Spore. Spore, I said! Ever since that video of Will Wright's demo of this game appeared on the internet, I've been camping on the sidewalk in front of my local Best Buy waiting for its release date. As I lie here at night shivering in my sleeping bag, I can almost taste that succulent, procedurally-generated content, which is good because I am all out of food.
As you must know by now, Will Wright is the super genius behind a whole bucketload of games like The Sims, Sim City, and of course Sim [Insert Any Word Here]. He's currently working on Spore, a game he describes as "Sim Everything," in which you control the destiny of a species as it evolves from a single-celled organism into a race of interstellar travelers. One of the game's most exciting design elements is the use of procedurally generated content - you use the in-game editors to modify your species, and the game determines how it behaves based on your design. I spoke to Chaim Gingold, the game designer who created these editors, about the challenge of creating tools that are flexible enough to be powerful and still somehow smart enough to be fun—Jonathan Coulton
See also our extended interview with the man himself, Will Wright
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Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.