|Born||Clifford Michael Bleszinski
February 12, 1975
North Andover, Massachusetts, USA
|Other names||CliffyB, Dude Huge|
Clifford Michael Bleszinski (born February 12, 1975), popularly known as CliffyB, is a video game designer, and former design director for the game development company Epic Games. He is most famous for his role in the development of the Unreal franchise, especially 1999's Unreal Tournament, and the Gears of War franchise. He cites Shigeru Miyamoto as his biggest influence.
His first commercial game was made at age 17: an independently developed point-and-click adventure game called The Palace of Deceit: Dragon's Plight. Bleszinski created the game while he was a student at Bonita High School in La Verne, California, and released it in 1991 via his own company, Game Syndicate Productions. He also sent a copy of the game to Tim Sweeney, the founder of Epic Games (then known as Epic MegaGames). Sweeney was impressed with the game and brought Bleszinski on board at Epic.
After being brought aboard, his next game was Dare to Dream, a point-and-click adventure, released in 1993. One of Epic's first multi-person projects brought Bleszinski's talents to bear on 1994's Jazz Jackrabbit and then 1998's Jazz Jackrabbit 2. He would help develop many of the spin-off games such as Jazz Jackrabbit: Holiday Hare. It was with his involvement in designing the first-person shooter Unreal, though, that Bleszinski began the work for which he is best known today. Unreal grew out of an idea by fellow Epic designer James Schmalz. Bleszinski felt that it was crucial to Epic that Unreal be a success. From the concept in late 1994 to release in May 1998, Epic threw all of its talent and money at Unreal, and it paid off: the result was a successful first-person shooter. In addition to his work on Unreal Tournament and Unreal Tournament 2004, Bleszinski served as lead designer on the Xbox 360 shooter Gears of War. The game's sequel, Gears of War 2 was released in November 2008 for the Xbox 360. Bleszinki's last game for the company was Gears of War 3.
Departure from Epic
Cliff announced his departure from Epic Games on October 3, 2012. He has worked in Epic Games for 20 years and decided to chart the next stage of his career, giving the reason that he had been making games since he was a teenager and that it was time for a break.
On July 29, 2013, Bleszinski published a post on his blog, pleading for Phil Fish to continue as a video game developer. He ended his post with the remark, "Come back, Phil. We miss you already. Maybe I’ll be right behind you, returning with Adamantium skin."
On June 30, 2014, Cliff stated on Twitter that he would be making video games again, stating, "I'm officially coming out of retirement to make video games again." In July 2014, Cliff announced a free-to-play, PC-focused arena shooter called BlueStreak created by Boss Key Productions, his new studio.
One of his brothers is Tyler Bleszinski, a sports blogger who founded Athletics Nation and Vox Media. He is married to Lauren Bleszinski (née Berggren), who is a blogger. The nickname "CliffyB" was given to him derogatorily by "some jock kid" when he was a shy teenager; he then took it and developed a tougher persona around it. In 2008, he expressed a desire to retire the CliffyB moniker, saying it's "time to grow up a bit". Bleszinski is an atheist.
- The Palace of Deceit: the Dragon's Plight (1992), Game Syndicate Productions
- Dare to Dream Volume One: In a Darkened Room (1993), Epic MegaGames, Inc.
- Jazz Jackrabbit (1994), Epic MegaGames, Inc.
- Jazz Jackrabbit CD-ROM (1994), Epic MegaGames, Inc.
- Jazz Jackrabbit: Holiday Hare 1994 (1994), Epic MegaGames, Inc.
- Tyrian (1995), Epic MegaGames, Inc.
- Jazz Jackrabbit: Holiday Hare 1995 (1995), Epic MegaGames, Inc.
- Unreal (1998), GT Interactive Software Corp.
- Jazz Jackrabbit 2 (1998), Gathering, Project Two Interactive BV
- Unreal Tournament (1999), GT Interactive Software Corp.
- Tyrian 2000 (1999), XSIV Games
- Jazz Jackrabbit 2: The Secret Files (1999), Gathering, Project Two Interactive BV
- Unreal Tournament (Game of the Year Edition) (2000), Infogrames, Inc.
