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Archive for May, 2009

2 new WTF Spore GA videos

Posted by ballightning on May 31, 2009

Judhudson from Spore Programs has found 2 new videos from the SporeWTF site made from Galactic Adventures.

 

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Posted in Galactic Adventure | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

30/5: Creation of the Day

Posted by ballightning on May 30, 2009

Square-Topsail Schooner

By maxine21

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Interview: Maxis’ Bradshaw On Freedom In Games, Failure As A Positive

Posted by ballightning on May 30, 2009

Lucy Bradshaw talks to Gamasutra about many aspects in the world of Spore and the Sims. She goes into details about the community and the balance Maxis tried to create in Spore.

 

Spore And Balance

Finding the right balance was a challenge in Spore, she says, particularly in the area of how much impact and meaning to give people’s visual choices for their creatures. “We thought about that a lot… how penalizing the editing process should be. How much meaning should any one of those parts have? Should we have focused more on the physics, should gravity have played a greater role — should we have allowed players to make unsuccessful creatures?”

Ultimately, though, the team chose a “bias toward creativity and ease of use, rather than having physical attributes being damning of your species.” If it’s so easy to fail because a creature’s the wrong size or incorrectly mobile, Bradshaw theorizes, then players may be stuck going back and forth in the creation loop and missing out on the exploration aspect of the game.

“We’ve gotten some grief for it, because people wanted more meaning behind the editors,” she concedes. “I think there’s more opportunity for us to look at some of those things and give players a little more sense and depth; to ultimately re-examine some of the elements of Spore. With Galactic Adventures, we’re going deeper, allowing players to really invest back in their captain.” 

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Posted in Lucy Bradshaw, Maxis News, Spore Community, Spore News | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Spore Galactic Adventures Welcomes Sims 3!

Posted by ballightning on May 30, 2009

Posted in Galactic Adventure | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Spore Galactic Adventures Prima Guide cover & info

Posted by ballightning on May 29, 2009

Amazon have added the cover image for the Prima Guide to Galactic Adventures and some information was uploaded to.

 

 

 

Product Description
* Expanded coverage of the space game from Spore. Giving players the detailed info they’ll need to get them ready for the Galactic Adventures that await.
* Complete walkthrough for all Maxis-created adventures. Every puzzle solved, every goal reached!
* Behind the veil breakdown of the Maxis adventures, showing players how they created the levels with the Adventure Creator.
* Detailed lessons on using the Adventure Creator. All you’ll need to know to make your own challenges for yourself and others to play. With in-depth input from the creators themselves!
Source: SimPrograms

Posted in Galactic Adventure | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

SporeTV present Galactic Creators Camp Review

Posted by ballightning on May 29, 2009

TNT Productions (Terry) was another of the privilaged Spore users who got to try out Galactic Adventures at the recent Adventure Camp, here is his review plus some Q&A’s.

 

Spore Galactic Adventures Creators Camp Review 

Firstly I would like to personally thank MaxisCactus and the entire staff at Maxis for giving myself and my other fellow creators/friends (Ceece, Fotosynthesis, Parkaboy, dananddna, Gryphon57, G3NJI, Shattari, Slartibartfast38, Masscolder & myself TnT-Productions) this special opportunity of being chosen for this prestigious event. 

They all made this the best ever dream come true of a lifetime for all of us and we will never ever forget this great experience. I only wish that TJ (The other half of TnT-Productions) could have been included in this with us, but he had sadly just returned to Norway leaving me to go in his place. Hopefully he will get the opportunity in the not too distant future to be included the next time around if there will be another that is. 

To arrange something like this down to the last detail (flights, hotels, Fabulous meals, taxi’s, schedules and such) along with putting up with our endless questions, frustrations with not knowing the limitations while creating, and making this just plain fun for all of us, is something they all deserve kudos for (Well Cactus gets the most kudos for organizing this). They are all simply the best in our eyes and we all can’t thank all of them enough for all that they have given us by inviting us all there, and for all the goodies we received as well. 

This expansion pack is utterly amazing without a doubt and one that will not be learned overnight by a long shot…lol. The planet editor is so versatile and totally endless in creativity. The complexity meter in the planet creator is off the charts (don’t think you could max this out) and the great thing is that it won’t count towards the complexity in the mission creator, which again exceeds way beyond what we ever expected.

