Number of creatures in “Spore” database exceeds number of known real species.

I’m just guessing here, but I think that Will Wright and Maxis just maybe, possibly, probably, might have a wee hit on their hands when Spore is released this September:

AFP: ‘Spore’ computer game’s alien population exploding

“I was really hoping we’d get 100,000 creatures by September and a million by the end of the year,” Wright said Monday while demonstrating “Spore” on the eve of the Electronic Entertainment Expo video game trade show in Los Angeles.

“We hit 100K in 22 hours and a million by the end of the first week. The numbers are just blowing us away.”

A week ago, the number of creatures in the “Spore” database exceeded the number of known species on Earth.

“It took them 18 days to reach the number of creatures on Earth and, by some accounts, it took God six days,” Wright joked during a presentation onstage at the vintage Orpheum Theater.

I have to admit that I’m impressed with the variety of things people have managed to make using the Creature Creator so far. So is Will Wright who presented his favorites at this just past E3. Everything from a recreation of the Companion Cube from Portal to chairs, airplanes ships, and passable humanoids. The last being particularly impressive given they intentionally designed the Creator Creator to discourage human looking critters.

Me, I’ve yet to design something I’ve not wiped out with my godly hand because I wasn’t happy with it. Whereas my wife, being the amazingly creative person that she is, already has a growing library of critters ready for when the game is released. Considering that she’s only using the demo and not the full $10 version of the Creator makes the variety of her designs so far that much more impressive.

Videos of “Spore” creatures are up on YouTube. Also Sporepedia is up.

While the game itself won’t be out until September, the creature creator will be released on June 17th. The folks at Maxis have already given it to some folks to try out including a bunch of celebrities that are competing to win money for a charity of their choice by designing a cool creature. Already there are some very interesting designs showing up on the Official Spore YouTube channel. Here are some of my favorites:

As you can see, the variations in form are pretty impressive and this doesn’t even include the editors for buildings and vehicles that the full game will come with.

They’ve also launched the Sporepedia which already has 739 creatures in it. This also shows off a wide range of forms, but is no substitute for seeing them in action. Can hardly wait for this game to come out.

The SecuROM implementation for “Spore” may not be so bad.

Steve over at the Gaming Steve blog caught up with the folks at Maxis about the shit storm that’s been ongoing since word came out that Spore would be using SecuROM DRM.  From the sounds of it Maxis plans to try and make the SecuROM as unobtrusive as possible:

Hey Spore Fans –

We wanted to let you know that we’ve been hearing your concerns about the online authentication mentioned earlier this week. I didn’t want to head into the weekend without getting back to you with some information about how Spore is planning on using this new system.

A few things we wanted you to know:

  • We authenticate your game online when you install and launch it the first time.
  • We’ll re-authenticate when a player uses online features, downloads new content or a patch for their game.
  • The new system means you don’t have to play with the disc in your computer. And if you are like me, always losing discs, this will be a huge benefit.
  • You’ll still be able to install and play on multiple computers.
  • You can play offline. 

We do hope that players will play online – sharing creatures, buildings and vehicles with other players is something that is unique to Spore and one of the coolest features of the game. Every day, when I play the Creature Stage, I get to see wacky and awesome new creatures from my Buddies on the team coming over the hill at me and I can’t wait to see what happens when our creative, passionate community starts sharing their creations.

I’d love to write more – but I need to get back to work. We’ve got a game to finish. grin


I’m still not happy about it, but if they limit the authentications to when the player is getting downloadable content/patches and it doesn’t stop legitimate applications (read: Process Explorer) from running then I may be able to live with it. Mass Effect is still out of the question though.

“The Sims 3” teaser website is up.

The next sequel to the best selling PC game of all time has been announced by the folks at Electronic Arts with a new The Sims 3 Teaser Website. There’s not much there at the moment, but they promise all will be revealed on March 19th.

If you can’t wait that long and happen to be a subscriber to Games for Windows: The Official Magazine then you can check out the 12 page preview they have. It’ll hit newsstands soon, but the folks at managed to snag a sneak peek:

The biggest change to The Sims 3 is that it takes place in a wide-open, constantly changing neighborhood—a much bigger sandbox, if you will, and a much more complex simulation. The town and park you see on the cover image to the right (click to enlarge) exist in the same seamless space as your Sims’ household, and what you do outside your home now matters as much as what you do within. (Yes, previous expansion packs added out-and-about activities, but they were always separate sub-games. Here, everything’s completely integrated.) The game also sees a major shift in how Sims’ motives are handled: Individual meters indicating bladder and sleep-deprivation levels are replaced by a new system of discrete moods, the aim being to get players off the treadmill of fulfilling primal eat-sleep-pee-repeat requirements so they can focus more on, well, going out on the brand new town.

Sounds like the game is getting a major overhaul and will lose that weird time-warp effect that going into the other areas induced (the time of day when you left the house would be the same when you returned no matter how many days you spent in town or wherever). The removal of having to tend to every basic need should be a nice change as well. The first two games were regularly played in our household so I’ll be checking things out on the new website come the 19th.