Mike Pagano also had a Spore-related presentation at GDC. In his speech, he tells about issues and how the EA mobile team collaborated to create Spore Origins. “We like to take that and expand on it. Spore Origins [for other mobile devices] was originally a two-hour game, and we took it to a five-hour game for the iPhone.” Says Pagano, he later commented on how fast the team was able to create mobile phone versions of games together. Later on he gets technical with the technology the iPhone allows developers to make use of. See the Gamasutra’s summary of the presentation here.
Maxis has released four new images of the upcoming expansion on their official screenshots page. Not much this time, just an image of the Captain editor, two images of the captains facing off against the epics, and something else. Be sure to check here for screenshot posts, new images are frequently released.
Rather than someone interviewing him, Will Wright has taken it upon himself to interview Nolan Bushnell, who many know as the founder of Atari. It’s quite an amazing interview in which both Will Wright and Nolan have a conversation on the early days of gaming and how video games impacted their lives. Even though it has almost nothing to do with Spore, I think any fan of Spore should read it. See the interview here.
Caryl Shaw’s presentation at GDC is a slightly more interesting one, the beginning she started talking aout her personal life and about Cheese, her cat. She mentioned how the Sporepedia servers were actually bought early on in development, 2005 to be precise. However this seemed to be a benefit for Maxis because they were able to properly test the servers to prevent them from crashin on release day. She also gave out some stats.
89,505,660 total uploads since June
1.5-2m uploads per week (1m per day the first week)
2.6m registered users
3500 new users a day
500-600k uniques a month to Spore.com
4.45 minutes (average time per visit)
5 – number of Web Engineers at Maxis (plus Ernie, the part-time database guy)
You might know Chris Hecker as the man who was involved in making a spore an inexcuseable piece of garbage by making it “cute”. Amazingly he still has a job with Maxis. Even more unbelievable, he was allowed to do a presentation at GDC 09 on user-generated content. With a game like Spore, user generated is mostly the whole basis of the game’s world. The presentation basically says where UGC is put to work and how it’s important in today’s games. In the presenation he used real-world examples and good examples of how UGC has gone to new levels like how a simple mod for Half-life became the popular Counter-strike we all know and love. He also took an amusing page and did a “Russian Space Minute”. If you really want to know more, Gamasutra has posted an article of the presentation right here.
Gamasutra has posted an article on the outcome of journalist Margaret Robinson’s presentation at GDC ’09. Her presentation at GDC was centered around the impact of Spore’s release and the science behind the game. As many have noticed already Spore was not the scientific game it was promised early on to be. “It has rather meanly but accurately described as not being an evolution simulator but a Mr. Potato Head simulator” says Robinson, commenting on the creature phase. She then talks about Flunking Spore, an article showing how scientific Spore really turned out to be in the end. After her science segment, she continued onto the release of the game and the controversy it generated. I really can’t bring myself to summarize the whole article so you’ll have to see for yourself, but I must add it is an interesting read which I think reflects on how fans from the beginning have said about the final version of the game.
Looks like Maxis is doing another contest, the number of creations in the Sporepedia is fast approaching the big hundred and Maxis is holding a contest to see who makes it there first. It doesn’t matter if it’s a piece of crap creation like most of the stuff you see under the “Newest Creations” tab, if you make it you win, then you walk away with yes, Spore, Spore GA, and a Nvidia Graphics card (Maxis seems to have a whole warehouse of these things.). I really Maxis would be a little more creative with the prizes, when every contest the Grand prize is always the same. Right now the number of creations is at 94 million so it’s probably going to be a while until someone gets to 100, but once they do I’ll have all the results here. I just hope the 100 millionth upload isnt one of those penis creatures. Official page.