Cliff Bleszinski: The Escapist Interview

Russ Pitts | 13 May 2008 20:15
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TE: Go ahead, please.

CB: Yeah right. [Laughs] When you create a new world, though, you just kind of sit down and kind of come up with a couple characters, come up with a general setting and theme that all has to tie into the gameplay mechanic. You can do the chart as far as how these things tug against each other, whereas if you were a screenwriter, you just sit in a corner and you come up with a cool world and cool characters and you're done. You don't have to worry about how the game mechanic plays in.

So it's kind of this multiple-angle balancing act that has to be done, and I'll come up with a pitch, I'll come up with a treatment, and I have to sell Rod [Fergusson] and Mike [Capps] and everybody else in the company on it to make sure they buy off on it, and then it's thrown to the wolves and everybody else dives on it and starts forming it into their own essentially amazing hit experience. So I do get a lot of the wonderful responsibility of creating a lot of that, but at the same time, it's the intelligent people that I surround myself with that make it great.

TE: How much selling do you actually have to do?

CB: A lot. I have to do a lot. Because every single person in this company has seen every single fucking sci-fi movie ever made. They've read every single graphic novel and every single book, and every time I pitch something, they go through the database in their head of where they've seen that before and they go, "Oh, I saw that in Texas Chainsaw Massacre; you can't do that" ... or whatever movie. "That was in Dawn of the Dead. I saw that." And it's like, "No, no, a chainsaw on a gun, that would be cool, right?" etc., etc. I think a lot of it comes from just getting along with people and hanging out and working with them on a day-to-day basis and just a sense of mutual trust.

TE: So you don't get a lot of slack being "the Cliffy?"

CB: Not at all. In fact, they beat up on me five times harder because of that. Everybody's so worried about my head getting big that I get teased on a regular basis because they're worried about my head being able to fit through the door. I get more crap than anybody. It's like being the boss' daughter. You have to try five times harder.

TE: How much of that image is actual Cliff, and how much of it is the PR/marketing machine? And is it accidental that that happens?


CB: My weekends are just hookers and blow; that's pretty much it all the time. I'm like Elliot Spitzer up in here ... whatever man. People get a kick out of the car. I'm like, it's just a car. I've gotten more enjoyment out of my dog than my car, to be honest.

So in the grand scheme of things, if I can help, you know, sell a few games, and help us pay our bills and help the guys feed their kids and put gas in their tanks and provide gamers with a great experience, and if they, you know, get to know somebody in the business, I think it's a good thing.

Russ Pitts posted a very negative review of Gears of War. He is, however, looking forward to the sequel. His blog can be found at www.falsegravity.com

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