Spore: The upcoming “Sim Everything” game by Will Wright

When I first saw the word “Spore” appearing in my news feeds, I thought it was some new game about:
1. Singapore (S’pore is a short form)
2. Mushrooms (drug-induced gaming?)
3. Diseases, like the flu pandemic

Only recently did I take notice and learn that it was a new game from the creative mind of Will Wright. He recently demonstrated this video game at the Game Developers Conference 2006 2005 in San Jose, CA. Finally, we can get a good look at how it works.

First off, this game was suppose to be called Sim Everything, since he’s most famous for his Sim franchise, which started with Sim City, all the way to the The Sims (best-selling PC game franchise in history). As Wired News captured from an interview with Will, Spore will give players the chance to control life, right from the beginning and all the way to infinity and beyond (outer space). Starting with single-cell organisms, players work on designing life with ever more complexity. As the game progresses, players must figure out how to take creatures from individual animals to small tribes and then to cities, whole planets, solar systems and galaxies.

Like The Sims, this video shows you how free roaming the game is, with controls on how your creature should evolve to survive, how it performs daily routines (eating, mating, etc), and jumping a few zillion years later, eventually maturing as a culture with strong technological advances. It might not be exciting from the start, but as with most role playing games, it tends to be addictive over time. Perhaps this is a great tool for teaching Darwinism.

Spore will be coming out 2007. Meantime, you can visit the Spore’s EA site for a cute cartoon.

7 thoughts on “Spore: The upcoming “Sim Everything” game by Will Wright

  1. This talk was actually first given at GDC 2005. The full talk video can be found here (registration required): http://www.pqhp.com/cmp/gdctv/

    What makes this talk exciting is the discussion of procedurally generated gameplay as a solution for creating a large amount of game content. This could be the beginning of a phase shift in game development methodology.

  2. Pingback: monologue
  3. Timothy: Thanks for the heads up… not wonder the dates don’t seem to match. And the idea of a built-in database which tracks and creates a MMORPG-like environment in a single player environment… that’s intense.

    monologue: My thoughts exactly! ­čÖé

  4. With such an emphasis on design and creativity this game is not a great tool for promoting evolution. At every transition in the game the player has to intelligently design in new features. The procedural nature of everything again means that intelligence is used right down to the last detail. A god game by its very nature is not the tool of choice to promote naturalism (the idea that the world we see is the result of time and chance). As a game though it looks fantastic!

  5. Phil: Perhaps the game may be a good tool for promoting “intelligent design”. I wonder what’s Will Wright’s take on this. Can’t wait to design my own flying spaghetti monster! ­čśŤ

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