Stone Librande: Lecture on Galactic Adventures
Posted by ballightning on April 16, 2009
Simon Ferrari was one of the people from Georgia tech who went to a lecture from Stone Librande about designing games, his work on the Simpsons game and Galactic Adventures. You can read his full blog post over at Chungking Espresso.
Librande brought five copies of Galactic Adventures, and we broke up into groups to design a mission in it using the Mission Creator. Stone was excited to see what a bunch of game design graduate students would do with the tool set. The package is incredibly robust. You can basically create up to eight independent Acts within each mission, and each Act can have numerous objectives (all of which you script yourself). You can tweak the stats, behaviors, and dialogue on every unit you place. There was also a team devoted solely to creating environmental effects for the Creator: by far the coolest effect was a Star Wars-style red-and-blue laser battle that you can criss-cross your level with. Terraforming planets is incredibly satisfying, and the architectural options are top-notch. I hadn’t played Spore for awhile, and the bank of community-generated creatures has grown so immense that you can basically find anything you want with a little searching.
I’m not going to lie to you, though: the level creator, and the scripting tool, are not really created for people who already know how to code/make their own games. Just as with any user-gen game (such asLittleBigPlanet), experienced designers are going to want to do things that the tool just can’t handle. Your captain avatar can’t ride vehicles (something we wanted to do for our little Spore remake of Lord of the Rings), and you can’t design cut scenes to link acts. The AI is good at appearing to know what it’s doing, but it’s still kind of buggy and sluggish (maybe this will be improved in the QA phase). But for both casual and core gamers ages 4-110, there are multiple levels of detail that one can go into, develop, and enjoy. I could definitely see using it to prototype missions for other projects.