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Will Wright's Spore To Release Sept. 7th

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the master-of-the-universe dept.

Games 186

After several delays and much anticipation, Spore looks like it will finally be coming out this year. EA has announced a September 7th release date for the game. The only confirmed platforms so far are Windows PCs, Macintoshes, the Nintendo DS and various mobile phones. Wright wants the Wii, 360, and PS3 to have the game, but they're not firm 'yes'es yet. Newsweek's LevelUp blog is celebrating the announcement with a series of interviews. N'Gai Croal spoke to Will Wright, and the man himself tries to convince us why it's been worth the wait, and (oh yeah) why it has taken so long. Croal also sat down with the game's Executive Producer, Lucy Bradshaw, who explains how the game has settled onto other platforms like the DS and mobile phones.

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186 comments

Spore: Forever? (0, Troll)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22395934)

And here I was thinking it'd be the next vaporware, if Duke Nukem actually came out this year.

Big Deal (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22395960)

I released my Spore just the other night...thats right a geek got laid, now thats news!

Happy Darwin Day (5, Interesting)

Plazmid (1132467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22395980)

Strange, they released the release date for an evolution game on Darwin Day. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin_Day [wikipedia.org]

Re:Happy Darwin Day (1)

Catiline (186878) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396138)

It would have been better if they had planned the release date for Darwin Day. I don't say that because it would mean I would already have the game, but that doesn't hurt either!

Re:Happy Darwin Day (1)

neveragain4181 (800519) | more than 6 years ago | (#22397722)

Perhaps the sequels will one day, through tiny changes of their launch dates, actually meet that exact Darwin Day date. I would then expect that the sequel that makes that date would then spawn the most sequels of its own.

If that sounds unlikely then you need to consider that the time to develop Spore is way beyond the scale of how humans can comprehend periods of time that long.

Re:Happy Darwin Day (1, Funny)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396242)

And if only they could find a reason to delay the release date until a year from today, they'd hit the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth!

Wait, no, bad, I don't want to give them an excuse to delay further...

Maybe they can delay the PS3 version until 2009. PS3 owners are used to getting late versions of games anyway.

Re:Happy Darwin Day (0)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396298)

And September 7th was the day the Serbian government approved the decision to require teaching both evolution and creationism in school. I'm sure that was completely random, but it is kind of interesting (and not to start a flame war) since Spore is built on both the principles of evolution and creationism, though admittedly, less creationism and more intelligent design.

Re:Happy Darwin Day (4, Funny)

NC-17 (411446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396384)

less creationism and more intelligent design.
That all depends on those who play it...

Re:Happy Darwin Day (1)

SimHacker (180785) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396806)

Sorry to burst your bubble, but Intelligent Design IS Creationism, just renamed to fool people on purpose. I'm sorry you fell for the Dicovery Institute's trick. Read about the Wedge Strategy [wikipedia.org] and the accidentally leaked Wedge Document [antievolution.org].

-Don

Re:Happy Darwin Day (4, Interesting)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#22397444)

Sorry, but I do not adhere to that notion. I believe in Creation but do not believe in Intelligent Design. I am able to see connections between macro-evolution and my theistic evolution beliefs and thus the theories Intelligent Design provides are not necessary to "fill in the gaps", so to say.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theistic_evolution [wikipedia.org]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theistic_evolution#Relationship_to_intelligent_design [wikipedia.org]

You say I fell for Discovery Institute's trick, but it seems you are under the impression that anyone who believes that God is the Creator must also believe that He scattered dinosaurs fossils around and that the Earth is 6,000 years old.

Re:Happy Darwin Day (2, Insightful)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 6 years ago | (#22398274)

Intelligent Design is Creationism, but not all Creationism is Intelligent Design. As you pointed out, there is a very strong place for religion and God's work within evolution, seeing as evolution explains the how not why; SimHacker's logic was simply flawed.

A game for Mac? (0, Troll)

damonlab (931917) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396004)

Why make a game for a platform that only Steve Jobs and one other person will ever play on?

