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Sid Meier doesn't play strategy games

And hasn't played Portal yet.

Firaxis supremo and king of the exclamation mark Sid Meier admitted at GDC on Wednesday that he doesn't play other strategy games.

In a Q&A session in front of a packed Room 135 in the North Hall [more of this sort of riveting detail, please - Ed], Meier also revealed that he hadn't played Portal yet!

Asked about his favourite rival strategy games, Meier said that he didn't play them because strategy games were something he did "all day", and he didn't really feel like playing more of them when he got home.

He said that his son rather liked Advance Wars, though. Presumably he also felt the new one is too bleak, which it is.

So why hasn't he played Portal? Well, it's not that he doesn't want to - it's just that he has to finish Civilization Revolution for consoles before he gets to muck about.

"It's on my pile of games," he said apologetically.

However, he also suggested that storytelling in games is a bit self-indulgent and that this explains why he tends to create sandboxes for people instead.

"There's the temptation for the designer to have too much fun and not leave enough for the player," he said. He likes to "keep the designer in the background".

Other interesting stuff from Meier's session:

  • He would still recommend that aspiring designers learn to program as it "gives you a lot of power and creativity".
  • He thinks we're in the midst of a "golden age" of gaming, and has been playing a lot of racers like Forza and Gotham.
  • He doesn't fancy doing casual games, or rather simple games as he put it. "I'm not that interested in doing simple games. I like complicated games!" he said, to much amusement.
  • He also authenticated the legend that he once locked himself in a room with the Gettysburg engine and emerged with SimGolf.
  • Finally, he's very much enjoying working on Civilization Revolution as it's a way for him to work out some of the older kinks. He says it "puts you back at that 'king' spot".

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Civilization Revolution

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Tom Bramwell avatar

Tom Bramwell


Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.