The tools available are amazing to say the least and the graphics are truly stunning. the new captains parts/outfitter are fabulous and so much fun. My favorite is the generator or shield generator (not sure which) that has the coolest animation ever, as it is like this massive electric field surrounding your captain (kind of like lightning)simply awesome. 

I think that the terra-forming of the planets will be my absolute favorite thing to do though, as it’s like sculpting a world of your own choosing, beyond your wildest imaginations. Anything is truly possible, just let your inspiration and creativity soar like never before. Also the sound effects as well as added visual effects can make your mission the best that it could ever be.

I remember Ceece using one such effect in a fountain which Andeavor made as a gaprop, it was like this colorful foggy/bubbling thing going on…it just literally brought that fountain to life, simply astounding. So the possiblilities are truly endless if you only take the time to let your imagination absorb all the features as you try them all out. 

We surely didn’t learn even the half of it in the 2 days we were there…lol…so just don’t expect the impossible to happen overnight, start small and slow and work your way up to bigger and better things and you will be sure to create something special in the long run that your fellow sporians will thoroughly enjoy playing through, start to finish. Just remember to have fun creating and playing in this wonderful world of Spore. 

Q & A Interview 

1) How can mission cards can keep track of all the included creations, like if there’s a list of creators attached or if the mission creator has to include the names so you know what creations you might be missing? 

Answer; Credit will go to the original creator and any edits made to them will retain the original creator’s username as well as the new one doing the edit…(“So yes no more thieves can gain popularity through other people’s hard work, nor a feature thankfully.” my words here) 

2) If you placed a spice barrel or other object on a truck, would the spice barrel fall through the truck and hit the floor, or move around with the vehicle? 

Answer; OK you can only stack inanimate objects, although if you have lots of patience and skill, you could have a creature jump on the back of a moving vehicle but would not have control of where it goes (like driving). Now you can make an illusion of say a monorail, by building the vehicle in the plane editor and the track in the builder and raise the track to plane height to create an animated illusion. 

3) A few specific details asked about are, are they archetype specific, > do they require a certain level of badge before they can be done, are > they tied to locations within the solar system? 

Answer; The only way that missions will populate your game is by having buddied the creator or through sporecasts and manual downloads. There is talk about figuring out a way to tie epic missions together (ie; several planets) but for now the best way to accomplish this ,is to tag your missions with set;missionname and naming it with chapter I, II, III…etc…From what I understand, you will be able to set requirements from one to the next (ie; a key or special hidden object) which you can make part of the mission in order for the player to move on to the next planet/next mission. 

4) How are missions created in the editor and what is the file format of the custom missions – are they a 128×128 png like the other creations, or are they presented in another way? 

Answer; You begin by picking a planet and doing any tera-forming that you wish, then place and size objects and creatures to your own specifics, create your avatar/captain and outfit him (you can go back and forth between editors as you go and even to the sporepedia directly in game to add creations as well as create new ones too. This is by far a truly amazing system and one that you must experience learning as one goes. There is no way to get a grasp of things just by reading, because there are no explainations that could ever exceed hands on. As for sizes …all missions are in 128×128 png’s just as normal creations. You can also substitute screenshots for the typical planet picture. 

5) Is there any technical information you can give us on how you are able to generate the larger 256×256 previews, is it ’embedded’ in the little 128×128 pngs, or is it something specific running on your servers? 

Answer; Both 256×256 and 128×128 are saved in parralell spore API. Using the creation asset ID# & spore userdate creation/#png (hope I got this right…lol…) 

6) What were you inspired the team most when creating making G.A.? 

Answer; This might sound cheesy, but it was the really the community that inspired us. Once Spore went live and we started seeing what people were making and the stories they were sharing, we wanted to continue to fuel that fire.

7) How did you come up with the idea for G.A.? 

Answer; I think every game has its own story. GA’s started as a bullet point along with other ideas. We always wanted to give people a movie maker, and more power to make machinima with their creations. At some point we took a closer look at that feature and said, “You know what, that could be and expansion in itself.” It took off from there. 

8) How fun & exciting was it for the team in making G.A.? 

GA was truly a team effort. Everyone contributed to the design and execution of the game. The energy on the team was unbelievable, because everyone believed in the product and what it could be. Just being part of that experience was thrilling. 

9) Did you think sporians would be this excited about G.A.? 

