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Spore's Creature Creator has launched and scratches a creative itch many might not have known they had in the first place.

Posted by stenchy on Jun 19th, 2008

Spore's Creature Creator has launched, allowing people all over the globe to create the their own organisms in a seemingly inexhaustible array of configurations. With almost half a million creatures entered into the Sporepedia as of writing, it seems Spore could be the most content-rich game in history.

Hundreds of Spore creature videos litter Youtube, many which can be classified as Sporn — a term coined by the charismatic writers over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Phallic demons aside, it would appear that Spore scratches a creative itch many might not have known they had in the first place. It grants the the ability to birth a creation in minutes. Something that would take any talented artist the better part of a day —at the very least— to do using conventional methods. Still, I can't help but think that Spore's flexible editor might just be a starting point for many who want to delve deeper into the depths of user-generated content and mods.

Being and amateur animator and modeler myself, I was only temporarily sated with all the offerings of the creature creator. After creating my first few, I found myself wondering if users will be able to import custom body parts. Previous Sims titles have thrived on the ability to add in customized content even though the process was far more painful and unwieldy. This time around Spore relies heavily on procedurally generated data, so it's questionable whether or not it will be possible. Implementing something like it would boost the content options infinitely and the game would truly take on a life of its own.

So with games like Spore and Little Big Planet on the horizon, Do-it-yourself gaming is poised to be the next big thing. It may be a bit of a leap but nothing is more DIY, in gaming terms, than making your own mod. Games like Spore will turn others onto modding, people with a fresh perspective and a yearning to take their creativity to the next level. All I'll ask is, please be friendly when they do come around :)

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formerlyknownasMrCP Jun 19 2008, 10:06pm says:

Great article, and I full agree with you.

Don't forget we're also testing Spore to see how it will work out on ModDB, so check out my page because I've tried to see how it'll do. As most members are suggesting there needs to be a way of keeping it all under one roof, so mines an example of pretty much the need to control the content being put up on ModDB. As intense has stated he's more than happy for us to host on here, I've tried to ease the burden by linking right to the Sporepedia - which should make things a bit more flexible (its actually pretty cool how it all works seamlessly with Web2.0 content :D)

Comments on this would be great as we need to figure out how to cater for these new kind of modder.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Karuto Jun 19 2008, 10:41pm says:

Orange you glad I added this to the Games database? No one thought it would have its uses. XD

+1 vote     reply to comment
INtense! Staff
INtense! Jun 20 2008, 12:16am says:

You should add the bullfrog from HL that I made ;)

+3 votes   reply to comment
RogerRamjet Jun 20 2008, 12:35am says:

To me, the Spore created characters are no more "modding" than customisation of your character before starting "Oblivion"... Would it be weird if I made several versions of the start avatar and posted them up for people to see? Admittedly, it is a "little" more varied than that, but not by much... where is the line drawn between those who spend hours, days, months and years to learn how to model, texture, animate, code etc, to produce a "modification" to someone who uses a sandbox style tool set to whip up in an hour a bunch of computer generated aborations on a pre-defined fractal style framework? Just an opinion which asks a valid question...

+3 votes     reply to comment
formerlyknownasMrCP Jun 20 2008, 12:41am replied:

so wait you're saying that elitism is a good thing and that we should just shun anyone that can't afford/use 3DSmax? Modding was always a hobby thing. The difference between a Modder and someone using the Sandbox avatar generation is that a Modder actually has the opportunity to develop a career out of it.

Actually I would argue that if Zbrush can be considered a 3D modeler then Spore can too, they both exist on the same concept in that you are basically working with 3D clay.. so I don't see what the problem is really. I see a point in making a huge pack of content though that can be installed within 2 clicks - Spore won't have that ability because you either have to pick the content out one by one or get a whole load of content you clearly didn't want (like a giant *****).

So this is why I think ModDB is a better way of working with spore. Unless of course Sporepedia adapts and allows packages and more advanced Web2.0 functionality like ModDB.

+1 vote     reply to comment
RogerRamjet Jun 20 2008, 2:02am replied:

I think it comes down to skill and talent... it is not elitist, just trying to separate those who work hard to develop, to those who don't but want to be called hard working. Isn't that modding? Also, to use Zbrush you need skill and talent and it takes months if not years to produce anything decent from scratch, can you say the same about Sporn? To me it is like comparing Da vinci's masterful talent and works to a person who throws paint on the ground and calls it art, then wants be called an artist.

