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Spore Expansion Announced, Another Coming In 2009

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the evolving-content dept.

Games 105

EA announced this week what many suspected for a while, now: Spore expansions are on their way. The first, due out in November, will be an addition to the creature creator, offering more parts for players to use. The next, due in Spring 2009, will provide new gameplay: "The expansion will give space-faring species the ability to beam down from their ships to explore other worlds and complete missions. And along with this, the expansion will include an Adventure creator, in which players can build — and then share — their own customized missions."

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These first couple won't be worth it. (4, Funny)

WDot (1286728) | more than 5 years ago | (#25393061)

Personally I'm not interested until my creatures can have IKEA furniture and Starbucks coffee. Then again, given the rate at which EA expansion packs come out, I won't have to wait too long. ;)

Re:These first couple won't be worth it. (5, Insightful)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25393103)

EA announces "Rest of the game we deliberately removed so we could charge you for an expansion pack to be released." Barely a month after it was released.

NO SALE! I'm done with mainstream gaming. I'm tired of being treated like a 24/7 ATM by these people.

Re:These first couple won't be worth it. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25393117)

Not to mention the privilege of paying so that they can fuck up your computer.

Re:These first couple won't be worth it. (2, Funny)

isBandGeek() (1369017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395667)

Why was this modded down? You're paying them for the game... and also getting the SecuROM.

Re:These first couple won't be worth it. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25397651)

Because it works on my computer just fine.

Re:These first couple won't be worth it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25398209)

Same here, works fine.

SecuROM is just like any other low-level software, it is bound to screw up on some weird computer configurations.
BUT, it was wrong of them to not mention it.

Re:These first couple won't be worth it. (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 5 years ago | (#25393157)

Actually you're less 24/7 but more about 1/12 (once a month, every month).

Re:These first couple won't be worth it. (1)

trytoguess (875793) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395679)

Honestly, what makes indie games any different? If someone were to spend time creating addons for their game it's only due to greed if the creator is backed by a big corporation? Your cynicism suggests you should assume all addons are a insulting grab for money and swear off video games completly...

Re:These first couple won't be worth it. (3, Insightful)

Frigga's Ring (1044024) | more than 5 years ago | (#25398263)

I don't know about indie games, but I bought Orange Box the day it came out and haven't had to spend a dime on all of the new weapons and maps for Team Fortress 2.

Because of Valve's free add-ons, I haven't bothered with any company's FPS. Clearly, there are better ways to keep you playing their game than charging you for things that should have been in the release.

Re:These first couple won't be worth it. (1)

trytoguess (875793) | more than 5 years ago | (#25401865)

Er.. well excellent or something. Your post is only vaguely related to my previous post, but good for you for being a savvy consumer?

Re:These first couple won't be worth it. (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#25401879)

Clearly, there are better ways to keep you playing their game than charging you for things that should have been in the release.

Your mistake is thinking that EA wants you to happily play spore for years, unless there is a recurring revenue stream of course.

Re:These first couple won't be worth it. (1)

NoName6272 (1376401) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406883)

Remember the days when EA was about the games... and not the money?

~
NoName

Re:These first couple won't be worth it. (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 5 years ago | (#25393149)

You'd think they would have made that sort of in-game advertising a number one priority. Interesting that you can't.

Re:These first couple won't be worth it. (1)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 5 years ago | (#25393307)

Ah, yes. My lovely creatures lounging on IKEA furniture and sipping Starbucks coffee. Oh, drat, that expansion pack broke the nude patch again...

Re:These first couple won't be worth it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25398491)

...but they don't have a cloths function...

I just hope that nobody gets offended by my creature that has a leg in between its legs with a mouth and spit attachment...

Re:These first couple won't be worth it. (4, Insightful)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 5 years ago | (#25394097)

Pft... I'd actually like to get Spore working before before I get any expansion. I bought the game and it played fine for three days without a hitch and then decided to give up on life and refuses to run for long before running into issues and crashing. EA's customer support has been dreadful and haven't even come close to a working resolution. I haven't played the game in over a month now and even though it wasn't the most enjoyable experience I managed to have a decent time with it. I'll probably never bother with it again.

I can't foresee myself picking up any EA games in the future, even if it means missing out on some good titles. I might be tempted to pick up used copies of the console versions. It's probably the first time I've actually gone out of my way to buy used simply to deprive a company of any of my money. The antics they've been pulling recently and their horrible support have pissed me off to that point. Sure they're finally getting around to releasing some new and original games like Dead Space or Mirror's Edge, but they still come off as a soul-crushing corporation that's a pain in the ass to deal with in any capacity other than letting them pillage my pocketbook.