Re:A game for Mac? (1)

xutopia (469129) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396260)

Was it the egg or the chicken that came first?

Re:A game for Mac? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22397174)

The daddy chicken came, then the mommy chicken begged for the daddy chicken to help her.

Then nine months later, the egg came. And the daddy chicken was nowhere to be found.

Re:A game for Mac? (-1, Flamebait)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396592)

I'm sure it will look awful pretty on the Mac. Designing for a mouse with only one button will be the hard part.

Re:A game for Mac? (1)

shinma (106792) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396678)

Which might be funny if the mouse that came with macs now didn't have four buttons.

Re:A game for Mac? (0, Flamebait)

Digi-John (692918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22397780)

It would be even funnier if the Mighty Mouse didn't suck so hard that various /. nerds have been cheating on their vacuums with it...
Seriously, though, that little trackball thingy on top is crap, and the lack of click-chording capabilities is an *absolute* deal-breaker for me. (For those of you who haven't heard of it, chording is where you click multiple buttons at the same time. Plan 9 makes heavy use of it)

That said, I'm sure the Mighty Mouse will work for Spore. But real men will continue to use true three-button mice, with three distinct buttons and no clicky rolly thing in the middle.

Re:A game for Mac? (0, Flamebait)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 6 years ago | (#22398054)

**WOOOOSH**

That was the sound of a my joke, riding an Air book, going over your head.

Re:A game for Mac? (1)

Sangui (1128165) | more than 6 years ago | (#22398302)

Well coded game that doesn't rely on Win32 system calls, and a graphics engine that is easily flipped between OpenGL and DirectX.

Great... (-1, Troll)

ericdfields (638772) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396014)

...only I'm now about 3 years older than when I first heard about this game. I no longer use a PC, and I'm no longer in college. Most of my free time is spent away from the computer, doing errands (food, misc. real life stuff), or spending time with my wonderful girlfriend.

Sorry EA/Maxis. You missed your opportunity with me. I'm sure its a wonderful product but lets be honest with our release dates from now on.

Re:Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22396090)

Yes, because you would have stayed in college and avoided getting a girlfriend if they had just told you from the start that they wouldn't be releasing it until now. I'll believe that before I believe you have a girlfriend.

Re:Great... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22396170)

"I no longer use a PC" - What did you make your website with? A pencil and pad?

Re:Great... (2, Informative)

ericdfields (638772) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396244)

PC == the incorrect but general term applied to a Windows computer, as opposed to a Mac. "iTunes. Available for Mac or PC," for example. I see that spore IS coming out for Mac, but smeh... its still sunny outside in September.

Re:Great... (1)

flitty (981864) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396378)

Can I say one minor thing slightly OT, I haven't seen the word Macintosh spelled out for probably 10 years, and it looks so strange.. Macintoshes *shudder*

Re:Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22398192)

What does the strangeness of the word 'Macintosh' have to do with Operating Thetans? ;)

Re:Great... (1)

genericpoweruser (1223032) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396284)

It's my understanding that that usually means he uses a Mac. Mac users call Windows computers PCs because of the "I'm a Mac" ads. Although... does he not realize the game is available for Mac?

Re:Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22396222)

Meanwhile some kid who was too young to comprehend such a game 3 years ago is now old enough to do so.

Sorry, but the only person who will be missing out is you.

Re:Great... (3, Informative)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396372)

Ah, the game has been delayed less than a year (if Sept. 7 is the true date).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Development_of_Spore#Release_date_delays [wikipedia.org]

The first release period was announced to be January to March of 2008.

The game was originally shown at the Game Developers Conference in early 2005, but other than "we hope to get the game out soon" there was nothing solid until what was stated above.

Re:Great... (3, Interesting)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22398088)

It seems like the project took an average amount of time, and they just turned on the hype engine way too soon.

Game makers should learn that the longer the period of hype, the higher the expectations. Let's hope, for the developer's sake, that this game is really extraordinary, because after all the hype, "good", or even "great" won't be good enough.

