|Date(s):||May 17, 2008|
|Country of Origin:||Global|
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Spore is a 2008 game created by Maxis for Electronic Arts. It is a creative game in which players must guide a creature through the stages of evolution, such as single-celled, to multi-cellular, to civilization and onward. It gained quite a cult following, and though the fandom is smaller in 2020 than it once was, it still has a fan base.
Before the game was released Will Wright referred to the game as "SimEverything," but eventually the game became named Spore.
Spore received good reviews from the very beginning, but it was also considered to have rather shallow gameplay. On top of this, Electronic Arts implemented SecuROM (DRM), software that made it so players could only install the game on three computers at a time and must have the code that came with the copy for each installation. EA eventually rose this to five computers after complaints. It also required authentication with said code every ten days. This made the game frustrating to keep up with, especially through time.
Some gameplay elements did not make it into the final game. For example, one of the early demo videos for Spore features an ocean stage, but this isn't present in the game. There was also a fabled "Flora editor," an editor for players to make plants, but this is also not part of the game.
The game had a small handful of expansion packs. First, the item expansion pack "Creepy & Cute Parts Pack" was released on Nov 18, 2008. "Galactic Adventures" came out on Jun 23, 2009. Finally, a poorly received spin off called "Darkspore" came out on Apr 26, 2011. Spore also had a port to the Nintendo DS.
Players start the game as a single celled organism. The cell must eat to grow, and can either be driven to eat plants, meat, or both. New parts for the cell can be found by exploring and eating. Then, players may have their cell mate and change the parts, shape, and color of the cell. The second stage of the game gives the creature legs and has it crawl onto land. From there the player can have their creature(s) make friends with or enemies of nearby groups of creatures, and may earn parts in doing so. Players can tweak their creature to their liking. The third stage has the creature begin a tribe and the camera zooms out across the whole planet. It becomes more akin to a civilization strategy game at this point. Depending on how the player interacted with other creatures in stage two, their tribe may have different benefits. After either befriending or conquering nearby tribes, the player moves onto the fourth stage. Their tribe becomes a city. They can now build vehicles, boats, and planes. They can take other cities by force, religion, or trade. The fifth and final stage allows the player to build a spaceship and go into space, and they will have specific perks depending on how they played stage four. In the fifth stage, they are given the entire universe to explore. By creating trade routes with other planets, creating new colonies, or destroying civilizations, players may gain new tools so they can fly further, terraform easier, or protect themselves better. The end goal of the space stage is to find and destroy the evil Grox civilization.
Though the game is single-player it has some multiplayer elements. Players may login upon starting the game, and from there they can find a library of player-made creations in the "MySpore Page." They can also share their creations there, including creatures (of every stage), buildings, and vehicles.
The Spore fandom began long before the game's release, as evident in its fandom wiki being created in 2006. It continued to flourish from there, with interest beginning to dip circa 2014.
Maxis encouraged community participation, going as far as making a deal with YouTube to allow videos taken in Spore to be directly uploaded to their website. Maxis would also highlight user creations on the official website and would give out badges to these recognized players.
There was a small roleplay community on the official website.
The Fiction Universe is a conglomerate of fandom lore, stories, and creations, somewhat similar to No Man's Sky's "Civilized Space." It began in 2008, the year of the game's release, on the SporeWiki. The Fiction Universe consists of Spore players becoming involved in roleplay revolving around made up galaxies and civilizations. There is only one main playable galaxy in the base game, meaning any named galaxies are non-canon. Fiction players may not create their own galaxies and are limited to a set of community galaxies already decided upon. For example, the Natrian Empire resides in the fictional Spore galaxy "Natra." These civilizations sometimes even come together to form alliances, such as the Seven Starr Alliance, which houses several civilizations. These groups would also sometimes go to war, as evident with the Tigris War, the first war in the Fiction Universe. A timeline of all wars can be found on the wiki's War of Ages page. Wars occur through "fictions," or stories written about the war on specific wiki articles such as this one about the 2011 War of the Blocs. The Fiction Universe has its own TVTropes page here.
Outside of the Fiction Universe on the fandom's wiki, there was a small category on the official Spore forums for roleplay. These were massive threads with a set of rules and locations that users could comment on as in-character Spore creatures, such as the user Princeofice playing as their water creature called "The Ambish" in the mass RP thread Underwater Spore RP. Players could also roleplay in different stages of the game. There was a mass RP thread for roleplaying in the civilization stage, called the Civ Roleplay, which revolved around a single planet with five continents, five biomes, and a set number of spice geysers per continent. Roleplayers of this thread would try to conqueror the spice geysers and each other's cities. Users could also open their own roleplay threads here, but those rarely received more than a small handful of replies.