What's really sad is idea that consoles will be moving away from disc-based media. I can understand that there are a lot of reasons to support that move, but I want a disc copy of the game that I can insert and play on any machine without having to deal with any additional bullshit DRM or that I can sell back to a store if the game turns out to be a disappointment in my eyes. Anything less will probably only turn me away from gaming even more than I've been in the last few months.

The gaming industry may be growing significantly as new generations of people start to get into gaming, but how fast are they going to start pushing customers away with all the crap they've been pulling lately? Right now I don't think it will make a huge impact, but has anyone considered what the impact will be in ten years? The DRM just seems to get more draconian coupled with a decrease in consumer rights. Eventually enough people are going to get fed up and just take their entertainment money elsewhere. How long until the industry actually will have to respond to their crap policies due to negative growth?

Re:These first couple won't be worth it. (3, Informative)

aztektum (170569) | more than 5 years ago | (#25394457)

Complain to your AG's office (about the crashing and DRM). I complained over Vista licenses (not including physical copies in case I have to replace a crashed hard drive and cannot use the recovery partition). Few weeks go by, I get two voicemails and an e-mail from the company wanting to overnight discs and work with me over various other complaints (a laptop with one of the flaky nVidia chips was having display issues within 3 weeks of receiving it and they wanted to charge me a restock fee).

Also, explaining my history working in IT and being relied on for recommending hardware/software (for individuals and in many cases companies) was powerful leverage when I got to actually converse with someone from the company about my consumer level issues. Same applies here, if someone asks if you've "Heard of this Spore game, I hear people talking about. You play games, what do you know about it?"

The way I see it, the tools are there. My AG office was even grateful, because they don't have the resources to police every company out there and can only deal with issues brought to their attention.

Re:These first couple won't be worth it. (1)

isBandGeek() (1369017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395709)

Eventually enough people are going to get fed up and just take their entertainment money elsewhere. How long until the industry actually will have to respond to their crap policies due to negative growth?

They'll be waiting for quite a while, because they have nowhere to go, except to the indies. And the industry isn't worried about losing the 1% knowledgeable customers as long as it can keep the other 99%.

I mean, where else would they go? Music (RIAA)? Movies (MPAA)? TV (Networks)? Any and all mainstream entertainment is controlled by a cabal.

Re:These first couple won't be worth it. (1)

yukk (638002) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400311)

Just download a bittorrent release. At least the scene groups will nuke a bad release and fix it ASAP. That won't help you if Spore itself is buggy, but my downloaded version is running fine with the purchased key. It's probably the DRM screwing you over. Securom has to be some of the least stable malware out there.

Re:These first couple won't be worth it. (1)

T.E.D. (34228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406101)

Pft... I'd actually like to get Spore working before before I get any expansion. I bought the game and it played fine for three days without a hitch and then decided to give up on life and refuses to run for long before running into issues and crashing. EA's customer support has been

Could be that your GPU (video card) fan died. Software doesn't tend to go bad over time like hardware does.

If you start having trouble due to flaky hardware, I would imagine that EA customer support would be rather unhelpful to you.

Instead of an expansion. . . (3, Insightful)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 5 years ago | (#25393123)

. . . How about a reduction? Like in DRM?

Re:Instead of an expansion. . . (1)

johanatan (1159309) | more than 5 years ago | (#25393701)

Breast reduction?

Re:Instead of an expansion. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25393811)

No... *Beast* reduction.

Re:Instead of an expansion. . . (2, Funny)

thepotoo (829391) | more than 5 years ago | (#25398341)

Well, the expansion will include a tube of K-Y jelly along with the DRM, if that makes any difference to you.

I want the stuff shown in the demos... (2, Interesting)

c_forq (924234) | more than 5 years ago | (#25393133)

In the demos there was a stage between the cellular and the land, I was disappointed with this not being included. I had hopes for being able to build underwater colonies, but this was made impossible. It also seemed like creativity was stifled, as it took points to add parts but you needed to be sure your stats were effective.

Re:I want the stuff shown in the demos... (4, Informative)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 5 years ago | (#25393707)

They also nixed the Plant Editor that they showed off at E3 so it can be sold later as a $20 add-on.

Re:I want the stuff shown in the demos... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25394379)

and what after that? An Animal Editor? A Mineral Editor? we cannot let this happen. this is madness. (inb4 this is sparta.)

Re:I want the stuff shown in the demos... (4, Informative)

eleuthero (812560) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395157)

The plant editor apparently can be enabled but isn't worth much: "copy your shortcut to Spore - in the copy of the shortcut, go to "properties" and at the end of the filename (after the -locale:en-us switch), add -state:FloraEditor" I am interested to know if any more is available with the right cmd line whatnot.

