This is topic For the (very) rare Mac gamer... in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by 777 (Member # 9506) on :'ll be getting at least one good game this year.

If EA has done anything good for gaming, it's opening the industry to non-PC computers. Certainly, Blizzard has been doing it for years now--but now, it seems, more companies are starting to follow the trend.

Maybe it's just that Mac is getting more popular than before, popular enough to actually create a market of this kind. Whatever the case, it's good to see Will Wright bringing yet another masterpiece to the Macs.
Posted by rollainm (Member # 8318) on :
I'm no gamer by any means, but I really want this.

I'm curious just how many buggers vs. humans battles there'll be.
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Well, there's no guarantee that Spore will be in fact a good game.
Posted by Battler03 (Member # 10453) on :
From everything I've seen, it will be pretty good. I just hope they don't go the "Black and White" route, and ruin their game with a lot of micromanagement.
Posted by James Tiberius Kirk (Member # 2832) on :
I have been looking forward to this one for a few years now.

Posted by Evie3217 (Member # 5426) on :
Wow....I'm not a huge gamer, but that looks really good. I approve. Thank goodness they're finally making a fun interactive game like that for macs. It looks like a lot of fun.
Posted by calaban (Member # 2516) on :
It looks like it's going to be really fresh and original. I just hope it lives up to the hype.
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Potential pitfalls include aimless boredom on one side, and hidden railroading on the other.
Posted by SoaPiNuReYe (Member # 9144) on :
I'm buying this game no matter what. It looks so fun.
Posted by adfectio (Member # 11070) on :
I think with the success that The 'Sim' games have seen, it'll have to be completely out of the creator's genre for it to be bad. I mean, he practically invented this type of game.
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Well, the Sims games have been successful without being good games, too. I think "Spore" will sell fine; I'm just unconvinced that it'll be good.
Posted by SoaPiNuReYe (Member # 9144) on :
Robin Williams had a fine time with it.
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
I'm pretty sure he was being paid to enjoy it.

*grin* Actually, I have no doubt that the character design part of Spore is fun, especially the first few times you run through it. Keeping it both fun and relevant over the length of multiple games, though, will be difficult.
Posted by rollainm (Member # 8318) on :
Here's a rather lengthy demonstration.
Posted by Sterling (Member # 8096) on :
I'm moderately confident that if anyone can pull off an ambitious and open-ended design like Spore, it's Will Wright.

I was mildly disappointed in seeing the early footage that some elements seem generic rather than specific to the alien culture the player designed (whether you're holding a spear with a hand, a pincher, or a tentacle, it's still a spear, for example), but I recognize that's probably a necessary compromise to make some concepts "organically" identifiable by the player.

Hopefully this will be the kind of open-ended tool for allowing the player to create his or her own worlds and stories that it seems to be.
Posted by Tstorm (Member # 1871) on :
I just read the press release. The game idea has a lot of potential, IMHO. However, given the direction that the Simcity franchise has taken in the last couple of versions, I wouldn't expect much. I'll wait and see on this one. [Smile]
Posted by rollainm (Member # 8318) on :
However, given the direction that the Simcity franchise has taken in the last couple of versions, I wouldn't expect much.
Could you elaborate? I've never played SimCity.
Posted by James Tiberius Kirk (Member # 2832) on :
The last version of SimCity never happened.

Posted by twinky (Member # 693) on :
From the press release:
Spore for the Mac will be made possible through TransGaming's Cider Portability Engine, with experience gained from the past EA Mac titles.
That means it's Intel-only, so me and my dual 1.8GHz G5/4GB PC3200/256MB GF6800/10k Raptor are out of luck. I built it to be an audio workstation, though, not a gaming rig, so I'm not too heartbroken. I still have three consoles and a handheld. [Smile]
Posted by Tstorm (Member # 1871) on :
rollainm -

It's tough for me to explain - I just spent several minutes thinking about it. Simcity was a great game, I played it quite a bit. Maybe it's more of a change in me than a change in the Simcity franchise, which led me away from being interested in it. [Dont Know]
Posted by James Tiberius Kirk (Member # 2832) on :
SC3K lacked a lot of the things that made SC2K great -- the scenarios and SCURK, for example. SC2K also had a few support games (SimCopter, Streets of SimCity) which weren't all that great but were fun novelties for fans of the series. Streets and Copter both flopped, but they were fun in their own quirky way, much like the original SimCity.

