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Moved on

Posted by ballightning on August 13, 2012

Hey guys!

I haven’t looked at this site in a very long time! Brings back such fond memories of all the fun I had with Spore and the community.

I have been playing minecraft for a long time, but as of late, I have been started a new youtube channel and I’m planning on creating a series of maps based around pvp combat. If you are even slightly interested at all, I would suggest you check out my channel, and subscribe/give advice. I also have a series showing off Minecraft Cinematics.

Sadly I lost interest in Spore a long time ago, and I don’t feel like I will ever have the same passion as I did before. What I had for spore is now driving what I have for minecraft. What Minecraft does differently, are the endless possibilities. It is a truly sandbox game, which just keeps improving. Something that Spore aimed for, but through over-complexity and some bad decisions, it didn’t manage to achieve.

I wish the best to everyone in the future, and if you do want to keep following what I do, head here!


Ball Lightning


Posted in Other, Sporedum News | 5 Comments »

Reports from Spore Hero Day

Posted by ballightning on September 17, 2009

Last week a group of bloggers from around the internet went to Maxis HQ to try out various new Maxis games, especially games for the Wii and Nintendo DS. These included Spore Hero and Spore Hero Arena. Here are the highlights from around the blogisphere:

From SporePrograms:

A couple of images and a video has made its round on the internet today of the MySims Blogger Day event at EA Redwood Shores.  First up, we have a video posted by Wayne Schulz on Facebook. You have to sign into your Facebook account if you want to view it, but it gives you a general idea of the work an audio recorder has to do (No foley fartist for this one!)

Next, we have a few photos from Wayne which shows off Spore Hero, as well as the raid at the EA Store!

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic Share photos on twitter with Twitpic Share photos on twitter with Twitpic Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

And last, LadyM treats us with a picture from the MySims Audio Session!

Simlish session on Twitpic

LootNinja – Spore Hero & Spore Hero Arena preview

Our demo was given by Product Marketing Manager, Aaron Krause. Spore Hero is a story adventure; your goal is to defeat Zarkhator and save the alien planet from the effects of his presence. The longer he stays, the more the planet and animals change and become evil. While exploring the planet you can find new parts that can be used to upgrade your creature while in his nest.

continue reading

DesignMom – Spore Hero & Spore Hero Arena report

I am not exaggerating even slightly when I say we spent 90% of our EA time playing video games. It was pretty much awesome like that. The schedule: visit the studio where the new Spore Hero game was developed (Spore Hero will launch in the next month, so this was a sneak peak). Meet the creators. See the cool office space. Visit the crew of guys who are paid to play the game and test it out (don’t you love that? it’s a real job!). Then sit in a room with a dozen Wii consoles and try out Spore Hero for ourselves. For as long as wanted to.

Continue reading her impressions…

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Spore Hero Intro Cinematic

Posted by ballightning on September 15, 2009

Maxis have released a new video for Spore Hero with the announcement of it and Spore Hero Arena going gold.

Posted in Spore Hero | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Spore Hero/Spore Hero Arena Gone Gold

Posted by ballightning on September 12, 2009

Spore Hero and Spore Hero Arena have gone gold, according to a press release IGN got hold off.

US, September 11, 2009 – The epic fight to save the galaxy is almost here as Spore Hero and Spore Hero Arena go gold – officially completed and ready for manufacturing! Built from the ground up exclusively for the Wii and Nintendo DS platforms, Spore Hero and Spore Hero Arena introduce a new level of action-packed adventure, creativity and combat to the critically acclaimed Spore franchise. Both games will be available at North American retailers on Oct. 6 2009 and internationally on Oct. 9, 2009. 

Spore Hero delivers the unparalleled creative freedom of Spore in an action-adventure game created exclusively for the Wii. Set in a rich and vibrant 3D world, Spore Hero empowers the player to become a hero as they embark on an epic quest to save their creature’s home planet from destruction. Along this journey, players will engage in challenging battles and solve puzzles to collect and unlock more than 250 new creature parts, all with unique abilities. These parts, which can be used to customize creatures in the revolutionary Spore Creature Creator, can change the way creatures will play and fight in the world. Players can also utilize their brawling skills in a dynamic multiplayer mode, where they battle their friends with their own customized creature to become the ‘baddest’ Spore hero around! 

