Wright's games have moved from Sim City's large-scale
macro-management, down to The Sims' micro-managed, domestic intimacy.
But the developer's next venture, HiveMind, may reimagine gameplay
even further. “We had our eras in console gaming and social
gaming,” explains Wright, calling HiveMind's genre “personal
gaming.” Implementing ideas from engineering and sci-fi, he wants
to enable users to “become the game.” Does that make your
friends the DLC?
than craft a game like FarmVille for players to learn and play,” says Wright in an interview with Games Beat, “we learn about you and your routines and incorporate
that into a form of gameplay.” He gives the example of visiting
Burbank and chancing upon a group who gathered to show off their
vintage cars, a passion of Wright's. Taking the chance out of
meetings like this, he says, could make his life a lot more
interesting: “How do we expose you to these events, these things?
It could take into account what time of day it is, where you are, how
much money is in your pocket. Imagine if you could open Google Maps
and it shows you things that are interesting to you on the map.”
Above: The Sims Social bridged Wright's signature series with Facebook gaming. HiveMind aims to go beyond both
says HiveMind, which will serve as a startup as well as a game, is
about “how we make reality more interesting to you... How do we get
you more engaged in reality rather than distract you from it?” He
says he wants HiveMind to mine deep data about users to create a far
more personal experience than existing augmented-reality titles or
apps like FourSquare.
course, none of this explains exactly what form HiveMind will take,
much less the gameplay experience – if such a term's even
appropriate. “A lot of this personal gaming will happen on mobile
devices,” says Wright. “The question here is how can we learn
enough about the player to create games about his or her real life.”
The game might contain elements of Facebook gaming as well as other
platforms: Wright says his ambition is to build HiveMind, as a game
and online presence, “in a very big way.” If ever a title
required players to keep a lookout for future announcements, this is