Sid Meier Talks About VR and Beyond Earth

Recently, Sid Meier spoke with Gamespot about the upcoming game Beyond Earth. The site pointed out that he's been with Firaxis and Take Two since 1996. Asked what has kept him excited and enthusiastic about his work, Meier answered that he gets to create computer games; it's what he likes to do.  

"It's a great place to work, with a lot of talented people," he said. "They have been very good about letting us try new things and letting us build on some of our other games. A combination of making the games I like to play and like to make. And having the kind of stability that is not always the case in the industry. There's really no reason to go anywhere else."

When asked what constitutes a Sid Meier game, he said that Firaxis takes the player pretty seriously. They assume gamers want to spend some interesting time with a game, that they're willing to think, be imaginative, and try out different things.

"A lot of my games have involved historical topics or real world things you can kind of sink your teeth into," he said. "I often have an experience when I am reading a book or watching a movie or something and think, 'What would I have done in that situation? Would I have done something differently? What would have happened if it had gone this way instead of that way?'"

"And that is what games kind of allow you to do: experiment and try out different possibilities. Civilization is certainly a good example of a game that never plays the same way twice and it always throws a new challenge at you and a new opportunity. You learn a new thing each time you play. At least, I hope that's true of the games that I design," he added. "That's really what I'm trying to accomplish."

On the topic of VR and AR, he indicated that it's a tough topic to talk about. He admitted that his team has looked at their games in 3D with some of the tools that are available, and thinks it is "kinda cool." Still, if there's a VR revolution, Firaxis is probably not going to be leading the charge with strategy and map-based games and "things like that."

"It's an interesting technology, but our philosophy has always been what's really cool about a game takes place in your imagination," he said. "The size of the screen, the number of colors, or whether it's 2D or 3D is not fundamentally what's going to make the game great or not great. It's what we can create in your imagination, in terms of a story and an adventure for you to pursue, that's important."

To read the full interview, head here.

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  • "The size of the screen, the number of colors, or whether it's 2D or 3D is not fundamentally what's going to make the game great or not great. It's what we can create in your imagination, in terms of a story and an adventure for you to pursue, that's important."

    Great insight. It's good to know that some developers are still focusing on what's important- not wasting resources on pointless eye candy.
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  • If they can make this half as good as Alpha Centauri was I would buy it. Sadly the Civilisation series has been stagnant with flat worlds and slow programming. Wish Brian Reynolds was lead designer again.
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  • Ooo, new civ expansion. Wonder if they are gonna fix the game breaking trade bug where you can basically get anything from anyone by modifying a trade deal.
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