Once we were satisfied with lil' Sporky, we went into "test drive" mode, where we could walk the creature around various backgrounds and click icons to cue various in-game actions, such as roaring, jumping, emoting, and various dances. We took the opportunity to click a camera icon to snap photos while it acted out our commands, as well as a film camera for recording video of it in the act (clicking "stop," we were asked whether we wanted to upload the video directly to YouTube
. We even used the "create an animated avatar" option, just 'cause. Having tooled around with the various features, we saved Sporky to the Sporepedia for all of Maxis to share.
Sporky was a cutesy omnivore. We decided our next creation, "Hombre X", would not be. We set out to make this one all mean. The result was something with pincers, stringers, wings, and a slight resemblance to Space Ghost
. EA/Maxis rep April Jones jumped in to point out some gameplay-affecting differences with this thing of our own malicious making.
For one, she said, our decision to go with mandibles instead of hands would mean Hombre X would be able to eat food at ground-level with his pincer mouth, but not reach higher fruit and the like since he had no hands in which to hold it. Jones was quick to point out, however, that it was hard to make a creature that just "didn't work" – every little design decision would simply affect how the game played. She recommended adding eyes to his rear end so he could spot hostile creatures attempting to sneak up on him.
"The limitations on creativity are virtually nil."
At the end of the day, we came away from our experience highly impressed by what is just a small part of the Spore
experience. It was evident from only the selection of Maxis creations accessible via the Sporepedia that the limitations on creativity are virtually nil.
As we left, Jones reiterated the team's hopes that even non-gamers will pick up the Creature Creature purely for the sake of being creative, and sharing what they've made with others – who, like them, may or may not be playing Spore either. Given our urge to keep concocting new creatures well into the wee hours – with ease – we can actually see this happening. We can also see these "non-gamers" eventually making the jump into Spore
proper simply out of a desire to see what their creatures can really do "in the wild," as it were.
Spore is being developed by Will Wright's Maxis, part of Electronic Arts. Get to know the company with our EA Family Album.