Meier: Graphics improvements a “two-edged sword”

By Brenna Hillier
31 January 2012 00:44 GMT

Legendary Civilization designer Sid Meier believes graphical improvements are one of the most important changes in gaming – but also misses the simple, imagination-fuelled interfaces of yore.

“We can bring the games to life in a much richer way than we could before. It’s a slightly two-edged sword,” Meier told GameInformer.

“I used to love to challenge the player’s imagination, to show them a few pixels in 16 colours and try to convince them that they’re ruling an empire to stand the test of time. But I think today’s player is not really able to make that investment.

“So we’re able to bring the worlds to life in 3D, and show you everything that’s going on, and you get to meet great leaders and you get to fight aliens from outer space and all sorts of cool stuff, right there on your screen. “Which I think has brought new players in, because frankly to play games of ten or 15 years ago you had to kind of suspend your disbelief and be willing to step into that world. Today we make that easier with the graphic and the visuals we can present to you.”

Meier said the improvement of graphics is central to the evolution of gaming over the last two decades.

“In a lot of ways, that’s what really changed about games. Game design hasn’t really changed as much as it might appear since the good old days, because a lot of the things that were true there, that makes games fun, still apply today,” he said.

Merier’s studio Firaxis is working on XCOM: Enemy Unknown, expected on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in northern autumn.


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