Sid Meier talks strategy, game design and Civ

Sid Meier

Developers interviewing developers? This will not stand*! Actually this chat between Sid Meier and XCOM: Enemy Unknown designer Jake Solomon is funny and interesting, and a rare chance to see Sid Meier in the wild.

Solomon initially tries to establish whether or not Meier is a Canadian spy, and moves on to quiz the Yoda of strategy design on his origins and inspirations. It's particularly charming to hear about the humble origins of Microprose. This anecdote reveals how much the games industry has exploded since the early days of the medium, though tools like Game Maker and Unity have kept this spirit alive.

"When people ask me 'how do you become a game designer?' well you just sit down and type a game into your computer and you're a game designer. That's really the way it was back then. I did all the art, the sound, the programming, printed the manuals on my printer and put them in a baggy, and sent Bill off to sell them... we did games in about two months back in those days, maybe three if it's, like, in depth."

The video was recorded at Firaxicon, a convention for fans of Firaxis' long line of strategy games.

*When devs interview devs the results are often interesting. Check out the Tone Control podcast for more of that sort of thing.

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.