Spore Galactic Adventures Hands-On - A Quickie Adventure Plus Editing Tool Updates

The expansion pack for Spore will let you create and play through custom adventures that you can edit, save, and share with friends. We take it for a spin.

At a recent Electronic Arts press event, we had a chance to take an updated look at Galactic Adventures, the upcoming expansion pack for last year's evolutionary-simulator-plus-monster-creator Spore. The add-on will offer piles of new ways to customize your creepy, crawly critters, including new parts to graft onto your creatures, as well as 32 new abilities, eight new combat powers, and eight new social options.

The expansion will also clean up some of the editing interfaces, especially at the planetary view, and will add an adventure editing tool that will let you create your very own multipart adventures that can each be up to eight acts long. The adventure editor is planned to come packed with at least 1,500 prefabricated content pieces, from creature characters to monsters to buildings, which can be taken from the standard building editor and expanded greatly in the adventure editor, such that a small chateau can be reworked into a huge, stony dungeon.

Because the adventures are focused around a single creature's exploits (not on the gradual evolution and interstellar propagation of one species across the universe, like in the original game), Galactic Adventures will let you take control of a "captain" character, a critter with various statistics and parts (ranging from a sharp, bitey beak to a strap-on missile launcher) that can remain persistent in your Sporepedia (Spore's huge in-game library that catalogs all your created content). Certain adventures can be crafted to let you use your own captain characters, though meticulous adventure crafters may choose to hard-code their own custom captain character that must be used for that adventure. Adventures can take several different ultimate goals, such as all-out combat, item collection, and more. We played through an item collection mission and also watched a demonstration of a combat mission, as well as a demonstration of the adventure editing tools, which have expanded greatly since we last saw them.

The collection mission let us choose a custom captain from our Sporepedia, and thankfully, many powerful heroes were available to play (heroes can advance to a maximum level of 10). We chose a tough customer with a jetpack to go on a treasure hunt for a golden llama idol (longtime fans of Maxis' other games, The Sims and SimCity, will get the reference and the joke), which was hidden in a ruined temple. In order to reveal the location of this wondrous treasure, our captain was required to collect several bundles of blue crystals scattered on the ground and guarded by enemies. These enemies included giant spiders and other creepy, crawly critters, as well as a gigantic (and invulnerable) boss monster guarding the llama itself. Fortunately, our hero was tough enough to soak up the attacks of lower-level enemies and make a mad dash for the crystals and the llama before hightailing it out of there with his jetpack. Just like in the original Spore, in Galactic Adventures you'll use the W, A, S, and D keys to move your character while using your mouse to rotate your view and aim, though you can lock on to individual enemies to target them should you decide to fight.

The combat adventure we watched was crafted to allow only that adventure's prebuilt captain character to play, and it required us to take a space-armor-wearing, jet-pack-flying alien captain through a teleporter to take out an alien mothership. This mission was described to us by a commanding officer character who stood right in front of us just as we began our mission and who debriefed us in a letterboxed cinematic sequence. We watched our alien hero fly behind enemy lines and do battle with alien boss monsters using various combat abilities that were hotkeyed to keyboard numbers 1 through 4 (you can also bind an ability to your mouse's left button, then left-click your mouse to repeatedly attack your targetted enemy for a more Diablo-like experience). After dispatching the guards and hopping through a teleporter, our heroic captain ended up on board the enemy mothership, dispatched the guards and final boss monster, blasted the reactor, and then scrambled to safety to beat the countdown clock before the mothership went up with him inside.

All these components--the enemies and their abilities and behavior, the layout of the maps, the size and shape and look of the buildings, the cinematic cutscenes, the countdown clock, and every last line of dialogue--were hand-built by a designer at Maxis, and the studio expects that enterprising users will do as good as or better than the Maxis designer once the expansion ships. We took an updated look at the adventure editor, which seems extremely powerful, packed to the gills with content, and also pretty easy to use. Maxis estimates that truly enterprising users may want to take a weekend or so to create polished content, but even younger users should be able to dive in and create adventures relatively quickly.