As a developer you always ask yourself that question. GA took a while to manifest itself into the game you see today. During the early months those questions definitely ran through our minds. However, as features started coming on line and we were able to create our own adventures, it was clear right away, this thing is fun! Playing adventures are fun, creating adventures are fun and you can easily lose track of time in a play session. I often found myself driving home after a long day, thinking about the adventure I was working on and what I wanted to do next. Once you find yourself wrapped up in your own game, you know others are going to dig it. 

10) Is it possible to fill certain characters roles in an adventure?with random content from the sporepedia so that each time your play an adventure some of the characters are different. This would improve the replay value of an adventure. 

Answer; ok within your own misssions it is possible to make any and all changes and it would still be of your own making by simply reuploading. as in downloaded missions, they can be edited but would have to be reuploaded and would be auto tagged as an offspring giving credit to the original creator. As for captains, if it is a set mission using a captain designated by the creator, then you cannot change that at all. 

11) Can we get a list of the captain parts? 

Answer; I can honestly say that my favorite new part is by far the generator as this has the absolute coolest animation ever. Like a force field of electrical currents which kind of resembles lightning, simply awesome. But here is the list…. 
Weapons 

* Claws – Claw like gloves worn on the creature. Can be used to attack in a similar way to the strike ability. The Claws seem to have a resemblance to Wolverine from the X-men. 

* Energy Blade – A sword like energy weapon used to inflict damage by cutting and striking targets (A reference to the lightsaber from the Star Wars saga) 

* Plasma Pulser – A gun like weapon that shoots a blast of energy. Similar to the spit ability. 

* Missile Launcher – Likely a homing missile that shoots forward and explodes on contact with the target. 

* Poison Blade – Similar to Energy Blade. Can poison the target. 

* Summon Swarm – Summons a swarm of insects to chase the target away. Similar to the Bee animation in the Creepy and Cute test drive, another Spore Expansion pack. 

* Freeze – Freezes the target. 

* Mind Meld – Likely a weapon that enables psychic abilities. 

 

Other Tools 

* Shield Generator – Generates a shield around the user. Protects from enemy attacks. 

* Stealth – Turns user invisible. Similar to sneak ability. 

* Jet Pack – Allows continued Jumping and aerial movement. Similar to the jump and glide ability. Flying too high will have lethal consequences on the avatar. 

* Royal Charm – Charms the leader of the targeted group. Like an easier way to socialize with alpha creatures. Similar to the Charm ability in the Spore creature stage. 

* Disco Ball – Charms multiple targets for social use. 

* Holo Charm – Creates a decoy that Charms the Target. Also similar to the Charm ability in the Spore creature stage. 

* Inspiring song – the user starts to sing. Charms multiple targets. Similar to the normal sing. 

* Fuel Cell – To supply an extra boost of energy. 

* Generator – Generates energy. 

Posted in Galactic Adventure | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Voting: Uber Creation Contest – Buildings

Posted by ballightning on May 28, 2009


Well we have finally come to the crunch time in the competition. The Judges have selected there top 10 in each category and now it is time for you to vote for the most Uber Creation of all! 

Now that the Poll cheating bug has been fixed on the official forums, we felt that it would be best to host the voting over on the Sporums

 The Creatures and spaceships have already been voted on, and it is now time to vote for the most stunning Buildings! As with the previous vote, this one will last for 3 days.

The creator of the creation which gets the most votes will receive a free copy of Galactic Adventures. The winning creation of by a creature was 20 votes. Beat that to get your copy of GA today!

We are sorry if any creation did not make it, as there were some amazing creations which did not make the cut, thanks to everyone who entered!

Vote Now!

Posted in Sporedum News | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Gamezone Pre-E3 2009: Spore Hero Preview

Posted by ballightning on May 27, 2009

Gamezone has the last of today’s Pre-E3 Spore Hero previews.

 

In development at EA Montreal, Spore Hero is a different take on the Spore franchise, debuting on the Wii with Spore Hero. The game is less of a strategy/simulation hybrid and more of an action/adventure, taking the creature design elements from the original PC game and applying it to a platformer game concept. The game is a pretty light action game, making it a good fit for younger kids and casual gamers, but will also allow for some pretty cool customization features that hardcore fans should be able to get into.

Spore Hero starts you out as a two-legged blob that must have a mouth created for him before he can embark on his journey into the world. The game carries over the creature creator from the original game, allowing you to customize your guy as you see fit with tons of options. You’ll have access to all of the parts from the PC game as well as the Cute and Creepy Pack.

