Spore: Creature Video Rampage

I'll have you.
We’re a week away from the Spore Creature Creator crawling from the sea of development onto the rocky beach of the marketplace. And it seems some people have it already, as the Spore user video channel is starting to recieve little videos of people’s monstrous beasts. By my count, nineteen in the last day. No phallus-footage yet, but glancing over these first few births is getting me urge to get demiurgic.

Videos of a few of the best, with some theorising what ecological niche they’d fill beneath the cut. I have to use my Biology degree for something, y’know.

With an enormous bulbous, apparently gas-filled head perched on top of a precariously tiny neck and an ill-gaited, humanoid body, it’s difficult to imagine how such a creature could survive. I suspect that’s the trick – the head is some kind of decoy, and if a predator sinks its teeth into it, it explodes, scaring away the beast, allowing the surviving part to scuttle away to survive until the next predator arrives and eats it.

This has a somewhat unusual walking aparatus. As well as two forearms, its two main legs are subdivided into what appear to be four smaller legs. Closer examinations reveals that the legs aren’t actually motile – in other words, they’re mere supporting podia. This makes me theorise they aren’t legs – merely toes. This makes me suspect the creature evolved to frustrate and bewilder the makers of shoes. Admitedly, my theory has been critiqued strongly by other biologists, who claim it’s “Cobblers”.

Complete with enormous antlers, this is fearsome if somewhat gangly bipedal beast. There’s one interesting thing – at 0:55 he throws a punch, despite the fact he has these over-developed antlers. This makes me suspect what were once a weapon for the species got involved in an out-of-control Red Queen Sexual Selection situation, and grew to become impractical. However, due to the aforementioned sexual selection, there was no easy way turn back to an earlier state – to that end, alternative fighting mechanisms are developing, in this case involving limbs which I’d imagine were previously used for foraging or perhaps were some kind of proto-nipple.

Frankly, this is disturbing and should be killed if encountered.

A large blue beast with vestigial wings. A distinctly unintelligent face mixes with some quite fearsome claws makes me suspect this is some manner of deceit. You think it’s a bit stupid, and then it tears you apart. That it’s been designed to induce this impression in the human mind, to my mind, implies some kind of co-evolution alongside human beings to utilise this quirk of our psychology – in other words, its nature has made it to kill you and then feed you to its child, also pictured. Don’t trust it. In the end, it’s us or them.

Probably worth stressing my Biology degree was weighted towards genetics and evolution rather than anything zoological that’d be relevant..

From this site

35 Comments

  1. a-scale says:

    If I didn’t know otherwise I would swear the sounds from the first clip came directly from Black and White.

  2. Phil says:

    Something with a circular spine and dozens of hungry mouths lining it’s exterior rim would be cool. It could feed by rolling those smaller than itself, like in Critters 2.

    God, I can’t wait for the full game.

  3. greeneggsnsam says:

    a-scale:

    I noticed that too. Sounds like all the voices of the animals from B&W were taken and pasted into one long audio clip for the creature.

  4. Yhancik says:

    And what about this one ?

  5. Jonathan says:

    *Squawk* Polly shouldn’t be! Polly shouldn’t be!

    I hope you get to alter or import your own sound because bizarre freaks of technicolour shouldn’t sound like a small chimp. Or a crap lion.

  6. cyrenic says:

    a-scale and greeneggsnsam:

    There’s only one ridiculously-overhyped-creature-game sound library out there, so they just have to make due with what they have.

  7. Arnulf says:

    Apparently they used the same sound FX disc Lionhead used for their creatures in Black & White.

    Apart from that….. Creepy!

  8. The_B says:

    Are these public made beasts, or internal staff ones? I only ask as I want to play already! :(

  9. roBurky says:

    I think that last one has clearly evolved its claws to better suit the riding of motorbikes.

  10. Andy Simpson says:

    We have a joke at the university I go to: Biology? Pfft, that isn’t a real science!

    The funniest part is that my girlfriend has actually started to believe this joke, and is surprised when anyone actually thinks biology is hard.

    Definitely looking forward to this being released!

  11. Br4v0 says:

    I read on one of the things that these might be the Maxis developers testing the Spore Youtube uploader tool?

    I dunno, either way, i’m jealous of whoever made these.

  12. Five says:

    Here you can see all of the submitted creatures so far, including a wonderful Eye of the Beholder.

    What’s even more interesting is that you can download them and import them into the Creature Creator. The save files for each of them is just a .png picture of the creature, so the creator must be able to recreate the creature just from that image…

  13. Acosta says:

    This game is going to be so awesome. I can’t wait to create my cthulhu like specie and become a dark force that dominates the universe in mysterious ways.

  14. Abe says:

    God, this looks like fun.

  15. Ratty says:

    Five:
    I sincerely doubt anything could be reconstructed from the tiny png files currently on offer. Chances are they’re not letting anyone get those files till the editor is out.

  16. Five says:

    Ratty: Well thats what it says in the tip box on the left

    Mind you, mabye it just querys the spore server with the filename, and then retrieves the monster based on that?

  17. Theory says:

    I sincerely doubt anything could be reconstructed from the tiny png files currently on offer. Chances are they’re not letting anyone get those files till the editor is out.

    The creates are embedded in the files, actually. That’s how small they compact down to.

  18. Jonathan says:

    It goes without saying I will build a creature based around our God’s own image.

    link to farm3.static.flickr.com

    I still have no idea how the game works but I think just playing with magic clay and watching it animate itself should be worth the price of admission.

  19. Gap Gen says:

    The game of the shadowy Intelligent Design cabal? Or a counter-argument to its insidious educational poison? You decide!

  20. Forth says:

    It’s basically biological Lego with the advantage of not stepping on small sharp plastic pieces in the dark. It therefore inherently achieves a certain level of awesomeness.

    My concern is whether the game side of things will live up to the creating cute/wobbly/obscene monsters part.

    Well, that and the sheer number of Freudian nightmares that are sure to pop up. Do we really want to be battling against six-foot purple penises of doom?

  21. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    That last one sounded like a RancorTuskenDonkeyWolf.

  22. James G says:

    Ahh, Kieron, I never realised you did a biology degree. I finished mine (Also specialised in genetics, both evolutionary and molecular) three years ago to the day. I stayed in the science track (and am currently struggling toward a PhD) however, but always find it somewhat comforting when I hear of people with a more Sciencey background who have ended up in other careers that also have an appeal to me. When my experiments haven’t worked for the umpteenth time its nice to have alternative career paths to day dream about. (Whether I actually have the necessary skills to make such a career move is, however, another matter.)

  23. TychoCelchuuu says:

    Yhancik: This is what I see in my dreams when I eat too many Cheetos before bed.

  24. Riotpoll says:

    @Yhancik; that giant wotsit is made of win.

  25. Discosauce says:

    Acosta:
    I was thinking of how exactly to make a Great One and or Shoggoth.

  26. Leelad says:

    I think i’m more worried about what will fill my “want gland” ™ when I actually get this, it’s going to be another appendix, I’m sure.

    They need to announce spore 2, minutes before this is released to prevent mass deaths from underused and infected “want glands” ™

  27. Stuk says:

    Adobe Illustrator stores all of its information in png files as well.

    This is possible because the png file format is made up of “chunks”. Each chunk has an ID, of which several are reserved for storing image data. If the renderer (eg. your browser) comes across a chunk with an ID it doesn’t recognise, then it just ignores it.
    Programs can then store whatever data they want in chunks by using a unique ID.

    And the files are so small because they just store information on how to generate the creature, not the actual textures and 3D model. Does anyone remember .kkrieger?

    /end lesson
    source: link to libpng.org

  28. Aidan says:

    The problem I still see with Spore is that everything always works (or so it seems)

  29. Cooper says:

    Problem? Surely that’s the point?

  30. terry says:

    My flirtacious interest in this game has evolved into a throbbing desire (with an unreasonable centre of gravity).

  31. Caiman says:

    Gah, they should have asked some real zoologists to send them some sound files. I have plenty of great croc ones. Also, as one of the extremely rare zoologists out there who actually works as a zoologist AND plays silly computer games, I’m curious how many others of my genus this game will bring out of the woodwork…

  32. Noc says:

    Aidan: I hear you. What I was kind of looking forward to would be something that actually presents design issues: which creature designs would me more effective? Which would look impressive, but wouldn’t be?

    I was even kind of hoping that the evolution angle would let me winnow off less effective variants and explore the effects of mutations. A Sim Everything more in the vein of Sim City: Darwin than the The Sims: Alien Madness!

    It still looks neat, but it’s just a different game from what my ideal one would be.

  33. terry says:

    I am getting the impression of an evolution based “The Sims” (level up relentlessly then bask in the complete lack of anything to do at high levels), I realise this strikes horror into most people’s souls but I’ll wager more than your standard gamer demographic group will end up buying it.

    If it has half the depth of Simant (which seems to be what the galaxy concept is based on) I will be chuffed to bits.

    Edit: for clarity