Wright’s own instincts began with model making as a child and led him toward robotics during his teenage years in the 1970s. He bought an Apple II for the purpose of programming and controlling his robots, eventually getting the chance to play some of the earliest computer simulations and strategy games. Those experiences, along with the Montessori education he received through sixth grade, formed the foundation on which he built his career.
If you hit the link below, you’ll catch a small interview of Will describing his passions, his past work, and his upcoming game Spore. His life is such an interesting read…I hope one day he will release an autobiography of his life for inspiration to upcoming game developers!
Okay Brits, your assignment if you live close by. Head on over to the Apple Store on Regent Street in London on September 3 at 3:00 PM sharp to meet Will Wright himself. You will have a chance for an inside look on Spore.
Once again, I fail with my German language skills. But thankfully we have people like GrapeFruit over at the GamingSteve (I <3 that site). Translation is below:
Ok, here it is. Some things we know already, but there are some interesting details.
his home planet is named Gigantia (no hint if he could name it at the beginning, but doubtful)
he didn’t find his colony at first (lol, noob)
to repair (and refuel?) his spaceship he has to contact the homeplanet and request repairing (and not just visit it)
the planet at 1:20 (2nd) used to be totally red, he dropped those plants on there before
there used to be a bubble above the colony, which disappeared when the atmosphere got dense enough
you can edit colonies like you can edit a city in civ phase (didn’t know that, might not be news)
the location of the save game icon in the main menu is actually the location of the home planet of said save game in the universe (though I do not 100% trust them, these guys can be rather oblivious at times)
they are wondering if it’s possible to fly to another savepoint (and visit the creature you evolved there)
the coloured lines are trade routes (if there was any doubt to that)
at 3:18 (2nd vid) he changes the color of his home planet and the water on it
3:52 his weapons: photon-rockets and an EMP (which, as he says, covers the whole planet)
he uses the EMP at 4:00 (pity we can’t really see the effects)
4:20: he plans to populate the planet with the colony we saw before
he abducts various trees and animals (all at once) for the populating
5:15: he visits an ally
you can buy whole solar systems from your allies. it would cost him 500’000 but he only has 76’000
he says you really have to play (and work) for a while to get the bad ass weapons (eg. planet buster)
he finds the controls in the space phase a bit fiddly (I find that a bit surprising… but whatever)
they criticize the fact that the whole evolving is done after phase 2, although it is one major point which spore is being promoted with. They don’t seem to know that the decisions you make early have effects even in space phase (seems hard to tell for someone who doesn’t know that)
6:40: a message comes in, saying that the eco-system of a planet is endangered by a spreading virus (no hints to how this can be solved, he doesn’t really get there)
7:00 they find a terraforming tool
the planets are pretty much all the same size (except gas giants, of course)
they say they’d do more on spore later on… I want to see that, too!
They don’t really know what Spore is all about (still better than that magazine review guy, though), but they are enthralled by the vastness of spacestage and that a great part of the game is just exploring and doing whatever you feel like. The guys at GIGA are usually something between hardcore and casual gamer…
I hope I didn’t miss anything important
Source: Rob (for the videos) and Grapefruit (for the translation notes) over at GamingSteve
One cNet editor spots this billboard while heading to work in San Francisco. So they are promoting Spore heavily in the US after all. I wonder what other cities they plopped the billboards in? Hope they put some up in Huntsville. After all, we are home of the Marshall Space Flight Center with tons of NASA workers….but I highly doubt it. Besides…most of them that I know aren’t even familiar with the game! Their expression if they would see this? “What the hell?”
For a game which ’sim’s life, the universe, and everything in between – every bit the culmination of decades’ worth of those now bite-sized pieces – and which is modestly innovating on a number of fronts from its player-driven generative technologies to its “massively single player” pollinated content, ask Wright what he’s most proud of and you might expect a litany of engineering achievements. But it’s not: it’s the people.
“The team,” he answers, without even thinking, “It’s a hand-picked team of people, where I was cherry-picking the best in the company. Because of that, what seemed like an impossible design at the beginning started to seem probable, and then likely, and now positive, and at every turn the team has exceeded my expectations about what they could deliver both technologically and design-wise.”
I can agree with this. After visiting the Maxis offices and having the chance to look around, it’s a place full of people. Each workspace was cluttered with that person’s favorite memoriable, be it lego’s, pictures, posters, you name it. Even though many of the workers were off taking a well-needed break, I was surprised to see that they were more pleasant to be around than I was expecting….just wished I had more time to be able to get to know some of them better!
If you head on over to Space Oddity’s Spore Blog, you can catch up on their impressions from the game as well as a few new notes from an event on Spore with developer Jenna Chalmers:
Not really paying any attention to the credits you need in the editor when playing the game, at one stage I foolishly traded the flagella for a herbivore mouth. And I was already in a stage were there’s considerable currents… Needless to say, things didn’t go very well after that!
A little later I played a bit of Creature. And it is like they say, it’s immediately clear how to interact with the world. This doesn’t mean that it is immediately clear how to play the game well… which is good! Enough things to play around with, and get better at. Also, apart from the creatures you meet, there is enough to see in the world around you that’s interesting. Teun and I saw some very interesting eggs, which we only identified as such when they hatched.
Ever since The Sims was released in 2000 (and I guess you could include SimCity before that), user-created content was only something hardcore modders could grasp. But with the original Sims game, along came tools of the Transmogrifier, Homecrafter, and a wide range of other programs to help create user-content. The game exploded in popularity, thus introducing 2 sequels.
The thing is…it appears that there are no other games that has based themselves on this idea….until recently. LittleBigPlanet for PS3 will have a huge impact with user-created content, and more games are beginning to take on this concept. I myself look forward to LBP as it’s receiving a lot of praise.
Check out the article below to further reading on this subject.