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Archive for the ‘Galactic Adventure’ Category

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 »

Spore Galactic Adventures User Upload Challenge 4 – Epic size your Adventure!

Posted by ballightning on August 5, 2009

Spore Galactic Adventures allows you to create any kind of adventure, big or small. But this week, the challenge is to create an adventure that is bigger than big. So big, that its EPIC!

Create your most epic adventure yet in Galactic Adventures. The adventure could be epic in story, scale or scope!

Once you have created your adventure, make an EPIC video trailer for the mission and post it as a video response to show everyone what a cool adventure youve made. Make sure to note the name of the mission in your video so people can find it in Sporepedia!

And dont forget to check out last weeks best user challenge video, LuminarNightblades Galactic Adventure tribute to SimAnt:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-p79zu…

Stay tuned for the next YouTube video challenge….


Helpful Technical Information:

To participate in our challenge enter your video as a video response to this one. Here’s how to create a video file to upload manually:

-To capture video in Spore Galactic Adventures, click V to begin video capture and V to end video capture

– Your video will be posted in the “Movies” folder which is located in your “My Spore Creations” directory

– Post your finished video as a video response to this video by clicking “Post a Video Response” in the video response section to the left

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

Spore Galactic Adventures Review: andPOP

Posted by ballightning on August 3, 2009

Another rather belated Spore Galactic Adventures review, and andPOP gave it a overall positive result.

SPORE:  Galactic Adventures is an expansion that will kill a few hours at a time, whenever you feel like it. I think that’s an important distinction to make – the difference between your immersion in a truly epic game that you have to really pull yourself away from, and a game that is easy to break away from, but is still fun to play for hours at a time.  Through it’s simple interface for play and very in-depth character(creature) creation process, it can be a pleasant diversion whether you’re more into the gaming itself, or (like me) you enjoy playing around with how bizarre a creature you can make, or how human you can evolve it.

The game begins at the level of a single-celled organism, and you evolve your creature (I named my creature Lepreclops, after my two favourite mythological beasts) from an amoeba-like blob to a sentient, spacefaring species.  The funny thing is that even at the point of civilization I found that my creature still seemed animalistic to me, which bothered me a bit.  The progression of the stages goes from simple and fleeting (like the amoeba-stages) to the more engaging and complex (like spacefaring eras).

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Spore Galactic Adventures Review: TechOut

Posted by ballightning on August 2, 2009

Evolving my race into space was a threshold moment in Spore for me until I discovered that instead of a galaxy of fun, there was little to do once I had actually gotten there. Arriving at the center of the galaxy proved to be a temporary injection of excitement because afterwards, I found myself back to running the same spice routes and while drawing from the same, tiny glass of mind numbing activities.

So it was with some anticipation that I loaded up the expansion pack, Galactic Adventures, hoping to see if it could help reinvent what could have been the best part of the game. The good news is that it adds a fun wrinkle to the daily grind of spice running and planet hopping while allowing you to run wild with your own ideas. The bad news is that it also has a few holes in its heat shield..

A word of warning: if you’ve purchased the downloadable version of Spore from EA which doesn’t require a CD but pick up Galactic Adventures from retail, you’ll need Adventures’ CD in the drive to run the game. It’s a bizarre DRM decision because I also have Red Alert 3, also from EA and on DVD, yet after authenticating it online, I no longer needed it to fight Tim Curry. So why not do the same with Galactic Adventures, especially given its heavy emphasis on online connectivity?

One of Galactic Adventures’ biggest changes to the game is the captain. With the captain, you can beam into adventures and engage in a variety of activities whether it is to solve puzzles or fight monsters. The captain is essentially you, your avatar from which you will experience the galaxy at large, so if you’ve missed walking around on the surface, you’ll get to do it again and do more than run away from enemy tribes or epic creatures. With new toys in place, now you can fire pulse blasts and wield electrified blades to make the most out of the future once your captain proves capable enough.

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Spore Galactic Adventures Review – CNET

Posted by ballightning on August 1, 2009

A rather belated review, CNET has given Spore Galactic Adventures a highly positive rating of 80%, and recommend buying it.

Some expansion packs offer more of the same, but Spore Galactic Adventures is not one of them. In fact, it adds an entirely new facet of gameplay to the original game’s space stage: adventures that beam your captain onto a planetary surface and send you on a short series of quests. The expansion comes with plenty of such adventures, and there are already developer-commissioned adventures ready to download for free. However, if you enjoyed making your own creatures and buildings in the original Spore, you’ll probably also get into the expansion’s adventure creation capabilities, which offer imaginative players a set of fantastic tools to express their creativity. Like all of Spore’s creation tools, the adventure creator is robust, though learning its intricacies takes some time. There are some nagging issues scattered throughout this otherwise excellent package. However, the new adventures and tools bring the charms of the creature stage into the space stage, and a levelling-up mechanic for your captain results in a welcome sense of progression.

