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.

Will Wright interview with Newsweek’s game blog Level Up.

I was going to add this onto the Spore release date entry, but it was good enough that I thought it deserved it’s own entry:

Level Up : Exclusive: Will Wright Gives Level Up the Scoop On Why Spore Is Taking So Long to Get Right

At the tide pool level, the gameplay is 2-D, then the game moves into areas where the gameplay is 3-D. Maybe that’s a bit easier transition to make with a mouse and keyboard than with a console controller, but can you talk about some of the things that you did to overcome the difficulty of creating a unified control system that could easily transition the player from stage to stage?

Well, part of it is we wanted stuff that players learn in one stage to basically be their early tutorial for the next stage. Even when you’re in the 2-D cell stage, the way you learn to move and make your cell do things mirrors the next phase of the game where you’re actually in 3-D. So the controls, we’ll have them mapped that way. The editors—the same concepts that we use in the 3-D creature editor are still represented in the cell editor, but just in two dimensions. It’s the same language that the player learns for how to manipulate things.

Also, there are some kind of broad concepts that go across the whole game that came in fairly late, after we got a sense of the entire thing, having to do with how we show your pollinated content. Every time you make something in the game you get a card; it gets pollinated to our servers so that we can get it to other players. We had to give players kind of a way of understanding that system. That at any time in the game they can hit a button, bring up their browser and browse the entire universe of content. They can look at what their friends have made; they can subscribe to Sporecasts, they can make buddy lists; they can tag content. We took a lot of the dynamics we saw going on the Web—especially social networking sites—and tried use that language to convey to the players how this all works.

What is “pollinated content”?

Whenever you make something in the game, a very compressed representation gets sent to our servers. As you play the game our servers are continually sending you new content for your world to fill out your ecosystem; your galaxy; opponents; cities; vehicles; whatever-it’s being drawn from our database of content that other players have made.

Now, it’s also trying to pick stuff that’s appropriate for your game level. You don’t want kick-ass creatures killing you right at the very beginning of the creature game. But the player also has a lot of control over that stuff. I can make a buddy list, and it will try to put my buddy’s content in my universe at a higher priority. I can subscribe to Sporecasts, which are aggregations of content that players have decided to basically organize themselves. Also, when I get a card for a piece of content—whether it be mine or somebody else’s—at any time I can open that card and leave a comment on the card, and the person who made that content will get the comment. It’s like a guest book for every card. So the idea is that there’s going to be a running community discussion group based around the content where every piece of content is its own thread discussion. Then we add things like Flickr tagging of content and stuff like that so that people can search what is probably going to be a very large database of content.

We’ve put a lot of functions in because this is unknown territory for a game, this type of sharing of content. Yet looking at The Sims, that was the thing you know people enjoyed almost as much as the game itself—sitting there playing, organizing, collecting the stuff that other players were making for the game. For them, that actually became a good bit of the gameplay of the Sims: people aggravating, collecting, browsing, and then using that content for things like storytelling.

Sporecasts? How cool is that?! You can be damned certain I’ll have a Sporecast going once I get the game. Go read the whole thing. Lots of good stuff in it including how it’ll play on the Nintendo Wii.

“SPORE” set to hit stores on September 7th!

Will Wright’s new sim-everything game SPORE is the other game I’ve been most anticipating since I first learned of it. It seems like we’ve been waiting forever for this game and now the end is finally in sight. EA sent out a press release announcing that the release date will be the weekend of September 7th, 2008.

That puts it dangerously close to the traditional don’t-buy-anything-cause-you-might-get-it-for-Krismas period in our family, but I’m still happy to see a release date even if it means I might not actually get to play it until Krismas morning. All three of us are looking forward to this game so if nothing else it’ll make for three easy gift purchases in the coming year.

You can check out some new game play footage here. Full press release is after the jump.

Redwood City, CA – February 12, 2008 – Get ready for the next Big Bang this fall! Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) and Maxis today announced that Spore™, the highly anticipated game from the creators of The Sims™, will be available at retailers worldwide the weekend of September 7. Spore will be available for the PC, Macintosh, Nintendo DS™, and mobile phones.

“The wait is almost over,” said Maxis Chief Designer Will Wright. “We’re in our final stages of testing and polish with Spore, and the team at Maxis can’t wait to see the cosmos of content created by the community later this year.”

Spore gives players their own personal universe in a box. Create and evolve life, establish tribes, build civilizations, sculpt entire worlds and explore a universe created by other gamers. Spore gives players a wealth of creative tools to customize nearly every aspect of their universe: creatures, vehicles, buildings, and even UFOs. Players can then seamlessly share their creations with the world or explore infinite new galaxies created by other gamers.

Consumers can visit http://www.spore.com to sign up for the Spore newsletter or check out all-new screenshots and video of the game. Members of the media can visit EA’s press site at http://www.info.ea.com for information about all of EA’s games.

About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world’s leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers, cellular handsets and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTS™, EA™, EA SPORTS BIG™ and POGO™. In fiscal 2007, EA posted revenue of $3.09 billion and had 24 titles that sold more than one million copies. EA’s homepage and online game site is http://www.ea.com. More information about EA’s products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://www.info.ea.com.

EA, EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS BIG, POGO, The Sims and Spore are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Nintendo DS is a trademark of Nintendo. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

“Spore” should hit shelves sometime in April of 2008.

It seems Will Wright popped out of his hole in the ground, saw his shadow, and proclaimed that there’d be another 6 months to go before Spore is released:

We’re still not getting our hopes up too high, but we thought that you should know that Will Wright told the BBC’s Radio 5 Live that Spore was fully playable, in final testing and was “roughly” six months away from release. Considering that we already knew the game wasn’t due until at least April of 2008, this news doesn’t come as a huge surprise, signs have been pointing to Spring of 2008 for quite some time.

OK, I can do 6 months. Though it would’ve been really nice to get it as a Christmas present. Still, better it’s done right than by a particular date.

“Spore” hit by another delay. Will Wright just wants to torture me.

Seems today is the day for video game related entries, though this CVG news item ain’t a good one:

Game Informer has reported that Spore has been delayed past fiscal 08 into fiscal 09, leading to speculation that a few consoles versions might be in the offering due to extra time given to the game.

It wasn’t long ago that we reported that EA expected Spore to slip and miss its fiscal 2008 calendar year, which ends in March 2008. News is now emerging that the game looks certain to miss this period and fall further into the company’s next financial year.

Someone get the smelling salts, I think I’m having an attack of the vapors!

Nooooooo! “Spore” delayed until 2008.

I am so bummed to hear that Will Wright’s upcoming masterpiece Spore has been delayed until 2008.

Although no official release for Spore has been given by EA, it was expected to be available for Christmas 2007.

The news about Spore came during a quarterly earnings report from EA during which it issued a warning about future profits.

The company said it could no longer depend on profits from Spore in the financial year that ends in March 2008.

This means that Spore is unlikely to be on shop shelves until later in 2008.

Well this will give me more time to plan out the Planet of Stupid Evil Bastards ahead of time I suppose. Cause I’m so good at advanced planning and all…

This bad news brought to us via Boulder Dude.