Game Design with Will Wright

Will Wright has become one of the most successful designers of interactive entertainment in the world. He began working on what would become SimCityThe City Simulator in 1985. Using a complex technique, he found a way to bring realistic simulations to desktop PCs. Previously simulations of this sort were only available to the military, scientists and academicians. However, using an easy to use graphic interface, the world of simulations opened up to consumers.

Wright co-founded Maxis (now part of Electronic Arts) with Jeff Braun in 1987. SimCity was released in 1989, and within a few months became a hit. The game has since won 24 domestic and international awards. With Fred Haslem, Wright co-designed SimEarthThe Living Planet in 1990, a simulation of a planet based on the Gaia theory of James Lovelock. In 1991, Wright and Justin McCormick designed SimAntThe Electronic Ant Colony, a scientifically-accurate simulation of an ant colony. SimCity 2000, and SimCopter, a helicopter flight game, are also part of Wright’s recent repertoire. SimCity 3000 Unlimited, the definitive version of 1999s best-selling game SimCity 3000, continued in the tradition. The long-awaited 4th generation, SimCity 4, was released in January 2003.

Taking computer entertainment to its most personal level, Wrights ground-breaking game The Sims, puts players in charge of the lives of a neighborhood of simulated people. Released in February of 2000, this wildly popular title has become a cultural phenomenon, sold millions of copies worldwide, has received numerous Game of The Years accolades, and has become the best selling PC game of all time. The Sims has inspired several expansion packs including Livin Large, House Party, Hot Date, Vacation, Unleashed, and Superstar!

The Sims Online enables you to take your Sims to an online world where you get to be yourself or whoever you want to be. In this world you have your own piece of land to do with as you please. In this open-ended, online world, you choose your role, your attitude and your destiny.

In this lecture, recorded in November 2003, Wright discusses various aspects of game design, human interfaces, artificial intelligence, metrics, simulation and the future of gaming.

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