You may remember when “SimCity” was released earlier in the year. You may remember the internet, including me, ranting and raving about the yes/no DRM and server problems. Well the creative director, Ocean Quigley, lead architect, Andrew Willmott and lead gameplay engineer, Dan Moskowitz are leaving Maxis and EA altogether to set up their own company, Jellygrade.
Talking to Polygon, Quigley said;
“I have been a big studio developer for a long time, almost 18 years now,” he said. “EA has a certain roster of projects they want to do and they are a big company with big momentum. If you have something new and untried, and something that’s uniquely yours that you want to do, it’s really not the environment to do it.
“EA’s strengths are executing things with hundreds of people, to well-understood patterns. The stuff that I want to do now is to explore some new simulation themes and some new mechanics and do some stuff that EA is not well set up to do. So, not knocking EA, they do what they do, but it was time for me and the other developers Andrew Willmott and Dan Moskowitz to go off and try some new stuff.”
Talking about their first project as a new company, Quigley said it was “a little too weird and science nerdy for EA” and said on Twitter;
We’re making a simulation about the dawn of life on earth; about lava, water, rock and the emergence of the first primordial creatures.
— Ocean Quigley (@oceanquigley) July 16, 2013
The game is being built for the iPad.
“There’s a bunch of simulation stuff that we’re doing around fluid dynamics, around the movement of lava and water and rock. Gases and fluids and solids all mingling together to make lava landscapes and seas. There’s a bunch of stuff that I have been wanting to try out for a long time around touch sensitivity and the manipulation of those things.
“So we take some of the concerns and ideas about tactility that I have been thinking about for a long time and then apply them to something where you are literally reaching down and pushing lava around or making lightning come out of clouds or pulling down comets. You are reaching into the world and manipulating it with multiple fingers. It comes out of a desire to have more direct tactile interaction with the world that you are creating and manipulating.”
But he did say that he hopes there will be a PC port “in time“.
It’s always a daunting move when you decide to go it alone, especially in the games industry. These guys have a lot of knowledge between them and their game idea seems solid. Frankly, I can’t wait to see what they come up with. Here is one guy saying good luck to you guys at Jellygrade.