Yahooooooooo: Spore Is Gold

Set all cells to party!

True, we’ve known about the September 7th (5th in Europe) release date for a while now, but it was hard to ever quite believe in it after all those painful years of delays to Maxis’ evolveathon. But Spore has indeed gone gold at last, and the release is mere weeks away – making it perhaps the vanguard for what’s set to be an absolutely epic Autumn for PC gaming. Internet, prepare thyself.

Something Sporian we’ve not mentioned here previously, incidentally, are the fascinating prototypes the official site has been dribbling out over the last few weeks. Early code-experiments for the game, yours to dabble with for free – they provide something of a history to the game’s development, plus chances for an early look at how aspects of the finished thing will work. It’s fairly unprecedented behind the scenes access for such a high-profile game. Grab ’em from here.

22 Comments

  1. CrashT says:

    Spore… uniting the two pillars of the internet Gaming and Porn.

    I can feel the money draining out of my wallet even now, this is going to be an interesting, if expensive, time to be a gamer.

  2. BobJustBob says:

    There were not years of delays! It was delayed once! Only once! And it was only announced 3 years ago! This misinformation must stop! The exclamation points are because I am excited!

  3. Cunningbeef says:

    Ah, I remember when this game was being released in 2006…

    Probably a bit early to get nostalgic, actually. But I’d still rather play the game Wright showed at GDC 05 than whatever is coming out next month.

  4. MetalCircus says:

    Can’t wait to play it! But I forsee years and years and years of endless spore expansions. You know it’ll happen, guys.

  5. Pijama says:

    And then, hope became a certainty. :D

  6. Cooper says:

    Wow. Those prototypes have just made me love everything spor-ish even more.

    I’m loving the trend in ‘behind the scenes’ goodies going on now. Chris Delay over at introversion blogging about development, Valve ‘commentary’ tracks and now Spore prototypes. It’s the kind of value-added for fans that other media have been doing for years now. I’m glad games developers are catching on – players do invest so much in the games they love, this kinda stuff feels like it acknowledges and, maybe, appreciates that. It doesn’t say ‘we love you back’ as much as DRM-free releases. but it’s almost there.

  7. Alex says:

    After all the palaver of the last few years, but especially the last few months, I really hope the actual gameplay will turn out to be good (or great, if I had to choose).

  8. shinygerbil says:

    Aww, I’ve lost my enthusiasm for Spore. I never really had any in the first place, but I managed to get a little excited when I was tinkering with the Creature Creator. I pre-ordered Spore, so that’ll be a nice little time-delay present for myself come September, but besides that I feel a little bit of a lack of interest.

    I’m sure it’ll be great fun, though. Even though I’m not really sure what the game is about.

  9. ngc248 says:

    Downloaded the prototypes and had a go at them … I must say this gives a really good insight for those who are into these kinds of things

  10. Mike says:

    Despite hating it essentially since conception, I still feel the unnerving desire to purchase it. I think this is how capitalism works.

  11. Half Broken Glass says:

    There are people who still care about Spore? Wasn’t just about every single feature it had dropped already?

  12. (a different) Alex says:

    But I’d still rather play the game Wright showed at GDC 05 than whatever is coming out next month.

    If it every really existed. Wright said it himself at that keynote– the demoed version was basically held together with bits of tape and string.

  13. Richard says:

    Hmmm, would it be bad to spend the last day before you get married solely playing Spore so that you don’t have to wait until you get back from honeymoon?

  14. CrashT says:

    *Innocent Look* No…

  15. Stromko says:

    The ‘CityMaze’ prototype seems the most incomplete of the ‘gamey’ prototypes, since I can never get the apparent ‘entertainment’ building to open its doors. Invariably my critters end up depressed and start to run away, and it’s really like herding cats since they can’t path properly even if you take the time to make roads or connections between the buildings. There’s also no documentation or titles on anything to tell me what the hell I’m doing, took me about 45 minutes to figure out I could build walls with that weird nodule-thing at the bottom, and if entertainment buildings (or whatever the orange flag building is) aren’t bugged they certainly don’t open up like the other buildings do and there’s no help.