Command line options (1)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400905)

I am interested to know if any more is available with the right cmd line whatnot.

http://forums.electronicarts.co.uk/spore- [electronicarts.co.uk]
game-discussion/341482-states.html

Re:I want the stuff shown in the demos... (0, Redundant)

eleuthero (812560) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395167)

Apparently the plant editor is available but not worth much: "copy your shortcut to Spore - in the copy of the shortcut, go to "properties" and at the end of the filename (after the -locale:en-us switch), add -state:FloraEditor" I am interested to know if other "editors" are available with the right command line whatnot.

Re:I want the stuff shown in the demos... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25398265)

You can thank all the morons who wholeheartedly endorsed this by buying the creature editor separately.

Re:I want the stuff shown in the demos... (1)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395741)

I was hoping I could get to the civilization stage without leaving the sea. Sure, the lack of fire might have caused problems, but I'm sure a smart enough sea creature can find away around that. If your mind isn't set on needing fire for everything, then you'll find other ways to do it :P. I was hoping I could, in the civ stage, start to dominate the land by building giant snow-globe cities. A spaceship full of water would be nice too.

Let me guess (4, Funny)

chord.wav (599850) | more than 5 years ago | (#25393167)

Rootkit?

Re:Let me guess (3, Funny)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#25393879)

nah, that one is free from sony.

Predictable. (4, Interesting)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 5 years ago | (#25393169)

Just looking at the state of the game out-of-the-box, it was clear that there would be multiple expansions. I believe we'll see at LEAST one expansion for each stage (in order to make them more "complete"), plus an outrageous amount of spare parts. The first expansion's a parts one, since that's easy to do. Second's a space overhaul, which is a given considering this is the game's best aspect right now.

What will we see next? A Spore: Sim City expansion for the Civ stage? A Spore: The Sims expansion for the Creature stage? Either way, I bought the game and now I'm feeling like I got a bit raped there. Was I to want to buy any of those expansions, I'd wait for the Deluxe pack that's bound to appear.

Oh and, what about a DRM-removing expansion? 5 bucks to get a DRM-free game... I'm sure people would buy into this wicked, twisted scheme right now, despite how evil and money-hungry it is.

Re:Predictable. (0, Redundant)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 5 years ago | (#25393377)

I'd pay $5 more for no DRM. As it is now I won't buy it at all.

Re:Predictable. (1)

Morlark (814687) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395015)

Second's a space overhaul, which is a given considering this is the game's best aspect right now.

Best? It's certainly the stage you'll get the most gameplay out of, since it was designed that way, but I'm not sure I'd go as far as calling it the best stage. I, and most other people I've spoken to, had a lot more fun in the creature stage, and even in the cell phase, which their hype dismissed as just a short intro.

Re:Predictable. (2, Insightful)

AnotherAnonymousUser (972204) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395795)

You know, that's actually one of the most brilliant ideas I've ever heard, charging a little bit more for essentially what's a cracked copy of their own game. For the average consumer not wanting to deal with the hassle of finding or applying cracks, it makes a lot of sense to buy the cheaper version, while for the people who care, spending just a *little* bit more money to ensure they can install their multiple copies for multiboxing and LAN parties. The extra profit generated by the people who will inevitably copy the game for their friends and "cost" the publisher a sale would satisfy the publishers a little bit, since they'll at least be making a *little* more money from people who are intending to spread copies of the game. All in all, it's not a perfect fix, but it's better than an all or nothing, and it give some satisfaction to all parties involved.

Re:Predictable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25399115)

This double dipping has been doing this for years with the 'sim' crap. Wait 2 years buy the 'mega pack' for half the price. This has been going on for the last 5 releases of sim city and the sims even longer. Why should spore be ANY different.

Re:Predictable. (1)

TheGeniusIsOut (1282110) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400329)

Why should it be any different? It is a proven business model that is very profitable. Not all expansions are going to appeal to all players, and development isn't free.

Re:Predictable. (1)

yukk (638002) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400993)

Yeah, no joking. If you were to buy the original title plus all nine (9) SIMS 2 expansion packs at $30 each and all ten (10) stuff packs at $20 each (I just checked their website) you'd have ponied up $530 !
Now that's a pretty good revenue stream for EA.
I don't mind paying $50 for a game like Mass Effect and downloading their free expansion pack later, or $50 for the 5 full games in Valve's Orange box with countless free mods and expansions out there. In fact, deals like that make me feel good about a company but this EA scheme is ridiculous.
Mind you, I did buy a spore DVD, but when the clerk asked if I wanted insurance on the disc, I said, "Hell no. I already downloaded the bittorrent and I'm installing that as soon as I get the key out of the box. What do I need the DVD for ?" So granted, they got my money but I'm not paying another $20 to edit trees.