The new adventures are accessible on their own via an in-game menu, but they work better when integrated into Spore’s space phase. Adventure missions are available along with other mission types, and when you take one, you fly to the target planet and beam onto its surface. Adventures are somewhat akin to Spore’s creature phase: you manoeuvre your space captain about and have access to movement, social and attack abilities as you do in the earlier phase. However, adventures are generally short and focus on role-playing-game-like tasks. These include talking to other creatures, fetching them items, attacking and befriending them, protecting them from harm, and so on. You can also take a crew member (or two or three), whom you can recruit from your allies in the space stage. It may be simple, but it’s also charming and engaging, thanks to the hysterical sound effects and appealing visual style. The game’s best built-in adventures have you accomplishing tasks from learning how bills become laws in a cuteSchoolhouse Rock! spoof to getting a band back together just in time for its big concert. Some of them aren’t quite as good, and a few are a little buggy, such as a Godzilla-themed adventure in which pathfinding issues may force you to exit. However, adventures give the space stage welcome charisma and variety, which are qualities the game needed more of in that portion.

If you were into Spore’s crafting elements, you now have a new, extensive and incredibly robust tool set at your disposal: the adventure creator. Warning: there’s a much bigger learning curve here than in any of Spore’s other creation tools. However, if you take the time to experiment with it, you’ll find that this exciting tool set offers incredible possibilities to players with an imagination. The ways you can customise the planet alone are astounding. Using the extensive terraforming and atmospheric options, you can mould the environments as you see fit. Populate the world with creatures of your own or download what you need from other players; create themed villages and drop in any building you can find or make; throw in special effects, music and objects. Then, use behavioural buttons and sliders to make them act and interact as you like and give them dialogue. Drag and drop goals onto each, separate the adventure into acts, and soon you’ll have an adventure to call your own. Before, you got to play as God and architect; now, you get to play as game designer too.

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

GamesRadar Spore Galactic Adventures Review – 4/10

Posted by ballightning on July 23, 2009

Wow… just wow. For a game which brings player made creativity, and mostly suceeds at what it aims to do, a score of 4 out of 10 is undeserved. This is what GamesRadar gave Galactic Adventures in their review of the game.

Spore needed this. When the species you designed in the original game finally took to space, it found a frighteningly huge galaxy, but one without much real variety. The chunky planets and demented species were visually distinct but functionally equivalent. The idea that in Spore: Galactic Adventures, these planets could host little player-crafted adventures for you to beam down to and complete was perfect: different stuff to do with the different stuff to look at.

Unfortunately though, Galactic Adventures fails honkingly on every level. The manual claims you’ll encounter player-made missions in the Space phase, but this never happened to us. Every one of the dozens we played were Maxis-made. These missions are few, short and bad. Player-made adventures are confined to the Sporepedia browser – which is still malfunctioning, awkward and slow. Thousands of missions have been made at the time of writing, but even the most popular are glitchy, ugly and dull.

Posted in Galactic Adventure, Reviews | Tagged: , , | 9 Comments »

Spore Patch 1.05 released – Asymmetry and more!

Posted by ballightning on July 22, 2009

The 5th Patch for Spore, and the first patch to address issues in Galactic Adventures, has been released earlier today. There are many fantastic features in the new patch, including asymmetry, the ability to export to Maya and now you can now place the avatar, NPCs, and handheld objects on top of air, land, and sea vehicles in the GA editor! Information about asymmetry coming up soon. Details below:

Patch 5 Details

You can find the high level notes on the Spore.com site here. This post lists some of the features and fixes in Patch 5 in greater detail.

What’s new with Asymmetry:
Get all the details on the new asymmetry features here!

What’s new with vehicle/creature interactions:
• You can now place the avatar, NPCs, and handheld objects on top of air, land, and sea vehicles in the GA editor
• Creatures will stick to the vehicle, and want to face the original direction they were placed with, while objects will tend to fall off

Caveats:
• For other players to benefit from riding on vehicles, they must install patch 5; in some cases, they may fail the level, or may not be able to complete it without updating
• There is an invisible shell around vehicles, to reduce physical complexity; players should choose their vehicle shapes carefully if they want it to look good when a creature walks on it
• To guarantee an NPC stays put on a vehicle, set their behavior to stay still
• Handheld objects placed on vehicles will stay on for a bit, but will fall off
• Air vehicles are very sensitive to wander mode; set air vehicles to path mode, especially if you want creatures to ride them, or they may be thrown off
• Air vehicles may damage some riding NPCs if they travel very fast; to avoid this, set the vehicle to be on the same team as the NPCs, or set the NPCs to be invincible

