For those antsy for Spore , the September 7th launch date can't come soon enough — but while you're waiting, you can now check out a new spore prototype called Biome for free. It's a "programmable cellular automata simulator" which EA says lets players make grid simulations à la SimCity . Fancy words in the announcement like "chemical stoichiometry" means Biome simulates changes that take place in cells when they're exposed to new variables, similar to the way some chemicals change their state when exposed to other chemicals. EA says Maxis built prototypes like these initially to explore design directions for the game, and is now letting gamers mess with the machinery to check out some of these early ideas. More are set to be released in the coming weeks. Full announcement after the jump.
EA News Alert To whet Spore fans' appetites as the September 7th launch date draws near, the Maxis team has released BIOME, the latest in a series of early, concept defining Spore prototypes that are available for free play. BIOME, which can be downloaded at http://community.spore.beta.online.ea.com/comm/prototypes, is a programmable cellular automata simulator that allows players to develop simple "SimCity-like" grid simulations. Inspired by John Conway's "Game of Life" program, BIOME uses a language based on chemical stoichiometry and simulates how cells change their state the same way that chemicals change when exposed to other chemicals. BIOME supports both rectangular and spiral cellular automata configurations. Throughout the planning and development of Spore, Maxis explored countless design directions in gameplay, simulation and user interface. One of the ways in which they explored possible design directions was by building simple, playable prototypes that were used to get a sense for a particular system. Usually these prototypes are never seen by the public, but Maxis decided to give gamers a "golden ticket" to get an inside look at their creative process. Make sure to check back for more Spore prototypes in the coming weeks! Spore gives players their own personal universe in a box. Create and evolve life, establish tribes, build civilizations, sculpt entire worlds and explore a universe created by other gamers. Spore gives players a wealth of creative tools to customize nearly every aspect of their universe: creatures, vehicles, buildings, and even UFOs. Players can then seamlessly share their creations with the world or explore infinite new galaxies created by other gamers.