Project Description

SimGolf was a product that literally evolved into existence over the course of a couple of weeks.  The product actually began life as Sid’s infamous dinosaur game, and despite building a variety of different prototypes (a card game, an RTS, etc), he was never satisfied with “Dinos” and began to tinker with other ideas. One of those ideas was a golf simulation that used the same isometric tile grid that he had built for his Dino game.   One week, we were playing and giving feedback on the dinosaur game. The next? presto-chango — SimGolf was born.

SimGolfStory2It wasn’t actually called SimGolf at first — that name and branding was a somewhat uneasy marriage brokered by EA’s Bing Gordon, and we did the best we could to embrace the Sims aesthetic.  The “Sims” that roamed your golf course could interact with each other and start “stories” that would only be fulfilled if your course provided a certain kind of challenge or fun.

At the time, I was still the web and community manager, so I worked with the Maxis web team to build and test the SimGolf website (including the “SimGolf Exchange” functionality on Maxis’ servers) and moderated the discussion boards.  I wrote some stories for the theme backs and also built a tool in Visual Basic called “Sim Golf Story” that allowed you to create new pairs of golfers and their “story” and save the file out to your game.

demojournalists2001 was the first year I attended E3 as a developer and demoed the game for press.  Our demo room was a golf-themed room right inside a giant tree that EA had constructed in the middle of their Harry Potter-themed area.  It was loud!  The giant SSX Tricky display outside our room was on a 2-minute loop and you could feel the bass in your chair 🙂