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Jeff Briggs: Focus on Firaxis: A Look Inside the Company


  • Jeff Briggs: Focus on Firaxis: A Look Inside the Company

    Name: Jeff Briggs (Jeff is on the left in the picture to the bottom)
    Title: BMOC (Big Man on Campus)

    LDespot: What led to the decision to break off and start Firaxis?

    Jeff Briggs: Sid, Brian and I had been friends and colleagues at MicroProse for a long time and we were getting to the end of projects we had been working on. I thought that, given the dire situation MPS was in at the time, what with layoffs and consistent quarterly losses and so on, I could create an environment with a lot more freedom and independence. I had always thought about how cool it'd be to be a part of a very focused, dedicated game development group, much like MicroProse had been in the very early days. So I decided that, once Civ II was out there, I'd make the jump and see if I could get something going. As it turned out both Brian and Sid were interested in joining, so soon after I left, they followed.

    LDespot: How did the SMG design team come together?

    Jeff Briggs: The rest of the team responded to ads we published locally. We chose the most talented applicants, many of whom, of course, we knew of already. This was a very lucky coincidence, since we, for the most part, know each others strengths and weaknesses. And, I believe, as Gettysburg! proves we have a very small but extremely talented and versatile team here.

    LDespot: What does Firaxis mean and why did you decide to use it as the name of the company?

    Jeff Briggs: The word Firaxis (Fur-ak'-sis) is the combination of "fire" and "axis." I coined the word as the title of the musical composition I wrote as part of the requirements to complete my Doctoral studies. When we were thinking of a name for the company, we couldn't think of any better way to describe what we wanted it to be - a very energetic environment where creativity is king and hot games are made. FIRAXIS is sort of like the fiery wheel of creativity or invention.

    LDespot: What do you think of the growing number and popularity of fan supported web sites? I hear the site called "The 14th Brigade" is pretty cool.

    Jeff Briggs: To be perfectly honest, we're overwhelmed with the coolness of them and hope they continue! It is surprising how far the web has come in the last year or so, where guys with web sites look really as professional as any corporate site it's great!

    LDespot: Is there anything else you would like to say to the gaming community (This is your chance to vent, praise, or babble to the world )?

    Jeff Briggs: Game-play is the only thing that is truly important. The function of Graphics and Sound is to enhance the drama of the game-play that takes place in the mind. As with great music, the fun happens in the player's mind, not on the screen or in the score.

    LDespot: Why ask why?

    Jeff Briggs: My point exactly!

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