Remembering Spore

Remembering Spore

Spore turns seven years old next month. It's a strange, innovative, daring, and unsuccessful game. Here's what went wrong.

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A-@#$!ing-men!

Man just reading this article makes me sad about it all over again.
Curse you Shamus - those wounds had all but healed!

There were so many interesting ideas in Spore, and none of the individual parts were outright terrible - they just lacked depth and should have been tied together better.

Argh! It stings!

Yeah... Oh well, stuff happens. I remember playing spore and having most fun unlocking new options. Too bad the gameplay itself was so bland.

There was a thread on this a week or two ago and yeah everyone can agreed on why it was bad.

Yeah too bad we won't see a Spore 2 which would had been a great improvement over the first game.

I had never heard that Spore was intended to be educational or scientific in any way; I figured that things like 'discovering bones to evolve' was a deliberate choice to stay away from a perfect recreation of evolution and turn it into a more accessible software toy. It never occurred to me that fans would want an exact system to model evolution and life cycles, but that may be because I find the idea dreadfully dull.

I played Spore when it first came out, made it the the Space Stage and kind of lost interest not long after that. I tried picking it up again a year ago, thinking "Maybe now that I know what the expect and there's no hype about the game, maybe I'll like it more". I didn't even make it to the civilization stage. I got to the tribal stage, lost interest and uninstalled it.

I really wanted to like Spore. I still really want to like it. Spore apparently doesn't want me to like it and it makes me sad.

I would pay full price for a GOOD version of Spore, that was everything it was supposed to be not the shallow, mediocre outline of a game we got.

When we run out of Kickstarters for spiritual successors of classic franchises that publishers are ignoring, we'll get to Spore eventually - that's when we can look forward to the concept it brought again.

The game just was not really that much fun if you were not trying to create something specific.

The tribal stage was just terrible, the social dancing game if you were trying to not be hostile was a sad, joke. Trying to cloth your abominations you made in earlier stages of the game just made them adorable.

The civilization stage was fun if you liked designing buildings and vehicles. It was a nice outlet to try and make what you could imagine. Sadly, the article was right, they never really mattered and that really took the fun out of it in the long term.

The space stage was the real let down of the game. There was no real way to make a real stellar empire that could actually stand up. The game worked so hard against you to try to be an inconvenience and annoyance. They went to try and say 'Go and try to find earth!' and if you did try, you ran into two terrible road blocks... the center of the galaxy and the game trying to screw with you. It just stopped being worth trying.

Lots of promise with zero delivery on those promises. There was a lot that they could have done with the game but for whatever BS reason they decided to say "fuck it, ship as is."
It was one of the reasons EA showed its current day colors of being shall we say not very consumer friendly. Its still sad for me to have worked for EA back when it was a nice company that cared to see it as it is now. But at least they're not fucking Konami. FUCKONAMI.

I played Spore as a kid, so I got nostalgic goggles for it. The best part of the game, for me at least, saw designing creatures and buildings. I saw it more as a creative builder, similar to how I play Sims 3. It's the best part of the game I remember. Then Galactic Adventures came along and brought new life to the game. Player created adventures, while lacking Hollywood production values, brought value to player creations, as it was the player interacting with player made creatures and buildings, not the AI. That was the only time I felt involved with player made content. Too bad it had to be an expansion.

http://i.imgur.com/EvLEvE7.png

Im sure spores development went something like this.

It was marketed as this great game where you could go from a one cell organism to space faring empire... and they delivered... but in a lawyer "to the letter" kinda way.

All these different game modes where just empty husks with bare bones content.

A nice experiment in technology... but devoid of gameplay.

Blaine Houle:
The space stage was the real let down of the game. There was no real way to make a real stellar empire that could actually stand up. The game worked so hard against you to try to be an inconvenience and annoyance. They went to try and say 'Go and try to find earth!' and if you did try, you ran into two terrible road blocks... the center of the galaxy and the game trying to screw with you. It just stopped being worth trying.

This, pretty much. The Space Stage should have been the best part, the section of the game you look forward to, but it turned out to be the least interesting part because it added a bunch of stuff that turned the Space Stage into a chore.

You've got a galaxy to explore and have fun in, it teases you with the idea of visiting strange new worlds and discovering new life forms, but what does Spore practically demand you do instead? Fight off invasions, do odd jobs for random civilizations, and play the task of errand boy because you are apparently the only one in the galaxy capable of solving anyones problems.

The moment that really killed the game for me was when I wanted to play as a species of alien space locus types, but the game denied me the opportunity because it insisted I make 'friends' and limited me to only one of my own ship.

What should have been the best part of the game and something to look forward to instead turned into the worst part of the game and a chore to be avoided.

