Posts Tagged ‘Spore’

PC Gaming Is Dying Blahblahblah

By Alec Meer on September 26th, 2008.

Spore has only sold 1 million copies. Warhammer Online has a piffling 500,000 subscribers. Ah well. Might as well call it a day for the old IBM Compatible, eh?

Pffffffft. It’s been a grand Autumn for PC so far, and with Left 4 Dead, Far Cry 2 and Fallout 3 (shut up) also incoming our beloved maths-box’s star isn’t going to dim any time soon. Two things worth noting about the Spore/WAR (hey, that rhymes!) success though.
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Spore Buds – EA Backs Down On DRM

By John Walker on September 23rd, 2008.

Well, to an extent.

The good news is this: EA are taking a big step back on Spore’s DRM. From three installs ever and one account per copy of the game, they’re switching to as many re-installs as you want on a maximum of five computers, with a patch for multiple accounts for one machine on the way. That’s a big change of heart. We hinted that there might have been a change from three to five installs last week. This weekend the LA Times reported that EA have “apologised” to customers for the digital restrictions, when issuing their reprise. They report EA Games’ President Frank Gibeau saying,

“We’ve received complaints from a lot of customers who we recognize and respect. We need to adapt our policy to accommodate our legitimate consumers.”

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Interview: Spore’s Lead Designer On Spore’s Design

By Kieron Gillen on September 22nd, 2008.

Much like everyone else, we’ve been thinking far too much about Spore recently. Alex Hutchinson, the game’s lead designer, has been thinking about it for years. With the game released, we grabbed the opportunity to talk candidly and extensively with him about its design choices. From high level decisions like the actual in-game effect of customisation to basic technical elements like the lack of autosave to the question of the sudden difficulty spike in Space (And the lack of difficulty elsewhere), he reveals Maxis’ thinking. Whether you adore or abhor it, after reading this, you’ll understand exactly why Spore is the game it is.
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RPS Verdict: Spore

By RPS on September 19th, 2008.


We’ve all had a go at that Spore game, so it’s time to bang the hammer of judgment and sound great horns across the internet. Spore: What is it good for? Absolutely something.

Jim: Right, shall we discuss Spore? Everyone ready?
Kieron: Well, the trad way to start would be to say how much we’ve played, yeah? I’ve taken two races up into space, and reached the centre of the galaxy with one. A load of minor fiddling too, obviously.
Jim: I’ve played it through to the space stage a twice, and then a third time at the space stage as a start. I’ve probably spent as much time again the various editors.
Alec: I got an achievement the other day saying I’d spent 50 hours in space with a single species. This somewhat horrified me.
Jim: Blimey. Where is John, by the way?
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The Sims Top Ten, September 6th

By Jim Rossignol on September 16th, 2008.


We don’t usually pay much attention to the charts, but I spotted the September 6th line up over on Shacknews and it amused me. And there’s a mystery…
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Spore: Five Activations?

By Jim Rossignol on September 14th, 2008.


I hadn’t tried activating Spore more than three times, but reader roBurky did. It happened like this:

roBurky: EA apparently changed the Spore DRM from 3 to 5 initial activations without telling anyone.
Jim: did you discover this yourself?
roBurky: Yeh. I installed on three computers, then contacted support to get more ready for when I’d need them
roBurky: Was told I still had two left. I pointed out that their support page said we only got three, and they thanked me for pointing it out and said they’d update it.
Jim: huh

Anyone else made the same discovery? (Extended RPS Spore discussion due next week!)

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“Resisting EA’s War on Creationism”

By Jim Rossignol on September 10th, 2008.


Blogchums Videogaming247 have spotted that a Creationist blogger has started his own campaign against the evil of Will Wright’s game. No DRM quibbles here though, it’s all about the religious implications:

You would think that as a member of the Episcopal Church, a smart man like Will Wright would not be capable of creating Spore. However, we must be reminded that the Episcopal Church is the only church in america that ordains homosexuals on a regular basis.

It makes sense that a perverted church would cause a man to make the creations he has in this game. It just may be that evolution is not the only thing to fear this game teaching your children.

Yes. For more such insights, visit Anti Spore.

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Spore War

By Alec Meer on September 9th, 2008.

