Sid Meier interview

by Mark Asher

Sid Meier is a gaming legend with games like Railroad Tycoon, Pirates!, and Civilization under his belt. He helped found Microprose and eventually left to found Firaxis, where he still is today, working on Civilization 3 and a game about dinosaurs. We had a chance to interview Sid for Computer Gaming World magazine back in 1999. We wanted to show a lighter side of Sid Meier, which he certainly has, as evidenced by this interview. It's funny stuff, served up now just in time for the New Year festivities. It will go well with those tiny shrimps, rolled up salamis stuffed with cream cheese, and the bubbly stuff you're likely to drink. Enjoy!

(A version of this interview first appeared in Computer Gaming World magazine. Thanks to CGW for allowing us to reprint this interview here.)

Does your wife ever say things like, "He can design a game that encompasses all of civilized history, but he canít take the trash out!"

"No, but every year we celebrate 'We Love the King Day.'"

What are some of your favorite PC games?

"StarCraft, Rollercoaster Tycoon, Diablo, WarCraft, Age of Empires."

Whatís with the "Sid Meierís This" and "Sid Meierís That" business? Do you hand out business cards that say, "Sid Meierís business card"?

"Actually the full inscription is 'Sid Meierís business card, a division of Sid Meierís Omnimedia, a registered trademark of Sid Meier Intergalactic.' Look for our IPO later this year."

If Chris Roberts filmed a movie of your life, who would play you?

"As young Sid, I would cast young Mark Hamill; as adult Sid: Albert Brooks."

Whatís the one game idea you wish you had come up with?

"Hollywood Squares"

Why wasnít rap music one of the Wonders of the World in Civ?

"We had to take it out once we realized we couldnít translate 'Yo' into German."

What do you do when people come up to you and say, "I have this great idea for a gameÖ"

"I hand them a C++ compiler and a copy of DPaint."

Whatís the worst game idea you ever had?

"Well, the my first version of Civilization was a real-time game, the initial RailRoad Tycoon prototype was about model trains, and CPU Bach was designed exclusively for the revolutionary 3DO system. Take your pick."

Any discarded names for the original Civilization?

"My suggestions were 'Sidís new interminable lo-res sequential turn-based strategy game' or 'Itís Good to be King.'"

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A version of this interview first appeared in Computer Gaming World magazine.  

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