Spore Hero Arena catapults players into a galaxy filled with fun and intense arena-based combat. Featuring an all-new story set in the same universe as Spore Hero, Spore Hero Arena takes players on a quest to save planets in their galaxy from an evil force. Throughout the game, players create their own unique gladiator hero creature and guide it from planet to planet as they fight enemy creatures, collect new parts, gain upgrades and unlock special abilities that will benefit their hero. Developed with multiplayer capabilities in mind, Spore Hero Arena also allows players to battle with up to three friends locally or play with a friend over Wi-Fi, taking the Spore gameplay experience to an entirely new and interactive level. 

Available for $49.99 MSRP, Spore Hero is rated E10+ by the ESRB. Spore Hero Arena is available for $29.99 MSRP and is rated E by the ESRB. 

To learn more about Spore Hero and Spore Hero Arena, play minigames and download fun content, please visit http://www.sporehero.com. For screenshots or press materials about the Spore franchise, please visit http://info.ea.com. Follow the Spore development team on twitter at: http://twitter.com/spore.

Posted in Spore Hero, Spore Hero Arena | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

SporeDay: New mission plus contest

Posted by ballightning on September 10, 2009

Sorry about the late post, i have been working very hard on my portfolio website for school, please check it out! For this weeks SporeDay, Maxis released a new mission called The Metamorphosis. Give MaxisKate, the creator, feedback over at the official forums.

Maxis have also created a Metamorphosis challange for creators. Head over to the official forums for more.

Challenge Details
If you played the latest Maxis adventure, The Metamorphosis, you may have noticed that a disturbing transformation has taken place.

In the Metamorphosis Challenge, make your own transformation with at least three creations that illustrate three stages of a creature’s life!

Not sure what to make? Your creations can represent a realistic earthly creature’s metamorphosis, such as a caterpillar/pupa/butterfly, or you can invent your own twisted alien metamorphosis.

Example Creations:

What will the challenge winner get?

A chance to be featured on Spore.com!

We’ll post our favorite submissions here, then YOU get to vote for which one is your top pick! The winner may be featured if it meets our criteria for featured creations.

• It must not have any parent authored by a different creator.
• It must not have any offensive creation in its lineage (any parent or child creations).
• It must not have any links or references to other sites in the submission’s tags, name, or description

Submissions that do not meet the above criteria will not be considered for the poll

How to Enter:
• Create three or more creatures in the creature editor. Publish these with the tag MCMorphChallenge.
• Add all creations in your metamorphosis series to a SporeCast tagged with MCMorphChallenge.
• Optional: Post screenshots and links here on the forum

• All creations in your Sporecast entry must be made by you.
• Your creations must be made in the creature/accessory editors.
• You can submit as many Sporecasts as you like with as many creations as you like. Remember that each Sporecast should only contain representations of one species.
• All submissions must be in by 11:00am PDT 10/8

Challenge FAQ

Q: Does it have to fit into the bizarre bug-like stages of larva-pupa-adult, or could it be more of a child-adult-weakened adult? I’ve already made a few evolutionary creations that go through the insect cycle, and I kinda want to do something different than the obvious. – jwmd2
A: As with most of these challenges, we aren’t strict with how you interpret the challenge prompt. As long as you explain your more off-kilter entries in the description, they will be considered.

Q: Are finalists chosen based on looks or description? – Westonro
A: Maxis looks at all elements of the creation when choosing finalists. Obviously, the overall aesthetic weighs heavily, but a clever name and description can tip the scales in your favor. Keep in mind that when we post finalists, we do not include the description, however a link will direct others to the Sporepedia where they can view it. It’s up to other players to click the link when they are voting to read the complete description.

Q: Can entries be made in the accessory editors? – Westonro
A: Yes. The accessory editors can be used to enhance your creatures.

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Spore Patch: 1.5/1.5.1 for mac

Posted by ballightning on September 10, 2009

Well the Spore Patch 1.5/1.5.1 has finally been released for the mac! If you can’t remember what was in the last patch, here are the details below:

Fixed issues:

  • Object orientation near water or lava can appear incorrectly when Playing or Testing an Adventure.
  • Fixes a crash in the Building Creator when holding Ctrl or Shift and moving a part.

