Thank the maker

So it appears that Wil Wright, or at least a poorly-drawn caricature of him, will be working in an advisory role for players in Sim City 3000 for DS. Or as Kohler puts it, he’ll be playing the part of Dr. Kawashima.

Videogame industry, this is an amazing idea. I would like to see more creators putting forth the effort to interface with players, to add the personal touch (and sense that games are a creative medium) that is so often missing. Like the director’s commentary on a DVD. Here are some recommendations:

  • Tetsuya Nomura: We don’t know what kind of game Agito Final Fantasy XIII will be, so why not make it a delicious fashion adventure? Like Project Runway meets Devil May Cry. Nomura could offer important tips on his favorite subject: what kind of hairspray to use for maximum lift and spikiness, real versus synthetic fabrics for combat use, and proper zipper placement.
  • Jef Minter: In Space Camel, or whatever he’s calling his next Tempest knock-off, Minter’s disembodied head would flicker across the screen, melting into the psychedelic scenery. Of course, Tempest clones are easy to play, so he wouldn’t be offering advice, per se. He’d mostly be giggling and saying things like, “Have you ever looked at your hands, man? I mean, like, really looked at your hands?”
  • The Stamper Bros.: They can take turns tag-teaming into Viva Piñata, weeping at how far Rare has fallen. Bonus: Peter Moore can jump in occasionally and murmur things like “$377 million for this?”
  • Peter Molyneux: In any game, Molyneux’s on-screen avatar would basically just stand there and apologize profusely.

39 thoughts on “Thank the maker

  1. Gotta give props to Dan Forden, whose head would pop on the screen and compliment you with a “Toasty!” during Mortal Kombat II.

  2. That’s pretty kick-ass. From now on I’d like to see Jeremy Parish caricatures with various emotions placed throughout your 1up reviews.

  3. Hey, now that I think about that, I guess I kind of already do that in my Raroo articles, eh?

  4. There’s a Kaz Ridge Racer suggestion but no suggestion for a Genji 2 glasses wearing bald guy ‘attack its weak point for massive damage!’ pop-up advice avatar :(

  5. And Toshihiro Nagoshi in… I dunno, Monkey Ball? As an enemy? An Oompa Loompa?

    All I know is that the dude is scary looking and I just wanted to discuss openly the nightmares that I hae about him.

  6. It’s not THAT new; actually the SNES edition of Sim City had a helper named “Dr. Wright”. He didn’t look like the real one, though

  7. Now there’s a thought. Kaz Hirai could be to any Sony platform hosted versions of Ridge Racer what Link was to Soul Calibur II on the Cube. Or not.

  8. At first I liked chibi Wright. Then I noticed his moustache reminds me of Hitler.

    Reminds me of Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy, where director/writer David Cage had enough ego to get himself digitized into the game’s short tutorial to show the player the ropes. Kaz Hirai in Ridge Racer would be unbelievable, partly because old stuffy Sony certainly doesn’t have enough sense of humor at all for a stunt like that.

  9. sid meier isnt just the tutorial, he’s also the leader of the barbarians in civ 4, as well as the science advisor in civ 3.

    btw, i’m incredibly excited over sim city ds.

  10. Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy is introduced by it’s lead designer David Cage. Kind of a forward-thinking game in a lot of respects, that one.

  11. Since when is Kojima vocal? If you meant self-aggrandizing, you’re nuts. He seems like the most self-effacing man on the planet (like every normal Japanese person).

    However, if you meant transparent-game-themes that sound like the director talking (a’la MGS thumbnail theater) then sure, okay.

  12. […] Sim City 3000 for DS.
    Wait, what? Goddammit, I never head about that till now. They’ll have to surgically remove the DS from my death-like grip after news like that.

  13. While it has nothing to do with Will Wright appearing, I’d just like to note that “Save the City” is the greatest thing to appear in a menu ever.

  14. Sim City is based on um, actual historical city development. Here we, um, have this giant crab disaster destroying the city. Hit it in the weakpoint for maximum damage.

  15. This falls into nerd minutiae that no one probably cares about, but according to the Japanese caption to the picture you posted, your advisor will actually be chosen based on a personality survey that you take when you start playing the game. So, this creepy Will Wright caricature is just one of a number of possible advisers. Maybe your joke will come true and there will be even more creepy developer caricatures out there as possibilities. Unlikely, but not impossible . . .

  16. I’m sure Wright will just play an updated advisor role as he did in SimCity SNES. Hopefully they bring back the Bowser monster attack.

    As far as more designers in games, how about David Jaffe popping up in the middle of cutscenes to let everyone know that the story is not important and that we should just get back to the action.

  17. “As far as more designers in games, how about David Jaffe popping up in the middle of cutscenes to let everyone know that the story is not important and that we should just get back to the action.”

    Nice job–except for that isn’t funny in the least and it isn’t what Jaffe said.

  18. You know what I really can’t just start believing? That the motherfucking crocodile hunter was killed by one of the least dangerous animals he could have ever encountered. I mean, he played with crocodiles and shit but, fuck, he got killed by a motherfucking stingray or whatever. The world is just crazy.

  19. Getting pierced through the heart by an exotic animal’s tail, however unlikely, was still pretty consistent with his lifestyle. At least he didn’t just fall down some stairs or something.

  20. Stopping in to say ROFL, but it’s a ROFL tinged with melancholy.

    Also, back to the subject at hand: don’t forget that the pixel-head of Roberta Williams always stopped in during your Death Knell just to thank you for playing! She totally had feathered hair, too.

  21. “Cliffy B. would just pop up in the game and be all, ‘Hey laaaaaaadies!'”
    I just had a vision of Cliffy B. in an early 90’s Beastie Boys video. And it was *brilliant*.

  22. “your advisor will actually be chosen based on a personality survey”.
    I don’t really want to think about what answers you have to give to get the scary ko-gal fashion victim shown in other screenshots as your advisor.

  23. If you look closely and squint your eyes, its pretty clear the advisor in the pic used for this blog entry is a complete ripoff of the one Otacon uses in MGS2 when you send him the pictures of naked men posters

  24. I like the idea of developers inserting themselves into games actually! Remember the beginning of Indigo Prophecy? I thought that was a really fun way to start off the game, with the developer himself welcoming us into the story!

  25. Warren Spector: would pop in and say “This game sucks!” or “This isn’t emergent enough! Why are there only 3 ways to finish this puzzle? There should be ten!” or “I thought of it first! I’m the king of the cult classic videogame!”

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