More detailed info on fixes & features in Patch 5
Important Note: While several crashes were fixed, as noted below, there may have been more than one root cause for similarly appearing crashes. If you’re still seeing one of the issues below after patch 5, please let us know.
• Fix: Changing the icons of certain adventures causes them to not upload properly.
• Fix: Possible invalid preferences file could be generated by patch4, causing game to not start.
• Fix: If Patch4 is installed to a PC that is Japanese environment, the entered password is not valid and cannot login.
• Fix: Sporecast assets go missing if user quits game in any way while download is in progress.
• Fix for occasional crash: Entering planet view on any planet, especially enemy planet
• Fix for occasional crash: Trying to leave planet view, especially the home planet, especially if there was just an attack and buildings were rebuilt
• Fix for occasional crash: Loading saved game in Space stage
• Fix for occasional crash: Entering solar view from galaxy view on NPC system
• Fix for occasional crash: Galaxy view traveling to a new star by clicking on it
• Fix for occasional crash: Entering planet view on a Wildlife Sanctuary, especially after loading a saved game
• Fix for occasional crash: Game crashes when terraforming using Staff Of Life
• Fix: Entering Creature accessory editor from Tribe stage, Civ Stage, or Space stage could cause a freeze on several machines
• Fix: In Civ stage with tutorials/hints disabled, after cut scene after selecting city hall game freezes
• Fix: Lineages don’t always show correct parent creations
• Fix: Certain sporepedia cards show corrupted backgrounds
• Fix: Unable to reach Grox worlds in some Space stage scenarios
• Fix for occasional crash: Quickly pressing esc. to skip cinematic after avatar dies results in crash
• New: Lineage is displayed for all Asset Types
• Fix: Adventure Creator: In EP1 open gates were not working correctly when they were disguised.
• Fix for occasional crash: The ship versions of the game crash on exit
• Fix for occasional crash: The game crashes on load when the lighting settings are defaulted to medium or 2
• Fix for occasional crash: Unplugging earphones or speakers while in play mode cause spore to crash on some soundcards with Windows Vista.
• Fix for occasional crash: When exiting to the Galaxy game entry without saving Tribe game crashes
• Fix for occasional crash: Crash occurs when leaving planet in Space stage.
• Fix for occasional crash: Crash occurs when zooming into certain rare solar systems once they are ready to be purchased
• Feature: All building and vehicle textures available in building/vehicle/ufo editors without having to use the “paint like” button.
• 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.
• And more!

Notes on the Collada Export Cheat:
Creatures exported with the new Collada exporter will automatically have diffuse map, normal map, and spec map applied to them when imported into Maya, 1 step!
• In the Creature Editor, with the creature ready switch to Paint Mode, name the creature, if it doesn’t already have one
• Open the cheat window.
• Type: colladaexport
• Accept the EULA
• The file path to the exported creature will appear in the cheat window, ending with .dae

Installing Galactic Adventures after Installing Patch 5
If you have already installed patch 5 to your core game, then install Galactic Adventures, you will need to reinstall patch 5. If you are online and running EADM, your EADM will prompt you to install again. If you no longer have EADM, you can download it here.

Posted in Galactic Adventure, Spore Patches | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

GA Player Review: ParadoxJuice

Posted by ballightning on July 19, 2009

ParadoxJuice was one the constructive writers on the Spore forums before Galactic Adventures came out, and has now posted up an interesting review on the game.

When Spore first came out, many gamers got ticked out and simply left the game on their shelf, while others noticed the true focus of the game-creating creatures, vehicles, and pretty much everything in the galaxy. Maxis seems to be both cashing on to this and trying to bring back the gamers who shelved it with GA by giving players a level creator plus a new level up system.

Lets get something straight-this isn’t really an expansion to the space stage. The space stage gameplay has been almost completely untouched, except for new player made adventures being given to you instead of the old ‘find this artifact, abduct that species’. The new adventures take place on planets, which will be placed in the galaxy in a nearby unexplored star system (or, if there aren’t any, those useless gas giants will be replaced). Trying to fly down to these planets will force you to beam down to the specified starting position and start the adventure. This keeps happening after the adventures completion, where flying down will just make you replay the adventure.