Spore Patch 5

Spore Improvements:

  • Asymmetry is now available for creatures! Details on new Asymmetry features for Creatures and Vehicles can be found here.
  • This patch fixes several crashes in Space Game.
  • Many tuning improvements to Space Game, including reduced disaster rates at all levels of difficulty, adjustments to Hard Mode, increased limits on concurrent trade routes, as well as changes to tool unlocks for the Knights.
  • Creator Lineage appears correctly for all creation types shared after this patch is installed.
  • Cheat is included that permits Creators to export creatures in Collada format for use in Maya. Creators must acknowledge and accept a Tools EULA to perform this operation. An additional cheat has been provided to enable highest quality textures to appear on vehicles, where it is supported by user hardware.
  • Fixed a problem where creations would go missing if a user quits the game in any way while downloads are in progress.
  • Fixed a bug where achievements were disappearing.
  • Fixed a bug where some Sporepedia cards had corrupted backgrounds.
  • Fixed a problem in Space where some Grox planets were unreachable.
  • YouTube movies now publish as public

Galactic Adventures Improvements:

  • This patch must be installed again after installing Galactic Adventures, even if you have installed this patch previously.
  • You can now place the avatar, NPCs, and handheld objects on top of air, land, and sea vehicles in the Adventure Creator. Get more info here.
  • Improvements are made to the Adventure Creator, including right-click camera behavior, and User Interface enhancements.
  • In EP1 open gates were not working correctly when they were disguised
  • Some customer-reported crashes in Galactic Adventures have been fixed.

Posted in Spore Patches | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

IGN: Spore Creatures iPhone preview

Posted by ballightning on September 10, 2009

IGN reviews the latest Spore iPhone game, Spore Creatures.

Last year’s Spore: Origins was one of the iPhone’s best games. Based on early chapter of the bestselling PC game, you guided a cell through the primordial soup in a Herculean effort to survive the lowest rung of the evolutionary ladder. Spore Creatures leads that little sport organism on to land. With a larger emphasis on exploration (but hopefully not to the detriment of good, old-fashioned natural selection-style combat), Creatures is about taking that next step up the ladder to assert your dominance in the new world. 

Since you are now on land, you can add different body parts to your creatures. Out with the cilia and in with the legs. The creature creator tool looks very similar to the original from origins, as you attach new parts and pieces to increase your creature’s relevant stats like offense, defense, and sight. Because there is no “right” way to build out a spore, you can experiment with different combos and come up with a creature that suits your style. If you want to move up the food chain by force, you can install fangs and other offensive measures on your creature. If you want to survive by eluding danger, then improve your creature’s speed and perception with additional eyes, ears, and legs.

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Spore Hero Preview

Posted by ballightning on September 6, 2009

Hooked Gamers have previewed Spore Hero.

It seems as though as your titular Hero has landed on a planet that isn’t his home. A blue meteor has the indicated the creature, and it seems like a dangerous red meteor is coming to destroy your planet. This crisis must be solved quickly, as one of your first tasks in the game is to talk to several of the local creatures living on the planet. As the game progresses, you will find out more about why the red meteor is coming.

At first sight, your Spore will be a very basic creature that is round like an egg and will have legs, but as you gain more special creature parts, you will be allowed to give your creature more talents and a different look. How you gain access to these parts is by solving various puzzles on the planet. The game also seems to have a lot of freedom as players can choose what things they would like to do to progress the story such as accepting quests, treasure hunting, interacting with others or simply just exploring.

Continue Reading

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Spore Creatures coming to iPhone

Posted by ballightning on September 6, 2009

Spore for iPhone was a massive success and it appears that Maxis will continue this trend towards iPhone games with Spore Creatures coming to iPhone before June next year according to an exclusive by Pocket Gamer. Will we be seeing each stage released slowly on the iPhone?

During our presentation on iPhone gaming at Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, EA Mobile provided exclusive first details on Spore Creatures.

The sequel, which builds on AIAS Mobile Game of the YearSpore Origins, has you controlling a land-based creature through 20 levels spread across 4 zones.

Like the first game, you move through levels with tips and tilts of your handset. The objective is to munch on smaller animals in order to grow your organism into a lean, mean evolutionary machine.

Posted in Spore Creatures | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Lone screenshot from Spore Hero Arena

Posted by ballightning on September 4, 2009

A lone Spore Hero Arena screenshot found by SporeBR.

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Spore Hero Arena DS – Dangerous Missions

Posted by ballightning on September 4, 2009

A new Spore Hero Arena video!

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Editorial: Spore GA, success or failure?

