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Archive for January, 2009

Preview of New Parts in BetterSpore

Posted by ballightning on January 31, 2009

Hello fellow spore lovers. Sadly I have moved on from this game. However you can still follow my work over at youtube! I currently am focused on Minecraft, and in particular, Minecraft Cinematics.


Check it this video, and if you enjoy, please subscribe!


Over the last few weeks me, Mettra and Virakotxa have been working on making new parts for spore. After getting them into the game, they were still black just the same way that Void’s Glasses were, however we have done a proof of concept texture. You can see the created creature in the video below.

Do you want to have a specific part? Post other in our Official Part Request thread or post in this topic.

We are always looking for new modelers to help out the workload. If you are good at 3D modeling and are interested in making new parts first read this tutorial, then if you are ok with it head over to the BetterSpore forum and post in the Better Spore Development team thread. Feedback is always welcomed.

Preview of New Parts at Youtube

BetterSpore Homepage

BetterSpore Forum


Q. Will the creatures which contain these modded parts be able to upload to the Sporepedia?

A. It is theoretically possible, as Virakotxa has shown with her creature which contained Void’s glasses. However that was on auto-upload and so far testing has shown that we can not upload it and make it successful when clicking the share button. We will be trying to contact EA to see if we can make it so it will be like C&C and have it so that people who don’t have the mod will get a ‘?’ and will not be effected while people with the mod can play with it.

Q. Will new parts effect my saved games or my spore game?

A. This mod will be safe and secure, we will have many people Alpha test it. Also it uses the same format as patch 1.03.


Posted in BetterSpore, Spore Modding, SporeMaster | Tagged: , , | 16 Comments »

Gamasutra – Q&A with Lucy Bradshaw on spore

Posted by ballightning on January 29, 2009

CR: How do you test the user-created content generation in Galactic Adventures? It seems like such a complex task.

LB: We have a lot of testers. The competency of our test groups… and we also have our embedded team. I don’t know how many different teams you talked to, in terms of their composition, but one of the groups that we have is an embedded dev test team. 

They were giving us that incredibly tight loop. When we developed a new feature, they were giving us that halo testing around it immediately. We could really hone it and move on to the next feature as we add things. 

I think the other thing you think about — “How will different players experience Galactic Adventures?” and “What about the different motivations and player types?” — that’s the beauty of the sharing that we’ve got. You can package an adventure up into a .png, and just like with the creature .pngs, you can drag that into the editor and it’s going to open up that model.

You can take the planet .png and drag it, and that’s going to have all of the adventure stuff. Just being able to share those easily through the Sporepedia, all of a sudden, you unlock those kind of creators who are going to make that extra effort to make something that’s incredibly honed and wonderful, with the ease of sharing it that we’ve put together in Spore, with the Sporepedia, right within the context of the game. 

So I think you’ll lower the barrier to people getting at the best possible content, and since our players are making the most amazing things, that’s what we wanted to tap.

Read the full interview

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Spore.com Astronomer Interview: Seth Shostak

Posted by ballightning on January 28, 2009

Recently Maxis opened the floor for the community to ask questions of Seth about astronomy and the SETI pursuit. Here are his responses to thier questions.

10heattj: What exactly does SETI look for?


The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is just that: a scientific hunt for proof that thinking beings exist elsewhere in the cosmos.


Most SETI experiments are efforts to pick up signals from advanced civilizations – radio, or flashes of light. It’s also conceivable that we might find evidence for aliens by tripping across some mammoth engineering projects – structures that a highly sophisticated society might build and that might be visible in our telescopes.


LuckyPierre: Besides listening or watching for E.T.’s signal, what else does the SETI Institute do?


The Institute has a broad research program in a subject called “astrobiology”. This sounds as if it’s about life around other stars, which of course is treu. But a lot of astrobiology research concerns life on Earth: how did it get started, and when?


Other research areas include learning where could life survive, and how might we find hidden biology on Mars or some of the moons of the outer solar system. So the SETI Institute is about more than just looking for communicating aliens — it’s also about extraterrestrial critters that might not be clever, but whose existence would tell us a lot about whether life is extremely rare or very common. The Institute also has extensive programs for education and outreach, including a weekly science radio program, “Are We Alone?”


Falthron: Could you elaborate on the Wow signal?


