During our time at E3 last week, we were able to spend about an hour with a very patient Maxis Producer Thomas Vu, who guided us through a near-final build of Spore (the whole thing) and answered a barrage of questions. Here's what we gleaned from our play session, broken down into each phase:
- Part 1: Cell / Tribe Phase (after the break)
- Part 2: Civilization / Space Phase
- Part 3: General Information
- What you eat and how you evolve your cell determines what body parts you get for the creature creator. We were shown a timeline thattracked each "evolution" of your cell and whether it was more carnivorous, herbivorous or omnivorous.
- If you want your planet to be themed, you can create Sporecasts, a collection of themed creations you can call upon to propagate your planet (e.g. "Star Wars" or Muppets). Vu did not provide details on how it works, but we did talk about searching for themed creations using the Sporepedia tag system. If you don't want to use the Sporecast system, you can also let the game automagically add life to your planet.
- While all camera shifts can be done via the mouse, you might find it helpful to know that the arrow keys and page up/down also work to change your perspective.
- You can add accessories to outfit your characters -- hats, grass skirts, tribal masks, etc. They all share the same color scheme as your creature and they add to your complexity.
- Vu said how your creature is built determines the tools it will have at its disposal; the accessories, however, will always be the same.