Will Wright, the designer behind games such as SimCity and The Sims, has announced at GDC in San Francisco that he’s working on a brand-new mobile game called Proxi.
Wright is working with developer Gallium Artists to create Proxi in the Unity engine and, as you’d expect from Wright, it’s a simulation game.
It’s quite different from Wright’s previous sims, however, in that players start with a completely blank world and must build it using their memories. No pre-existing frameworks here.
Players will be able to choose any kind of memory category they like - family adventures or home, for example - and use the 3D models in that category as building blocks to create their world. Over time they’ll have islands of connected memories that will form into 3D worlds.
It’s an idea that reminds us somewhat of the islands of personality in Pixar’s Inside Out, though we imagine it’ll play out very different and tragic scenes with imaginary elephants called Bing Bong are unlikely.
In his reveal, Wright calls Proxi a game of “self-discovery” and a chance for players to uncover their “inner it” and bring it to the surface. Though details are very thin on the ground at the moment, Wright has announced a Proxi Art Challenge, whereby artists can submit their own world creations for the chance at a job as a 3D artist for Proxi.
This is a somewhat unexpected announcement from Wright since he’s been rather quiet in the industry of late. His last full game, Spore, was released almost 10 years ago - it was named one of the best inventions of 2008 by Time magazine - and though he attempted to create a startup called Syntertainment in 2013, it never really took off.
However, Wright is a renowned game designer and any title he’s working on is worth keeping an eye on, especially if you’re a fan of simulation games.