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Tuesday, July 10, 2001

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Will Wright Interview
9:25 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Happy Puppy has recently posted the first half of an interview with Will Wright, co-founder and chief designer of Maxis. Furthermore, he is the man responsible for such titles as Sim City and the current favorite, The Sims. He is a good friend of the legendary game designer Miyamoto Shigeru. And apparently, he still takes his own phone calls.

The interview asks a smattering of questions centered around various topics, to which Wright gives some interesting answers. For example, when asked about the current state of the PC entertainment industry and how it may be going down, Wright simply points out that the argument is irrelevant. In his mind, there will be a convergence, rather than dominance, with consoles becoming more PC-like and PCs becoming more console-like. The fact that PCs currently have internet capabilities, hi-resolution monitors, and mice as standard input devices also keeps their gaming viability alive.

Several new Sims projects are also commented on, including Sims Online, Sims 2, and SimsVille. Wright mentions that Sims 2 will focus much more closely on the Sims themselves. As he puts it: "Much more in your face. They should seem much more detailed and real as you get closer to them."

SimsVille is not a project Wright is working on himself (he only has so much time, he says), but he does offer some thoughts. The same designer of SimCity3000 is currently working on the title, and Wright mentions that it seems to be a balance between Sim City and The Sims. He then goes into gamespeak from there:

And it kind of feels like it wants to be a little bit more one way or the other. But this is in very fine shadings of game tuning. The degree of latitude we're talking about here is actually quite minor. When it comes to tuning the game and getting inside of the player's head, it's actually a very crucial question.
For more Will Wright thoughts, be sure to check out the full interview at Happy Puppy. Wright goes into more detail on the Sims themselves, the possibilities of making them even more lifelike in the future, and his primary motivations/inspirations for game design.

Happy Puppy - Will Wright Interview
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The Sims: Livin' Large

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