Will Wright is one hell of a nice guy. It’s pretty remarkable how self effacing he is. The actual title of the keynote is “Why I get too obsessed with my game research”. I think it says something that just a few minutes in, we’ve all laughed probably a dozen times. “Learn to embrace your inner Otaku”
He started with a bit of a postmortem of The Sims Online, which was this massive, massive, heavy project with an amazing amount of inertia to deal with, compared to Spore, his next game, which was fast and agile in terms of development. Which then migrated into a discussion of application of ownership; this in turn gets brought back to Spore.
Will then discussed the initial ideas and research he did to come up with Spore. The history of life, the universe, and everything [sic]. Different theories on how life possibly came to Earth, the idea of “cross talk” between planets, or even interstellar cross talk (matter from one planet going to another planet).
The basic premise of the keynote was to drive home just how important research is to game development, and how sometimes the most random thing can be the inspiration for some really fantastic games. Overall, it was a fantastic keynote; I think it would be amazingly fun to just sit down and chat with Will for a while.