Friday, June 20, 2008

Sporn is Justice

Since its inception in 2000 as "SimEverything", Spore has been a part of the gamer zeitgeist as that game; a game so massive, so unique, so all-encompassing that gamers could not help but wonder at what it would be. This would not be just another Sim game, just another Black and White ripoff. Spore was to be a game whose scope was massive: Follow a species through its entire development from a single celled organism to a space-traveling master race. Spore would both deviate from and incorporate many different gaming genres to create not only the ultimate God Game, the ultimate Sim game, but, in the opinion of many, the ultimate game.

After eight years of speculation, previews, changes, and more changes we're finally three months away from the release of Spore. To wet our whistles, as it were, EA released the Spore Creature Creator, a free utility which allows users to delve into the depths of their creativity and design creatures into which their spores could evolve once the game ships in September. So the utility is released, creativity is unleashed, the Spore online community is inundated by Penis Monsters and Humpasaurs, the term 'Sporn' is born, and EA starts sending out cease and desist e-mails.

I'm fucking thrilled.

Spore is the video game equivalent of the Tower of Babel, the Titanic; its primary design philosophies are hubris and pretention fostered by Will Wright's inconceivably high opinion of himself. He could Sim ants, he could Sim people, he could Sim cities. So why not Sim Everything? Why not allow gamers to design their own worlds, their own species? Why not simulate the entirety of existence and condense reality down to six gigs of hard disk space and run it on a 2.0 GHz processor?

Because Cockosaur; that's why.

I can't think of a better initial reception for the game. Will Wright and company spend eight years developing Spore, meticulously crafting the procedural generation system, the fractal-based world. Games-as-art faggots laud the game's progression and yearn for the ability to distance themselves even further from the MMO, FPS, and RPG crowd by delving into Spore upon its release. And then what happens when the creature creator is released? The Sporepedia is filled with Cock-o-saurus Erexes, Vaginadons, and Boobceratops.

That's perspective.

And if that were not awesome enough? Now EA has to unleash their inner prude on the Spore community and threaten users who create "crude or explicit sexual references", whatever the fuck that means, so that they don't get sued by some pissant Midwestern mom whose son's game is inundated by gigantic carnivorous Penises.

Figure out that duality. They wanted to simulate everything, to foster creativity and allow for an open-ended gaming experience...yet now they stifle creativity. They wanted their game to allow users to propagate a species...yet now they prohibit users from referencing any of the means by which human being propagate the species. They wanted to create the ultimate God Game...yet all they created was Sporn.

That's poetic fucking justice right there.

So, Fuck you, Will Wright. Fuck you with a Warbling Tri-cock-odon right in your pretentious, narcissistic ass.


kylebrown said...

Why do you loathe Will Wright so much? While the Sims was awful, he has done a lot for the video gaming industry in general, especially in terms of influence.

Anonymous said...

Wow, talk about an over inflated ego.

_J_ said...

What are SimCity, SimAnt, SimCopter, SimLife, The Sims? They are not games.

Think about it. What do you do in a Sim "game"? There is no competition, no compelling story. All one does is manipulate the program, enter data into the spreadsheet, the database. You put residential zones next to commercial zones next to industrial zones and the program generates statistics based upon the formula of the program. You set the percentage of worker ants, fighter ants, and let the program generate those ants and set them about their tasks.

You're not DOING ANYTHING! It's just running a program composed of a very elaborate system of if-then statements for no discernable reason.

It's fucking Second Life WITHOUT the social component. You're just sitting in front of a screen watching a program run and occasionally fiddling with it.

And there's no goal, no objective. It's just there.

Will Wright doesn't make games. He creates systems of relations. He gets a program to a point where one could make a game and then stops, sells it, and then the fuckheads who actually buy the damn thing sit in front of their screens entering data convinced that they're having fun.

And people praise him like he's some sort of visionary. But he's not a fucking visionary. He came up with a bunch of if-then statements, put a pretty GUI over it, and then convinced people that they're having fun when they watch it run.

What is Spore? Spore is a system. Spore is a coded process which controls how things occur within that process. When someone "plays" Spore? All they're doing is entering data into that system to see what happens.

For no good god damned reason at all.

kylebrown said...

Do me a favor and look up the definition of game.

Where exactly does it say that a game must have a goal or objective?

"then the fuckheads who actually buy the damn thing sit in front of their screens entering data convinced that they're having fun."

Who are you to decide what should be fun for anyone but yourself? I enjoy simulation games, watching my cities/planet/colony build. I don't require a game to set goals for me, I am capable of setting goals on my own. Am I some "fuckhead" because of this?

"He came up with a bunch of if-then statements, put a pretty GUI over it, and then convinced people that they're having fun when they watch it run."

Are you fucking kidding me? At it's core every piece of software of worth is a series of if-then statements, with a UI covering. Why should Will Wright be demonized for it, but no one else should?

All I said was that Will Wright has done a lot for the vg industry. He has influenced the entire industry, changing perceptions as to what a game must be.

I am extremely excited about spore. I like the idea of being able to manipulate a species from origin onward at my whims. I have no problem with you not being interested in it. I just question why you can hate someone so thoroughly for making a game that doesn't interest you?

Metal Gear Solid, GTA4, etc. don't interest me, but I don't hate the developers and designers of said games for that reason alone.

_J_ said...

