Spore. The long-awaited new creation of Will Wright, who brought us the wonderful world of The Sims. However, instead of people, the player will be creating their very own creatures to use to interact with the world. EA has recently released the Creature Creator in anticipation of Spore, and players can see the full number of possibilities in customization as well as how the final finished creature will walk, roar and... dance?
The first thing on the list of creation is the body. Loading up the Creator, Spore presents the player with a preformed body shape. The player can then lengthen or shorten the spine, make certain areas more bulbous or skinny and, of course, change the shape of the spine. Once the desired shape is found, it is not set in stone. What is always nice about the customization of Will Wright's games is that it is always customizable. Added a bunch of eyeballs and realized you need a bigger head? No problem! You are just a mouse-wheel away from having that giant floppy head you've always wanted for your creature.
What is great about Spore is the (near) full customization. The game allows for the addition of almost as many arms, legs, eyes, horns, wings ... as you could ever want. As your creature becomes more complex, a genetic tracker on the top of the screen lets you know that you're nearing the capacity of the creature. Also, each part of the body adds different attributes and skills to the creature such as different calls and ability to attract a mate. By "near" full customization, the game is lacking in colouring the creatures. The player cannot pick different colours for each body part which does, scientifically, make sense (I suppose!), but instead can pick either a prearranged colour pattern or can pick a base colour, top colour, and finally patterns. It would, however, be nice for the game to allow the player to pick colours of horns, wings, or other little bits that have been added to the creature.
Once the creature is complete, it can be named and saved to be uploaded to the Sporepedia, a database of all creatures created in Spore. This will enable players to use other creatures or get new ideas to tweak their own. Now what would be the point of creating a creature without seeing what it does? The final "stage" of the Creature Creator allows the player to control the creature, seeing how it moves, calls, waves and even dances. The Spore engine has fantastic physics so that how the creature is built directly effects how it moves and interacts with the environment.
The Spore Creature Creator is a lot fun to play around with, giving the public a little taste of what the Spore engine is capable of and the near limitless possibilities of creatures able to be created. The Creator does its job well in furthering the hype of what promises to be an exciting and revolutionary game.