Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth


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“What do you do when you’ve created the most popular PC game of all time? If you’re Sims designer Will Wright, you set your sights even higher. His latest project, revealed today at Game Developers Conference 2005, is nothing less than a game about the past and the future, the evolution of life, the development of intergalactic civilization.”

This game sounds amazing:

* Tidepool phase: In the game’s initial state, the action most resembles a sort of free-form Pac-Man. There’s also a strong hint of Super NES classic E.V.O. and quirky GameCube cult favorite Cubivore; fighting and consuming other creatures allows you to adjust the form and abilities of your creature.
* Evolution phase: Once your creature begins to grow and take on a distinct physical form, the game switches to a more Diablo-like feel. With its emphasis on battling other creatures to strengthen yourself while making forays away from your safe haven, this section is very much about growth and development.
* Tribal phase: When your creation has achieved a satisfying level of physical development, you can focus on its mental acuity. At this point, you relinquish control of an individual and instead move to a streamlined RTS interface, caring for an entire tribe of your homebrewed beasties, giving them tools, food and slowly upgrading their state of existence. Think Populous.
* City phase: Here the game becomes more like Wright’s own SimCity, with emphasis resting primarily on building up the technology, architecture and infrastructure of your race’s dwellings.
* Civ phase: Once your city is established, you can zoom out to the global scale. Here your people begin seeking out other cultures in a Civilization-style experience. Interfacing with the rest of the world can be tackled in many ways, be it militaristically or diplomatically; on foot, in boats or by airship. Ultimately, however, the goal is for your creatures to conquer the planet.
* Invasion phase: Once the world is your oyster, you can move on to other worlds in your solar system to colonize or terraform. And beyond that you’ll find other solar systems, scattered throughout a beautifully-rendered galaxy in which planets lurk among dust clouds and black holes spew ejecta. Here you set forth to make contact with other planets.

The Invasion section of the game is enormous, potentially endless. After hunting for other populated worlds, players can venture into the universe in the manner they think best fits their personality: Whether using the diplomacy of Star Trek or the destructive fury of War of the Worlds. Some races will welcome players, while others will greet instellar visitors with hostility.

(Via MetaFilter, which has more, including some amazing screenshots. I wish I had this game right now.)

Written by gerrycanavan

March 16, 2005 at 5:31 am

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