercules Monochrome.

Re:fisher-price creatures? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23224886)

The color changes I've seen have been throughout the interface too. Soft and muted greens in vegetation, soft and muted part palettes, buttons, toolbars, everything. Now it's garish. Even if the monsters were Da-Glo, the interface shouldn't be.

Re:fisher-price creatures? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23225660)

Even the space shots and primordial ooze scenes seem less realistic and more schematic in nature lately. In short, What was M. C. Escher is now M. C. Hammer.
M.C. Escher was realistic?

Sorry, haven't been following the updates... (1)

RandoX (828285) | more than 6 years ago | (#23222802)

Editor is cool and all, but what is the current ETA of the game iteself and what platforms will it be released for? PC?

Re:Sorry, haven't been following the updates... (2, Informative)

kinoku (1259628) | more than 6 years ago | (#23222886)

Xbox 360, PC, PS3 just like the Sims. And then maybe a retarded version for handhelds.

Re:Sorry, haven't been following the updates... (1)

Wiseman1024 (993899) | more than 6 years ago | (#23223128)

Spore is about gameplay and perhaps AI. It's not about OMG PIXEL SHADERS REFLECTIVE SURFACES LULZ. It could prefectly well develop in an entirely 2D world made of curves and vectors, see flOw, LocoRoco and PataPon. I see how Spore could be a perfectly successful game on PSP that looks like any of those three, as long as it incorporates the same complex gameplay to the degree/size/number of objects they can afford with the handhelds' more limited RAM and processing power.

Re:Sorry, haven't been following the updates... (1)

Wooky_linuxer (685371) | more than 6 years ago | (#23223618)

Art Direction has nothing to do with eye-candy; it's about how you do it, not how you overdue it. I bought a PSP due to Patapon, its originality and style got me right on the spot. It has a consistent style throughout the whole game. And , unlike for example what Frank Miller's Spirit seems to do, Patapon doesn't resort to oversaturated, contrasting colors; instead it appeals to subtle gradients. Flow is another example. The point here isn't realism or special effects, but rather the art style. While supersaturated colors aren't necessarily bad, I see where the OP was headed and I tend to agree that Spore's art style has been changing for the worse.

Re:Sorry, haven't been following the updates... (1)

Wiseman1024 (993899) | more than 6 years ago | (#23229612)

I completely agree. I was replying to "maybe a retarded version for handhelds", guessing it'd be your average "lol luk my rig omg 124875 gazillion polygons per second" gamer (I'm very sorry if this isn't the case).

To me, all three gameplay, artistic value and technical quality are important, but they come in that order. I still play roguelikes, and I play some games which aren't particularly the bomb as games, but are beautiful. I don't play games who aren't too fun and aren't beautiful just because they're technically amazing for more than 3 minutes; this is why we have the demoscene.

Re:Sorry, haven't been following the updates... (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#23222922)

Editor is cool and all, but what is the current ETA of the game iteself and what platforms will it be released for? PC?

A previously promised downloadable demo of the creature editor from the September 7th due game..."

Hmmm, wish I could help you out with the first part. As for platforms, I believe it's definitely PC/PS3/360, with a possible Wii version(?) at this point.

Re:Sorry, haven't been following the updates... (1)

sabernet (751826) | more than 6 years ago | (#23223334)

PC, Xbox, PS3 and DS

DS version will be 2d vector based and far more....interesting looking(looks like those shaped felt cutouts you may have played with in Kindergarten)

PC, Xbox and PS3 will be that 3D procedural thing you saw at those tech demos and talks.

Hmm, let me guess... (2, Interesting)

Kashgarinn (1036758) | more than 6 years ago | (#23223036)

this is the EA side of spore showing its (dark) colours. Some executive going "OMG! this has taken too long, can't we sell something right now?"

Who wants to play with just the editor??? I'd have thought the first stage of spore would have been a much more interesting as a standalone, buy the first part (for DS, PC, Xbox, PS3, mac) download the full game for just XX.99 extra

The timing is just right for a "omg it's just around the corner", but the completely wrong part of the game is being sold off as a standalone.

Conspiracy theory #2 is that they don't want to pay artists to create the models of things for the final launch, better to sell the useless editor and make people do the work for them.

Am I right? Or am I right?

Re:Hmm, let me guess... (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 6 years ago | (#23223364)

You're right, but isn't that what MS Video Editor did for YouTube?

Re:Hmm, let me guess... (3, Insightful)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 6 years ago | (#23223400)

Conspiracy theory #2 is that they don't want to pay artists to create the models of things for the final launch, better to sell the useless editor and make people do the work for them.

