Archive forArts and Entertainment

Some Spore space tips

Everyone who is excited about Spore currently seems unhappy with Space, myself included. Here are some tips to get you through the tough parts and hopefully remove a little tedium.

  • Get an auto-blaster for your ship. Since targeting when fighting is so hard, this will end up helping a ton.
  • A little later on, get an allied ship and try to keep it alive, same reason as above.
  • Don’t start an alliance until you actually have room in your fleet for an allied ship.
  • Don’t colonize too fast. Try to keep to 2 colonies (+ homeworld) until the 2 colony planets each have at least 2 cities. Then expand to 3 colonies. Eventually it won’t matter, but if you expand too fast, you get into wars with too many races.
  • To simplify spice collection, make three T3 worlds in a system, and put three cities on each planet, that’s 90 spice per system, with less loading.
  • If someone won’t stop attacking you, attack back until they sue for peace, it’s generally worth the effort.


Quick Spore review

Spore is 99% 80% 90% excellent. It is extremely open and fluid, probably one of the best gaming environments ever made, easily the ‘grandest’. The stages themselves are not the greatest games of their genres, but its easy to get past that. The one account per installation is very upsetting though, and the DRM is annoying for other reasons.


Ugh, I’ve now gotten two games to space stage. The combat mechanics seem very sloppy, although I hope i get more used to them. At first, space is basically glorified whack-a-mole. There are problems and only you can solve them. They each take a minute or two to solve.

However, In both games, an aggressor has suddenly appeared on my doorstep and begun simultaneously attacking 2 or more of my colonies. Now I’m not sure how they do it, but I have only a single space ship (plus some flying puppies they call “allies”). I think in this case, the game designers short changed the combat AI in space stage, and instead made it a whack-a-mole/bullet-hell style game. I like hard games, but if I wanted bullet-hell or whack-a-mole, I probably wouldn’t be playing Spore.

Space would be a lot more fun if it were like the other stages, none of those eco or pirate events, and the same combat restrictions for you and your enemies. Oh well.

Edit 2:

I’ve played farther through space now and have some updates. It is still somewhat whack-a-moley, but I’ve learned how to compete when fighting, despite the mechanics being ugly. So is easy whack-a-mole better than hard? Well it makes it a little more open-ended, but a lot of the cool stuff I try to do still gets interrupted by someone’s eco-disastor, or a couple trivial pirates. You are able to ignore warnings, but in order to decide whether its ok to ignore, you basically have to investigate by leaving the planet or system.

Once you advance in space a few things get to be chores. Spice collection gets a little tedious. If you don’t do it every 5 minutes on a fully developed planet, you’re wasting spice. Also energy replenishing is one of those things where the only time you absolutely need to do it, is when you don’t have time, so I get into a “click rhythm” where I do it on any planet I trade on.

The targeting system is still very broken. If I’m trying to fire a laser at the ground to kill an animal, over half the time I’ll click the ground, but it will think I mean one of my 4 allies and start firing on them (no damage at least), and I have to maneuver my ship several times. This really adds to the tedium since I can’t just quickly complete ecological emergencies.

This makes Space still the worst stage yet, but a little better than I initially thought. Probably a case of shipping a quarter too early, all the other stages are really fun and feel throroughly tested, space seems to have skipped a large-scale beta.

I’ll add some space-age tips in a new post.

More to come…maybe.


Fiction for those on the go.

Anna, of The Annalog writes a story every day. Aside from a couple breaks, she has been doing it for almost two months straight now. I’ve subscribed to her RSS feed, so I get a daily dose of fiction prose mixed in with my news and webcomics.

The stories are to novels what The Far Side is to Achewood. They quickly draw you into a world that is familiar and yet bizarre: sometimes the mailman becomes too involved in your mail, and other times city dwellers live out their somewhat bohemian fantasies. In a few hundred words—a minute or two of reading—the story of someone’s life has come and gone, you’ve met and lost a friend, given in to hope, and felt despair at the human condition.



Scifi lovers, check out Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present. It’s some great “hard sf” from the man who is truly becoming the next great science fiction author, Cory Doctorow. Also it’s free.

In this volume, he steps partway back from his usual close-to-absurd-but-just-believable style and collects a few of his pieces that follow more traditional motifs. He goes so far as to name them after classics as in “I, Robot”. He uses this backdrop to add modern ideas including his own views, interpretations, and visions of intellectual property, gaming, and even religion. Also it’s free.

Seriously, if nothing else read the 2 page “Printcrime” . You really owe it to yourself, it’s profound. Also it’s free.

I bought the book since I basically love to read sci fi while curled up and falling a sleep (I have since I was a child), but if you’re not sure yet, read them for free online, or print them out, because…it’s free.

PS: I began a Wikipedia article on the collection: here.


Best. Strip. Ever.


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