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.