Developing Civilizations

Jeff Briggs

More than fifteen years after its first release, the Civilization franchise is more valuable than ever. With eight million game players globally, new iterations of Civilization appear in more than twenty languages to consumers of all ages and are supported by more than a hundred fan sites. Among “gamers-that-teach,” Civilization is possibly the most often used and replicated of the many historical simulations. In this talk, Jeff looks at the history of games, the emergence of technology, and the global consumer culture that has arisen around Civilization as product, teacher, entertainment, and icon. Choices in production, design, music, game-play, and marketing that were made with each successive release of Civilization provide a context for exploring the purpose, values, import, and impact of the industry — past, present, and future. Jeff has played a central role in the birth and evolution of Civilization, one of the industry’s most valuable intellectual properties: He wrote text and music for Civilization I; was producer, co-designer, and composer of Civilization II; and was executive producer and designer of Civilization III. As CEO of Firaxis during development of Civilization IV, he negotiated the sale of the Civilization franchise from Atari to Take Two and composed much of the soundtrack.

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