If anything, the charm of this game is two new creators, the adventure creator and the captain outfitter-the latter really isn’t a creator, at least not as much as the other ones are. You simply take one of the creatures you’ve already made, and are given 32 new captain parts (plus the old outfitter parts) to put on your captain, and you still can’t change the parts already on the captain. The captain parts come with themed powers (they’re organized in rows of parts with the same theme), which include weapons, social parts, jetpacks and more. The best thing has to be the power handle. Previously, changing the shape and size of a part simply did nothing but make your creature look cool (or not so much…), and there are thousands of creations where I can only imagine people went “LOL BIG LEVEL 5 HORNS KILL!!!”. But the captain outfitter changes that-the power handle lets you change the way the new parts look, plus it changes their effectiveness. The bigger the weapons, the more energy they use, but the more effective, and the opposite is true-the smaller the weapons, the less energy they use, but the less effective they are. If you run out of energy, you can’t use the new parts. It slowly recharges over time (somehow…solar power?). This forces people to actually think about what their doing, so they may put on big guns at first (which admittadly looks badSPORE), but once they realize how slow they are they’ll likely change their captain and think about things. Unfortunately, some of the new parts don’t require energy at all, and some of them have improper effectiveness:energy ratios, such as the Powered Armour, which summons a forcefield to protect you-but requires much more energy then its worth.

Now, this is all great, and I really hope Maxis will think about including the same balance in Creature Stage, which alone would make the stage a lot more fun. But, there are still problems, especially with the social parts. What are they for, you ask? The same lame little mini game you had the option of playing to make allies in Creature Stage. This minigame lacks any challenge, and it is simply about if you have the right parts. If you didn’t, you’d have to go back to your nest and evolve the right parts. But in GA, you can’t do that. You have to quit the mission if you don’t have the right parts-and its impossible to know if you’re going to have the right parts or not before entering the adventure, making you lose relationship points with the empire who assigned the mission. The new social moves look pretty cool-making holograms and explosions of confetti, but only the first 3 times. The social game still sucks, and all the (good) diplomatic adventures involve “Bring item X to place Y”, usually followed by puzzle solving.

Adventures are made up of acts, eight at the most, and each act has a maximum of three goals, all of which must be completed to complete the act and move on. Completing an act is not like moving on to a next chapter, as the gameplay goes on between acts without pausing. When making adventures, you can place any creatures, vehicles, or buildings from the Sporpedia on to the planet, plus you can change the shape of the planet, which functions like putting on parts in one of the other creators (except the parts are hills and lava pits, not to mention change the temperature, the time, the colour, and more). Once one of these assets is on the planet, you can change the size and behaviour of it. You can give it text to say, either randomly or when clicked, though we only get a small amount of space to type, which is unfortunate-in my opinion, each page of text should take up a bit of space on the complexity meter (which is quite big, by the way), instead of limiting us to just five pages. Text can be given to anything, even buildings. The things only creatures and vehicles can do include changing who their allies and enemies are, wether they wander or follow a path you lay out for them, how they react on site of the player, their health, how much damage they do, and more. Creatures have an advanced behaviour panel (which isn’t explained on how to access in game so many people don’t know about it…hit control and click on the aggressive switch), which allows much more customizability-though, it still is hard to customize combat, as all creatures will always follow the same attack pattern, never even using flight or their comoflauge.

Now, luckily, one of the problems that was awful with all the other creators, people who are forced to make content in game being lame and making something simple and quick, is avoided with the adventure creator, as you don’t have to use it in game. The captain outfitter must be used, but luckily, you won’t randomly walk into captains in game. Though, even after searching Sporpedia, I haven’t found one that really looks bad. Though, there still is abuse, perhaps worse then before. You see, once you complete an adventure, you get points based on the difficulty, which is made up of a simple amount of winners:amount of losers ratio. But, every adventure awards a default 15 (I think) points before enough data is collected to give it a proper difficulty score. So people really quickly create thousands of super easy adventures and reap the rewards-and unfortunately, these get leaked into your game and you have to play them.

Another thing which deeply annoys me about the adventure creator-absolutely no triggers. In all other games with level creation, there were triggers, and these triggers were what allowed you to make really interesting things. But the closest thing we get is acts-assets behaviour panels can be different in each act, so someone can be an ally in one act and an enemy in another-but this hardly satisfies, as it is limited, we are only allowed eight, and they all have to be activated for the adventures completion. The Spore Community, even with their great creativity as shown with other creators, have yet to make anything more interesting then a simple “go here, fight that, talk to me, bring this here, you win”. Without triggers, it seems impossible. You can’t allow players to make enemies weaker upon solving a puzzle, you can’t make enemies fluctuate between offense/defense, and theres a lot you can’t do.

There are other problems with the adventure creator too, thousands of glitches, with collision detection (especially noticable with vehicles), the AI (the captain will, when ordered to pick up an item, kick the item away with their feet and chase after it), and countless others. One in particular is cursing me-whenever I try to create an adventure, the game goes to some kind of black screen where I can’t place down any assets and I can’t change any of the terrain. So, I may be speaking negatively of the adventure creator, and some of what I’ve been complaining about may be possible, but I simply haven’t gotten the chance in what I believe is now a month of free time with GA to use the adventure creator because of the black screen. I feel cheated out of it.

