Cliff Bleszinski: I'd like to think there's more to my creativity than Gears of War

"There are two lessons people have not learned from Minecraft."

by

Veteran game designer Cliff Bleszinski has said he's lost all interest in making disc-based games.

In a fascinating new interview with Gamasutra, the former Gears of War designer spoke passionately of how he'd want his next title to take advantage of vibrant PC communities that allow a more direct, ongoing relationship with players.

The more recognisable method of publishing games, Bleszinski says, is no more. "The whole 'old guard,' where you get a Game Informer cover and an E3 reveal, is dead," he said. "I'll never make another disc-based game for the rest of my career, and [at E3] they're trying to woo buyers from Target and Walmart?"

Bleszinski revealed that he's currently addicted to PC hit Rust, and mentions how it eschews conventional understanding that developers need to excessively tutor their players.

"In these games the new user experience is utter shit, and it's okay," he said. "There are two lessons people have not learned from Minecraft: Get the game out there and build it. Some kid will put out a video. Players will teach each other. You don't need the 'press A to jump'."

Bleszinski reiterated earlier statements that he'd like to form his own studio and create an arena-based shooter. "I don't want Gears to be my defining legacy," he added.

"At the end of the day, [Gears of War is] known for being a fun, fantastic franchise. But I'd like to think there's more to my creativity than that," Bleszinski mused. "At the end of the day, you're shooting fucking lizard-men in the fucking face with a fucking chainsaw gun."

"It didn't wind up what I'd hoped; I'd pitched it as 'Band of Brothers with monsters'--you know Band of Brothers is well-done and emotional, telling the story of the Greatest Generation and what they did in the war. Yet somehow we landed on 'Predator'... the characters being all 'buff and manly', I'd never planned on that."

"You can't plan for that," he says. "With game development, it's like doing a Ouija board. With [dialog barks] it gets easy to slip into Schwarzenegger territory."

Whether Gears of War remains in Schwarzenegger territory is no longer Bleszinski's problem: Microsoft has now acquired the franchise, and given development duties to Rod Fergusson's Black Tusk Studios.

Discussion

144 comments
Daemoroth
Daemoroth

So many armchair critics in here. Care to point to your latest massively successful game? Or creation of ANY kind apart from your morning visit to the oval office?

jewell21
jewell21

Thank you, Gamespot, for using a different image this time, instead of that other creepy close-up of him giving us the bedroom eyes.

BARRICADE_28
BARRICADE_28

Cliff has spent more time in the last 2 years styling his hair and whitening his teeth than making games.

BARRICADE_28
BARRICADE_28

$1000 says Cliff's next game is an ultra-violent shooter like the rest of his "creatively diverse" career.  You're great Cliffy but push the envelope a bit bro.

BARRICADE_28
BARRICADE_28

I created Unreal Tournament over 15 years ago, but I want to show how creative I am so I want to make an arena-based shooter?  What???

quakke
quakke

My gosh, and there is more to your creativity. Afterall, you were the lead designer with Unreal Tournament 1999. If it wasn't for your choices with UT99, we probably would have a very different game instead. Just make that old school Arena Shooter you talked about. I guarantee you it will be great, because you know your stuff.


Also really like that you are willing to take the "John Romero approach". Meaning that the game just throws you in there and you have to figure out by yourself how to play it. No annoying handholding which makes the game very dumb. Just a game which is fully focused on good gameplay, and is not trying to be some interactive one button movie.


Quake II, one of the best singleplayer FPS ever made. It has all the story a game needs but never interrupts your gameplay like modern interactive movies do. It also never says that "press Space to jump". It lets you figure out everything on your own.

blakktoose
blakktoose

Cliffy B is being a little bitch. We used to look up to him for his GOW legacy but now we know it wasn't him at all. Thank goodness we didn't end up with a stupid BOB version of Gears, Cliffy's version. Now you got nothing. Oh and take the lazy road and let the community build the game...? You're an idiot.

SipahSalar
SipahSalar

PC gaming doesn't need you Mr. Blizxjdhaskjhnki.

BuiltForSin
BuiltForSin

He's in luck if he doesn't want Gears to define his legacy, if he spends the next few years like he has the last few, he'll be known more for blabbering overwrought techno-hipster bullshit on Twitter than actually making games people still gave a shit about. 

mav_destroyer
mav_destroyer

Unless he's talking about mobile games I can't see how it would make any difference to a developer if the game ends up on disc or digital distribution (that's the publisher's job). When you start coding a game what medium it ends up being published on is the least of your worries, if not outright irrelevant. I'm not sure where he's going with his "I'll never make another disc-based game" statement, but it makes no sense and is probably rubbish like everything else he says.

rawkstar007
rawkstar007

I'll give him creativity points for the first Gears but after that it was downhill. GoW is the Pirates of the Caribbean of videogames.

