Chapter 20: Game Analysis: The Sims


Designed by Will Wright Released in 2000

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Based on its concept alone, The Sims is not a game that many people would identify as one they would want to play. Indeed, a focus group conducted early in the project s development was so unfavorable that the game s designer, Will Wright, had trouble getting any staff on the project. And why would it be fun? Control a collection of characters at home in a simulated suburbia. To hear that description of the game, it seems disturbingly too much like real, mundane, suburban life to possibly be entertaining. Indeed, all that is simulated in the game is home life ” no going out to concerts or roller rinks for these sims. But to hear someone talk about The Sims is to instantly become intrigued. Well, I was trying to get my sim to flirt with this woman , but her husband became upset and decked my character! So what is it that makes this game so brilliant and so fiendishly entertaining?

To summarize, players start playing The Sims by first creating the characters they want to control by assigning quantities to different attributes: Neat, Outgoing, Active, Playful, and Nice. Players can then place these characters in a home, either pre-built or one they construct themselves . From there, it is the players responsibility to make sure the house has all of the objects the sims will need to live: a bed, a toilet , a kitchen, a phone, objects for entertainment, and so forth. The Needs indicators help communicate what the sim requires to achieve happiness, including listings for Hunger, Energy, Comfort, Fun, and Social. Players also must see to it that their sim finds a way to bring in money to pay for all the nifty stuff players purchase, a goal accomplished by looking at the job listings in the newspaper. In addition, the game has an elaborate social component, where other sims can be invited over, talked to, entertained, flirted with, and befriended. The game provides such an amazing breadth of areas for players to explore, one is amazed that all of them are also quite deep in their functionality.

Game Design Theory and Practice
Game Design: Theory and Practice (2nd Edition) (Wordware Game Developers Library)
ISBN: 1556229127
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 189

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