There is a lot of new content usable with the adventure creator-new items, such as a pad that makes you jump upon contact with it, even if you usually can’t (you can change the size of the jump and launch the player into space), teleporters, throwable hand grenades, keys that open doors, and more. All of these can be made invisible/visible, or turned off so that they don’t even function (useful when you want teleporters to only work during certain acts). They can also be disguised as creations from Sporpedia. There still could be a bit more, as I’m missing the melee weapons that you can equip during an adventure, but hopefully it’ll be added. Theres also new visual effects (fire and lasers) and sound effects, including music. This really seems to prompt an expansion with a music editor (one thats better then that crummy anthem editor). I know that the flora editor has been wanted for a long time, but in GA, flora is hardly ever used. Most adventures don’t have flora at all, partially because you can’t customize it (which would build upon your story, though there are hundreds of new Maxis made flora), but also because they don’t seem to add much to the adventure. They just get in the way and mess up AI. If you could climb them or get food from them like in Creature Stage, maybe then we’d see a purpose, but we can’t and we don’t.

Presentation-5/10: The game has improved the graphics to the core game, and some of the fire effects look good, though this isn’t a top notch 360 game. The creators still use a simple drag and drop interface in areas I thought it wouldn’t be possible, but all those glitches drag it down.

Gameplay-4/10: The games diplomacy minigame is still a minigame, and if anything, has become worse. Combat feels bad, as pressing the attack buttons makes your creature walk up to its target (which it needs to click on first), pause, then attack, where most good games allow you to simply attack.

Interface-7/10: This is the same interface as Spore, and it still pleases, as its very easy and intuitive to use. It get a few points because you have to think about the shape and size of your parts, which are balanced well for the most part, and I enjoy that extra thought.

GRAND TOTAL

16/30: GA is good, especially if you’re a fan of Spore, though it has a lot dragging it down.

Patch

These are things I think should be added in a GA exclusive patch.

-Fix the Black Screen!
-Fix all the collision detection issues.
-Let us drive vehicles. I think I stand for everyone when I say the entering-vehicles animation isn’t important, just have us teleport in, the same way we do when we enter the level. It gets the point across.
-Fix the controls. Currently, our captain will simply kick items around instead of picking them up. Also, allow us to attack the air, to miss an attack, ’cause right now, the fighting feels very clunky and slow.
-Fix the social game! Theres no skill in it, just a wild guess as to which parts we need. Make it more like a rythm game. If possible, give us some kind of downside for losing the game.
-Better AI. Fix the weird glitches with them not working at all on buildings, and let us choose specific moves for them to use.
-Give us items that can be picked up and used in the middle of an adventure. For example, a sword that, when picked up, replaces our strike ability with the ability of using the sword. Disguising these items and changing their effectiveness is a must. There could be ones for all the combat abilities, social abilities, and maybe even misc abilities (I bet this would help when we’re making a platforming adventure and don’t want to put jump pads everywhere so that jumpless creatures can play, plus a lot more), maybe even some way of blocking attacks, this would really deepen the combat.
TRIGGERS!! We need ’em. They could work like the music, where we drag and drop it into the environment, choose how its activated, and choose what happens when its activated. A new goal ‘activate trigger’ would also be cool.
-Lurk moar. There are thousands of other suggestions on these forums.
-Make enemies unable to attack through walls. Its really messed up when your just wandering around a facility when suddenly a ball of energy comes out of nowhere and kills you.

Posted in Galactic Adventure, Reviews | Tagged: | 6 Comments »

Spore Galactic Adventures User Upload Challenge 3 – Video Game tribute

Posted by ballightning on July 19, 2009

Maxis is kicking off their YouTube User Upload Challenge #3 – this time fans can create adventures based on their favorite video game and upload their movies to YouTube for a chance to win!

User Video Challenge Instructions:

Galactic Adventures allow you to create any game imaginable and even those that have been imagined.

For this challenge, create an adventure as a tribute to your favorite video game of all time. Have the adventure either mimic the game or feature elements from it (plot, props, objectives etc).

Once you have created your adventure, make a trailer for the mission and post it as a video response to show everyone what a cool adventure you’ve made. Make sure to note the name of the mission in your video so people can find it in Sporepedia!

And dont forget to check out last weeks best user challenge video FlyingPigBoys Spore Road Trip:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_Xb5XaEjkM

Stay tuned for next weeks YouTube video challenge….

Helpful Technical Information:

To participate in our challenge enter your video as a video response to this one. Here’s how to create a video file to upload manually:

-To capture video in Spore Galactic Adventures, click V to begin video capture and V to end video capture

– Your video will be posted in the “Movies” folder which is located in your “My Spore Creations” directory

– Post your finished video as a video response to this video by clicking “Post a Video Response” in the video response section to the left

Source: SporePrograms

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

Maxis Contest: Arthropod Adventure Team Challenge

Posted by ballightning on July 16, 2009

Yet another challange from MaxisCactus, and this time, you need to team up with 2 other people and create an adventure about insects. Enter over at the sporum.

