09 December 2005

Will Wright on success and Failure in the Sims

Success and Failure in the Sims
Originally uploaded by ptufts.
See my earlier post on part one of the talk.

In the second half of his talk at When 2.0, Will Wright talked about success and failure in the game the Sims. Players don't mind failure, as long as they understand why they failed.

In the Sims, as in real life, there are lots of ways to fail. The slide shows what can happen on the road to success.

The game designers spent a lot of effort illustrating the failures, and players enjoy exploring them. I thought back to SimCity and how you could have traffic jams, crime, fire, earthquakes, and even Godzilla stomping on buildings, and I remembered how it was fun to actually push the limits of the game to explore how to make things break, and then how to make them work.

Good games allow people to explore and think about things more broadly than they might have otherwise. Failure in a game world is OK, and by failing, you can make a better model of how things should work.

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