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Posts Tagged ‘galactic adventures’

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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Posted in Galactic Adventure, Reviews | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

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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Posted in Galactic Adventure, Reviews | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

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 »

Spore Galactic Adventures Review – Game.co.uk

Posted by ballightning on June 25, 2009

Here is Game‘s review of Galactic Adventures.

If you haven’t already entered the brilliant Spore metaverse, this brilliant expansion pack provides an excellent opportunity to get with the plan. Spore’s creator, Will Wright, is a gaming legend who first made his mark in 1989 with Sim City, a game in which players were asked to build and look after a fully-functioning metropolis. Not content with city-building, Will went on to simulate the entire globe with the release of Sim Earth in 1990, then began to focus on people rather than property and planets, creating the most successful computer game of all time, The Sims.

Not a bad run of success, then. But rather than rest on his laurels, Will forged ahead and created Spore, a game that takes players further back along the evolutionary chain and enables them to create whole new species from scratch. Spore lets you take single-celled organisms and grow them into intelligent creatures that form societies and civilisations which not only live and work together on solid ground but, ultimately, head off into space, to conquer other galaxies.

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Spore Galactic Adventures Review – GameDaily

Posted by ballightning on June 25, 2009

GameDaily on their review of Galactic Adventures gave it a score of 7 out of 10.

Although it took a while to reach the depths of space, Spore players know the wait was worth it. The first mission expansion pack, Spore: Galactic Adventures, includes more action, missions and a new title for your favorite creature — Space Captain.

While players of the original Spore were tasked with journeying to neighboring galaxies that showed signs of intelligent life, creating trade routes, buying goods, performing missions or just conquering the next galaxy, Galactic Adventures finally lets them beam down to take on missions on terraformed planets.

Yet, Galactic Adventures takes the safe route. Puzzles, protecting holy people, aiding allies against invasions, breaking into a spy facility and working to stop a war that retells Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet (all the speeches in the mission are done in rhyme too — nice touch), the planet bound missions stick closely to original game’s vibe. Essentially, they’re similar to the missions performed during the Civilization Stage, only on other planets.

Spore’s always been a learn by doing (or learn by asking other Spore players) affair and Galactic Adventures shows that while it wants to be an open-world game that’s fun and engaging, players will occasionally find themselves in missions that appear impossible to complete since their Captain needs to level up or obtain new accessories or power-ups before beating them. As always, clearing a mission results in the always gratifying pose, song or dance from your mission giver and more badges to help advance to Captain.

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Posted in Galactic Adventure, Reviews | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Spore Mods update on Galactic Adventures + patch 1.04

Posted by ballightning on June 24, 2009

Hello fellow spore lovers. Sadly I have moved on from this game. However you can still follow my work over at youtube! I currently am focused on Minecraft, and in particular, Minecraft Cinematics.

 

Check it this video, and if you enjoy, please subscribe!

 

 

Whenever there is a new patch for spore, it always throws the modding community of its perch as we have to change all our mods. And yesterday with the release of the latest patch 1.04, in addition to the release of the spore expansion, Galactic Adventures, it seems that our current mods are doomed.

But good investigative work from the members over at sporemods.org have found that once you install Galactic Adventures, all you need to do to make the mods work is to move them to the folder as directed below.

C:\Program Files\Electronic Arts\SPORE_EP1\Data

There is no known fix currently for people who have installed the patch but do not get the expansion.

As we learn more, we’ll post it up, also remember to visit the How to Install Spore Mods page for more.

Posted in Spore Modding | Tagged: , , | 22 Comments »

How the Complexity Score in GA is calculated

Posted by ballightning on June 24, 2009

MaxisCactus has posted on the official forums in relation to how complexity is calculated in Galactic Adventures.

Understanding the Complexity Score in GA
The complexity limit in Galactic Adventures is fairly generous in allowing players to add a bunch of creations to their Adventures. Still, many of you have requested a breakdown in just how the complexity score in GA is calculated.

