previewed on PC
Genre-breaking Will Wright
Will Wright LOVES user-content. It's true. At his Spore conference at E3, he proclaimed loud and clear how his the Sims 2 franchise had just reached its 1 Millionth downloaded piece of user-content. He loves it so much, that it gave him an idea; an idea for his newest genre-breaking game, which is almost guaranteed to make us rethink gaming altogether.
The First Russian Doll
In order to properly illustrate the vastness of this game, I've decided to use a Russian Doll metaphor. However, one must imagine that you are inside the Russian doll, breaking out to reveal that you are, in fact, inside a much bigger doll.
The player starts this game, in what appears to be a rather rich and colourful game of Pac-Man, where the player is a small amoeba swimming through a tiny particle of water, feeding on other varieties of molecules. Some molecules, however, cannot be eaten in your current state, and can in fact do your character harm. After eating a certain amount of food, your character will "lay an egg" (I'm using it as a general term... I know amoebas cannot lay eggs).
Then the magic happens. This egg is the gateway to your character's next generation. With the points earned, you can "buy" a new feature for your character from the massively expansive built-in editor. For example, my amoeba cannot eat the spiky brown molecules, so I decide to buy him a mouthpiece. Once I'm all done with the editor, I return to the game.
The camera pans out slightly, as in each new generation my character gets a bit larger, and I go hunting for spiky brown molecules, which I can now eat!
You then repeat this process, until...
The Second Russian Doll
We've broken out of the first doll, a very simplified tutorial to the editor, and we eventually find ourselves as a fully aquatic animal, in a full and flourishing underwater 3D environment. Everything you find in this environment: plants, rocks, landscaping etc. is completely (to use Mr. Wright's terms) "Pre-seedrally" generated. The game randomly creates the landscape. The other characters, however, though still controlled through the game's AI, have been created by other players, and downloaded directly into your game folders - the gaming experience is thus entirely dependent on the people who play it.
The concept here is still the same, you must feed until you "lay an egg" (somewhat more literally this time), and proceed to the next generation. However, there is an added dimension to the editor. Your characters now have a spine, which can be freely moulded and sculpted. Each added piece can be lengthened or thickened and placed anywhere on your character... the freedom that the editor offers is stunning.
Your character will most likely (but doesn't have to) stray onto land, where the landscaping is again generated randomly, containing user-created creatures. Repeating this process of generation jumping by mating with other members of your species, you are continually saving up to buy a larger brain for your character. Once you have bought the largest brain, you have attained sentience, and you continue to...