Re:Great... (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396586)

Sorry EA/Maxis. You missed your opportunity with me. I'm sure its a wonderful product but lets be honest with our release dates from now on.

Okay... And how exactly would honesty -- meaning they had initially told you that Spore would be out in Sept 08 -- have changed your computer-using situation in any way?

Re:Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22396594)

Don't worry, once you have kids you will be back to being trapped at the house, hoping for a PC game to give you a bit of escape. Your moment of life is fleeting.

Re:Great... (2, Insightful)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396900)

I no longer use a PC, and I'm no longer in college. Most of my free time is spent away from the computer, doing errands (food, misc. real life stuff), or spending time with my wonderful girlfriend.

For some reason I suspect you drink a lot, take zoloft, or do you just enjoy the beatings your girlfriend gives when you ask if you can hang out with your friends after work?

But seriously, I don't know about you but I'm in my 30s and if my girlfriend doesn't at least tolerate my gaming and activities then she won't be for long. Luckily, the one I got loves her DS way more than I love mine. (I'm more of a computer FPS person)

Truth is... If you date someone for looks rather than interests, they are going to get on your skin real fast once they get old.

Re:Great... (-1, Flamebait)

ericdfields (638772) | more than 6 years ago | (#22397686)

WTF you guys? Her Wii bowling score is better than mine (and we're both Pro)! Looks? How'd that get in the picture? I'm not going to even give you the satisfaction of starting an OT thread of how you smartass fuckers choose to assume rather than ask follow-up questions or just STFU all together. But fyi, we can talk for hours and then sit on the couch with laptops and not say a word to each other for hours. I can go out w/ my friends and get drunk and take my zoloft as much as I want to without even asking. She's cute, a photographer, uses BBedit and knows what STFU means.

Re:Great... (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 6 years ago | (#22397880)

uh... what? Sounds like your own life of abuse makes you automatically associate someone having a SO and not playing games with "abusive girlfriend".
You should get that problem seen to.

Re:Great... (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#22398468)

Sounds like your own life of abuse makes you automatically associate someone having a SO and not playing games with "abusive girlfriend". You should get that problem seen to.

No. I'm fine... Its just that I've had many friends over the years simply loose themselves because they were in a relationship that was unhealthy for them, stopped doing the things they once enjoyed, and now are miserable.

If your the situation with your SO isn't giving you time to do things that you like (such as play computer games like Spore or even watch football with the guys) then you'll probaly start to resent them even if they aren't actively forcing you to not do those things.

What I think I'm saying is that having a life is no excuse for not doing the things you really like. On the flip side, there are people I know who work so much that they have neither time for a SO or games and are pretty miserable too.

Personally, a relationship cannot simply be about the fact you just be someone that happens to be of opposite sex, but rather you need to share some interests. If you don't play video games anymore... Fine! But don't tell people that it is because you are in a relationship, have kids, work 40 hours, and are too busy!

There are plenty of people who do all of the above and still find time to play games for their personal enjoyment.

You just need to upgrade your girlfriend. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22396948)

Maybe you should get a better, even more wonder girlfriend, who actually lets you play computer games, and even plays them with you, and doesn't make you spend all your time doing errands for her.

The Soul of The Sims (5, Interesting)

SimHacker (180785) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396096)

The Soul of The Sims, by Will Wright [donhopkins.com]
Macintosh HD:XmotiveHarness:src/Motive.c
Tuesday, January 28, 1997 / 9:25 AM

This is the prototype for the soul of The Sims, which Will Wright wrote on January 23, 1997.

I had just started working at the Maxis Core Technology Group on "Project X" aka "Dollhouse", and Will Wright brought this code in one morning, to demonstrate his design for the motives, feedback loop and failure conditions of the simulated people. While going through old papers, I ran across this print-out that I had saved, so I scanned it and cleaned the images up, and got permission from Will to publish it.

This code is a interesting example of game design, programming and prototyping techniques. The Sims code has certainly changed a lot since Will wrote this original prototype code. For example, there is no longer any "stress" motive. And the game doesn't store motives in global variables, of course.

