Bow Valley

The Bow River Valley, as seen from Pigeon Mountain. The town of Canmore can be seen, as well as the Three Sisters.

on centennial trail

Evan and I hiked a few kilometers up the Centennial Trail, on the slopes of Pigeon Mountain. We had fun making noises to scare the bears away (bears had been spotted in the area previously, but there were lots of other hikers in the area, so we just made a lot of noise to prevent surprising the bears…)

Spore Creature Creator

I’ve been following Spore since I saw the first demo at TED. I remember playing SimCity back in the day (on my Amiga 1000!), and SimEarth, and the other variants, and have really been looking forward to Spore.

It’s really a universe simulator, where players interact at various scales separated by orders of magnitude. The full game starts at the single cell stage, evolving up through multicellular life, eventually up to group and society, and finally planetary and galactic scales. What a great way to show interconnections between the various disciplines? Biochemistry through cellular biology through zoology through ecology through sociology through planetary biology and astrophysics. In a format that can be jumped into by anyone, including kids. Especially kids. What would happen if kids are able to develop a sense of these interactions and interdependencies at various scales?

I downloaded (and purchased) the full Spore Creature Creator – it’s the demo app to showcase some of the technology that will be in the final game. It lets you create creatures using a set of biological widgets, and the behaviour and charactistics of the creature are developed based on the properties of the components selected.

I put together a quick creature to see what the full demo would do, and it’s really pretty cool just how detailed the creature is. Based on the limbs and body size, the thing as a believable gate and stance. Based on the head, jaw, and body shape, it has a realistic voice – able to call and roar.

I’m REALLY looking forward to the full game.