And that's a shame. Because as boring as I find Spore, I would gladly put my money down if Maxis was allowed to give the idea another try.

Do you mean the Maxis of back then, or the Maxis that released Sim City (2014)?

I'm pretty sure the Maxis we have now would balls it up spectacularly.

Spore failed mainly because of it's DRM, I can never remember such a big, brightly painted target for piracy in my life.
I also can't remember ever seeing a retail copy of Spore either, it was always on a non-descript disc with the name written on in marker pen.

It always struck me as a good game to get cheap for a play with, but I never did thanks to that DRM.

i must be a minority, because i thoroughly enjoyed spore, beginning to end. i can definitely see the valid complaints, but they just didn't matter to me, i had fun, and going back to where to my creature first walked on land, after conquering much of the galaxy, it gave me a huge sense of accomplishment and grand-scale thinking.

it also had me questioning the current state of the world, and whether a "New World Order" would be such a bad thing. look at most pieces of science fiction, it's only after humanity was united under one government that they were able to accomplish such monumental tasks (like Futurama's United States of Earth). and Spore touched on that as well. only through a period of strife were you able to to finally unite the planet and move on to bigger things.

this game deserved better than it got, and as a fan, i mostly contribute it's failure to SecuROM and the media coverage surrounding it. for what it's worth, i never noticed SecuROM and it never had a negative impact on my rig. it seemed like a bunch of hyped up media crap, but again, that was based on my specific encounter with it, i'm not denying that you may have had problems.

CAPTCHA: Banana Stand. you heard Captcha, EA, you lost money here, but there's always money in the banana stand.

I feel like I'm one of the few people that played Spore and never heard the hype. I never saw the GDC stuff, I never heard about what people expected it to be, I got what I expected to get. And I honestly enjoyed it. It was shallow, yes, but to younger me it was a gold-mine, half the fun was creating weird creatures, even if they didn't have an effect on gameplay. If the creature stage was the entire game, but expanded and refined, I would've been far happier. But I'm just saying, people were hard on this game because it didn't live up to the hype, to what they expected/hoped it would be, for people who got what they expected it was a huge success, and a fun thing to sink some time in for a while, experimenting with stuff and checking out the weirdly expansive space stage.
Honestly, the space stage had a shit ton going on with it, and had more content in it than the other stages combined, it's where the meat of the game lies, but many people didn't get there because they got sick of it by the tribal stage or the civilization stage. It's sad, I agree with Shamus, this game just needed a proper sequel to make it better, to iterate on these systems.
RIP in Peace Spore

I have a 10 year old son playing Spore right now and he loves it. I can see the game is probably a bit shallow for experienced gamers, potentially for adults in general, but it seems a truly great game for children.

There is the Universim that is coming out. Hopefully that will be good.

Mistwraithe:
I have a 10 year old son playing Spore right now and he loves it. I can see the game is probably a bit shallow for experienced gamers, potentially for adults in general, but it seems a truly great game for children.

I never really considered that and maybe that's where the game went wrong. It was marketed for older fans, especially those who had already played games like MoO, Civilization, Warcraft, etc, when instead it would be best served for a younger audience just getting into gaming. I hate to use the term "Baby's first [Insert thing here]" but in this case it seems appropriate.

You know, he really hit the nail on the head there at the end- Spore's real problem is how EA abandoned it like it had leprosy. An entertaining game, riddled with fixable gripes, killed in its crib. It's almost criminal.

Dalisclock:

Mistwraithe:
I have a 10 year old son playing Spore right now and he loves it. I can see the game is probably a bit shallow for experienced gamers, potentially for adults in general, but it seems a truly great game for children.

I never really considered that and maybe that's where the game went wrong. It was marketed for older fans, especially those who had already played games like MoO, Civilization, Warcraft, etc, when instead it would be best served for a younger audience just getting into gaming. I hate to use the term "Baby's first [Insert thing here]" but in this case it seems appropriate.

I mirror this experience; I played it when I was much younger (not quite ten years old young mind you) and thoroughly enjoyed it. Now that i am older I am ready to experience the refined Spore 2 I never got to play...

Hits the nail on the head.

The space stage of Spore really had the most potential, and I like going back to that still. There's something really satisfying about planting colonies, terraforming worlds, exploring new systems, and trading spice; too bad the combat sucked complete ass and a lot of the quests weren't really cohesive.

I'd put that money down too.
C'mon Maxis, give it a go.

Good article.

Karadalis:
http://i.imgur.com/EvLEvE7.png

Im sure spores development went something like this.

That image is so accurate.

and I did love it anyway.

Though I did wish it had some of what it promised, I enjoyed every moment with my malformed elephantcronenburgkitty of a game.

 

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