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New, Better, More: Epic's Cliff Bleszinski on Designing Gears of War 2
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New, Better, More: Epic's Cliff Bleszinski on Designing Gears of War 2


October 24, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 6 of 6
 

I'm curious about something you said recently about Gears 2 not being on the PC due to piracy issues. Is that indicative of the direction Epic's going to be going in the future?

CB: Well, I don't want to focus on that too much because it's such a hot-button thing and people are so sensitive about it. But it's safe to say we're going to focus on, in regards to Gears, that Gears is a console franchise, and it just doesn't make sense for us right now to be dealing with a PC version of Gears 2.

So people shouldn't assume that Epic is not going to be developing PC games generally?

CB: No comment on that, really.

Outside of the Gears franchise?

CB: Can't predict the future right now, with that.

Anything you can say about what Chair or People Can Fly are doing? Are you working directly with them at all?

CB: Yeah. It's part of my job as design director. There's just some cool stuff coming through. PCF, there's a lot of talented guys there and they're producing some exciting things, but I'm also really excited about what Chair's doing.

And very soon, you're going to be hearing a lot about what they've been working on for a while, and I think gamers are really going to dig it.

Do you think they had any idea you guys would approach them? You approached them, I assume.

CB: I honestly, I wasn't -- that was [president] Mike [Capps] and [VP] Mark [Rein] and them kind of doing all that stuff. I just came in to work one day, and they were like, "Alright, you're working with these guys." I'm like, "Cool."

[laughter]

It just seemed very unexpected. The game they made was a small-scale Xbox Live Arcade title.

CB: Well, a lot of those core guys started off with Advent Rising, which had a lot of cool things to it but maybe made a few mistakes along the way, and learned from them. T

hen [they] just scaled back significantly, made Undertow, which was very well received, and then are working on some other cool stuff now that will... It sucks, because I can't talk about it yet, but I'm really geeking out about it, because it's really cool stuff.

Do you work with Orson Scott Card at all?

CB: No, he works directly with Donald Mustard and those guys. But I get builds of what they're working on, and feedback, and play, and things like that, which is also just a fun part of the job.

Is it nice to be able to have your hand in different projects like that?

CB: It's tough to not be distracted, though. You have to intentionally set up meetings and look at your time, sort of make sure you have to have plenty of hands-on time with the big baby, here.

It's just incredibly gratifying now to have been working on something for a couple of years and be able to just sit down with a journalist now and talk about, "What did you think of this part? What did you think of that part?"

These events are always stressful because, [while] I don't have kids, I have a feeling that I know what a father feels like when he's sitting outside the room waiting to see. "Ten fingers and ten toes, please."

Often in games you often have to spend two or three years on one thing, which again compared to film is crazy.

CB: Yeah, they can bust out a movie in like nine months, man. They take four months to film it, and they're done, right? Put it in post and ship it. Whereas this is a Herculean effort.

It's the ultimate blend between art and science in every department, and when you find people who are like technical artists, that they can do both, in regards to learning all the tools and making things optimized and making things beautiful, hang on to those people, because they're talented.

That's why I was asking earlier whether you think it'll become more of a precise science.

CB: I'm hoping the schools are doing a better job of teaching students. I mean, we can't hire people fast enough, but we're also very picky. But in regards to the mainstream media, it's been very interesting to see how this business continues to flourish every year. And everybody plays games, but a lot of your mainstream press still kind of ignore it.

We also seem to be weathering the current economic storm. [laughter]

CB: Well, because you've got your younger generation with disposable income. They're not going to give up their games, man. Pound for pound, dollar for dollar, this is still the most value-packed form of entertainment outside of going outside with a soccer ball and kicking it around.


Article Start Previous Page 6 of 6

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