Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
The user has the advantage of creating, building
and exploring the creatures he/she creates. This
game enables the reading and interpretation of
a progress bar that appears at the bottom of the
screen containing different information, among
which are the time and scores that can be helpful
to acquire mathematic skills.
The description/explaining of various concepts
is useful to acquire skills related to science. One
of the greatest benefits of Spore is without doubt
creativity. Each user will develop his/her cre-
ativeness: there are numerous possibilities in the
invention of creatures which will increase along
the game - elements that can be added to creatures
get unblocked as the user advances and conquers,
which will motivate the player to commit himself
and to develop his/her esthetical and imaginary
senses, since he/she is totally autonomous in
his/her creations. The user will also be lead to
moments of reflection about the best strategies
to get DNA, which is the main characteristic in
order to acquire new skills for the creature and
consequently to achieve new levels.
The fact that the user can choose the level
of difficulty can be considered an educational
advantage. It would be uninteresting for the user
not to be able to play in a unique pre-established
degree, which would probably lead to withdrawal.
This way, the player has what can be called an
ascending path of experimentation - from the
easiest, passing through medium and finally to
the hardest.
The game also allows the interaction between
the affiliate community, creating dynamics, ex-
changing contents and knowledge, thus becoming
a social aggregation that facilitates the develop-
ment of a web of social relationships in the cy-
berspace (Rheingold, 2000), allowing the user to
'perceive the structures defined by engagement in
practice and the informal learning that comes with
it' (Wenger, 2007:3) and granting the opportunity
to contribute in a participated process of collec-
tive learning in a shared domain, interacting in
a regular basis.
The Spore virtual community addresses the
elements that Preece (2000) defines as require-
ments for the emergence of online communities:
the existence of individuals that interact socially;
a shared goal; tacitly assumed rules of interaction;
and the mediation of technology.
Critical Evaluation
Spore is an exciting experience, as it gives the
player the power to make his/her own game, hav-
ing as a main characteristic an extensive freedom
of action, while offering a wide variety of options
in the creation of characters. The user has the
possibility of exploring his/her own creativeness
and populate the universe with unique creations.
The game allows you to start again from the
beginning, after reaching the end. Then, the story
lived in the game will be totally different from the
previous one due to numerous options.
The majority of the game's controls are very
simple and intuitive and the game's interface is
extremely friendly.
The explanatory messages appear very often to
guide the player and there is permanent feedback
about his/her performance, as he/she is accom-
plishing his/her missions.
The camera angles are free and the player
chooses the best view to play, just by clicking and
spinning the mouse until he/she finds the right
position. Besides that, the combination of images
and audio is very involving and transports the
player to the context of the game's environment.
The music is very interesting (from Brian Eno)
and is coherent with the development of the action,
containing sounds of joy, satisfaction, friendship
and constant music giving the feeling of explora-
tion and discovery along the path.
In terms of installation, however, is not as
good as it was expected. Besides demanding
an internet connection, it is not executable in a
computer with a graphics card inferior to 128MB,
which is unthinkable for schools. The available
computers are only for research, meaning that
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