Sid Meier Chat Video Available
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story
Gamers who either aspire to be game designers or are just interested in the creative process behind game design may want to check out a video available for download. Created and posted by Italian gaming site TGM Online, the video centers around computer game design god Sid Meier, splicing footage of the man himself giving a presentation on Civilization III with brief Q&A sessions. The information Meier gives on his design philosophies as well as on his ideals in the making of Civilization III are quite fascinating and provide some insight into how one can make a game insanely addictive.
One of the main points that Meier stresses is that, rather than try to create a game that will appeal to the masses, he strives to create games that he and his team members would like to play. Civilization III, for example, was never designed to be a mass-market seller when the idea was conceived, though of course he was hoping at the time that other gamers would find the title as fun to play as he himself did.
Another point on which he focuses is that of conceiving a solid game design first rather than a technology. While some designers may be given a 3D engine and then be told to make something of it, Meier's own practice is to pick the game first and then adapt technologies to it as necessary. Elaborating on the technology tangent, Meier points out that a game that is not dependent on technology has a much better chance of being a long-lived classic.
As for the widely-known addictiveness of the Civilization series, Meier notes that the idea is to make the player constantly reiterate, "Just one more turn..." stringing him or her along until it's five in the morning. He adds that one of the ways he achieves this is to create a game where players tend to plan several steps in advance, prompting them to finish their plans rather than stop in the middle.
The rest of the interview covers plenty of other design details, from Meier's thoughts on 3D to the console vs computer market. The video, available at TGM Online's site, is a 43.3 MB AVI file encoded in DivX and is highly recommended to anyone even remotely interested in game design.
IMG Review: Civilization III
TGM Online: Sid Meier Q&A Video
Buy Civilization III
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