Gamers, start your tentacles! Today is the day that Electronic Arts releases the long awaited, first step of the Spore evolution: Spore Creature Creator. For the uninitiated, Spore is a single-player, simulation game where you manipulate the evolution of an entire species of creatures from single-cell organisms through the development of civilization and even onto deep-space exploration. It is the brainchild of Will Wright--the genius behind the Sims series of game titles. Spore has been referred to as "Sim Everything" or even "Sim Life."
Available today for both PC and Mac, the Spore Creature Creator is a stand-alone product and creativity toy box where players create their own unique creatures, bring them to life with entertaining animations, and share them online with friends around the world.
The idea is to experiment with creature creation now, so that once the full game, Spore, is released on September 7th, gamers will be all set to inject their creations into the Spore universe to "create and evolve life, establish tribes, build civilizations, sculpt entire worlds and explore a universe filled with creations made by other gamers." While Spore will be a single-player game, players will be able to interact with the creations of other gamers.
In the meantime, gamers are encouraged to share their creature creations with other lifeforms players through a variety of venues, such as EA's Sporepedia, YouTube, and Zazzle.
There will actually be several versions of Spore Creature Creator available. Both Windows and Mac users can download free demo versions here. "The free demo version of Spore Creature Creator gives you all the creature-sharing abilities and access to 25 percent of the creature-making parts of Spore."
If you want access to all of the creature-making components as well the connectivity functionality (e-mail and YouTube uploads), you'll need the full version, which sells for $9.95 and won't actually be available until tomorrow (June, 18) via direct download from EA's site and via a plethora of online and retail outlets.
Curiously, there will be yet another version of Spore Creature Creator available to Hewlett-Packard owners: "Hewlett-Packard computers will be available pre-loaded with Spore Creature Creator soon. If you have a Hewlett-Packard computer already, you can get this special version of Spore Creature Creator via your WildTangent software. This version gives you all the creature-sharing abilities and access to 50 percent of the creature-making parts of Spore."
Expect to see a steady invasion of user-created Spore creatures on YouTube, Zazzle, and probably via many users' avatars. We're waiting for the Spore Creature Creation Beauty pageant.