Gamer 2.0 has a new article on the innovation of Spore.
Spore’s compendium of choice is impressive. The game works behind the scenes, calculating outcomes like the vast algorithm of an AI, and spins the abstract idea of user control into something workable. The placement of mandibles or claws might determine whether a creature is a herbivore or a meat eater, whether it’s passive or aggressive, and this in turn governs a subset of behavioral patterns. Come to a planet in peace and you might be celebrated. Come to a planet with ill intensions and you might very well be thrust upon the vitriol of others and destroyed. This might seem obvious. But as more and more binary components are assembled, the game moves beyond a simple binary choice, and this vast gradient becomes something much more complex and integrated. It starts reflecting life itself, and in the way we see gravity as a simple concept despite its vast computational underpinnings, Will Wright so effortlessly distills the complex into an array of easy to digest options.