The celebrated Wow Signal was picked up in 1977 with the Ohio State Radio Observatory’s large antenna. Ohio State’s “Big Ear” was being used in an automatic mode to search for signals, and one morning, when astronomer Jerry Ehman arrived at the scope to look over the printer output, he saw a big spike of radio noise. He wrote “Wow” next to it, hence the signal’s famous name.


But it wasn’t seen again, even though the telescope was set up to look at the same piece of sky only about a minute later. The signal’s not been seen since, either. Most likely it was just some earthly radio interference, although it’s possible it was ET sending us a very short ping. If we don’t find it again, we’ll never know.

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Creator Spotlight: Slartibartfast38

Posted by ballightning on January 28, 2009

For this SporeDay we have 2 new interviews, we’ll post the other one soon but first on to the creator Slatibartfast38, who has one of the largest fan bases out of any creator for spore. He has over 1000 subscribers and recently was a winner in the official holiday creation contest.

Here is full interview.

Do you find any particular inspiration for your work?

I find inspiration in just about everything life has to offer. My 2 sons inspire me daily. They are fine young men, and I couldn’t be more proud. I tend to get alot of ideas for the names of my spaceships from the music I was listenting to at the time I was creating. Some of my ideas have even come from the lyrics themselves. Images I may see on TV that day tend to have the same effect.


Also, it is a constant pleasure to see the daily new creations from the community in general. Each and every creation has a great deal of effort and thought put into it. Knowing how much effort each person put into their creation is an inspiration.

To be perfectly honest, this is the first game I’ve ever purchased for a PC, and it has been a mind opening experience. I enjoy every aspect of it, and the freedom of expression is amazing. So the game ‘Spore’ itself has been a creative inspiration for me.

Have you met anyone during your experience playing spore?

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone for giving me those ratings and making those comments. I have met so many fantastic people since starting this game. It’s hard to imagine what life was like before ‘Spore’. To name a few: Dirtymeat, Hydro_Glyph, LordVarmint, Didzo, Enderhenne, Lazywnch, Hilight, Narado, Mootacoo, Gryphon57, SharnaSanveech, ERrnesST, SlivaStari, Sakiara, calculatrice, Zonagirl, Spooradit, Thawed, Heistercrabb, Himmeslaub, rodham, akilahanahid, aquijybo, codyr2391, dragonkohan, Manifestation, Hermit_Blake, Alephred, RissaAngel, exinferios, OldRygel, Sushi Star, Binny, BellaBlim, Exploraziode, sensimelio, hattrickster, Drubinsky, blyon90, JDofPivot, XOTLY, Andeavor, Breakfall87, Torraan, NicMacc, quantamania, PielsYummy, and now you, MaxisCactus.

I literally could go on for another four pages. I am terribly sorry to anyone I may have left out.

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TVG: Spore Galactic Adventures Review

Posted by ballightning on January 27, 2009

Focusing entirely on expanding the Space Phase into something more fulfilling, Galactic Adventures aims to evolve the organic growth of the main game into the next logical step.  Largely leaving creature creation behind (additional armour packs and weapons will be added in the expansion), Galactic Adventures looks at the bigger picture: the creation of planets,  the creation of planetary adventures, and their ‘pollination’ throughout the online Spore galaxy.

Like the original release, the essence of planetary creation is something that EA Maxis is ensuring will be as intuitive and accessible for a wide an audience as possible.  Sliders for a range of different attributes, from sea level, global temperature, and even the colour of the land itself, can be changed.  Dropping the temperature on a planet covered by water will turn it to ice, whilst doing the opposite will turn the surface into an inhospitable and hellish vision of molten lava, fire, and brimstone; even the height and density of mountains and hills can be changed.  That level of climatic extremes shows only a basic level of what players will be able to achieve when Galactic Adventures finally drops.  Choosing the level of vegetation for the world (and the colour of its leaves), deciding upon which buildings to choose (and where to place them), and whether to add vehicles to the planet, offer some of the details for the surface.  Players can even drag musical phrases over certain areas, which are then triggered when a gamer’s creature crosses into the region of the planet.

Read the full article

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Play.tm: Spore Galactic Adventures review

Posted by ballightning on January 26, 2009

Executive producer Morgan Roarty is here to take us around the add-on to EA’s PC hit, and talk of piracy and hardcore dissatisfaction is rapidly side-stepped as we pile into chatter on Spore’s mainstream success. The numbers make good reading, the Creature Creator having been downloaded over 6 million times, with 3 million copies of Spore sold, and over 64 million creatures invented.


