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Sporedum Exclusive: Adventure Camp interview with Masscolder

Posted by ballightning on May 20, 2009

Over the last few days we have been quizzing Masscolder, along with some of the other creators on the Adventure Camp, about Galactic Adventures.


Sporedum: What level of control do you have over AI in Galactic Adventures?

Masscolder: The advanced AI is really complex, there are a ton of actions with various objects and targets that you can trigger with it, I used it a few times although now I can’t remember what for. Didn’t personally play much with it but I think again, Ceece, used it for her mission quite some.



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

Masscolder: Your goal appears in a small box on the lower right corner, and it’s drag and drop, you pick up a goal and drop it onto whatever your goal barer would be- a creature, a vehicle, building, game item etc. And then a dial menu appears and you select what you want your goal to be, kill is definitely an option but there are like a bunch of others, like move to… or pick up, etc. I’d say about a dozen basic goal and then you can combine those. You have up to 3 goals per act. And acts actually allow you to do some advance manipulation of the way things appear in your mission, you can lock things for certain acts, or make them invincible and then vulnerable or invisible even, etc. There are 8 acts total, 3 goals per, so 24 goals per mission cap.



Sporedum: Sounds good, did any of you talk to Maxis about linking multiple adventures together?

Masscolder: They said that linking multiple adventures together will be up to the players and using a joint Sporecast and naming would be the way to go. 



Sporedum: So there is no way to stop people from playing part II before part I? 

Masscolder: No, not really. 



Sporedum: Also, how many Maxis made objects (like teleporters) are there, and what were your favorites? 

Masscolder: I used teleporters a few times, and an awesome llama statue. I also used some of the rocks they have to augment one of my scenes. You can also load up plants and use them as props, which I did a lot of, since that’s the best way to precisely choose which plants you want, where you want them, etc. The plant pollination bar is your other options and that’s integrated in the terrain editor and although that moves them over to a different complexity meter, the pollination is random, and complexity room is plenty so I opted for manual plants. They also have mines, power ups, crates, fire pits, gems, food, torches, scepters… really a ton of stuff. The game objects are fewer tho, those are things like mines and teleporters that serve a purpose. But what you can do is disguise a game object as a fixed one, and the fixed library is much larger. For example, in the mission I was working on in one of the versions the llama statue (fixed object) was actually a teleporter (game object). Also the visual and sound effects behave like objects. And out of those I’m in love with the laser rain.



Sporedum: Is it possible to acquire parts for your captain (like a jet pack) during a mission?

Masscolder: I dont believe so. 



Sporedum: What are some of the new 32 accessories coming in GA?

Masscolder: The artwork Ceece posted is the actual pieces, each of them has some sort of a bonus. It gives extra energy or shield or some special ability. Also now there are two new ways to adjust these parts. One is a square adjuster which actually makes some parts sink in the body. That’s especially hefty with the helms which now look very natural. The other new adjuster is a beahive looking one that actually increases the level of the part. A good example is the weapons. They look very different when you increase their level. For example that energy blade in the 4ths screen on the left sheet when fully expanded has spikes coming out of the sides at two points on the blade. A lot of these parts animate and/or have some sort of an aura they give to the character. The few captains I made all had electricity running through them or lights coming out of them etc. The ones in the first screen to the left are shield related. I don’t recall what the ones to the right are. 2nd screen to the left those give a bunch of social abilities, there was one that gives some song or dance skill. I know the braces in the bottom right give a Freeze ability. 3rd screen those things to the left are energy items, to the right I believe health related. The 4th screen items are a blaster, an energy blade, claws, and a rocket launcher (I don’t recall their actual goofy Maxis names). To the right those are jetpacks and a helmet which looks awesome when you sink it in, very high tech. I actually used the jetpack in the top right as eyes, looked super cool, my character was doing the Cyclops thing, add to that fully expanded level 4 (I think it was 4) claws and I had an X-Men thing going on. I believe Maxis mentioned that these are derived from the archetypes. 




Sporedum: Just want to clarify that the 32 new accessories are the only new parts?

Masscolder: Correct



 Sporedum: Are the Maxis objects be physics enabled? 

Masscolder: I know that fixed objects dont have properties. Fixed objects are most prop objects. Game objects are the ones that have properties. Those are fewer. But you can like I said disguise them as other objects. So in theory you should be able to pick up and carry any object, as long as you use a game object as a base and disguise it as that object. But I don’t think you can tell a character to pick up say a rock (fixed object) unless its some sort of a game object (a granade for example) thats disguised as a rock. 



Sporedum: What bugs/problems did you encounter? 

Masscolder: That actually is the biggest challenge and the reason why we all sort of agreed that mission making will be something a lot of people may try but few will do successfully. The bulk of your mission making will be ironing out pathing issues, behavior issues, advanced AI, glitches. Just like a game developer would. And it’s to be expected because Spore is the kind of game you cannot really anticipate every possible thing people are gonna do or want to do. For example, I had these two armies fighting and it took quite some time to get them to fight like I wanted them, they couldn’t climb this mount, they didn’t register one another, etc.

It’s a lot of tinkering in the technical department. So good missions will be, again, very time consuming, and require a lot of patience and attention to detail. But as I told the Maxis guys, they really don’t need a huge amount of people to make missions. A lot of people will buy GA to play missions, not create them, as GA finally brings the gaming experience back to Spore. Think about it, each stage of Spore except for space is so basic and quick that if you combine your goals from cell to space stage you’ll probably have the same amount of content you can now easily add in just one space mission.

So GA really tremendously expands the gaming experience. So the few people who are willing to learn the editor and test for glitches and make awesome missions will be creating content that is going to hugely expand the game. So even if just a few people do it, GA will still be an immense success. 


Sporedum: Thanks very much for your time.


4 Responses to “Sporedum Exclusive: Adventure Camp interview with Masscolder”

  1. […] not all, you can read more questions and answers in Sporedum’s exclusive interview with one of the Adventure Camp attendees, Masscolder! Share and […]

  2. trey said

    Are the epics even stronger?

  3. simon1464 said

    he is wrong on so many things on this page

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