Re:Predictable. (1)

psydeshow (154300) | more than 5 years ago | (#25402157)

Agreed, I'd pay more for DRM-free too.

That idea is just sick and wrong enough to really go over well with the CEO and the board.

"So you mean they'll pay extra to avoid a rootkit? We should have thought of this before!"

Well (3, Insightful)

JimboFBX (1097277) | more than 5 years ago | (#25393211)

These are most likely going to comprise mainly of parts that were intentionally stripped out from the game for the sake of selling it for more.

And most likely the "part pack" will be much much cheaper and bundled with future part packs / expansions in the future.

Given the nature of the game I dont see a reason to pay for this. It only rewards the company for basically with-holding something they had already put money into developing. I understand, despite EA's greedy practices, it isn't even making a profit, but that has more to do with the massive amount of money it puts into marketing, its stubborn hiring practices that gives it a very luke-warm talent pool, and its poor management. Thinking about it, I dont understand why spore is lacking so much unless it was simply a lack of programming talent that prevented them from accomplishing what they wanted to within the timeframe they had. Closely looking at the game models when they move and such makes you realize that there isn't as much complexity as you would hope.

To put things in perspective, EA does the equivalent of spending more money on making a car commercial than actually in designing the car itself. I forget where I saw their budget break-down. Maybe that's changed, but seeing who they hired in Red Alert 3 for the cut scenes (that goes towards marketing), I doubt that's turned around.

Love The Game's Concept, Still Won't Buy (2, Insightful)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 5 years ago | (#25394141)

Spore already feels like a really cool game engine with just some demo content.

Anyone who has played the first phase, where you can add flappy bits, fins or a jet... carnivore or omnivore mouth... and that's about it... already knows they so dumbed down the content as to leave you with essentially no actual game there.

Same holds for many of the later stages. A few very core pieces used in unimaginative ways to solve a simple puzzle and then be done.

When your core gameplay is near utterly devoid because of too few interesting combinations... to then sell what can't be argued as anything other than an essential part of the core, a second time, is sickening.

The stupid thing is, had they made the core game fun then added to it, like they did with The Sims series, I'd be buying add ons. This time, they went so far as to leave you feeling like your time was wasted with the original and cause you to lose so much faith you doubt the add on will rememdy it.

EA's best bet, right now, would be to give away a massive parts pack as a free download, turn the original game back in to something fun and not an empty game engine... then charge for real upgrades to a product people can actually care about.

Re:Love The Game's Concept, Still Won't Buy (1)

eleuthero (812560) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395191)

Since when is a company going to do what would obviously make it the most money? It has been too long since Maxis was independent of EA's marketing people. The people who are lovers of the game itself should have more say in how it is marketed.

re: Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25400249)

Parts removed from the gameplay that were shown in demos then sold as "downloadable content" almost immediately after release? Didn't hurt Oblivion's sales, and it won't hurt Spore's sales.

They broke the game with a patch last month (3, Interesting)

Flentil (765056) | more than 5 years ago | (#25393225)

The patch caused many people's games to not work at all, and many more to have frequent crashes, sound stuttering and delays, invisible graphics and creatures, and more. That was more than a month ago and they've yet to fix any of it. But there's an expansion pack coming yay! I guess that's all that matters to them.

Re:They broke the game with a patch last month (4, Insightful)

JimboFBX (1097277) | more than 5 years ago | (#25393329)

yeah I looked it up online, on your desktop shortcut add "-jobPriority:0" to the path and it fixes everything the newest patch broke.

And yet, their casual audience will never find that nor understand what I just said meant.

Re:They broke the game with a patch last month (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25394211)

And yet, their casual audience will never find that nor understand what I just said meant.

It took me a full 30 seconds to understand what you just said. :(

Re:They broke the game with a patch last month (1)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 5 years ago | (#25401937)

is there a -NoRootKit option by chance?

Re:They broke the game with a patch last month (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25394175)

Corporations operate on a profit motive.

Selling an expansion makes money. $++

Patching an already released game costs money. $--

Which do you think they'll prioritize on?

Re:They broke the game with a patch last month (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 5 years ago | (#25394367)

You left out the 'stupid customers on whom all of this depends who buy the shovelware despite the abundance of negative reviews' from the equation.

Re:They broke the game with a patch last month (1)

rk (6314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395117)

Let's be fair, though, the vast majority of those reviews were variants on "DRM sucks"... yeah, no shit, there, Sherlock. But if the DRM gets fixed is there any "there" there? Lost in all the DRM noise was reviews of the actual game.

