SporeJeremy Parish, From 1up.Com
What do you do when you’ve created the most popular PC game of all time? If you’re Sims designer Will Wright, you set your sights even higher. His latest project is a game about the past and the future, the evolution of life, and the development of intergalactic civilization. It’s a game that pays tribute to Wright’s favorite titles while blending their diverse concepts into a single cohesive whole. Entitled Spore, it spans the rise of a spacefaring civilization, right from its humble beginnings in the primordial soup.
Spore touches upon a wide array of gameplay concepts as the action evolves alongside the player’s creature. “It features a wide variety of game types as a sort of homage to my favorite games,” says Wright. Six different gameplay themes have been revealed: tide pool, evolution, tribal, city, civilization, and invasion. Each of these modes draws upon different influences while remaining stylistically consistent with the rest of the game.
The player’s imagination becomes an integral part of his or her game...as well as a part of other players’ experiences. Spore makes use of online connectivity to share each player’s creations with a central database while simultaneously retrieving other players’ work to help populate individual game worlds. The game’s community is an essential element of the overall experience; though the networked aspect of the title is asynchronous—that is, no simultaneous multiplayer—other gamers will influence each player’s experience in many ways. Each player’s game environment will feature creatures, structures, vehicles, and ultimately entire worlds created by his or her peers and exchanged seamlessly over the Internet.
Given the popularity of The Sims and the impressive level of polish and humor customary in Wright’s work, Spore has amazing potential to become every bit as huge as its predecessor. Its ambitious design will allow it to take advantage of whatever success it achieves—the more people who play and create, the more variety other users will experience.
WPUBLISHER: EA DEVELOPER: MAXIS GENRE: SIMULATION RELEASE DATE: TBA
Copyright © 2005 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Computer Gaming World.