In order to build him up into a formidable species, you must earn extra body parts by playing through the game’s campaign. You’ll take on enemies and collect shards that allow you to buy more powerful parts. Aside from upgrading the standard limbs like arms and legs, you’ll be able to give your character more powerful jaws, and add functional body parts like fins and wings, giving yourself the ability to swim and fly, respectively, and gaining access to new areas. You’re able to build your character up in many great ways, and the only real limit is that you must have at least one leg and one mouth.

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Posted in Spore Hero | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

IGN Pre-E3: Spore Hero Update

Posted by ballightning on May 27, 2009

Yet another pre-E3 update on Spore Hero, this time from IGN.

We recently got to play a new level in the game: the Bioluminescent Forest. The name is a little misleading, though, as the environment is located in underground caves and there was very little plant life to be found. 

The Forest is where players will have their second encounter with their nemesis, the evil creature that crash landed on this planet at the same time and has been running around causing trouble. You’ll have to fight the beast in claw-to-claw combat, but if you lose you can always tweak the attributes of your animal and try again. 

Once the villain is bested you can go about exploring the forest and accepting quests from its inhabitants. Scattered about are red meteor shards that spawn enemies. You’ll have to smash the shards in order to eradicate the local monster population. The red meteor is what your nemesis crash landed in. Your vessel, the blue meter, also has shards lying around. Smashing these will provide upgrades for your creature. These part drops are semi-random, but since some quests require you to have evolved in a particular way the game will make sure you always have the parts you need. You’ll often find you discover more evolved versions of the parts you are already using. 

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IGN Pre-E3 2009: Spore Hero Arena Preview

Posted by ballightning on May 27, 2009

IGN has also had a pre-E3 look at Spore Hero Arena, and have revealed that unlike Spore Creatures (DS), it will feature a full 3D creature editor.

A big difference between this and last year’s game is that the creator is now presented in 3D, as opposed to the flat paper look of Spore Creatures. You’ll find all the standard parts and abilities here and can pick textures and colors for your creation. 

 

The setup for Arena is similar to Spore Hero on Wii. A heinous red meteor has corrupted the minds of the champion fighters all over the galaxy, and it’s up to you to put them in their place. 

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Gamespot: Spore Hero Arena First Look

Posted by ballightning on May 27, 2009

Gamespot have had their first look at Spore Hero Arena, and it appears the game is going to focus on action.

Spore Creatures did extremely well for Electronic Arts last year, so it’s no surprise that the company would want to continue the trend by bringing Spore once again to Nintendo’s handheld. At an Electronic Arts press event in Los Angeles, we got our first glance at Spore Hero Arena and tinkered a bit with the creature creator. We weren’t given too many details except that this is going to be very much focused on action, but we did get to see how the controls work and what is potentially in store for Spore Hero Arena.


The premise of the game is to become a galactic champion by competing in arena-based battles. The story is set in the same universe as the Wii game, except instead of riding on the tail of a meteor and crash-landing on a mysterious planet, your ship gets hit by this meteor and you wind up stranded on an unknown planet anyway. You meet the Forgotten Master, who tells you about the evil creatures that spawned from the red meteors and have corrupted all of the arena champions by creating championship medals. You are immune to this corruption, so your job is to win back the medals and become the new champion.

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GameSpot – Spore Hero Updated Impressions

Posted by ballightning on May 27, 2009

Gamespot have had an updated look at Spore Hero:

 

At another Electronic Arts event, this time down in Los Angeles, we got another opportunity to check out Spore Hero for the Nintendo Wii. This is an entirely new game built specifically for the Wii, in which you’ll play as a hero that is destined to save the planet. The easy-to-use creature creator is included, of course, so you can customize and evolve your creature as the game goes on. The story unfolds as you help the locals by completing a variety of quests, which will also earn you new parts. We had previously gotten a glimpse of the new planet that our hero had landed on, but this time we were given a tour of the beautiful underground area called the Bioluminescent Forest. We couldn’t actually play the game, but we watched as our hero picked delectable moon fruit from vines and continued to evolve with the body parts it acquired.

Customize and upgrade your hero.

Before you can make it to the forest, your hero’s nemesis–coincidentally named Nemesis–will be found blocking the entrance. When you crash-landed on the planet on a blue meteor, the red meteor that landed with you was the troublemaker. Nemesis evolves just as you do, and this was the first time our hero had to face him. It took a couple of tries before our demonstrator beat him in a fight, so this was a good time to swap around parts, considering that the current set wasn’t working out. At this point in the game, you can swing the Nunchuk to make the hero spit, causing damage from a distance. Depending on what kinds of parts you put on, you can generally strike by swinging the Wii Remote, bite with the B button, and press A to jump. You can even pull off combos if you jump and swing, which performs an aerial attack.

