Will Wright talks about The Sims Online.

The folks over at Gamespot have a really good article on Will Wright and the development of the upcoming massively multiplayer version of The Sims.

I’ve always admired Wright as one of the great game designers of all time simply because it’s obvious to anyone who has played his games that he has invested a great deal of thought and emotion into the games he develops. From the article on his newest baby that’s about to debut next month, it’s clear that Wright has spent a lot of time not only thinking about what it would take to turn one of the best selling video games of all time into the next big multiplayer game, but also what impact it may have on the people who play it. Massively multiplayer games have a way of sucking some people in so far that they spend 22 hours or more a week playing them. Relationships have been destroyed, marriages ruined, jobs lost, and college classes failed because some poor schlep just had to camp that 13 hour spawn in EverQuest in hopes that this time he might be lucky enough to get that once-every-20th-spawn Mega-Death-Damage-Sword-Of-Total-Awesome-Power. By the same token, real-life marriages and friendships have been forged that rival anything that could have developed off-line. I know that I felt a real sense of loss when a friend I had made while playing Dark Age of Camelot recently passed away. I’d never met her, barely knew her real name, but the sense of loss was real for me and many others who knew her through the game.

Wright has actually spent a lot of time considering issues like that as TSO has been progressing through it’s development. It’s clear that he’s worried about it and feels somewhat responsible for what he’s about to unleash on the market. Consider that if The Sims Online attracts just 10% of folks who bought and play The Sims it would become the #1 most popular massively multiplayer game eclipsing the number of current EQ players by more than double and EQ has been around for a few years now. The fact that Wright is cognizant of these facts and has concerns about them only solidifies my admiration of him as one of the greatest developers ever. Go read the Gamespot article. It’s very worthwhile.

3 thoughts on “Will Wright talks about The Sims Online.

  1. Why are you calling this ‘animated chat program’ a game?

    In 3 months of ‘beta-testing’ I found far more struggle & stress than fun…and, it decidedly was not fun to be ‘hot-kissed’ by a 9 yr old who shared the game with his dad…and then slapped when I refused to join him in the ‘love-bed’ for a ‘hot stuff’, as he put it.

    Three months of hell…and a team of wild horses couldn’t drag me back.

    Just how much responsibility is Will willing to take?

  2. Hmmm. My first question would be that if it was so much trouble, why’d you continue to participate in the beta? I tried it a couple of times and found it unappealing so I stopped.

    Your story does bring out one of the things I saw as a potential problem with TSO which was the endless possibilities for grief players to run around and cause problems for other folks trying to enjoy the game. I doubt the kid you ran into was really 9, sounds more like someone out to have fun trying to shock other players.

    What kind of responsibility do you feel Will should take for the game?

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