Imagine this: It's 1993 and you're a chevron manager looking for a computer-based exercise machine. You are late and think carefully about how to make the oil refining and distribution interesting. See, a dash of inspiration: Her kid suggests hiring the people behind the popular game SimCity to make a simulator for an oil company. Does our story begin with that? To be fair, no. We can not tell you where Chevron got the idea, as something else, to capture the magic of the popular game. All we can tell you for certain is that in one of the most boring games on this page of Desert Bus (1
This one-off custom game titled SimRefinery was a management simulation game that simulated Chevron's refining and distribution activities. The game was developed to introduce new employees and employees who are not in direct contact with refinery operations on the ground floor to the operation of refineries and their distribution networks. Will Wright said in an 1994 interview with the magazine Wired :
In the first few months after the release of SimCity, several companies were approached and said, "Hey, that's great! If you can make such a city, we want you to make "SimPizzaHut" or "SimWhatever". We thought these things were so weird that we said no, but they came in again and again. So at some point, when we grew up Enough, we decided to give it a try. Our first was a prototype for Chevron. It was SimRefinery – a refinery operation simulation designed to make the workforce in the company look like a refinery. It was not so much for the engineers as it was for the accountants and managers who went through this refinery every day and did not know what those pipes were carrying. You have to dig seriously when managing an oil refinery. The game was developed in 1993 and was never seen outside the Chevron Corporation. If you find a copy somewhere on a dusty floppy disk, this is the only way to experience the thrill of moving gasoline through heavily pixelated pipes. The game is so opaque that it remains a lost game despite multiple attempts by retro gaming enthusiasts to find it. In fact, the attached screenshot is not just a direct screenshot of the game, but a photo of a single screenshot found in a 1993 issue of PC Magazine about the phenomenon of SimCity clones. How is that indistinct?