Spore is a video game under development by Maxis and designed by Will Wright. The game has drawn wide attention for its promise to simulate the development of a species on a galactic scope, using its innovation of user-guided evolution via the use of procedural generation for many of the components of the game, providing vast scope and open-ended gameplay. Spore was originally a working title, suggested by developer Ocean Quigley, for the game which was first referred to by the general public as SimEverything. Even though SimEverything was a first choice name for Wright, the title Spore stuck. The gameplay itself had numerous changes during development. The most striking was the shift in realism, from the gritty depiction of cellular and animal life in the GDC 2005 debut, to the current iteration of a more round, softer edged depiction of the creatures. The most visible change was in the cellular phase, which transformed the monocellular organisms into strange insects with cartoonish, human-like eyes, which were used “to make it cute,” according to Wright during the 2007 TED seminar. Even the HUD looks a bit different.
Another constantly changing aspect was the number of phases in the game. Initially, in 2005, the game consisted of six phases: Cellular, Underwater, Creature, City, Civilization, and Space. During the annual Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences DICE Summit on February 7, 2007, a slide was displayed which listed a total of eight phases, to which Molecular was added, and the Space phase split into Terraform and Galactic phases. The 2007 TED seminar in March 2007 displayed only five phases, removing the Molecular and City phases, and condensing the two last phases back into the single Space phase, making them two aspects within the unified phase once again. [Info from Wikipedia]
From the Spore Insider blog we can read various interesting posts about the changed that Spore went though the development, as the removed blood & Spice Farm, beta Galaxy design and the cuts in the The Aquatic Phase.
the Aquatic Phase, which is one of three gameplay phases which never made it into the base game, though Maxis has mentioned the possibility of it’s return in an expansion.
Originally you could have chosen to continue to the Tribal and City stages underwater, but this was later scrapped because of usability issues. Today, only a few traces of underwater life are still found in the game like the giant sea monster or the gatherable fish.
spice farming which was the old way you got resources in the Civilization stage. In the beta, ou were able to place buildings outside of the city walls. There was a seperate editor for farm buildings and another editor for farming vehicles, who’s purpose is unknown. Maxis then removed the farming aspect and remade the spice to reflect the real world more as an oil-like resource.
You can check the full articles at Spore Insider blog!
You can download the various beta builds of Spore at www.spore.com/comm/prototypes . As they say in their site: “Spore has been a huge undertaking. Along the way we ended up exploring countless design directions in gameplay, simulation and user interface. One of the ways in which we explore possible design directions is by building simple, playable prototypes that we can play around with to get a sense for a particular system. Usually these prototypes are never seen by the public, but we thought some of the more intrepid players out there might enjoy playing around with a few of our early Spore prototypes. Keep in mind these are not tested, supported or even easily explained.”
Here are a couple of videos from these protos:
Final style (beta HUD?):
Final style & HUD?:
Videos of the original look:
Videos of the new look: