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Spore expansions: Lucy Bradshaw

Posted by ballightning on October 15, 2008

Monday’s announcement of upcoming expansions and add-ons in the works for Spore was no surprise — anyone with a fully evolved brain knew that Electronic Arts was going to keep building onto this huge project. What was interesting, though, was the route they’ve decided to take for future releases — or perhaps more accurately, the two routes, with Parts Packs adding in new creation pieces while full-on expansions take the gameplay into previously unexplored realms.

1UP spoke with Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw shortly after the announcement. When discussing the future of the franchise, they asked if Maxis would continue releasing Parts Packs indefinitely or if they might at some point open the game up for players to create their own parts, similar to how they eventually opened up The Sims 2. While careful to note that for the time being, the team is “focused on adding to it ourselves,” Bradshaw said, “I’d love to be able to do something like that, probably for more high-end players who have some 3D art skills.” Bradshaw also goes into detail on their plans for continued expansions and add-on packs as well as the future involvement of Will Wright in the game.

Check out the full interview for all the details after the break.

Some good quotes from Lucy Bradshaw:

Right now we’ve announced these two together, again, because I think it’s important for players to understand that there are two direction that you can push. They’re not mutually exclusive, and in fact you’ll be able to use anything that you create in the Creepy and Cute Pack in the game as well as in later gameplay expansions. It kind of gives us two dimensions in terms of where we’re pushing. And there are a number of people who just bought the Creature Creator, and they’ve just got their kids playing with it or whatever. They can expand what they can do in that environment and not necessarily go down the gameplay path as well. So it’s giving a lot of different options for people in the franchise for where they want to explore.

One of the things we also do is make sure that if you buy one expansion and not another one, you have a full experience. We’ll work to make sure that if you don’t have the space expansion, you’ll still be able to play a later one. That’s something that we’ve had to manage in the Sims franchise. It’s about understanding how these things come together and what we’re leveraging from that. Sometimes what happens with The Sims is we have to pull in a particular feature from one expansion because it’s necessary for a new one. Then we just do that. We manage that on our side so the players don’t have to figure it out. The one thing you have to know is that if you’re going to take advantage of any of the expansions, which are not stand-alone executables, it clearly states on the box that you need Spore or the Creature Creator to play.

The other has been the response that the space stage has received. The open-ended aspect of that and the imagination that players are expressing in terms of where they want to go and giving feedback in that vein. These are the things we’re listening to that have helped us focus in on what we want to deliver as we add some depth to that area of the game.

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