Interview with Sid Meier and Bruce Shelley
8:52 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story
Fans of the famous strategy title Civilization should be instantly familiar with the names Sid Meier and Bruce Shelley. Having been part of the computer game industry since it first got off the ground, these two were the key designers behind Civilization as well as many other successful titles. Computer Games Online managed to snag the pair for an interview, which looks primarily into their design methods and philosophies.
One of the more interesting answers Meier gives involves a question on Civilizations viability during its time of release, giving insight into what the industry was like back then:
In those days, strategy was a dirty word. If you called your game a strategy game, it was the kiss of death. Strategy games in those days were generally hex-based, complicated games about the military. They were so hard to play, you had to be a fanatic. Also in those days, Microprose was known for their F-15 flying game and Silent Service submarine game.Another question asks how the designers feel about having their ideas used by other companies in their own games:
It's mostly flattering. I acknowledge that some of the ideas in Civilization were inspired by other games and I think that's part of what keeps us all going forward is learning from what other people do. I know how hard it is to make a game, so I'm not anxious to criticize any other games out there. But if you're going to use other people's ideas, you need to also add a goodly number of your own. I love to see a great game based on some of the things we started, but that adds a new dimension.The rest of the interview focuses on yet more design issues, including several complaints about the Civilization series. For those interested in game design, the interview raises many interesting points, and the Meier/Shelley pair does not disappoint in giving experienced, thoughtful answers.
CGOnline - The Fathers of Civilization
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