Over at VentureBeat you will see a new interview with Lucy Bradshaw on the development of Spore. Many great questions were asked.
VB: How far along was Spore when you joined it?
LB: I finished up The Sims 2. Will was finishing The Sims Online. Then I came onto Spore when it was ten people. Will was building prototypes, shaping the scope of the project. Most of the work had been done on what the creators would do and whether we could do the procedural animations, [which are animations that are not scripted and are really driven by interaction of the characters with the environment.] To be honest, [programmer] Chris Hecker was just beginning to think about how to do the procedural animations. We didn’t know if we could get the underlying technology done.