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Q&A With: Spore's Will Wright

Spore creator Will Wright says that players will drive the game's evolution

5 min read

In March, I visited legendary computer game designer Will Wright for an upcoming IEEE Spectrum feature on Spore , Wright’s evolutionary—and revolutionary—new title coming in September. Wright is famous for his groundbreaking simulations, such as the urban-planning franchise SimCity and people simulator The Sims (the best-selling computer game of all time).

Spore boldly goes where no game has gone before, allowing players to create a unique creature that inhabits its own emergent society and world. The game unfolds in a series of stages. You start by creating life from a single cell, then design your own distinct being. From there, the creature evolves—forming a tribe, a civilization, and, ultimately, an intergalactic presence. Yes, it’s insanely ambitious. And from looking at the tired faces of Wright and his developers at their toy-strewn offices in Emeryville, Calif., I could see it was plenty challenging. But the payoff, Wright hopes, will be sublime.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
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A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar
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You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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