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Reports from Spore Hero Day

Posted by ballightning on September 17, 2009

Last week a group of bloggers from around the internet went to Maxis HQ to try out various new Maxis games, especially games for the Wii and Nintendo DS. These included Spore Hero and Spore Hero Arena. Here are the highlights from around the blogisphere:

From SporePrograms:

A couple of images and a video has made its round on the internet today of the MySims Blogger Day event at EA Redwood Shores.  First up, we have a video posted by Wayne Schulz on Facebook. You have to sign into your Facebook account if you want to view it, but it gives you a general idea of the work an audio recorder has to do (No foley fartist for this one!)

Next, we have a few photos from Wayne which shows off Spore Hero, as well as the raid at the EA Store!

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic Share photos on twitter with Twitpic Share photos on twitter with Twitpic Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

And last, LadyM treats us with a picture from the MySims Audio Session!

Simlish session on Twitpic

LootNinja – Spore Hero & Spore Hero Arena preview

Our demo was given by Product Marketing Manager, Aaron Krause. Spore Hero is a story adventure; your goal is to defeat Zarkhator and save the alien planet from the effects of his presence. The longer he stays, the more the planet and animals change and become evil. While exploring the planet you can find new parts that can be used to upgrade your creature while in his nest.

continue reading

DesignMom – Spore Hero & Spore Hero Arena report

I am not exaggerating even slightly when I say we spent 90% of our EA time playing video games. It was pretty much awesome like that. The schedule: visit the studio where the new Spore Hero game was developed (Spore Hero will launch in the next month, so this was a sneak peak). Meet the creators. See the cool office space. Visit the crew of guys who are paid to play the game and test it out (don’t you love that? it’s a real job!). Then sit in a room with a dozen Wii consoles and try out Spore Hero for ourselves. For as long as wanted to.

Continue reading her impressions…


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Spore Hero Intro Cinematic

Posted by ballightning on September 15, 2009

Maxis have released a new video for Spore Hero with the announcement of it and Spore Hero Arena going gold.

Posted in Spore Hero | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Spore Hero/Spore Hero Arena Gone Gold

Posted by ballightning on September 12, 2009

Spore Hero and Spore Hero Arena have gone gold, according to a press release IGN got hold off.

US, September 11, 2009 – The epic fight to save the galaxy is almost here as Spore Hero and Spore Hero Arena go gold – officially completed and ready for manufacturing! Built from the ground up exclusively for the Wii and Nintendo DS platforms, Spore Hero and Spore Hero Arena introduce a new level of action-packed adventure, creativity and combat to the critically acclaimed Spore franchise. Both games will be available at North American retailers on Oct. 6 2009 and internationally on Oct. 9, 2009. 

Spore Hero delivers the unparalleled creative freedom of Spore in an action-adventure game created exclusively for the Wii. Set in a rich and vibrant 3D world, Spore Hero empowers the player to become a hero as they embark on an epic quest to save their creature’s home planet from destruction. Along this journey, players will engage in challenging battles and solve puzzles to collect and unlock more than 250 new creature parts, all with unique abilities. These parts, which can be used to customize creatures in the revolutionary Spore Creature Creator, can change the way creatures will play and fight in the world. Players can also utilize their brawling skills in a dynamic multiplayer mode, where they battle their friends with their own customized creature to become the ‘baddest’ Spore hero around! 

Spore Hero Arena catapults players into a galaxy filled with fun and intense arena-based combat. Featuring an all-new story set in the same universe as Spore Hero, Spore Hero Arena takes players on a quest to save planets in their galaxy from an evil force. Throughout the game, players create their own unique gladiator hero creature and guide it from planet to planet as they fight enemy creatures, collect new parts, gain upgrades and unlock special abilities that will benefit their hero. Developed with multiplayer capabilities in mind, Spore Hero Arena also allows players to battle with up to three friends locally or play with a friend over Wi-Fi, taking the Spore gameplay experience to an entirely new and interactive level. 

Available for $49.99 MSRP, Spore Hero is rated E10+ by the ESRB. Spore Hero Arena is available for $29.99 MSRP and is rated E by the ESRB. 

To learn more about Spore Hero and Spore Hero Arena, play minigames and download fun content, please visit http://www.sporehero.com. For screenshots or press materials about the Spore franchise, please visit http://info.ea.com. Follow the Spore development team on twitter at: http://twitter.com/spore.