And yeah, I have Spore, and yeah DRM sucks. However, the game of removing the DRM was more fun then the game EA thought they were shipping. Fuck Spore, and fuck EA. I hope they enjoy greatly the 45 bucks they got for it. I'm done with EA, and as much as I respect Will Wright as a game designer, Spore blows chunks, and the only way I'll buy another one of his games is if he gets free of EA. I'm done with them.

Re:They broke the game with a patch last month (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407123)

Really? Yahtzee didn't even mention the word 'DRM,' and neither did several other online reviews.

Re:They broke the game with a patch last month (1)

rk (6314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407831)

I was counting the customer reviews, which in general I have found to be a more reliable guide than professional reviewers. YMMV.

Regardless, I was stupid to buy this game. I've learned my lesson. I should learn to equate "Heavy DRM" = "Game that sucks, so we try to hide that fact until we've got your money in which case there's sweet FA you can do about it."

Unfortunately, the game badly needs expansions (3, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 5 years ago | (#25393261)

The game is fun the first time through. Unfortunately, it only takes a few hours to get through the game, and then you're out of anything to do. It's basically a bunch of editors tied together with short stages of gameplay and not at all the epic-scale sandbox it looked like in the original presentation video from 2005.

Re:Unfortunately, the game badly needs expansions (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25405957)

EA should be sued for false and misleading advertisement.

I played it (4, Funny)

nawcom (941663) | more than 5 years ago | (#25393309)

I downloaded the pirated version, played it until i got to the space level - played a few missions in there and felt that i played enough. I personally didn't feel the fun of creation that was expected. The entire game felt quite directed.
The molecular stage i found fun, even though it was quite simple. The creature stage got quite boring since it was quite directed - you wouldn't be going anywhere unless you completed the stupid collection quests. It would be more entertaining if they went a WoW route with that - making other peoples creatures your AI-powered neighbors isn't enough.
The tribal stage was warcraft. Nuff' said.
The civilization stage was frustrating, because depending on the type of society you pick, you are limited with what you get. I picked the capitalism-based one (instead of a militaristic or religious one from what i remember), and i could only buy and sell things; make deals. If someone attacked me I didn't have tanks that could take them out - I would have to buy myself out of a war. Now that I think about it - it definitely made it interesting.
In the end I go to space, get little quests, etc. I felt like I was getting no where. So I finally turn the game off so I can go "browsing" at YouPorn - it was then when I realized that it was 9pm and I didn't go to work that morning.

Re:I played it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25393923)

You do understand that, if the DRM had actually worked, you would have saved one days worth of pay, probably at least 200 dollars. Most expensive piracy, ever.

Re:I played it (1)

Peganthyrus (713645) | more than 5 years ago | (#25398631)

Yeah, it ate a couple of days, it felt really familiar and on-rails, and then space was just one randomly-generated fetch-quest after another. I got bored with fetch quests and decided to try and fly up my arm of the galaxy to the center, and quickly found myself hemmed in by stars set further apart than my drive could go, at which point I gave up. Haven't touched it since.

The only moment I was really having anything that felt like "fun" was giggling at watching three or four of my creatures dance in synch when trying to be friendly in the creature stage. Everything else felt like make-work.

Who Cares? (2, Informative)

IceDiver (321368) | more than 5 years ago | (#25393343)

It has SecuRom. I won't buy it.

Re:Who Cares? (1)

geckipede (1261408) | more than 5 years ago | (#25393647)

It consistently amazes me that anybody cares about such things, not because of the breach of security but because it implies that you otherwise trust what your game playing PC does. My gaming PC is XP SP1 with no antivirus or firewall, simply because I wouldn't trust the thing no matter what security software was on it. This is the machine that has all the little indie games run on it, executables and installers picked up from links on social sites and blogs. It's no risk at all because the only purpose of this computer is gaming. Everything even slightly valuable or private is done on the Ubuntu PC next to it. Even in the bad old days of having only one computer I used to dual boot to get the same effect. I don't understand how anybody who likes PC games can do things differently.

Re:Who Cares? (1, Interesting)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 5 years ago | (#25396715)

What amazes me, is that you've just declared that you can't be bothered to virus/malware check, or firewall a system that can act as a gateway to your home network. Trust is also an issue, and however much you say you 'don't trust it', I'd lay odds that _most_ home users don't feel inclined to implement a DMZ rather than taking some more sensible security precautions.

Or are you saying you don't trust it, but still allow it free reign on your internal network?

Re:Who Cares? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25393663)

Agreed. Mod parent up to 11.

Re:Who Cares? (2, Informative)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#25393773)

It has SecuRom. I won't buy it.
.

You won't be missed.

Take a look at Amazon's sales charts.

