Cliff Bleszinski's Epic Vision

Highlights from Bleszinski's appearance on the GameSpot Comic-Con 2012 stage show.

Epic's Cliff Bleszinski joined us on our Comic-Con 2012 stage show to talk about all of Epic's upcoming projects. Here are some of the most interesting quotes from that interview…

On cranking up the difficulty in Gears of War: Judgment

The thing is, casual [difficulty level] is still casual. If you're a little baby, a whiny bitch, and you want to be over in the corner, you can do that. But normal, hardcore, and insane [difficulty levels] are going to be tough. Insane, I'm not even going to touch. Because in hardcore I die a lot. This generation, I kind of feel like we've slipped into this rut where we're trying to grow our audience at the cost of actual gameplay. Cut scenes have gotten longer and longer. Scripted sequences have taken over … I just believe that a game that's replayable is a better game even if you never replay it.

On giving players more room for creativity in Fortnite

When I was at GDC and Warren Spector got his [lifetime achievement] award, he had this quote that really resonated with me. He said that a great video game isn't about the creators showing players how creative they are, it's about players showing the creators how creative they are. Empower the games to build something they've never been before. Because we've all built forts as a child, right? So Fortnite is essentially a co-op sandbox survival game … and it feels fresh and exciting for myself in particular to work on.

On debuting Unreal Engine 4 with Fortnite

"This generation, I feel like we've slipped into this rut where we're trying to grow our audience at the cost of actual gameplay"
At E3, we kind of ushered in next-gen by showing off the Elementals demo and it looked almost like a real-time Blizzard cinematic. You had this really tough knight guy, with lava dynamically lighting the environment and beatiful snow and mountains. It was really exciting. And a lot of publishers and developers look at that and they're like, man, that looks like a 100 million dollar game. We're going to have to spend a lot of money to make that game and market it. We're going to have to get our Shanghai studio on that!

And I'm looking at this and I'm like, this engine will be very capable of making these kind of games--we're absolutely down for that. But it's important to note that you can make a smaller game that's stylized on PC. The goal is to give an engine that can do the minimum of a simple little iPhone game, and the max of a AAA, maybe next-gen console game.

On avoiding the Uncanny Valley in the next generation

"I think the key is to continue to stylize. Pixar learned this years ago when they were depicting humans in Toy Story. Don't try to just go photo-real. Stylize them, make them slightly cartoony. The future of Gears is probably going to remain stylized. You're not going to see us chase the photo-realistic look. I think the key is to just find kind of a filmic quality so that things look great.

I think we're at the point where graphics can be so good that you can choose to stylize. Look at a game like Borderlands. They chose to not go in that hyper-realistic. They went with a quirky, fun, cel-shaded look. And it's really become iconic, it's become a thing for them. And Borderlands 2 looks absolutely phenomenal, those guys are great.

More highlights: Frank O'Connor on Halo 4 and Paul Barnett on Ultima Forever

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Discussion

17 comments
amdreallyfast
amdreallyfast

The best part of the video was the background.  There is that one dude to the left and behind the bushes who is there the entire time, then there are the people with the "Kneel Before Zod!" and "Galactus is Nigh!" signs.

amdreallyfast
amdreallyfast

"Don't try to just go photo-real. Stylize them, make them slightly cartoony."Well said!

Ultramarinus
Ultramarinus

So Unreal Engine 4 debuts with TF2-like visuals with no Unreal or UT game whatsoever around planned. Why not just change the name already?

euphoric666
euphoric666

he speaks so much so fast in so short time.

RetroSEAL
RetroSEAL

Essentially, what Cliff means to call this is Gears of Minecraft!This is NOT bad! In fact, I'm glad that EPIC is taking a COMPLETELY different route with their games, good for them. Go Cliff! It'd be like the God of War guys making the next Finding Nemo film. Bound to be good ;) 

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

Whatever, keep on your graphics crusade.....see where that get's you in the end.

Even in films if it's all about the visuals it will fail miserably....look at Skycaptain.....a ton of money to make, shot entirely on a blue/green screen I started falling asleep 30 minutes in but movies like Transformers [say what you will] are enjoyable films, I'm a fan of G1 and I love these films....yeah some of the fights can get a bit overwhelming at times but the story is there......

Games are the same way, it takes something fantastic to be able to have a meh story but still mean something to people like Elder Scrolls. Gears has a meh story, the characters remind me of high school jocks from my past that I'd rather forget so yeah I've never been a fan....

For me it's not just the trending in the industry that turns me off to things....I go through periods where my interest isn't that high, this happens to be one of those periods....

I mean I'm interested in what's going on and games but not enough to play if that makes any sense.....

 

See, we're pretty much in the hair metal phase of gaming, a lot of hairspray and a lot of pretty boy faces.....

soon we'll hit the grunge scene or maybe that's in transition now....we got the indie developers just tearing it up, isn't that what Nirvana, Alice In Chains and Stone Temple Pilots did in the 90's? just thought I'd throw that out there....

skullomania2
skullomania2

You know what, i'm actually tired of Gears.  Its sad to say but I am.  I thought part 3 was the last one?  Maybe it was because of all the winers inside the game about the sawed off shotgun.  Hey I actually enjoyed the Sawed Off in Gears just as much as the Gnasher but then they started foolin around with power of all the weapons and I lost interest in the game.  So Cliff, you're vision was good at first but lately I think you may need cataract surgery.   :) 

hystavito
hystavito

I hate when industry people talk about how amazing graphics are nowadays.  Come on, let's be honest, graphics could be so much better than they are if the industry hadn't decided to largely abandon the PC.

maniac060
maniac060

i loved the ending of cliff's interview lol.  poor shaun... gotta love live streams :P

Grovilis
Grovilis

Horde mode was my favorite part in both Gears 2 & 3 so a game being developed by Epic around this concept has me interested. 

adamlsalley
adamlsalley

What about a built-in map editor/builder system, such as the forge offered in Halo games.  My son (who is a Halo fan) uses the forge on a regular basis, if Gear of War offered this up I'm sure it would be a huge hit! 

maderrin
maderrin

Crap, I'm mad at Epic for starting to milk Gears franchise, then again I can't wait to play it. I hate you Bleszynski.

Diarma10
Diarma10

 @MJ12-Conspiracy So you're saying Transformers, that ultimate celebration of over the top CGI and bad fights where you can't see what the hell is going on is better than Sky Captain, a movie that cost a fraction of Transformers budget and was a love letter to 1930's tv serials? (And no - it wasn't about the visuals). Poor example.

 

As for the gaming scene, I hope Epic will focus more on the gameplay than the graphics. However, most AAA tent pole game releases wish they were movies. And then they deliver no story  - just like the movies are doing now(Gears or War - could have been genius if they had inserted more story in it). But some of these big games are not even delivering on gameplay on any meaningful way either (Warhammer - Space Marine).

A great story is becoming essential to big game releases for me. Deadspace 2 has smoother playability than the first one, but the story is just weak so far, really struggling to plow through it - because the story is so light that I just don't care anymore. However Portal 2 has great scripting coupled with great gameplay. Bioshock is of course the king of great stories in action games. It can be done.  All it requires is attention to detail. This of course takes time and therefore costs $$$$.

 

 

tightwad34
tightwad34

 @MJ12-Conspiracy

 Personally, I think the characters in Gears are a reflection of what Cliff wishes he was in high school, or now. Now that he has had some success, he is kind of a d-bag. Even though I have no idea what he was like before. Just wanted to say what I think.

nereza
nereza

 @hystavito  Yeah, and not only the graphics, the gameplay also.