Posted in Spore Hero, Spore Hero Arena | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Spore Patch: 1.5/1.5.1 for mac

Posted by ballightning on September 10, 2009

Well the Spore Patch 1.5/1.5.1 has finally been released for the mac! If you can’t remember what was in the last patch, here are the details below:

Fixed issues:

  • Object orientation near water or lava can appear incorrectly when Playing or Testing an Adventure.
  • Fixes a crash in the Building Creator when holding Ctrl or Shift and moving a part.

Spore Patch 5

Spore Improvements:

  • Asymmetry is now available for creatures! Details on new Asymmetry features for Creatures and Vehicles can be found here.
  • This patch fixes several crashes in Space Game.
  • Many tuning improvements to Space Game, including reduced disaster rates at all levels of difficulty, adjustments to Hard Mode, increased limits on concurrent trade routes, as well as changes to tool unlocks for the Knights.
  • Creator Lineage appears correctly for all creation types shared after this patch is installed.
  • Cheat is included that permits Creators to export creatures in Collada format for use in Maya. Creators must acknowledge and accept a Tools EULA to perform this operation. An additional cheat has been provided to enable highest quality textures to appear on vehicles, where it is supported by user hardware.
  • Fixed a problem where creations would go missing if a user quits the game in any way while downloads are in progress.
  • Fixed a bug where achievements were disappearing.
  • Fixed a bug where some Sporepedia cards had corrupted backgrounds.
  • Fixed a problem in Space where some Grox planets were unreachable.
  • YouTube movies now publish as public

Galactic Adventures Improvements:

  • This patch must be installed again after installing Galactic Adventures, even if you have installed this patch previously.
  • You can now place the avatar, NPCs, and handheld objects on top of air, land, and sea vehicles in the Adventure Creator. Get more info here.
  • Improvements are made to the Adventure Creator, including right-click camera behavior, and User Interface enhancements.
  • In EP1 open gates were not working correctly when they were disguised
  • Some customer-reported crashes in Galactic Adventures have been fixed.

Posted in Spore Patches | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

IGN: Spore Creatures iPhone preview

Posted by ballightning on September 10, 2009

IGN reviews the latest Spore iPhone game, Spore Creatures.

Last year’s Spore: Origins was one of the iPhone’s best games. Based on early chapter of the bestselling PC game, you guided a cell through the primordial soup in a Herculean effort to survive the lowest rung of the evolutionary ladder. Spore Creatures leads that little sport organism on to land. With a larger emphasis on exploration (but hopefully not to the detriment of good, old-fashioned natural selection-style combat), Creatures is about taking that next step up the ladder to assert your dominance in the new world. 

Since you are now on land, you can add different body parts to your creatures. Out with the cilia and in with the legs. The creature creator tool looks very similar to the original from origins, as you attach new parts and pieces to increase your creature’s relevant stats like offense, defense, and sight. Because there is no “right” way to build out a spore, you can experiment with different combos and come up with a creature that suits your style. If you want to move up the food chain by force, you can install fangs and other offensive measures on your creature. If you want to survive by eluding danger, then improve your creature’s speed and perception with additional eyes, ears, and legs.

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Spore Hero Preview

Posted by ballightning on September 6, 2009

Hooked Gamers have previewed Spore Hero.

It seems as though as your titular Hero has landed on a planet that isn’t his home. A blue meteor has the indicated the creature, and it seems like a dangerous red meteor is coming to destroy your planet. This crisis must be solved quickly, as one of your first tasks in the game is to talk to several of the local creatures living on the planet. As the game progresses, you will find out more about why the red meteor is coming.

At first sight, your Spore will be a very basic creature that is round like an egg and will have legs, but as you gain more special creature parts, you will be allowed to give your creature more talents and a different look. How you gain access to these parts is by solving various puzzles on the planet. The game also seems to have a lot of freedom as players can choose what things they would like to do to progress the story such as accepting quests, treasure hunting, interacting with others or simply just exploring.

Continue Reading

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Spore Creatures coming to iPhone

Posted by ballightning on September 6, 2009

Spore for iPhone was a massive success and it appears that Maxis will continue this trend towards iPhone games with Spore Creatures coming to iPhone before June next year according to an exclusive by Pocket Gamer. Will we be seeing each stage released slowly on the iPhone?

During our presentation on iPhone gaming at Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, EA Mobile provided exclusive first details on Spore Creatures.

The sequel, which builds on AIAS Mobile Game of the YearSpore Origins, has you controlling a land-based creature through 20 levels spread across 4 zones.

Like the first game, you move through levels with tips and tilts of your handset. The objective is to munch on smaller animals in order to grow your organism into a lean, mean evolutionary machine.

Posted in Spore Creatures | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Lone screenshot from Spore Hero Arena

Posted by ballightning on September 4, 2009

A lone Spore Hero Arena screenshot found by SporeBR.