Challenge Details

Organize into a teams of 3 players. With your team, create an adventure that uses at least 3 insects, arachnids, or crustaceans!

Your Submission Post should include the following information:
Adventure Title:
Team Name:
Lead Artist: Must create 5 original creations used in adventure. Creations tagged with team name.
Lead Collector: Must create Sporecast with at least 10 creations used in adventure. Sporecast tagged mcarthropodchallenge.
Lead Adventure Designer: Must publish adventure. Adventure tagged mcarthropod challenge
Adventure Link: Example: http://www.spore.com/sporepedia#qry=sast-XXXXXXXXXXXX
Sporecast Link: Example: http://www.spore.com/sporepedia#qry=ssc-XXXXXXXXXXXX

Arthropod References
Not sure what to make? Get inspired by arthropods from the following references:

• Wikipedia on arthropods
• SPYDR’s -=ARTHROPODS=- Sporecast
• Daikaze’s Insects and Arachnids Sporecast
• PyroBeast958’s Ultimate Insects of the Galaxy Sporecast

What will the winning team get?
A chance to be featured on Spore.com!

• The Adventure Designer will have the adventure featured.
• The Lead Artist will have one of their creations featured.
• The Lead Collector will have their Sporecast featured.

We’ll post our favorite submissions here, then YOU get to vote for which one is your top pick! The winner may be featured if it meets our criteria for featured creations.

Adventure, creation and Sporecast Requirements:
• must not contain any text with any links or references to other sites in the submission’s tags, name, or description
• must not contain content based on copyrighted material

Submissions that do not meet the above criteria will not be considered for the poll

Rules:
• Your team can submit as many entries as you like. Each entry should have its own post including the required info.
• Your adventure must be published by the Lead Adventure Designer
• Your Sporecast must be created by the Lead Collector (minimum 10 creations)
• Your Adventure must include at least 5 original creations by the Lead Artist
• All submissions must be in by 11:00am PDT August 20th 2009

Optional
• Post screenshots of the adventure and creations you’ve created here!

Challenge FAQ
Q: Can we use the adventureLook cheats?
A: Yes

Q: Are mechanical Athropods accepted? Can I make the required arthropods in any editor?
Yes, yes.

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

MaxisCactus presents the Quick Guide to Adventure Filters

Posted by judhudson on July 11, 2009

MaxisCactus has posted another helpful thread over at the Sporum regarding the Adventure Filter cheats that was a new feature included with Spore Galactic Adventures.  She guides you how to give your adventure that special look!

You may have already played around with the styleFilter cheats in Spore, but you’ll need to use the adventureLook cheat to change the look of your Galactic Adventure.

Your filter changes will be saved and published with the adventure, so others playing it can see it just as you intended it to look!

Filter previews:

Easy steps to applying an Adventure filter:
1. Open your adventure in edit mode
2. Open the cheat console by pressing CTRL SHFT C
3. Type in adventureLook followed by a filtername (listed below). I.E. for sepia, type in “adventureLook -sepia”
4. Check it out in play mode, and if you like it, save and publish.

Filters available
-filmnoir
-eightbit
-sixteenbit
-watercolor
-norainbows
-sepia
-none

To reference the filter list in your game, type “help adventureLook” into the cheat console to list all filters.

MaxisCactus’ Tip: Don’t use the styleFilter cheat when in adventure mode. It won’t work and the adventure may break.

Posted in Galactic Adventure, Spore Expansions, Spore News | 3 Comments »

Spore Galactic Adventures User Upload Challenge 2 – Summer Vacation

Posted by judhudson on July 9, 2009

It’s time once again for Spore’s YouTube User Upload Challenge!  This time, they’d like for you to create an adventure based around a summer-time theme.

Its summer time and we want to know where your Captain is!

Create a summer-themed adventure for your Captain in Spore Galactic Adventures. It could based around your favorite summer activity (BBQ, camp, summer blockbuster movie) or feature a summer objective (make it to the beach on time!).

Once you have created your adventure, make a video trailer for the mission and post it as a video response to show everyone what your Captain is doing this summer. Make sure to note the name of the mission in your video so people can find it in Sporepedia!

And dont forget to check out last weeks best user challenge video here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgrKXJ…
(Go Crygoth!!)

Stay tuned for next weeks YouTube video challenge….