    The Space prototype was really a lot of fun though, there’s really nothing to the technology or diplomacy ‘game’ of it, but terraforming, seeding, and colonizing new worlds is crazy fun. I’m sure from videos that Spore has the same complexity on the terraforming part, and probably more complexity on the colonizing part, but I wonder if the more graphically-intense real game will be able to give me this sense of the creatures and plants spreading all over the plant in a gradual way, and sometimes failing because the environment isn’t /quite/ perfect for them.

    What I fear, in short, is that in Spore once you drop a plant and some critters on a suitable planet, and maybe zoom away for a minute, suddenly they’re going to exist all over the planet. That’d leave no apparent way to build separate ecosystems and environs, unless there’s actually localized climates (hot, cold, humid, dry and variations inbetween) to restrict different plants and animals to different areas. It’d also deprive me of that special joy I feel when I see weeds and camels spreading across a once-dead world.

    I hope they’ve taken the right elements specifically in the terraforming game in the Space prototype because that’s what felt most like an enjoyable game. You can’t just plop down some volcanoes and slam a planet with a bunch of comets, you’d only get a dead world of peaks and frozen oceans. In some ways it could stand to be harder though, for instance there was seemingly no way to fail by having /too much/ atmosphere, and apparently planets don’t actually need much if any water to support life so you can basically skip the ‘comet’ step if you don’t want oceans. Following that, you also don’t have to worry about rain shadows or any other localized weather effect, or weather at all for that matter.

    I could see Spore being massively more complicated in the terraforming stage than the Space prototype, they call it a prototype for a reason, but I just can’t know until I see more of it.

  16. Leelad says:

    *pop*

  17. Sum0 says:

    Argh, is there no end to the month-before-release big-game backlash? What are people actually looking forward to?

    The only thing I’m worried about Spore is that, in the wide-reaching scope of the game, the actual details may be a little washed out. Will the Civilization mode be as deep as Civilization? Probably not, but I’m hoping it won’t be a shallow imitation either.

    Also, the amount of thought that’s gone into these little dev tools gives me hope that Spore is definitely something above the norm.

  18. NOT AN ALIEN says:

    Too bad you’ll only be allowed to install it 3 times. And all loving DRM you can pack on a game to annoy legitimate customers.

    I’ll spend my money and my time elsewhere, thanks.

  19. cyrenic says:

    @Richard

    That’s no problem. I was playing Counter Strike Source with my groomsmen in my apartment less than an hour before my wedding :D.

    Uh…Spore…nope not interested.

  20. UncleLou says:

    “There are people who still care about Spore? Wasn’t just about every single feature it had dropped already?”

    I thought the worry always was that it had no features/mechanics?

    Seriously, I didn’t follow it that closely, what has been dropped, and how did the GC 2005(?) video someone mentioned differ? My interest levels started to rise (and significantly so) when I watched the Comic Con presentation video.

  21. Andrew Doull says:

    Stromko: Can I get your permission to re-use your mini-reviews of the various Spore prototypes for the PCG Wiki? Or even better yet, if you want to review them in more depth for the wiki, that’d be amazingly appreciated?

  22. Stromko says:

    UncleLou: I think the main thing people point to is that the aquatic creature phase was removed, though this happened at least a year ago. It seems to me like the later stages of the cell phase are very similar though, they seem to become pretty complex creatures it’s just that they can only move in a 2D plane.

    Andrew: I’m not sure I know enough to really give a good review of the two prototypes I mentioned. There might actually be some trick to that CityMaze thing to allow entertainment buildings to work and that’s probably the main reason I mentioned it here, to see if anyone had figured it out. There also might be ways of modding that Space thing via the text files in some meaningful fashion to give it more replay value or complexity, but it’s beyond my capability or enthusiasm. It also doesn’t help that it’s about 105 degrees outside and my temperature tolerance and air conditioning aren’t quite up to the job of letting my brain work in this heat.

    What I wrote is more relevant to how the prototypes might relate to the final game, in this small window of time where nobody outside Maxis knows the answer, but interest in the prototypes might be just as timely so I could see how they would still be relevant. You can re-use them.