Will Wright Is Right – Let the Gamers Do It

A typical present generation video game takes anywhere from 5 to 10 million dollars to develop. Next-gen games are estimated to cost 15-30 million dollars to develop. With these costs going skyward and out-of-sight, game publishers are seeking new ways to bring down the production price tag without sacrificing quality. This is easy to understand, but very hard to implement. As difficult as this task is, there may be a way to do it. The process will not only help game publishers cut costs, but involve the gaming community in the process as well. Will Wright, creator of the Sims, and Xbox leader J. Allard, proposed a unique and novel way to address the problem of rising cost development: let the gamers create the content. The two superstars of gamedom suggested this idea at the Entertainment Gathering conference, as reported by c/net news. Wright is in the development of a game entitled Spore. It will allow online gamers to design and upload their own environments, worlds, and even galaxies to a massive game database. Think of this concept as custom mods on steroids. In an interview given to Wired magazine in June of last year, Wright said: For the few people that make really good content, if we can distribute that to all the other players, then the players in some sense become part of the game-design team. They are helping us to build the game. User-created content has two extraordinary benefits. Number 1 is that when somebody makes a piece of content, they are so much more emotionally attached to it. It doesn’t even matter if it’s good or bad. If they made it, it’s really cool, and they’re totally interested in what happens to it. Number 2, players love trading and sharing and spreading this stuff around and having it come to them, and building up their worlds. The game Spore has to do with evolving life. The gamer starts off with simple celled organisms and designs these creatures into more complex life forms. The player then plans strategies to evolve the creatures all the way up to sentient beings, if he or she wishes. From there, the creatures can go on to inhabit cities, planets, solar systems and even galaxies. The fascinating aspect of this online game, called a MSPG (massively single player game) is the interesting content that will be uploaded to the central game system. Imagine worlds or solar systems with Sponge Bob-like creatures, or a conquering race that would make the Borg look like wimps. The ideas for alien development, humor and drama are countless. Is the end-all answer to keeping game development costs down? Perhaps in online gaming, but the problem for console development still exists. But here is an idea that may work for console game developers: listen to the gamers for ideas. You™ll waste less money and sell more games.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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