Veteran games designer Will Wright has announced his latest games project and start-up developer HiveMind.
The creator of huge PC titles such as The Sims and Sim City describes HiveMind as ‘personal gaming’, something he says taps into players’ real life situations and makes them become part of the game.
“Rather than craft a game like FarmVille for players to learn and play, we learn about you and your routines and incorporate that into a form of gameplay,” Wright told VentureBeat.
“It is about how we make reality more interesting to you.”
Unlike Wright’s think tank firm Stupid Fun Club, which he set up in 2009 after leaving EA, HiveMind is a fully operational company as well as a game. Its three founders are entrepreneur Raj Parekh, game finance expert Jawad Ansari and Wright himself. It’s possible the new California-based start-up could work with Stupid Fun Club in the future.
It’s not clear how exactly the HiveMind game will work just yet as the project is in its early stages, but Wright says it will be a social game as players will be able to help their friends complete tasks over the internet. HiveMind could be released on mobile devices, Facebook or other platforms.
Wright explained how he was influenced by a group of car enthusiasts he met by chance, who organise a gathering each month to show off their motors.
“If I knew about these events, my life would be a lot more interesting,” he said. “How do we expose you to these events, these things? How can we make a system that understands enough about you and gives you situational awareness? 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.”
Wright added: “[HiveMind] blurs entertainment, lifestyle, and personal tools. With that data, the world and the opportunities for entertainment within it become more visible to you.
“We had our eras in console gaming and social gaming. A lot of this personal gaming will happen on mobile devices. The question here is how can we learn enough about the player to create games about his or her real life. The user becomes the game.”