Procedural Animation in Spore
So I fired up the Spore Creature Creator trial last night, which came out yesterday. Its a limited promotional demo for the game Spore, by EA Maxis, due to come out this Fall. It looks amazing, and is in position to revolutionize the way we make and play games in the future.
If you watch the demo video, you’ll see the game start from the smallest cell-based organism, and evolve to a space-faring race with the ability to explore and destroy planets. The most amazing thing about this game is that most of the content in it, the environments, creature animations, and even sounds, are all procedurally generated based on the user’s choices. What this means is that most of the game is created using math, and logic algorithms. So if you make a guy with 1 leg, it’ll hop around like it has 1 leg – no one made that animation, the game did it on its own based on the fact that he’s got 1 leg. Amazingly, this allows you to mix animations on the fly, creating tons of unique and entertaining experiences generated by the player.
I figured I will leave you off with a couple of my creatures that I made last night. The first, named Grassophod, is a sneaky little bugger that hides in tall grass and shoots a mild paralyzing poison out of his nose to catch prey.
The little guys around him are his babies
The second guy, named Ringo, is simply awesome. He’s got spikes on his elbows! I mean, what more do you want?