The Plant editor (also known as Flora editor) was an editor where the player could create (and probably share) small, medium and large plants. The Flora editor was cut out of the final release in Spore, though it was never completely removed. Its presence is not just a leftover, as the editor is technically used when the player views plants in the Sporepedia. However, there isn't much functionality left, and the editor is extremely glitch-filled as a result. The only way to access is to change the target in the shortcut to Spore on your desktop/start menu. The creator was hinted by Lucy Bradshaw to be included in a later expansion, but this never materialized.
The Plant editor was mentioned briefly at E3. Judging by the single screenshot that was shown, it has three mode buttons on the top: test, texture, and parts.
The Plant editor did not come with Spore Galactic Adventures, however, players will be able to choose over 50 new plants to customize their planets. The new plants range from trees to very un-Earthly flora even mushrooms, snow covered plants, and dead plants.
The Plant Editor has most likely been in Spore since 2005, but the variety of plants in Spore has been very limited. Leafy Trees were seen in the video with the Willosaur, but after that, the only flora that was commonly seen was tree ferns, until July 10th when new screenshots and a new video were shown. But now it seems as if there is no way to type or paste in the target section of properties
Current Game Edit
The Flora Editor can be started through "sporeApp.exe -state:FloraEditor". It has 4 part categories: trunks, leaves, details, and fruits. Various bugs exist in the editor though, such as texture disappearing in Paint Mode, invisible parts, crashing for unknown reasons, and not being able to save the creation.
Having at least (or only) the first fruit part on the plant usually solves the last bug. Also, one part in the "Trunks" section (the only part in the Plant Editor that, like in other editors, rotates when it is moused over), will always crash the game when one attempts to drag it in. Creations that are saved are pollinated throughout Spore as normal. It is not recommended to save creations from the Plant Editor, as this has been known to cause several adverse effects, such as the game crashing when the Staff of Life is used. Although not perfect, adding the tag "GAPROP" helps prevent crashing when the SOL is used.
The "Share" button is available when viewing it in the Sporepedia, but it always displays an uploading error message when clicked. Creations cannot be re-edited via the Sporepedia or in-editor Sporepedia, as the edit button is not available. However, they can still be edited by dragging the plant's PNG image from the "My Spore Creations/Plants" folder into any editor. An in-depth walkthrough on how to access the Flora Editor can be found at Sporedum: Flora Editor.
You can also find out how to access the Flora Editor on this video. Note: You may need to wear headphones to hear the audio.
A mod was made to fix this for Galactic Adventures. It can be found on www.Davoonline.com
While it partially achieved its goal, it did not completely eliminate all the bugs. Another mod, built straight off it, is in development: Branching Evolution. It can be seen in action below, and is publicly available in pre-alpha form on DavoOnline.
The parts subsection was the only one shown in E3. It has five menus: trunks, branches, leaves, fruit (and/or nuts), and flowers.
Fruit is a prime food source for herbivore-type creatures. There have not been any demonstrations of fruit so far, but they have been shown in '06 GDC prototyping slides.
There are many decorations in the plant editor such as flowers, leaves and others. Some of these flowers and leaves look as if they were flowering at different times when looking at some of the flora made by Maxis. Whether this was going to be part of the editor is unknown.
Trunks are the main body of the plant and have adjustable branches, like limbs.
The texture editor works similarly to the editor for creatures. It is commonly thought that there were only complete styles, however, this is false. There is a category for partial styles, containing functional, though awkwardly displaced base, coat, and detail tabs, but it is nearly inaccessible, as the category icons don't exist, resulting in the categories being almost impossible to open. With a bit of luck and 20 minutes to kill, one can access this category in the unmodified Flora Editor, however, doing so is likely a waste of time.
- There are many Glitches associated with the Flora editor, this is because it is an artifact, rather than a finished product of gameplay.
- All of the parts are invisible. This isn't technically a glitch, merely what resulted from the developers' having removed the part models prior to releasing the game. The pre-made plants, contrary to popular belief, are composed of the part models, just they're baked together at horrible quality.
- Sometimes if you are not logged on and you save a plant, it may have the name of the computer user instead. Attempting to click on the name in the sporepedia will result in the "Could not connect to the spore server" error.
- The share button is available for player-made plants, however, the plants cannot actually be shared, due to the server refusing to accept them, which isn't surprising. This isn't the same problem as modded creatures, those share, they just don't pollinate, whereas plants don't even make it up to the server.
- In Galactic Adventures the Flora Editor's background does not appear at all, and just displays as black, due to the developers having modified the background properties file to reference a nonexistant model, instead of the actual background model. Apparently the developers sabotaged the editor in GA.
- Mousing over "test", will display "Increases the speed of your vehicle", which is likely a placeholder. As to what for, that is a mystery, and will likely remain so.
- The Flora Editor may have been scrapped much later than many people think, as there is still a 'Plants' folder in the 'My Spore Creations' folder.