Wednesday, September 24, 2008

«Spore: Space Stage»

This is what it's all been building up to. Think of the past 4 stages more as a way to shape your creature's appearance and philosophy. Now the actual game begins.

First off, you need to design your space ship. Just like the building creator before, there's pre-made or other user-made ships to choose from if you don't feel like making your own. You get a couple of tutorial missions, then you're released into the sandbox. Sandbox is a term that describes the type of gameplay; you're free to do what you want without being forced to follow a set story line.

Your first order of business will be to find a planet that produces either pink or purple spice. The idea of spice came directly from the book/movie Dune. I have never read the book or watched the movie, but it's easy enough to pick up the reference. The saying, "He who controls the Spice controls the universe" holds true in Spore, as well. To mine spice, you have to colonize a planet that has a terra-score of at least T1, this means it has at least somewhat of a biosphere. Your colony will generate whatever color of spice the planet produces. There are 6 spice colors: red, yellow, blue, green, pink and purple. In that order, red is the least valuable and purple is the most valuable. You'll be doing a lot of collecting and selling spice from here on out. This is how you make your money and enlarge your galactic empire.

You'll find that Drake's Equation was way off; life in the galaxy is much more common than expected. In fact, in the beginning to mid-game you'll find yourself getting smothered by other empires. There won't be enough star systems to go around. This is why I have found the aggressive approach sometimes works best. Start a war with a smaller empire, and be sure to capture their homeworld. Your own homeworld is quite useless. It uses a different scale for spice production than the rest of the galaxy, so it epicly fails at producing spice. Feel free to completely ignore and neglect your homeworld, it can't be taken over by enemies anyway. You can only place a maximum of 3 cities on a planet you colonize. A homeworld from another empire has more than 3 cities on it, and thus produces much more spice. Your first alien homeworld will be the most difficult to acquire. After that you'll be able to get enough money to afford better weapons for your ship.

Eventually you'll hear about the fabled Grox. You'll even get a mission to go find and meet the Grox. Don't! They are modeled after the Borg in Star Trek. They are extremely evil and powerful cybernetic life forms that inhabit the center of the galaxy... The entire center of the galaxy. They control over 1,000 star systems. Their ships are more powerful than any others you will encounter, except your own. However, there are many of them and only one of you. The good thing is, until you make contact with them, they will leave you alone. When you do decide to contact them, be prepared for the worst-case-scenario.

The ultimate goal is the reach the center of the galaxy, bringing you right through Grox space. I've made a run for it and made it, but it's not worth it. You'll get constant Grox attacks on your systems after.

"The spice extends life. The spice expands consciousness. The spice is vital to space travel."


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