Introduction to the Simulator

How to iterate Simulator objects and create new instances.

The Simulator is the gameplay engine in Spore. In this tutorial we will show you the basic interactions you can do with it.

Objects in the Simulator are called nouns; this is the equivalent to entities in other game engines like Unity. The basic noun class is cGameData, and then there are more specific nouns that extend it (e.g. cCreatureAnimal, cVehicle, etc). Each noun class is identified with an ID, for example cCreatureAnimal::NOUN_ID.

Then there are some component classes, which are used to give certain attribute sto nouns. For example, nouns can extend cSpatialObject to have a 3D representation, or cCombatant to have health points, etc

For simplicity, we will assume through all this tutorial that using namespace Simulator; is being used, so we don't have to write Simulator:: all the time.

Iterating Simulator objects

Very often you will need a way to access to all Simulator objects of a certain type: do something to all creatures, remove all vehicles,... You can do that with the GetData() method:

auto vehicles = GetData<cVehicle>();
for (auto vehicle : vehicles) {
    // vehicle is a cVehicle*

Sometimes we will want to get the objects of a type that the ModAPI SDK does not support yet. In that case, we have to use the noun ID directly, and cGameData as thet type. You have a full list of noun IDs at Simulator::GameNounIDs. Still, you can use object casting to get useful information:

for (auto egg : GetData<cGameData>(kEgg)) {
    // Eggs have 3d representation, so we can try casting
    if (auto eggModel = object_cast<cSpatialObject>(egg)) 
        float dist = (GameNounManager.GetAvatar()->GetPosition() - eggModel->GetPosition()).Length();
        App::ConsolePrintF("You have an egg at %f meters!", dist);

You can also get all the instances of base classes like cSpatialObject, cCombatant, cLocomotiveObject,... using GetDataByCast(). All objects that can be casted to that class will be returned:

auto models = GetDataByCast<cSpatialObject>();
for (auto model : models) {
    // model is a cSpatialObject*

Creating new instances

When creating new instances of Simulator objects you cannot use new. Instead, do it like this:

auto object = simulator_new<cInteractiveOrnament>();

If you need to create an object whose class is not in the SDK yet, you can create it using the GameNounManager directly. It will return a cGameData*, but you can cast it to do whatever you need.

auto herd = GameNounManager.CreateInstance(kRock);
if (auto herdModel = object_cast<cSpatialObject>(herd)) 
    herdModel->SetModelKey({ id("EP1_Barrel"), TypeIDs::prop, GroupIDs::CivicObjects });


Example 1: Make all airplanes fly towards the closest city to the player

auto city = PlanetModel.GetNearestCity(GameNounManager.GetAvatar()->GetPosition());
if (city) {
    for (auto vehicle : GetData<cVehicle>()) {
        if (vehicle->GetLocomotion() == kLocomotionAir) {

Example 2: Kill all entities with health points (except avatar)

for (auto combatant : GetDataByCast<cCombatant>()) {
    // To compare two pointers, we must ensure they are the same type
    if (object_cast<cCreatureAnimal>(combatant) != GameNounManager.GetAvatar()) {