In Game Creations
- Spore- My Little Pony (April Fools!) by DarkEdgeTV
- Monster Factory: Creating the Sequel to Dogs in Spore by Polygon
- LGR - Spore - PC Game Review by LGR
- Welcome Home -- The first Spore fanfic on FFN
- The Tale of the Tesseract -- The longest Spore fanfic at 264,955 words
- The Galaxy Paths -- A Spore and The Sentinel crossover
Hanna Wirman, in her article on games and productivity, said that Spore's way of facilitating community was "a new way of mobilizing a large number of players and generating collaboration without actually bringing them into the same game play situation to play with and against each other." This is in reference to the way in which players interact in the game. Instead of Spore being a true multiplayer game, such as with an MMO, it allows players to make in-game creations then share those creations with each other. Those creations may also appear at random within the game play.
The fandom mostly resided upon the official EA Spore forum, called Sporum, but this was shut down by EA on Apr 15, 2018. Users of the Sporum were called "Sporumers." An un-official "Sporum" forum cropped up to take the place of the one that shut down. The last post on this un-official forum was from Jan 2, 2020, called Hopeless Series (18+). The forum is mostly inactive.
As of 2018, much of the Spore community thrives on Discord across several servers, including "Spore Community Hub," "The Sporechives," and "The Spore Modding Community."
The Bagacuda continues to wander around, it finds a rival bagacuda and attacks it and kills it, it eats it and finds some creature parts in its stomach. the bagacuda copies their DNA pattern and evolves!Jbotski, Underwater RP thread, 10/10/2008
I've been coming close to ranting about this topic. I am apalled by the volume of creations on the Sporepedia (which I am beginning to think of as the Spornpedia) which are simply offensive.Markiem32, on the Spore Feedback category, 9/12/2008
There has GOT to be something that EA/Maxis can do about it. I understand that the original model was that the community would police itself. If that is happening, it's not happening fast enough.I've played many MMORPG's -- and often was frustrated when I wanted to create a new character but couldn't name it what I wanted because the game filtered out certain words or word combinations. I would be annoyed, but understood that it was preferable to playing a game filled with other peoples' foul language or hate language.
Hey.Haydn22, on the Science Magazine Gives Spore a Fail thread, 10/20/2008
Its a video game. Like I mean, what do they excpect? Personally, if everything in Spore was scientifically correct it woould be no fun! That would mean extremely plain cell and creature stage. Tribal stage would be pretty dull and civilisation stage would require a field in physics. Same with space.
If we went through everyt little step of evolution, think how long that would take. Seriously.I think I made my point , - HaÿdN -
- Official Sporum -- Nov 4, 2008
Meta and Further Reading
- Where to Find the Spore Community
- On Productivity and Game Fandom
- I Still Wish Spore was Good, but a Decade Later It's a Slog
- SPORE's Wake: What Seriously Happened?
- It's Time for Spore 2
- https://spore.fandom.com/wiki/Spore (Accessed 3/13/2020)
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spore_(2008_video_game) (Accessed 3/13/2020)
- https://web.archive.org/web/20081108085727/http://forum.spore.com/jforum/posts/list/11139.page 11/04/2008 (Accessed Mar 18, 2020)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMqW1FCbG6A Oct 15, 2008 (Accessed 3/13/2020)
- https://spore.fandom.com/wiki/SporeWiki (Accessed 3/13/2020)
- https://web.archive.org/web/20081013043456/http://forum.spore.com/jforum/forums/show/26.page Oct 2008 (Accessed Mar 18, 2020)
- https://journal.transformativeworks.org/index.php/twc/article/view/145/115 Wirman, Hanna. 2009. On productivity and game fandom. Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 3. https://doi.org/10.3983/twc.2009.0145. (Accessed Mar 18, 2020)
- https://www.wattpad.com/626007455-where-to-find-the-spore-community-en-fr-es-ru-en Sept 1, 2018 (Accessed 3/15/2020)
- https://www.wattpad.com/626008511-where-to-find-the-spore-community-en-fr-es-ru-%F0%9F%91%BE Sept 1, 2018 (Accessed 3/15/2020)