Am I right? Or am I right?
I would assume that Maxis is going to pick and choose from the user-generated creatures to put in release. I suspect there will also be some sort of method to identify you to your submission so if they end up using it in the game your name gets plastered on the credits. Heck, if you're really good with submissions, Maxis might come out and ask you to work for them.

People talk about how great OSS is, yet when the very same premise is put out there to develop content for game (albeit at $10 a participant), people bitch and moan about it. It's brilliant on Maxis's part. The developers and the team can focus on testing the game rather than creating content for it. It's a win-win situation for the end users.

SimShow tool was released before The Sims (3, Interesting)

SimHacker (180785) | more than 6 years ago | (#23225644)

I wrote The Sims character animation for Maxis, and also a tool called "SimShow [ea.com] " that we released before the The Sims release date.

SimShow enabled players to view and create their own character skins, so that when The Sims was finally released, there were already web sites publishing hundreds of characters for the game. (Many of them would have been impossible for EA to legally publish themselves, like Spiderman, Star Trek characters, etc.)

The Sims was much to complex to release a demo version, because it required a critical mass of objects to work. We could not release a stripped down version with only a few objects or levels, like most other video games. Instead, by releasing a tool to create content instead of a hamstrung demo, it improved the game when it was eventually released, instead of delaying it.

That approach worked quite well for The Sims, so it's no wonder that EA is repeating it with Spore.

-Don

Re:Hmm, let me guess... (2, Informative)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 6 years ago | (#23223442)

Conspiracy theory #2 is that they don't want to pay artists to create the models of things for the final launch, better to sell the useless editor and make people do the work for them. Am I right? Or am I right?

No, that's completely right. The game uses fancy clustering stuff, sort of like "recommendation" algorithms on netflix etc. So you start designing your first creature, and it populates the world with various other creatures from the database, that its distance algorithm measures as "similar" to what you designed. Can't do that very well without a huge database. Therefore, they are releasing the editor early in order to get that database fully populated. It's not that their artists won't be doing anything: They'll be working full time. It's just that they need millions of entries in the database.

The only news here is that the editor they've been releasing soon (Its always been known they would release the editors early to populate the database) won't be fully functional, and they'll be CHARGING for the full version. That's pretty annoying. And as far as I know, there will be a DS game featuring just the tide pool phase.

Re:Hmm, let me guess... (5, Insightful)

Snowmit (704081) | more than 6 years ago | (#23223458)

Well, you're something.

From day 1 Will Wright has been saying that the content would be user generated, it's kind of the point of the whole 'procedural world' game play. Whenever people connect to the Internet with the game it will pull creatures that fit into your environment from a database of created creatures.

So where you see a conspiracy theory, I see a chance to mess around with the editor before the game comes out and for my creations to be some of the early creatures that are populated across the network.

Who wants to play with the editor? Me and people like me who really enjoy the creation half of video game play. We're the same people who spent hours customizing CJ in GTA:SA despite that fact that no one but us would ever see him.

We're not all of the players, to be sure. But we're enough of the players that this is probably a really great business move. EA gets more cash and I get something I want.

No arguments here!

Re:Hmm, let me guess... (1)

Clovis42 (1229086) | more than 6 years ago | (#23224730)

We're the same people who spent hours customizing CJ in GTA:SA despite that fact that no one but us would ever see him.

What are you talking about?? I think the old lady I beat down with a purple dildo probably noticed my sweet tats. And when I spent an hour running a chainsaw over a pile of bodies in the street, I'm sure the passers by noticed my red mohawk. I know my posse really loved my hockey mask; why else would they stick with me after I shot several of them in the face with a shot gun? Even all those cops probably noticed my platinum watch when I snuck up behind them and cut their throats. And when I was going all "hot coffee" on that chick, she certainly noticed the phat green jeans I was wearing while I was doing it. And who wouldn't notice a guy dressed as a gimp doing drive bys on a vespa? Did you even play GAT:SA??

Re:Hmm, let me guess... (1)

krnpimpsta (906084) | more than 6 years ago | (#23228650)

Who wants to play with the editor? Me and people like me who really enjoy the creation half of video game play. We're the same people who spent hours customizing CJ in GTA:SA despite that fact that no one but us would ever see him.

Not to nitpick, but.. customizing CJ's appearance actually had an effect on your respect/street cred and determines how many friendly gang members you can recruit to follow you at a time.

Anyways, gimme dem duckets!

