Cliff Bleszinski Discusses Project BlueStreak, Opting for Free-to-Play, and Martin Lawrence

The Gears of War creator is doing a Reddit AMA right now for his newly announced game.

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Cliff Bleszinski unveiled his newest game, Project BlueStreak, yesterday, but very little about it was announced beyond the very basics: It's a free-to-play sci-fi arena shooter for PC. We've yet to see screenshots or video from it, but Bleszinski is answering questions about it and his new studio, Boss Key Productions, as part of a Reddit Ask Me Anything right now.

As a free-to-play game, one of the most immediate questions about BlueStreak is how Boss Key will make money off of it. When asked about what kind of microtransactions are planned for BlueStreak, he said, "The #1 question that comes up in Free to Play every time. Honest answer: I'm not sure, and it's entirely too easy to tell or make the call. Free to Play is one of those genres that means something entirely different depending on the game. For every model that feels like Las Vegas methods (Zynga, Candy Crush) there's folks who do it right, like League of Legends, or Warframe.

"I'm DETERMINED to not do Pay To Win."

"I've never shipped a Free to Play game before. That's one of the MANY reasons why we're going with Nexon, they can provide server structures and a global peek into gamers of all types and guide us into a game that's more 'Shut up and take my money' as opposed to 'shaking you down for your hard earned cash.' So we'll experiment, tweak, tune, and most importantly, build a positive community around the game as we develop it."

As for why he decided to make a free-to-play game, he said, "Anyone can just jump in and play your darned game. I'm DETERMINED to not do Pay To Win. Since this game is a shooter I want that one player who likes the game and doesn't feel like spending any money to be able to take down the trust fund kid that's spent a ton of money to have All The Stuff."

The reason we've yet to see any footage or screenshots from the game is because it doesn't really exist--Boss Key hasn't even decided on what engine to use yet. "It's wide open right now what tech we'd use," Bleszinski said. "As I build my team I need to take into account each department, engineering, art, level design, online, and of course, cost. Being a lean startup we've got to keep an eye on our burn rate and expenses." Despite this, he teased we'll be getting a "peek VERY soon."

In another comment, Bleszinski said he "adore[s]" Steam, but the decision regarding what platforms to release BlueStreak on lies with Nexon America, the game's publisher.

User-generated content sounds as if it's a lock, though just when it will be coming is uncertain. "Arjan [Brussee, COO] and I are HUGE fans of this sort of thing," he said. "On the PC it's easier than ever to have this sort of thing, let's just say we need to 'walk' before we 'run' in this department. We need to make a great game with a community around it, sort out if people actually want to spend a dime on it and then figure out how to get to user made arenas, at a minimum."

BlueStreak is not the game's final name, but it did prompt many people--myself included--to note that's also the name of a Martin Lawrence movie. Bleszinski notes the name is actually a reference to a Transformer, not the movie, but when one person inquired about the possibility of Lawrence playing a role in the game, Bleszinski replied, "With the internet and its goofy sense of humor I might have to stunt cast him as a voice role, because we're in a world where Potato Salad Kickstarters can make thousands of dollars."

(It's made $72,000 thus far, to be specific.)

The AMA is still underway as of this writing, so expect to hear more soon. We'll continue updating this story with any other noteworthy tidbits that come up.

Some other highlights:

  • "There will be an emphasis on story, but not in the traditional sense," Bleszinski says.
  • He still sees room for innovation in shooters, as evidenced by a game like Titanfall: "Titanfall tapped into some of the things that excite me in this area - wall running, double jumping, the smart pistol, the mech 'absorb bullets and fire them back at people.' That's the kind of thinking the FPS market needs, less damned red dot iron sights."
  • He attributes Gears of War 2's online issues to being understaffed.
  • The Boss Key logo is, in part, a wink to Zelda.
  • It's possible BlueStreak ends up on platforms other than PC: "PC First, and then we'll see. PC is where the comments generally are, the community gathers, and it's got that big global audience. In order to hit that global audience your game needs to look fantastic on the high end rigs but also run on a potato."

Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

47 comments
DarthMallrat
DarthMallrat

Hmm... It's been a while since I've played an arena shooter. Label me cautiously optimistic about this one. I'm not a fan of free-to-play but it's not like it's impossible to make a good one. I'll keep an eye on it and see how it turns out. Hopefully it'll come to consoles, though. I don't have anything against PC but it's just not my thing anymore.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Free to play?  Nope.  You're making garbage.  Just like that hack Molyneux.

quakke
quakke

Keep up the good work.