Roarty begins our demonstration by presenting us with a planet-wide view of a world under our control, multiple variables are on offer, and it is this world we’ll be honing before putting together a story. A set of terra-forming style features allows us to muster a realistic planet, and a habitat for our creatures. Once a landscape has been made you begin to assign attributes; requirements, the applying of which forms the structure of the adventure itself. Go here, do this, discover that, the options are rudimentary, but the sheer freedom and quantity should allow determined player to create diverse, multi-layered experiences for sharing.

‘Goals’ are key – tasks for creatures to complete, and these can be racked-up in succession in true sandbox style, allowing players to probe the limits of the game itself; the platform Maxis are offering us. If nothing more, Galactic Adventures’ toolset should be a sturdy test of just how robust the Spore game engine really is, and the quality and depth of the options Maxis offer us will be key. Of course, the entire world of Spore is available to play with – Roarty noting that over 64 million items have been created to date, and this rich palette should go a long way to making the experience work.

Whether the linking-in with the Space stage of Spore works remains to be seen – and opinions on this portion of the game are as mixed as they are frequent. What players do will prove instrumental then, but with vehicles and more available there is much to be said for EA’s ambitious scope. The strength of the content rating system, for example, will prove crucial in helping players find the kind of adventures they want to play – and Maxis seem well aware of this.

Read the full article here.

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The New Equipment editor

Posted by ballightning on January 26, 2009

According to Bi-Tech there will be an equipment editor shipped with the game.

The final editor on offer in the new expansion is a new equipment creator that lets players craft new weapons and tools for their race to use when they beam down to a planet. 

It was one of the biggest shames of the first game afterall that, although you could visit alien planets in the space age and you were able to hover above them, plaguing and abducting the ETs below, you couldn’t ever leave your spaceship. Now you can do that, but you’ll need special equipment to survive once you land. 

Ostensibly, the equipment editor isn’t altogether too different from the creature creator, or any other creator from the original game. It’s certainly not like the multi-faceted adventure editor as it basically involves dragging and dropping certain shapes onto your creature depending on where and what you want the final item to be. 

Want to make a ray-gun? That’s easy, just mount one of the special projectile or laser props on your creature’s wrist/arm/tentacle/chest, resize it and add some extra decorations onto it, paint it and you’re done. Congratulations, you just made a death-ray!

Posted in Galactic Adventure | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Bi Tech: Spore Galactic Adventures Preview

Posted by ballightning on January 26, 2009

In typical Maxis style it’s ingenious to the point of ratty dastardliness and, if successful, the expansion will give casual gamers something new to play with, while also re-littering the game with more complex and unpredictable quests for the hardcore gamers.

To a certain degree it’s the hardcore that are being targeted by Galactic Adventures too, as the quests that users create are automatically seeded into the games of other Spore players, just as happens with other player-created bits, like aliens. Specifically, the quests are seeded into the Space-game section and come bundled with a bunch of other game content. For gamers, this is the area that needs the most expansion, so this is the area that gets it. 

Meanwhile though, those out there who are more like my little sisters and just prefer to have cool editors to play with so that they can make cute and cuddly animals, well they get that too. Everyone’s happy. 

Read more the full article here

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BetterSpore v1.48 released

Posted by ballightning on January 25, 2009

BetterSpore v1.48 is here! Once again a small change list, due to many people experiencing bugs. If there is no more major bugs the next version will feature many new artifacts and new parts. Please give your feedback.

There is now a new “NoCreature option”.



Changes from v1.45 to v1.48:


v1.48 Fixes:

– Fixed spice storage.

– Fixed problem where it still cost money to travel from planet to planet.

– Fixed Tribal stage



– Improved Complexity removed.

– Permanent Terraform tools no longer cost money each use.

– Now as you gain badges you get more cargo storage slots.

– Grow Reachable mod is now included in this mod.

– Ultra Auto Blaster removed due to crashes.


Balance Changes:

-Even longer creature stage.


New Items:

– 10 new artifacts:

– Ring of the Valaykna

– Ring of the Zorg

– Ring of Atane

– Ring of Klingon

– Ring of the Quarim

– Ring of the Zen Empire

– Ring of Achmenmon

– Ring of Turcus

– Ring of Stellatus

– Ring of the Grox

– Tactical Nuke. 