3K was designed, scrapped, and redesigned after Maxis was acquired by EA. I think as the graphics became more realistic, the game itself became less fun. The best part of SimCity always occurred off-screen. SC2K was a fairly lightweight program that could run in the background.

When The Sims became the best selling PC game ever, I think there was a desire to appeal to those gamers with SimCity 4 (MySims was an example of this). But by this point the game became very complex. Longtime fans of the series were afraid that their Sim had been watered down, or that the focus had shifted, and Sims fans were afraid to pick it up.

SC2K wasn't a very complicated game, and it allowed a lot more customization. Your city was your machine. You really could design it to do whatever you wanted to, and the engine was a lot more forgiving. I remember that SC3K was a lot harder to enjoy because striking a balance between several different variables became so important. There were several new ways to influence those variables (Ordinances, Business Deals, et cetera) which added dimension to the game but did not necessarily make it any more enjoyable. You could ignore a lot of your city's problems in 2K. The same wasn't true of 3000. Schools would fill up. Landfills needed to be dealt with. Traffic could become a serious problem. Pollution could actually prevent growth. The city required constant maintenance.

In SC2K, cities "changed"; in 3K they became "better" (well educated and wealthier citizens, cleaner industry, taller buildings), or "worse". Certain industrial buildings were actually well designed (artistically), but aesthetically ugly so as to encourage the player to get rid of them. 3K seemed to assume that the player was working toward a set of goals, and everything in the game brought you closer or further from those goals.

Posted by Tstorm (Member # 1871) on :
Good summary. Although it may have been mostly a product of time spent, I definitely did more with SC2K than I did with SC3K. Maintenance was the worst problem, in games beyond SC2K. Yeah, it was more realistic (good), but it required more micromanagement (bad). You said it better than I could. [Smile]
Posted by rollainm (Member # 8318) on :
The way you describe SC3K is pretty much how I imagined all of those kinds of games to be like. It's one of the main reasons I've never played them. They just sounded like more work than play.
Posted by James Tiberius Kirk (Member # 2832) on :
<grin> 3K had it's bright spots, though. I don't remember if 2K would show the city's age distribution. Sometimes you'd get a little "bump" in your workforce around 40 years of age, and then they'd all retire 25 years later. All your shops and factories would close.* That's actually how I first learned about the Gray Wave.

(*The solution, of course, was to destroy a few Hospitals and repeal safety ordinances [crossing guards and such]. This decreased the lifespan of your Sims, so a greater percentage of your population was working. It was twisted, but as Emperor For Life you had to make those decisions.)

Posted by 777 (Member # 9506) on :
I honestly always found Simcity 4 to be a blast. If you weren't having fun building a city--and that was a lot of fun on its own--you could always strap yourself into some sort of large vehicle and go on a car-crashing spree, Burnout style. The soundtrack was superb, and the concept of multiple cities within a region really appealed to me. I mean, in earlier versions, you had to build the entire city within a single zone.

But with the fourth game, you could set up a highway system linking various towns across a large area. You could develop an industrial/commercial hub that residential suburbs (entire cities, not just neighborhoods) would travel to for work. It was Simcity on a grand scale. The change from an annual budget to a monthly budget made a lot more sense to me, and gave me more financial ability to keep constant control over my city, rather than having to wait for hours for any sort of development to occur.

Of course, if you claim that Simcity Societies is crap, then I completely agree. Sure, I haven't played it--but I don't have to. Simcity is not about putting down individual buildings; that's just tedious.
Posted by Nighthawk (Member # 4176) on :
You mean Spore might come out this DECADE? Who-da-thunkit?

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