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Spore on Pre-Order

September 2, 2008

Have you pre-ordered Spore? I have. It’s set for release this weekend.

It’s been 8 years in the making, and EA’s gone to certain lengths to make sure that I don’t forget that it’s coming. A Spore advertisement wraps the security scanners by the doors at my local Wal-Mart, and it’s a discussion topic on most boards I frequent.

CNN interviewed Wright about the game’s upcoming release, Spore Creator Ready for Game’s Debut, and his comments fit well into the feedback theme I’ve had going on here for a little while.

I don’t think we could design a sequel to ‘Spore’ until the fans showed us what they like,” said Wright. “I think there’s going to be a fair amount of learning over the next few months. What’s important for me is what sort of stories the players are using the game to tell. Games that have the longest legs are the ones with the most narrative density.

Indeed, The Sims lived on the stories players put on to the game. Little state machine bots became families with children and lives and things to do. Though I was never anything close to an active Sims player, I do remember the first time that I played the game. I checked it out for a couple of minutes over the course of six hours and did exactly the same thing for the next few days.

Wright, like Sid Meier, is excellent at creating and sustaining a flow state in a game. (See Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience for more info), and from a design perspective, this game is a must have.

When I get it, we’ll see if it’s a “must play”, too.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 6, 2008 8:37 pm

    I’m not the most familiar with the Sims games, but the stories I’ve heard from players shows their enjoyment.

    In truth, I’ve been wondering how good the gameplay will be with creatures like Mario look-a-likes running around. I think it would either be really funny a nuisance or an experience killer for me. It will be interesting to see how the public created creatures affect the gameplay.

    However, the building tools they have for the game sound awesome. I’d love to see that technology be made into modelling software. Maybe someday it will happen. Hopefully if they do that the cost will be nice and low.

  2. September 8, 2008 12:44 pm

    On Amazon the game has earned 409 1-star reviews and counting, mostly due to draconian copy-protection measures (DRM):

    http://www.amazon.com/review/product/B000FKBCX4/

    ZDNet has the scoop:

    http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=2558

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