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Spore has had several major changes since first demonstrated at the GDC 2005 show.
The style and graphics of the game haven't changed too much, but have been developed to be more appealing in today's Spore, in order to attract a wider variety of players. However, this angers the part of the audience that wants a deeper and more immersive gameplay. 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.
Stages final in the game Edit
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 more free 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 are too close but could only be killed with the spike part, another example is trails of brown smoke that chases 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 young 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 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 annoy 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). In 2005 however, small rabbit-like creatures hopped around, grazed, or simply wandered off with no nests for them. However, this feature does exist in the game, just 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 younger 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 laid the 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 can play for a while and then it grows up. Playing as babies does exist today however only to learn certain skills and does not act as a real avatar.
Procedural verb Edit
In language, a verb is a word that expresses action. (To write, to live, to be, etc.) In Spore, 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".
- 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.
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.
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 Edit
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 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).
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 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).
Removed stages Edit
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.
This stage was merged with the Civilization Stage. It appeared to have agriculture (which has now been set back to the tribal stage).
This stage came after the Civilization Stage, but before Space Stage. This stage appeared to be far in the future on a polluted home world 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.
Hut Editor Edit
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 plants on the player's homeworld. 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.
Galactic Editor Edit
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.".
Cake Editor Edit
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. The discoverer was a Sporum member who was browsing the code, and found all of these strange files like harvester vehicles and a few cut paint mode textures and achievements.
Weather Editor Edit
Not much is known about this editor, but it may have been possible to edit planets while in the Space Stage, or even the players 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.
Terrain Editor Edit
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 on board the UFO or to a more controlled editor such as the creature or vehicle editors is unclear. However, the player cannot make a planet in the final release of Spore, however they can terraform planets to create life-filled oases and dead, barren planets, sculpt mountains and oceans, and color as much as the player like. However, fiddle with any planet in the Galaxy and broadcast it over the Sporepedia.
Removed tools Edit
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.
Underwater Vehicles Edit
"...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 no longer exist in Spore, as were underwater cities, the ocean stages and so on.
Features that have returned to the game Edit
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 Edit
Cell Stage and Editor Edit
Aquatic Stage Edit
Creature Stage and Editor Edit
Early images of the creature editor and creature stage.