Q: How many creations can I add to my adventure?
A: You can add up to 1,000 simple models. Unique models are limited to the number of slots in the panel, or when the complexity limit is reached. You can add up to 500 simple terrain brushes.

Q: Do some kinds of creations count against my total complexity more than others? Am I saving myself complexity points by using two of the same model rather than two different ones?
A: For models, the model count is weighted by count and uniqueness. Using multiple instances of a model uses less complexity than using several models.

Q: Exactly how to terrain brushes factor into the complexity score?
A: For terrain brushes, each brush is weighted based on its complexity.
• A very complex brush counts as 6 of a smaller.
• Global/larger brushes count more.
• Decals like the roads count more since they are more costly to render.
• The lava pit also has a particle effect for the smoke plume and counts more.

Q: Does density of creation placement on the planet effect the complexity score?
A: Not currently, but we advise creators to spread models out to support players with slower machines.

Q: Is it more complex if two creature slots have different behaviors than if they are identical?
A: These will be considered unique even though the model is the same.

Q: How many unique creation slots are available for an adventure?
A: 75 per palette.

I know you have feedback and more questions about complexity, so feel free to post about them. Also, if you’re not sure if something will work, don’t be afraid to get in the game and try it out for yourself!

ProTip: Dragging an item in the game and tapping the alt button will quickly create multiple instances of it. Play around with this and see how the complexity score is affected.

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2 new Galactic Adventures Tutorial Movies

Posted by ballightning on June 24, 2009

Intermediate Mission Creation Narrated by Designer Stone Librande

Designer Stone Librande walks through intermediate Adventure editing techniques in Spore Galactic Adventures.
Find out how to control the behavior of the cast and get info on keyboard shortcuts using intermediate editing techniques.

Advanced Mission Creation Narrated by Designer Stone Librande

Designer Stone Librande dives into some of the more advanced Adventure editing features in Spore Galactic Adventures.
Find out how to shape a story using acts and goals with advanced editing techniques.

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

Galactic Adventures Gameplay FAQ

Posted by ballightning on June 24, 2009

MaxisCactus has posted up a FAQ about the gameplay invovled with Galactic Adventures. This thread is being updated constantly, so except more over at the official forums in the future.

Gameplay FAQ

Captains
Q: Are the spots on the creature where the captain parts are placed fixed?
A: Captain parts can be added to creatures anywhere in the same way that accessory are. One small new change is that you can additionally pin captain parts to each other.

Q: How can I change the pitch of my captains voice?
A: You can change the pitch by adjusting the size of your captain. Select your captain by clicking on it on the planet, hold shift, and scroll the mouse wheel up or down. Smaller captains have squeaky voices while larger ones have booming voices. This also works on other characters.

Q: How can I place my captain? I see a message that says “You have to have a Captain and place the Captain in a valid area”
A: You can find the captain in the lower right hand corner of the screen in Edit mode. Left click on the captain and drag him/her into the world. If your captain is legally placed you’ll see it appear on the planet with a green star around it.

Q: How can I unlock more parts for my captain?
A: Unlocks are awarded based on the number of points your captain has. Play more adventures to gain more captain points.

Adventure Creation

Cast
Q: How can I quickly view all instances of a cast member in my adventure?
A: Hold control and right click on the cast member image in the palette to move your camera to that creation in the adventure. Subsequent clicks move the camera to additional instances.

Q: How exactly does the complexity score work?
A: The complexity score calculations are pretty complicated. Hit this thread for a detailed breakdown.

Q: How can I equip crew members?
1. In edit mode, click the + button next to “Crew” on the right
2. Click the square Crew button to open Sporepedia and choose a crew member.
3. Click the check to exit. Your crew member icon should show up in the crew square, and you can check to verify that they appear by entering play mode.

