“There were technical issues in Spore that we had to solve, and that required a fair amount of computing power,” he said. “We couldn’t have built this game five years ago. So we were definitely looking at a lot of increases – not just in terms of computing power, but in terms of software complexity as well. We developed a lot of interesting algorithms for Spore that didn’t exist before. We had to teach the computer to do a lot of the art – stuff like animation and texturing that normally are done by human professionals.

“Artists on my team were all Maya users and were really excited that once they started using the editor they could achieve the same sort of results that they could in Maya with about one-tenth the pain.

“What happens when you give a tool with almost the power of Maya to a five-year-old? Some of the things that come out of a five-year-olds’ imagination are really amazing compared to what comes out of an adult’s imagination. To me that’s the really interesting part.

Spore – Will Wright’s brave new universe