Helpful Technical Information:

To participate in our challenge enter your video as a video response to this one. Here’s how to create a video file to upload manually:

-To capture video in Spore Galactic Adventures, click V to begin video capture and V to end video capture

– Your video will be posted in the “Movies” folder which is located in your “My Spore Creations” directory

– Post your finished video as a video response to this video by clicking “Post a Video Response” in the video response section to the left

Posted in Galactic Adventure, Spore Community, Spore Contests, Spore News | Leave a Comment »

Stuff.co.nz – Spore: Galactic Adventures review

Posted by judhudson on July 5, 2009

For now, the player-created missions can range from the boring and trivial to the outrageously difficult. Many are designed with the creator’s own space captain in mind. In time however, the cream will rise to the top and amateur designers from within the Spore community will no doubt become the respected producers of highly anticipated content.

Spore: Galactic Adventures has unlimited potential. In many ways, it’s difficult to write a conclusive review because it’s not a finished product. Like the creatures that players create, the game itself will evolve.

As users become increasingly familiar with the inherent flaws of the Maxis-created missions and begin to design their own that circumnavigate these issues, the ever-expanding Spore universe will shine and the community will prosper.

review here

Posted in Galactic Adventure, Reviews, Spore Expansions | Leave a Comment »

Game and Player – Spore Galactic Adventures review

Posted by judhudson on July 5, 2009

Much like the base game of Spore, most of Galactic Adventures‘ problems seem to be due to the fact there are so many potential variables in the game. In having to cater for every possible creature combination, certain problems arose specifically in the creature stage such as clipping and less responsive controls than you’d expect from a standard third-person game. Since the adventure mode is heavily based on that stage, most of those issues return, but this time more pronounced given some of the more complicated abilities of your captain such as targeting ranged weaponry.

continue on

Posted in Galactic Adventure, Reviews, Spore Expansions, Spore News | Leave a Comment »

MaxisCactus’ Quick Guide to GA Achievements

Posted by judhudson on July 3, 2009

Not sure what all of the Achievements (minus the secret ones) that you can earn in Spore Galactic Adventures?  MaxisCactus would like to share a list with you then posted in this thread over at the Sporums:

Not sure why your achievement didn’t show up when you thought it should, or simply looking for some notes on the GA achievement set?

Here’s a quick list of achievements along with some useful notes about earning them. Hope this helps.

  • Secret achievements not listed
  • If you cheat in your game, achievements will not be unlocked

Aeschylus:
Create 10 Adventures. Each must be started from scratch and saved.

Moliere:
Create 50 Adventures. Each must be started from scratch and saved.

Shakespeare:
Create 100 Adventures. Each started from scratch and saved.

Costume Piece:
Create 50 Adventures with Tribe, Civilization and Empire Creatures. Each adventure may have any combination of the three (at least one in each category). Each adventure started from scratch and saved.

Scientist:
Place 200 Non-Accessorized Creatures into your Adventures. You must place 200 un-accessorized creature instances in any number of adventures, each adventure created from scratch and saved.

Going Tribal:
Place 200 Tribal Creatures in your Adventures. You must place 200 tribe-accessorized creature instances in any number of adventures, each adventure created from scratch and saved.

So Civilized:
Place 200 Civilized Creatures in your Adventures. You must place 200 civ-accessorized creature instances in any number of adventures, each adventure created from scratch and saved.

Emperor:
Place 200 Empire Creatures in your Adventures. You must place 200 space-accessorized creature instances in any number of adventures, each adventure created from scratch and saved.

Still Life:
Create 30 Adventures without any creatures. Captain avatar needs to be in the scene and each adventure must be created from scratch and saved.

Happy Times:
Create 30 Adventures with all peaceful actors. This applies to Creatures-only. Each Adventure must be created from scratch and saved.

Large Ensemble:
Create 30 Adventures with over 100 actors in each. Includes creatures/vehicles/buildings. Each Adventure must be created from scratch and saved.

Terraformer:
Create 50 Adventures using planets you terraformed. You must modify the terrain. Each Adventure must be created from scratch and saved. The terrain for each planet must be modified using the terraform stamp tool. Painting or changing the weather does not count, it has to be the terrain that changes. The captain must be in the scene to save.

Architect:
Place 500 Buildings into your Adventures. Adds up over multiple adventures, each Adventure created from scratch and saved. The buildings can be the same instance copied and pasted multiple times in the scene.

Mechanic:
Place 500 Vehicles into your Adventures. Adds up over multiple adventures, each Adventure created from scratch and saved. The buildings can be the same instance copied and pasted multiple times in the scene.

Delirious Designer:
Create 50 Adventures using only your own creations. The creations have to be made from the current user, not others. Creations must be placed in the scene. This includes creatures, vehicles and buildings. Each Adventure created from scratch and saved.

