75 Creative Uses of the Spore Creature Creator

by Joseph Flaherty on February 8, 2009

Custom manufacturing tools like 3D printers and laser cutters allow you to make anything imaginable. One of the big reasons grass roots mass customization hasn’t taken off is the lack of easy-to-learn/use CAD programs.

The new Spore Creature Creator is the most impressive consumer level CAD program I’ve ever used. Within a week of its release there were a million creatures in their online library, the Sporepedia. In three weeks, there were more creatures in Spore than on earth.

Unlike games that only allow you to tweak your avatar, Spore provides all the power of a CAD program. The true mark of a tool is when people can use it to create things the tool’s creators never imagined. The following examples are great illustrations of that principle.

Riders

The creators of the Spore tools have said that they did not expect people to create characters that looked like they were riding motorcycles or other creatures. There are a wide array of designs along this theme created by users who were experimenting with the software.

Spore Creature Creator

Character Designs

There is a well defined “Spore” aesthetic. Looking at any of their marketing materials you see cute, brightly colored, rounded characters that look like abstracted versions of animals or movie monsters. There are very few humanoids in the Spore universe and even fewer that have a unique, non-Spore aesthetic like these characters. These characters were created with the Spore tools, but could easily be ported into other game universes.

Spore Creature Creator

Unicycles

Tools lead to certain aesthetics. When creating the design tools the game creators decided to separate functionality and aesthetics for game play purposes. They wanted to let people create interesting or odd characters without suffering a game play penalty. To achieve this goal some laws of physics are ignored. These cantilevered motorcycles are possible because they exist in space irrespective of gravity. They likely would not be created if the tools followed physical laws more stringently.

Spore Creature Creator

Robot Insects

Many people have great ideas, but not the design training to execute them. These robotic insects are innovative designs, apply principles of aesthetics creatively, and are completely original creatures. A trained designer could create similar designs with normal CAD tools, but not as quickly or easily.

Japanese Robot Characters

Creating humanoid characters with the Spore creature creator is challenging. The design tools are specified in a way that most of the characters you create are cute and bulbous. These “Guyver” looking characters adapt components of the tools and repurpose them to create characters with planar surfaces and hard angles.

Spore Robots

Imagination Creations

When designing something is easy it becomes possible for people with novel ideas to illustrate a story. The image on the left is intended to be a spaceship that is propelled by asteroids it latches on to. This is an interesting idea and was impeccably illustrated with these tools.

Spore Creature Creator

Holidays

The mark of a simple design tool is the ability to pop out thematic designs according to the season. These are fun creations easily whipped up with intuitive CAD tools.

Spore Christmas

Humans

Spore Creature Creator

Boing Boing

Am I crazy to think a “BoingBoing” themed expansion pack for Spore would sell a million copies? You could get Flying Spaghetti Monster components, create papercraft robots, Cthulhu‘s, and other happy mutant creations. Of course they won’t associate with a corporate juggernaut like EA and the DRM brouhaha would doom any deal, so we will have to settle for these home brew versions.

Spore Creature Creator

Steampunk

Speaking of BoingBoing, here are some Steampunk creations right in line with their aesthetic.

Spore Steampunk

Big Characters

Another mark of a great design tool is the ability to effectively execute multiple styles. Here we have massive creatures and super thin ones, both very cool looking.

Spore Creature Creator

& Skinny Ones…

Spore Creature Creator

Horrorific Creations

Beyond proportions, you can also see a wide variety of aesthetics like these horrific creatures and their cute counterparts.

Spore Creature Creator

& Cute Creatures

Spore Creature Creator

Fantasy – Mythological Creatures

The invented universes created with the Spore design tools span “Harry Potter” fantasy style mythologies and futuristic worlds more in line with Battlestar Galactica.

Spore Mythology

Fantasy – Magical Lands

Spore Creature Creator

Fantasy – Fairies

Spore Creature Creator

Fantasy – Mega Flora

Spore Creature Creator making large plants

Fantasy – Butterfly Monsters

Spore Butterfly Monster

Futuristic Worlds – Spaceships

 used to make spaceships

Futuristic Worlds – Mecha

Spore Creature Creator

Every Day Objects

Moving beyond the realm of the fantastic, more pedestrian products can also be created with the Spore tools.

Spore Creature Creator

Fish Tanks

One of the interesting developments in the Sporepedia is the profusion of fish tank designs. Normally a mundane object, fish tanks have been a rich ground for innovation in the Spore universe.

Spore Fishtanks

Birds – Naturalistic

A designer can use the Spore tools to create highly naturalistic depictions of a subject, like these birds, or their highly stylized cousins below.

Spore Birds

Birds – Stylized

Spore Birds

Dogs

The same principles of design have been applied to various phyla of the animal kingdom.

Spore Dogs

Dinosaurs

Spore Dinosaurs

Insects

Spore Insects

Pop Culture Homage – Star Wars

“Give a man a hammer and every thing looks like a nail.” Give a nerd an accessible design tool and you will get THOUSANDS of Star Wars, Simpsons, and World of WarCraft inspired characters.

Spore Creature Creator

Pop Culture Homage – Star Wars Vehicles

Spore Creature Creator

Pop Culture Homage – Cartoons

Spore Creature Creator

Pop Culture Homage – World of WarCraft

Spore World of Warcraft

Cars

Spore Creature Creator

Boats

Spore Creature Creator

Planes

Spore Creature Creator

History – 50′s Nostalgia

The Spore tools are also very flexible in their ability to create designs that would fit in a variety of historical contexts.

Spore Retro

History – Ancient Rome

Spore Roman

History – Cowboys

Spore Cowboys

Simple blogging software made it possible for academics, investors, entrepreneurs, intellectuals, and thousands of others to share their thoughts and experiences, democratizing publishing. Simplified CAD tools coupled with mass customization technology could lead to similar outcomes in the world of product design.

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  • http://www.setpointusa.com/content/index.asp?page=Lean_Automation&paID=3 machine design

    Those are some great designs. But what fascinated me the most was the robot designs! Awesome!

  • 123aquatropicalfish123

    i like the way they made aquarium fish picture. haha thanks for sharing.

    anet
    http://aquatropicalfish.com/

  • EliteAztec

    These are some astounding creations! I play Spore, and I couldn't recognize any Spore parts in half of the pictures! I wish I was that talented.

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    Woah! Those are a bunch of jaw-dropping designs! The SCC is really useful!

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    Those action figures are all amazing but I like the sheep the best if I could have a pet like that I will remove its wool and turn it into coat

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    Cool Stuff, Thanks

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    Cool.. Those are really amazing pictures..
    I'm always amaze with this site…

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    I think unlike games that only allow you to tweak your avatar, Spore provides all the power of a CAD program. The true mark of a tool is when people can use it to create things the tool’s creators never imagined. The following examples are great illustrations of that principle.

    Thanks and Regards

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    The invented universes created with the Spore design tools span “Harry Potter” fantasy style mythologies and futuristic worlds more in line with Battlestar Galactica.

  • KarenHaney

    For example, if you purchase any of the Duck lined products, including some Carhartt outerwear, you need to pay attention to the carhartt coats washing temperature you are using.

  • chelfyn

    …and on the 7th day, man created God, so he'd have something to so on Sundays.

  • dodog24u

    i want spore soooooooooo bad but i love all these creations.
    Do you think you can make a english bulldog for muah?
    i would love that and you guys with all my heart!!

    - dodog24u@gmail.com

    P.S. email me your answer and if you did make it the picture of my english bulldog named tug.
    Thanks

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