Wednesday, December 14, 2005

God Complex: "

Spore is a new type of game from the creator of The Sims, Will Wright.

It begins with a single celled organism, which you design and control, guiding it’s evolution into more advanced creatures, then into a society, and so on, until reaching a galactic scale. You control the characters through each order of life, facing unique challenges that range from avoiding being eaten before the next generation is born, to controlling a multi-planet space-faring race. Says Wright:

One of my goals for this whole thing has been to give somebody an awe-inspiring global view of reality, almost like a drug-induced epiphany with a computer. The kind of, ‘Oh, man, what if we were a molecule inside of a galaxy?’ type thing. Can we transfer that experience — that, I don’t want to say drug-induced, but I guess it is, or almost theological meaning-of-life-type experience — into an interactive computer game?

Can a computer game bring you to theological discussions, or philosophy, but at the same time remain eminently whimsical and playful and approachable? That’s an interesting balance to strike. I like the idea of an extremely whimsical toy that has deep philosophical implications.

Introduced during this year’s E3, Spore represents a new way of making games, using what Wright calls procedural animation, saving production costs in an industry of ever-increasing expenses, and enabling a game of this magnitude to exist in the first place. Much of the animation is decided by the code: instead of a large team animating each type of organism, the code analyzes the shape of the characters, what resources they have available, and decides how they should move and behave. Thus, using the game’s logic, the player designs their own experience completely, leaving traditional character development out of the loop.

Spore should be released in the Fall of 2006.

Here’s a video with Wright discussing the new game, along with shots of gameplay. Find/Scroll to ‘Spore’. You’ll need to register, but it’s free, and only takes a second.


(Via Centripetal Notion.)