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More Spore

July 11th, 2008 by Troy Goodfellow · 2 Comments · Design, Electronic Arts, Industry

Today, Brandon Sheffield and Chris Remo interview Soren Johnson at Gamasutra. They mostly focus on Spore, but also there is some general commentary about strategy gaming, publisher expectations and designing without a core audience in mind.

Some snippets:

For example, we have a super-weapon system, which is something that came along maybe six months ago, that gives you some high-level stuff like nukes and EMPs. You can heal your units or give them a building, or whatever, and there’s all these high-level things you can do. And we just kind of decided flat-out that these shouldn’t be available to the AI.

I would say the RTS genre in general has a big problem, in that it’s one of the most ghettoized.

you know, strategy is in a bit of trouble now, because the genre’s gotten very complicated.

In many ways, [Civ Revolution is] the first true sequel to Civilization, because various other designers have done the other iterations in the series. People will really find things in the game that hearken back to the first one, because in many ways, that’s what [Meier]’s building off of.

I think your classic triple-A RTS game is going to become less and less meaningful to most gamers, and when we look back in fifteen or twenty years in the future, aren’t going to be the games that helped move the strategy genre forward.

As an actual publisher, I think there’s always a little bit of machismo about what games you’re making. Turn-based is not the kind of thing that makes you feel like you’re at the forefront of the industry.

I would not want to be in one of the classic triple-A franchise battles right now. I think that’s just a very bad place to be, whether that’s fighting games, RTSes, FPSes. Those categories are very overcrowded, the press knows exactly what they want and what they expect, and that’s just a very difficult area.

He’s always so quoteable.


2 Comments so far ↓

  • Darius K.

    Re: the quote on “classic triple-A franchise battles,” I’m thinking about how BioShock is in a unique place. They took a huge risk by pouring tons of money into a AAA where nobody was entirely sure what the hell genre the game was, but now that it’s hit big, it’s like… how do you compete with BioShock? It’s just on its own, I can’t imagine any game competing in a meaningful way with BioShock 2 when it comes out because it’s such a *singular* game to most gamers (even though jaded dudes like us have plenty of “System Shock Lite” style labels we could attach to it).

  • Thomas Kiley

    Personally, I would put Bioshock in the same category as Metroid Prime, a first person adventure with guns. Where the shooting isn’t the focus – but exploring the world is. On the flip side, it was still quite a lot of a gamble because they weren’t releasing to a Nintendo fanbase!