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The snout took a few tricks--it’s a modified arm segment--but we otherwise created Sharpton in minutes.
Don’t just be a god, play god, sculpting a planet’s-worth of creations. Spore Creature Creator slices the species-designing part of the full Spore game--due September 7, 2008--into its own nursery. Redesign actual creatures, such as adding a horn to a human shape; or invent something new, like a walking plant with eyes for hands. You can build an amazing array of animals by manipulating dozens of body parts and adjusting basic shapes. While there’s little to do with a creature after you build it, Spore Creature Creator entertains as a preview of the full game.
Spore Creature Creator distills the power of a 3D design program into an accessible interface. Players begin with a randomly assigned lump for a body type and can then change the length and shape of the spine by just clicking and pulling. These curves slump and alter the basic body. From there, players drag over features from a roster of eyes, mouths, legs, antlers, and many more parts. Those connection points snap anywhere on the body. And then creators reposition joints and lengthen appendages with simple dragging movements, while grabbing other guides can tilt the orientation and direction of parts. Spore Creature Creator’s complexity scales well; we were instantly engaged with the basic tools, but we eventually added advanced techniques to create multi-jointed tentacles and other oddities.
After building the creature’s shape, players add textured, colored skins. We initially picked from stock designs. But after learning the basics, we adjusted many variables to tweak several layers of color and pattern.
But once you complete a creature, there’s little else to do other than begin again. We sent our animals trotting around a circular playpen, watching them come to life with playful animations. But we wanted a few more ways to connect--such as a way for different creatures to interact--without waiting for the full version of Spore. (Gamers will be able to import these creatures then, exploring a universe full of their favorites.)For $10, Spore Creature Creator adds many more body parts to the free, demo version of the critter designer. The simple joy gamers feel when bringing creatures to life offsets the lack of activities once born.