Sid Meier is a genius

Either Sid Meier is a genius or he’s made a pact with the devil.

I had to do some major traveling so I put Pirates on my notebook. Along with a number of other games that are more in depth, better graphics, etc.

And I’ll be damned if I don’t find myself playing Pirates for hours at a stretch, But what’s crazy is that Pirates shouldn’t be much of a game, in terms of addictiveness. Once you’ve played a campaign or two, you’ve seen it all (for the most part.) If you just reviewed/analyzed the game based on it’s feature set there would be much to criticise. For example: all the daughters look the same (within a “looks” category,) the bad guys have to be chased down repeatedly (I think I wouldn’t let one get away when I had him at swordpoint until I had the WHOLE map, so it would make more sense to at least have more names to chase,) everything is very predictable after a couple of campaigns in terms of the way things play out: to marry you have to dance a few times, give her a necklace or ring, she will get kidnapped, rescue her, etc.; and the same for every quest. it should be BORING after a couple of times through. So why am I on my 6th campaign and having to force myself to quit for the evening? Why is it more addictive than a much deeper and more complex game like, say, Vampire: Masquerade?

Sid has some kind of gaming genius, IMO. He knows the elements that make a game fun and addictive, even though (or perhaps because) it’s simple. I remember thinking the same thing about one of his more obscure games, Covert Action. Very simple, yet addictive. The man knows that these are games and not graphics demos or platforms for showing off gee-whiz technology. Pirates should be a very average gaming experience, with little replay value, yet I find myself creating a new world every time I start a new campaign (e.g., for some reason I found the beautiful French daughter in the Florida Keys more appealing than anyone else this campaign, even though I’m English, so I’ve decided to be French-friendly even if England goes to war with them. And this time I’m going to forgoe wealth and focus purely on revenge and getting my family back. Etc, etc.)

Sid Meier has figured out something that many designers never understood. IMO.

See: Alpha Centauri (imo the greatest game ever designed)

See: Alpha Centauri (imo the greatest game ever designed)[/quote]
Technically, that would be: Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, A Brian Reynolds Design

  • Alan

I’m still losing sleep over CIV3.

See: Alpha Centauri (imo the greatest game ever designed)[/quote]
Technically, that would be: Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, A Brian Reynolds Design

  • Alan[/quote]

Actually, It’s probably John Doe’s Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, A Brian Reynolds design. Where John Doe is whoever registered SMAC during Old Man Murray’s “Register a Sid Meier Game” promotion.

Pirates has stopped my from finishing Half Life II, GTA:SA and Doom III.
My game of the year hands down.
Pure fun. I even like dancing now.

Let Sid use some of that genius to make SMAC 2.

I wouldn’t care if Derek Smart was the programmer/designer. Just make the game. Please.

That’s the kind of attitude that leads to monstrosities like MOO3.

I thought the boring unending levels stop people from finishing Doom III.


I come for the boring, character-less, neverending levels, but I stay for the monster closets!

I just can’t grasp the goodness of Pirates!. I want to, I really do. But after having played it three hours, what else do I do? It’s the same game over and over with restarts implemented as a feature.

It’s like playing solitare over and over with better graphics. It’s nifty, but it ain’t engaging enough to do at the expense of other REAL games.

Am glad someone else said this… played it a little yesterday and don’t yet grasp why it is so tremendous.

I guess the level of appeal depends on if you are an old school type of gamer or a new school type. Old schoolers are those who appreciate golden age arcade games and their eventual home system variants and clones, which like Pirates! didn’t have discrete end states where you could say “I have beaten this game and can now stop playing it.” The newer school was born with the text adventure and continued with the graphical adventures through the early CD-ROM games and now almost all games are of this variety. They are heavily scripted and story or character driven and on some level are attempting to emulate movies or other more traditional mediums. I don’t know that there is any objective basis for determining which type of gamer (or game) is truer or more noble or whatever, but I lean heavily in the old school camp myself. And if you play any multiplayer games at all on a fairly regular basis, you will probably be in that category as well.

^^^Nothing but the truth

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