"One thing that stands in my mind...we got an inquiry from the Wall Street journal asking about succinctly captured tax policy", Sid Meier relates to a packed audience of GDC attendees, referring to the most surprising response to his games. "It's just a slider".
Huge laughs from the audience. Damn there are a lot of dorks in the audience...present company included. Through the hour-long interview, Meier divulged all sorts of not-so-secret secrets, admitting his geek fetish of still programming his own titles. Here were some of our favorite things he said, organised for your easy digestion...
On Casual Games
"The word 'casual' is kind of a tough game to pin down...I'm not that interested in doing simple games, but, if you look at the budgets, games we made 10 or 15 years ago are 'casual' by that measure."
On Civilization 1 Addiction
"We hadn't made a game up to that point that had that addictive quality...kind of scary when we first realized...here was a portent of the future, how games could really become something people really wanted to spend a lot of time playing."
On Railroad Tycoon And Games Of Yore
"A lot of what we did was trigger your imagination...we just did a little bit, but the player added a lot of the experience...imaginations are still around today."
On Why He Programs
"I'm more willing to waste my time that somebody else's time."
On How You Design Civ
"The temptation with Civilization is to throw everything into it...computers can handle that, but humans can't."
On What He Plays (Tact Edition)
"I guess it's like, you do something all day, you want a change of pace. I haven't really played any other strategies."
"My hobbies are [in]music, but there's no money in music."
On The Era
"It's kind of a golden age, I think, for gaming."
On Civilization Revolution
"It's really kind of a designer's dream to repair a path...go back in time with a lot more knowledge and a lot more experience."
On Making An All-Encompassing, Career Highlight Game Like Spore