News Archive - May 2005
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Article originally from The Sims Zone
EA has announced its official line-up for the E3 next week. Between games like Battlefield 2, BLACK, Burnout Revenge, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Medal of Honor European Assault, The Godfather and many others, there's The Sims 2 Nightlife, The Sims 2 for consoles, handhelds and mobiles, and Wright's new project Spore. The latter project will be shown only behind closed doors, by appointment only. The "Next Gen Lab", where EA will show off its games for the next generation consoles is open by invitation only. The press release doesn't come with any information regarding Spore, though it does for Nightlife and The Sims 2. Read on for its descriptions from the full press release.
[Update 13 May, 1:30] EA has launched a new small site for the E3, with some information about the products. The Mobility and Next Gen sections are not yet available, but there is a little bit of info about Nightlife. Spore isn't mentioned. It's likely this site will be updated during the days of the E3. See the E3 site for details.
Welome to the Spore Zone! It's been three and a half years since we launched The Sims Zone, and with the E3 officially starting today with its conferences, it's the right time to launch this site. After all, Will Wright's latest project, Spore, will be shown at this E3 - albeit behind closed doors - and more information is expected in the future.
Through this site we will keep you updated with the latest information about Spore. The game hasn't been released yet - in fact, the announcement isn't even there yet - but that doesn't stop us. There already is some information available thanks to the Game Developers Conference, where Will Wright showed his game. You can find more about that in our News archive that's already been set up, with news items from The Sims Zone that have been posted there before we launched. We'll also tell you about the new information being released during the E3.
So, what can you expect to find on this site? For those who visit our sister-site The Sims Zone, many things will be familiar. We will focus on bringing you the latest news and information, expanded with editorials, extra articles, and forums open to discussion and talking about the game. We will also give you screenshots and more. You can register to place comments in news items, or take part as member in the forums - you'll need to register just once to be able to post everywhere. As the game draws closer to completion, this site will also grow. It might be somewhat quiet for now, but keep visiting for all the latest and greatest!
Once again, welcome to the site! We hope you'll enjoy it here and that this will be your primary source for Spore information.
Your "The Spore Zone" team.
A while ago Snooty Spore posted a scanned article from PC Gamer. It may be a bit hard to read as it's quite small. There isn't any real new info in it though, it's the same as other sites posted after the Game Developers Conference a few months ago. To read the article, click the thumbnails below (it's in two parts).
Earlier this week MSNBC/Newsweek posted an article about Will Wright and his upcoming project, Spore, which is to be placed in the May 23 issue of Newsweek. It tells that Wright was inspired by the 1977 short film "Powers of Ten", which zooms out of a man in a park, and then back in to cellular level. In Spore, the player starts at cellular level, to start a creation, after which you zoom out until you're flying through the universe.
The article also mentions a very vague release estimate of next year. There are currently 30 people working on the game, who keep editing the game and its possibilities, revising and improving the editors and more. Read the entire article for more details.
Although there's still a bit of confusion about the name, whether it's "SPORE" or "Spore", GameSpot has posted a preview of the game from the E3 floor. They talked to Will Wright for an close-up of the new game. Read on for the details of the game.
After GameSpot, other games site GameSpy has too been able to see Spore at the E3 floor. The first comment is that the presentation was almost identical to the Game Developers Conference a few months ago. Nevertheless there are some nice new details inside.
After GameSpy posted its preview, they added the screenshots we posted yesterday, as well as a photo with some miniatures. The last one can be seen below, but so can the screenshots. The versions they posted are after all quite a bit larger, allowing you to spot details more easily. Click the thumbnails below to see them.
One of our fellow Spore fansites, Spore Universe has found a hidden picture on the official site. The picture shows Will Wright in a room with some Spore posters on the wall. Wright seems to be reaching for the stars. See the picture below for the screenshot. If you want to rediscover it yourself, skip the intro (or wait until it's over), and when the planet has started rotating look for something clickable near the news-letter signup (just a little further outside the ring, and a bit in the direction the solar system rotates). You can also press tab several times so the hidden link will be highlighted.
We've already had GameSpy and GameSpot previewing Spore, and now IGN has had its turn. They have a few bits of new information, for example why it's named Spore, which you can find in the rest of this post. The three-page preview has a few new details, though a lot has already been mnetioned before. Read on for the details.
After the several previews there's now also an interview with Will Wright about Spore. At Wired, the site which already mentioned the then rumoured game first in February 2002, He discusses the game and mainly the ideas and thoughts behind it all. Read on for some details, or skip straight to the interview.
