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Lessons from Game Design (20 Nov 2003)
Will Wright, Maxis’ Chief Designer, co-founded Maxis with Jeff Braun in 1987. Wright began working on what would become SimCity—The City Simulator in 1985. Using a complex technique, he found a way to bring realistic simulations to desktop PCs. Previously simulations of this sort were only available to the military, scientists and academicians. But now, using an easy to use graphic interface, the world of simulations opened up to consumers.

Wright has had a lifelong fascination with simulations. His interest in plastic models of ships and airplanes during his childhood in Georgia eventually led to his designing computer models of cities, ecosystems and ant colonies.

SimCity was released in 1989, and within a few months became a hit. The game has since won 24 domestic and international awards. With Fred Haslem, Wright co-designed SimEarth—The Living Planet in 1990, a simulation of a planet based on the Gaia theory of James Lovelock. In 1991, Wright and Justin McCormick designed SimAnt—The Electronic Ant Colony, a scientifically-accurate simulation of an ant colony. SimCity 2000, and SimCopter, a helicopter flight game, are also part of Wright’s recent repertoire. SimCity 3000 Unlimited, the definitive version of 1999’s best-selling game SimCity 3000, continued in the tradition. The long-awaited 4th generation, SimCity 4, was released in January 2003.

Taking computer entertainment to its most personal level, Wright’s ground-breaking game The Sims, puts players in charge of the lives of a neighborhood of simulated people. Released in February of 2000, this wildly popular title has become a cultural phenomenon, sold over 9 million copies worldwide, has received numerous “Game of The Years” accolades, and has become the best selling PC game of all time. To date, The Sims has inspired six expansion packs; Livin’ Large, which allows players to put their simulated families from The Sims into new extreme situations and settings, House Party, which gives players the chance to host outrageous parties for their Sims, Hot Date, which gets The Sims off the couch, to an all-new downtown area and into the dating game, Vacation, which allows The Sims to get some rest and relaxation with their families and friends on a fun-filled vacation island, Unleashed, in which The Sims can finally own pets, and due out this May, Superstar, where players can now realize their fantasies of fame and fortune as they pursue the dream of being a Rock Star, Movie Star or a Supermodel and live the lifestyle of a celebrity!
Article URL: http://www.itconversations.com/shows/detail195.html
  104.39    (Will Wright, Founder, Maxis and creator of The Sims)  

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