People really don’t like DRM. And a small but very passionate/ferocious group of people really, really, really don’t like DRM. They’ve struck back by shaping Amazon’s user reviews of Spore en masse, bringing its average rating down to just one star.

While I’m aware it’s a major issue for a lot of gamers, I think it’s a hateful thing to do on this kind of scale. I do understand their concerns entirely, and would much prefer there was no DRM in Spore. Fine, don’t buy the game yourself or crack it if you’re not happy with the restrictions and privacy violations. Write to EA or trading standards, blog about it, demand there’s a big warning sticker on the box.

Even protest ratings based on your actual negative experiences of the DRM are entirely valid, but this concerted group effort (most of whom, I imagine, haven’t actually played the game or experienced its usage restrictions first-hand) is giving innocent Amazon customers entirely the wrong impression of a game they might well love: that star rating is all that a lot of people look at. This isn’t raising awareness of DRM: it’s just making people not buy the game because they think it must be rubbish.

The DRM’s a significant problem – a problem we won’t know the full extent of for a while, I’d imagine – but my concern is that one of the most influential buying guides on the web is currently only telling one side of the story. A progressive, excellent game could get sunk because of it, and we’ll end up with more licensed tripe instead. Not that likely, granted, but possible.

Appreciate that this is a subject people feel very strongly about, but please express your comments below without bellowing abuse at each other.

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Spore: Things To Know…

By Kieron Gillen on September 5th, 2008.

SPACE!!!!

We’ll be doing a verdict next week, but for now, here’s the three things you should know about Spore.

1) Spore is a four hour character creator for a polished version of Space Rangers 2. It’s neat.
2) Ignore anyone’s opinion who’s played it less than – oooh – eight hours. There’s certainly good reasons to dislike or even dismiss Spore, but it takes that point before you see past your preconceptions.
3) There is no Autosave. I repeat: there is no autosave.

And a load more detail beneath the cut.
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Spore: A Monetary Mystery

By Jim Rossignol on September 4th, 2008.


So reader SchizoSlayer drops us a line, and he says “Did you know that EA store is selling Spore for £40?” We didn’t, but it is. The same site is selling this same digital download for $50 in the US. And Amazon UK are selling it in a box, delivered through your door for £27.

Just sayin’.

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Spore: The First Reviews (UPDATED)

By Alec Meer on September 3rd, 2008.

Apparently the official online embargo starts lifting tomorrow, but a bunch of print scores have already found their way into the realms of webby-land. Most notably, CVG have just posted a slightly bizarre summary of Tom Francis’ print review in PC Gamer UK, which is possibly a cheeky attempt to get a march on tomorrow’s online reviews. The lad scored Will Wright’s new’un a whopping 91%, but delivered a few sharp punches to Spore’s ribs. For the whole review you’ll need to read the mag, but what are, purportedly, the most pertinent comments can be found here.

On the other side of the coin, VG247 is reporting less favourable scores from a couple of German gaming mags.: 79% from Gamestar, and 73% from PC Games. Hmm. Looks like it’s silly season for huge score discrepancies, eh?

Update – Looks like those German mags are in the minority. There are ten reviews in the wild now, most of which are 8s and 9s. This one seems especially trustworthy, for some mysterious reason.

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Wright On Sporn: “Some of it’s really good”

By Alec Meer on August 28th, 2008.

The Associated Press has managed to squeeze a comment on Spornography out of Will Wright:

“When you give players creative control, you have to expect they’re going to do the unexpected. Some of it’s really good for what they were shooting for. It’s amazingly explicit, especially when those creations are animated. We just have to make sure those people aren’t messing up the experience for others.”

Which, while not approval as such, certainly isn’t damning the monstrous penis-beasts and sodomy monsters the internet seems so fond of. Good on ‘im. Unfortunately they don’t ask whether he’s made any Sporn himself, which means we’re duty bound to speculate wildy that he has, and that it was unimaginably disgusting.
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Spore: It’s Made Of People

By RPS on August 27th, 2008.


[Brandon Boyer, the author of this piece, is one of Rock, Paper, Shotgun's international agents. In 2006 he visited Spore developers Maxis at their studio on behalf of Edge magazine. The following article is an updated version of the feature that was published in that magazine last year. In it Mr Boyer talks to Wright and his team, and gets the heart of how this game came to be. Read on to discover how Spore was made of people.]

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