informa
/
2 MIN READ
News

Feature: 'GDC: What's Next in Content Keynote'

In this year's highly anticipated GDC game design keynote, The Sims creator and designer extraordinaire Will Wright offered insight into the research process followed in ...
In this year's highly anticipated GDC game design keynote, The Sims creator and designer extraordinaire Will Wright offered insight into the research process followed in creating Maxis' upcoming title Spore, where he hopped from subjects from astrobiology, Drake's equation on the probability of life in outer space and the Russian space program to Maxis' recruiting policies and the design of coal-mining cranes. In this extract, we discuss some of the extremely unique parts of the keynote: "From a session structure standpoint, Wright decided to follow two parallel trains of thought, one (the “official” one) dealing with game design research methods, while the other (the one he actually wished he had talked about) focused on astrobiology research. This made the speech quite humorous, as Wright swapped subjects every few slides, advancing his two parallel lines until they fused in the conclusion. Obviously, the real goal was to discuss research methods, while using the astrobiology excuse to delve into the actual research done for Spore, and offer examples. Wright began by discussing how and when research should be done: even before preproduction begins and, in his case, relying heavily on books about the game's subject. That's how he got into astrobiology, discovering the timeline of the universe, from a Big Bang some fourteen billion years ago, to the appearance of life on Earth around four billion years ago, and possibly on other planets as well. For Spore, this initial research led to simulation prototypes, which were just simple apps showing some of the underlying science principles visually. Wright showed as an example, a galaxy simulation software, where he could actually “plant” seeds of life and advance time to see how life forms expanded through space with time. Interestingly, he commented, many science prototypes needed to be built in order for some of these to become interesting in terms of gameplay. Only these were then refined to experiment with control and gameplay mechanics for the game. Obviously, this frequently led to more research, so the basic research-science prototype-gameplay prototype loop was closed." You can now read the full Gamasutra coverage on the matter, including detailed information on this fascinating lecture (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).

Latest Jobs

Treyarch

Playa Vista, Los Angeles, CA, USA
2.03.23
Senior Physics Gameplay Engineer - Treyarch

High Moon Studios

Carlsbad, CA, USA
2.03.23
VFX Artist - High Moon Studios

Anne Arundel Community College

Arnold, MD, USA
1.30.23
Instructor/Assistant Professor, Game Art

Treyarch Vancouver

Vancouver, BC, Canada
2.02.23
Producer - Treyarch Vancouver
More Jobs   

CONNECT WITH US

Explore the
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Job Board

Game Developer Newsletter

@gamedevdotcom

Explore the

Game Developer Job Board

Browse open positions across the game industry or recruit new talent for your studio

Browse
Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Subscribe
Follow us

@gamedevdotcom

Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more