- Unreal Tournament 2003 (2002), Infogrames, Inc.
- Unreal Championship (2002), Infogrames, Inc.
- Jazz Jackrabbit (2002), Jaleco Entertainment, Inc.
- Devastation (2003), HD Interactive B.V.
- Unreal Tournament 2004 (2004), Atari, Inc.
- Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict (2005), Midway Home Entertainment, Inc.
- Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 (2005), Ubisoft, Inc.
- Gears of War (2006), Microsoft Game Studios
- Unreal Tournament III (2007), Midway Home Entertainment, Inc.
- Gears of War 2 (2008), Microsoft Game Studios
- Shadow Complex (2009), Microsoft Game Studios
- Fat Princess (2009), Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc.
- Lost Planet 2 (2010), CE Europe Ltd.
- Bulletstorm (2011), Electronic Arts
- Gears of War 3 (2011), Microsoft Game Studios
- Superhot (2015), Blue Brick (co-designer of an arena stage)
- BlueStreak (working title) (2015), Boss Key Productions
- Stay Alive (2006) (consultant)
- Various Mega64 skits
- Jake and Amir, episode "The Hot Date" (2011) (played himself)
- "Sonic for Hire" (Gears of War episode; played himself) (2013)
- Starbomb, "I Choose You TO DIE!!" (2014)
- Ashcraft, Brian (8 April 2010). "Why We Call Him Dude Huge". Kotaku. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
- "Cliff Bleszinski". Giant Bomb.
- "Digital Extremes - Unreal". Retrieved 2014-07-28.
- "Cliff Bleszinski out at Epic Games". Gamespot. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
- Cliff Bleszinski Departs Epic | Epic Games Community. Epicgames.com (2012-10-03). Retrieved on 2012-11-21.
- "Clifford Unchained - Dynamite Fishing: An Open Letter to Phil Fish". Dudehugespeaks.tumblr.com. 2013-07-29. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
- "Twitter / therealcliffyb: I'm officially coming out of …". twitter.com. 2014-06-30. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
- Campbell, Evan (8 July 2014). "Gear of War Designer Cliff Bleszinski announces F2P shooter BlueStreak". IGN. Retrieved 2014-07-28.
- Good, Owen S. (27 July 2014). "Cliff Bar: Gears of War creator opens watering hole". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
- Gaudiosi, John (22 July 2014). "From Gears to Beers: A Video Game Mogul Opens a Restaurant". Men's Journal. Retrieved 2014-07-28.
- Makuch, Eddie (28 July 2014). "Gears of War Creator Opened a Beautiful Bar in North Carolina, Has Plans for Another". GameSpot. Retrieved 2014-07-29.
- The Grammar of Fun. New Yorker (2008-11-03). Retrieved on 2012-11-21.
- Blog post on MTV Multiplayer. Multiplayerblog.mtv.com (2008-05-21). Retrieved on 2012-11-21.
- "Twitter / therealcliffyb: And I'm not Jewish. I'm an Atheist". Twitter.com. 2013-06-19. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
- "Mobygames Developer BIO". mobygames.com. Retrieved 2011-02-07.
- Hall, Charlie (11 July 2014). "Cliff Bleszinski's next game level is being made in Poland right now". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- jgaudiosi (26 September 2006). ""Stay Alive" Hits DVD". videogames.typepad. Retrieved 2014-08-03.
- "WARREN SPECTOR TRIBUTE with Cliff Bleszinski". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
- "Sonic For Hire - Gears of War". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-01-05.
- Makedonski, Brett (2014-03-25). "Cliffy B chooses you to die in this Pokemon rap". Destructoid. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
- Personal website at the Wayback Machine (archived July 8, 2011)
- Cliff Bleszinski's profile at MobyGames
- Page On 1UP.com
- Everything You Wanted to Know About Gears of War... Article about Bleszinski's GDC2007 presentation "Designing Gears of War: Iteration Wins"
- Bar website
- GameSpot Video Interview with CliffyB
- Gears of War 3 debuts on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
- Cliff Bleszinski Reddit Questionnaire (September 14, 2012)