All About Cliff Bleszinski, With None of This ‘Up, Down, Left, Right’ Nonsense


We talked about Steve Meretzky the other day and now we’re going to talk about an article in Paste magazine about Cliff Bleszinski, head designer of the extremely popular video game, “Gears of War.” Which means either a) for some reason we’ve really gotten into video games this week, b) there just seems like there’s been an awful lot of interesting video game-based stories this week, or c) we like people whose last names end in “-ee”. We’re guessing it’s probably that last one, given that this writer has been dating a Polish girl for the past four years whose name ends as such. But that’s neither here nor there (sorry, darling). The story, “Touching the Enemy,” really isn’t so much about video games themselves, just more about what goes on behind the scenes in designing one. Because, honestly, if it were about games themselves, our eyes would roll back into our heads and we’d fall over. We’re lousy with the games. Here’s a bit:

Video games are software. The art of making them draws as much from Silicon Valley as it does from Hollywood. Development studios use the same tech tools as businesses like Microsoft and Google; whiteboards, conference rooms and, of course, tons of computers. His crew has jobs as varied as designing the game’s bombed-out architecture, modeling grotesque faces for its Locust Horde baddies, and determining the ins and outs of reloading the Lancer Rifle — a gun that comes with a built-in chainsaw — when its clip runs dry. Cliff paints his supervisory role as both administrative and collaborative. “They’re painting an 80-foot-by-80-foot mural. Each person’s working on his four-foot-by-four-foot section of it.”