SimCity Creative Director Quits EA

SimCity Creative Director Quits EA

Jellygrade concept art

SimCity Creative Director Ocean Quigley and two other principal developers on the game have left Electronic Arts to form a new independent studio.

Ocean Quigley, perhaps the best-named (and most awesomely mustachioed) developer in the business, announced today on Twitter that he, along with Andrew Wilmott and Dan Moskowitz, have left Maxis and Electronic Arts to found a new indie studio called Jellygrade. Quigley was the creative director on SimCity, Wilmott was the simulation architect and Moskowitz was the lead gameplay engineer.

The studio's first game will be "a simulation about the dawn of life on earth; about lava, water, rock and the emergence of the first primordial creatures," he tweeted. The game is being developed for the iPad initially, but Quigley said he hopes a PC version will come out "in time."

SimCity, as you might recall, didn't have the smoothest launch ever, but while Quigley acknowledged that he wasn't happy with the situation, he said was ready to draw a line under his career at EA anyway. "I was dismayed at the blundered launch of something that I had poured so much love and attention into, which made the leaving easier but it would have probably happened anyway," he told Polygon. "Honestly I think I would have left regardless of whether EA's launch of SimCity was smooth or rough. It was basically my third SimCity. I did SimCity 3000 and SimCity 4 and this new SimCity."

"I have been a big studio developer for a long time, almost 18 years now," he said. "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."

Jellygrade has a bare-bones website up at jellygrade.com, and is also posting "behind-the-scenes dev stuff" at jellygrade.tumblr.com.

Sources: Twitter, Polygon

Permalink

so they want to make spore but set in the early stages?....ok im interested but considering how sim city turned out (not just the online BS but also the gameplay, broken by design) il keep an eye on it atleast

Good on him for taking his creativity elsewhere, but if his grand vision is only Sim Earth 2 I wonder how successful the new company will be.

Hey, maybe they'll make a game like Spore that isn't just a glorified tech demo. Very interested to see what these guys do, though unfortunately I doubt I'll be picking up any iPad apps.

If my hard work and dedication was neutered by the higher ups, I'd quit too.

NameIsRobertPaulson:
If my hard work and dedication was neutered by the higher ups, I'd quit too.

You say that now, but let's just wait until we see if his little vision tanks or not. The fact someone higher up may have said no-go on this project does not automatically make it a winner. :P

In other words: I will reserve judgement until they actually release something.

Karathos:

NameIsRobertPaulson:
If my hard work and dedication was neutered by the higher ups, I'd quit too.

You say that now, but let's just wait until we see if his little vision tanks or not. The fact someone higher up may have said no-go on this project does not automatically make it a winner. :P

In other words: I will reserve judgement until they actually release something.

A very fair view on things.

You can't always expect a miracle of sunshine and rainbows when a dev gets away from their "cruel corprate overlords".

One dev whose work I was a HUGE fan of left their publisher to try and make something I didn't like the look of on kickstarter which eventually failed anyway.

It is always best to temper your expectations.

Good on them for pursuing their dreams. I hate that all these experienced devs form their own studios and immediately focus on mobile, but whatever. At least they're bringing their talent to projects beyond the control of major publishers.

The CREATIVE director of a sequel to SimCity that didnt even match what the other SimCity titles did despite the last one was in 2004, the SIMULATION architect of a SimCity which is widely considered a joke as a simulation and more like smoke and mirrors to hide the fact the simulation is a farce, and the GAMEPLAY engineer on a SimCity that actually managed to take out gameplay compared to its older siblings to a point it was more like following a progression rather than making choices...

... I dont have much faith in this lot making anything worth looking at, no matter how fun it sounds like... SimCity sounded great as well, yes ?

Not going to lie; that does sound like a fun idea for a game. I do like me some primordial ooze.

EA: a little less creative everyday.

Wilmott was the simulation architect

Wasn't one of the biggest problems people had with SimCity the actual simulation of traffic and pedestrians?

Not trying to shit on this guy, but if he's responsible for those flaws, Jelly's next game might have similar issues.

ASnogarD:
SimCity sounded great as well, yes ?

This in an important point.

OTOH, there already were various SimCity games (to me, the definitive one is SimCity 2000, not least because of the tie in games like SimCopter and Streets of Sim), this looks fairly novel.

"The studio's first game will be "a simulation about the dawn of life on earth; about lava, water, rock and the emergence of the first primordial creatures,"

Call me old (and senile), but wasn't Maxis's first follow up to The original Simcity a game called SimEarth... That was almost exactly as this new game is described? I remember it as being a really cool game at the time.

Oh, look. EA losing even more creative talent.

Can't be much of it left by now. I wonder if they got any big names left at this point.

Someone leaving EA -> I'm happy for them.

Other than that, a primordial Earth simulator could be cool, but we'll see.

"Not to knock EA or anything..."

Except yeah, he's totally knocking EA.

Did this really surprise anyone? The man's been involved in three Sim City games; seeing this one destroyed by that ubiquitous publisher element, "Poisonous corporate culture" (Thank you, Shamus Young!) had to be the last straw.

faefrost:
"The studio's first game will be "a simulation about the dawn of life on earth; about lava, water, rock and the emergence of the first primordial creatures,"

Call me old (and senile), but wasn't Maxis's first follow up to The original Simcity a game called SimEarth... That was almost exactly as this new game is described? I remember it as being a really cool game at the time.

If he follows in Maxis's footsteps and remakes their old games for modern times...and does them well. I shall follow.

That said, I don't know *exactly* how much of 5imCity's failure is his fault vs. Executive meddling, so I'll wait for the reviews on his first work before taking the dive.

ASnogarD:
The CREATIVE director of a sequel to SimCity that didnt even match what the other SimCity titles did despite the last one was in 2004, the SIMULATION architect of a SimCity which is widely considered a joke as a simulation and more like smoke and mirrors to hide the fact the simulation is a farce, and the GAMEPLAY engineer on a SimCity that actually managed to take out gameplay compared to its older siblings to a point it was more like following a progression rather than making choices...

... I dont have much faith in this lot making anything worth looking at, no matter how fun it sounds like... SimCity sounded great as well, yes ?

Except that they worked on said previous Sim Cities also, so it's a good guess that the changes in design weren't their call especially since EA has been pushing for mandatory net connection and features as well as 'broadening the audience'.

RUN!!! RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN!! RUN AND DON'T TURN BACK, YOU'RE ONE OF THE FEW THAT BROKE FREE!! DON'T THINK, JUST RUN BEFORE THEY SUCK ALL THE LIFE AND COLOUR OUT OF YOU TOO!!

Dobby is freeeeee.

Yeah I've got nothing more to say here, run man, run far away!

Kickstarter will commence in 3, 2, 1...

his idea sounds very cool, however it seems that every time it was tried before, it has failed, so the hope is not that huge....

ASnogarD:
The CREATIVE director of a sequel to SimCity that didnt even match what the other SimCity titles did despite the last one was in 2004, the SIMULATION architect of a SimCity which is widely considered a joke as a simulation and more like smoke and mirrors to hide the fact the simulation is a farce, and the GAMEPLAY engineer on a SimCity that actually managed to take out gameplay compared to its older siblings to a point it was more like following a progression rather than making choices...

... I dont have much faith in this lot making anything worth looking at, no matter how fun it sounds like... SimCity sounded great as well, yes ?

While not being driven by the apes in ivory towers at EA. Anything is possible.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here