1UP previews Spore - Survival of the hippest

At workstations throughout Maxis' Emeryville, CA, studio, intelligent designers pinch and pull creatures like clay. Their procedural animation system breathes life into improbable beasts that evolutionary pressure would punish with brief existences and empty nests, letting them walk on any number of legs jutting from alien anatomies at all angles, blink with eyes that bud on hands, and hoot with throats that grow from tails. Over here, a protozoan jets around its primordial pond; over there on another computer, its descendants "discover" sexual reproduction; while on other screens, genealogically distant grandsons and daughters go from family- to tribe- to civilization-sized groupings, mastering earth, sea, sky, and ultimately -- at one desk where designer Will Wright awaits -- space itself.

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