7akk
7akk

WTF!!! Are they doing selling it to Microsoft WTF Epic games WTF are you doing but i do know  why Cliff Bleszinski did not make another gears to would just kill its self like cod how has done. But epic's best games was gear 1+2+3 and all unreal tournament's but why microsoft :( WHY! wtf your game is going to be fucked now 

Kryptonbornson
Kryptonbornson

He sounds like a man gone insane with the internet chatter. Gears 1 was good. No matter if it was cheesy. Resident Evil mixed with Football, mixed with Call of Duty, mixed with Predator, all cool stuff. If he never read comments on Twitter or the rest of the webs. Maybe he'd still believe in himself.


Not saying Gear 2 was better, should have left the "emotional moments" out and I never got to play 3, but I'd like to if it ever comes to PC or Xbox One. Hopefull Epic carries on with stuff in the "cool" tradition like actually making Samaritan or Infiltrator into a franchise.

fanfas
fanfas

Man all this talk about GOW just shows how young people are in this boards... the guy can talk sh%&% all he wants he earned that right when he helped the developement not only of one of the most used graphic engines (unreal) but he also helped making the game that birthed all modern shooters... yes youngsters, if he didn't create UNREAL TOURNAMENT probably most of today's online shooters were a lot different.


Almost every gametype played today on FPS borrows something from UT,


I'm being in my 34 years old, remember you well Ciff, In a time when change was needed you helped making it... I won't remember you for GOW but for the countless ours i spent playing ASSAULT and CAPTURE THE FLAG on UT


People complain for everything this days... give credit to who deserves it, the guy isn't where he is by staing on boards talking shi&% about others... he did something... and in my book something good.

SpookyJack
SpookyJack

"I'd like to think there's more to my creativity than that."

There isn't.

sammoth
sammoth

Cliffy, I love your GOW series but, really STFU and do something already. Nobody give a rats @ss about you opinions or outlooks. We want to see product or STFU.

MattPeters
MattPeters

He's really funny and smart (check out some podcasts he's been on). He also knows a lot about video games. I'm not sure why people hate him so much. Perhaps we love to hate him, like I think we all would like to see a new game from him, ya know? How about some support, lmao. I feel like most of the industry isn't opinionated at all, at least this dude has a voice and doesn't wait to hear what gamers are currently talking about and then commenting with hindsight. This is probably why we don't get new stuff quite as often. Make a cool game Cliff, I'll play it - and I won't talk shit about it until I finish it.


You should take some pride in Gears though. It was a pretty dark and gory game. I miss games that had like it's own filter. Silent Hill used to be pretty shaded and grainy but started looking like shit when it was all vibrant and HD. It wasn't scary. Gears was gray, everything was gray and smoky. It was also a really fun game. Gears 1 blew my mind. I give him props.


:Shotguns beer, removes affliction t-shirt, starts shadow boxing in the mirror to Offspring:

cirugo
cirugo

god what a tool...


budweiserman
budweiserman

I love the Gears series.  Especially if you play on insanity.

dmdavenport
dmdavenport

He'll be happy one day that GOW is his legacy.

Hurvl
Hurvl

Oh, so GoW is Schwarzenegger territory? Makes sense since Arnold is the Gowernator, lol.

SweatySasquatch
SweatySasquatch

Step away from the Microscam Shitbox and your creativity would not be limited to just Gears of War, Cliff. All Microsoft does is make developers churn out sequel after sequel. Examples would be Halo, Gears, Fable, and Forza.

jasongm
jasongm

Am I the only one that thought Gears was just a average 3rd person shooter? I never got around to finishing the first game.

Joeguy00
Joeguy00

I'd like that too C-Bear... I'd like that too.

shina777
shina777

" I'd like to think there's more to my creativity than Gears of War " And you'd be wrong Cliff, you'd be wrong !

Chr0noid
Chr0noid

Don't worry Cliffy B. A Douchebag.  You don't have any creativity whatsoever.  Until you make a game that isn't targeted towards the frat boy demographic, you can kindly stop making these obnoxious comments.  You are not relevant in the industry anymore. 

uncle5555
uncle5555

He'll move onto his next ultimate game.....Jazz Jackrabbit of War!!!