We watched a demonstration as a Maxis staffer quickly started building a new adventure by selecting a planet from the prebuilt list, paging through different biomes (such as arctic or grassland), before settling on a desert-like planet inhabited by walking anthropomorphic banana people (and aggressive, hungry monkey people). After selecting the world and zooming in on a section to start our adventure, we watched as a banana-like alien was dragged and dropped instantly onto the planet and given marching orders to patrol a limited area. Then, an evil monkey alien was dropped right behind the banana alien and set to "aggressive" behavior to attack it so that the immediately obvious objective would be to defend the banana creature. Which we did, instantly, by switching the in-progress map to "on" to test it, and then we jumped back out to continue editing. To add additional challenge, a few other monkey aliens were dropped onto the planet and made to be huge, and hugely strong, boss monsters with a simple roll of the mousewheel, which will make your critters both bigger and automatically tougher as they scale higher in size. Even though you'll be able to do a lot with the tools, Galactic Adventures' editing kit seems like it should be remarkably easy to use. The expansion is scheduled to ship in June.

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Discussion

74 comments
leonsur
leonsur

what makes me mad is that the people who give negative sign to others who say "spore?not anymore thank you" are the kind of persons who let spore be the dump it is.Kids.

leonsur
leonsur

Propaganda.Will isn't working on spore anymore,and trust me,things aren't like they seem.Work is another of Ea's milking cow,so they can invest in other projects.They took up the game and turned it into a money making kid's factory dream. Rated +6 in my opinion.Bad and deceiving propaganda,like the one they used on original Spore.

Yotamho
Yotamho

I can barely think that this title will improve even slightly the perception of spore. I want you to understand me, it seems great, but exactly like Spore bas campaign - and that's the heart of the matter, but lets wait :)

The_Fat_Zebra
The_Fat_Zebra

If this expansion pack implies a total overhaul of the game to reach the level of depth seen in civilization or the total war series, then it might be worth some money. If spore is anything to go by and the expansion sticks to the shallow, ridiculously stupid upgraded version of Microsoft Paint, then it is an equally big waste of money as spore was. I want my 55 euros back!

Jefinator5
Jefinator5

I can't wait, its incredible and cool !!!!!!!!!

thebanewolf
thebanewolf

i hope they throw spore onto a tire fire

Ravenswan32
Ravenswan32

Please merciful God, make Spore a fun game, instead of a nearly 3D platform repetitive sequence divided in 5 typical equal phases. I don't see a bright future for this expansion pack. After all, it's AN EXPANSION PACK, and I think most gamers weren't surprised by the major game at all. Sub-games won't save a great idea built in a mediocre way.

aedman
aedman

Well, barring anything else, one has to admit that EA can communicate a sense of humor. It's certainly woven throughout Spore. Galactic Adventures should be high cheese; sort of like their near shameless promotions. Nevertheless, I will add it to the game. I just wish they'd patch the crashes trying to leave certain planets.

The_Fell_One
The_Fell_One

I love how at the end she says (basically) "Creating gameplay is a first, even for spore", implying that no other game has had any sort of editing tool. How about... Neverwinter Nights? The Elder Scrolls games? Any FPS that ships with a map editor? I think this expansion is pushing Spore in the right direction, but that was a silly thing for her to say.

