Train2Game News: First 15 minutes “key” to game design says Civilization creator Sid Meier

The first fifteen minutes of a video game being enjoyable is one of the key rules of game design. That’s according to veteran game designer Sid Meier, the man behind the Civilization and the founder of Firaxis Games.

“One of the key rules of game design is the first 15 minutes. These introductory minutes have to be fun, satisfying, and exciting. You are letting players know they’re on the right track, you should reward them, and let them know cool stuff will happen later.” Meier told, before admitting mistakes with this when it came to his early games.

“In early Civilization games, I made Civ real-time, which meant everything happened in real-time: My first mistake was to make it real time.” he said.

“I modelled some elements of the game from SimCity, which was real-time. It was inspiring. But what we found was that in real-time gaming the player becomes the observer. Our mantra is that, “it’s good to be king.”

“When we made Civ a turn-based game, the player became the star, they made things happen.” Meier added.

The full interview with Sid Meier on game design, his career and the industry as a whole is here.

As previously reported by Train2Game, the Civilization creator believes there are more opportunities than ever to be a game developer.

Meier’s Firaxis Games are currently working on a reimagining of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and there’s more about the studio here on The Train2Game Blog.

Do you agree with Sid Meier that the first fifteen minutes are a key part of game design? What games gave you the most memorable first quarter of an hour?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: Games ‘will take over the world’ says Civilization creator

 Students are taking Train2Game courses because they have aspirations of working in the games industry.

They’ll therefore be buoyed by comments from Civilization creator Sid Meier in which he states that games will ‘someday take over the world’

“I’ve always claimed that games will someday take over the world and from where things sit today, that seems to be happening” Meier told Industry Gamers.

There are so many different gaming platforms and a constant stream of new games for players to enjoy in any way they choose, which is great for gamers.”

The Civilization creator believes the growing popularity of Facebook games means there are more opportunities out there than ever before.

“I think now is one of the most exciting times to be a Game Designer” said Meier.

“With the rapid growth of social network games there are new opportunities for smaller indie developers to make and distribute games, so we’re seeing a wider variety of games on all kinds of cool devices than ever before. That’s great for the whole industry.”

Indeed, as previously reported by the Train2Game blog, a version of Civilization – Civ World – is one of the many Facebook games available to play. Meanwhile, Zynga’s Allies & Empires gained over 33 million users just three weeks after its launch.

It’s also entirely possible that if a Train2Game student ended up developing social media games in their first role in the industry, it’s entirely possible they’d get more hands on experience with that than they could with games for another platform.

“A Game Designer is actually more important on a social game than on a triple-A game because on a triple-A game you spend a lot of time making technology and tools and gigabytes worth of animations and things like that.” said Zynga’s Game Designer Brian Reynolds earlier this year. Reynolds previously worked on Civilization II.

“I can remember whole months going by where they didn’t need me to do any game design whereas on social games it’s a game designer’s paradise.”

Games are going to take over the world and social media will provide an even bigger opportunity for that to happen! Sounds good, right?

So Train2Game, is Sid Meier right? Will games ‘take over the world’? Is the growth of social media gaming good for the industry as a whole?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Industry Gamers]