Sandbox games like The Sims and Spoor have enormous appeal outside the hardcore geek-gamer community.

The SIMS 3 has already hit the top 40 in PC game sales at Amazon and it won't be released until February.

Re:Who Cares? (1)

IceDiver (321368) | more than 5 years ago | (#25394489)

You won't be missed.

Unfortunately, you are correct.

I am amazed at how many people buy this stuff not caring (or not knowing) the hazards of the crap the game publishers include in the name of copy protection.

After an earlier version of SecuRom destroyed the CD drive of a friend of mine (we're pretty sure it was SecuRom - it died a couple of hours after installing the game and beginning to play, and research on the net indicated SecuRom had caused many other people's drives to die) I have avoided all games with intrusive copy protection such as SecuRom. However, I am aware that I am definitely in the minority.

My "Who cares?" should more properly have been phrased, "Why should I care?" I don't care anymore. I have bought one game in the last 18 months, and I am quite content playing it and the dozens of other games I bought in the 2 decades previous, none of which have potentially damaging additions like SecuRom.

Re:Who Cares? (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395033)

most of the time all you need to do is flash the firmware of the drive again from something safe ... non-windows. But don't play the game again!!!

Re:Who Cares? (1)

residieu (577863) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395011)

Spore's not a sandbox game like The Sims. The earlier stages all have a clear beginning and end. If you're not progressing toward that end, you've got nothing to do.

The space game might be something of a sandbox, but it's more like a bad Civilization clone.

Spore is just not complex enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25393391)

Perhaps they could make it more interesting by allowing real alliances that go beyond lending a single ship or attacking a single star system and develop coordinate attacks on a massive scale to completely wipe out the Grox!

It's just too repetitive, too simplistic and the non-cooperative single player nature of it is boring after a few days.

Re:Spore is just not complex enough (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#25393909)

C'mon EA ... turn spore into EVE, damnit! You've already turned part of it into warcraft...

Re:Spore is just not complex enough (1)

residieu (577863) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395039)

Warcraft? Where? The tribal stage bares a small resemblance to Warcraft but doesn't even approach the complexity and fun of Warcraft 1.

Spore DRM (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25393459)

I illegaly downloaded this game and feel really bad about it.

http://www.cloverspace.com/ [cloverspace.com]

Expansion is a generous word for it (1)

Fractal Dice (696349) | more than 5 years ago | (#25393691)

It looks more like some random bits and pieces that could easily have been created by players with a "part and pattern editor".

Ah well, I guess it's the publishing equivalent of "would you like to supersize your fries?"

An expansion? Really? (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25393869)

Wow. I gotta hand it to EA, I totally did not see this coming. I played Spore for 10 hours and feel like that was sufficient to get my $50 out of it, but I was completely let down. Expansion will be download if it even has enough to entice me, otherwise I won't even bother to torrent it overnight. I am waiting for somebody to come out with a good mod that makes it more interesting, perhaps a procedural monster generator? Something like what I expected the game would include, rather than stock monsters that you see on almost every single planet...

Re:An expansion? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25394171)

You shouldn't be seeing stock monsters all the time if you connect to the internet, that's the whole idea.

Re:An expansion? Really? (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25394611)

I did that, but you have to manually choose groups of monsters to download. It's nowhere near as slick as originally intended.

Re:An expansion? Really? (1)

Morlark (814687) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395911)

But that's just it, it is just as slick as they originally intended, and you certainly don't have to manually do anything. That's the entire point of the game, and you can tell that they focused on that feature a lot, maybe even at the expense of actual gameplay. The game will pull in content automatically from other players, just like they said it would. You can even customise the degree to which it does so. Granted, it is slightly disappointing if you see the same creature two games in a row, but unless you've accidentally changed some setting somewhere to completely ban it from ever downloading anything, the only time that scenario actually crops up is right after you install the game, before it's had a chance to build up a large repository of player-made creatures to pick from.

Re:An expansion? Really? (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25397531)

It's not "just as slick as they originally intended". Buildings and vehicles were supposed to be suggested to you following your own style that you'd been developing up to that point. Creatures were supposed to be chosen from the vast Sporopedia automatically to fill your world. Unfortunately, the way it is now, everything is opt-in, and you have to manually search for creature packs and add them one by one just to increment your "ecosystem creature pool" by a couple dozen. Large creature packs are far and few between.

The game will pull in content automatically from other players

but unless you've accidentally changed some setting somewhere to completely ban it from ever downloading anything, the only time that scenario actually crops up is right after you install the game, before it's had a chance to build up a large repository of player-made creatures to pick from.

No, everything is opt-in. You have to subscribe to special "creature channels" to add more creatures to your game than come on the install disk.