Mindwipe77
Mindwipe77

So  he named the game after an autobot transformer, but the game has nothing to do with transformers...interesting

mark_1313_13
mark_1313_13

League of Legends is not doing it right, they focus on content creation, adding champions, rather than creating balance and fixing bugs. Dota 2 does it right, stuff that costs $$$ does not interfere with gameplay.

homey_d_clown
homey_d_clown

I am Cliff Bleszinski, you killed my father, prepare to DIE!

tommynj
tommynj

Arena games seem to be trending hard now. All the devs must have got together and decided everyone is making some sort of arena game.

SythisTaru
SythisTaru

Lol, the way some people on here are so jealous of him is just sickening. 

blackothh
blackothh

This project is going to get very annoying very fast.

nutcrackr
nutcrackr

I was under the impression that Cliffy B had been working on a game for a few years now. I remember seeing concept art from quite a long time ago. I expected his annoucement to be of a nearly complete product. Instead they haven't even decided on an engine and he's still building a team.  Sure a F2P game can release early and build, but it does not seem like we will see it come out for at least a year, possibly two. 


Cliffy B's whole career is worthy of a book, he started on PC and worked with EPIC on some great games. Then he moved into rockstar territory and the games media literally quoted his every word like it was gospel. Then he just had enough of mainstream gaming and went into the shadows. Now he crops back up and is excited about the F2P, PC scene where the focus is off publishers and back on a evolving product.


I don't blame Cliffy for following the end of the arrow that seems to have the most penetration, but my track record with F2P games is horrible and I have strong doubts this will be different. Guess we will see in a year, or more.

Aqua10
Aqua10

And he chooses Nexon of all things? Not exactly the people you want to ask about how to make a player-friendly F2P game.

liquidbutter
liquidbutter

calibrono asks:

What will you sell in the game?

Cliffy B responds:

My body.

chuckles471
chuckles471

He uses Warframe as a good example?  It's not bad but isn't anywhere near to something like DOTA.  C'mon the frames take ages to get and to buy a crappy frame costs about £20 (going all the way to £100 to get a good one).  Yes, it's perfectly playable free but it loses all fun when you are stuck as the same character.

El_Zaggy
El_Zaggy

Everywhere I look on GS, its all about Cliff. Whats up with this ? Is Cliff funding GS is some way ? Are people at GS in love with the guy ? While he has made okay games in the past, the guy does not deserve all this. I certainly do not deserve to see him everywhere I look, I dont think I will come back to GS for a long period of time. too bad for GS, they are losing ad revenues from me because of their Cliffy-love story. I do hope other people will do the same. Anyway I'll be back someday maybe... but not this year. I'm not happy with the site and there is plenty of other sites about gaming news that does not throw me article about »Cliff twice a day.

deadline-zero0
deadline-zero0

"less dammed red dot iron sights". But Titanfall was an Aim Down Sight game. But if the game doesn't have it and goes for a "sight-less" gunplay, i'm all for it.

I enjoyed Titanfall, but i really want more twitch shooters.

quicktim3
quicktim3

hmm an arena shooter. thats to ftp. what could he possible do to make it innovative or different then allllllllllll the other shooters. 

Banefire76
Banefire76

Didnt this guy retire from gaming and say he would never come back to it? Must have run out of cash.

SteXmaN
SteXmaN

I will pirate it Cliff

TheWatcher000
TheWatcher000

"PAY ATTENTION TO MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"


No, Cliff, I don't think so.


There is some paint I need to go watch dry.

jayd02
jayd02

When it fails Cliff call me and I can make it better.


Cliff you are still on my crap list for all of the crap you said.  This game will have to be absolute gold for me to begin forgiving you.

91210user
91210user

That's right, get the Martin Lawrence part out of the way, we all wanted to know that! 

cowbellkid
cowbellkid

That's nice CliffyB, now go play with your blocks.

Pewbert
Pewbert

Ok this whole Cliff thing is getting weird. Multiple articles a day about some guy who will one day make a game.

Are one of you related to him or something?

Suaron_x
Suaron_x

@El_Zaggy The GS staff definitely get all starry eyed over Cliffy.  Rumor has it they are kicking around a name change to Cliffspot.

blackothh
blackothh

@Banefire76 This guy has said a lot of things, most of which contradict something else that he has said. So believing anything that comes out of this guys mouth would be ill advised.

chuckles471
chuckles471

@Banefire76 Nope, he has Oculus Rift money now.  Hence his rabid defense of the take over.  He is set for life, he probably was before it but he has went a tier of richness(think owning a private jet richness).

sanchango
sanchango

@charlieholmes Don't ask me why or how I know this,  but...there's a manga called "Kiss my Ass." It's a story about hemorrhoids! :D

chuckles471
chuckles471

@SonictheHeg @jayd02 He said he could do a better job making resident evil.  

It was arrogant as hell because he thinks he is the only one that noticed the problems with the game.  When it was pretty bleeding obvious to everyone.