Sidney K. "Sid" Meier (born February 24, 1954) is a Canadian-American programmer and designer of several popular strategy video games and simulation video games, most notably Civilization. Meier co-founded MicroProse in 1982 and is a Director of Creative Development for Firaxis Games, which he co-founded with Jeff Briggs and Brian Reynolds in 1996. He has won several prestigious accolades for his contributions to the video game industry.
Life and career 
Sid Meier at the GDC
Meier was born in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. He graduated from the University of Michigan.
Meier founded MicroProse together with Bill Stealey in 1982. MicroProse initially developed mostly simulation video games, such as Silent Service and F-19 Stealth Fighter. In 1987, the company released Sid Meier's Pirates!, which also began a trend of placing Meier's name in the titles of his games. Meier later explained that the inclusion of his name was because of the dramatic departure in the design of Pirates! compared to the company's earlier games. Stealey decided that it would improve the company's branding, believing that it would make those who purchased the flight simulators more likely to play Pirates!.
After the release of F-19 Stealth Fighter, Meier decided to focus on developing strategy games. He later said, "Everything I thought was cool about a flight simulator had gone into that game." Inspired by SimCity and Empire!, Meier created Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon and later the game series for which he is most widely recognized, Sid Meier's Civilization, although he designed only the first installment. Meier eventually left MicroProse and in 1996 founded Firaxis Games along with veteran designer and gaming executive Jeff Briggs. Today Firaxis makes strategy games, many of which are follow-ups to Meier titles, such as the new Civilization games and Sid Meier's Pirates! (2004). In 1996, he invented a "System for Real-Time Music Composition and Synthesis" used in C.P.U. Bach.
Meier is not always the main designer on titles that carry his name. For instance, Brian Reynolds has been credited as the primary designer behind Sid Meier's Civilization II, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, and Sid Meier's Colonization, while Jeff Briggs designed Sid Meier's Civilization III, Soren Johnson led Sid Meier's Civilization IV, and Jon Shafer led Sid Meier's Civilization V. In 2011, the people search company PeekYou claimed that Meier has the largest digital footprint of any video game designer.
Meier worked with a team on a dinosaur-themed game starting early 2000, but announced in an online development diary in 2001 that the game had been shelved. Despite trying various approaches, including turn-based and real-time gameplay, he said he found no way to make the concept fun enough. In August 2005, he said, "We've been nonstop busy making other games over the past several years, so the dinosaur game remains on the shelf. However, I do love the idea of a dinosaur game and would like to revisit it when I have some time."
Meier currently lives in Hunt Valley, Maryland, with his wife, Susan, and son, Ryan. He met his wife at Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cockeysville, where they both sing in the choir.
- In 1996, GameSpot put Meier at the top of their listing of the "Most Influential People in Computer Gaming of All Time", calling him "our Hitchcock, our Spielberg, our Ellington".
- That same year, Computer Gaming World ranked him as eight on the list of the "Most Influential Industry Players of All Time", noting that no game designer has had as many CGW Hall of Fame games as Sid Meier.
- In 1997, Computer Gaming World ranked him as number one on the list of the "Most Influential People of All Time in Computer Gaming", for game design.
- In 1999, he became the second person to be inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences' Hall of Fame. (The first to receive that honor was Shigeru Miyamoto from Nintendo.)
- In 2008, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2008 Game Developer's Conference.
- In 2009, he was ranked second in IGN's list of "Top Game Creators of All Time", called "the ideal role model for any aspiring game designer."
The games developed, co-developed and/or produced by Sid Meier:
- ^ Sid Meier's Game Design Boot Camp at the University of Michigan
- ^ Plunkett, Luke (August 31, 2011). "Remembering The House That Civilization Built". Kotaku. Gawker Media.
- ^ Rouse III, Richard (2005). Game Design: Theory & Practice Second Edition. Wordware Publishing. pp. 20-39. ISBN 1-55622-912-7.
- ^ US A system for automatically generating musical compositions on demand one after another without duplication ... in a variety of genres and forms so that concerts based on generated compositions will have a varied mix of pieces incorporated therein. 5496962, Meier, Sidney K. & Jeffery L. Briggs, "System for Real-Time Music Composition and Synthesis", issued 5 March 1996
- ^ Interview with Brian Reynolds from GameSpy
- ^ "The Sid Meier Legacy: Sid Meier's Colonization" from GameSpot
- ^ "The PeekScores of the Biggest Names in the History of Video Games". PeekYou. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
- ^ Firaxis Games: Community: Ask Sid from Firaxis' official website
- ^ "Game Boy" article about Meier from Baltimore magazine (Typeset version in PDF)
- ^ GameSpot
- ^ CGW 148: The 15 Most Influential Industry Players of All Time
- ^ CGW 159: The Most Influential People in Computer Gaming
- ^ "Special Awards - Sid Meier, Firaxis Games". Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Retrieved September 9, 2011.
- ^ "Game Developer's Choice Online Awards – Sid Meier". Game Developers Conference. UBM TechWeb. Retrieved September 9, 2011.
- ^ "IGN - 2. Sid Meier". IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved August 27, 2011.
- ^ Sid Meier bio from Firaxis Games website
- ^ Martin, Matt (2008-03-12). "Grand Theft Auto series has sold 66 million units to date". GamesIndustry.biz]. Retrieved 2008-04-01.
External links