The Evolution Of Spore

Spore, the computer game that allows you to create and evolve a universe of creatures, is finally available. The game's primary designer, Will Wright, is also the creator of the Sims series.

However, as Wright himself notes, there were others who went before him. One specific inspiration came from the 1965 story The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age; matchless writer Stanislaw Lem wrote about the kingdom in a box:

"... you gave him a whole civilization to rule and have dominion over forever?"

"You must be joking!" Trurl exclaimed. "Really, the whole kingdom fits into a box three feet by two by two and a half ... it's only a model..."
(Read much more about Lem's kingdom in a box)

Before that, in the 1940's, mathematician John Von Neumann (with the help of his friend Stanislaw Ulam) came up with the idea of cellular automata, a two-dimensional system for a kind of artificial life.

This work was the basis for a popular 1970's computer program (also popular with computer programmers and teachers) called the Game of Life. Using basic rules, simple "organisms" (mathematical shapes) could evolve or progress individually or in competition.

From the 1930's, Spore borrows on the idea of terraforming, the make-over of a world to fit the needs of a particular species.

Spore also draws heavily on the work of computer graphics artist (and software creator) Karl Sims, who in the 1990's demonstrated how animations could be used to evolve movement. "Organisms" created of basic geometrical shapes solve the problem of locomotion (see the Evolved Virtual Creatures video below).


(Karl Sims evolved virtual creatures video)

Spore takes these ideas and adds an interface that allows you, an untutored and unskilled biped, to create a world.


(Spore video)

Read more about The Science of Spore and some of Spore's technical problems on roll-out. Be sure to take a look at the animations on Karl Sims' website. Thanks to Moira for the tip and some references.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/11/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Computer ")

The Largest Virtual Universe!
'...a machine able literally to contain the Universe Itself .' - Stanislaw Lem, 1965.

ARM Wants To Build Brain Chips
'Slivers of microsoft, angular fragments of colored silicon...' - William Gibson, 1984.

Robot Swarms Controlled With Augmented Reality
'You're not thinking in enough dimensions...' - Daniel Suarez, 2009.

Eterni.me - To Skype With The Dead
'Nothing... left of Jeserac but a galaxy of electrons frozen in the heart of a crystal.'- Arthur C. Clarke, 1956.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

RFID Chipped Employees Of Three Square Market
'About a third of the people in Manhattan have replaced their Freedom Card with a radio-frequency chip...'

JAXA's Int-Ball Drone To Follow Astronauts In Space Station
'I want you to build me some of those.'

Amazon Patents Annoying Robot That Follows You
'The... machine, being homotropic, headed toward them, still bleating...'

Hand Gestures And Body Poses Control Devices
'He waved his hand... the circuit switched...'

Rovable Robots Crawl Across Your Body
'Most of the crew have the tiny imp ride on their shoulder...'

Sansar Social Virtual Reality Platform In 2017?
'And just as a daydreamer forgets his actual surroundings, and sees other realities...'

Cellphone Harvests Power From Ambient Radio Signals And Light
A battery-free phone.

Desktopography Makes Virtual Desktops Real
'Ender doodled on his desk, drawing contour maps of mountainous islands and then telling his desk to display them in three dimensions...'

LaWS Laser Can Take Out Rogue Drones
Looks like a weapon for the Runaway squad!

Moon Express Lunar Robot Mining: Shine On, Harvest Moon
'The bulldozer moved through the lunar strip mine... '

Liquid Body Armor For TALOS Exoskeleton
'... instantly became rigid all over when something struck it...'

Hyperloop One Video Shows It Works!
'Complete evacuation of the interior of the tubes [and] a wave that provides the new propulsive energy for the cars...'

Chairless Chair Exoskeleton By Sapetti
'Earth's scientists... devised rigid metallic clothing...'

Publishing Technologies In Science Fiction
Well, this should be enough references to start...

Russia Working On Military Exoskeletons
'Вы похожи на большую стальную гориллу...'

3D Printed Bionic Chinese Skin
Your skin is ready!

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.