News Archive - December 2005
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This site has been a bit quiet lately, but we'll catch up with the news. First of all though, we have upgraded our forums to the latest version of vBulletin. It's a big improvement, a lot behind the scenes but you will also notice some difference. Naturally you can view it all in the Spore Zone style you trust so much. So head over to our forums, join a discussion and chat away!
In a thread on the GameDAILY Forums a screenshot of Spore's creature editor was found. It comes from a presentation by Lucy Bradshaw, VP and Head of Production and Development for Maxis, who is currently working on Spore. She spoke about the game at the National Youth Leadership Forum for Technology. In another thread at GamingEvolved you'll be able to find more, low quality, screenshots which aren't too new. That's not all though, as further down to the bottom there's a link to a video of the presentation, showing the game from a distance. For 7 Mb you get 20 seconds of video. You can see the creature editor picture below and in our screenshot index. Thanks to SnootySpore and Jaleho from GamingSteve for finding these threads.
The book "Smartbomb," which is about the history of the gaming industry, has recently been published. In it is a chapter about Will Wright, designer of SimCity, the Sims and the upcoming Spore. In an interview at Shacknews Wright talks about his look on the history of video games. Naturally there is a bit of talk about Spore, but not much. All Will could say is that it's going well, and he is satisfied with where the game is going:
"Speaking of PC games, I couldn't help pestering Wright about Spore. As I expected, he wasn't able to share much in the way of details. 'It's going well,' he said. 'It's a challenge. Quite a challenging project, but I've got an amazing team on it, and I'm actually very satisfied with where it's going.' Wright is confident, but he gives his answer with an air of humility I hadn't been led to expect from a man who apparently withers people with his steely gaze on a regular basis. He pauses for a second, then concludes, 'I think we're going to pull it off.'"
Read the interview for the rest.
We just mentioned the book Smartbomb. Another Spore fansite, SnootySpore, has posted part of the chapter about Will Wright. At the time of writing the game is still nicknamed SimEverything, and Wright and his team were working in Walnut Creek, where Maxis once started (they have since moved to Emeryville).
The excerpt reveals that Will has been working on the game since 1998 already, and that will is inspired by physicist and astrobiologist Enrico Fermi. He describes the concept for the game a follows: "What's a simple simulation that would describe all of life as we know it?" The article also quotes Wright about the procedural technologies, which will create the graphics in the game without the help of artists: "To me, it becomes almost a religion. What is the simplest set of rules I can imagine that would allow me to possibly simulate the complexities of an emerging universe." For more details, including a bit on Wright's vision on the gaming industry, read the excerpt.
Like several times before, GamingSteve has a new exclusive concept art of Spore. This time it shows a firepit as it goes through three different stages. In his podcast, Steve says he has more sketches which he'll release over the next few weeks. These artworks also show that, besides creatures, the objects and buildings will evolve too. He also tells that within being a society, there are substeps. For example, the city-building phase has several subsections in it. You can see the artwork below, and listen to the podcast at GamingSteve.
Will Wright first presented Spore on the Game Developers Conference 2005, and the event won't be without Spore next year. From 20-24 March 2006 the GDC will take place again, with two 60-minute lectures by Spore team members. Although Will Wright isn't listed as speaker for any session, producer Caryl Shaw and Senior Development Director Eric Todd will both be holding a talk about the game.
In "Building Community Around Pollinated Content in Spore" Shaw will discuss what lessons have been learned and applied to Spore from SimCity and The Sims 2. The system will have to work for both creators and those who are more likely to download creations from others, so that's what will be looked into more deeply. More advanced is Todd's talk, "Building Community Around Pollinated Content in Spore". Todd will tell how prototyping can be very important during the preproduction of a game. Examples using Spore will be given to illustrate various items. The exact date and time for both sessions are still undetermined. Thanks to Planeta Spore for the links.
Just like last week, GamingSteve has published an official artwork of Spore. Where the previous sketch was one of a firepit, this time it some healing tools that tribes can have, in different stages. As usual we've added it to our screenshots database, so you can see the full version by clicking the thumbnail below. Next week Steve will release what he says is the best picture of the batch.
Furthermore, in his latest podcast, Steve tells that Maxis is probably trying to get an an E (Everyone) rating for Spore, or else a T (Teen) rating, with the note that online gameplay can affect it. He also expects there will be some kind of infantry for warfare, although it hasn't been seen yet. Government types and leaders are quite definitely in the game, although the exact way this will work isn't known too well yet. Also, as soon as you get into the Tribal stage, you might not be able to evolve anymore, but because the game is still a work in progress this might change. About expansion packs, Steve says there will definitely be some. Listen to the podcast for the precise details. SporeTalk starts at roughly 77 minutes into the podcast.