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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Killing Time: Godzilla and Spore

If you follow my Twitter account, you know that on the weekends, my son and I watch movies.  Usually we're working our way through the Godzilla franchise.  Sometimes it's Gamera, the Harryhausen classics, '50s scifi B-movies or something else.  Usually Godzilla, though.

That's my son two years ago in his Godzilla costume with sound effects t-shirt.  Pretty sweet.

I'm also a fan of Electronic Arts and Maxis.  They've made SimCity, The Sims and their most epic game, Spore.  In it, you can create cellular life, act as its intelligent designer and help it evolve, make it become a sentient tribe, then nation, then civilization and then space-faring race.  You can design animals, vehicles, buildings and entire worlds.

I think you see where this is going.

Yes, we made a planet full of Godzilla monsters.

My son and I worked to recreate many of the "kaiju" from the Toho films in the game.  Here's a collage of some of the best "good guy" monsters we made:
Clockwise from top-left: Rodan, Mothra, Anguirus (Angilas), Minilla (Minya), Baragon and Godzilla.  Click to enlarge.

And here's a collage of our favorite "bad guy" monsters we made:
Clockwise from top-left: Battra, Keizer King Ghidorah, Hedorah, Gigan, King Ghidorah, Space Godzilla and Destoroyah.  Click to enlarge.

Oh, there are "mecha" versions, too:
MechaGodzilla on the left; Mecha-King Ghidorah on the right.  Click to enlarge.  Other "kaiju" in here: Manda, Kumonga, Kamacuras, Zilla, Ebirah, Orga, Mothra Larva, Megaguirus, Megalon, King Caesar, Biollante ...

Now, you can't have a bunch of monsters like this without a city to smash.  I built a big one (you'll see it soon).  I populated it with a race of beings I called "Fle'ers," because they're always running away, you see?  Here are some of the people:

The soldier is inserted in the game as a "captain" so I could outfit him with a weapon to use, futilely, against the monsters.  The citizens are colored red after those poor Star Trek security bastards.  Dr. Serizawa (complete with eyepatch) is the scientist who provides instructions, takes your technology, etc.

Here are some of the vehicles I made:

(Click to enlarge)  Watch Invasion of Astro-Monster.  That Xilien ship is a dead ringer.  I'm particularly proud of the Super X1.  Lots of detail there (you'll see more in the video below).  The rocket truck was big fun, too.  Now the maser cannon I'm really pleased with, unfortunately, you can't make land vehicles shoot beam weapons in the game.  Didn't look right to have it launching missiles.

There are other vehicles, too.  They are all altered versions of ones available from Maxis. (The buildings, too.)

OK, enough of that.  Here's a video I made of the big "Galactic Adventure" I constructed on our monster planet, Toho.  The player is Jet Jaguar and you'll see what he faces in the video below:

(You can turn off the annotations if they annoy you.  Just click the little red word balloon.)

I hope you enjoyed it.