Spore

First Look: The Evolution of Spore

 Spore starts small. A simple life form--you, specifically--merrily swims around in primordial goo, absorbing nutrients. Nothing matters outside of this pool, not the rock basin that holds it, the continent that cradles the rock basin, the planet that holds the continent, the solar system that contains the planet, or the galaxy that surrounds the solar system. None of that matters--yet. Spore keeps its focus on the immediate goal, a race to survive and grow. Just like those scaling worlds, there’s always a hungry creature bigger than you.

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 Apple displayed games at its iPhone SDK event, with EA, Sega, and Apple itself unveiling upcoming products. Sega will release a tilt-sensitive version of Super Monkey Ball, its marble-in-a-maze franchise. Apple showed Touch Fighter, an OpenGL space-pilot game where you lean the iPhone to steer and tap the screen to fire. And EA announced plans to bring a version of Spore to the iPhone. Release dates aren’t available for Super Monkey Ball or Touch Fighter, but EA is targeting a September release for iPhone Spore. In addition to the creature simulation, EA has “other [iPhone] games in early stages of development,” according to EA spokesperson Trudy Muller. While Apple announced that all iPhone products would also work on the iPod touch, EA didn’t offer any comment about Spore’s specific phone-free compatibility. 

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  In a word, Spore is overwhelming. This ultimate simulation is coming to Macs and PCs simultaneously on September 7, 2008. But somehow, this simulation of early life, evolution, tribal interactions, rise of civilizations, and interplanetary colonization makes “overwhelming” a good thing. On top of that, players create their own automatically animated creatures, vehicles, buildings, and more. (Check out our exclusive screenshots and deeper impressions in the April issue of Mac|Life magazine.) We recently stopped by EA’s Maxis office to try the game and speak with its developers. Spore Chief Designer Will Wright created SimCity, The Sims, and founded the original Maxis. Spore Executive Producer Lucy Bradshaw previously helped develop several The Sims games, most recently as Executive Producer. Both spoke with us about planetary phases, potential expansion packs, iPod and iPhone plans, and your personal Brian Eno.