Space Oddity was lucky enough to catch Chaim Gingold for an interview while he was in town. He’s one of the key people responsible for creating the many editors you see in Spore.
Chaim started working on Spore round about 2002, as an intern, making lots of prototypes. Originally there were more prototype developers working on it in those days, but for a bit it was only he and Will Wright. The others were asked to help finish The Sims Online.
Working on the editor meant working closely with Chris Hecker, who did much of the original procedural mesh and animation work. It was very much a design target to let playing with the creatures be a game in itself. In the beginning there was no clearly defined spine, just bones. It proved to be too difficult for both the player and the mesh/animation systems to understand what was what, and this is how the current spine based blob as the anchor was introduced. He also learned a lot from what the human animators did to make interesting characters. Understandably much of what they do is unconscious and he worked on forcing these out in to the open by relentlessly asking why they did what they did.