Expansion (2, Insightful)

mqduck (232646) | more than 5 years ago | (#25393993)

I've been thinking that a good (though completely unlikely) thing to do would be to release an expansion pack for each stage, turning each into more of a game in their own right.

Start with Cell. Turn it into a Cell/Fish stage (or just add a Fish stage instead).

Add something more to the Creature stage than just fighting or making friends with other species. I don't have any suggestions off the top of my head, but the possibilities are limitless.

I'm not sure what they were going for with the Tribal stage. It seems to be a simplified version of the Civilization stage, with some elements of the Creature stage. But perhaps it can be improved by making it not just about winning over (in either fashion) other tribes, but about building up culture and technology in order to unwittingly prepare for civilization.

Civilization stage. Bares little in common with the game of the same name. It's basically a really simple RTS. Easy solution: make it more complex and strategic. Oh, and make making religious units actually practical.

Space stage. Well, they're already working on expanding this one.

Allow players to choose to play the original or expanded version of each stage (or maybe make the expanded version something you "unlock" after beating the original version). After all, we already have the ability to skip stages already beaten.

Spore is a game with so many brilliant elements (generated music by Brian Freaking Eno, for fuck's sake!) and yet it's very mediocre at best on the actual gameplay. As it stands, it's a game for people who love the concept, not people looking for gameplay. But it could be so much more. Do it!

Re:Expansion (1)

DrEasy (559739) | more than 5 years ago | (#25394795)

Start with Cell. Turn it into a Cell/Fish stage (or just add a Fish stage instead).

But that would be cell/fish!


Sorry, at least I tried...

Re:Expansion (1)

grayshirtninja (1242690) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400783)

If you pay EA $200 and buy all the expansions, Spore will finally work like it was meant to. Hurray!

Milk it Milk it Milk it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25394043)

Milk it...Oh did I say Milk it.

How about a patch release to fix the crash problem (1)

zbuckholz (234618) | more than 5 years ago | (#25394165)

How about they release a patch to fix the constant crashing problem. Not to mention the license issue, tech support told me it's a known issue that every time I launch the game it registers as a new installation. It's a nice game I just wish we could play longer than five minutes before another crash.

Re:How about a patch release to fix the crash prob (1)

SheepLauncher (1025544) | more than 5 years ago | (#25394679)

Ea patch something that will fix the issue? hahahahahahahahahahahaha... Wait not done. hahahahahaha. They will try to fix the issue causing 10 more and then be like oh wait! we no longer support that game. If you don't believe look at command and conquer generals. Most lan games crash and half of the stuff in the game is OP.

Bullshit. (1)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 5 years ago | (#25394207)

"The expansion will give space-faring species the ability to beam down from their ships to explore other worlds and complete missions."

This feature was promoted by Will Wright as a part of the whole Everything Sim experience. It's retarded that people would have to pay extra for it now.
I'm happy I didn't buy Spore.

hey, remember when maxis was cool? (4, Funny)

syrinx (106469) | more than 5 years ago | (#25394619)

EA is the anti-Midas: they touch gold and it turns to shit.

Re:hey, remember when maxis was cool? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25402767)

that reminds me... a couple weeks ago, I was at the library downtown. Who do I see step out of the bathroom, but Barack Obama! (He had toilet paper stuck to his shoe.) Maybe 5 minutes later, Cowboy Neal came out of the bathroom, and he appeared to have feces smeared on his face and hands. Also, his pants were unbuckled.

Re:hey, remember when maxis was cool? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25403297)

Amen.

Should be Free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25394945)

Spore is such a simplistic game, especially the earlier levels, it was such a disappointment. 5 of the simplest RTS games ever made, rolled in to one package just weren't worth what I paid. Maybe if the expansions were free I'd feel better.

Spaceships (2, Insightful)

Meneth (872868) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395675)

The space stage has one drawback, which makes it unplayable after a few hours: you have only one spaceship. As your empire grows, you're going to need more. And if you ever hope to conquer the entire galaxy, as the game is supposed to allow, you're going to need a LOT more.

Re:Spaceships (1)

zidane2k1 (971794) | more than 5 years ago | (#25396097)

Maybe additional spacecraft will become available in a future expansion pack.

Re:Spaceships (1)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 5 years ago | (#25401977)

Additional spacecraft will become available in a future expansion pack.

There I fixed it for you ;)

Re:Spaceships (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406003)

You do acquire additional ships and so on if you decide to make alliances playing as an economic civilization.

Make your own expansion pack... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25397605)

I found that if you combine Spore with their DRM, a rootkit, a virus and decent zombie bot, the amount of time you spend trying to keep your system from completely melting down is a great game. It's fun to watch your creatures go through unintended and unexpected mutations.