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SporeDay – Answers from Chris Hecker

Posted by ballightning on May 27, 2009

Maxis recently got people to ask questions for Chris Hecker to answer about the various areas of spore his has worked on. Maxis choose the top 50 and then users on the official forum voted for their top 10, through Chris has answered many more then that. Here are our two favorites, head over to the Official Forum for more.

 

What do YOU think of the asymmetry campaign? Do you think it may be a good idea? 

Asked by CubeTubeMan, Sgt.Waffles, TexasGamer, ZEE_EXX, poisfig, dinoboy300, nebula27, SPYDR 

I’m really glad this one got the most votes, because it happens to be what I’m working on right now! So, yes, I think it’s a good idea! First, some important caveats: this is research work we’re doing to investigate the feasibility of asymmetry in the creature and vehicle editors. It might not work for any number of reasons, and therefore, there are no guarantees it will ever see the light of day and ship, but please keep your fingers crossed and beam us good bug fixing karma! 

A bit of history about the creature editor and asymmetry to give context: there were actually three generations of the creature editor over the years of Spore’s development, lovingly called CE1, CE2, and CE3. Each successive editor built on the lessons learned from working on and testing the previous one. Obviously, only CE3 ever got to a shippable state, and the others were just prototypes. I think they all supported asymmetry to one degree or another at various points in their development, even CE3. However, as we fixed the bugs, figured out the final user interface paradigms, and polished up CE3 into the creature creator you all know and love, the asymmetry code got less and less attention because resources were limited and it was optional for shipping, while the symmetric editor manipulations were essential to making the editor work intuitively. As we say in the business, the asymmetry code “rotted”. This is a pretty natural process for complex software…the more important features get prioritized, and some cool-but-optional parts sometimes rot and have to get disabled due to time limits and resource constraints. We always hoped to bring it back, but we just couldn’t spend the time to do so before Spore’s release. 

After we shipped last year, Dave Culyba, one of the main editor programmers, and all-around awesome guy, started to resurrect the old asymmetry code and fix the bugs. Let me be clear: the old asymmetry code never actually worked well and it needed to be completely rethought, and so Dave had to do a ton of smart and hard work to get it up and going. He solved a lot of the difficult problems (like “How does the editor economy work when you can delete one of the pair of parts?”, “What do you do if you drag a symmetric part to an asymmetric limb, and then drag it back, without releasing your mouse button?”, etc.). After GDC this year, I decided to take it on, and now Dan Moskowitz, the lead editor programmer, is working with me and we’re giving it a shot. 

We’re really excited by the potential, and we’ll be able to talk more about it later, assuming our confidence in it shipping increases over time. It’s still buggy with lots of edge cases that we need to fix, but we showed it to the Adventure Camp folks last week and they all literally gasped when I did the first asymmetric operation, which was great. If it ever ships, you guys will go crazy with it, and I can’t wait to see what you make! 

Just remember, there are no guarantees this will get released, it’s still a research project at this point, so please be patient and think positive bug-fixing thoughts! 

 

 Why did you get rid of the procedural animation for Spore? Was it a play testing issue? Was it buggy? 

Asked by Bofosho2, Mystfan, TexasGamer 

Also, how did the original, (GDC ’05) Proc. Animation system work? (I know that it wasn’t a working game then, but you did have the editor, according to one of your interns.) It must have been a pain to code. 

Asked by Bofosho2 

First, it’s important to understand that there never was some other version of Spore that got changed at some point, there was only a growing number of technologies that solved problems and a constant learning on our part about what game we were making and how to best use those technologies to make it. To use an biological analogy, it’s not like there was an existing, fully formed species that then went through natural selection yielding other fully formed species over time, and then we finally decided to ship one of them. It’s more like a single creature gestating in utero, starting out as a clump of cells that looks nothing like a game, eventually forming into somewhat familiar shapes (maybe it had a vestigial tail at one point in its development that disappeared, etc.), and finally it develops lungs and a heart and becomes viable and it gets born. Or something like that. 🙂 

