MTV Multiplayer posted a short snippet from Eric Grundstrom of Maxis Spore presentation at the GDC.

Maxis’ Eric Grundstrom representing Artificial intelligence development on “Spore” during an AI Post-Mortem at GDC 2009:

Something that didn’t work: Maxis wanted all of the game’s simulations to stack, so that, even when the player is in Space Stage, they could zoom in to any planet and see the complex food-collecting behaviors of the Tribe Stage or, the grouping behaviors of the Creature Stage. They abandoned this goal as too unwieldy.

Something that worked: The developers originally thought the game would be species vs. species, but changed that dynamic early to player vs. environment — one vs. many, allowing the player a greater sense of control and better player understanding of the simulations around them.