N'Gai Croal of Level Up Writes: In 2005, we first sat down with Maxis chief designer Will Wright--creator of SimCity and The Sims--to discuss his evolutionary epic Spore. Shortly thereafter, we said of the game in the pages of NEWSWEEK, "Non-gamers often ask when videogames are finally going to get their 'Citizen Kane.' But when Spore ships sometime next year, this infant medium might receive its Torah, its 'Origin of Species' and its '2001: A Space Odyssey' all rolled into one."
Ignore the somewhat breathless prose and reflect for a moment upon the game's original ship date: sometime in 2006. But when we consider the scope of the gameplay (it's Pac-Man at the bottom of the evolutionary food chain, and "Star Trek" at the top); the magnitude of its technical ambition (large slices of Spore are procedurally generated, from the creatures animations to the musical score); and the challenge of designing a simple-yet-flexible interface to control it all (Facebook, Flickr and YouTube are among its influences), we're loath to begrudge Wright and his team at Maxis the time they needed to get it just right.
You'll feel the same way after you read our world exclusive interview with Will Wright.