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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

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Will Wright Discusses The Sims
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Rock, Paper, Shotgun recently had the chance to interview legendary game designer Will Wright about The Sims, the popular simulation of digital people. The interview covers a variety of topics including discussion of the game's origin, development process, difficulties encountered, and its overwhelming success.

As the future best selling PC game ever, it was immediately embraced by the corporate culture and… actually, no. In fact, the Sims almost died at birth. “We had a focus group back in 1993. And it tested very badly,” Will remembers, “No-one liked it at all, and was the worst idea out of the four we presented that night.” Will Wright went over to Sim City 2000 to work on that, and the Sims were forgotten until around 96, where Will managed to secure a small team. “I got one programmer and one behavioural modeller, and did a couple other things like SimCopter,” he says, “I didn’t really get back to the Sims until 96 or 97. We had a few guys on it, working on the behaviour.”

“It was a battle, the first few years, inside Maxis,” Will mentions, “It was referred to as “The Toilet game”. It was the game where you clean the toilet. We had a product review meeting at Maxis where we had to decide whether we’d publish this thing or not… and the executive said “No, let’s do that”.” So the Sims was over… except Will Wright secured the services of a tools programmer who wasn’t doing anything and worked secretly on the game. “No-body was using his tools, and they were thinking of axing him,” says Will, “I trundled him into my Black Box – so to speak – and did a little Skunk-works.”
Check out the rest of the article at the link provided below.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun: The Sims Interview
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Westlake Interactive
The Sims
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Archives  News  Will Wright Discusses The Sims