Website E3 Insider has posted an article regarding the Spore presentations at the E3. It explains the basics of the game once again, but no real new information is added. It once again points out that anything is customisable, including the planets, and that other people's content is downloaded so you can manipulate their stuff, while not affecting the other player's game directly, as if it's all in a "parallel universe." The article itself has more details.
With the title "The most incredible game ever?" GamesRadar has posted a preview of Spore, which was shown behind closed doors at the E3. Although most of the information is known, and there's nothing really new in the preview, it does more or less seem to confirm that a connection to the internet is not absolutely necesary:
"The computer will randomly generate species and, considering the sheer size and scale of the game, you could be seeing new creatures on new planets in this game for the rest of your life - this really will be the game that will never end."
The article also says Spore is developed for PC, but any of the consoles are not mentioned. Read the article for the exact details, and GameRadar's enthousiasm.
CNN has posted a small article about the E3, with three titles to look out for in the near future. Spore is one of the "most promising titles" according to CNN, along with Oblivion and Gears of War. They say it's "too bad it won't be available until fall 2006." A small description of the game is given, but there's not much in it. Read the article for more.
That Spore has been one of the most interesting games is proven by the enthousiasm of those who previewed it, but also the awards it's already getting. The official "Best of E3" nominees aren't announced yet, but 1Up has, among others, already announced Spore to be the best PC game of the E3. Compared to previous previews, theirs is fairly short. They say Will Wright calls the game a "Massively Single-Player" game, to explain that although other player's creatures enter your game, you cannot directly affect their game. Just the local copy on your computer, of their game. Comparing it to the Sims, it's like Sims from other players are constantly being added to the neighborhood for you to interact with. Read the preview for the exact words of the writer whose opinion it is that Spore was the game of the show this E3.
Although it's been a few months since Will Wright first showed Spore at the Game Developers Conference, a video of the presentation has now been posted. You'll have to register to see it, but it'll allow you to watch the video of over one hour, during which Wright shows off the game. You can find the video through the GDC TV site.
Steve from GamingSteve has been at the E3 last week, and got a chance to speak to Will Wright about Spore. In his latest podcast he has posted part 1 of that interview. It's still very unclear and Steve has said he's working on a better version. The quality has gone down due to the huge amount of ambient noise right next to the demo room, and not due to the good quality recording equipment, according to Steve. You can download the podcast at the GamingSteve Episode 13 page, which also has a picture of Steve and Will Wright. The SporeTalk starts at about 30 minutes through the podcast.
[Update 26 May, 21:00] A transcript of the interview has been posted by Steve. During the interview, Wright created an octopus, or tried to. They also talk about the skin and clothes of creatures, which are still being debated. The galactic war is another topic, and when it comes to computers blowing up your planets Will says that they control the computer. There are many more details in the transcript.
Spore isn't getting attention from just games press. Even general press like BBC is now covering the game. In the article, Will says he wants to let people create their own world. ""You get to play every generation of the creature, I want something boys can make scary things or casual gamers can make cute things." Wright also calls it the hardest piece of technology he has ever had to solve. Autumn 2006 is again mentioned as release date. Read the article for more. Thanks to Matt for the tip.
There are a lot of previews for Spore, and one of them is from Boomtown. The British site has posted a fairly long preview. The new (definite) info from it is that the game starts in 2D mode. Other than that all the info has been mentioned in previous articles. Still, you can go to the article and find out the details.
There have been rumours that Spore would be released on XBox 360, the Next-Gen version of the XBox console. One source was GamingSteve (see this news), another one is an interview with Steve Ballmer from Microsoft. However, EA has now stated that Spore will launch as a PC title - but a XBox or other console release is not denied or confirmed. This is reported in a recent GameSpot Rumour Control. Of course we'll keep you updated with any news about this.
Several sites have nominated Spore for their own Best of E3 awards. Over at GameSpot, the game won the Editor's award for Most Innovative Game, and was a finalist for Best PC Game and Game of the Show Editor's awards. The game is "clearly the most innovative game of this year's E3," says GameSpot.
GameSpy has given Spore the number 9 spot in their Best of E3 Awards. Their colleagues at IGN have given the game the awards for Most Innovative Design, and Best of Show, and for their PC awards it also got the Most Innovative award. We also already reported earlier that 1Up.com awarded Spore as Best PC Game as well.
And, as if all that's still not enough, Spore has been nominated four times by the Game Critic Awards, which make up the "official" E3 awards. They will announce the winners next week, 7 June. The game is nominated for Best of Show, Best Original Game, Best PC Game and Best Simulation Game. Of course we'll let you know next week if it has actually won any of these awards.