Butt_Chunx
Butt_Chunx

Although a lot of people talk shit about him and he can say some pretty stupid things sometimes, I think he is a really talented developer with really great ideas, certainly one of the best this industry has.

Jay2528
Jay2528

Boy does Cliff like to talk, probably more than making games.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

CliffyB is another Warren Spector - lost all semblance of talent and desperate to try to show us otherwise.

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

It was at the start of the day. When I was shooting fucking lizard men with a chainsaw gun. I enjoyed Gears of War series. It was a fun mindless videogame, With the aliens invading and killing fucking humanity. A dusk to dawn game It played all night in 2006. 


Not the most high brow subject for a videogame. But it seems Cliffy B now wants to make "Art noir Hipster" games. Which is fine. Can Cliffy B make another great videogame? He could try an RPG, A plaformer, or even a puzzle game.


Creativity may have left Cliffy B. Until he creates a new IP the jury is out.

lokar82
lokar82

But he really wants to direct.  This guy really thinks the world of himself.

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@quakke  So true, I remember "tutorial" used to mean opening the options (Or ini file) and checking the keybinds...

BARRICADE_28
BARRICADE_28

@blakktoose you misread his quote.  His goal was "Band of Brothers with Monsters" but didn't know how to do it so he ended up with Predator.

sammoth
sammoth

@fanfas Um no Wolfenstien started it not UT. Me being older than you can verify that. Cliffy is for the newer Generation John Carmack "Doom, Quake etc " was the brains behind what you see today in FPS not Cliffy B. The problem with Cliffy is he is a lot of talk and he tends to criticize others when it's not needed.

sammoth
sammoth

@MattPeters Nobody hates him. It's just the fact he talks to much and criticizes others way to much.

Carpetfluff
Carpetfluff

@dmdavenport  The way he's going he'll just be happy to remembered at all. Classic case of 'do you know who I am?' syndrome this guy...

SpicaAntares
SpicaAntares

@jasongm

The first two games were fun to play games in "co-op", the second one being vastly superior to the first. Anything after that went downhill.

You can't appreciate those games, including the Army of Two series, unless you play them with a friend. It's just too bad there is not more games made to be played in couch co-op mode.

HailHellfire
HailHellfire

@jasongm  

no your not. i didnt care for the series at all. i thought it was quite dull & the characters in it were terrible. i felt no remorse if they died or not. they were your average cookie cutter shooter characters. very dull & mindlessly boring. not alot of thought went into it except that it was praised for its mechanics system at the time, which was big for alot of people

hystavito
hystavito

@Chr0noid  Well, he's claiming that it wasn't really how he wanted it to be and I guess now he plans to go in a different direction.  Maybe he's a liar or a hypocrite, I don't know, but he is saying he didn't intend to make that kind of game in the past and doesn't want to in the future.

MHzBurglar
MHzBurglar

@uncle5555  

On a serious note, I would love to see that series rebooted (and no, the crappy GBA Star Wars-ripoff atrocity doesn't count...)

Hurvl
Hurvl

@Jay2528 I'd like to think there's more to him than talk, but I'm not sure.

hystavito
hystavito

@Megavideogamer  It is kind of annoying when you see people do this.  Make money and a career off something and then turn around and bash it, which kind of bashes your fans too for liking it.

Lpedraja2002
Lpedraja2002

I'm probably younger than you but do agree that John Carmack is the bigger influence in modern shooters. That man is truly a living legend.

MattPeters
MattPeters

@sammoth @MattPeters I think we are all kind of the same though? I agree, it's time for him to put the gears in motion (teehee). I could probably say the same about myself. I do however, think he has some insightful things to say at least...

Jay2528
Jay2528

@Hurvl There might be, but for the last year or so all he has done is talk, talk, and talk some more. It might be time for him to actually do something, but who knows perhaps he will surprise us all.

Lpedraja2002
Lpedraja2002

I don't know what you've read about Carmack but the man is currently the CTO for the company developing the Occulus Rift, he was a very early backer and has showed his enthusiasm ever since. He will help shape the future of virtual reality without a doubt. I don't know how you can compare him to Cliff Blezinsky, which tends to make jock like comments a lot of the time.

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

@Lpedraja2002  

Kinda funny that both of them are ego centric, internet shit talking looney losers now eh?


Seriously both of them care for nothing but a little attention now. Getting tired of both of them.


Which is sad considering how much i loved Doom and UT. I was that guy with the bio-gun who mastered it in UT. Ya...i was that guy....the one everyone hated...who covered every room in bio sludge. Hell ya.