As for how the 2005 animation system worked specifically, I talk about it a bit in my GDC 2007 lecture. There’s a screenshot of one of the scripts in the slides at that link if you’re curious, and you can download the mp3 to hear the description. It was basically a scripting language built on top of Lua. There were two main problems with the original system. First, it was very difficult to get expressive motion out of it, because the motions it produced were very linear. In other words, a hand could grab towards a piece of fruit, but it was hard to naturally vary the hand’s speed during the grab, and it was even harder to script movement tangential to the direction of the fruit, both of which are absolutely vital to an animation reading as having anticipation and intent. Second, as I say in the lecture, because it was a programming language, it was unclear who we should hire: programmers who can animate, or animators who could program. Unfortunately, the intersection of those two sets is almost empty, which created a huge production risk because we had thousands of animations to create.

So, to solve these two problems, we redesigned the system to implicitly handle the proceduralism as much as possible, and expose the expressive parts to the animator, as you can read about in the SIGGRAPH paper. The final system has a lot of familiar controls to a character animator, and then it handles the heavy procedural lifting of applying the animations to the different shapes of the creatures. We’re pretty proud of the results, and you can see the animators were able to get a lot of emotional expression that reads even on pretty insanely shaped creatures! 

I also think there’s a misconception about the definition of the word “procedural” when it comes to Spore’s animation system in the first question. There isn’t really a consensus on what “procedural animation” means in the computer graphics community. It’s a pretty blanket term for “non-traditional animation”, so it’s not really very useful to try to label one system procedural and another not. A working definition could be, “is a given animation asset described only by code?”, in which case the old system was procedural and the current one is not, but that ignores how the line between code and data is quite blurry in practice, and so a more useful definition that would better fit the more common graphics usage would be, “is animation data just a recording of joint angles that’s played back, or is heavy processing involved in taking the source data and producing character motion?”, and by that latter definition the current system is highly procedural. 

Rather than labels, I think players are more interested in what the system can do, and although I think we did an amazing job, I also know the GDC 2005 demo showed a couple cool things that really resonated with people that the system we shipped did not do. The two biggest ones are what we callweapons-anywhere, which I discuss below, and drag-carcass, which is something we hope to get back in there at some point. Both were just time/priority issues during development; there’s no inherent reason they would work in one system but not the other. 

I hope that clears up some of the questions around these topics! 

More Questions and Answers

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Sporedum Exclusive: Adventure Camp interview with Parkaboy

Posted by ballightning on May 26, 2009

Parkaboy has done an exclusive Q&A with Sporedum from some of his experiences at the Adventure Camp. Here is the interview about Galactic Adventures:

 

What sort of triggers can you have? For example, can i have it so that when you get to a certain area a vehicle starts moving? 

You can only have triggers on the advanced AI, wich applies only to creatures. You can program them to do a certain action when something (or the player speciffically) enters their awareness radius, socializes, attacks or befriends them. These are just examples, I can’t remember every option. 

What you can’t do with the AI editor, you can use acts to achieve. For instance, I can place a “go to” goal on an object or building, and then change the behavior of a vehicle so it moves on the following act. The previous act is completed when the player goes to the place assigned and then the vehicle starts to move. You can change behaviors and even make creations, effects and objects appear/disappear between acts, so that’s very flexible. But you’re limited to just 8 acts per mission, though. 

 

So would it be possible to have the captain build a building? 

I believe so. Here’s how I would do it: create different stages of the building (foundations, half-finished, finished), and then make some buildings shaped like construction material. Have the goal of each act to get the items and bring them to the building. Then, between acts, make the previous version of the building invisible, and make the next one show. 

 

In your mission log you mentioned that creations have behaviors. Could you expand on the different types of behaviors you can have for creatures, spaceships, vehicles and spaceships? 

“Behaviors” is a popup window you have when clicking the thumbnail of the creature in the adventure editor. In there you can change a creation’s aggressiveness, awareness, attack bonus and movement (for creatures and vehicles) health points, visible/invisible, no team/allied/enemy teams (for everything), invisible/disguised (for gameplay objects). I may be leaving something out… And of course there’s the advanced AI editor for creatures, wich is way too complex for me to describe by memory. 

 

You messed around with the advanced AI options, could you give us some details about what you can do? 

Well, you can set a list of actions for a creature to do. Actions on top will have priority over actions on the bottom. I’m not sure how many actions we can put on one creature, the maximum I’ve used was four. 