My hope is that this code will give you a glimpse of how Will Wright designs games, and what was going on in his head at the time!

Read The Soul of The Sims code here... [donhopkins.com]

-Don

Re:The Soul of The Sims (1)

The Friendly Strange (1228202) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396168)

Well, considering he had designing the game for more than a decade, I find that this code is still on the game. Albeit in a more simpler or complex way.

Re:The Soul of The Sims (3, Funny)

Solder Fumes (797270) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396614)

I read through it, and I'm not sure that's actually for The Sims. With messages like "You smell very bad, it's time to take a bath" I think Will was simply encapsulating his own life in code.

Sigh... (0)

dyslexicbunny (940925) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396118)

So I was discussing this news with a couple of my friends as we'd all been interested in the game. Sadly, I will be in the middle of studying for PhD qualifiers instead of being able to play. This brought up joking of just getting a real job instead so I could actually play. The conversation might go something like this:

"So Dr Adviser, I was thinking about taking quals. But Spore's coming out on September 7th so I'm going to get a job instead. kthnxbye."

Sadly, I don't think my adviser or the research engineers I work with would be amused.

seven months out? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22396120)

Anyone else think its kind of strange that they're announcing the release date 7 months out? I seriously doubt the game is done with all the testing and balancing that needs to be done with it. It's almost like they're trying to slap a ship date on it regardless of whether it will actually be ready by then. Let's hope it's complete enough when it actually does ship. I'm not holding my breath, though.

Yawn (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22396122)

Another damn game the media has decided they want to pretend that gamers are desperately waiting for.

No on cares about the game.

Re:Yawn (0, Flamebait)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396196)

Screw you.

I care about the game. I have ever since I saw the GDC video back in 2005, before the hype even started.

Go back to playing Shoot-em-up: Blood Massacre 27

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22396404)

Actually, I'm playing Aerobiz Supersonic.

Re:Yawn (1)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396774)

No, you're playing "Troll the Slashdot Geeks." And winning handily, I might add.

Re:Yawn (5, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396732)

Other than so-called Madden Gamers and Halo-fiends, nearly every gamer is looking forward to this. How do I know this?

Because unlike some other developers, when Will Wright says he is implementing some crazy idea into a game, he actually implements it and implements it well. Not to suck the man's pecker, but the possibilities of a game like Spore are quite beyond anything previuosly conceived in the interactive entertainment world. Just read through interviews with him about it, or better yet just read through the Wikipedia article about it. I don't mean skim over it, I mean sit down and truly read it and absorb everything that this game is aspiring to do (and, based on what Will Wright is saying, is doing successfully.)

When you look at what he is hoping to accomplish in this game, and what he is saying is already there and in somewhat playable form... itwould have been impossible even just a decade ago. His early description of it by calling it "Sim Everything" seems like it will be an accurate label.

Lastly, keep in mind that the ONLY thing that we have any sort of details about are when you are still in the cell-sized areas of the game. If they are putting this much detail into what is happening when you are the size of an amoeba, imagine what the rest of it could possbily be like...

I know I sound like some sniviling Will Wright fanboy who wants anything the man releases, but again...go and really read about what this game is trying to accomplish. It's mind boggling.

Re:Yawn (1)

Digi-John (692918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22397836)

Will: So this is my new game, Pee. Basically I'm going to pee on every one of you, and you're going to love every second of it. That's my design. And you decide what you want to do with the pee. We're not telling you how to enjoy it. I leave that up to you guys. You're going to create your own unique experiences with my pee. You're all going to do something different. How will you react to that? This guy, he might get some pee in his eye. That's completely different from pee in your hair, and that's exciting to me as a game designer.
Fans: Will Wright! Please pee on us!

Penny Arcade, of course.

Double Feature (1, Funny)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396220)

I heard they are going to package it together with Duke Nukem Forever! Hooray!

Bring on the vaporware!

Yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22396248)

Between news on DNF and this, I believe hell hath truly frozen over.

PIRACY IS KILLING PC GAMING (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22396262)

We pulled some disturbing numbers this past week about the amount of PC players currently playing CoD4 Multiplayer (which was fantastic). What wasn't fantastic was the percentage of those numbers who were playing on stolen copies of the game on stolen / cracked CD keys of pirated copies (and that was only people playing online).

Not sure if I can share the exact numbers or percentage of PC players with you, but I'll check and see; if I can I'll update with them. As the amount of people who pirate PC games is astounding. It blows me away at the amount of people willing to steal games (or anything) simply because it's not physical or it's on the safety of the internet to do.

Re:PIRACY IS KILLING PC GAMING (1)

genericpoweruser (1223032) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396408)

You're using a template!! I've seen that EXACT post elsewhere. Not to mention that you conflate the meanings of "pirate," "stolen," and "cracked." Now I agree that people that make products should be paid by the people that use them. However, in my day I have "pirated" many, many products--a large portion of which I would never have played/used because they were too expensive.(Does ANYBODY have a legal version of Adobe Photoshop but they don't use it to make money [e.g. they use it for making sigs in forums]?) As with pretty much everything in life, it's not exactly black-and-white. Many "pirates" can come up with at least moderately compelling arguments as to why they do what they do.

Dupe. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396510)

Dupe. [google.com]

Also, if you have the capability to track who is using a pirated copy, you have the capability to ban them from your systems, right? If it's a more decentralized model, and you can't stop them, then you don't really have the capability to track them. QED.

Wii version has been announced, per TFA (4, Informative)

randyest (589159) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396390)

Did the story submitter RTFA?

The summary:

The only confirmed platforms so far are Windows PCs, Macintoshes, the Nintendo DS and various mobile phones. Wright wants the Wii, 360, and PS3 to have the game, but they're not firm 'yes'es yet.


The article:

A Wii version has already been announced. What can you say about what that's going to play like in terms of structure, control, etc.?

I can't say much about it except the fact that the overriding kind of factor in my mind and Lucy [Bradshaw]'s, in terms of looking at what direction that team goes with it, has been to make really good use of the controller. What interests me about the Wii is that in some sense you have a much higher bandwith controller than you have with any other console or even a PC. How do we abstract the maximum Because one of the biggest advantages we have is our procedural animation system, which means that we can have an infinite of variety of animations that we can make the creature do because it's done procedurally. So that's a natural kind of strength of having a higher bandwith input device--it should really feel like I'm puppeteering this creature very directly, as opposed to I'm just indirectly controlling with a few buttons here and there. The rest of the design is totally going to evolve around that.


These are contradictory. I think I'll go with the story itself.

Also, something out on a cellphone before major consoles? That seems odd -- is it a first?

Re:Wii version has been announced, per TFA (1)

Xiaoxiaofreak2 (911371) | more than 6 years ago | (#22397316)

Which "FA" are you referencing? I spent a few minutes digging through the various links without finding your specific reference, though I'm fairly sure I had heard this before as well.

Mind providing us with a link to the sauce of your knowledge? Neither the joystiq article (what appears to be this post's primary source) nor the original press release say anything about this.

Re:Wii version has been announced, per TFA (1)

randyest (589159) | more than 6 years ago | (#22397584)

This one [newsweek.com], which is part 2 of the interview, and linked in the phrase "why it has taken so long" in the summary. It's the second question in the article.

Re:Wii version has been announced, per TFA (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 6 years ago | (#22397738)

The WIImote has a higher bandwidth than a Razer mouse? Is she sure about that? How the hell does that make for a better game anyhow?

DS but no PSP? (1, Interesting)

Zutroi_Zatatakowsky (513851) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396448)

How can they release something for the PS3 and DS but no mention of the PSP? Isn't the PSP much better than the DS, CPU-wise?

Re:DS but no PSP? (1)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396544)

The Jaguar was much better than the original PlayStation, CPU-wise. Which would you rather have?

