Development luminary Will Wright, creator of The Sims and Spore, has announced that he is to start work on a sci-fi game set for release on tablets, iOS and social networks.
Wright told Eurogamer that the game will be based on a short story written by cyberpunk author Bruce Sterling; Maneki Neko, in which a secret AI-organised gift economy exists below the surface of the everyday world. He has said that he hopes to have the game ready within a year.
"He [Sterling] describes a karmic computer that's keeping a balance of payments between different people, and causing them to interact with each other in interesting ways to improve their lives even though they're strangers," Wright said.
"They earn karmic points that are redeemed by having somebody else help them."
Wright explained the short development time as being a necessity in the changing games market.
"The rate of change is increasing almost exponentially right now, which means I don't think it makes sense to go through even a three or four year development cycle any more," he said.
"Unless you can get something to market within a year, at least an initial version within a year, you're hosed.
"So that's the new model for development, which has totally changed my thinking. Almost any project I want to work on is going to be something I can at least get some version out there in about a year and then iterate from there."
Wright also confirmed that he is working on several other games, with ‘one or two’ being developed for the home consoles.