From wiz kid who developed Jazz Jackrabbit to Design Director and the steward of the Unreal Engine platform. Cliff Bleszinski or CliffyB as he is affectionately known has been the brains behind what can be called a revolution in gaming. The Unreal Engine practically underpins every great game on the market from multi-player to first-person shooter to role playing. Now even mobile platform games are getting the Unreal Engine treatment. The bread and butter at Epic, however, is the Gears franchise and come this year the series comes to an end. Cliff got a chance to work with hip-hop icon, Ice-T along with superstar, Drake. Long fans of Cliff, we got a chance to chat at E3 where he was with Shadow Complex designer, Donald Mustard.
5 million sold of 2.
Cliff: Thank you.
So talk about what you guys are doing out here at E3 this year.
Cliff: Well we’re out here at E3 right now. I’m out here with Donald Mustard who’s the creative visionary behind Shadow Complex and we’re unveiling the game. We had it at the press conference today. Everybody is totally digging the game. It’s taken that kind of classic Castlevania Metroid gameplay, taking the latest Unreal Engine and putting it on Xbox Live Arcade and really raising the bar for what people expect out of that game. And we’re here at a press event and we’re meeting with people. I think we had Soulja Boy out here earlier and he was checking it out...
Donald: I think his direct quote, ‘it’s tight.’
Cliff: Yeah I think he’s gonna ‘superman that ho.’
Donald: Yeah, exactly.
Now, talk about that, too, now. Talk about the Unreal Engine because there are a lot of things that Microsoft has coming up that the Unreal Engine will be a part of. Kind of give us a little clue in.
The tech is one of those things that’s incredibly versatile. It’s basically paint and a brush and a canvas and you can make whatever you want with it. I mean we have Shadow Complex, which takes that classic ?2D? gameplay and puts it in a 3D world. We have X-Men Origins: Wolverine, uh the Splinter Cell game, all these games that really leverage the technology in all sorts of different ways. And uh we want to do what we can not only as a business ?model? but also to help facilitate developers’ visions by providing better tools because we’re in a world where ?? game is extremely expensive. It takes ?hundreds? of people to make a game. And any way you can mitigate that risk is ??that’s what we provide with the toolset??
So now Shadow Complex. How long have you guys been actually working on that cause that’s due to come out in a few months relatively?
Donald: Yeah, well, our last game, Undertow, shipped about a year and a half ago. And this comes out the next few months so...
Cliff: Do the math.
Donald: Yeah, do the math. Its been about that. About a year and a half.
Now you guys, Epic, acquired the studio. So talk about that process, about integrating the studios.
Cliff: It was a pretty streamlined and easy process. I mean, we knew Donald and his team for a while from the Undertow days ?? and Epic ?? back in the day. And when they came to us and had the demonstration for Shadow Complex, we were like this is a total no brainer. We should work together. And then we started talking about how to make the game better, how to have a good partnership. Howard Phillips came on board to help run the studio and he’s a, you know, personal old school friend of mine from Howard & Nester back in the day with Nintendo Power and now he’s working to make the game better. Ken Lobb over at Microsoft is contributing as well. He was on the GoldenEye team as well way back in the day...So it’s really like this greatest hits of like the old school game designers with kind of the new school and everybody kinda coming together like the friggin’ Justice League. - Damola
ED Note: I had a chance to meet with Cliff & Mike Capps at a Bulletstorm event in Raleigh and Mike informed me they were provide the Unreal Development Kit free for developers to use for iOS and PC. Mike confirmed they would not require license payments for sales below $50,000. This is a game changer in our opinion. The kit can be found at www.udk.com we also have a link on our www.ownersillustrated.com site