“So Er, Magnos Is A Quantum Sentinel…”

Here’s a video of Maxis Executive Producer Michael Perry talking about their current project, DarkSpore. Okay, the name probably isn’t the most inventive they could have come up with, but some of the other stuff going on in there looks interesting. It’s a kind of squad-based Diablo with a genetics twist. In this video Perry talks about how the genetics of characters generates their different abilities and how they can be selected in a squad to compliment each other, in a manner similar to deck-based games.

Thanks, GameTrailers. We totally pick you for our squad.


  1. Polysynchronicity says:

    Well… that really didn’t tell me much.

  2. Tomo says:

    Looks cack frankly.

  3. SHDR says:

    What’s a “genetic hero”?

    • Andreas says:

      No idea, but it sounds like something Hitler would love.

    • HexagonalBolts says:

      haha, well said Andreas

    • Unaco says:

      It’s the main character in 99% of new video games.

      Oh, wait. Sorry. No. That’s a generic hero.

    • Dr. Evanzan says:


      Actually I misheard the video as saying “generic hero” and thought it was rather odd they were promoting that.

      Maybe these are the back-of-the-box bullet points:
      – Generic Heroes!
      – Run of the mill action RPG gameplay!
      – Mediocre point-and-click combat!
      – Form your heroes into small 3 man squads!
      – Employ derivative abilities!

      I’M SOLD!!

  4. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    I still don’t really know what they’re trying to do, and how this makes good use of features found in Spore.

  5. user@example.com says:


    • Koozer says:


    • blind_boy_grunt says:

      evolva was the first thing i thought of when i saw the screenshot and the description. One of the games where i can’t objectively say it’s a good game but for some reason i still fell in love with it

  6. Tinus says:

    They’ve done it again! Take hugely interesting and deep technology, and use it to build a bland version of a game that was first made more than a decade ago.

    I wish Maxis would stop focusing so much on user-centric design and just make good, coherent games. I think Steve Grand (of Creatures fame) was right on the money with that, and that was back in 1998! link to biota.org

    • GHudston says:

      For mentioning Creatures, you are my new best friend.

    • Foxfoxfox says:

      Oh God Creatures was the very best.

      Although the sequel was sort of teriffying and bleak and had my norns saying things like ‘ron desperately needs potassium’.

  7. Zogtee says:

    It looks like they took Spore and tried very hard to make it appeal to a specific demographic and what they think that demographic likes. I was going to write something sarcastic here, but gawd, it looks so bland and dull that I can’t be arsed.

    Like Spore, only a tad darker, with some spiky bits, and possibly even more diluted than the original. Yeah, that’ll work!

    • Groove says:

      So what you’re saying is that Maxis are practicing homeopathic game development?

    • Nallen says:

      Homeopathic game development would be a Blueray full of 0’s with a single 1 at random to provide the ‘enjoyment’

    • OldRat says:

      I tried to make a memory of water -based joke, but it didn’t work because computers really kinda tend to remember what’s put in them. So boo for me.

      But anyhow, this is about everything I could think of after the title:
      “Hello, everyone, we have a new member with us here today. Why don’t you introduce yourself?”
      “Hello. My name Magnos and… and…”
      “It’s alright, Magnos, we all have our problems here. You can tell us.”
      “Well, ok. Hello, everyone. My name is Magnos and I’m… I’m a Quantum Sentinel.”

  8. mlaskus says:

    Well, at least it looks better than Diablo.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Well.. not really. Graphics, maybe. But the gameplay?

      *sigh* It’s such a shame that games like this get made.

    • mlaskus says:

      It seems that they actually try to make it about more than just repeatedly clicking. I don’t know if they will succeed, hell I won’t play it, I don’t like action RPG, but it looks like a better game than Diablo.

  9. The Sombrero Kid says:

    sounds like real time pokemon to me, which would be awesome!

  10. OldRat says:

    I really don’t get this whole thing. I don’t get why they’re thinking Spore would totally be a great base for a Diablo-like. Will we also be seeing Bulletsims, the FPS where your sim mows down hordes of alien Nazi zombies? Or a SimCity spinoff that plays like GTA, in which you “manage” your town by kneecapping those who disagree with your building plans? And will they also use graphics that look quite out of place?

  11. Rane2k says:

    I´m a little confused here. He keeps talking about squads, and characters complimenting each other with their abilities… but the video only ever shows a single character?

    Oh, and the combat doesn´t look very “meaty”, so far.

  12. Jolly Teaparty says:

    I got bored whilst watching this video. My overriding impressions are “Diablo-wannabe” and “generic”

  13. disperse says:

    Stopped watching at “this was really inspired by card games like Magic the Gathering”.

  14. CareerKnight says:

    I don’t know why they are calling this a squad based game. You seem to control only one creature whose abilities are composed of the 3 creatures you picked. If this is the case, all you are doing is customizing your main creature by picking two other power sets to add to his starting set. while not a bad idea, calling it a squad based game gives people the completely wrong idea.

  15. Scandalon says:

    So, er…it wasn’t until I even got through half the video before I realized this was (vaguely) related to spore.

    Also, how is a cybernetic robot a “genetic” hero?!?

    I wish I had more useful to contribute other than “meh”.

  16. a says:

    Wait, can you create characters or not? That might move the game from bad to okay for me. Actually no, it probably wouldn’t.

  17. MadMatty says:

    im getting D3