MAHF Top Ten: Spore Activities
Ah, Spore: Galactic Adventures. There may be no better way for me to enjoy an hour after school (except writing, that is) than to relax and live out any adventure I want. So, in honor of Will Wright’s groundbreaking game, here’s my top ten list of things to do on Spore, particularly the GA expansion pack.
#10. Die. Yup, that’s right. No pain, no gain. And since there are so many ways to get six feet under in Spore, why not make the most of it? Death isn’t funny in real life, but in Spore, you can die by getting hit by money bags, and that’s just plain goofy. I mean, just look at how popular Dia de los Muertos is in Mexico! Follow that example!
#9. Make things go boom. There are a billion ways to destroy things in Spore, and part of what I like to do is unlock those secrets. I mean, just shooting an explosive barrel is one thing, but how about poisoning a building? Or stepping on a mine disguised as a pie? The idea of Spore is to unleash your creative potential, and with creating mass destruction in the most unique way possible, you’re doing just that!
#8. Turn on the lights, wake up Mother Nature. One of the cool bits about SGA is how many different special effects you can use, some of which would put your average Hollywood production to shame. So set up holograms, searchlights, and fiery infernos, and get to it! Effects serve a variety of purposes. For example, when creating a dystopia battlefield, I often use black smoke and massive fires to decorate the buildings. Once, when I was creating a prehistoric wildlife preserve, I used dust devils to emulate the desert feel of Cretaceous Mongolia.
#7. Experiment. Ninety-five percent of the fun I have in SGA is merely experimentation. Whether it’s new arena monsters, or trying to figure out if you can automatically teleport between devices, it’s fun to ask a question and then try to answer it yourself. Or you could do something similar and challenge yourself to do something. Recently, I challenged myself to build a glowing, Tron-like city with only creations by Maxis and my own. When the whole thing was done, I had created a U-shaped city (Okay, so I cheated a little and used a city template, but cleared it of everything except the street-guilty as charged!) glowing with holographic DNA, massive searchlights, and a dazzling swarm of police drones.
#6. Download. One of the neat features in Spore is that you can download user-made packs of creations called Sporecasts. Each one contains anything from dozens to thousands of creatures, buildings, vehicles, and adventures, normally with a specific theme. What’s neat about is A) you can find cool stuff and B) you can marvel at said cool stuff. Once, I found a Darth Vader building. I’m not kidding-it was an entire building done up to look like Darth Vader. And it looked great, too. True story.
#5. Go nuts. Ever harbored secret ambitions to rule a country as an evil dictator? Okay, well not a dictator, but a ruler? Well, in SGA, you can do that, and you can be as crazy and tyrannical as you want to be. I’ve created about a billion twisted arenas, some with equal odds, but most not. Why? Because it’s there, and you can. So relax and rule the world! Just remember-every great dictator in history has died of unnatural causes.
#4. Go to war. One of my favorite Spore past times is grabbing a couple of armies and putting them head-to-head. Why is this fun? The battle will probably never to the same way! In one version, your general might wield a ceremonial sword and lead his troops to victory, but in another, he dies in the field of battle. But another reason ingame war is so much fun is how much variety there can be. I mean, I have a few stock creations just in case I want to set up for steampunk warfare! Or how about a well-organized invading force facing rebellious citizens with giant metal machines in the middle of a ruined city? It’s awesome!
#3. Go out on the town. It’s a lot of fun to build Spore civilizations, because it’s a little different each time. Once, I created a world with three different tribes: one made of nomadic tent dwellers, one with fishing tribesmen, and one where all of the citizens lived in the mountains. Such fun!
#2. Go on safari. It’s really easy to build a wildlife preserve: build a planet with vegetation and a couple of different biomes, and place a bunch of different creatures in herds, packs, etc. Then, drop yourself into the middle and explore!
#1. Create. That’s what Spore is all about-letting your imagination run wild. You can create anything: creatures, vehicles, buildings, even whole planets. Just watch out for that darn complexity meter!