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AskMen: Spore Galactic Adventures First Look

Posted by ballightning on January 25, 2009

Maxis unveiled the first expansion pack for Spore last night, one that borrows a page or two from Star Trek as well as Adventure Construction Set. Spore Galactic Adventures will allow players to not only beam down to planets to explore strange, new worlds on foot, but they will be able to pursue dozens of Maxis-created adventures and stories. Of course, since the core of Spore is built around the idea of users building and sharing their own content with the entire community, Galactic Adventures will also feature a robust editing tool that will let players create their custom worlds, stories, and adventures that are then uploaded to the Sporepedia where anyone can download them.Due out sometime this Spring, Galactic Adventures looks to bulk up the Space stage of the game.

In Spore, you can zip around in your starship to explore the galaxy, discover worlds, interact with alien species, and pursue missions. In the base game you did everything from your spaceship, which served as your player avatar. Aside from beaming a holographic version of your creature to the surface, you couldn’t get out of the spaceship and rub elbows with the residents of each planet. Galactic Adventures changes that.The expansion can be played two ways. It can integrate into the existing Space Stage, so you still fly around in your starship and take missions from other aliens, but some of these missions may involve you getting out on the planet’s surface and pursuing objectives. Or if you just want to have adventures, you can go to the Sporepedia and load up any planet and adventure that you want.

Continue Reading at AskMen

Spore Expansion: Galactic Adventures

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Gamesradar: Spore Galactic Adventures: The new LittleBigPlanet?

Posted by ballightning on January 24, 2009


Essentially LittleBigPlanet in 3D, the package consists of a simple-to-use yet very powerful set of drag-and-drop game design tools which will allow players to create their own scripted action-adventure games out of the millions of assets already available in the online Sporepedia. It will also come with brand new items for the creature editor, including – Yes! – proper weapons and even tech such as rocket packs.


Those adventures can then be uploaded and will become available in other players’ games. The idea is that you’ll trawl through space, find a planet holding an adventure, and then beam down a landing party and play through it. Sound too good to be true? Not a word of it.

From what we’ve seen of the design tools, they’re scarily potent, allowing the creation of almost any kind of game you can dream up without any technical knowledge requirements whatsoever. If you ask us, it’s exactly what the space stage of Spore should have been in the first place, and if things turn out as well as they currently look like they will, this will change the face of Spore, and maybe user-generated content, completely.

To explain all of the features we’ve seen would make this a very long and very dull preview, so instead we’ve decided to give you worked examples of the sort of things we’re already dreaming of making, and how Galactic Adventures could make them possible. Read on, and then tell us what you’re going to make.

Continue reading here.

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Destructoid: Spore Galactic Adventures Preview

Posted by ballightning on January 24, 2009

So what else is Maxis going to give players to mess around with now? The entire game! Players will now be able to beam down to player created planets, have actual adventures and it’s all completely customizable just like the creatures are. Hit the jump for more on Spore Galactic Adventures

In Spore, the game pretty much ends when players get into space. Now, players can beam down onto a planet and continue their adventure. Maxis will have preset adventures available at the start, but the best thing about Spore is the stuff that people can come up with. Players can create their own adventures or take other people’s adventures and customize them to their liking. The adventure can be anything that the player wants. You can have a capture the flag match, have a race, go on an RPG style quest — the limitations are the player’s imaginations. All of the adventures are just like the creatures in that they can be saved as a PNG file and shared with anyone across the world.

The same applies to planets too. You can choose from a preset list of planets or you can just create your own. You can design an ice world, lava world, water world, and more. You’ll be able to place islands, rivers, roads, and customizable houses all on a world as you see fit. Items such as vehicles, jump pads, keys, exploding barrels, and more can also be placed on planets to add to a player’s story. You can even place music and audio clips all across a planet.

All stories need actors and players can add any creature they want to populate a planet. Then they can mess around with how large the creature will be, make it aggressive, make it passive, give it a set path to explore, let it wander around, to much more. Players can also add text to creatures so the creature can tell players what they need to do on a given adventure. 