Posted by ballightning on September 2, 2009

Welcome to the first Sporedum Editorial! This is a new section where I will put up my thoughts about events and issues in the world of Spore, I hope you enjoy and commenting is most appreciated! We are looking for people who wish to write about events in the spore community so if you are interested please comment below! Please help Sporedum by submitting our post to Digg and Stumble Upon.

It has now been 2 months since the release of the popular first expansion to spore, Galactic Adventures, and in this time, plenty has been said on its merits, and where it failed. Spore Galactic Adventures was built to revive the dream that was partially lost in Spore, by not only enhancing the space stage through the addition of adventures, but allowing players to create their own missions for thousands of others to play.

The lead up to Spore Galactic Adventures was rather large for an expansion, with Maxis teaming up with Robot Chicken to create some exclusive adventures which have become very popular. Another key factor in the run up to the release was the Adventure Camp, which helped, along with the Robot Chicken adventures, to hype Galactic Adventures up to being a game making engine, one which could rejuvenate Spore, and give it the much needed kick it needed.

Yet although the editor in Galactic Adventures was a breakthrough for the fact that it provided a simple yet effective way of creating missions, it did not fix the main concerns people had with the original Spore game. Galactic Adventures was more of a separate game which was occasionally intertwined with the core Spore gameplay, this does not make it bad, but it does not address the problems with Spore.

Connection Problems

Spore was a game which had too much to fill. You can always argue that it was made to be ‘cute’, and to a degree this was true, however the real problem with Spore was that it was trying to do so many different things that no game had done before, and put them all together. This is never a good strategy to go with, and led to the different elements in the game feeling like they didn’t fit in. Spore also had the problem of lacking actual connecting content, yes there was hours of gameplay, and endless creations to make, yet the gameplay in each minigame was quick, painful and in all but a few instances boring. For example in the tribal stage, you win in about 15 minutes on the hardest setting. The lack of connecting also detracts from the more positive elements of the game, and in addition the limited choices you have in each stage hardly effect what happens in the next stage.

The space stage was considered the most fleshed out part of Spore, with a whole galaxy waiting to be conquered, however these tasks quickly became boring, with missions which became extremely repetitive and battles rather boring. Since space stage was the most talked about, Maxis decided after light consultation with the Spore community to start creating an expansion where players could create their own missions to beam down to a planet for others to play. The idea for Galactic Adventures was born.

Galactic Adventure Ideas

The main idea behind the expansion is to allow more interesting missions for people to play as they explore the Spore galaxy, and the ability to create these missions for others to play. One of the most trumpeted aspects of Galactic Adventures was the adventure creator, and in all respects it is one of the best simple game making tool. However for many members of the Spore community, the adventure creation tool was not enough, and did not allow many of the adventures that they envisaged.

Many users had planned on creating epic sagas, with character dependant storylines similar to what can be done in editors like Oblivion and NeverwinterNights. However many critical elements were missing from Galactic Adventures. One feature which was sorely missing was mission and conversation trees, which is a standard part to creating any interactive RPG. Without this, it left the adventures lacking the crucial element of interaction. The main other feature which was missing was scripts, or the ability to have at least simple interactions between characters in the story.

Nonetheless the ability to create adventures which are engaging and interactive is within Galactic Adventures grasp. As shown by some amazing adventures (Whom God Destroys), Galactic Adventures does have the capacity to entertain.

Simple Problems

Yet wasn’t Galactic Adventures built to improve the space stage gameplay, and remove the repetitiveness of missions? Maxis made it so that while playing you could get any mission which did not have a locked captain. That means any mission, no matter how bad. If you had a perfect world and everyone put their time into making their missions, most of the missions would be enjoyable and worth playing.

Yet this is not the case. Often you come across adventures which can’t be won or have no plot and have a simple goal. These can be very frustrating, and the only way to fix this is to make Spore only download buddy adventures, however this will often mean you have access to only hundreds of adventures, in contrast to the hundreds of thousands of adventures out there.

Maxis could have provided a few simple steps to fix these problems. The most basic one would have been to make all creators ‘play’ there adventure beforehand with a basic captain for adventures where you choose your captain. Also they could have allowed players to choose what sort of adventures they can download by choosing how complex they can be, for example i could choose to not have missions which had fewer than 2 goals in them download automatically.

While there are many faults in Galactic Adventures, it can be agreed that Maxis have gone out of their way to create a vast and expansive game which allows the creation of player made gameplay.

Did it fail or succeed?

I’ll leave that up to you, except to say that in the eyes of Maxis, a top 10 ranking last month has made sure that Spore will continue for many years to come.

