Will Wright’s much anticipated game, Spore, has already had a Web 2.0 makeover even before its release.
As Wagner James Au points out, this re-tooling was designed to create a phenomenon that extends far beyond the normal game boundaries.
Take for example the Creature Creator, which as I’ve mentioned before, is being released next week – months ahead of the actual game. This advance guard approach will ensure that an ecology of user-created content (this is a simulated evolution game) is ready for sharing via each player’s MySpore page, and that there will be a critical mass of Spore Creatures keen to friend one another.
YouTube video creation is seamlessly embedded into the Creature Creator software. There will also be an embeddable Spore widget, comment tracking and RSS feeds.
In a move beyond pure Web 2.0, and more of a melding with the growing funware genre, content-sharing will be integrated into the gameplay. Players will be able to import their friends’ creatures through a “Sporepedia” buddy list.
The game tracks creatures’ meta data, and deposits them where appropriate in the game’s evolutionary timeline. You can even set preferences for the kind of creatures you prefer in your game, and Spore will search the player-made database for appropriate species and send them to your computer. (Sort of a TiVo for monsters.) Bradshaw [Lucy Bradshaw, Executive Producer] told me Maxis is hoping to publish aggregated creature data on its site, showing which species are most popular and successful. It’ll be fun to see what creatures thrive in a kind of crowd-sourced simulation of Darwinian selection.