EA preps Spore Creature Creator for release next week

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EA is still putting the finishing touches on Spore, the newest game from Will Wright, creator of The Sims and Sim City. While that game isn’t due out until September, EA is giving gamers a taste of what’s to come with Spore Creature Creator, which will be released next week in both free and paid versions.

While previous Wright-create games have focused on manipulating artificial life in your computer—towns, cities, and individual people—Spore takes the concept further. EA bills the game as “your own personal universe in a box.”

You can create a basic single-celled organism and evolve it through a series of events until it’s an intelligent creature; figure out how it interacts with its environment; help it develop a culture, and eventually help it develop to a spacefaring race that can explore the universe.

Spore Creature Creator—which will be available for the Mac and PC when it debuts on June 17th—takes one very fun part of the game and puts it in players’ hands early. You can create your own Spore creature from the ground up—figuring what sort of torso, arms, legs, eyes, mouth and other apparatuses the creature might need, even adding some design flair, picking out textures and colors that are best suited for your creature.

In the finished version of the full game, which bows in North America September 7th, you’ll also be able to discover new creature parts by finding other creatures and socializing with them.

As with EA’s 2007 Mac game releases, Spore and Spore Creature Creator are both headed to the Mac using TransGaming’s Cider translation technology, which requires an Intel-based Mac in order to run.

The company is also readying a version of Spore to run on the iPhone—it will be released as the same time as the full Mac/PC version—September 7, 2008.

Once you’re done, you can take your creature for a “test drive” and walk him or her around their environment, see what their babies might look like, even take a few pictures or record a movie, upload it to YouTube or send it to your friends by e-mail.

A free version will be released that contains about one-quarter of the total parts and options in the full version, which will cost $9.99.

The Spore Web site will also let Spore Creature Creator users share their creature designs with each other in its “Sporepedia” section.

[2:50 p.m. PDT: Updated to add video.]
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