Re:DS but no PSP? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#22397016)

The Jaguar was much better than the original PlayStation, CPU-wise. Which would you rather have?
Um, no it wasn't. Besides being two years older, that hardware team didn't have the foggiest clue how to do something like the PSX. A more apt example would have been the Sega Saturn.

Re:DS but no PSP? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396788)

How can they release something for the PS3 and DS but no mention of the PSP? Isn't the PSP much better than the DS, CPU-wise?
Yes, but not input-wise. Although if it's going to be out on the PS3 or XBOX 360, you've got a point.

I love Nintendo and really don't care for Sony, but I don't see what's so 'trollish' about this question.

Re:DS but no PSP? (1)

enderjsv (1128541) | more than 6 years ago | (#22397092)

Why was Zutroi marked troll? He got a good point (except that it is not confirmed for the PS3). The PSP is a more powerful system, so it seems like it would be a better choice to handle a game of this scope. However, I think the popularity of the DS and the additional control options of the DS are what won out in the end. Besides, the DS might not be as powerful as the PSP, but it's still a very capable system.

Re:DS but no PSP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22398280)

It was obvious that it is probably a Nintendo fanboy who hates Sony more than murderers.
Troll is so often misused these days by idiots.

What's going on with the consoles? (1)

RetroRichie (259581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396464)

Isn't Spore DirectX-based? That should make the transition to the 360 trivial. Can't imagine why these platforms haven't jumped all over this... maybe this is anecdotal, but myself and many of my friends have resolved to quit gaming on the PC now that the consoles have more or less caught up. No reason to continue falling deeper into the gaming PC money pit.

Re:What's going on with the consoles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22396542)

Unfortunately, there's a lack of opportunity to yell "FUCK YOU YOU MEXICAN JEW LIZARD" at other players over your mic, so they'll have to delay the Xwhateverstation versions until they can find a way to appeal to the types of gamers who prefer those consoles.

Re:What's going on with the consoles? (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396876)

I assume the controls would present *some* challenge. A controller pad has a more limited controls than a PC; not to say it can't do it, just that it requires more than just a quick function mapping. A large portion of Spore is supposed to be about sharing just about everything, and I'm sure Live presents some challenges and requires a lot of interaction with Microsoft, atleast that's what other developers have said. Furthermore, DS and cellphone versions were said to be limited to a or a few certain "levels" (eg. space/microbial.)

On a side note, as a PC gamer, I still don't feel consoles are quite as good. I do own a Wii, as I feel it best compliments my PC. As for PC gaming being a money pit, I don't know if I can argue against it; consoles are just going to be cheaper because of the model they follow. Still, I prefer building my own PC. If the comment was in reference to the never ceasing harkening of the "death of PC gaming," I would submit that perhaps PC gaming is merely going in a different direction than the stats are looking for. For instance, Steam reached 13 million accounts [slashdot.org] (not users) in May, only to recently ascend to 15 million [steampowered.com] accounts. Increasingly popular games are becoming available via Steam as well; just recently the MMO Eve Online accounced it was coming to Steam. Despite a large and growing library of games, services like Steam, or Direct 2 Drive, or Gametap, tend to fall off the rader of PC stats accounting.

Re:What's going on with the consoles? (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22397034)

I'm not a main PC gamer personally, but to go with what you said, I feel Steam saved PC gaming for me. PCs were better at it in theory, but in practice, consoles had better games (in general, with notable exceptions, like many Blizzard games), just because of the marketshare and marketing... But with Steam comes a new factor: Impulse buy. I can go from wanting a game, to getting it, before I have time to doubt myself :)

Not sure if thats actually good or bad, but my childish self likes it.

