Will Wright’s next game has been confirmed as as HiveMind, which is also the name of the new Berkeley, California based startup from the industry vet.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with VentureBeat, Wright explained HiveMind as a game which can customize itself to the individual, using the player’s real-life as elements.
In more layman terms, the game monitors the player and its routines, and incorporates what it has learned into “a form of game play.” It does this by mining data such as the current location of the player and their friends, how much money they have on-hand, etcetera. The game will then direct the person to the right place where they could enjoy themselves, based on their interests.
Wright admitted it sounds a bit like an invasion of privacy, but he feels there is an entertainment value in sharing, and people, especially younger generations which are more comfortable sharing there interests with the world, will gladly fork the information over.
Once enough data is collected on a lot of different people, Wright said it could also turn into sort of a “matchmaking service” and by discovering useful and entertaining things about the players.
“It blurs entertainment, lifestyle, and personal tools,” he said. “With that data, the world and the opportunities for entertainment within it become more visible to you. If we can learn enough about the player, we can create games about their real life. How do we get you more engaged in reality rather than distract you from it?
“This has to do with where gaming is going. 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.”
Wright said he doesn’t want the game “limited” by information such as location data, as in order to go deeper into the player, HiveMind will use gaming psychology as well to find out what motivates the player to perform certain actions; games will allow HiveMind to actually mine data regarding the individual, not the gaming populous at large. This is where the player becomes the game.
HiveMind won’t limit players based on location either, like some Augmented Reality titles, and players can call upon their friends to help with their needs and help will accomplishing goals you want to achieve in real life. Wright described it as crowdsourcing, which allows many to contribute to one, single problem or issue which the internet is renowned for.
“When you look at the arc of the games I have done, starting from SimCity, they are each mining a deeper level of creativity,” Wright said. “And they are more focused on the individual over time.”
HiveMind’s release and platform availability will be revealed at a later date, but Wright is looking towards mobile and Facebook at the moment, with the possibility of an eventual console release. It may even interact with a TV show he has in the works with Stupid Fun Club.
His hope with HiveMind, is that it “triggers interest” from other developers considering the same type of game, in order to “scale up” the business incorporating large pockets of talent working on apps, system back-ends, and anything which would make HiveMind “a reality.”
“We want to do this in a very big way,” Wright said.