One of the coolest features for Spore gamers is the ability to create their own creatures. Now, anyone can assemble aliens through a new site set up by Electronic Arts.
Spore Creature Creator 2-D, released Wednesday, lets you conjure up and animate your own creatures using an assortment of eyes, arms, feet, horns, and various unidentifiable body parts.
Produced by EA's Maxis studio, the Flash-based game starts with a large egg cracking open to reveal a simple alien body that you mold online like a lump of clay. Thin, fat, long, or short--you devise your creature's basic shape. Then it's time to build your baby with the right parts.
Choosing from such categories as mouths, limbs, and graspers, just drag your favorite body parts onto your creature to evolve it from a formless blob into a fully-functioning whatever. The game helps you along, directing you to drop the parts in all the right places. You can bend and resize many of the parts, giving your creature big eyes and a small mouth or long legs and stubby feet. You can also add a splash of paint by choosing from a wide palette of colors.
As you develop your creation, it takes on life by showing off its animated parts, such as a mouth that opens and closes, eyes that blink, and graspers that try to grasp. If you're in a hostile mood, you can even add weapons, like the Problem-Solvent that sprays solvent, the Hockitlauncher that spits out water, or the Phlegmthrower that shoots, uh, well, you get the idea.
If you need a helping hand, you don't have to build your creature from scratch. Spore Creature Creator 2-D lets you tap into the Sporepedia, an online gallery of creatures designed by Maxis developers and other Spore gamers. Simply load one of the pre-existing creatures and then tweak it to assemble a totally new organism.
Once you're done, it's time to name and describe your creature. You can then take it for a workout in the Creature Trainer arena, where you move it around the screen to catch bouncing balls with its mouth, hands, or other parts.
If you're proud of your new creation, you can e-mail a postcard image of it to a friend or save it as a PNG file for your own picture gallery or Web site.
A variety of Spore masterpieces are viewable at the Sporepedia Web site. And for all you budding Spore artists, Maxis is offering a Creature Creator challenge. Recreate one of your favorite Spore creatures using Creature Creator 2-D for a chance to be featured on Spore.com.
Caryl Shaw, a senior producer at Maxis who helped bring Spore Creature Creator 2-D to life, told me the game came about because Maxis wanted to make Spore more accessible and let anyone with a Web browser experience the same creativity that Spore gamers enjoy. As one of the most popular features of Spore, the Creature Creator seemed a natural.… Read more