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 ")

String Art Courtesy Of Robot Artist
The number of different ways to span a thread between a larger number of hooks is astronomical.

Tetraplegics Dominate Avatar Races
Well, just speaking brain-to-computer...

IBM's Grain Of Sand Computer
'Our ancestors... thought to make the very sand beneath their feet intelligent...' - Stanislaw Lem, 1965.

Can An Entire Brain Be Simulated In A Computer?
'The miles of relays and photocells had given way to the spongy globe of platinum iridium about the size of the human brain.' - Isaac Asimov, 1941.

 

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

Unfurl The Future! Huawei Mate X versus Galaxy Fold
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently from the top of the unit and immediately grew rigid.'

Amazon Echo And Google Home Should Have Morality Software
'The Dwoskin Morality Rating-Computer could 'spot the slightest tendency to deviation' from the social norm...'

China Building Robot Wives
'Want a life-companion, a pleasant one?'

China Social Credit System Like State-Run Whuffie
'At least there was no mandatory Whuffie check on the monorail platform...'

Project Soli Radar Gesture Chip Now FCC Approved
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'

Stan, Robot Valet, Will Drag Your Car Away
'He activated the grapple tracks. '

Jibo Home Robot Says Goodbye, Is Killswitched
'It resembles an oyster....'

Johns Hopkins Says Asteroid Deflection Will Be Difficult
'This obelisk is one huge deflector mechanism...'

Fabric Automatically Cools Or Insulates Based On Environment
'...a high-efficiency filter and heat-exchange system.'

Deepfakes From OpenAI GPT-2 Algorithm
'How can you compete with an IBM heavy-duty logomatic analogue?'

John Deere Self-Driving Tractor
'The huge plow... seemed to shake itself - and began to move back southward.'

North Focals Smart Glasses Provide Augmented Reality In Style
'The world ... is drenched in unfamiliar information all the way to the horizon.'

Tesla Driver Caught Napping Behind The Wheel
'Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...'

Hayabusa 2 To Begin Asteroid Mining
'We must dig down, and then doubtless we shall find the metal.'

Ionocraft Drone Powered By Electrohydrodynamic Thrust
'He saw one hiss by him as he rounded the corner, trailing a short whip antenna...'

Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery
'It may be organic damage. It may be permanent. Time'll tell, and only after you are off Substance D for a long while.'

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.