Spore

By Shamus
on Mar 9, 2006
Filed under:
Movies

This movie is a demo given by Wil Wright (of Sim City, and The Sims fame) of the new game he’s working on.

The game is this: You start with a single-cell creature floating in the ocean. You hunt other single-cell creatures to eat, avoid ones that try to eat you, and keep your creature going until it divides. With each generation, you get points which may be used to purchase evolutionary upgrades. Your creature becomes larger and more complex as you go, eventually getting handy stuff like a brain, eyes, and maybe even a nifty skeletal system. You can design the creature however you like. Want three legs? Ten legs? Big, powerful claws? A large and goofy balloon-like head? Go for it.

As the creature becomes more advanced, the scale of the game shifts from cellular scale to “goldfish” scale, and evenutally to human scale. Soon you are in command of a group of them instead of just one. You can spend points on brain size, and once your creature is smart enough they will start to form villages. The game continues along this line, letting you advance your species until they have cities and eventually interstellar flight.

This is an ambitious game. The explanation I’ve given doesn’t really do the idea justice, you just have to see the movie to get a feel for where this game is headed. There is a lot of amazing technology in there as well. You can make a creature that has never existed on Earth, and the game can still figure out how to animate it. For example: Make some crazy critter with seven tripple-joined legs. The game can still figure out how to make this ridiculous contraption walk. And run. And fight. And mate. As amazing as that is, just wait ’till you see your creation start to dance. I’m not kidding.

Another amazing idea: The other creatures in your world (the ones not controlled by you, the other various species) are pulled from designs created by other players. Likewise, my design for a creature may end up playing a similar part in someone else’s game.

Lots of facinating ideas here. Here is the (nearly useless) official website. No release date yet.

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6Six comments, I think. Maybe half a dozen.

From the Archives:

  1. ben says:

    it better come out before the end of the summer

  2. Katy says:

    I was totally stoked when I saw that movie file several months back. I was just amazed at the mind-boggling depth and complexity of the game. It’s like playing God. O_o

  3. Capt_Poco says:

    Except that they’ll never be able to pull it off.

  4. Cowtipper says:

    Spore will be the best game since Starcraft (!), and that´s saying something. Yes Starcraft 2 will be good, but what I´m REALLY looking forward to is Spore. You can play god, be mean to other people´s civilizations without having to anger someone by spamming “N00bZorZ” all over the chatroom, you can develop civilization in your own way, the way you want to. Or you can just go Galactic Empire on the universe and screw everybody over for a few porkchops.

    @Capt_Poco: Of course they can pull it off. They have released some new stuff form the game! And if they can´t pull it off, why then release all that content and promise the whole galaxy??

  5. Stu says:

    I need a new computer for this one, for sure. It is interesting though. The content sharing is neat… not a multiplayer game, you can’t destroy other peoples games, but I believe when you have interstellar travel ou can visit other peoples worlds (which are downloaded to your machine and simulated on selection)

    My biggest worry is that the interesting bit is lost afer a certain point. In the early phases the goal is to develope a lifeform whose texture and animation will be procedurally generated (whoopee!), but does this end once you enter the ‘civilization phase’? – if so then for me the game ends there because I already have civ.

  6. Kel'Thuzad says:

    Too bad it has DRM more painful than gouging your eyes out.

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