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Spore has had several major changes since first demonstrated at the GDC 2005 show.
Some of the listed features were possibly removed either because they were broken (such as the Aquatic stage), or because they were going to be removed and reused in a future expansion. Some features could have also been removed because Maxis was experimenting with which parts would work, and which might not, and to see what players wanted. Will Wright hinted this in the Ask Will Wright interview.
On the other hand, the style and graphics of the game haven't changed too much, but have been developed to be more appealing as seen in today's Spore, in order to attract a wider variety of players. However, this angers the part of the audience that wants deeper and more immersive gameplay.
- 1 Stages final in the game
- 2 Removed stages
- 3 Editors
- 4 Removed tools
- 5 Features that have returned to the game
- 6 Gallery
Stages final in the game
The Cell Stage in previous demos was quite similar in gameplay to today's. However, its style was different and more realistic. The Cell Creator was freer to create different body plans than that in modern Spore. There was also different type of cells with different movement, shape, diet, and ways to kill it, for example small bubble-like bacteria would float around and eat the player if they got too close, but could only be killed with the spike part, another example are trails of brown smoke that chase the player around with no definite body structure and could be sucked up using a proboscis.
The Creature Stage hasn't changed greatly since the demos, with many gameplay features (perhaps even more than as seen in the demos). However, blood was removed to make the game more appropriate for the younger audience. There is still a blood effect in the Cell Stage when a cell has been killed, it releases meat chunks and a small pool of blood. The ability to carry food was also taken away, for example; a predator dragging prey to a safe place to eat it. It should be noted that fruit can be taken from a shrub or tree, and given to a friendly creature as a 'gift'. This option manifests as a 'gift-box' cursor when hovering over the other creature.
Different eyes had different kinds of sight in the old Spore. This was removed so it would not frustrate players. Now there is only sight and blindness. However, the player can use stylefilters to change the look of the game in different ways.
The behavior of the creatures also seems to be more realistic than it is today. In today's Spore creatures rarely leave the perimeter of their nest, and today's Creature Stage possibly has a simpler ecosystem (until Space Stage). This feature was prominent in earlier versions, as in the footage of the 2005 version, small rabbit-like creatures hopped around, grazed, or simply wandered off with no nests for them. While this feature does exist in the game, it is seen a lot more rarely (Rogue creatures and hunting packs).
Another feature that was removed from the game was procedural mating, which was demonstrated in the GDC 2005 Demo. The main reasons for this are that it would have been very difficult to animate creatures that had certain features, such as spikes on their backs or unusual body shapes. The other reason it was likely removed was that it would offend the wide audience, and the fact that the creatures would growl suggestively whilst mating would have landed the game with a much higher ESRB rating. In the current Spore, creatures will simply flirt, and the player's creature will go off to lay an egg within the nest. In 2006, Wright showed that after mating, the player's creature that mated with will laid multiple eggs, unlike today where the creature lays one egg. It was also seen that the player didn't automatically enter the Creature Creator after an egg has been laid, instead, the player and his mate would protect the eggs from scavengers for a few seconds, then the eggs would mature and the player had the choice to enter the editor by clicking on the eggs or not evolve by waiting for them to hatch. Furthermore, it was seen in the preview that after evolving the player starts out as a baby creature that they can play as for a while before it grows up. While this feature still somewhat exists, it is restricted only to learning certain abilities from a new part the creature has, unlike its predecessor where the player could control their creature freely, and as a result, the creature would grow up to adulthood after it was done learning or the player skipped itt entirely.
Originally, the player was going to save a baby from their species from another hostile species. It is unknown why this feature was cut.
The following text would have read:
Lead the baby safely back to your nest to save it.
A ~target_species_crg~ has trapped a baby from your species!
In language, a verb is a word that expresses action. (To write, to live, to be, etc.) In Spore, the procedural verb is used to describe actions taken by the creature, "procedural" referring to the technology used to design the game. During his 2005 GDC presentation, Will Wright mentions as his creature begins to eat that he has given it (the Willosaur) the verb command "eat". He proceeds to demonstrate the ability to combine two verbs and create another when he gives the Willosaur the verb command "eat" and "walk" simultaneously, creating "drag", as the Willosaur drags its prey backwards with its teeth.
It is unknown whether verb commands must be given manually (ie. typed) or via another method, but it is widely assumed that Will simply walked backward with the corresponding keyboard command while the Willosaur was eating to create "drag". His commentary includes phrases such as "tell him to walk", which does not specify exactly how the creature is "told".
Many tools from 2007 were removed for unknown reasons, it is clearly shown that there were 12 tool huts available unlike today's nine. These tools included drums and spiked clubs that can be seen on the cover art of Spore.
- Hut Editor - The ability to create huts was probably removed because tribal gameplay is short, and requires the player to manage the tribe's health and wellbeing.
- Shops - Shops may have been an early concept of the Sporepedia.
Kidnapping babies, recruiting, and converting members from tribes
These features were about how the player could kidnap, recruit, and convert members from another tribe. It's possible that the player would convert a few members from another tribe into their tribe. The player would also recruit members from another tribe into their tribe. It was also going to be possible to kidnap babies from another tribe.
The older versions allowed the player to choose the walls and turrets, but it is determined by the kind of city - the player has either started the game earning those features or has conquered that city. Underwater vehicles were also available.
Harvester Vehicles were vehicles that were cut from the Civilization stage of Spore. They were to be fast and expendable and their job was to travel to Spice Geysers and gather the spice, delivering it to factories. They were cut because they were redundant and almost useless - spice is automatically shipped out to cities once there is a pump in place.
While Harvesters exist in the code, they do not appear in the game. The modern equivalent of a harvester is a colony vehicle, which appears to have a similar purpose. Their code is almost complete but it is unknown whether it will be possible to implement this code in a Mod of any sort.