Read the full article here

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Mercury News: Spore Galactic Adventures preview

Posted by ballightning on January 24, 2009

Set to be released this spring, Galactic Adventure gives players the opportunity to get their hands on the creatures they’ve made in Spore. This expansion pack, which requires the first game, lets players design their own quests using a robust level editor.


It’s a smart move that taps into the collective creativity of the Spore community. You’ll be able to make your own planets, decide on whether they want they want to make it fiery or snowy via templates. Players can even modify its landscape and add a wide range of structures like castles and towers.

But that just scratches the surface, players can also manipulate characters, choosing from millions of spore creatures and use them as nonplayable characters in their level.

They all come with a plethora of modifiable traits. For instance, fans can adjust their range of awareness, roaming area or even their aggressiveness. They can even be scripted to pick up certain objects so they drop them when defeated.

As far as quests go, Maxis has managed to create a wide variety within the game. There’s the simple fetch quest where players have to find an object like a flask and return it to a certain character. There are also races through mazes and defense missions, where players have to protect a certain character.

These missions all end up in a story that can run up to five acts.


But while I watched the creation process, I could clearly see the influence ofLittleBigPlanet in the design. The expansion pack has a lot of the traits similar to Sony’s platformer.

On top of that, Maxis will also have its own quests built into the game and while exploring the galaxy, players may run into an alien race that needs their help. Coming to their aid, gives rewards to fans such as new equipment or moves for their creatures.

Warrior races provides new armaments for creatures. Diplomatic races offer moves that help you get along with others. Bard-type aliens offer dance moves like a weird disco celebration.

This is all fine and dandy but where Galactic Adventures one-upsLittleBigPlanet is in its search category. Players can tag their levels with credible labels and the system even categorizes them in helpful groups such as adventures through mazes, etc. Such a flexible system will inevitably help players find an adventure from a plethora of possibilities.

Read the full article here

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Maxis: ‘Spore expansion can top Little Big Planet’

Posted by ballightning on January 24, 2009

Spore senior producer Morgan Roarty has been weighing up the similarities between the Maxis game and Media Molecule’s LittleBigPlanet, as well as their relative strengths.

Speaking to us at a recent EA event, Roarty contemplated whether LittleBigPlanet had stolen all of the hype surrounding user created game content in recent times.

“We’ve had plenty of noise on our day,” he said, later adding, “I was already at Maxis for a couple of years working on Spore before I heard about LittleBigPlanet so I don’t know if they were inspired by us.

“They don’t have anything near our numbers of things created,” he asserted, noting that around 200,000-250,000 creatures, buildings and vehicles are created daily by Spore players.

“I don’t think their base editors are as easily accessible as our editors, I think we really have that on them,” he continued.

Read the full article here

Posted in Galactic Adventure, Spore News | Tagged: , , | 8 Comments »

Worthplaying – Interview with Spore Galactic Adventures Morgan Roarty

Posted by ballightning on January 24, 2009



WP: In a lot of games, level editors are free. What would you say to the people who ask, “Why do I have to buy an expansion to get a level editor? Shouldn’t something like that come with the game itself or be made available as a free download?”

MR: I don’t have a great answer for that. I would just say that it’s a really powerful editor. We put a lot of time and effort into it, and it is an expansion pack. We’ve added a ton of new things in it, and I just think, looking at the business, it just didn’t seem like something that we could give away for free. We have given away free limbs — in our second patch, we gave out a bunch of insect limbs — and we’ve given out a whole bunch of widgets on the Web site, but this is big enough where we’re going to have to charge for it. It’s a pretty powerful editor.

WP: Can you tell us a little bit about the concept behind the rating system? Realistically, whenever there is that much user-created content, about 90 percent of it is throwaway and 10 percent of it is awesome, but finding that 10 percent is the challenge. How are you guys going to go about it so that the user doesn’t have to spend his time downloading mission after mission only to find that they’re boring?

MR: It’s all about the rating system. Every time you play the mission, you give it a rating, and we’ve seen it on the content side; if you go to Spore.com, all the good content bubbles up to featured content. Again, if you’re a really good guy who makes creatures out there, the most fame you’d get is featured content on Spore.com. That’s the only way you’re going to see your hard work and labor. These missions are a whole new avenue to show off your content. We’ve already proven with featured content that it’s going to bubble to the top, so I don’t see a problem with being able to see the good stuff and not be exposed to the bad stuff.

continue reading the full interview here

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