Sid Meier, that legendary game dev whose name sits before the names of Civilization games, had a lovely chat with our very own Nate Crowley this weekend, as part of PAX Online X EGX Digital. The pair talked all about some of the most notable parts of Meier’s career – including, Railroad Tycoon, Pirates!, and Civilization – as well as chat about his upcoming book, Sid Meier’s Memoir!: A Life In Computer Games. And thanks to computers, you can watch their whole chat in full below.
There are plenty of fun titbits about Meier and the game studio he co-founded, Firaxis. I particularly enjoyed hearing about the ‘Covert Action Rule’, an important lesson learned while making the 1990 espionage game.
“Covert Action was an attempt to do storytelling combined with action and mystery, and I thought that was a neat idea. It didn’t totally come together – in fact, we have a Covert Action Rule, which is something we try to avoid: we try not to have too many different pieces competing with each other.”
(Sin would disagree with the rule – she reckons Covert Action deserves more credit than Sid gives it.)
“Then there’s also the Pirates! Rule,” Meier adds, “which is ‘just do it right’.”
They go on to discuss the idea behind letting players alter history in the Civ series, the difficulties behind shipping highly-anticipated games, as well as the pressure of Civ 2 launching soon after strategy games like Command & Conquer and Warcraft 2.
Loads more panels and developer chats like this one taking place over the next few days as part of PAX Online and EGX Digital, not to mention announcements, Let’s Plays, and tournaments. We’ll be keeping you up to date with the highlights, but to catch the streams yourself head to the PAX X EGX website.