CVM_123
CVM_123

that trailer was EPIC! lol

OHSO
OHSO

Since being a Master DM for over twenty years and having extensive story telling techniques. I get a real good feeling about this expansion pak. Now someone earlier mentioned something about this being just one of the many to come and if he's right then all I can say is keep 'em comin'. If this lives up to it's promise I believe it'll become a powerful tool in the hands of many to tell thier stories. Fingers crossed and eyes open...peace

BeckMall
BeckMall

nice..nice and more nice and cute MONSTAHHHS

DevilUchiha2
DevilUchiha2

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

wswedin
wswedin

Say, that's a neat idea goldenjiggies. I wonder if I can make an adventure like one of the lemmings games? I wonder if you have that much script control. That would be hilarious if you had to fly around and destroy obstacles to get your "lemmings" through. @Vengeance00 - Spore and sims may have had little content, compared to how they were in the end. But, the original content was really quite hard to make, instead of making poor interactions between AI, and unrealistic behaviors while focusing on making it large with many different things, they focus on perfecting one thing at a time. I may not agree with how EA goes about Spore, but Maxis had our entertainment in his mind when they did this (at least till EA came along, the future looks cloudy to me).

GoldenJiggies
GoldenJiggies

i cant wait to get this, im gonna make and adventure where you have to collect Jiggies! :O (banjo-kazooie fans now what im talking about) I want to make my Galactorhave a jetpac, and stuff... (PS, look up Galactor in the Sporepedia)

vengeance00
vengeance00

hamnut seems to have forgotten that this is made by the creator of the sims. they make a interesting game with little meat and then bombard the market with a legion of expansions. trust me this is the first of many.

Mega_Loser
Mega_Loser

Spore's real strength was its creativity depth. Enhancing that strength can only be a good thing.

wswedin
wswedin

Whoah! When I clicked on the second trailer, it started playing 5 ads at once. Esurance, Star Trek movie, etc, it alternated through all of them rapidly and I could hear the second trailer's content... it was so laggy. What the heck? Back to my point: I keep hearing people debate if its an RTS, or an RPG. It depends on how you make your missions. It is a pretty original thing they have done here, and you can't really define what it is. I suggest no one responds to hamnut, he is just a flamer.

minmax123
minmax123

I think it looks really cool, and will give me something more to do in space stage, cuz im sorta bored with it.

SR71halo
SR71halo

It's not even just an RTS. In fact, none of these new features has much to do with the RTS stages.

SSBFan12
SSBFan12

Hamnut they are trying to make the series better I think it actually looks really good now.

hamnut
hamnut

This is stupid. They make a crappy game then cover it up with a gimmick! This isn't even the whole concept of spore now, all it is a generic RTS.

argh1515
argh1515

When I heard about this game last year I was very excited about it. Though It was a bit of a cartoony game I did enjoy it the first few hours. But when I completed to the space stage it was like "what do I do now"? So hopefully this expansion will enhance the gaming experience.

zacw
zacw

who i'm gonna get this

darth_tater_tot
darth_tater_tot

Ok. Who DOESN'T want to be Captain Kirk?! It puts the Star Trek back in the one game that needs it. Tribbles, anyone?

z827
z827

Spore+Star Wars=Spore Wars.This look epic!

VelociBlade
VelociBlade

I hope this expansion turns out better than the C&C. Also, the game trailer looks REALLY cheesy.

sonynhater
sonynhater

going to get this, so much content

SR71halo
SR71halo

I might end up getting this, one of my complaints about Spore was you couldn't control your character in the space missions. I'll gladly pay $5 more just to do that. :D

deathc4
deathc4

I wonder if it will be marketed/designed for 5 year olds like Spore was.

sub-raid
sub-raid

i'll pass. this game is not worth 5$

SquintingSquid
SquintingSquid

Remember my words, the game will be : Or crappy Or almost unrelated to the original spore Or both.

strayfies
strayfies

Sad thing is, I bet it's only going to be 'customizing' one of maybe four different quests, changing out one aesthetic for the other. I guess they really just wanted to make a cartoony space game after a while, huh?

Expo_Smacko
Expo_Smacko

I will stick with buying The Sims expansions.

Gifi-Nz
Gifi-Nz

are the groxes still here??

clankwise
clankwise

I guess its going to be just like the sims a million expansions