Behavior
Q: How can I edit the behavior of as cast member in just one act?
A: Open the cast member behavior palette, then click on the link icon to break the link. When the link is broken, your behavior changes are applied only to the act you’re in.

Q: When you set the behavior for a creature (wander radius, peaceful/aggressive, chatter text, etc) does it universally apply to all instances of that creature, or can you set individuals to behave differently?
Depends what you want.
1. If you want to make a bunch of creatures that look the same with different behaviors, use multiple slots on the cast palette.
2. If you want to make a bunch of creatures that look the same with the same behavior, use just one slot on the cast palette, but drag multiple instances of the creature into your world. Edits made to the behavior of one will be applied to all.

Q: Can my creatures ride in vehicles?
A: No.

Q: How do you make different directions of path for the patrol movement?
1. Open the behavior palette on a cast member.
2. Click the movement button and select Patrol.
3. Hold ALT and drag the patrol marker away. This create a new one.
4. Repeat step 3 for added directions. You can optionally close the circuit to make your patroller move in a loop.
This movie walks through the steps. Fast forward to 8:23 to skip to the part about setting patrol directions.

Q: Can you make a character say different things in different acts?
A: Yes.
1. Open the cast behavior palette for the character.
2. Verify that the correct act you want to edit is selected at the top of the behavior palette, and that you’ve clicked the link button to break the link and turn the bar blue.
3. Click Speech/Captions and enter the text in the order you’d like it to appear.
4. Click the Change Act button to switch to another act
5. Enter totally new text!
Important: Don’t forget that the link between acts is now broken, so changes you make to one act will not automatically be applied to other acts. To form the link again, simply click the link button from step 2 again.

Advanced AI
Q: How can I edit the advanced AI?
A: To ‘promote’ a creature to be using Advanced AI you have to ctrl-click on one of the standard behaviors (shown as buttons along the top of the behavior palette). That behavior will be expanded as Advanced AI. At any time you can reset over your advanced ai by ctrl clicking one of the other behaviors. After a creature has an adv behavior then you can use the yin/yang button. We hope to post more details about advanced behavior editing soon!

Acts
Q: How can I add an act?
A: Click the “+” button at the bottom of the acts section to add an act.

Q: How many acts can you have?
A: 8

Goals

Q: How do you bring things? For instance, I set up a mission where the goal is to bring a creature to move to something else.
A: Bring is a goal that only applies to NPCs (non-playable characters) and handheld objects. You can bring an NPC or handheld object to any fixed object, building, vehicle, or creature (other than itself).
Steps to set a bring goal:
1. Drag the goal marker over the NPC or handheld object you want to “bring” and release it when it turns green. Select “Bring.”
2. You’ll notice that the goal has 2 slots, rather than 1. The first is filled with a thumbnail of the NPC. The second is blank. Both markers in the goal are red.
3. Add another fixed object, building, vehicle, or creature to the world that you want to set as your bring target. Drag the second marker to this new item and release it when it turns green.
Both slots should now be filled in and both markers will be green.

To complete the goal, you’ll have to find a way to move the first item to the second. For handheld objects, you can pick them up and carry them over.

For NPCs, you can set the NPC’s behavior to follow your captain by clicking it’s behavior palette, clicking movement, clicking follow.

A spinning a yellow marker appears below the movement style button. Drag this marker to the captain and release it. The NPC will follow your captain after your captain enters its awareness radius.

Text
This section will be fleshed out when players have asked more questions about Text

Adventure Play
This section will be fleshed out when players have asked more questions about Adventure Play

Web
This section will be fleshed out when players have asked more questions about Web features

Integration with Space and the rest of Spore
Q: Can players who don’t have Creepy & Cute still play adventures made using the parts pack?
A: Players who don’t have C&C will still be able to download adventures by players who do have the parts pack. Those creations that use C&C parts will be swapped out, and no points are awarded to the playing captain.

Post your gameplay questions here. We’ll try to get you answers to the most commonly asked gameplay questions.

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