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 ")

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.

Illustris: The Next Generation Of Universe Simulation
'This digital device was ... A machine able literally to contain the Universe Itself...' - Stanislaw Lem, 1965.

 

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

Sleeep PRO Earplug For Maximum Rest
'Merton... placed the electrodes of the sleep-inducer on his forehead.'

Inspired By Japan, Nap Pods For Hajj
It's always a good time for a nap.

Amphibio 3D Printed Gill Shirt
'... we can descend and live down there at one of those year-round aquatic resorts.'

How Do You Put An Asteroid Into Earth Orbit? Carefully!
'...she would have to be coaxed by another series of pats into a circular orbit.'

PD Aerospace Space Plane By 2023
'The sleek, tapered space shuttle lay immobile upon the private landing field...'

Foldimate Folds Your Clothes Perfectly
Look ma, my room is clean! I can hear you now.

Robots Help People Get Dressed, As Predicted In 1931
Yes, people of the future, robots will dress you.

International Space Station Leak Plugged - With Finger
'These tag-alongs search out stray leaks.'

Robot Snake Flies, Fights Fires
Just a prototype, but still amazing.

IPAL Chinese Robot Babysitter
'But Nanny is different...'

ZKZM-500 LASER Assault Rifle
'The Iranian reached back into the locker and got a pair of laserifles.'

LA Subway Scanner, As Seen In 'Total Recall'
'I'm afraid to tell you this Mr. Quaid, but you have suffered a schizoed embolism...'

Sion Electric Car Covered With Solar Panels
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."

Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'

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.