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Spore Hero Arena DS – Dangerous Missions

Posted by ballightning on September 4, 2009

A new Spore Hero Arena video!

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Editorial: Spore GA, success or failure?

Posted by ballightning on September 2, 2009

Welcome to the first Sporedum Editorial! This is a new section where I will put up my thoughts about events and issues in the world of Spore, I hope you enjoy and commenting is most appreciated! We are looking for people who wish to write about events in the spore community so if you are interested please comment below! Please help Sporedum by submitting our post to Digg and Stumble Upon.

It has now been 2 months since the release of the popular first expansion to spore, Galactic Adventures, and in this time, plenty has been said on its merits, and where it failed. Spore Galactic Adventures was built to revive the dream that was partially lost in Spore, by not only enhancing the space stage through the addition of adventures, but allowing players to create their own missions for thousands of others to play.

The lead up to Spore Galactic Adventures was rather large for an expansion, with Maxis teaming up with Robot Chicken to create some exclusive adventures which have become very popular. Another key factor in the run up to the release was the Adventure Camp, which helped, along with the Robot Chicken adventures, to hype Galactic Adventures up to being a game making engine, one which could rejuvenate Spore, and give it the much needed kick it needed.

Yet although the editor in Galactic Adventures was a breakthrough for the fact that it provided a simple yet effective way of creating missions, it did not fix the main concerns people had with the original Spore game. Galactic Adventures was more of a separate game which was occasionally intertwined with the core Spore gameplay, this does not make it bad, but it does not address the problems with Spore.

Connection Problems

Spore was a game which had too much to fill. You can always argue that it was made to be ‘cute’, and to a degree this was true, however the real problem with Spore was that it was trying to do so many different things that no game had done before, and put them all together. This is never a good strategy to go with, and led to the different elements in the game feeling like they didn’t fit in. Spore also had the problem of lacking actual connecting content, yes there was hours of gameplay, and endless creations to make, yet the gameplay in each minigame was quick, painful and in all but a few instances boring. For example in the tribal stage, you win in about 15 minutes on the hardest setting. The lack of connecting also detracts from the more positive elements of the game, and in addition the limited choices you have in each stage hardly effect what happens in the next stage.

The space stage was considered the most fleshed out part of Spore, with a whole galaxy waiting to be conquered, however these tasks quickly became boring, with missions which became extremely repetitive and battles rather boring. Since space stage was the most talked about, Maxis decided after light consultation with the Spore community to start creating an expansion where players could create their own missions to beam down to a planet for others to play. The idea for Galactic Adventures was born.

Galactic Adventure Ideas

The main idea behind the expansion is to allow more interesting missions for people to play as they explore the Spore galaxy, and the ability to create these missions for others to play. One of the most trumpeted aspects of Galactic Adventures was the adventure creator, and in all respects it is one of the best simple game making tool. However for many members of the Spore community, the adventure creation tool was not enough, and did not allow many of the adventures that they envisaged.

Many users had planned on creating epic sagas, with character dependant storylines similar to what can be done in editors like Oblivion and NeverwinterNights. However many critical elements were missing from Galactic Adventures. One feature which was sorely missing was mission and conversation trees, which is a standard part to creating any interactive RPG. Without this, it left the adventures lacking the crucial element of interaction. The main other feature which was missing was scripts, or the ability to have at least simple interactions between characters in the story.

Nonetheless the ability to create adventures which are engaging and interactive is within Galactic Adventures grasp. As shown by some amazing adventures (Whom God Destroys), Galactic Adventures does have the capacity to entertain.

Simple Problems

Yet wasn’t Galactic Adventures built to improve the space stage gameplay, and remove the repetitiveness of missions? Maxis made it so that while playing you could get any mission which did not have a locked captain. That means any mission, no matter how bad. If you had a perfect world and everyone put their time into making their missions, most of the missions would be enjoyable and worth playing.

Yet this is not the case. Often you come across adventures which can’t be won or have no plot and have a simple goal. These can be very frustrating, and the only way to fix this is to make Spore only download buddy adventures, however this will often mean you have access to only hundreds of adventures, in contrast to the hundreds of thousands of adventures out there.

Maxis could have provided a few simple steps to fix these problems. The most basic one would have been to make all creators ‘play’ there adventure beforehand with a basic captain for adventures where you choose your captain. Also they could have allowed players to choose what sort of adventures they can download by choosing how complex they can be, for example i could choose to not have missions which had fewer than 2 goals in them download automatically.