Re:What's going on with the consoles? (1)

RetroRichie (259581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22398326)

I'm not saying PC gaming is dead. But I would submit to you if Microsoft (and maybe the other players) wanted to kill it by seriously marketing a wireless keyboard and mouse for their consoles, they probably more or less could. And I would say that the killer app for PC gaming is more or less dead--when was the last time you had to upgrade your machine just to play a game (Doom)? But still we keep dumping cash into our boxes just to get that frame rate improvement, and given that you can play Oblivion (for instance) on your 360 with virtually the same experience, I think the console is truly at the cusp of ridding us of the money pit problem altogether. PC gaming will still be around for games with low-resource requirements, but the console will likely dominate elsewhere.

So anyway, maybe it's anecdotal (or maybe I'm just another futurist tool), but my friends and I have already flipped that switch... and I think it will start to happen in droves soon. Especially with guys like us getting older, getting married, having kids, paying for college courses, and generally having to be more prudent in how we spend those entertainment funds. Not to mention the fact that kids these days are better at shooters on the console than they are with a mouse, which is truly mind boggling and probably indicative of how they will respond to the market going forward. We love our mice--they are pretty indifferent, at best. Seems to me that everything is reaching a critical mass.

Re:What's going on with the consoles? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22397284)

Spore started as an experiment by Will Wright that later got folded back into the company. I'm sure they're all really leery of it still and don't want to invest in making this game for every processor known to man with some kind of proof that it'll actually sell. The Internet Hype Machine (tm) has managed to convince them it'll sell well enough to put it on a few of them, but it'll have to actually sell before they'll feel comfortable with more. Wright isn't God at the company, merely a very, very strong influence. It's quite obvious that if it were up to him, they'd have launched all the consoles with everything else all at once.

EA Screws Mac Gamers Again (0, Troll)

jeffbax (905041) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396498)

Game utilizes Transgaming's Cider, which means a buggy, non-native piece of slow running crap like every other Cider game I've played...

Sigh. Please, bring back the 6 month waits for Aspyr & the rest to do a proper version.

Underwater stage? Flying critters? Length? (1)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396558)

So, any news on the following?

* The so called "Underwater stage"? Supposedly this was cut in lieu of your creature moving from cell to the beach...
* Flying critters, or otherwise critters with wings?
* The length of each stage? In the latest interview he talks about difficulty levels and how that will affect it, so... How long will it take each stage on the average difficulty?

Need Star Wars Version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22396618)

I think this type of game play where you can play at various levels of abstraction has a lot of potential, especially when applied to a MMOG. Don't like Civilization-type game play? Command individual wars. Don't like the micromanaging of forces? Play from the perspective of an individual squad or soldier/unit. Every different perspective of game play interacting with the other perspectives.

Ever since playing the original X-Wing, I've always thought this kind of dynamic perspective game play would be awesome when combined with online play (MMOG). I know this has been done to a certain degree with Star Wars Galaxies, or what have you, but not as flexible as it could be.

I'd love to see a Star Wars MMOG where you could slip in and out of perspectives (with some load time of course). Imagine flying as an individual tie fighter, X-Wing, gunner on a battle ship, etc. (with other players or AI). Meanwhile, other players could be controlling the sides of the battle from a Homeworld-type perspective. Above them could be other players who are controlling things at a higher "Master of Orion"-perspective. This way, communication could be facilitated between players on the same team throughout these different perspectives.

Adding a hierarchical aspect to MMOGs (and allowing players to choose what perspective they want to play at) could add a whole new dimension to MMOGs. Of course, for this to work it couldn't just be real players. You would have to have an economics engine to grant players access to AI units to fill in the gaps of forces.

As far as I've seen, there don't appear to be any MMOGs out there that provide this kind of game play. Has anyone seen something like this?

Re:Need Star Wars Version (1)

trongey (21550) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396762)

I'd love to see a Star Wars MMOG where you could slip in and out of perspectives (with some load time of course). Imagine flying as an individual tie fighter, X-Wing, gunner on a battle ship, etc. (with other players or AI). Meanwhile, other players could be controlling the sides of the battle from a Homeworld-type perspective. Above them could be other players who are controlling things at a higher "Master of Orion"-perspective. This way, communication could be facilitated between players on the same team throughout these different perspectives.
So, basically, you want a MMOG that plays like Battlestations: Midway - except maybe with one more layer of abstraction.