You just have to be creative with what is out there! Other than that, the game is boring as hell.

Spore is EVIL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25397627)

Spore is an evil game (Evil (TM) Microsoft). My kids won't leave it alone and play it every chance they can. They already killed my older Windows XP box, are now hogging my laptop by booting it to XP, and are upset because the computers I built for them run Linux and won't run spore. I'm going to have to purchase a new computer just so they can run spore.

And now they are talking about an expansion pack?

HELP!

Screw WILL WRIGHT (1)

Clovis42 (1229086) | more than 5 years ago | (#25397733)

I've been closely following coverage of Spore for years now, and I bought the game when it first came out. I've had fun dealing with the DRM, and a few days of fun with the game itself. The handling of the game, the game itself, the terrible patch, the ridiculous "DRM cabal" statement the other day, and now these expansion packs have made this the worst game experience I've ever had. Others, obviously, feel the same way.

However, there is this strange thread; it's all EA's fault. If only Will Wright could escape from EA, everything would be better. These expansions are EA's marketing team's idea. This isn't the developer's fault, it is the publisher's fault. Blah blah blah.

No. There is only one person to blame for every aspect of this debacle. The man who has been a gaming god to me and so many other people, Will Wright. If EA is to blame for anything, it is for corrupting Will, but that doesn't change the fact that he is now corrupt. Unless Mr. Wright comes out with an explanation of why all the original features of the game are going to be nickle and dimed out of his loyal fans, the only explanation is that he is extremely greedy.

Will Wright used to like gamers, I think. I think maybe deep down inside he still does. If gamers start calling him on these transgressions, and not EA, I'm sure it would affect him. Maybe he can be turned from the Dark Side; probably not. But, please, let us start placing the blame where it is obviously due, on the shoulders of Will Wright himself.

Shrug, look at his options (2, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25398133)

The hardcore PC market is near dead. Two games sell. WoW and The Sims. WoW because you can't pirate it and appeals to everyone. The Sims because it appeals to everyone else and they don't know how to pirate it.

Selling a single game with no expansions and no online mode is suicide. Sure, you might be able to recover your investment, if you are lucky but the road is long and difficult and so why bother when their are two examples of games that are not just succesful but massive cash cows.

Will Wright isn't looking at a difference of a million or 2 million in profit but at 100k in profit vs half a billion. Oh okay, I made those numbers up but look at the sales results for the The Sims and ANY other game except WoW.

Spore is NOT The Sims, it lacks the creativity for that. The editors are there but they don't edit anything. You can't really create anything in Spore. Not like in The Sims. Neither can you introde art or have entire websites making money selling hair styles.

Spore for now is selling because it is a simple game. Not sure if it is ever going to appeal as The Sims but you can't blame Will Wright for going this route. It is were the money is.

EA is following the market. If you can't make money with straight box sales of complete hardcore games then rake in the dough by casual games with a ton of expansion packs.

It also explains their DRM, trivial to circumvent but just hard enough to make casual copying impossible, together with the online mode, making it easier for the adults this game is aimed at to just fork over the cash. Same as it is easier to just pay Blizzard for WoW even when not playing until the expansion then letting it lapse or playing on a free server.

Maybe going after the money makes for lesser games, but frankly I think Spore sucked from the start for the hardcore gamer. We wanted an evolution sim, a creature designer for survival. What we got was a creature designer for looks. I lost intrest when I realized the build of my creature didn't matter at all. Just slap things on and you got the points. You couldn't even bulk up on parts to get better stats.

Re:Screw WILL WRIGHT (1)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 5 years ago | (#25401991)

Will Wright can't hear you. The money is being too loud.

Who Didn't See This Coming? (1)

PHPNerd (1039992) | more than 5 years ago | (#25399027)

From the makers of "The Sims" and their bajillion expansion packs, now we have the same with Spore! I, for one, am not buying any expansions until they all come out together in a big group like a 10-pack for $30. I might have to wait 2 years, but it'll be way cheaper, and I don't want to play an incomplete game anymore. I did that with The Sims and The Sims 2, worked like a champ. The thing that disappointed me most about Spore wasn't the DRM. It was that the game could have been incredibly awesome right out of the box. But instead of that, they chose to release an incomplete game and a jillion expansion packs.

Expansion? (1)

GoNINzo (32266) | more than 5 years ago | (#25399071)

You have got to be kidding me. Charge me for an expansion when we still have a broken game? You'd rather your developers work on content that writes itself instead of fixing the obvious broken game you have before you?

This shows the world how messed up their priorities are. The first release was crashy but playable. This new release crashes at known points with known saves. I have a constant crash on my game, so I can't even play it any further.
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