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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

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Creating Missions In Spore Galactic Adventures
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

IGN has published a new preview of Spore Galactic Adventures. The expansion for Will Wright's evolution sim will offer the ability to beam down to planets, an equipment editor, and an Adventure Creator that will allow players to create their own missions and share them with others.

The game will, of course, ship with several pre-made adventures from Maxis, but the idea here is for players to create their own challenges. This is done with a very simple context tool that lets you assign goals to certain objects. Simply click on an object in the game world and you can assign a goal to it. It might be that you want an NPC alien to wander around and attack the player on sight. Or that you want the player to meet a certain member of an alien race. Or that you want the player to find, collect or deliver a certain object. You can even stack multiple objectives together, giving the player a task to meet an alien species, kill a certain number of their rivals, recover an artifact from within the enemies' camp and return it to the aliens it belongs to.

You can create several acts with a single scenario, so players can progress through a fairly large campaign that has them interacting with the world in very different ways. And since the adventure's creator has full control over the basic layout of the world, the content that it contains and the terms of the player's interaction within that world, they can really create a wide variety of experiences. We saw one level designed by a Maxis employee that recreated Duck Hunt with hopping creatures.

The tools for creating these adventures is as convenient and flexible as the rest of the game's content creation systems. You can deform the terrain, place objects from the Sporepedia, change color palettes, and even add music and localized sound cues to specific areas. So, for instance, when the player steals an artifact from an enemy camp, he or she could hear a loud alarm blaring. Likewise, when he or she returns the lost artifact to a grateful community, it could be to the sounds of a raucous big band.

And instead of having to play through the entire game just to experience these adventures, you can always opt to jump right into them from the game's main menu. The time it takes to complete each act of a mission will even be uploaded to the Maxis site and used not only to rank each mission's difficultly but also to create a leaderboard where players can compete for bragging rights.
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IGN: Spore Galactic Adventures Preview
Electronic Arts
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