‘We want to attract hardcore gamers to Spore’ – Will Wright talks up his new creation

The idea for Spore came not long after I finished The SimsI’d always wanted to do a space game and I’d always loved astronomy and space. I

The idea for Spore came not long after I finished The Sims

I’d always wanted to do a space game and I’d always loved astronomy and space. I got interested in the whole field of astrobiology, which is a really interesting way of not just looking at space but all of science. And that’s when it started thinking about how fun it would be to have a whole galaxy for gamers to explore.

Spore is definitely an evolution of The Sims

Fundamentally it has some fairly different things going on in it, but I’d say one of the core things of Spore are the creative tools that we had very primitive versions of back in The Sims. The average Sims character that you put online was about 3MB. The average Spore creature is about 20KB.

I think Spore is leading the way in online gaming

The way I see it, we’ve had single player games and we've had online games. In fact, there’s a big area between the two that hasn’t been totally unexplored. Online games have tremendous design drawbacks. You can’t let the player cheat, you can’t let them pause the game, you have to charge subscription, you can’t let them get super powerful. We wanted to design an online game that didn’t have all these restrictions.

Gaming is definitely becoming more accessible

I think there’s a broad trend in the industry towards more diverse, accessible games. I think the Wii has had a really big impact on the industry, bringing more players into it who were intimidated by hardcore first person shooters on the consoles.

Spore is an attempt to bring together casual and hardcore gamers

We didn’t want to lose The Sims players, but we wanted to attract a lot more hardcore players too. So Spore is much more goals and mission oriented than The Sims ever was.

We’re going to expand Spore very differently to The Sims

We’re still going to have expansion packs and booster packs like The Sims, but I want to sell new experiences to people who maybe just used the creature creator, but never played the game.

We want at least 50 per cent of players to complete Spore

That sounds low, but a lot of people install a game, play it for a few hours and then put it away. So we want half of our players to make it to the space level and beyond. I’m hoping it’s actually higher than that.

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