+2 votes     reply to comment
sepherchorde Jun 20 2008, 7:29am replied:

Actually, to be honest, you described elitism...

+2 votes     reply to comment
BunnyJen Jun 20 2008, 1:37am says:

I think I might experiment with this to use it as a first step in designing a creature...I think for a concept artist it would be interesting to use it as a first stepping stone and creating some interesting creature, then drawing it and expanding from that...sometimes it's quite hard to come up with original ideas or get inspiration, so this might be quite handy on some occasions.

+3 votes     reply to comment
formerlyknownasMrCP Jun 20 2008, 1:42am replied:

definitely. I actually used facegen at one point to come up with different looking faces, but then I found better references to use :D

Spore is going to be a great feature for drawing various objects.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Betelgeuze Jun 20 2008, 5:21am says:

Ok Spore is instant win! They started working on it with a goal; make it even more successful than the Sims and I think and I think they've hit the jackpot. This creature editor is only 10% of the full game will be and already thousands of people are addicted. The idea behind it is simple, yet brilliant, the creativity from the people using this is amazing and it’s just great to known your creations will be in other people’s games. This is the feeling only developers and modders got so far, but now everyone is able to feel the ‘magic’.

I think this is the best thing to 'modding/user creation' that happened to the industry in years. Gmod, now Spore and in the near future Little Big Planet, all of those titles are hitting the jackpot. This is the future, modding isn’t restricted to a small amount of people anymore.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Betelgeuze Jun 20 2008, 5:31am says:

Well it’s still a tool just like the tools we modders have been using for years. The difference is this tool is so easy use that everyone can work with it. Does that make it less 'modding'? Where do we draw the line exactly? Is modding based on how difficult the tools are to use?

I see that you make a link with character creation you see in lots of games but it’s different. It’s a lot more complex and flexible and the creations are used in other people’s games and not restricted to your own game.

It’s funny but interesting to see that the line between modding and character creation is becoming very vague

+1 vote     reply to comment
Lt_Veron Jun 20 2008, 5:37am says:

Was started to wondering if noone realy care about spore:3 enyway we should create a group(comunity) of sporefans around here.

+2 votes     reply to comment
broadsword Jun 20 2008, 8:35am says:

I'm not quite sure if your right. Still a great article.

+1 vote     reply to comment
ambershee Jun 20 2008, 11:49am says:

I completely disagree with this article. Spore is in no way a "gateway to modding". The creator creature is just a sandbox toy that you can save out your results with. It's as much a gateway to modding as people attaching balloons to chairs in GMod, or people making prefabs in Second Life. Playing with a toy like this, in no way prepares the user for modding, and probably will have even less effect on their desire to dabble deeper, unlike GMod and Second Life, which actually offer lower-level access, such as scripting or more complex endeavours.

+3 votes     reply to comment
kinesis916 Jun 20 2008, 3:17pm replied:

I think I have to generally agree with you. I don't really think that this is in anyway a gateway to modding as such. I think at the moment as I see it, the creature creator is simply a new snazzy tool for making stuff.

But it was a good article nonetheless.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Kingston Jun 20 2008, 3:42pm replied:

Agree. This article doesn't look like it was applied much logic to. I don't think Spore is going to be moddable, either. You won't be able to make new gamemodes and the like, for simple reasons like people getting the source code of their animation system.

+1 vote     reply to comment
PHi11Y Jul 4 2008, 9:19am replied:

Actually, the source code of the animation system wouldn't matter. Other than the fact their system's spot on, you give me a game that's got a big modding community where the original developers made source code available. Morrowind? Max Payne? Half Life 2 (damn, they even started the whole game & engine from scratch 'cause of the source leak)?

I actually see a lot of modding & hacking to be done with this game. I mean, it's by the same people who gave us the sims, which says two things. Expansion Packs, and community mods/addons. Remember, this isn't going to be an online game Take a look at modthesims2 and disagree with me.

+1 vote     reply to comment
BalLightning Oct 17 2008, 11:36pm says:

Here is a great list of Spore mods, which do change gameplay in the game.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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