Each action has a condition. Let me give an example: 

– attack (anyone) if attacked (anyone) 

– follow (player) if befriended (player) 

– threaten (anyone) if awareness (anyone) 

– emote (angry) 

Then we sould have a fierce creature, that threatens anyone that comes near it, follows the player if the player befriends it, and attacks anyone that attacks it. The top actions take precedence over the bottom ones, so it would stop following the player to attack an aggressor. 

There are a lot of options, these are just a few I can remember. It’s a lot more subtle control than simply setting a creature to be aggressive. Then it would simply attack anyone that comes near. 

 

Did you have much time to experiment with vehicle movement, and if you did could you explain to us how this works, and what the type of triggers we could use for this? 

You can set a path for vehicles to move, or you can set a path for them to patrol. The difference is that patrolling means the vehicle will go back and forth on the path, instead of stopping at the end. Since this is a behavior, you can set it to happen only on certain acts, and the trigger will be completing a goal on the previous act. 

 

Is it possible to have a many sided war, ie 4 teams at ware with each other? 

Yeah, you can have up to 4 enemy teams, I believe. You can even have them allie to each other by changing them to the same team on certain acts. You can’t have a neutral team, though. A creature with “no team” would be attacked by everybody, poor thing. 

 

Have you had a go at messing around with Time limits on adventures? If so, could you give us some examples of how this works? 

I haven’t played with that… I guess you can place time limits on the completing of an act or goal, but I haven’t used it. 

 

Did you come across any of the new achievements? 

We got an achievement for publishing our first adventure, though we did it only on the Maxis internal server. So we’ll only earn it when they publish our adventures, by the time of the release.

 

Will we be able to record movies during a mission, creating a mission, and/or in the captain editor? 

Yeah, movies and screenshots can be taken at any time. You can even make adventures just to create movies, that would be very cool. 

 

What can you do for your missions, like get x item, kill x creatures etc? 

You can place up to 3 goals per act. To place a goal, you have to drag it from the panel to a creation or object, and then choose an option from a pie-like menu (sort of like the sims interactions). There are tons of goals, such as kill, befriend, talk to, go to, bring… I can’t remember them all. You can specify numbers, such as kill “5” of this creature, or kill “all” of that one. If you choose the option “bring”, you can pick where to bring the thing. 

 

Are we able to stack small buildings on each other so they can be like giant stairs up into the sky? 

Certainly! And you can use the Tab, Shift and Ctrl keys in the same exact way that they’re used on the building editor, so you can combine several buildings in any way imagined! Creating modular buildings can result and giant and overcomplex structures. That’s probably my favourite part of the editor… 

 

What bugs/problems did you encounter? 

No bugs, though sometimes it’s hard to get te creations to behave just the way you want in the adventure. We can forget to change the behavior on the right act, and then spend several minutes trying to figure out what went wrong… I believe this happened to pretty much everyone that went to the Camp.

Posted in Galactic Adventure | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

ROFLcopter Invasion Revealed

Posted by ballightning on May 25, 2009

Yesterday we talked about how the “ROFLcopter’s” are invading the MPN list. Now Mouthwash tells us exclusively that we were wrong  . It was not a stunt to emphasize how easy it is to steal others creations, but instead it was an elaborate prank. Still, we can always try and get some spin involved. 

 

When I thought of the prank, I first brought it up to Didzo who thought it was a great idea. I went to work on trying to figure out what kind of creation we should all use. I needed it to be something that had no person-specific style yet would be something people would want to upload. I thought that internet memes would be a great place to start. Something that was either pixel art or ascii art would be perfect, and thats how the ROFLcopter became my flagship of the prank. 

I sent out comments and private messages on the Spore Forums to recruit people, and Didzo helped gather in a few also. In the end, quite a few either had Spore problems and couldn’t join in or simply forgot about the prank, but 6 copters is still a decent amount and I think we turned enough heads regardless. 

Some people were saying that this might be a protest about how easy it is to steal creations…. That was not my original intention but I’d love for Maxis to be aware of it. The way the ‘pedia works makes it easily exploitable. They even REMOVED the parent-children data from the website so that Sporescope (a firefox addon that shows extra information about creations) can no longer retrieve it. Why? It really makes me wonder. If we had a workaround to show proper ownership then things like this wouldn’t happen.  It’d also make the premise of creation stealing a moot point. 

All seriousness aside, I did it for the lulz. I’m glad the majority of people found it funny as well.  

Posted in Spore Community, Spore News, Sporepedia | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »