But he also believes that beefing up the graphics has brought in a much bigger audience than games could have picked up 20 years ago. "You had to kind of suspend your disbelief and be willing to step into that world," says Meier. "Today we make it a lot easier," and as a result, players who want more than a few pixels on screen can also get their fix.
Meier's currently the creative director of game development at Firaxis, and though he's not participating directly on XCOM it doesn't mean he's not working. Every morning, he says, he comes out of the shower with "about 10 ideas," and is constantly iterating with his team on different prototypes. "Most of them," he says, "just go back into the trash heap." In other words, anyone who wants to make an awesome game should probably go root around in the garbage cans near Sparks Glencoe, Maryland.