Cliff Bleszinski at GDC: "If you are the face of the company you have to stay humble"

Owen Hill at

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Update: the original text of this story quoted Cliff as saying "game developers are assholes." This was incorrect. He was talking about internet trolls. They're assholes. We offer our apologies.

Speaking at GDC, Cliff Bleszinski has expressed the dramatic impact his personal life has had on his design decisions. He also offered some sage advice for upcoming developers.

"Assess yourself. Know your weakness. As a creative, I am not a spreadsheet designer. I am a holistic designer, and you must find complementary talent, the yin to your yang. And build mutal respect.

"Make your product personal. I’m not having a fucking debate, this is art. If you look at Gears, you can tell I was a child of the 80s, I was raised with Transformers, He-Man, I saw Predator when I was 13 and it melted my face off. I was actually going through a very tough time when I was working on the first game. I was actually going through a divorce. There’s a reason Marcus has daddy issues; I lost my dad when I was a kid."

Read on for more from Epic Game's charismatic design director.

"PR is necessary, you need it now," continued Cliff. "You need to figure out how to put yourself out there. I was never cool enough for the cool kids, but never geeky enough for the geeks. You need to be a chameleon, you need to be able to sit down with the hardcore coder, the hippie artist, and sit down with the marketing guy and get drunk and have fun with him. Do not be afraid to be public with yourself.

"Why don’t we do PR more? Truth is game developers internet trolls are assholes. And publishers don’t want it. A lot of people are happy just working in games, but put yourself out there, you may be a person but ultimate you have to be a brand."

"You are forming a band here and you are the front man, if you are the face of the company you have to stay humble. You don’t want some Metallica Monster thing going on here. It’s not just your game, it’s the team’s game. If you are fortunate enough to become visible, and you meet a fan, you shake their hand and you thank them."

For more on Cliff, visit his blog, or follow him and his dog's twitter feeds.