The Simpsons’s wacky, wonderfully satirical world has occupied our TV screens for nearly 30 years. Now, fans can create their own Springfield utopia.
The Simpsons and Electronic Arts partnered up to put Springfield—the franchise’s heart and soul—in players’ hands as they help Homer rebuild the city (after he accidentally erased it… typical). The game, loaded with the show’s signature sarcasm, won the 2018 Webby People’s Voice Award for Strategy/Simulation in the inaugural Games category suite. We talked to The Simpsons team about creating the game and more.
You won the Webby People’s Voice Award for Strategy/Simulation. Can you describe your strategic vision for this game?
Every time we made a Simpsons game, we had to design a map of Springfield, which we always hated because no such map exists. This was a way to finally make a game where designing that impossible map was the player’s responsibility—as well as write a lot of dialogue telling them what a terrible job they were doing at it.
The Simpsons as a brand is a well-known pop culture staple. How did you navigate remaining true to the show’s voice and characters, while creating a unique gaming experience?
Not very well. We all work on the show, so staying true to the voice and characters is our day job. Tapped Out [was a project] we did at night. It quickly became a place to put all the jokes we loved that were too arch or meta for the show. It’s like professional fan fiction.
What’s next for The Simpsons: Tapped Out?
Animals! We added the monorail a while back, and the game turned into weeks of people building model trains. Now we’re all going to get to build zoos.
What was your first reaction to learning you won the Webby People’s Voice Award?
We wondered if we could use this as a story in the game. What if Homer designed a game in Tapped Out that wins a Webby, then decides to make a story about that in his game? Then what if the game in that story in the game in our game didn’t win one? Would that be a twist?