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 Post subject: cliff on finishing gears 2
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 4:33 pm 
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Gears of War 2 is finished and ready for its November 7th debut on Xbox 360. To help fuel the ramp up Microsoft hosted an exclusive San Francisco event for journalists to play through every portion of the game, including the new campaign. Cliff Bleszinski, lead game designer at Epic Games, walked around the Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf ballroom as 30-plus HD TVs broadcast his latest creation. In between watching game journalists blast their way through (and underneath) Sera, he took some time to talk about Gears of War 2, why some gamers expect him to go nipple to nipple with Ted Price in a fountain, and his thoughts on David Jaffe. As usual, Bleszinski had plenty to say. Check out the full interview

Das Gamer: Now that Gears of War 2 is finally done and in the hands of game critics, how does it feel?
Cliff Bleszinski: It feels great. I always call this time period going over the dark side of the moon. It was especially tough with Gears 1 because we didn’t know if any of it would jive or if the reviews would be great, we didn’t know if gamers would take to it or if it would sell. And until the numbers came in and everything was settled, I was like depressed for a month and a half. I had some type of game developer male postpartum depression or something. Now I’m more confident this time. But still it’s a very nerve-wracking experience, man. Whenever I think about everything we put into the game from start to finish, the campaign, the co-op, the multiplayer, I think it’s really amazing. But you always hear that voice in the back of your head that makes you wonder. Watching these editors’ reactions to the game today, I think it’s going over well.

When you look at all of the gameplay modes in Gears of War 2, which one really stands out to you?
Cliff Bleszinski: I’m most proud of the campaign. Unfortunately, it’s the one thing we’re not allowed to talk about when promoting the game. We can talk about the Versus and Co-op and Horde, but the campaign is so secret. There are entire environment sets and characters and events and plot points that we can’t say anything about. We don’t want to spoil it for gamers. We want them to play through with a friend and experience all of that coolness. But, overall, campaign is the thing I’m most proud of with all we’ve been able to pull off.

Now that you guys are finished with Gears 2, what have you been playing in your free time?
Cliff Bleszinski: I’ve been playing a lot of Xbox Live Arcade games recently. I played Braid a lot, which I thought was a wonderful game, but also extremely difficult. I like to say Portal made me feel smart and Braid made me feel stupid. Castle Crashers was a riot. I though Bionic Commando Rearmed was excruciatingly difficult. I must be getting old with my reaction times or something, but I’m not as good as I used to be. I hope to pick up Silent Hill: Homecoming this week and this fall I’m looking forward to Dead Space and Mirror’s Edge.

Gears 2 ships the same week as Insomniac Games’ Resistance 2. That’s a lot of sci-fi shooters for one week. How much do you keep up with the other FPS titles out there?
Cliff Bleszinski: I think it’s important to know what’s out there in the shooter genre on other consoles. I have a lot of respect for Insomniac. Ted (Price) is a wonderful guy and I think they do great work. Everybody loves this dynasty crap where they want to see Ted and I fighting in a fountain pulling each other’s hair or something like that. Sorry, but it’s not going to happen. They’re making their own sci-fi extravaganza, as are we. When you break it down and look at each game, it’s largely apples to oranges.

What’s your schedule been like recently with the whirlwind of publicity?
Cliff Bleszinski: I just did the European press tour, which was very productive and very cool. But at the same time I caught the flu at the tail end of that, which sucked. I wanted to go out and have curry in London and I wasn’t able to. Now I go to Australia in a week and then I go to LA and I’m sure we’re going to have something going on November 7th.

Now that Gears 2 is done, what’s next?
Cliff Bleszinski: I can tell you the next few years of my life are pretty much spoken for but I can’t really talk about anything I’m actually working on.

Will you be taking a vacation?
Cliff Bleszinski: I have a travel agent currently working on someplace with a beach so I can sit on the beach with the girlfriend drinking margaritas. It’s important as a game developer, especially if you’re going to have an extended career, to pace yourself and not get burnt out. I’ve been doing this since I was 17 and I’m not going to be exactly sleeping under my desk any more because I plan on doing this for years to come and I don’t want to die by the age of 35.

What are your thoughts on the new trend that we’ve seen with Spore and now LittleBigPlanet in empowering gamers with the tools to create their own levels and interactive experiences?
Cliff Bleszinski: It’s a really exciting trend and I wish it were around when I was a younger, aspiring game developer. It would have given me more outlets through which to exercise a lot of my creative ambition. Back in the day, it was hard to find video game construction kits, so I had to code everything. To be able to buy a really cool platformer like LittleBigPlanet and then be able to build with it is really exciting. It’s a continuation of the Web 2.0 phenomenon of user empowerment. If only 5% of people actually contribute, but there are millions upon millions of people doing it, then ultimately there’s going to be a lot of really cool content that ends up being self-regulated through ratings systems and things like that. I think it’s a good trend and I hope it continues in the more serious shooter space in the near future.

Do you have any data that tracks the number of girls who play Gears?
Cliff Bleszinski: I don’t have any numbers, but my gut tells me more girls play Gears than any other shooter. Maybe it’s the MySpace friend requests I get. Maybe it’s anecdotal evidence. There’s something about the pacing of Gears and the beautiful world that draws in a female audience. I’m hoping that will just continue with Dom and his Maria arc in Gears 2.

When it comes to game creators, who do you look up to?
Cliff Bleszinski: It will always be Miyamoto-san. He always has these cool sensibilities as far as what fun is. I have a lot of respect for Jaffe. I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves. If you look at his resume, he’s done some outstanding titles. I think he just blogs a little too often. I don’t need to know that Sarah Palin gave you a stiffy, dude. Come on.

–John Gaudiosi
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 Post subject: Re: cliff on finishing gears 2
PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 4:49 pm 
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haha o-k weird ending lol nice post glen

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