A month away from the Digital Worlds blog, but I’m going to try to get back in the flow for a week or two, or at least stack up a few posts that can trickle out over the next few weeks… So to ease my way in, here’s a (late) Friday Fun post about the Spore Creature Creator.
If you haven’t heard about Spore, it’s an ‘ecosystem’ game (still in development) whose release has been hyped – and eagerly anticipated – for well over a year. Created by the same team that produced SimCity, a simulation game for growing and managing your own city (and which you can play in its original form online), Spore is the next step in simulation games, providing the opportunity to reach beyond the simulation of a city or civilisation, and “play with Creation”.
Did you spot the hype in the above paragraph?! ;-) The ethos of the game – which I take to be creating ecosystems that evolve over time – is reminiscent of an early ‘Artificial Life’ game from the UK, called Creatures. In the Creatures universe, players created creatures (‘Norn’) that developed and learned throughout their lifetime, and that could ‘breed’ with other Norns. Creatures is still available from Gameware Development (who also created the popular – and Creatures inspired – CBBC Bamzooki game), along with a free net-enabled version of the ‘game': Docking Station Central).
Notwithstanding the complexity of the game, the Creature Creator tool also represents a huge achievement in design terms, as this interview with Will Wright, the game’s creator, suggests: Will Wright talks Spore and defensive cows (Joystiq interview)