A long wait, but... (4, Insightful)

elysiana (1152995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396638)

So we've got those who complain about companies releasing a product before it's ready, and then we've got those who complain that a product is taking too long to come out. I'd like to think that Spore is one of those games that's going to have playability over a large range of ages - you're not going to outgrow it. Sure, we're not getting any younger, but you gotta admit you still wanna have a crack at it, and you still will when it's finally released.

Has it taken a long time from concept to completion? Yeah, that's a pitfall they've encountered. Maybe their timing is good, though - the MMO world has calmed down a bit, the Wii isn't as brand-spanking-new, people have done Bioshock... now there's something new to anticipate and it's not competing against the "biggies" we've had lately. Granted, in the months to come we may find that new hardware and games are going to challenge it. But think of it this way - it's certainly piqued your interest, right? Controversy means people will take a look at it, just to find out what the fuss is about.

If the game is good enough, it doesn't matter when it's released - it's not going to miss the boat because it's not trying to ride a fad. In the meantime, we can still play the games we've been playing. No need to hop from one game to the next constantly, just sit back and enjoy what you're playing... when Spore comes out, you'll be ready for it, and maybe you can take the time to play it out and appreciate what it is, rather than whipping through and waiting for the next late-release game.

Re:A long wait, but... (1)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 6 years ago | (#22398484)

I don't mind waiting for Spore; to be honest, we should be forced to wait more for games, or really any product. As far as I see it, every day we wait, the game becomes slightly better. Yeah, they could probably rush it out by May or June but who cares? It'd be a much sleeker, smoother product by September. I'm more than willing to sit back and wait for something awesome if it's actually going to be awesome. Rushing never helped anything.

Oh, and FYI, this doesn't mean DNF will be the best game ever.

Blue Balls (3, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 6 years ago | (#22396910)

>> Will Wright's Spore To Release Sept. 7th

If he waits that long, he's going to have a hell of a case of blue balls.

Game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22397130)

I guess the devs finally figured out a way to program a game in this title.

Tell me why I should care about WW's "Spore" (4, Insightful)

HomerJ (11142) | more than 6 years ago | (#22397558)

This game has been marketed to death as some Will Wright masterpiece. What exactly has Will Wright done other than an early 80's game about building a city, and a game who's main purpose is to wash dishes and trap people in a pool?

I'm not saying Spore will be good or bad, but I'm not buying a game who's sole reason for hype is a guy who's managed to make two franchises and milk them to death in a way that makes Nintendo jealous.

Re:Tell me why I should care about WW's "Spore" (2, Informative)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 6 years ago | (#22398190)

This little game called "The SIMS"? Maybe you've heard of it? Best selling PC game / series of all time?

Re:Tell me why I should care about WW's "Spore" (1)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22398410)

and a game who's main purpose is to wash dishes and trap people in a pool?

He was talking about The Sims here. Of course, only utter failures at the game would spend time washing dishes. It's much better to give someone the grilled cheese aspiration, farm aspiration points by having a housemate eat their sandwiches, and then spend the hundreds of thousands of aspiration points you get on energizers, so you never have to have your sim do anything but work and then recharge.

Snapdragons and Servos are pretty sweet with this strategy as well.

I remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22397662)

I remember the last time there was this revolutionary game coming, with wide open gameplay and everything was possible and it looked really gorgeous and you had near absolute freedom...

That was Black & White.

So tell me again why am I going to let myself be burned by this Spore?

Doesn't this qualify as a good year or bad year... (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22397668)

It's amazing how many things that have been considered vaporware for so many years are coming it this year. Obviously most have still not sent he light of day but we are starting to get release dates. I always thought Spore would come out in the next 12 months but a few old friends like Duke Nuke Em Forever will have a bitter sweet edge to it. There needs to be a little mourning for some of the more long lived bits of vaporware. I just hope they both live up to expectation so it can be a positive thing them being released and not just a let's get it over with and get on with our lives event.
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