ScuzzBlog: Diaries April 2020

Entry 2nd April 2020: Post 01: Sid Meier's very wonderful Civilization.

Sid Meier's very wonderful Civilization.

Sid Meier is a name that has been known to me gaming wise for as
long as I have had the Amiga 1200. I have a feeling that the game
Civilization was one of those games that I shelved when bought
cus it looked like being too heavy. Same with Populus and Genesia.
And then came Colonization. Not sure why I took to Colonization
better, but it was enough to get me hooked. Following this I did
play Civilization and began to appreciate the magic.

I loved the game so much that it was the first game I played on
my Windows 95 machine, albeit, Civilization II. And subsequently
I have dabbled with later versions. Man did I burn the midnight
oil playing this game. The magic was starting at the dawn of
human time and then trying to evolve, invent and expand quicker
than the computer challengers you faced.

The only sad part of the game for me was the 'nuke' option cus
it really did make you appreciate the destructive nature of
modern warfare. The race was always on to get there first.

Anyhoo ... Sid Meier. Born in 1954 and is famous for his strategy
style video games mixed with what I guess we call simulation. The
latter becomes a little blurred for me as I tend to simply call
the Genre 'GOD' games. That is how I know them. I appreciate that
he did begin his career producing flight simulators and that is
how he started up MicroProse, but a flight SIM emulates a given
process or technological construct, whereas a 'GOD' game literally
lets you colour the picture in what ever brush strokes you choose.
I like sand-box and role playing in MMOs more than the combat and
gear progression. One thing about Civilization is the freedom the
game gives you to create what you want where you want and how you
want it. Hope that makes sense.

Meier co-founded MicroProse in 1982 with Bill Stealey. It was his
partners interest in the flight SIM that tended to colour the early
games such as Hellcat Ace, Spitfire Ace, Solo Flight and F-15 
Strike Eagle. All designed and programmed by Meier.

It took to 1987 for MicroProse to brand their products with the
name Sid Meier's on the box with the release of Pirates. Though
my box doesn't carry the name. His name first surfaces on one of
my games with Railroad Tycoon. Sid worked with Bruce Shelley on
the game Railroad Tycoon, a giant in his own right that went on to
create games such as Age of Empires. It's interesting that Meier's
premise for the god games he created was a merging of games such
as Risk with city management games created by Empire. Meier did
view the SimCity and Populus games of the day as inspiration to
expand his repertoire.

And so in 1991 Civilization was born, though interestingly there
was a board game of the same name which MicroProse negotiated
rights for from Avalon Hill. And so the rest is history, or simulated
history of sorts crowning Sid Meier as 'GOD' of strategy turn base
stimulation er.... 'god' games. He certainly left his mark and
Civilization does stand head and shoulders above the rest. And
surprisingly was well suited for the Amiga in its day.

I came late to this splendid game, but for anyone that does so it
always is a case of better late than never.  The story of Sid is 
best discussed in Retro Gamer if you can get a copy, as he explains 
all the magic of his world to the full. What a guy !

Time to go "eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate".

Sid Meier's very wonderful Civilization.


I found my white games manual.

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Last updated 7th April 2020

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