Aside: There will be 4 billion planets in Spore once the game reaches the Space stage. How can you be excited about Spore and its 4 billion planets yet not be able to play Disgaea? That's not relevant to the discussion...but I'd be interested to know how the completionist parts of you deals with 4 billion planets to explore.

"At it's core every piece of software of worth is a series of if-then statements, with a UI covering. Why should Will Wright be demonized for it, but no one else should?"

WoW is a series of if-then statements. But WoW also has story, quests, benchmarks, social components, objectives, ranking systems, etc.

Sim games are just the if-then statements.

Puzzle Quest was innovative because it combined an RPG with Bejeweled. If Will Wright took Bejeweled and removed the score? That wouldn't be innovative. That would just be Bejeweled minus the score.

All the Sim games are is that base requirement of a functional system of if-then statements.

"I just question why you can hate someone so thoroughly for making a game that doesn't interest you?"

There's no merit to Spore. Wright spent 8 years creating a system of if-then statements so that people could take that system and see what happens when they input different numbers. People are excited by the ability to take that system and see what happens when they input their own numbers. It's what you said:
"I like the idea of being able to manipulate a species from origin onward at my whims"

We all like that idea. But that's not what Spore is. One is not manipulating a species from origin onward. One is manipulating a database of 1s and 0s to see what happens when different data is input into the elaborate system of if-then statements.

You're not manipulating a species, you're not creating life. You're entering data into a database, a system of if-then statements, to see what happens within that system.

Which is not how the Spore is advertised, or how users will view it.

Roscoe said...

wait, wait, wait, wait.

Puzzle Quest was INNOVATIVE?!

You're... using some bizzaro definition of innovation, right?

Because Puzzle Quest was literally at attempt to use up old Warlords IP, on the cheap.

There's something surreal about your use of Pretty GUI as a Blanket to hide something banal, as being dismissive.. but using the RPG tropes of Puzzle Quest as Blanket to hide something equally banal is.. Innovative.

I mean.. I love watching you and Kyle go at it Hammer and Tong... but seriously?

and a side note. Stop conflating Will Wright with EA. They're certainly linked, but they aren't the same. One's actions do not necessarily reflect the other.

_J_ said...

Puzzle Quest, while not the most ideal example, illustrated the point.

We have Bejeweled. Users arrange gems and certain arrangements trigger different events. Keen.

Puzzle Quest takes that and adds an RPG on top of it. It takes the formula of Bejeweled and adds leveling, item collection, questing, etc.

Will Wright would take Bejeweled and remove the score. Then people would suck his nuts for being teh awesome.

That's all Sim "games" are. Or, hell, if we want to call them games that's fine too.

But they're just a system, a framework. They are programmed sets of relations, if-then statements. Playing these games are naught but an exploration of what that system can do.

Which is fine if that's what gets you off. But "inputting data to see what happens" and "Creating a new species" are two completely different mindsets. One is an accurate assessment of the situation. The other is not.

It's about how users view the program and what they think they're doing. I think it's merely manipulation of a program to see what happens so I don't give a shit. Others may see it as their own little Genesis Tub so it's compelling.

Which is a completely different issue than the fact that I love how people used the Spore Creature Creator to make a bunch of dick jokes.

Roscoe said...

I'm calling bullshit on that. Because there is no Sim-X with score to remove from.

He's putting new work into the field, not filing off numbers.

_J_ said...

"Because there is no Sim-X with score to remove from."

Commonly when one utilizes an example it's considered sensible to not argue the example, but rather argue what the example illustrates.

SPORE is Bejeweled without a Score. SimAnt is Bejeweled without a Score. SimCity is Bejeweled without a score. SIM games are Bejeweled without a score. They are sets of if-then statements. There is no score, no story, no anything. It's just this system which users can use to do what the system does.

That's all a SIM game is. Will Wright makes a program, a sequence of if-then statements, and then releases that program to the masses who input data and see what happens.

He makes puzzle games without scores...and without puzzles...and without any real game. They're just sequences of if-then statements into which users can input data to see what happens.

"He's putting new work into the field, not filing off numbers."

But what IS that work? SIM programs? They're basically tech demos. The structure is created and then it's up to the user to figure out what to do with it.

That's what the creature creator is right now. You make a 3D model of something. Then you take screenshots and post video onto Youtube of that 3D model walking. What the fuck for? Who knows?

So then Spore is released. And you have these 3D models. So you incorporate them into the framework of Spore and see what happens.

WHY?! if I know.

_J_ said...

That's why the penis monsters are so damn delightful. They bypass that whole notion of creating life, manipulating a species, fostering our own little Genesis Tub, and portray the program for what it actually is.

After eight years of listening to people talk about how awesome it will be to create new species and explore a universe it's delightful for people to accurately portray Spore as a very stupid idea by using the high-tech creature creator to make dick jokes.

It's perspective.

It took "I am Will Wright, creator of worlds", and spun it into "Cocks Dicks oLoL".

Roscoe said...

Those aren't in any way examples!

Not if your example of Innovation is Bejeweled Plus RPG Equals innovation.

Jay, Buddy, you're talking out your ass.

If bejewelled is meant to represent "GAME" in it's pure form, then you're saying any game without a SCORE is the same as SIM.

Clarify and refine, becuase right now? You're all over the place.

Anonymous said...

Dude, you must have some serious accomplishments to your credit to dismiss an entire career as "meaningless".

Besides, as I understand it, Spore does have missions, accomplishments, goals (including one final goal in space) and a heavy social component.