While there are many faults in Galactic Adventures, it can be agreed that Maxis have gone out of their way to create a vast and expansive game which allows the creation of player made gameplay.

Did it fail or succeed?

I’ll leave that up to you, except to say that in the eyes of Maxis, a top 10 ranking last month has made sure that Spore will continue for many years to come.

Posted in Galactic Adventure, Spore News, Sporedum News | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Rumor: SPORE Creature Keeper coming to Nintendo DS

Posted by ballightning on August 31, 2009

Thanks to Judson from SporePrograms who has noticed that the ESRB ratings site has details for a Creature Keeper game coming to DS. Is it going to happen? We’ll have to wait and see.

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EA Maxis-Spore Hit with Layoffs

Posted by ballightning on August 27, 2009

The Maxis headquarters in Redwood, California have been the host of the latest job cuts as the gaming industry faces the global recession. In the home place of spore today, Maxis have confirmed that members of the spore team have been layed off.

“Often in the video game industry, the size of a studio fluctuates in response to business conditions. In this case, EA has taken action to reduce the workforce at Maxis as we focus the business and focus Maxis,” an EA spokesperson told IGN.

EA is still fully backing Spore, mentioning some of its upcoming titles.

“EA remains fully committed to SPORE and other IP within Maxis, with games planned for launch in the next few months, including Spore Hero, coming to the Wii for the first time, and Spore Hero Arena on the DS. All eligible employees will receive severance and outplacement assistance.” 

EA wouldn’t comment on how many employees were let go, however.

Posted in EA News, Maxis News, Spore News | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

New Spore Hero / Spore Hero Arena screens

Posted by ballightning on August 25, 2009

WorthPlaying has posted up some new screenshots for Spore Hero and Spore Hero Arena.

SporeHeroArena_NDS_029 SporeHeroArena_NDS_026 SporeHeroArena_NDS_027 SporeHeroArena_NDS_028

SporeHero_Wii_035 SporeHero_Wii_034 SporeHero_Wii_032 SporeHero_Wii_036 SporeHero_Wii_033

Source: SporePrograms

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Gamespot Spore Hero Hands-on

Posted by ballightning on August 22, 2009

Check out Gamespot’s Spore Hero Hands on!

During the past few months, we’ve had plenty of opportunities to check out Spore Hero, including at a recent Electronic Arts press event in San Diego. The game has come a long way since we first checked it out in May, and now that we have our own preview build, we’ve had a chance to spend some quality time with it. For those who haven’t been following our coverage, Spore Hero is an action role-playing game built from the ground up for the Wii. It doesn’t play like the PC game Spore, but they do share some similarities. They both have a robust creature creator and excellent animation, which gives the game a ton of personality. But Spore Hero is primarily targeted at an audience that is looking for a lighthearted adventure in which they can ultimately save the day.

Representatives from EA stopped by to walk us through some of the changes that they’ve made to the game. The opening cutscene was tweaked a bit to help tell the story better. Two meteors, a blue one and a red one, are streaking across the sky, heading straight for a lush and beautiful planet. Each meteor carries an egg, but when they crash into the planet, blue and red meteor shards are scattered across the planet. We learn from the start that the red meteor bits have some kind of evil hypnotic effect on the locals, but the blue ones don’t. You play as the little Sporeling that hatches from the egg of the blue meteor and quickly befriend a local creature named Meejee. The creatures around you realize that for some reason you are immune to the red meteor’s strange effects, so you’re now in charge of helping them with all of their problems.

It’s a simple story, told through written dialogue and a garbled alien language. The voices are cute, and the animations add a lot of personality to each of the tribe members that you’ll wind up meeting. We were able to create and customize our own adorable little Sporeling, and new parts were constantly being added to the inventory. Fossils are located throughout the world, and by shaking your Wii Remote at them, you can excavate more parts for some cool new upgrades. Each of the six areas that you explore will have a variety of quests for you to undertake. There are quests in which you will need to fight, but not everyone on this planet is violent. There are singing and dancing challenges, as well as evolution quests, in which you help a particular creature evolve a certain way. For example, we came across a creature with no ears or wings who was trying to obtain a delectable moonfruit from the top of a tree. The quest will direct you to the creature creator, where you can provide the helpless critter with the appropriate parts so that it can fly and find its meal. The dancing quest is like a rhythm minigame, in which icons will appear onscreen to tell you what to do with your controller. Singing is similar, but it involves tilting your remote and holding the A button at the right time.

Continue Reading

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2 new Spore Hero – Spore Hero Arena videos

Posted by ballightning on August 22, 2009

Check out our Spore Hero page for more info!

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