Spore editor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23223126)

Who, here @Slashdot, needs a virtual spore editor when almost every nerd already got one in his own kitchen? And another one inside his keyboard ;)

Should be free! (1)

Jeppe Salvesen (101622) | more than 6 years ago | (#23223312)

That editor would be free and fully functional if there were some smart people within EA. Imagine all those people downloading it to kill a few hours. "Oh wow, this so cool! Haha, look at that!". They end up getting hooked and then get curious as to how their creations will behave within the game. And there you go, sales stats +1. Given that you pay 10 bucks for the editor and probably 60 bucks for the full game, it seems pretty straightforward: The sales potential of a creature editor for 10 bucks is limited since you can't do much with it. However, it would be a low-cost advertising tool for the game. Separating out the creature editor, making an installer and then the bandwidth cost is probably not that many minutes of advertising on TV?

Greed is good. But the EA leadership kind of greed is obviously of the unimaginative kind.

Re:Should be free! (1)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 6 years ago | (#23223524)

Three words. Bit. Tor. Rent. If they felt like it, the bandwidth cost would be nothing. Or, if it was free they could just toss it out there and it would be on download.com and tucows and all the other free download sites. And that is how it will work for the free crippled version, won't cost THEM any bandwidth at all. Why they are charging for the full version I don't know...don't they WANT people populating their database so it can make better choices when populating new players' worlds? Guess not. I'll be sure to use my "demo" version firewalled so it won't upload the data and help them out, if they're going to be tools about it.

Re:Should be free! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23224712)

It is free, or at least the public download demo creature editor will be available for free.

Spore Wife (5, Funny)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#23223456)

All my wife wants to do in Spore is make creatures, heck, all she does in the Sims is make us and then produce 10 spawns from "us". She's got a real bun in the oven now though, so maybe she'll get over this faze, but the whole point of this is: if I can spend 10 dollars to make her happy until we have to take care of a real spore, I'll take it.

Re:Spore Wife (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#23226072)

She's got a real bun in the oven now though, so maybe she'll get over this faze, but the whole point of this is: if I can spend 10 dollars to make her happy until we have to take care of a real spore, I'll take it.

Yeah, I say go for it. She's probably going to be disappointed with the "real bun" when she finds out that it isn't very customizable -- you can dress it and style the hair, but things like skin color, sex, and number of limbs are all more or less fixed.

My big concern (3, Insightful)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23223830)

I have been awaiting Spore for quite a number of years, since I saw it demoed the first time in person, even though it really isn't a game I would normally enjoy. Since then I have had one massive concern which is already proving out... that I am going to be totally brought out of the experience with stupid/inappropriate user generated creatures.

Sure they can be marked offensive and eventually removed, but I will still have to play against boob-shaped creatures, and flying butts. Leave it to nerds to instantly go for the juvenile garbage. Even national gaming mags have pieces where they state they can't wait to make crap like that.

Ugh, I've lost my interest. Sorry EA this is going to be the downfall. Guaranteed.

Re:My big concern (3, Informative)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23224700)

In demoing the Sporepedia, a card-like encyclopedia of user generated content, the creators have stated that creatures/veichles/buildings automatically added are based on a sort of dynamic filter created out of your own choices in creation/selection. So, if you do not want to see such things then you simply need not create/select them and they will end up at the bottom of the selection choices as more favorable selections are pushed up.

Re:My big concern (2, Insightful)

Liquidrage (640463) | more than 6 years ago | (#23225078)

Oh noes! Flying butts. The horror.

Seriously, who taught you to be so offended by such trivial things? It's not something you're just born being offended by, it's a learned behavior. And one we'd be better off without.

Re:My big concern (1)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23226444)

Because maybe when I sit down after a long day at work dealing with immature asshats, I don't want to have them in my game too (literally).

Outside of that, it is not what I'd want presented to the masses who play a game I've spent the last few YEARS of my life working on with pride. Sure, it may be funny once or twice but after that it is juts lame and tired. Also, kids/parents aren't going to want it and they are a huge market for this game.

People are people and online or not you're always going to have morons. Mark my words, this will be an issue in the life of this game.

Re:My big concern (1)

darkmayo (251580) | more than 6 years ago | (#23228486)

So you wouldn't get satisfaction from destroying the home planet of a race of penis creatures?

Re:My big concern (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23226606)

I think the GP was not saying he would be offended, as much as it would be lame. Immersive gameplay requires some suspension of disbelief, which is easy until you land on an alien planet and suddenly realize it is inhabited by flying butts...

Re:My big concern (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23225870)

The way it works is you subscribe to "creature-channels". You might choose to subscribe to public unfiltered channels, where you'll no doubt get the inappropriate ones. Or you might choose to subscribe only to the EA-produced channels where they release vetted packs periodically.

From the Article... (0, Redundant)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#23224440)

A previously promised downloadable demo of the creature editor from the game, due on September 7th, will be available June 17th, 2054.

