Creativity 50 2011: Mark Pincus and Chris Trottier

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Chris Trottier
Chris Trottier

You may have never heard of Chris Trottier, but you've heard of -- and probably played -- her games. Ms. Trottier is the principal game designer at Zynga, home to the wildly popular Facebook game Farmville.

Althought Trottier wasn't responsible for the company's marquee title--she joined the company, and boss Mark Pincus, after it launched--her name has been attached to some of the most massive successes in the gaming world. She was one of the main designers of The Sims, the biggest-selling PC game franchise in PC history, and lead designer for Spore another title that veered from the usual shoot-'em-up games so popular with men 18-34 years old. "One thing I really like about Zynga's games is they give people a very non-threatening place to engage creatively," Ms. Trottier said. "There's no right answer to what your farm should look like."

Added Mr. Pincus: "I love seeing how creative and weird people can be when playing our games, the amazing farms and cities they build that are perfect models of Versailles or tributes to friends or entertainers. …Those in-game activities motivate me and my team and show that we have the opportunity to create a real internet treasure."

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly implied that Ms. Trottier was a designer on Farmville.

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