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Thursday, June 19, 2008

My Spiky-Sacked Dragon

posted by on June 19 at 15:28 PM

I just got back from a beautiful road trip down the Oregon coast and all the way into the Redwood National Forest in northern CA. First thing I do when I load the computer on my return? No, not load the zillions of amazing dune/forest/coast photos into Flickr. Didn’t answer a bunch of e-mails, either. Instead, I had to design critters on my computer.


This little dude is my first creation in the Spore Character Creator—note the spiky balls. You might’ve heard of Spore—the “Sims meets evolution” game from Sims creator Will Wright, set for release in September, that has been as hyped as it’s been lamented. You follow a creature’s entire existence—from its cellular stage all the way to where it, ahem, hops in a UFO and dominates the galaxy. I think. Still trying to make sense of the thing. Some worry that the game’s evolution concept won’t sell the way The Sims’ dollhouse play did; I was in that camp as well, but this teaser Character Creator thing has been amusing enough. Think digital Play-Doh that animates with realistic skeletal physics.

Whether or not this tinkering will amount to a great game is anybody’s guess. In the meantime, the free teaser is undoubtedly recommended. Snakes with feet? Blue monkeys with eight arms and no legs? Go to town by downloading the demo here. To unlock more creature “parts,” you can pony up $10, but I managed to create genitalia with the free version, so I’m gonna save my cash. Now it’s time to work up Spiky’s poor, poor mating partner.

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I have to upgrade my MacOS on my Intel Core Duo Mac Mini to get the Spore Creature Creator running.

Tried to remotely give tips to my son, but he's not used to hacking the files raw ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 19, 2008 3:44 PM

Searching for "Spore Penis" on YouTube will give you tons of pervy videos already. There are hundred of them.

Posted by JC | June 19, 2008 3:56 PM

This sounds fun. One of my favorite SNES games was always EVO: The Search for Eden. Evolution in video games kicks ass!

Posted by Jerod | June 19, 2008 4:16 PM

I am having so much fun with this. I'm one of those people who have been really excited for Spore, and this is finally starting to quench my lust for the game.

Posted by Patrick | June 19, 2008 4:19 PM

How in the world is this Sims-meets-evolution? This is Sims-meets-intelligent design. Propaganda, I tell you!

Posted by annie | June 19, 2008 4:19 PM

Seconded, annie.

Posted by Jonathan Golob | June 19, 2008 4:26 PM

I'm designing a Kung Fu Panda with an evolutionary desire to eat couscous.


Posted by Will in Seattle | June 19, 2008 5:12 PM

Worth noting that you can widen the body parts by moving the scroll wheel while hovering over them. Not all your guys have to be made of PVC.

Posted by Ignatz Ratzkeratzke | June 19, 2008 5:22 PM

@5 & 6 - You're right--at least in the case of this character creator deal. But the meat of the main game is that everyone's characters are shared over the Internet--popping up on everyone's PCs to battle, mate, and so on. I also believe eventual adaptation/mutation occurs, meaning your seven-legged monkeys could, over millions of years of gametime, evolve into seven-legged humans. So do we call it Sims-meets-polytheistic-creationism?

No. Don't even attempt higher discourse with this one... as @2 so obviously pointed out, it'd be best labeled as a land of bendy, walking dicks.

Posted by Sam M. | June 19, 2008 5:54 PM

Gah, that last bit was supposed to be linked:

Posted by Sam M. | June 19, 2008 6:00 PM

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