A few sites are reporting what Will Wright had to say during a private session from the GDC. He wasn’t fully focusing on Spore; he branched from topics from The Sims all the way down to Godzilla (RAWR). Thanks goes out to Spores Illustrated for reporting these!
After tracing the rise of the Care Bears franchise, he moved on the The Sims. “When we did The Sims, it was kind of interesting because it was always an experiment. At the very beginning it’s like we had no idea what this thing could do. We never really thought it would become a mainstream thing, like a franchise.” Wright traced The Sims brand’s growth from original release through the many, many expansion packs, sequel, console versions, and various other incarnations. All the box art was slowly filling in a blank slide on a projector screen. By the end, the screen was so cluttered with box art you couldn’t tell what was what anymore. Referring to the slide, Wright commented, “to be honest I got tired of cutting and pasting all these images,” which sparked a wave of laughter from the audience
It was through these media franchises that Wright came to a few conclusions about the nature of entertainment. “Entertainment is worlds,” he says, and not properties (which reminds him of real estate) or brands (which reminds him of Coca-Cola).
GDC: Will Wright’s Theory of Everything – NextGen
“The point I’m trying to make is this: the best stories are inherently deconstructable and lead to the largest variety of play, and those are inherently generative and lead to story. All these elements [story, deconstruct, play, generation] are inherently interdependent.” This, of course, is what he calls model building, the fundamental thought of all his games, including The Sims and Spore.