Interview: Maxis’ Bradshaw On Freedom In Games, Failure As A Positive
Posted by ballightning on May 30, 2009
Lucy Bradshaw talks to Gamasutra about many aspects in the world of Spore and the Sims. She goes into details about the community and the balance Maxis tried to create in Spore.
Spore And Balance
Finding the right balance was a challenge in Spore, she says, particularly in the area of how much impact and meaning to give people’s visual choices for their creatures. “We thought about that a lot… how penalizing the editing process should be. How much meaning should any one of those parts have? Should we have focused more on the physics, should gravity have played a greater role — should we have allowed players to make unsuccessful creatures?”
Ultimately, though, the team chose a “bias toward creativity and ease of use, rather than having physical attributes being damning of your species.” If it’s so easy to fail because a creature’s the wrong size or incorrectly mobile, Bradshaw theorizes, then players may be stuck going back and forth in the creation loop and missing out on the exploration aspect of the game.
“We’ve gotten some grief for it, because people wanted more meaning behind the editors,” she concedes. “I think there’s more opportunity for us to look at some of those things and give players a little more sense and depth; to ultimately re-examine some of the elements of Spore. With Galactic Adventures, we’re going deeper, allowing players to really invest back in their captain.”