Cuteness? (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 6 years ago | (#23224520)

A lot of people in the comments of the linked article are complaining/debating about the "cuteness" meter. I think it could be a rather fun feature. Have something that looks at-first-glance like a "cute, cuddly widdle kitten", but with an geiger/aliens-style secondary mouth or perhaps some freaky tentacles hidden away for unsuspecting victims.

I wonder if creatures will be able to "mate" in the game. It would be rather fun to copy somebody's cutesy creature, but add a few surprises and then chomp on unsuspecting victims when they come by.

does it allow for AI programming? (1)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 6 years ago | (#23224754)

I can't find any details in the Ars Technica links about the creature editor regarding AI. Will this game involve people programming the creatures to do things and interact with each other autonomously? That would be really cool. I wouldn't even care about the graphics if it just had an accessible AI dev environment. Kind of like the old Apple ][+ game, "Robot Wars," but not programming in assembly.

Seth

Re:does it allow for AI programming? (1)

Clovis42 (1229086) | more than 6 years ago | (#23224888)

Will this game involve people programming the creatures to do things and interact with each other autonomously?

You are, almost certainly, going to be disappointed. I've never read any indication of a scripting language, or even a Black and White like system of training the creatures. What I have read indicates that the creature's actions will largely be determined by what parts you give it. IE, if you give it teeth for hunting, it will hunt. If you make a really mean looking creature, but give it flat teeth, it's gonna' be an herbivore. The creatures will behave autonomously, but you're not gonna' be able to program them like in Robot Wars.

Re:does it allow for AI programming? (1)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 6 years ago | (#23225898)

Thanks for the clarification.

Seth

Open source Audio software in Spore (0, Offtopic)

owenc (255848) | more than 6 years ago | (#23224756)

An interesting thing about spore is that it uses a proprietary version of puredata (puredata.info) to enable rapid prototyping of the Spore audio engine (search the pd listserv). I think it's called EAPD. Unlike Max/MSP, Pd runs the interface and the audio/dsp engine in separate processes, enabling headless patch execution.
The rest of this thread should still be somewhere in the archives- I've pasted a bit on the license issue:
onsidering that I have had to deal with this legal minefield, I can say the following:

        Work with Miller to understand what is covered by the BSD license (not all of it is)
        There are a number of "game engine" issues which you need to address when using Pd (this is at the technical/code level)
        Don't worry about the patches. Any game is going to have encryption and other copy protection stuff on it.

Please don't ask me to comment on the details of how PD has been/is being used. However, if you want to talk about the theory of PD being used in games, especially on a certain game console which I care about :-) then ask away...

    Note: if you are dealing with a game publisher on the legal aspects of PD, then it is likely that my company has enough legal agreements with them for me to talk about concrete uses of PD. Let me know in private email.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Senior Manager, Developer Support
SCEA

We have the technology... (2, Funny)

imasu (1008081) | more than 6 years ago | (#23224850)

This editor will allow is to finally reanimate Duke Nukem to kick some mutant ass, in... Duke Nukem SPOREVER!

Even if they gave it away, it wouldn't be freeee. (2, Interesting)

coreyfro (123833) | more than 6 years ago | (#23225038)

So, lemme get this straight. You have to pay for an editor for the world's first "Massively Single Player Game" that mines it's install base for interesting content?

They should be paying us as developers!

No offense, Spore is the ONLY game I am looking forward to, but I just think this is pushing the definition of "demo"... Even if they gave it away, it wouldn't be freeee....

Why are they doing this?!? (1)

Clovis42 (1229086) | more than 6 years ago | (#23225242)

There seems to be some outrage at the idea of selling the creature builder for $10. People complain about the price of various things (gas, food, widgets) all the time, and the answer is usually the same. Why are they charging $10? Because people will pay for it. Why wouldn't they charge for it?? I think it's great that there will be a free demo, at least. As others have pointed out, $10 isn't much, and if the editor is anything like they've been describing, it will be worth it.

sounds like fun (1)

Bob-taro (996889) | more than 6 years ago | (#23225940)

For only $10, I'll probably buy it, and not care if I get a discount on the final game. If they want to generate even more community content, they could offer to pay $20 to the creator of any creatures they incorporate into their game universe.

June 17th? iPhones 2 as well? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23226632)

Thanks for the nice (free) tip for iPhone 2 launch date, EA.

Booo.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23226648)

"a full version of the creature editor will appear as a standalone product at the same time for $10."

BOOOOO!!!!!! Bad developer.... *thwack* *thwack*

The resulting artwork should be called... (1)

promixr (645853) | more than 6 years ago | (#23228992)

'Sporn'
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