Dabbler:
Download 500 Adventures. This include maxis and user created adventures. This achievement can be also achieved by adding buddies. It will unlock automatically once you log in if they have multiple adventures already uploaded. Adventures must be unique.

Bestseller:
Create a featured Adventure. Note: This is a server side achievement so there will be no pop up. The server takes 8-10 mins. to ping back that the achievement has being completed. This creation must be featured on the web site.

Adventurer:
Complete an Adventure in Space. Any adventures will satisfy this including maxis made. You need to report back to the empire and finish the mission.

Grand Adventurer:
Complete 100 Adventures in the Space Stage. Maxis or user created adventures count and you need to report back to the empires and finish the missions.

Geared Up:
Outfit 50 Creatures with Adventure parts. The creatures have to be different. The creatures need to be saved in the Captain outfitter in order to unlock this achievement.

Consumer:
Finish 200 adventures made by other players. Either SPG or Quick PLay. Captain must be unlocked. Can be unlocked with any adventures (including Maxis-made), as long as they’re not created by the current player. Must be played and completed with a captain not a creature with just adventure parts.

Red Shirt:
Lose 100 posse members while playing Adventures in Space Game. Posse members include creatures befriended in the adventure or SPG posse. This counts with Maxis made or user made adventures. The same adventure can be played over and over to unlock this achievement.

Mercenary:
Kill 1,000 creatures while playing Adventures in Space Game. Epics also count for this achievement. Maxis and player made adventures count. The Adventure must be completed for the kill to count. The same adventure can be played over and over to unlock this achievement.

My Precious:
Collect 3,000 objects while playing Adventures in Space Game. Complete 3,000 collect goals (this is goal based, it does not count for every asset). The goal has to be set to collect. Adventure creators can set the collect goal to buildings, vehicles and creatures. You must finish the adventure to get the achievement. The same adventure can be played over and over to unlock this achievement.

My Hero:
Protect 500 creatures while playing Adventures in Space Game. This achievement actually applies to buildings, vehicles and creatures. Each goal needs to be completed for it to be tallied up at the end of the adventure (this is goal based, it does not count for every asset). The same adventure can be played over and over to unlock this achievement.

Major Contributor:
Give 500 gifts while playing Adventures in Space Game. Note that gifts can be given to vehicles, buildings and creatures. The same adventure can be played over and over to unlock this achievement. This is goal based, it does not count for every asset. The Adventure Must be completed.

Dragon Slayer:
Kill 1,000 Epics while playing Adventures in Space Game. The same adventure can be played over and over to unlock this achievement. The adventure must be successfully completed. This achievement is not goal based, each epic counts.

My First Captain:
Raise a Captain to Rank 10 through Space stage or Quick Play. The creature must be made captain in Space game, but it can be used in Space or Quick Play adventures to earn this achievement.

Captain Academy:
Raise 10 Captains to Rank 10 through Space stage or Quick Play. The creature must be made captain in Space game, but it can be used in Space or Quick Play adventures to earn this achievement.

Storyteller:
Publish 50 adventures. Share 50 adventures, each created from scratch.

Publish Author:
Publish an Adventure. Share an adventure for the first time.

Social Butterfly:
Befriend 1,000 Creatures while playing adventures in the Space Game. The same adventure can be played over and over to unlock this achievement. This is goal based, it does not count for every gift. Adventures must be authored by other players.

Auto Wrecker:
Destroy 1,000 vehicles while playing adventures in the Space Game.

Demolition Expert:
Destroy 1,000 Buildings while playing adventures in the Space Game.

Faithful Zealot:
Unlock all Zealot parts on a captain. Unlock all 4 zealot parts by completing Adventures in Space Game only. Quick play does not count.

Universal Ecologist:
Unlock all Ecologist parts on a captain. Unlock all 4 ecologist parts by completing Adventures in Space Game only. Quick play does not count.

Wise Shaman:
Unlock all shaman parts on a captain. Unlock all 4 shaman parts by completing Adventures in Space Game only. Quick play does not count.

Fierce Warrior:
Unlock all warrior parts on a captain. Unlock all 4 warrior parts by completing Adventures in Space Game only. Quick play does not count.

Industrious Trader:
Unlock all trader parts on a captain. Unlock all 4 trader parts by completing Adventures in Space Game only. Quick play does not count.

Intelligent Scientist:
Unlock all scientist parts on a captain. Unlock all 4 scientist parts by completing Adventures in Space Game only. Quick play does not count.

Joyful Bard:
Unlock all bard parts on a captain. Unlock all 4 bard parts by completing Adventures in Space Game only. Quick play does not count.

Just Diplomat:
Unlock all diplomat parts on a captain. Unlock all 4 diplomat parts by completing Adventures in Space Game only. Quick play does not count.

Posted in Galactic Adventure, Spore Expansions, Spore News | 2 Comments »