Surely at the top of most gamers' fantasy dinner party invitation list, Sims creator Will Wright delivered a typically engaging and esoteric presentation at Comic Con 2008 this week, while performing an extensive demo of Spore that thrilled a packed house.
Alluding to the vast scale of his evolution sim, Wright revealed that the universe within Spore is so large and heavily populated with worlds that you could "play the game for your entire life and never visit everywhere". We're sure some of you will try anyway.
Wright began the hour-long session at the San Diego event with a fast-paced speech taking in the history of creative media and explaining how his early obsessions with science fiction and space exploration ultimately led to the creation of Spore.
With Spore, Wright noted that his starting point was the question: "how do we deconstruct the universe?" Answers on a postcard. The game, which takes players on a journey from the creation of single-celled life to a galaxy-conquering space age, has real-world science and major contemporary issues at its core.
And Wright believes games have a fundamental role in helping people to understand the sciences, which are generally handled in a "dull" way. Spore, he said, was in part about "taking all sciences and bringing them down into interactive toys".
Wright added that while many games make you "a Luke Skywalker or Frodo Baggins", Spore "puts you in the role of Lucas or Tolkien", with an entire universe to toy with.
Expanding on what he revealed during EA's E3 conference, Wright said that Spore: Creature Creator players have now created a staggering 2,124,343 unique creatures, up from the 1,756,869 figure announced at E3. He added that 14,000 videos had been uploaded onto YouTube via the title's dedicated sharing tool. Tom made a Rococo McSpuffers.
Wright also showed off MashOn, an in-game tool that allows users to create their own Spore comic books using still images or embedded video, talking up the evolution of videogames in general as "tools of self-expression". The comic-obsessed crowd, somewhat unsurprisingly, voiced its approval.
To further cheers and gasps, Wright demoed the game live, showing off the advance from the Civilization phase to space-faring, offering a glimpse at the range of possibilities the game will offer, including a space ship building tool that creates "in a few mouse clicks" what it would usually take artists "days or weeks" to achieve.
Spore is due out on PC in Europe on 7th September. Stay tuned for some very special coverage on the game on Eurogamer soon.
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