Epic Games, now purveyors of grunting masculinity, offal and chainsaws, once had a line of family-friendly shareware platformers and pinball titles. The reason we no longer think of them as the guys who made Jazz Jackrabbit is solely due to Unreal. It’s an overlooked great. A journey through an alien landscape with a sense of wonder, grandeur and mystery that almost no shooter has since achieved.
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.