Monday, April 06, 2009

Find: Spore API

By way of our Digital Gaming Research Center, this announcement of EA/Maxis releasing an API to their procedural game Spore.

It appears to be primarily about analyzing and navigating through the very large DB of content that Spore players have created.



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: R. Michael Young <>
Date: Mon, Apr 6, 2009 at 3:00 PM
Subject: [dgrc-people] Fwd: [GAMESNETWORK] Spore API

Below is a note indicating a very interesting development wrt EA's Spore and a new API that EA is making available to explore the space of creatures and creature editing performed by the game's user community.


Begin forwarded message:

From: Michael Twardos <>
Date: Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 11:21 AM
Subject: Spore API

Exploring Custom Content in Spore

Spore is a social network based on player creativity.  Each user in
Spore is equipped with powerful 3D editors that enable the user to
design any creature, building or vehicle they imagine and then share
their creations with each other.  Spore also allows players to
exchange ideas and critiques about each other's creations, keep track
of a creator's most recent work and collaborate on projects.  Since
the launch of Spore back in June of 2008, over 3 million users have
joined and created nearly 100 million assets.  The community also
continues to grow with a new user joining every minute and a new
creation being shared every second.  For a glimpse into this online
community, see which provides basic
information about the newest and most popular creations among other
perspectives. Sporepedia reveals that creations have spanned a broad
space, alluded to a wide array of genres (Star Wars, Sesame St.,
Pokemon) and even explored new ideas in architecture, sculpture and
other design.

However, one website alone is inadequate to explore this huge
collection of custom content.  As a result, Spore has released the
Spore API:  It is a collection of public web
services that provide access to data about user activity, their
relationships and the content they produce.  This poses a unique
opportunity for aspiring or seasoned developers, academics, and data
visualization gurus.  What tools can be built to navigate through this
data set, track trends, organize and discover new content?  For the
novice, building a web application that allows a user to easily
navigate through the millions of Spore creations and social web would
be a tool welcomed by the community.  For the more advanced student,
understanding the propagation of ideas across the social network or
building recommendation algorithms based on past user activity are
just some examples of research projects to pursue.  In any case, the
Spore API awaits new approaches to exploration and understanding of
this unique online world.

R. Michael Young
Director, Liquid Narrative Group
Department of Computer Science, NC State University

Benjamin Watson
Design Graphics Lab
Associate Professor
Dept. Computer Science
North Carolina State University
EBII 2280, 890 Oval Dr, Box 8206
Raleigh, NC 27695-8206
Phone: 919-513-0325
Fax: 919-515-7896
Lab: 919-513-0847

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