It’s hard to believe that SimCity is 25 years old, but it is. The original game came out in 1989 for Mac and the Amiga and has been ticking along steadily ever since, spawning a number of games preceded by the word “Sim”.
Will Write is the man behind the franchise (or at least he was until he left the studio he co-founded – Maxis – to pursue other projects in 2009), and he sat down with super-fan Doug Bierend from Medium.com to talk about his creation.
I’ve always had a lot of respect for Will Wright, and you’ll see why in the interview: he is one smart human, with a playfully curious approach to life and games. He’s also one of the few game developers who is able to articulate his fascination with both people and games, and communicate exactly why he does what he does.
What I like so much about him is he’s always come across like he’s about more than just making a buck off of his hard work, and that he’s actually exploring the human condition and society at large as he goes along through the medium of games. This interview shows that, and more, as Wright talks about how SimCity has been, among other things, about intersecting systems producing unexpected results, and how players respond to them.
“Most of the simulation is really built up of rather simple rules, if you look under the hood, and it’s really interesting how these simple rules, when they interact with each other, give rise to great complexity,” Wright says. “You can’t even really sit back and engineer it or blueprint it. It’s more like you have to discover it, because the emergent systems are inherently, by definition, unpredictable.”
With such sharp insights and a clearly brilliant mind, it’s no wonder Wright’s games have sold millions. I just wish he’d been involved in 2013’s disastrous SimCity, as maybe it would have been a better game.
The Medium.com interview is well worth a read if you have even a passing interest in Sim City, Will Wright or games in general.
[Source – Medium.com]