: Photo: Jim Merithew/Wired.com EMERYVILLE, California -- Spore is an ambitious game, years in the making, from Sims designer Will Wright. It lets players create creatures, then influence the beasties' evolution from single-celled organisms to space-exploring monsters.
Wired.com got a look at Spore's Creature Creator component, which will let players design the beings they'll interact with and share with the world, during a Tuesday night press event at Electronic Arts' Maxis Studios. Aside from the official presentation, an array of cardboard cutouts, colorful posters and other items spied in the Maxis offices all hinted at things to come when Creature Creator is released June 17.
Spore is scheduled for a Sept. 7 release
One of the many brutes greeting us at the door as we trickled into the EA office Tuesday evening -- the yellow chap made of cardboard, not the Maxis employee. Both were probably amused at the horde of journalists stumbling about their office space.
: Photo: Jim Merithew/Wired.com If this bulbous monstrosity is any indication of things to come, the Creature Creator will not be for the faint of heart. That gaping maw, those cold, vacant eyes ... surely the spine-chilling product of some severely twisted imagination. Or promo material for Electronic Arts' The Simpsons Game.
: Photo: Jim Merithew/Wired.com Spore invades Earth! Community is central to the game's experience, with a great deal of the content spewing from the minds of those who get their hands on the Creature Creator. This poster, spotted on a wall at Maxis, offers a time line of events past and things to come in the Spore development cycle, and provides insight into the ideas driving the creative process.
: Photo: Jim Merithew/Wired.com An onsite 3-D printer crafts little ceramic models of creatures that the folks at Maxis have been coming up with. Eventually, the Spore Store will offer the option to have a model of your own little monster created and shipped to you.
: Photo: Jim Merithew/Wired.com A sneak peek at possible planet sketches for the final game. Only the Creature Creator was revealed during Tuesday's press event, but hints and glimpses of the full experience were strewn about the Maxis office.
: Photo: Jim Merithew/Wired.com This poster, tacked on a wall in the Maxis office, offers suggestions of the evolution or growth of a particular creature. Details about Spore were sparse, but you will be able to guide your very own creation from its first cell, to shambling beast, and finally through the air and to the stars.
: Photo: Jim Merithew/Wired.com Spore will ship with the Creature Creator, a Vehicle Creator (for land, sea, air and space) and a Building Creator, says executive producer Lucy Bradshaw (pictured). Players can tinker with these tools and share their creations with other members of the Spore community. Mac and PC versions of the game will be released simultaneously, and players can swap and share with whomever they like, regardless of the operating system they use.
: Photo: Jim Merithew/Wired.com Here's a tip: Your creature's "front" faces toward the arrow on the podium on which it stands. Be sure to orient your camera in the right direction -- or not. A pair of eyes on either end might lend your creation an extra advantage.
: Photo: Jim Merithew/Wired.com Once you're facing in the right direction (or not, depending on the look you're going for), you're free to add all manner of limbs and details to your creation, and morph them as you please. The mouse wheel scales the size of body parts, so if you're into large feet and small hands, your dream date will be ready in minutes.
: Photo: Jim Merithew/Wired.com Legs are optional, as this wheeled chap illustrates. The limbs you tack on to your creature will affect various stats, helping or hindering your speed, attack power, dancing ability and more. This particular monster may not be able to bust a move, but those teeth and claws probably aren't built for hugging.
: Photo: Jim Merithew/Wired.com With the Creature Creator offering complete control over bone structure, body morphing and limbs -- plus a robust color palette -- it's impossible to predict what the Spore community will come up with as players create content before the game's September launch. There should be enough claws and scaly beasts to go around (like this Toucan Sam on Wheaties, for example), but there will probably be plenty of cuddly creations, too.
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