In 2000, I was working at Maxis Studios when Will Wright asked me to begin developing a series of prototypes for a new game idea he had about evolution and the spread of life throughout the galaxy. I had spent the previous couple of years developing climate models for terraforming Mars and much of that work would end up being applied to Spore.
Many years later, after the release of Spore, Electronic Arts made some of these prototypes available for download.
The pages below describe each of the prototypes I worked on.
Particle Man is a multi-body gravity simulation.
Water Boy is heightfield-based large-body water simulation.
BIOME is a programmable system for creating non-directional cellular automata. The BIOME language is based on chemical stoichiometry.
Crowd is a traffic and flocking crowd simulation originally developed for SimCity and later applied to the city management portion of Spore.
Tide Pool is an early gameplay prototype which combines BIOME-based cellular automata, Water Boy-based fluid simulation and Crowd-based flocking with a simple flight model.
SPUG is a later stage gameplay prototype where we see the beginnings of the Spore Creature Game beginning to emerge.
Gonzago was the last prototype developed for Spore where we see the project take its final shape.