Will Wright – the designer behind The Sims, SimCity, and Spore – has named Shigeru Miyamoto as one of his personal developer heroes. Wright praises Miyamoto’s ability to focus a game around the player. This inspiration will be seen in Wright’s latest unannounced project. Wright stated that his development company Syntertainment is focusing on “how we build a game around the player’s life – the places they know, the people they hang out with”. Wright also cited developers Peter Molyneux and Sid Meier as current developer inspirations.
What I admire most about [Miyamoto] is he always puts the player first. [Molyneux] takes a lot of risks. [Meier's] games are just playable.
Peter Molyneux, formerly of Lionhead and co-founder of 22 Cans, believes that the industry needs the Wii U, but admits that he thinks the device is simply good, but not great. Molyneux says that he finds the device a little confusing as a consumer, due to the fact that you’re looking at two separate screens. Here’s Molyneux thoughts on the device which launches throughout Europe tomorrow.
“I think the Wii U is good, but I don’t feel it’s great. I’ve played the experience, I’ve played Nintendo Land, I’ve played ZombiU, and they’re good. I find holding the device in my hand–looking up at the screen and looking down at the device–slightly confusing as a consumer. It’s good, but it’s not great. And we really need these new pieces of hardware to be great in today’s world, because the competition is not just consoles anymore. The competition is everything, all the technology. When you’re holding a Kindle Fire or an iPad in your hand, it’s just amazing technology. It really is. It’s expensive, but it’s amazing technology. And people like Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft need to match that. They need to match that in my mind, and exceed it. And I’m not sure the Wii U really did that.”
“I’ve got unvelievable respect for Nintendo. They created our industry in a very real sense. I can remember everybody in the industry laughing and giggling about how stupid the Wii was, what a stupid name it was, and who would want motion control. And then it went on to sell what, 60, 70 million copies? It got people who never considered computer games to play them.”
Acclaimed developer Peter Molyneux has confessed to IGN that he struggles to see anything amazing come out of Nintendo and its forthcoming Wii U console. Molyneux says there’s glimmers of greatness, but there’s nothing that makes him say I have to go out and purchase the device. He went on to commend Nintendo for its immensely popular Wii console, but admits he fails to see the mass market appeal of Wii U.
IGN: What are your thoughts on what Nintendo is doing with the Wii U overall?
Peter Molyneux: I struggle to see anything amazing coming out of Nintendo. There are a few, “Oh, that’s smart,” but there’s nothing that makes me rush out as a consumer to buy the new device. I’ll give you a great example of how tech should be used. It’s what Nintendo did with the Wii when it first came out. They introduced motion control. They were one of the first companies to introduce motion control and they had a fantastic Wii Sports Game. As soon as I picked up the controller and started waving it around, I got it. I already understood it. But I’m not sure there’s a same sort of application out there for Wii U. I think to myself, “Well, what’s the reason to get it?” Do you see what I mean?
IGN: I do. I’ve tried out a lot of the launch games and outside of the Nintendo games like NintendoLand and Ubisoft’s Rayman Legends and ZombiU, there’s not a lot of innovations. And I did find it challenging, even while standing at the kiosk, focusing on both screens.
Peter Molyneux: There you go. I had exactly the same experience. I played those games and I thought, “That’s cute.” But the psychology of making a game is hard enough because plasma screens are so big now. It’s hard enough to get the player to move their eyes from the center of the screen to the borders. When you’re designing a game for a plasma screen you’ve got to really flash the corners of the screen. You’ve got to get movement in, otherwise people don’t notice anything in the corners. Getting people to move their eyes from the screen down to their laps is incredibly hard. There has to be some huge motivational thing like the words coming up, “Look at your GamePad now.” If you’re going to do that, from a design perspective that sounds a bit clumsy and complex.
Kotaku has announced that their team of writers will be joining Geoff Keighley and acclaimed developer Peter Molyneux for unrivalled coverage of E3 on SpikeTV next month. Former Microsoft and Lionhead developer Molyneux will be joining Spike TV’s All Access Live marathon coverage of the first two days of E3, will begin which on Monday, June 4 at 11:30 AM. Here’s what Peter Molyneux has told Kotaku he’s most excited about:
- Sony and Msft are holding their breath on next gen interesting to see how they pad out another year. Price cuts, form factors?
- Nintendo’s slightly lack lustre Wii U is going to have to blow us away with better specs and great 1st party line up.
- The real challenge is how the players are going to adapt to the mounting pressure of Facebook, Apple, Social, Cloud, Multi-Gaming.
- Is the biggest news that E3 itself runs the risk of being outdated, or perhaps it already is?
- I guess I am excited about GTA V, but only in a mildly curious way.
- I am excited, as always, to hear from Valve.
- I would expect some announcement from Bungie
- God only knows what COD will have to destroy in the Press briefing demo, after last year’s destruction of NY.
Peter Molyneux, formerly of Lionhead studios, is renowned for his controversial comments. This time Molyneux has told online gaming publication Beefjack that video game controllers are not only tedious, but they’re boring. Here’s Peter Molyneux rant for your enjoyment.
“I am just sick to death of having my hand clamped to this controller – of having to be forced to use my thumb in a certain way, and having my other hand clamped to the other side of the controller, and having games say ‘No, you will do it this way, and if you don’t do it this way then we will punish you’.”
[Typical console control inputs make him feel] “like some laboratory rat running around a maze, being forced to experience games in that way.”
“Sure enough, controllers are great, they give us exactly what we want, but that is so tedious and boring now.”