Posted in Galactic Adventure, Spore News, Sporedum News | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Maxis Contest: Traps and Lures Challenge

Posted by ballightning on September 2, 2009

Yet another challange has been posted by MaxisCactus, to check it out and participate head over to the official forums.

Challenge Details
If you played the latest Robot Chicken adventure, you may have noticed how game objects were disguised to look like candy! These were used to lure the cuddly creatures to their doom.

In the Traps and Lures Challenge, create a clever lure or trap to entice your prey!

Not sure what to make? Your trap, trick or lure can be traditional like a mousetrap, legendary like a Trojan horse, or completely fantastic, created to trick a creature you’ve invented in your own ingenious way! It can be biologically evolved or technologically masterminded.

Check out some of the amazing tricks, traps, and lures other players have already made:

What will the challenge winner get?

A chance to be featured on Spore.com!

We’ll post our favorite submissions here, then YOU get to vote for which one is your top pick! The winner may be featured if it meets our criteria for featured creations.

• It must not have any parent authored by a different creator.
• It must not have any offensive creation in its lineage (any parent or child creations).
• It must not have any links or references to other sites in the submission’s tags, name, or description

Submissions that do not meet the above criteria will not be considered for the poll

• Your creation must look like a trap or lure.
• Your creation can be made in any editor
• To submit a creation, just publish tag it with: mctrapchallenge
• You can submit as many creations as you’d like
• Your creation can be made with any editor you choose
• All submissions must be in by 11:00am PDT 10/1
• Don’t forget that if your creation is an inanimate object, tag it with GAprop!
• Optional: Post screenshots of your creation on the forum
• Optional: Create a description explaining the mechanics or design of your trap or lure

Challenge FAQ
Q: Can the entry creation be an adventure?
A: No. Your entry should be a Spore creation (creature, vehicle, building, UFO), but you are welcome to also show it off in an adventure.

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Rumor: SPORE Creature Keeper coming to Nintendo DS

Posted by ballightning on August 31, 2009

Thanks to Judson from SporePrograms who has noticed that the ESRB ratings site has details for a Creature Keeper game coming to DS. Is it going to happen? We’ll have to wait and see.

Posted in Spore Creature Keeper | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Chris Hecker and 23 other spore developers laid off.

Posted by ballightning on August 30, 2009

Chris Hecker has revealed that 24 members of the spore team have been laid off, including himself.

I would like to personally give tribute to Chris who not only creating the procedural animation, various prototypes many years ago and successfully developed assymetry, he also has helped the modding community with various problems on many occasions.

Chris and the other 23 members of the spore team will be missed, and here at sporedum, we wish them all the best in the future! Watch this space for news on Chris Hecker’s new indie game SpyParty.

I just got laid off from Maxis!

I can’t say that it was a shock, but it was still somewhat surprising. It’s funny, you occasionally hear about people who were laid off, and from the safety of your job you can’t help but think, “Even though it’s not supposed to be merit based, that’s gotta be in the mix; they wouldn’t actually let the good people go.” Then it happens to you, and you’re like, “Hey, wait a second…”  🙂

I had a truly great time working on Spore. I was lucky to get to contribute to some really amazing stuff over the past six years. In the past few months, I chose to work on smaller things that generated lots of goodwill but no revenue, which tends to be a problem when you’re expensive and the economy is down! Still, we got asymmetry into a patch, which has enabled some really incredibly insanecreatures and vehicles. Next I was going to do some research on improving searching and browsing assets in the incredible resource that is the Sporepedia. I think there are some amazing opportunities to mine the user created assets if the browsing and tagging facilities can be improved. Will and I used to debate the best way to classify the assets, and hopefully we’ll see some neat stuff going forward there.

I also got to work with some excellent game developers, many of whom have become my good friends. I hope the others who got laid off (there were 24 in all, I think) will land on their feet and do great work, and I hope the folks who are left will try to carry the Maxis torch and keep making games that are different and expand the boundaries of our art form.

What’s Next?

As for me and my future, if you attended the always-interesting Experimental Gameplay Workshop this year at the Game Developers Conference, you may have seen the indie game I’ve been working on in my spare time. I believe the idea is quite strong, so I was thinking about quitting to work on it more seriously in January. Now I guess the choice has been made for me, so assuming I can get the financial numbers to add up, I will start cranking on it.

Continue Reading

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