Talking to Gamasutra as part of a wideranging new interview, Epic Games design director Cliff Bleszinski "gets on his soapbox" to discuss why "those 30 seconds that you do over and over" make a great FPS.
During an interview that took place while he was in San Francisco to promote Epic Games studio People Can Fly and EA Partners' new FPS Bulletstorm [YouTube trailer], Bleszinski discussed the key to developing a shooter -- a key he thinks the team has unlocked with the game.
"The fact of the matter is if you're going to make a shooter, you better make sure that those 30 seconds that you do over and over again are more fun than anything else in the game," says Bleszinski, discussing the new project from the Polish, Epic-owned Painkiller developers that he is contributing to.
"Like, you could take Halo, right, open up with the grenade, soften him up with bullets, melee -- that is fun, and you can just do that over and over again, right? And we are getting to the point where we're nailing that with Bulletstorm, with kicking a guy, sliding, leashing, and shooting him, things like that," says Bleszinski, by way of example.
However, it's not always that way, and that's a failure of developers working in the genre, he says. "I've played a lot of shooters that just want to be a shooter, but don't really ever nail that. It's like, okay, well, I should want to be the rat with the feeder pellet who's addicted to that one little thing in your game."
"The sound needs to be perfect, and, you know, to give the Bungie guys props, their grenade sound is still one of my favorite ones in all of games, because it has that little high-pitch pshew at the beginning, and I just want to throw a grenade just to hear that sound."
You look at the Gears headshot, you look at the heads exploding in Bulletstorm, the sound of the thump in the leash. 'Oh, I want to do that again.' That's good sound game design, that a lot of people miss."
The full feature-length interview, which takes in Bleszinski's working relationship with both People Can Fly and EA, as well as discussions of Epic Games design practice and comments on the Infinity Ward/Activision situation, is live today on Gamasutra.