The makings of a ghost town is a story of a town left to rot, told through Spore’s adventure creator. However, it wasn’t originally planned to be a sad story of pollution and broken robots.
The original idea
I really enjoy Parkaboy‘s Xenoplanets series, and I wanted to make my own, so I started making one about a purple spice colony owned by the Haymeen. I eventually figured out that I just wasn’t able to make enough back story for the adventure to be worth it, so I scrapped the idea. I did keep the hover pods and buildings, although I fiddled with their coloring a bit to make them fit in with the mood of the adventure.
Because I decided at an early stage that this would be my first still life adventure, I was unable to use any creatures as characters. However, because the world I created was post-apocalypse, making all the characters as vehicles (robots, in this case) worked to my advantage.
The droid (right) was the first character I put into the adventure. It looks and acts like an antique, leading the player to believe that it had been built hundreds of years before they met it in the adventure. Its eyes were chosen because I thought they looked good, but later became the style of eyes used on every robot in the adventure, with the exception of the hover pods, which have no eyes.
The communication drone (left) was created a day before its use – or name, for that matter – was known. Instead of its charger having a missing chip, it was originally supposed to have a missing intelligence chip. That idea was quickly scrapped when I realized that I couldn’t make a “give to” objective for a vehicle. The embassy the drone needs to be led to at the end of the adventure was always there, even before the drone was added, but only as scenery.
The other two characters in the adventure were the welcome bot (right) and some dusty hover pods. The hover pods were first invented for an article on the wiki. The welcome bot is the only Spore character I have sketched before making, because I finished planning the adventure at school, where I couldn’t access Spore.
There are a total of 6 hover pods in the adventure: two broken near the town’s entrance, two circling around the town and the embassy, and two going back and forth between the spice storage area and either the factory or the polluted spice geyser.
Prodigo, the planet that “The making of a ghost town” takes place on, wasn’t always polluted as badly as it is in the final version of the adventure. I started with one of the default flora sets, but modified the colors, deleted the large plants, and thickened the atmosphere. My plan was to make the atmosphere a hazard, but to do so would have required it to be so thick that it would make the adventure unplayable. Instead, I placed a “fog evil” effect over the town and a “nuclear fallout” effect in the spice geyser, which turned out quite well.