The Space Stage also hasn't changed a great deal, there is likely to be more gameplay today than in the older versions. The galaxy in the older demo's appeared to be slightly smaller than today's Spore. The galactic view also seems more realistic with stars that all seem to glow white (the color of the star became apparent when getting closer). There was also more space between stars, taking almost ten seconds to get to a nearby star (this was removed to make travel easier and less tedious).
The terrascore system was also different with the lowest T-score of a planet being 0 and highest being 10. It was said in an interview with Gaming Steve that T-0 planets could not be terraformed and that the player had to reach a T-6 score to support life (this was probably removed to make terraforming less complicated). Will Wright also said that the player could research genetics and enter the Flora Editor. Also, Blue Giant stars could go supernova after a period of time. This was most likely removed to avoid the frustration of losing colonies in this manner. Supernova still technically exist, but they are just green flashes of light, and no harm is done to the star it appears over. The player could also step out of their ship on planets and make creatures intelligent (shown in the Spore demo: 2005).
Not much is known about this stage, and it may have never existed as far as a concept. However, it was said that it operated more like Tetris. It was likely scrapped because molecules can't think for themselves, and the Panspermia theory (that life is brought to planets via comets) was favored to make the game more exciting.
The ocean stage was removed not long after the demo in 2005. It had problems with navigation and animation, so thus it was removed from the game. The Aquatic Stage would potentially have had its own expansion pack made for final game, had it not been scrapped before release. Using the Galactic Adventures expansion, many players have created adventures trying to simulate what the stage would have played as.
This stage was merged with the Civilization Stage. It appeared to have agriculture which was incorporated into to the tribal stage.
This stage came after the Civilization Stage but before the Space Stage. This stage appeared to be far in the future on a polluted homeworld where the player had to terraform it into the ideal planet to live on. This stage was considered to be very simple so was incorporated into the space stage.
The player can open the PlannerThumbnailGen-editor like the Plant Editor, but with PlannerThumbnailGen instead FloraEditor. It is a clear editor without parts that can actually do nothing.
The Hut Editor was an editor shown in a Spore demo, however, it was not in the final version. The hut editor would have allowed the player to customize their hut. In the game there are only 12 huts: Omnivore hut level 1, 2, and 3, Carnivore hut level 1, 2, and 3, Herbivore hut level 1, 2, and 3 and rival hut level 1, 2 and 3.
The plant editor was created so that the player could customize their own flora, similarily to creatures, buildings, and vehicles. It still, in fact, exists in the game, but it is just an artifact, which is quite glitchy. The editor can be accessed by starting the game with SporeApp.exe -state:FloraEditor.
This feature allowed the player to customize the galaxy at the end of the game using a Gravity tool. Although it has been removed, the prototype Particle Man has been released, which works in a similar manner.
"Galactic Editor" is used here to describe a set of distinct tools that can be used to change the Galactic topography.
During an interview with Gaming Steve, Will Wright used a gravity tool to bend space-time. He stated that gravity was fully simulated in Spore and that most types of celestial bodies could be found in the Spore galaxy. He referred to other tools for creating planetary systems, but he did say that a star or a nebula could be formed simply by moving the mouse. Due to images from the 2006 GDC Presentation, it seemed likely the end-user would have had access to these tools. The image on the far right has the caption "Enjoy cosmic hijinks with the spacetime tool.".
The Cake Editor is a strange piece of code that seemingly was a project name for some kind of editor that was cut from the game. All it does if one attempts to launch it is make Spore load in a strange way. This may be a joke reference to Valve Software's 2007 First-person puzzle game Portal. It may also be an automatic command in the code line for the computer to shut down all background tasks before loading Spore.
It has been speculated that after reaching the Galactic Core, the player would be launched into the cake editor with text telling the player "You may now make a cake from scratch." This was likely a clever play on the famous Carl Sagan quote "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe," which had a surge in popularity on the internet around the time the game was in development. The discovery of the Cake Editor was made by a Sporum member who was browsing the game's internal files, and found it along with other cut content.
Not much is known about this editor, but it may have been possible to edit planets while in the Space Stage, or even the player's homeworld prior to gameplay. The weather editor does in live on some ways, in the Adventure Creator and by terraforming planets in the Space Stage.
At the demo at E3, there was a list of editors, one of which was called a Terrain Editor. Whether this was referring to the standard terraforming tools onboard the spaceship or to a more controlled editor such as the creature or vehicle editors is unclear. While the player may not create a planet in the final game, they can use the terraforming tools in the Space Stage to modify any existing planets and create life-filled oases or dead, barren planets, using the expansive set of tools at their disposal. Moreover, this stage features equippable ship tools capable of modifying planetary terrain.
A new editor for this purpose is included in the expansion Spore Galactic Adventures, for players to create custom planets for their adventures.
Species Shuffler was a tool that randomized creatures on a planet, intended to be the unique tool of the Wanderer philosophy. It was removed for unknown reasons.
"...and once you've unlocked all the types of vehicles: land, air, water, and underwater..." Will Wright in 2005.
In the 2005 demonstration of Spore Will Wright gave a quick tour of the Civilization Stage. While introducing the different types of vehicles, he mentions underwater vehicles. Underwater vehicles do not exist in the finalized Release version of spore, nor do other similar features like underwater cities, the Aquatic Stage and so on.
Features that have returned to the game
Some features have found their way back into the game, perhaps through the amount of players requesting these features.
This ability was not included at the first release but was brought back in Patch 1.05.
Galactic Adventure Editor
Cell Stage and Editor
Creature Stage and Editor
Early images of the Creature Editor and Creature Stage.