Will Wright is making a video game inspired by a short story by science fiction author Bruce Sterling.
The game, which The Sims creator hopes to have up and running in a year, riffs off of the Sterling short story Maneki Neko.
"He describes a karmic computer that's keeping a balance of payments between different people, and causing them to interact with each other in interesting ways to improve their lives even though they're strangers," Wright told Eurogamer in a new interview conducted at E3 in Los Angeles.
"They earn karmic points that are redeemed by having somebody else help them."
At the Game Developers Conference in March Wright announced he had begun work on his first new game projects since 2008's evolution sim Spore.
Wright told Eurogamer that the Sterling-inspired game he's working on is likely set for launch on tablets, smart phones and social networks such as Facebook.
"The rate of change is increasing almost exponentially right now, which means I don't think it makes sense to go through even a three or four year development cycle any more," he said.
"Unless you can get something to market within a year, at least an initial version within a year, you're hosed.
"So that's the new model for development, which has totally changed my thinking. Almost any project I want to work on is going to be something I can at least get some version out there in about a year and then iterate from there."
But that's not all. Wright is working on other games, "one or two" of which are intended for home consoles.
"But most of our work is going to be everything else: PC, tablet, Facebook and mobile."
Wright left EA in 2009 to run entertainment think tank StupidFunClub. It's already launched a user-generated TV show, and plans are in place to manufacture toys.