MORE DARK THAN SHARK - FEATURE
"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
Tired of your planet? Build a new one as you embark on the most amazing journey ever. Spore is your own personal universe. In this universe, you can create and evolve life, establish tribes, build civilisations, and even sculpt entire worlds.
The Spore universe is made up up five stages, each corresponding to a stage of evolution: Cell, Creature, Tribal, Civilisation, and Space. Each stage presents different challenges and goals.
You begin life as a tiny cell, then you progress through the other stages on your journey to becoming a galactic god. As you progress to a new stage in one saved game, you unlock it for immediate access in subsequent games.
When you save your creation it is stored in the Sporepedia and accessible when you play any of the game stages.
In the Sporepedia, you can access and publish all your creations and review the creations published by othere Spore players around the world.
The game uses procedural music, meaning that what a player hears will develop and mutate along with their style of play. Iconic producer Brian Eno was brought in to provide much of these tracks.
According to Kent Jolly, audio director for Maxis/Electronic Arts, Eno understood the concept and was on board immediately. "In the first phone conversations with him, he really got the idea that the music was always changing, that it would be procedural, and he was really excited about it," Jolly said. "Within a week of talking to him, without having set up anything, he sent us a full CD or more of stuff, and some of it was made right then, not just things he found on his computer, which was pretty amazing."
There is some more traditional music in Spore (Jolly compares the Eno compositions to his 1983 album Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks), but those songs also mutate. Jolly hopes that Spore will open the door for more creativity and game-specific compositions. "I'm interested in the idea of games creating original music," he said. "It allows you to write interactive music in ways that are very difficult to do when you're licensing music. With licensing, you have a band who has already written a piece of music without having thought at all about the idea of games or interactivity in any way, and so unless you happen to have some particular thing going in your game - like a radio you can turn on - it's very difficult to make it blend into the action of the game and be responsive."
Selected Reviews: THE BEAT GOES ON: DYNAMIC MUSIC IN SPORE by Dave 'Fargo' Kosak, GameSpy FEBRUARY 2008 • THE MAGICAL WORLD OF "SPORE" by Blair Jackson, Mix SEPTEMBER 2008 • SPORE by Dave 'Fargo' Kosak, GameSpy SEPTEMBER 2008 • MUTATING ENO-PRODUCED "SPORE" SCORE REINVENTING GAME MUSIC by Chris Steffen, Rolling Stone SEPTEMBER 2008